Friday, April 28, 2017

Minimalism Sundays

Minimalism Sundays

About a year ago I started watching minimalism YouTube videos on Sundays as I folded laundry. From there it grew to include reading minimalist blog posts. Eventually I started listening to podcasts on my iPad. Now I call it Minimalism Sundays and I devote a good chunk of the day to it. I find it refreshes me for the week ahead. It gets my head back in the game so to speak.

    Having this set aside time also allows for reflection on any mistakes I have made during the week and to formulate a game plan for better decision making in the future. I still slip up and shop without a purpose on occasion. Sometimes I don't even realize I have done so until I am listening to the podcast and mull over their words. I have learned to forgive myself, move on and definitely to return it!

  All this came about when I read Marie Kondo's book The Japanese Art of Tidying Up. I typically do laundry on Sundays. I wanted to try out the Konmari folding method but I couldn't quite understand how it was done in the book. Naturally I turned to online sources and there was a YouTube video (there is a YouTube video for EVERYTHING). That led to more videos on how other people did the Konmari clean out. Which in turn led to videos on minimalism, then one-bag-living, then travel, nomadic living, digital nomad, build your own tiny house, capsule wardrobes, and oh my! I just loved it.

   I never noticed how bombarded we are with advertisements until I started to pay attention. We are hit with the message to shop constantly. Even while watching Tiny House Nation, a show specifically​ on downsizing and culling “stuff" on the first commercial break there are handsome people dancing around buying things on wayfarer with free shipping. They show them clicking the purchase then bam! It is in their living room perfectly set. During my YouTube videos on minimalism and nomadic lifestyles the commercials were on Carmax Superstore and Macy's one day sale. Ever notice Macy's has a one day sale every weekend? And they always have a “preview day” the day before. Anyhow between the side adverts on your work email, the radio ads on the way to work and the cute outfits your coworkers are sporting it is easy to be sucked into the consumerism vortex. And if you do, forgive yourself and move on, we are only human, with each new mistake we add a new lesson to our menagerie of experiences. Have a most wonderful day 😀

Thursday, April 6, 2017

My "Always Pack" list

My “Always Pack” List

    There are a few things that get packed up every time; no matter where, when, or how long a trip may be. There is a small black mesh bag that normally stores my electronics, it does double duty as my “always pack” container on trips. Items that are always packed are: wool buff, spork, headlamp, eye mask, ear plugs, sarong clip (sarong too, but I do not currently have one and have been on the look-out), notebook/pen and passport. You may or may not be surprised to know that only one of those things actually gets used in my day-to-day life.

    Each of my “always pack” items is invaluable when needed, serves multiple purposes and has saved my bacon on previous trips. My wool buff was a hat, a face mask, glove and pot holder on a camping trip in the Smokies. It was a scarf, headband and hat on my trip to Europe. It was a scarf again during the snowpocalypse in Jackson, MS this past January. In the year I have owned it, it has time and time again proved to be one of most useful clothing articles.

                 <wool buff in action!

    The spork, once scoffed at in the cafeteria in high school is now used with triumphant gusto. I also newly acquired it last year at REI in Knoxville, TN when I got the wool buff and Dr Bronner’s soap (2 oz.). In the year I have had it, it has not been used too often. My best guesstimate is 20 times or so, but when you need a utensil, you need a utensil! It got the most use on my camping trip of course. I used it in the airport a dozen times or so. In Europe it was mostly used in Germany and the Negev desert. I cannot stress the point enough tho, that when you need a utensil, you need a utensil! Then when you pull out the spork with glorious relish it may as well be gold.


    Next item is the headlamp. Not too much to say about it other then I love the hands free feeling of having an adjustable flashlight. It almost never gets used, except for camping or the rare moments down south when we lose electricity. I walk my dog every night using my boyfriend’s regular flashlight and it is only just now dawning on me that I should use the headlamp (I can be a dunce at times). Again it is one of those items that while not in use too often it proves itself worth a million dollars when you need one.

    The eye mask was a freebie given out by Delta on our flight to Europe. I didn’t think I needed it but the packet came with earplugs which I had forgotten and knew I would use those. Since I hate throwing away items I kept the eyemask in my bag during the trip. It became a wonderful tool for sleeping. It usually takes me a day or two to get accustomed to a new environment to sleep well. With the sleep mask I sleep like a baby every time.

    I am currently without a sarong. Usually the one I have operates as a throw blanket, beach blanket, dressy skirt, swim cover-up, loungey dress and serves a multitude of other various uses. During a clean-up over a year ago I donated it thinking it wasn’t truly adding value at the time. Since then I have not found a good replacement and since I have been making due without it for so long now I hesitate to buy another. I guess I am waiting now for one that was ethically made, in superb colors that match everything in my wardrobe and at a good price. Basically the shangri-la of sarongs. It could be awhile.

With the ever expanding assortment of electronics available out there I am still old school when it come to taking notes. My notebook and pen are invaluable to me. All the information will typically be transferred to an electronic system, but I still like the feel of writing and the freedom of spacing it gives me on the page. I tried using a moleskine as most digital nomads raved about them, I found a cheap spiral bound small notebook was more conducive to my style. I also use either a purple pentel pen or a bic 4 color multi-click pen.  

Lastly, my passport is always by my side because you never know! I would never want to miss out on an opportunity just because I didn’t have the most important tool in a travelers kit with me. Also, if your wallet get stolen or lost, how happy will you be getting to the airport with a backup? ‘Hey, let’s jet down to the Bahamas!” will probably never happen when I am in Orlando, but you can’t blame a girl for dreaming!

    What do you “always pack?” I am curious to compare notes! Oh and by the way, it’s earplugs that get used everyday!