So, I was thinking to myself; Self, how can I live lighter and still keep the things around me that make me smile yet not junk up the place?
Make them functional and purposeful!
I love owls (except when the bastards are attacking eagle nests with the little eaglets in them!). I love their big, bug eyes, their majestic plumage, and those damned hooked beaks. But what I don’t love is a house full of owl shit that just sits collecting dust.
So, instead of dedicating a shelf or wall full of crazy owl tchotchkes, I decided to cutify my kitchen with some owl salt and pepper shakers and a scrubber dish (I really needed this because I was just sitting my used SOS pad on the edge of the sink, and it was gross!)
And looky, looky! I also found some owl candles! Okay, so, technically I could’ve done without these, but they were marked down to $2.00 after Christmas last year, and I always lose power during a really bad storm, so there! Shut.it.
My point is that you don’t have to give up the things you love and bring you joy if you can find functional, purposeful uses for them. Now, if I could only make art with all these useless lipsticks I have…
So, for the month of September, I created some pretty lofty goals for myself. One thing this minimalism journey is constantly teaching me is the art of mindfulness. I see that word used constantly among the more seasoned minimalists, and I always poo-poo’d it with a “Chile, bye”, but now, I freaking get it!
Once you’re mindful and intentional with everything that you do, you’re already halfway there. Trust me, I’m not trying to sound preachy, but it’s true. For me, I’m so used to doing what I want, when I want, and damn whatever else. I don’t think I’ve ever gone an entire month thinking about spending my money before actually spending my money. I have always been of the mindset that it’s my money; I earned it, and I’ll spend it any way I choose. Anybody like that? Enough chit-chat, let’s get to the results!
- E-book purchases: I have a small disclosure here. I did purchase e-books in September, but I did not spend money on them. I used my Amazon gift card balance, so the books I bought were gifts, not purchases 😛
- Clothing purchases: Honestly, I thought this would be the biggest struggle for me, yet it wasn’t. I think now that I’ve resolved that I don’t need any new clothes and that I’ll be creating a fall capsule wardrobe, there wasn’t anything I really needed, or wanted, for that matter. I was hella tempted, though. I have not unsubscribed to a few mailing lists of my favorite retailers, and I actually did go to a few websites and added some things to my basket. HOWEVER… I BOUGHT NOTHING!!!!
- Fast food breakfast: This also was a tough one. I love to cook but not 6:30 a.m. in the morning. Yeah, yeah, do it the night before…But I don’t like reheated breakfast food. Sue me… I love Panera and Chic-Fil-A, which are directly across the street from my office and oh so convenient… I toughed it out and got my ass up to cook a hot breakfast in the morning. The question is, can I continue this? Not gone lie, the answer is probably no. But I will be more mindful of this. Shit, I saved about $50.00 not buying breakfast in the mornings. If that ain’t incentive, I don’t know what is…
- Grocery shopping: I was fully expecting not to meet this goal, and I did not disappoint myself I am a horrible grocery shopper. I rarely make lists; I don’t comparison shop; I’m an impulse or “good intentions” buyer, knowing damn well, I don’t eat yogurt or squash like that. I’m seriously working on this, and I expect to make significant improvements in the coming weeks. I ended up spending well over $300 in groceries. Admittedly, my breakfast food items slightly contributed to the spike, but not that damn much!
In conclusion, I’m pleased, overall, with this self-imposed challenge. There is room for improvement on all fronts, but I feel good. I hope October’s is just as, if not more, successful.
See y’all next week…
I have a love/hate relationship with October. The weather is wonky. Like, do I wear a jacket or nah? The days are getting shorter. I don’t know if it’s the Leo in me or if it’s in my head, but I truly get my energy from the sun. And I tend to buy more unnecessary shit this time of the year. You know, Halloween ain’t even here yet, and some places are already advertising Christmas…
Antyway… I’ve created another set of lofty, yet attainable goals for myself. It’s time to create some new fall habits.
I’ll be back on Thursday with my September wrap-up. Th good, the bad, and the
I’ve been in my own world since I was thirteen years old. When I say my own world, I’m speaking of being attuned with who I am as a person. I don’t like large crowds. I don’t have a huge circle of friends. I don’t and have never gone clubbing. Getting me to go “out” is a struggle. I genuinely like myself, and I enjoy my own company. And because I spend so much time alone, it’s helped to form my own beliefs and principles without outside influence. I could give zero damns about what others think of me because I’ma do me regardless. And this is how I’ve earned this unspoken reputation as this unapproachable, stand-offish person when in actuality, I’m the complete opposite. Those who are “brave” enough to talk to me are often pleasantly surprised by the end of the conversation that I’m anything but.
I grew up with an extremely extroverted and animated mother. She was the literal life of the party, and she tried to her dying day to get me to be more outgoing. I appreciated her concern, but her pushing had the opposite effect. My mother was also a maximalist (My sister is so her in every sense…) It had to be big, and it had to be opulent and of the best quality. I will admit that it was my mother who taught me quality over quantity, but that’s another post for another day…
Deciding to downsize my life has been an eye-opening experience, mainly because it’s made me realize how much money I’ve wasted in the last year. I still have a consumerist mindset, and it’s like a disease. If I see it, and I like it, I have to have it! The newness of things is addictive, and I am disgusted with myself, even as I write this post. Wait til my September wrap-up post. I still have so far to go. An extra dollar burns a hole in my pocket. Still
When I see other minimalists try to trash fellow minimalists because they don’t fit their definition of what it means to be a minimalist:
First of all, nobody defines what minimalism means to me . Or you, for that matter. What lead me on this journey was not a desire to fit all my worldly possessions into a suitcase or cardboard box or live in a home with white walls and a neutral color palette because that just ain’t happ’n, bruh. I am not about that life. I live in color every day (literally and figuratively).
As my tagline states, my minimalism is about living light (er) and living right. Living light means getting rid of the things that no longer bring value to my life or serve an immediate need. Living right means being a kinder, gentler, friendlier, nicer me.
With that being said, here are some things I flat out refuse to part with. At least for now!
- Photo albums: I’m old school. Pictures tell a story, and I love reliving those moments that helped shape and define the woman that I am today (Yes, all the important ones are backed up.)
- Books: An introvert’s ultimate form of entertainment
- Wall art/decor: Because looking at my artwork and family photos make me happy. ‘Nuff said…
- Cassette tapes: The soundtrack to my life. Ain’t no way I’m parting with the music. I’ll cut my cable off first.
- Craft supplies: I’m a creative, and I need the freedom to craft at will. Not sorry..
See y’all next time when I list the five things that I have given up. Oh boy…