Minimalist Temperance

I love this card. It captures my life perfectly: I’m constantly straddling two worlds, moving my energies from one area to another, and stealing from Peter to pay Paul. I’m sure there are many people out there who feel the same way. But you may be asking “How does a (self-proclaimed) minimalist get like that?”

Well, it is easy: I wasn’t always a minimalist. I used to be (and sometimes still am) a flagrant consumer of things and time. Sometimes my schedule is double (or triple) booked with meaningless activities. Sometimes I need to focus on two different projects at the same time (say work and school). And sometimes I’m just not mindful enough to keep my life simple.

So what does Temperance have to say about all of this? This card tells us two things: first that we need moderation and self-control in our lives. (Thank you Capt Obvious). When our lives get out of control, it is up to us to reign them back in. The goal of this aspect of the card is to make sure that when we decide to do something or add it to our to do list, we aren’t overextending. The old adage is “everything in moderation.” That is one of the lessons of this card.

The second thing this card tells us is that it is a good thing to combine our interest. That is how we find meaning in life. But (and this is the kicker) don’t take from one to give to the other. Don’t move money from one part of your budget to pay for deficits in the other (it always has to be repaid). There this triangle (see above) and though we aren’t shooting for good grades anymore, we can only do so much with our day. If we are overbooked, something gets stolen from (usually sleep).

The minimalist message in this card is twofold: Be aware of how much you can do (because you can’t do everything) and moderate what you commit to. Here’s the challenge: for the next two weeks purposefully cut things from your schedule (particularly those things you have steal time for) and only commit to what you can realistically do. See how it feels to prioritize the things you love and (maybe) get enough sleep.