Our Minimalist Life
As Minimalist Month draws to a close, we thought we'd share some wise words from Swimrun co-founder Mats Skott and his wife, Natasha, and their life in rural Sweden.
"Minimalism for Natasha and me is a learned way of thinking. It is not something that happens over night, instead, it is something you have to work hard towards, making daily changes in your life.
We met in 2003 and at the time were living in Stockholm. After our two kids were born a few years later, we realised that we did not want to live in a city anymore and so bought a farm close to a village called Åre in Jämtland, located in the mountains in the middle of Sweden.
Neither Natasha or I had been farmers nor did we come from farming families - but when we found the farm we knew we wanted to live there and so embarked on a journey to change our way of living to a life closer to nature.
Now Natasha is running the farm and we are becoming more and more self sufficient. We keep sheep, horses and chickens and are growing many of our own vegetables.
Whilst Natasha runs the farm, i'm working on the development of Swimrun, a sport me and my colleague Michael Lemmel invented. Together we started the ÖtillÖ World Series, which holds Swimrun events in some of the most beautiful corners of Europe.
All the time we are trying to live a life that is in harmony, which for us means having the least possible impact on nature and being together as a family. It is an intricate process and we are improving each day as we learn more and more how to live a minimalistic life. This gives us joy and value to our every day life.
Here are a few steps we try to follow to achieve a ”simpler” life.
- Spend time together as a family as often as we can
- Prioritise quality over quantity. When buying material things we choose products that sustainable and of good quality.
- Use material things until they break - and when they break, try to repair them.
- Eat naturally and taking time to eat together as a family
- Ask ourselves what is important for us, as a continual reminder not to get distracted by what is not important.
- Continually consider consumption, as a way to try not to over consume.
- See every day as a new day of opportunities
- Be active in making choices that give us a sense of meaning, rather than just adopting to what others might think
- Work-wise, try to focus on achieving a few, select tasks each day so that we can end each day with the satisfaction of completing them
All photo credit to Håkan Wike / Fjällräven