Sunday, July 25, 2010

An Empty Corner

The weekend is ending and another week of my day job looms ahead. My muscles are sore from all the work I did but I am happy. I actually have an empty half of a room. I love walking into my previously clutter filled bedroom and bedroom closet. I am starting to get a feeling of peace. When I see that empty corner I think of the possibilities that lay ahead.

Here is what I accomplished this weekend:

1. 3 large bags of clothing are ready to go into the donation bin tomorrow. I am now only using one side of the closet rods to hang clothes.

2. I put my couch, recliner, and a wood table on Craig's list. Hopefully they will sell so I can use the proceeds to chip away at the credit card debt.

3. A pile of paper work is ready to be shredded

4. I have healthy fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator ready for my lunches this week.

5. I have a stack of photo albums ready to be digitized.

6. The kitchen counter is free of clutter.

7. I looked up a list of best cities in which to live car free--unfortunately Phoenix was listed as one of the worst. The list was from 2008 though before the light rail was finished.  So if one is in central or downtown it may not be so bad.

8. I am giving myself two weeks to get the rest of the bedroom done. Most of it is paperwork that has to be saved or shredded.

9. I found myself having trouble with a few items and I had to keep saying to myself that "someone will be very happy to get this" and I kept going.

10. I have a goal of this November to be well on my way to getting my apartment purged of unnecessary items.

This is an interesting emotional process.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday July 24 A light switch has been turned on

Today is the my first day of my starting over according to the excellent book, "the joy of less a minimalist guide" by Francine Jay aka Miss Minimalist. Thank you for a wonderful guide to minimalist living and decluttering. I really need it!

I am going to play some music and get going. Music is a big inspiration for me. When I was in NY my brother was playing Regina Spektor.  Her music feels so honest and true and is very melodic as well. I had been in a rut listening to the music of my youth and while yes, it is great, I found myself getting lost in the emotions that went with it. So I am also starting over with music too, to find what is fresh and inspiring to me now. This is something I always did when I was younger so why did I seem to stop? I believe a key to feeling good is to be open. To be closed is hopeless. When we don't have goals and a hope for the future, regardless of how old we are, the lights can grow dim. So if you are feeling stuck and don't know exactly why, perhaps you can listen to some different music or try a new fruit or vegetable, reach out to a new friend or read a new book! OK, I'm off to tackle that bedroom closet...

One more thing--thank-you so much to my followers for reading my blog!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's been a great two weeks

It is Sunday night and my two-week vacation is over. The first week I spent in NY visiting family. It was so good to spend time with them. I did do hot yoga 2 times and made it through the class. It was ironic that there was a heat wave in NY when I was there--it actually reached 100 degrees! The yoga instructor had pity on us and turned off the heat just keeping the humidity which was enough! It was so fun to do this with my brother on the mat next to me in the class. He is my role model!

The second week I went to San Diego for Dr. Fuhrman's Health Getaway 2010. It was an amazing experience with delicious food, great people, extremely informative lectures by Dr. Fuhrman, author of "Eat to Live" and "Eat for Health". I highly recommend both of these books. The recipes are so good and Dr. Fuhrman's recommendations are based on science not fads! And what is amazing is that I am eating all that I want and am still losing weight! I lost 3 pounds at the getaway and now, home for a week I've dropped another pound. In the past I would starve myself and then eat what I call vegan junk food, you know all the processed stuff. Now I am eating whole foods and feel completely satisfied. I feel that I am doing all I can to give myself a healthy life. Now at 55 this is more important than ever! If you are younger I urge you to consider taking up this nutritional lifestyle, coined by Dr. Fuhrman, as nutritarian. Then when you are middle aged like me, you can feel good that you have done all you can to ward off the diseases we are seeing so prevalent today in our society.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Feeling good today!

Today is another first day without coffee. I have given it up many times before but I want this time to be the last. I've been down to 2 cups of half caffeine in the morning. I've been wanting to do this for a while. The coffee has been causing me stomach distress. The impetus for quitting today was last night's conversation with my brother. I will be visiting this weekend and I am going to join him in some "hot yoga" classes. I told him I was eating clean except for coffee. He encouraged me to quit again. I am drinking green tea to help ward off some of the bad withdrawal symptoms. Then when I am over the coffee I can work on the green tea if I want to. I am looking forward to the reported detox effect of the hot yoga. I hope I can do it! I've done yoga before but not like this. I will report back.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

10 Minimalist Quotes from the Tao Te Ching

I just received this in my email today from Miss Minimalist's blog. I had to share it. I want to refer to it often.
10 Minimalist Quotes from the Tao Te Ching

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Letting go and keeping things

Last March I moved from a large apartment to one half the size. I moved to shorten my commute. I got it down from 45 minutes to 15 minutes. It's wonderful. Before the move I sold or donated many items in what I now see as my first stage toward a minimalist lifestyle. Items I let go of include a HDTV, older small TV, large flat screen computer monitor, home office furniture, round glass dining room table and chairs, toaster oven, 2 glass side tables.  Now I've been in the new apartment for almost six months and I am in round two of the purging process. One area of concern for me is the kitchen. In the last few months I've accumulated more appliances connected with a raw vegan lifestyle such as a food processor, spiral slicer and food processor. Before I moved I let go of all the heavy china dishes and got a set of lightweight plates and bowls from Preserve Products. I'm really happy about this. At this point I am thinking I will keep these kitchen appliances. I read somewhere that this process is about simplifying so you can find out what is important for your life.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Waging a war on clutter

I woke up this morning happy with the progress I am making. Three large boxes of stuff went out and there are two more my the door ready to go. This morning I sent off the reply card to American Express publishing so they will stop automatically sending me two calendar books I don't need. If you do nothing they send them--tricky, but I am finally on top of this one! The life we lead is too complex these days to have to deal with clutter. There is a difference between clutter and abundance. Abundance is the joy you feel connecting with friends and/or family. It's the inner peace you feel after exercising and being out in nature. Or the calm satisfaction one feels after eating a meal of healthy whole foods. To me, clutter represents the anxiety and worry in my life and the limitations I feel. This is not want I want for the rest of my life. In my twenties I didn't have much and it seems that in my thirties I started accumulating stuff. Now that I am in my fifties I feel a strong pull to let go and simplify and I am following that feeling.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Back at blogger--minimalist musings

I'm back here now. In an effort to reduce all unnecessary expenses I've taken down my website and canceled my web hosting. Lately I've been getting into minimalist living. I've been reading websites on minimalist living and many of them recommend digital book readers like the Kindle. I am not a digital book reader yet. I enjoy books. I believe I keep it minimalist by using the public library. Every week I take out several books for the week. I am a fast reader and I don't have a TV, so I have the time to read and and I enjoy it very much. Because I use the library I only have the books from week to week and this falls within my minimalist goals. I do have some of my own books that I have kept. They are mostly food and recipe related. I have about 10 of these. And I'm not against digital book readers--just don't have the funds to get into right now. If and when I do I will report about my experience here. I love technology too so I'm sure it won't be too long...

The idea of living with fewer things is calling my name. During the past year I've been letting go of things. Here are 10 things I NO longer have:

1) TV
2) Home Office furniture
3) Full Size Mattresses and bed frame
4) Toaster Oven
5) Old computer tower
6) Large computer monitor
7) Large laser printer
8) Bedroom furniture
9) China dishes
10) Wallet
I use a money clip for a few necessary cards and any cash

I still have a way to go. I will report here as I let go of more things in the next year.