About Simple Black Coffee
Simple Black Coffee is a website born from my desire to have a record of my journey towards a minimalist life. During 2010 and 2011 I made regular entries as I whittled down my possessions. I had a personal goal of attaining a minimalist lifestyle and owning only the items I truly wanted by the time I turned 40 in December 2011. I accomplished that goal and that was when the blog stopped having a clearly defined purpose. In July 2012 I revitalized the website as an outlet for whatever I wanted to say to the world. It’s no longer defined as a minimalist living blog but I will certainly continue to write about minimalist living and simple living.
About Craig Keirstead
I live in rural Northwest Ohio with my wonderful wife, our 2 kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats. I grew up in New England and later in North Central Ohio and then moved to Northwest Ohio to attend college. After I finished my studies I found a job in the area and then met my wife. I’ve now lived in the Toledo, Ohio area longer than any other place in my life.
Among other things I’m a minimalist. Truthfully I suppose I’m a minimalist-in-training. I feel anyone who aspires to be a minimalist is always in training. Can one ever truly master avoiding the pitfalls of consumerism and materialism?
I became aware of the concept of simple living back in the 90′s when I read books by Elaine St. James. She was the first to open my eyes to the concept that you can have a good life without so much “stuff.” While I liked the concepts of simple living and her ideas on how to proceed, I pretty much still kept all the stuff I had and just made a few changes – like only having one of something.
After getting married and having kids, a lot of my simple living tendencies went out the window for a few years. I had kept all my old pre-marriage collections (sports cards / comic books / coins / stamps / matchbox cars, etc) but I also added new collections. My interest in the Green Bay Packers extended past just watching the Sunday games in a jersey and hat. I felt the need to collect cards, pennants, diecast cars and trucks, pins, buttons, programs and, well, you get the idea. In 2003 I also started geocaching, which can actually be a very simple hobby. All you really need is transportation, a GPS receiver, access to a computer and a pen. But as with any hobby there are ways to expand the experience into so much more with T-shirts, collectible coins, personalized souvenir cards and other small tchotchkes. I began to fill up my personal space with new junk besides leaving all the old stuff in the attic for ‘just in case.’ It was probably more like “out of sight, out of mind.” In addition I was sure that stuff was worth some money so I needed to keep it.
In 2010 I became serious about getting rid of all that excess stuff. I stopped buying new stuff and am now happier and more satisfied with the things I own. After taking a break from geocaching for a few years -and getting rid of the vast majority of all that geoclutter in the process- I’ve reentered the hobby using just those things I mentioned above: car, computer, GPS and pen. It’s more gratifying and a heck of a lot easier that way.
To contact me please feel free to tweet me @craigkeirstead or drop a comment somewhere here on the website.
Thanks for reading along!