Lent 2019

In the spirit of the Throwaway Year, I intend to throw away/donate one item per day of Lent. Despite my mindfulness in not bringing things in, I still have so many things to take out of the house. How does this happen?! I’m not even referring to actual trash. I intend to get rid of things.

The Konmari method is actually the opposite of this. According to her, I really ought to identify the things I want to keep and then just get rid of everything else. That kind of thinking is similar to bonsai or tree grooming. Finding the beauty or essence of the branches and cutting away the excess to reveal the shrub or tree.

It’s too hard to tackle for me. I’m going with finding stuff to take away for now. That’s challenging enough and it does make a gradual difference.

A Celebration of Rodents

This blog is 12!

Here are things I still do from 12 years ago:

  • Play Sims! (Actually I stopped, but recently fired it up again.)
  • Superfan Taylor Swift.
  • Grow plants.
  • Keep aquariums.
  • Read the Washington Post.

Here are things I no longer do that I used to enjoy 12 years ago:

  • Drive. I mean, sure I can, but I rarely do now and definitely not regularly.
  • Watch movies from DVDs that Netflix mails me. I don’t even own a DVD player.
  • Go with friends to a mall to shop for clothes.
  • Eat all the animals.
  • Date and then over-analyze said dates. True story: this blog was created to cheer me up and distract me from being sad about the end of a relationship. Distraction worked. Distraction can be handy.

By 2020

Twenty twenty has a nice roll off the tongue. Tuh-wen-ty twen-tee. Five or six years ago, 2020 seemed like a nebulous faraway place. I’d daydream of this or that and say, by 2020. These are the cans that I kicked down to 2020 (and am probably not going to achieve):

  • Move to a place with a yard.
  • Get a dog
  • Get a cat
  • Get a chinchilla
  • Get an alpaca, llama, Brahman cattle, chickens, goats, apiary…

Yes, I see now that my life goals involve owning others. How not-so-subtly possessive. But alas, given that 2020 is less than a year away, I probably won’t achieve my despotic wishes by then. I’ll have to rethink my priorities.

Supplemental resolution

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.

Throwaway Year

I started purposefully throwing stuff away last year, but getting rid of things is an iterative process. For example, first, I got rid of the CD player/stereo. Then it was the DVD/VCR player. Then the VHS, DVDs, CDs, and Blu-Ray discs. And now I’m tossing the Blu-Ray player. We probably used it a handful of times before we just unplugged it and put it away. I think this is the last of the digital media I have, except for the Taylor Swift cds because TS. Although once I get rid of my PC, I won’t have any device to stick them in.

I think by being on the lookout to throw things away, I end up bringing fewer things in. At least that’s the hope. Whenever I consider getting something I think about the throwaway. The only things I haven’t gotten a handle on are the plants. I want all the plants!

The year of flexibility

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.

Not another haircut

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.
1 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.

Moon Cake Day

I’m so glad it’s finally fall. Squashes. Coffee. And wine. That’s how I welcomed fall.
Today, I stood staring at all the plants I have on my balcony wondering where I’m going to put them all indoors. You might think, just put them where they were last winter. How they went out, how they come in. Nope. It doesn’t work like that. They multiply. Or propagate or whatever. I just start propagations whenever I can as insurance. Backup plants in case the mother plant kicks the bucket. Or in case anybody wants one. Or I have an empty tomato can needing to be filled with something. I’m probably going to take a few to work. It might be the best way to ensure their survival because window real estate is tight.

And also it’s mid-autumn festival. Moon cakes festival. Some moon cakes are tolerable, but for the most part, they are dense, thick, and pasty inedible things. I imagine that’s what it must taste like for kindergartners when they dig into a jar of paste.