The other person who inspired me a lot last year (well, maybe for a few years now) was Mr. Money Mustache. So between Marie Kondo with her get-rid-of-your-garbage philosophy, and MMM’s stop-buying-garbage philosophy, I was torn about which I would adopt as my theme for 2019. So I’m taking them both. I’m sure I’ve recycled these two ideas in past resolutions. It’s an uphill battle for me on both fronts and they relate. Stop trading my time and space for garbage.
With MMM in mind, I had originally drafted a post geared towards what I thought was going to be my 2019 project of reducing my annual food cost from 2018. This was in November before the end of the year and my data was incomplete so I waited to finish the post with all the dollars tallied. Lo, the outcome was stupid. Yes, I can lower my food costs. No I’m not as Mustachian as the man himself. But no. See food expenses in 2018 were lower than in 2017. Good enough for me. I apparently made strides without even trying.
My theory is, part way through 2018 I gave up on finding decent plant-based options in the area because they were mostly just mediocre, so we ate out a lot less. I don’t see the dining scene suddenly improving this year. We’ll still try a few places every now and again, but maybe this isn’t the pie slice I need to improve. I will just have to look elsewhere to improve my clutteriffic living situation. Anyway, it’s not like my food takes up that much space. Except maybe the beans and rice – I hoard that as if the next apocalypse were upon us.
I wanted to focus 2018 on flexibility. With my limbs. Stretch more. Use the foam roller more. I blame Instagram. Nothing good ever came out of social media eh? So that lasted for maaaybee a month? I mean I kinda’ sorta? Reality: I probably stretched no more or less than usual. You know how it goes with resolutions and old habits. I was hoping that my physical flexibility would manifest into my day-to-day life. That I could be more flexible physically and mentally. I’m not sure my brain flexed anymore than my limbs though so there ya go. Old habits are hard to kill. Then again, life is moment to moment so maybe just keeping the thought in mind helped in some way? I don’t know. It’s not something I measured, nor would I know how to. Or maybe not measuring and not tracking was itself a sort of flexibility. Just learning to go with the current moment rather than worrying about how I was in the previous moment. Anyway, I really enjoyed this “resolution” because it’s more flexible. How very meta. So I can’t tell how I did. There is no success or failure. It’s just a word.
Usually, I like to show my haircuts with a before and after cut comparison.
(See 2017, 2016, 2015)
This time, I’m showing a before and after a year of growth.
I’m hoping to grow it another year before lopping it off again. The thing I learned about a short cut is, I like them. They require less work to look stylish. Although I won’t go this short again because it gets all bent out of shape when I sleep and trying to fix it takes heat and effort. A bob length is easier because there’s enough weight on the hair to not get too unruly. Also, it can be tied back for the gym.
The recent review about my fleeting artistic endeavors reminds me of my other “hobby” that I picked up several years ago. Fountain penning. How’s that going you might wonder? Well, it’s sort of stalled. That’s the thing about stuff hobbies. It’s just buying another and another. I don’t plan on getting anymore except eventually a TWSBI.
In the height of my penning, I was using the Pilot Kakuno, Petit1, and Metropolitan at work and regularly journaling with the Pelikan. Now, only the Pelikan and Petit 1 are currently inked and used. The Metropolitan was recently cleaned and the Kakuno is a lost cause. The lid cracked, the nib dries out, it spurts ink sometimes. I don’t know what to do with it. Marie Kondo would probably say, throw it away. I can save the nib and feed which also fits the Metropolitan. It does have a nice extra fine nib. Guess it was a get-what-you-pay-for situation.
So the thing about fountain pens, and pens in general is hand writing things just doesn’t happen much these days anymore. My handwriting is crap because of it. I used to try hard with my notebooks at work to jot notes neatly. You’d see at least some parts of my notes with schoolteacher writing and some notes that are rushed. Now almost all my notes look rushed.
Today was mostly okay until I went to go catch a bus for an appointment. (Metro is doing track work and telling everybody to stay home, go on vacay, or find another mode of transportation, which is usually unheard of since they’re hurtin’ for money, but I’m glad they’re finally giving metro’s infrastructure the much needed attention). The first bus came and drove right by me (why do they do that?!!). And in the 10 minutes I stood to wait for the next bus (thankfully it was just 10 or so mins), mosquitoes attacked me. I was bit probably close to 10 times. The saving grace, there was a torrential downpour (the kind that flip umbrellas inside out) just as I hopped onto the next bus, and by the time I got to where I was going, the rain had stopped. So maybe missing that first bus was a blessing in disguise a la that movie, Sliding Doors (where Gwyneth Paltrow misses a train in one universe and catches it in another and her life is totally different because of that train.) Not that my life was so altered. I don’t think anyway. I guess I’ll never know since I didn’t catch that bus. At any rate, I imagine I would have had to get off the bus right in the middle of the pouring rain and I would have waited at the bus shelter until the storm ebbed and not gotten attacked by the hungry mosquitoes. No biggie. Anyway, I came home and had a bowl of rice and miso paste to feel better. It’s my new favorite food lately. I wrap it in nori. It’s like omusubi without the effort of turning it into a triangle. I feel better now.
