Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: minimalism

Looking For Buyers: Telling You What You Need

Advertisers are looking for buyers, telling people that they need the product or service they’ve created. That’s not always a bad thing. But what if we kept our heads a little, and put some space between that “call to need” and the purchase?

I got these giant googly eyes at Target yesterday and now I’m considering where to put them. My son says they should go on the chimney, so it looks like the house is looking at you when you dive up. Brilliant. I was thinking I’d put them on a tree down by the driveway, or maybe staple them to the house number at the road.

Looking for buyers
Here’s lookin’ at you!

These are the things that entertain me. I’ve wanted these for a long time and when I saw them in the store, right at the front, I grabbed them and threw them in the basket. “Need!” I told my son and he agreed.

Then, as he was looking for a good jump rope for his workout (didn’t find), I started thinking maybe I need a new yoga mat. He asked, “Did you come here for new yoga mat? Or did you see those ones and start to think yours wasn’t good enough?” I don’t need a new yoga mat.

This is why I avoid stores unless I need something specific that I think they might have on hand. Walking around a retail store is the same as watching commercials. It convinces you that you need something you didn’t know existed. I was perfectly happy without it, but now that I see it, it would mean the world to me.

Googly eyes aside. THOSE were important.

Side note: Oh my…there’s an instructable to make your own! Do it!

I recently tried this out at a restaurant. A friend wanted to go out for breakfast. I’m trying to watch my calories (and failing miserably in general). I know what I want to eat, what’s good for me and what will make me feel good. But then I get there and flip through the menu. “Oohh! Cinnamon bun! Mocha! Pancakes!” I didn’t want them before I came in, but then saw the pictures and started drooling.

This time I didn’t look at the menu. I ordered the veggie omelet that I know I love, without the potatoes and biscuits that I only eat because they are there. And coffee. HAVE to have coffee. Breakfast was great. The conversation was wonderful. And we had a marvelous time together.

There is a lot in this world screaming at you for your attention, looking for buyers into products and ideas, but there is so little that is actually important. If the economy fails because I don’t eat out, go to events, and buy the latest thing, maybe we built an economy on the wrong things.

I don’t usually write about economics but when I do…
Check out my post “Buddhism, Economics, Racism, And More”

Letting Go & Making Space

I know I said wasn’t going to post this coming week, but…I changed my mind! Letting go of the past, not only of the physical stuff but the mental stuff as well, to make space for the now, has been on my mind a lot this month.

Letting go
Photo Confession

Reading Love People Use Things, they did an experiment by packing up the entire house like they were going to move and then only getting out the things they needed to use. After a while, you start to see how much of the house just sits there unused, taking up space.

I thought of when we go on an adventure with out trailer. We’re out there on the road for a few weeks at a time without all the things that are in our house, and most of them we don’t miss at all. The box of cables, the old shirts, the stuff we’re saving for later, it isn’t really needed. We could live without it.

Letting go
Photo Confession

When I go to clean out a closet, I look at the things and start to think, “But what if I need that later?” I have boxes of cables that go to nothing, a cupboard of old computers that hasn’t been opened in years, plastic totes filled with interesting things that have no real use but to spark memories (which could be done just as well with a photo).

I’m starting to thing 2021 will be the year of letting go and making space, not only in my home but in my mind. I’m holding on to a lot of stuff that isn’t useful.

If you’d like to read more about this book, go back to my first post, “Love People Use Things: A New Read” to start at the beginning. You’ll find links at the bottom of that post to other articles.

Mental Minimalism: Taking a Break

I went into my morning routine with a crummy attitude, set myself up for failure, and the surprisingly…I failed. Took a long shower, ate something tasty, had another cup of coffee, laughed with my husband, read an article. Had a thought…mental minimalism.

My original goal earlier this month was to sit here quietly every day for one hour, uninterrupted by the phone, and write anything that came to mind. If nothing came, I would just sit there with my laptop open to a blank page and stare out the window until the timer was up. Within a couple days though, that simple goal morphed into writing brilliance and posting on my blog every day as well. It didn’t feel good.

This morning, once I was interrupted by my company at the house and a text (because I forgot to turn my phone off), I lost my strong stride and got frustrated. Over the past couple of days, I had already begun to question what I was doing. This morning only confirmed my suspicions. This wasn’t going to be sustainable.

I need to rethink, refocus, and gain some perspective. Meditate on it a while and see if I can get a better picture of what the point of this blog is. What am I trying to do here? What am I offering to you? If I’m only writing for myself, why publish it at all? What if I really don’t have anything significant to add to the conversation in the world?

So many posts each week seem to just clutter up the place. In fact, this blog looks a lot like my mind if you could open it up and see all the rooms inside. My brain is like an open floorplan office space. Everyone loudly working on their own stuff, no boundaries, no privacy, no quiet time. Meetings in the middle, writers on one side, painters over there, and a construction crew adding on a balcony, all while someone else tries to make phone call in a corner. It’s a mess. Nothing gets done.

It’s time to do some decluttering and put what’s left in order, a little mental minimalism.

Today is my last day with a house full of people. I’m going to put away the writing and enjoy that moment. Tomorrow I’ll be driving to LA, then the weekend to rest a bit and think, and then a week with my mom. I won’t be posting here, but I’ll be back, and with some new floor plans for this metal office space.

“Always on the move.”

Love People Use Things: A New Read

Podcast marketing convinced me to not only buy “Love People, Use Things” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, but to pre-order it! I’ve been listening to The Minimalists podcast for a long time and when I heard them start to talk about their new book, I knew I had to have it. I didn’t think it would have anything other than the things they talk about, but I knew it would bring me some joy to read it in print. Besides, how else can I re-pay them for all the greatness I listen to every week? I pre-ordered it so early, that when it came, I didn’t know what the package from Amazon was!

Love People, Use Things
In my defense, this room is in transition.

If you’re interested in them, check out their “Start Here” page. The organization of that page is one of the reasons why I love these guys and I so happy that I stumbled across them completely by accident.

Those who know me would probably laugh hysterically when they heard me say I listen to a podcast about minimalism on a regular basis. If you saw my house, you’d know I’m not what you might define as a minimalist, but I am! Everything is relative, right? Compared to some I’m a hoarder and to others not so much. But the comparison that matters most is mine. I’m more conscious of what I gather into my home, into my body, and into my mind. That’s the mental space these guys have helped me get to.

One of the things I’m minimalizing so that I have more space for other things is social media. Staying connected to people from my past like that is like holding on to childhood toys or that old shirt. You’re not going to use them anymore, that shirt doesn’t fit. There’s no reason to keep them. They take up space and deplete your energy. Send them on their way to bring joy to someone else.

The one thing I miss about it though is having a place to share the articles and books I read, or the interesting podcast and website I found. I don’t want to write a post about, I just want to share that I read it and think it’s awesome…you know, social stuff. I’m not sure what to do about it. It may just be one of those things I have to let go.

I’m looking forward to reading this book over the coming week. I’m about thirty pages in right now, and the introduction makes me love them more. The relate minimalism to everything, not just physical objects, but our relationships with other people. And they aren’t ones to say “THESE are the rules. Follow them and you will be happy like us!” They are more like guidelines, things that have worked for them and may make sense to you.

Are you a minimalist? Have you heard this podcast? If you decide to read Love People Use Things by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, let me know what you think in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

The following are links to posts I wrote related to this book.
Letting Go & Making Space
Shortcuts And Compliance = Lazy
Minimalism in Things AND Relationship: Final Thoughts

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