January 2011 Minimalist Lifestyle Update
Time to Put the Kettle On
It’s a good time to make a cuppa tea, cut another slice of leftover Plum Pudding, and take a look at what I’m going to be doing in the coming days and weeks.
First, there’s Phase II of Project 333, which runs from this month to the end of March. I’ve kept most of my wardrobe from Phase I, except for certain pieces which were structured as opposed to “swoopy.” I found myself longing for softer fabrics and softer lines, so I moved out the jeans jacket, the menswear vest, two boyish v-neck sweaters, etc., and moved in squooshy soft sweaters in their place. A couple of them are white, which looks way better against my face than black or tan. Kept the scarves and the jeans, and I’d already swapped my ruana for a heavy coat. The one rule I’m breaking regards counting the sunglasses, which are a medical necessity for me and not a fashion item. I added an extra tee in its place, because I really need extra layers to keep warm enough in the winter.
Next there’s The Great Fitness Challenge at Goodlife Zen. Mary Jaksch did an 8-Week fitness challenge last fall to great success, and the timing of this new one was a better fit for me. I am greatly encouraged to see so many mid-life participants and people who claim to be even more out of shape than myself! Does that make me a terrible person? Anyway, if group support is something you’d like to have during your own efforts to get fit, head on over to Goodlife Zen and sign on.
Tai Chi: there’s a class for seniors not far from my house, and the price is right–free for a $30/year membership. I’ve taken it before, but it got too expensive. Now I’m old enough to benefit from the seniors’ price. On one hand this is very depressing. On the other, what the hell–it makes the difference between doing it and not doing it!
Diet: there’s something called The Anti-Inflammatory Diet, which basically avoids refined flours and sugars, and goes heavier on foods with a lighter inflammatory rating. There are several books which cover the topic, and there’s a handy Food Pyramid as well. I have a couple forms of arthritis and I’m naturally interested in anything to calm it down without hitting the drugs. Now anyone that knows me knows I love my bread and baked goods and I have a formidable sweet tooth, so doing without my favs is going to require saintly willpower. I plan to be strict during the working week and more relaxed on weekends. If this plan helps me lose 5-10 pounds it’ll be a bonus.
Unplugged Weekends: working at home tends to make the days all seem alike, and a married couple both working at home makes it even worse. Our mutual sanity demands a regular shift in routine, so we are making weekends relatively unplugged. It starts late Friday afternoon with housework and the weekly grocery run, moves into Saturday mornings at the local diner for coffee (inexpensive change of scenery), and then on to whatever needs doing. Sundays we’ll try to reserve for just ourselves.
Writing Life: this month I’ll see how my schedule works when I unplug on weekends. I’ve got a couple of paid writing projects on the go, as well, and it will be interesting to see how it all works out. More on this as it develops. I have also promised myself to create and About page. About time, hmm?
Mindfulness: Of note is One Powerful Word at Sandra Lee’s Always Well Within. I’ve chosen Money as my word, but not just for obvious reasons. I really want to change my relationship to money and finances, as part of Right Livelihood. Money has always had negative connotations for me, when it should be neutral, something that just flows in and out as part of a balanced life. Thanks to Sandra for this new twist on making resolutions.
Minimalist Miscellany: after a few months the no-poo thing is so-so, and I may have to return to some kind of shampoo. Tried Dr. Bronner’s, and it isn’t bad, but it isn’t great, and reminds me too much of the soap in the dispensers in elementary school, which is not a particularly soothing recollection. I will shop around for something which pleases my scalp, my nose, and my wallet.
That’s my teatime update. What’s yours?