Showing posts from July, 2015

Mom, I broke a plate...

The other day, my daughter timidly informed me that she had broken a plate while preparing lunch. "I'm so sorry mom! I broke a plate, but I cleaned up everything." "Are you hurt!?" I exclaimed. "No, I just got a little cut." "Good! Then don't worry about it." I replied calmly.

In the past, I may have been a little annoyed at broken dishes. I wouldn't have made a big deal of it, it's just a plate. But I would've probably been annoyed.

My first thought after confirming that my daughter wasn't hurt was "Woohoo! One less thing I'll need to pack up for when we move!" It was an excuse to easily get rid of another item in my home. It was broken. Not that I need an excuse. Desiring a clutter-free home is a good enough reason. This was just unexpected help. No guilt at all in getting rid of a broken plate.

The same kind of feeling came over me when I had to throw away my black jean capris a few weeks ago. They were …

Preparing for the move - part 1

This move is going to be a little more involved than any of my previous ones because we have to coordinate my move and my mother's move. We're not sure yet if her new place will be ready by mid-September or October 1st. It's still under construction. And as I've mentioned, I've found a place that I've agreed to rent as of September 1st. I didn't want to miss out on it.

What I've done so far
On Wednesday, I notified my current landlord. I will be paying rent for both places for the month of September. Although this is a little hard on the bank account, it definitely makes for a less stressful move. I'll have 30 days to complete the transition.

I've also booked the moving company for September 17th. I got an estimate that it should take 2 guys 4.5 hours maximum to move my things. I'm planning on making sure that it'll be less than that.

I'm so glad I started decluttering even when moving was just a far away fantasy plan. Once I'd…

I'm going to be an urbanite

My current landlord emailed me at the end of May asking what my plans were since he had only one rent check left. I was planning on moving to a smaller place in the same area where we currently live. When I got his message, it made me a little anxious. I thought I'd be excited about moving soon. Instead I was nervous. I really hate moving. Always have. But maybe that's because I've always had so many things to move, which made it all that much more stressful.

A fantastic opportunity came up. The man I rent my parking spot from for work has a condo for rent in that building. So, I'm going for it! I signed the lease! I'm going to be an urbanite! We will be moving there mid September. I will have a 5-minute walk commute to work (which is already part of my commute). I'll be within walking distance of that café I wrote about in a previous essay.

This is so exciting! For years I've wasted so much time stuck in traffic. No more daily traffic for me! Everything …

The gift of solitude

This past weekend, I gave myself the gift of solitude. It's a rare occurrence for me lately. There was a time when I would get a weekend to myself here and there. It would happen often enough that it even made me feel lonely sometimes. Especially in the first few years after my relationship with my daughter's father ended. But ever since my mom moved in and now that my daughter rarely goes to visit her dad, I don't often get the chance to be alone. I usually have one or both of them with me.

This weekend was different. My mom stayed at my sister's house and my daughter stayed at a friend's house. So I had the weekend all to myself. Normally, I would've tried to make plans. I would've had a friend or a date come over. Or I would've gone out on a date or with a friend. But not this past weekend. This past weekend was all about solitude.

I've been letting stress get the better of me. I've been neglecting my health. Many things have happened. Joys…

The mysterious writer

I decided to try something different. After work on Monday, I went to a nearby café for a lemon iced black tea, a chocolate quinoa cake and a little writing. Old school writing with a mechanical pencil and a note book. It's where I composed this post.
I work downtown Ottawa within walking distance to many pubs, restaurants and cafés. I normally rush home after my work day is done. I rarely take advantage of my work's geographical location. I want to, however for some reason it usually remains a fantasy rather than a reality. So I decided to make it a reality. It's a small thing, but it makes a difference. It changes up the routine a little.
There's a bus stop right beside the café where many government workers gather with a stern look on their face to wait for the bus back home to the east end. This part of downtown almost looks like a ghost town when all of the government workers have gone home for the day.
Sitting by the window. Looking outside. Pretty dresses. Hi…

I haven't bought soap since 2014

I haven't bought soap since 2014. Don't worry, I've still been washing. When I was decluttering my bathroom at the beginning of 2015, I found soap. A lot of soap! These are just the body washes.

I also have soap bars. And I found another bottle of body wash in another part of the house after I took this photo.

I've rarely finished my products. I usually tire of what I have and buy new products before using it up. The old stuff sits around until I get annoyed with moving it out of the way and I end up throwing it out. It's wasteful financially and it's bad for the environment.

This year (and from now on), because I've decided to become a minimalist, that's just not an option. I'm not buying new products until I get to the end of the ones I have. I've gotten to the end of a shampoo bottle the other day. I also got to the end of a cleaning product. Used up to the last drop. I know it sounds silly and maybe a little sad, but it made me happy.

I d…

What came first: minimalism or authenticity?

I'm awkward. I make mistakes. I say too much. Sometimes I don't say enough. I get moody, but I don't take it out on others. I get sad, but I don't take it out on others. I worry. I hope. I get excited. I'm passionate. I'm loving. I'm strong. I'm fragile. I give in. I give up. I get up and try again. I'm curious. I'm intelligent. I have so much yet to learn. I trust - sometimes too quickly. Sometimes I don't trust enough. I've lied. I'm usually honest, even when it's not to my advantage. I'm quirky. I'm sincere. I'm eager. I'm timid. I over-think. I'm insightful. I'm authentically me.

What does this have to do with minimalism and my journey to simplicity? Everything!

Letting go of stuff, material or immaterial, forces you to face things. Face your fears, insecurities, hopes, disappointments, dreams, nightmares or whatever else that made you hold on to all of it for so long.

I used to be embarrassed about …

I didn't even Instagram it!

I recently went on a date. We met downtown Ottawa right after work at 5 pm on a beautiful Friday evening. We had time to kill before our dinner reservation and I needed to re-center myself after rushing over from work in traffic, so we went for a walk.

I had never been up to the Astrolabe, so that's where we went. The sun was gloriously shining and the sky was a perfect blue with a few fluffy white clouds here and there. Up at the Astrolabe, the noise of the city dulled a little. The view was picturesque. In fact, I wanted to take out my cell phone to take pictures to post on my Instagram account. But I didn't. I decided to just be in the moment with this man and this beautiful scenery. As we talked, I breathed deeply and took in the view. Peace finally came over me. I was ready to really be in the moment with him.

We made our way back down to the market. There was still time before our dinner reservation, so we went to sit in a courtyard not far away from the restaurant. Th…

Fear - I ain't afraid of you!

Fear is a powerful feeling. You might even let it alter your behaviour.

Fear might make you hold on to your clutter because you think you might need it later. You might need that tile-saw in case you ever install a kitchen back splash. You might actually get back into rollerblading but if you give up your roller-blades you'll never be able to do it ever again because these are the last pair of roller-blades on earth! You might be afraid that you'll gain (or lose) weight and you'll have nothing to wear and will want to put on that shirt that's been sitting in the back of your closet for years even if you never liked wearing it when it fit you.

Fear might keep you in the wrong relationship. You might stay in a bad relationship that's beyond repair for fear of the unknown. Afraid of loneliness. Afraid of never finding anyone better for you. Afraid of hurting someone else. Afraid of hurting yourself. Afraid of making the wrong choice.

Fear can also keep you from getti…