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Andrea409More purchasing lately

Here’s the thing: I just about never spend money on myself, as far as clothes and things go. I tend to wear the same things year after year until, of course, they wear out. Even then, I’ll cling to them until the bitter end. I find this especially true with shoes. They get so worn in and comfy and fit my feet perfectly. However, they also get tattered, torn, and literally fall apart. I’m looking at you, Sanuk Junebugs! (Best shoes ever!)

So recently I bought some new clothes from Kohls and Amazon. They weren’t even second-hand. I really like them, and I feel good about myself in them. This is what good clothes do, right? They inspire self-confidence, which spawns happiness and so on. I even bought a new pair of Chucks, which I haven’t worn in close to ten years. Then I spent some money on some new make-up.

My point is this: I think I’m feeling guilt over all this spending. I think this is likely unwarranted.

I do my budget on mint.com. According to them, I spend the same amount every six months to a year on clothing that most families spend in a month. I found that hard to believe, but that’s what the site says. Of course, I don’t know how well that site represents the true population and all of that, but it’s the best data I have available.

I suppose I’m trying to find the line between being good to myself and, indeed, feeling good about myself but not falling prey to greed, excess, or even vanity. Knowing myself as I do, I doubt I’ll ever reach these traits, but I think it is wise to stop and check myself every now and then.

At what point does necessity blur into frivolity? And is there anything wrong with a bit of frivolity once in awhile? Bottom line: am I still living simply? Certainly, compared with the majority of the world’s population I am not. Compared with most Americans, I would say yes, I am. But I’m not at all sure I want to compare myself with the status quo of Americans.

I’m not much of a philosopher, I’m afraid. But these questions keep going round in my head. Maybe I’ll reach a conclusion one of these days. 5 days ago


bermudamohawkfinding peace within

Every time I feel trapped, like I need to get away to find peace, let me remember this. And this. Peace and quiet come not from the external, but from within. 4 weeks ago


viobioa quote about what's important

“Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul.”
- Mark Twain 1 month ago


bermudamohawkschedule

Look at that! I accidentally left my paper calendar at work on Saturday, and didn’t dig it up until just a few minutes ago. Four days without a calendar?! And I still managed to accomplish most of the things I hoped to do during that time? And then some?

It feels good. Simpler feels good. That is all :) 1 month ago


bermudamohawkrenewal

I’ve been feeling a little suffocated lately, but it came on so slowly that I didn’t realize why. My thoughts have been racing and my physical surroundings are becoming less easily manageable. I’ve been looking for an escape, but I can’t run away from everything. Even if I did, I’d return to the suffocation eventually.

Fortunately, I’ve identified a few areas of my life where I’ve been slipping. Bringing the focus back to these few simple things, I think, will give me a better sense of peace with what I have and where I am. It would be nice to breathe easier :)

1. Prayer. Life becomes much less manageable when I’m out of tune with my Higher Power. Making time to pray helps me slow down and stay on a better path. Now that I’m aware of the fact that I’ve been neglecting prayer, and accept that I’ve fallen out of good habits, I’m ready to take action and develop morning, midday, and end-of-day prayer habits.

2. Things. I’ve decluttered and de-owned a lot of things since I began my pursuit of a minimalist lifestyle. But I’ve also acquired plenty of new things. My closet is starting to grow out of control again, but I’m ready for another round of Project 333. This time, though, I plan to follow it to a T. It won’t be easy to get started, but I know it will be so much easier to use and maintain day-to-day. I don’t want my clothes to make me. I can pick my best pieces and make the most of them. Once I tackle this project, I’d also like to take another pass over my nightstand and bookshelf to simplify things even more.

3. Schedule. I caught myself micromanaging my schedule again. I was so overwhelmed by my calendar and my life that I all-together ignored it last Friday and missed a standing appointment. This week, I’m trying an experiment: I’ve copied a few essential commitments to a paper calendar, and I’m detaching from my Google calendar. My hope is that I’ll be more present, not thinking so far ahead, and not trying to manage every moment. 1 month ago


bermudamohawksimplicity in relationships

Suddenly my heart and soul feel like they can’t contain these thoughts. I don’t know where else to get them out but here. Even though I feel like I’m violating some relationship rules by venting here…

I just got an email from my dad. It was to the “whole family,” inviting us to a party. Aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins’ spouses – yep, my dad has a “rule” that you don’t get the emails unless you’re a blood relative or married in. Though he usually remembers to include his own girlfriend (who he says he’ll never marry).

So why is it that he can’t recognize my union with my boyfriend of eight years as something akin to marriage?

Today, my boyfriend came up in conversation while talking with my coworker. She made the comment, “if you stay together, if you ever decide to get married…” as if those two things were one in the same. I’ve never given any indication that we are anything less than fully committed to each other. And I think she would understand, as she was with her partner for a decade before they married.

