Downsizing on Things and Upsizing on Life

Holy macaroni! It has been quite some time since I have written a post. I’ll get right into the nitty gritty.

I have been really intruiged lately by the idea of minimalism. Maybe not in the truest sense of the word; I don’t want to get rid of all of my things, but in the general sense. I want to decrease the things I own so that I can focus more on life. I don’t want to go shopping for fun (it’s honestly just never fun for me). I feel like for far too long, I have been dazed and confused when I go to the store. I haven’t considered whether purchasing an item will actually benefit me. A lot of this has to do with the environment I grew up in. There was not a lot of frugality around my house. This translated to me purchasing things for the most part, very haphazardly. By eliminating everything that doesn’t serve a real purpose in my life, I can finally begin this journey of focusing on things that matter, which in general, aren’t “things” at all.

How am I doing this?

Minimalism is something that really stood out to me after watching a short YouTube video featuring a girl who was trying it for a week. The general idea really stuck with me, so I decided to watch the documentary “Minimalism” on Netflix. This really opened up the flood gates and now I am in what seems to be an endless state of research.

What is my first area of focus?

The first step is my closet. My ultimate goal is to build a capsule wardrobe (fewer, better quality things based on season), though we will see how long it will take for me to get there. I recently started the elimination process. I focused on clothing that was either too worn out, not worn by me enough, or not at all. It is pretty alarming when you realize how much clothing you have to get rid of. I made a list just so that people understand exactly how much I had that I really didn’t need.

Day 1 Purge:

12 pairs of shoes
3 sweatshirts
20 pairs of pants/shorts
12 sweaters
7 shirts
4 dresses/skirts
2 jackets
1 suit

Day 2 Purge:

66 shirts (short sleeve, long sleeve, tank tops)
6 sweaters
3 pairs of workout pants
2 pairs of sweatpants
2 pairs pj pants

I still have a lot more to accomplish. I have been in a small lull since these 2 days of trying to decide how to move forward and organize myself.

Another goal is to completely eliminate fast fashion from my life. Purchasing items that will stand the test of time and last years is going to be very important to me. Another really important task is to focus on purchasing things either second hand or from ethical/sustainable clothing companies. Far too frequently we are focused on the low price of an item when in reality, you get what you pay for. Cheap clothing wears out sooner and you end up having to replace sooner. Not only that, supply chains for the most part are not kept in check, and we should really have a better understanding of the entire process from inception of raw material to completion of the clothing item. We want this with food, why not with clothes? I also want to make sure that the clothes I am wearing were made by people paid a living wage.

Just some food for thought, but this is just the start of my journey! I just wanted to share with all of you.

 

 

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A Day to Never Forget…

It is the start of a new day, a new life. I rise out of bed and my senses take in the cool crisp air from the window which points directly over the city. The sun is blinding me, but that is okay. It is a beautiful morning and I can’t think of any other way I would rather spend it, than going to my new job in this new place. I don’t have to force myself to get ready, it happens all too naturally.

As I am walking towards the elevator of my new place of residence, I can’t help but feel the tantalizing excitement of the day to come. The elevator ascends to the 36th floor, and I am overjoyed. I have finally achieved my dreams of becoming the person I always wanted to be, an editor-in-chief for a large publishing company. The door of the elevator opens and I step in. There is one other person in the elevator, he is tall, masculine and has long dirty blonde hair. It flows with elegance and I cannot fathom how someone could be born so beautiful. His eyes are a piercing teal and his jawline is a perfect square. He is wearing an Armani suit and I can’t help but wonder where he is going. It has been so long since I have been attracted to anyone, especially like this. All of a sudden, the elevator stops. It jerks us both forward basically throwing us to the ground. We look at one another with all the tension and nervousness that has been building since the descent started. I can’t help but think to myself how strange this situation is.

We sat in silence for nearly fifteen minutes before the strange, beautiful man finally said something.

“So, my name is Elias, what’s yours?”

“I’m Amira.”

“Where are you headed this fine morning?” He asked with a smile that could light up a room…And as he asked this, he inched closer to me.

