I Smell a Change in the Wind

The focus of the blog is changing.  Because my focus is changing.  And I’m okay with that.  I learned a long time ago to just ride my whims and see where they take me.   This quote from StoryPeople seems to say it well:

I spent a long time trying to find my center until I looked closely one night & found it had wheels & moved easily in the slightest breeze, so now I spend less time sitting and more time sailing.

So while I may still talk about minimalism or post about the things I’m getting rid of, this blog will now be more of a scrapbook of writing.  Poems, prose, lines of words strung together.  I’m feeling more like writing these days, so that’s what I’m going to do.  Silly little things, fun things, things that make me smile or happy or lift me up.

Also, I found this website the other day: Operationbeautiful.com.  It is awesome.  It encourages people (mostly young women) to post encouraging, inspiring, and positive notes in random public places such as bathrooms, book stores, college campuses, etc.  Go there.  Get inspired.  Make yourself glow and pass it on.

Welcome to my next “thing”!

A Little Thing

I noticed something the past week or two.  Normally, when I’m in the car I have the radio on.  Well, I shouldn’t say normally.  I should say always.  A lot of the time it’s NPR, sometimes it’s Top 40 crap that I not-so-secretly love.  But recently I’ve become somewhat bothers by the noise of it all, and most uncharacteristically, turned off the radio.  I don’t really think about much (that’s what falling asleep time is for), instead I just kinda cruise along, enjoying the quiet.  I don’t know if it’s my recent re-kindling of minimalism, if I’m turning into a prematurely grumpy old lady, or what, but I’m just gonna go with it, and enjoy my quiet time.

More Thinking on a Wardrobe Challenge

I’ve thought a lot today about the wardrobe challenge, surfing a bunch of websites and reading blogs.  At first I considered doing a 6 Item Challenge, but no matter which way I arranged my tops and bottoms I didn’t think I could live with 6 items for 30 days.  I upped it to 10.  Here’s my preliminary list:

  1. Khakis
  2. Black jersey skirt
  3. Jeans
  4. White button down
  5. Colored button down (short sleeve)
  6. Yellow cardigan
  7. Neutral cardigan (not sure if it will be black or ivory)
  8. T-shirt
  9. Beaded tank top
  10. Jersey shirt (probably a teal blue, but maybe white)

General Rules:

  • 10 articles of clothing to be worn for 30 days: April 1 through April 30 (weekdays and weekends alike)
  • Not counted in 10 items: underwear, accessories, shoes, workout clothes, loungewear
  • Loungewear may not be worn in public – only the listed 10 items can be worn in public

That’s what I’m thinking.  I’m not sold on the white button down, as it could only really be worn to work.  Perhaps I’ll switch it out with a white v-neck 3 quarter length jersey shirt I have.

One thing I’m worried about is being warm enough.  I don’t know if I’ll be chilly in the office with a short sleeve shirt and a cardigan on.  It is April in Connecticut – we’re predicted to get 3 – 6 inches of snow tomorrow (no April fools joke here, I swear!).  We’ll see.  I’m not jumping into the project with two feet as I probably should.  I’m more dipping a couple of toes into it.  I’ll start tomorrow definitely, and give it some more mulling over the weekend.  But just to be safe I’ll stick to my list, just in case I decide to dive in headlong!

Thinking About a Wardrobe Challenge

In my readings one theme that keeps popping up is the “wardrobe challenge”.  The idea being you pare your wardrobe down to 6 or 33 or some small number of articles of clothing.  I’m thinking about taking this on.

See, this is how I work.  An idea comes into my head, usually from reading something online (I’m not smart enough or creative enough to think of this stuff on my own!).  I mull it over for a while, let it roll around in my brain, try it on for size, see how it feels for a day or two or seven.  Then, if it’s still there, I write it down.  Usually in the journal that sits by my bed.  That’s when it starts to become real.  (In its previous just-in-my-brain state, ideas aren’t real.  They can’t scare me or make me nervous because they are just in my brain and can’t hurt me.  It’s when they are put on paper that they start to take on shape and have consequences, good or bad.)  I mull it over for a while longer.  Then I might mention it to someone.  Usually someone who isn’t a close friend or family member (i.e. someone not in my inner circle, who has no reason to judge the idea, and by extension, me).  And then, when I’m comfortable with the idea, it comes out to my peeps.  The people whose judgement I value and approval I seek (I know – this is approval seeking is a problem.  I’m working on it).  Usually by this point I’ve sold myself on whatever idea I’m presenting (remember – I’ve been playing with this guy for what could be weeks by now!) and can pull off the grand unveiling without too much self doubt.

But anyway (what was I talking about?  How did I get on this tangent of the inner workings of my brain?  Scary!) – back to the wardrobe thing.  I was on Sara’s blog Life More Lived and she wrote pretty extensively about her experience with the 6 Item Challenge.  So, I’ve decided to think it over, to hold onto it for a while and see how it feels.  Try it on for size, pun intended.  You guys will be the first to know if I decide to move forward with it.  Thanks, Sara, for giving me something to think about!

A.C. Slater? No, silly! A Clean Slate!

In my various blog readings, I came across this passage written by The Suburban Minimalist:

Sometimes I think that all this de-cluttering is just an extension of my desire to always start over, leave the muddled past behind, and go forth into perfection.

I love it.  I love it because it is me.  Whenever I clean things out of my house, I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders.  I feel free, less burdened, like I have wiped the proverbial slate clean.  I love starting over, starting fresh, starting anew.  Maybe this minimalist plunge is about the ultimate clean slate.  When my life is free of any and all clutter, I can then add back only what I want.

A Practical Question

Here I am starting with Miss Minimalist again!

In this post, Miss M put up a picture of a beautiful bedroom (source: Apartment Therapy):

I love it.  I can imagine waking up after a restful night’s sleep to the sea breezes coming in the open window (even though the apartment appears to be in a city – whatever).  But here’s my question.  Where does one put one’s alarm clock?

Seriously – that’s what I want to know!

I’ve since looked at many pictures of minimalist bedrooms, and love the look of a simple bed with no nightstands around it to clutter the room.  But really – where does one put an alarm clock?  It would look silly and a little “my first apartment” to put in on the floor.  Plus, I’m blind without my glasses and wouldn’t be able to read the thing!  So really, where does the alarm clock go?

It’s not about white walls or futons on the floor…

What is minimalism?  Or, really, what is minimalism as defined by yours truly?  I don’t have it neatly summed up yet, but here’s my working definition:

Minimalism: (n). From the Latin “to not have a lot shit*To want what you have and have only what you want.  To be who you want, and want who you are.

My definition has nothing to do with white walls or futons on the floor.  Nothing to do with having only 100 things.  Or decluttering.  Or riding your fixie to work.  These things may come as a byproduct, they probably will (okay, probably not the 100 things if you sane by any measure!), but they are not the essence of minimalism.  At least in my view, at this point time.  At this point in my journey.

*Shit it this context refers to physical shit (aka “stuff”) as well as mental shit (aka “baggage”).