Why do people assume we’re not committed just because we haven’t had a wedding?

I’ve gone back and forth about the idea of marriage. Having grown up with parents who stayed married but seemed to hate each other, only to watch them go through a long, messy, and hateful divorce as an adult, I have gone through periods where I was reluctant to believe in the necessity of marriage. I didn’t want to follow in my parents’ footsteps, and I couldn’t do that if we never got married, right?

Part of my fear of marriage also stemmed from some unstable moments with my boyfriend throughout the years. Fortunately, over the past 13 months, we’ve come a LONG way. We’ve proved we can get through the best and the worst of times countless times, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. I love him so passionately and I love what we have together. I’ve never been more confident in each of us as individuals, as well as our relationship. More and more, I want the formality of that bond.

But I’m not sure why.

It’s driving him crazy, this new found marriage obsession of mine. Now he is the one who’s content with what we have. He doesn’t see reason to discuss marriage, and gets frustrated when I bring it up. Understandable, considering it’s a regular topic of conversation. But I think it comes up so much because the conversation never goes anywhere. He doesn’t want it. I do. We can’t make it to the “whys” – or, at least, he tells me why he doesn’t want to and won’t seem to listen to why I do want to. Though I feel like we’re on the same page regarding most things these days, we’ve never been on the same page about marriage.

Also, he’s gone through a LOT of life changes over the past year and a half, and has a lot going on in his life right now. I can see how throwing marriage (and yes, I’ll admit, also talk of having kids) into the mix considering everything.

But again, why am I now so obsessed? Is it because I want others to recognize us as nothing less than husband and wife? Is it because I want to call him my husband? Is it because I want to take his last name? Is it because I want to “do right by God”? Is is because I’ve never been so confident in us that I want to celebrate that and seal it with our signatures on a marriage license?

It’s probably all of the above.

Don’t get me wrong. I am SO VERY HAPPY with the relationship we have these days. I think it’s for that very reason that he’s content where we are and I want to formalize it all.

Marriage seems like it would take out all the ambiguity and just simplify things. Or am I complicating things by obsessing over all of this? Would it be simpler to just let go and enjoy what I have now? Or, even more mind-blowing, is this maybe one part of my life where I shouldn’t focus so heavily on simplicity?

I seem to have more questions than answers. 3 months ago


chester1955Edit 365 - 2014 underway

I have revived my Edit 365 goal and renamed it Edit 365-2014. I have wanted to revisit this goal during 2013 but various things got in the way. Not to worry, I am in a much better space emotionally and head wise to get this up and running again. It’s also a bit of a necessity because since inheriting a lot of personal possessions from another person in the family I am finding my living space has, in some areas, become cluttered and crowded again. It is more noticeable now though because some of the things are not mine and I definitely need to get rid of them.
I have done well so far having logged 16 entries on my Edit 365 goal.
And so I continue to keep making inroads toward Living Simply. 3 months ago


chester1955Tidy microwave alcove

Sometimes just getting to and tidying things up means that you feel more ordered and things look simple.
I got too and cleaned the alcove shelf the microwave sits on in the kitchen. It has been a big improvement visually to the kitchen and it makes me feel good. I also found that 2 rolls of al-foil had fallen down the back of the microwave and so have recovered some resources LOL
A simple thing to do that has had a very nice result in not only making me feel good, but making that area of the kitchen look more organised and functional :-) 3 months ago


chester1955Living simply for another year

Living simply is not something that you ‘finish’ doing. I have no doubt that Living Simply is something that requires a fresh start every year and so, with that in mind, I am re-committing to this goal again.
I have managed to simplify a lot of things in my life. A lot of it has had to do with clutter. Some of it has had to do with people. Some of it has had to do with my ‘head space’ – perceptions and thought processes.
This year I am starting a Diploma of Life Coaching. Organisation will be key to success. Discipline will also be another key. Interestingly enough, both these things seem to happen when you start to simplify things in your life.
I have resurrected the Edit 365 goal as “Edit 365 – 2014”. I think editing your life and divesting yourself of ‘stuff’ is also an ongoing process which helps with living simply.
So, 1st Jan 2014 – a New Year dawns and I am once again inspired to continue to live more simply. 3 months ago


SophieI love living simply

Sometimes I think about when I was surrounded by too much stuff. It was really bad. There was a time I had too much stuff and did not even have the energy to work on it. I desired to weed through it, to eliminate what was not necessary to keep.

I still have a stack of papers to go through, but I have just recently recovered from being ill. While ill I was unable to do even the basics of picking up after myself. That stack of papers does not bother me for now. I am just very grateful to have caught up on basic cleaning and self care. 4 months ago


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