“I was headed to my new job…But now it looks like I should call them and tell them I am going to be late.”

I firmly moved as far from him as I possibly could even though he smelled of the most divine elegance. I quickly dialed the phone number to my new place of employment and told them I was trapped in an elevator, but I would be there as soon as I could.

He stared at me from his corner and I could hardly understand what was so different about him…

“I can sense that you find me strange.” He said with an evil grin on his beautifully proportioned mouth.

“No, I absolutely do not. I’m just not exactly used to being trapped with someone in an elevator.”

A few minutes past before he stood up and said, “I am different you know.”

I couldn’t help but wonder what he was talking about.

“I need you to do something for me. I need you to deliver a message to a woman.”

“Why would you ask me to do this for you?”

“Because, I can tell you have a conscience.”

His attitude about the entire situation was remarkably strange. And now he was asking me, the girl who is just trying to get to work to deliver a message. What is happening here? Am I dreaming?

“Deliver this message to the woman named Dahlia: Ego sum pastor pace. Audieritis me.”

Okay, this just got really weird….

“Who are you?”

“I am the peacekeeper.”

This post is in response to: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/daily-prompt-elevator/

11 Things I Really Dislike

 

I thought that today, I would be comical with my post and talk about 11 things that I really just HATE. 🙂

1. I hate it when towns pave roads that don’t need to be paved! I was driving down the road the other day and realized that it was newly paved… Well this wouldn’t be a problem except, it was fine before!! And to make it worse, about a mile away there is another road that has been in desperate need of a makeover for the last 6 months! Potholes all over the damn thing! But, no. Lets pave the one that’s in good shape. I like that idea. O.o

2. People who throw their cans and bottles in the trash when there’s a recycling bin RIGHT NEXT TO IT. Why the hell are you being so ignorant? You know recycling is important, yet your clearly just being ignorant to the fact that throwing your can or bottle in the recycling bin right next to the trash can can help the environment. But who gives a shit about the only planet we have to live on right now….

3. The flavor: Blue Raspberry… One word: EW!

4. People who go to McDonalds and order 10 double cheeseburgers and a diet coke. I think this one is pretty self-explanitory.

5. People who don’t fill their animals water dish in the middle of the summer. Are you freaking kidding me? You know what I want to do to these people? Make them stare at me drinking an ice cold water while they’re tied up in the sun ALL DAY. And reciprocate with a laugh.

6. Cilantro…Worst herb ever. Why do people like it on their food?! Its disgusting!!!

7. Fake girls. Seriously. There is nothing that pisses me off more than when I try to have a conversation with a girl and she sounds like she was genetically altered to sound like a fucking idiot. What is wrong with girls these days? Why can’t they have real, honest, deep conversations? What is the need to dye your hair bright, nasty blonde, tan yourself orange and act like your the best thing since sliced bread?  Gross. Pitiful.

8. Dirty Kitchens and Bathrooms. Oh my god. If I walk into a house and the kitchen and bathroom are disgusting it makes me want to puke my head off. Why in God’s name would you not clean the two areas that should be the cleanest? I can literally sense all the nasty bacteria building up in there.

9. People who think they’re cooler than me because they party and go clubbing every weekend. Really? Who gives a shit? At least I’m doing something with my life.

10.  I hate the fact that book stores are closing throughout the country. The fact that this country is losing its appreciation of literature is awful. Books are so important and can help children realize who they are and who they want to be. Not cell phones and fucking video games.

11. Parents who give their 5 and 6 year olds iPads and cell phones. WTF?!?!?!

read.full

On Books

Absolutely wonderful. Featured in Freshly Pressed and explains my exact thoughts on the dwindling nature of books. It really is sad to see so many book stores and libraries closing.

Teaching/Craft

I’m going to choose my words very carefully.  Because for as long as I can remember, I have loved words.  Words convey meaning, and I can’t help but think that a search for meaning is what the whole human experience is about.

I didn’t think about this meaning stuff when I was eight years old in the summertime, riding a bus back from downtown at my grandma’s side.  She always bought me at least two books when we would go to the bookstore downtown – one for the bus, one for the evening, and then we would go to the library to check out more books the next day.  I would hear her brag to friends on the phone that I’d finished one of the paperbacks before the bus reached home. I would feel proud.