I know, I know, it’s spring already. Days are longer, more sunshine. Etc. Blah blah, whatever. I’m not feeling it. I’m feeling mopey and dopey, unmotivated, unenthusiastic, and generally bleh.
Yesterday at work, I googled “things to do.” Literally (in the correct usage of this term), I feel like I have no ideas to motivate me to do anything. One of the ideas that came out of the search was to engage in a hobby. I went through my head of all the hobbies I picked up and put down and can’t think of anything that excites me. The only thing I still enjoy doing is tending the houseplants. Thank goodness for that little bit of activity.
Lately I’ve been trying to plan a trip to somewhere. I get excited about it for all of a day and then I lose interest. In the place. In traveling. In leaving the house.
There’s a big snow storm outside right now too. The groundhog was right.
My supposedly last-pair-of-leggings arrived last week. I tried them on and saw right through to my underpants. Folded them back in the bag, sealed them up and sent them back.
Unfortunately, regardless of the price, reputation of the brand, or country of origin, translucency is a common issue with leggings. I think I’m done with leggings for a while now.
I donated my hair last year. Here’s what I thought about it before and after.
- Donating hair is great and for a good cause. I should do it while I can (as in before my hair turns gray.)
- It’s easy. I only need to find a participating hair salon that will cut it and send it en masse with other peoples’ donated tresses.
- Not sure how I feel about short hair. I always have it long enough to tie back at least.
- I will do this again and again!
- Donating hair is meh, whatevers. They’ll probably just chuck it anyway (I’ve read that it happens a lot.)
- It’s a pain in the ass I have to mail in my hair. No salons participate because bullet above.
- Not being able to tie it up is a minor inconvenience and it’s more effort to tame the bedhead. Other than that I LOVE SHORT HAIR! I feel more stylish.
- I am undecided about doing this again. Leaning probably not.
TGIF! This week was a pretty typical week for me.
Monday – Went to work. Took my lunch break at my dinky work gym to stretch my legs a bit. I think of it like recess at school – the highlight of my day. After work, I ate leftover bean salad. Watched TV – the old BBC Pride and Prejudice. LOOOVE Jane Austen. Popcorn.
Tuesday – Same as Monday, only after work, I went to a gym class to get a proper bit of workout. I like this particular Tuesday instructor who focuses on abs. Again, once I’m home, I try to get to food as fast as possible, but not before I shower, because I’m gross. Watch TV with a side of iPad.
Wednesday – Same as Monday. I watched Me Before You. Good, but sad. The stars are beautiful and likable.
Thursday – Same as Tuesday, just a different class. I watched Mozart in the Jungle.
Friday – Same as Monday only I got to work a bit earlier so I can leave earlier too. It’s grocery shopping at Mom’s after dinner. And finally, TV with a side of wine. Ahhhh….
Saturday – I generally wake up to toast with peanut butter and banana with tea or coffee. It’s my favorite breakfast of late. I water all the houseplants with shrimp tank water and then refill the tank with aged water. That’s just about the only maintenance I do for that tank. I watch more TV until I finally drag my butt to the gym. It’s hard to leave the house to go to the gym, but the instructor is a funny old guy who runs a very non-stop ridiculously spastic session that I find amusing. “How high/fast can you go?! Can you go higher/faster?! Can you go even HIGHER/FASTER!?” “Rest when you’re tired. Drink when you’re thirsty. Eat your vegetables every day!” “My mom wakes up and does 100 of these in the morning!” There’s no stopping for a full hour. After this crazy workout, I like to go out to eat and then do more grocery shopping.
Sunday – Do mostly nothing day! Watch gobs and gobs of TV. Also this is cooking day. I prepare lunches for the week and try to make enough for dinner for the week too. I prefer to do minimal cooking during the week so for the most part, Sunday is food prep day. This way, I get less wasted produce too. Cooking just about everything reduces food waste. That’s one annoying thing about buying produce though – it commits me to cook. Once purchased I have to cook it that weekend or prep it for freezing. Once in a blue moon, I might pick up the vacuum cleaner or scrub brush to clean the house. But not if there’s something even remotely decent on Netflix or YouTube.
As soon as I got done setting it up, I knew the bullet journal was a preposterous idea for me. I didn’t see myself doing it for long. That it lasted through April is longer than I would have expected. The most impact it had was tracking my monthly spending habits. I wrote down everything for a few months. To sum it up, my spending pretty much consisted of eating out, random Amazon or Target shit, and grocery shopping. And I noticed that while my grocery bills came out to about a hundred to two hundred a week, eating out, even ordering non-fancy takeout Chinese could run over $50 (with leftovers) for a meal or so. So I stopped eating out unless it was with other people. Meaning eating out for sustenance was a don’t. Eating out for socializing was a do. I’ve since resumed eating out (for convenience, enjoyment) again and have noticed how salty, sweet, greasy stuff can be. In other words, tasty! But then also sometimes less tasty than I remembered.