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Monthly Archives: May 2011

the illogical voice of reason in my head

sometimes i find myself in a rut. i can’t stop checking my email. i can’t stop browsing my bookmarks. i can’t stop sampling chocolates on my grocery shelf.

and i’ve figured out why.

when i get antsy like this i get away with it by telling myself that i’ll stop when i’m satisfied – when i’ve received an interesting email, when i’ve found an inspiring blog post, when i’ve eaten the most delicious truffle imaginable. and in such a desperate and rushed search, that satisfaction is hardly achievable. so i keep trying and keep failing.

it’s like when i’ve just awoken in the morning and my mind comes up with the most persuasive reasons to go back to sleep. illogical, but effective.

my goal is this: commit to what’s in front of me.

just sit and eat chocolate if i’m going to eat chocolate. enjoy each bite, actually taste the flavor. instead of skimming a blog post, take the time to read every word. don’t check email in the middle of it.

it is hard. but just identifying the problem is half the battle.

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on keeping ticket stubs, posters, and flyers

this year i resolved to see two plays each week. a happy challenge, and some weeks i see up to four. i cherish my time spent at the theatre, and with each trip comes inevitable clutter that i can’t bring myself to abandon right away.

last term i started a tradition. blessed with an enormous notice board waiting to be filled, i tacked up all of my paper souvenirs i had acquired. at the end of term i had a complete collage, which i photographed. then i recycled the whole thing.

i parted with pieces of my collage with less difficulty than i had anticipated. each paper became a symbol of experience, and the finished product represented my journey over the nine weeks of term. i see each term at university as a clean slate, and the notice board serves as physical representation of the possibility to consume culture.

the board is emptier now, but yearns to be filled with tokens of my experiences. by the end of june i will have a new picture, a new complete collage, representing another chapter of my theatre-going story.

reflections on the nature of my happiness project

despite the fact that the last time i mentioned my happiness project was in february, i have been keeping up with it. january was about vitality, february about friendships, march about schoolwork, and april about creativity. i chose four specific goals per category per month, and it was highly effective.

however, it sort of clashed with minimalism. since the project is cumulative, by april i was guaranteed sixteen boxes to check on my to do list each day. and i became overwhelmed.

i have stopped drawing up charts and i have stopped forcing myself to go through my list of goals each night. i am, however, continuing the project. i find that the goals i set are on my mind regardless of whether i hold myself accountable to a check box system.

from here onwards i will have “monthly resolutions” instead of categories with specific goals. it will vary month to month. a lot of my goals fit better into the sections of my year (when i’m at uni and when i’m home) than into specific months anyway.

for may, my goal is to eat no meat. that’s right, i’m going veggie, a movement that i will explain in its own post soon.

digital minimalism: facebook

i often want to delete my facebook. it would eliminate an egotistical distraction.

but ultimately facebook is too useful. it allows me to keep in touch with friends and keep up with stuff like the casting of the hunger games.

so i’ve minimized my facebook page. here are my rules:

1. no more wall. no more disappointment at lack of wall posts. keeps all the messages in one place.

2. send all notifications to email. messages, comments, everything. i have no excuse to “check facebook” when my email does it for me.

3. no uploading photo albums. instead i email friends pictures that might interest them.

4. no tagged photos of me. keeps my page even cleaner and more private.

5. delete past profile pictures. for the same reasons as 4.

6. avoid updating my status. or it becomes addictive. instead i try to message friends who would like the information; usually they appreciate the thought.

7. hide activities/interests. i still fan them to get updates in my mini feed, but this removes pressure to be thorough in my listings.