I devoured books as a kid, and I write this so you know that I…

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5 Reasons Why YOU Should Start Cycling

I recently posted a blog about how I have been taking the necessary steps of getting in shape. I finally have the motivation to get somewhere with working out, but a lot of that motivation is attributed to biking my 9 mile route, which is going to increase soon. I have thought of five awesome reasons as to why you, yes YOU, should start biking.

1. Were you thinking about getting a gym membership? STOP! WAIT!

  • Don’t waste your hard earned money on an overpriced gym membership. Why would you want to work out inside when you could get exercise in the great outdoors? Also, you can save a lot of money by purchasing a nice bike instead of a gym membership. Did you know that 67% of people who own gym memberships don’t even use them? And, did you know that all those people who aren’t using their gym memberships are paying an average of $55 dollars a month? This adds up to approximately $660 dollars a year! You can purchase a very nice, quality bike for half that cost and it will last you multiple years. Take a look at a nice local bike shop and you’ll see what I’m talking about. (For those of you who go to Planet Fitness – your $10 or $20 dollars a month adds up too and you are working out in a warehouse with lots of people watching you O.o)

2. There are many health benefits to riding a bike

  • Riding a bike can produce many health benefits. There have been many discussions on the risks of riding a bike and these risks are explored in many studies trying to prove that the benefits outweigh those risks. Some of these risks include, getting hit by a car (obviously), breathing in air pollution, etc. A particular study that I read said that, “for the people who shift from car to bicycle, we estimated that the well -documented beneficial effect of increased physical activity due to cycling resulted in about 9 times more gains in life-years than the losses in life years due to increased inhaled air pollution doses and traffic accidents” (ProQuest). Riding a bike can build muscle, increase cardiovascular health, decrease your waistline, and improve coordination among many other things.

3. It Reduces Your Carbon Footprint!

  • When you ride a bike instead of using your car, you reduce a huge portion of your carbon footprint. For example, riding a bike does not use any fossil fuels. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that approximately 10 million barrels of oil were used each day in 2010. If you have a short commute to work and you choose to ride your bike, you could save hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year in gas! Wouldn’t you rather put that money towards something else, like some new workout clothes?! … Riding a bike also produces no air pollution. By not using any fossil fuels, you are not producing any air pollution. According to CO2 Now, the current carbon dioxide level is 398.35 ppm. This is higher than the defined safe limit of 350 ppm. Each year, the amount of Carbon Dioxide emissions goes up due to the number of people driving cars all over the world. You may think that as one person you don’t make a difference, but that definitely isn’t true. One person leads to another and to another, and soon enonugh 20 people aren’t emitting all those harmful chemicals into the air.

4. It can help you mentally

  • If you have been feeling down or depressed, getting up and going for a bike ride can certainly help. Exercising directly effects the amount of dopamine, the happy chemical, that is released in your brain. When more dopamine is released, this can help decrease depression, increase happiness and fight everyday fatigue. If you are tired when you get out of work, hop on the bike and pedal for a couple of miles. I guarantee you will feel less tired and more motivated to do something else!

5. Parking Spot? Who Cares!

  • A lot of different places in the city and rural areas offer places to put your bike when you arrive there, but even if they don’t you can essentially just use a bike lock to tie your bike to a street sign, a pole, a tree, or a dog (just kidding). But seriously, how often have you been frustrated that you can’t get a place to park somewhere and then theres that one lucky a-hole who took his bike a parked it right out front?

Think about it! 🙂

Image image credit

Daily Prompt: Goals | What I Want, What I Will Achieve

When you started your blog, did you set any goals? Have you achieved them? Have they changed at all?

It hasn’t been long since I started my blog, but in the time that I have been writing over the last few weeks, I have learned many things. First though, I want to say this; My ultimate goal in writing a blog was not to have a large number of followers, but to explore my creative writing techniques and see if I could improve myself enough to write something great. I have always wanted to be a writer, but I have never known where to start. I started a blog because I figured I could gain great feedback this way. Starting a blog is definitely a process, but it is a process worth doing, because you have to fight for people’s feedback on what you write. Everything I have written thus far has been fairly basic in nature, but just practice once again.

My ultimate goal is to start a story that I have created on my own and explore my fictional writing skills. I must admit, I have never been too keen of my own creativity, in fact I have always felt that I lack in any creativity. It really is funny because I am left-handed and left-handed people are supposed to be very creative. However, I have a really hard time coming up with ideas on my own. I usually need motivation to push me in one direction or the other. I feel that responding to these daily prompts and challenges will eventually give me the push that I need to come up with that one special idea. I hope that when I achieve that special idea, it will start a chain reaction of multiple ideas that lead to a wonderful story that people will love to read.

For now though, I would really just like to talk about the things that pop into my head on a daily basis that I wish to share with all of my fellow bloggers. Everyone has something wonderful to say and I am just doing my part. Blogging is about coming up with original ideas and sharing them with the world…

In the time that I have been writing this blog, I have learned that it isn’t about the number of followers that you have, but the number of people who are willing to share their advice and willing to take the time to read what you have. Sharing good ideas with the world is important.

It’s just a matter of if your ideas are good enough to get the world’s attention.

 

This post is in response to: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/daily-prompt-goals/

How Working Out Can Make Your Life Enjoyable in Every Aspect

I am one of the most lazy, if not the laziest person alive. I hate working out. It is probably the one thing I would choose work over. Why would anyone want to get up out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and go running? Why would anyone WANT to expel this energy for no reason? But let me tell you something, as much as I didn’t want to do it I HAD to do it. I had to do it for many reasons. The first reason is that I was feeling depressed because I was getting fat. I was constantly eating things that I shouldn’t be eating and doing it right before bed. As many of you know, this is horrible if you don’t want to gain weight. Speaking of gaining weight, since I started working in an office, I’ve gained a ridiculous 25 pounds. To some people, it may not look that bad, but when I look down and see pieces of me that didn’t exist before, I realized that I really needed to so something. The first step was eating right. This was the hardest thing I have ever EVER had to do. It was like a heavy cigarette smoker giving them up on day 1. Everything I loved would be consumed in far smaller quantities or not at all. The diet was only the first part though.

I can’t count how many times I have tried to get into an exercise routine and failed. I feel like this is the same song and dance as so many other people in America. BUT! I recently told myself, NO. YOU HAVE TO WORK OUT OR YOU ARE GOING TO DIE. So, guess what? I started working out. To my own surprise, I started getting up at 5:30 a.m. to go running before work and I also started doing a 9 mile bike ride on the weekends and after work in the afternoon. At first, I wanted to puke it hurt so bad to bike up the hills, but now its getting so much more bearable and I feel like a new person. I love the feel of the wind on my face and the tightness in my legs when I get off the bike and I just want to go again. It’s absolutely invigorating.

I also started disc golfing. This is one of the most fun sports I have ever played in my ENTIRE LIFE. For someone who is extremely lacking in talent this is a fun sport and it is a workout as well. Granted, it isn’t as good of a workout as riding the bike nine miles, mostly up hill, but still! I am getting active and I have never felt better. Pushing myself to be better is only helping me in other aspects of my life too. It’s making me want to be more productive at work and it is making me want to get out on the weekends to do more things with my friends. I don’t even want down time anymore. The other day I went for an awesome hike before it started raining. It was amazing I sat up on the cliffs for about an hour and then came back down.

I wouldn’t be doing all of this if it wasn’t for my amazing boyfriend. He has given me the motivation to the off my ass and get going! He even went out and bought me the bike so that we could go biking together. I could have never asked for a more awesome gift from someone who is already strapped for cash to begin with. This is giving me a positive outlook on life and I can’t wait to get paid on Friday so that I can go out and buy some more workout clothes at Target (Their C9 brand is my favorite). I feel like I have so much more time now and that is amazing too because sometimes I feel like life is passing me by and I haven’t got anything to show for it. woman-running221