Returning to simplicity

“On a basic level, there are three general methods to simplifying your life: stopping expansion, reining in your routine, and reducing clutter.”

– Rolf Potts, Vagabonding

Long before I discovered minimalism or the Kondo-method, there was a book I had read discussing the hows and whys of long-term travel. And I wasn’t ready for it when I first read it, back in 2003. The world was where I’d wanted to be, but I had a lot holding me back. It wasn’t until 2016 that I took significant steps toward making the dream of long-term world travel a reality.

Still, I combat the clutter and spending in my life. Having finished Strayed’s Wild, a portion of me wants to rid myself of nearly all my things, the bulk of which are already in a storage unit. She burned books after she read them, nightly, lightening the load of her pack to make walking just a tad easier.

We’ve all moved, and know that each time we lift that heavy piece of furniture we think that next time it’s not coming with us. But what about the smaller pieces, the things that don’t add value to our life anymore – things we just carry out of familiarity? Wouldn’t moving on be easier without them?

Maybe they’re not all material. Maybe some things we carry our internal – things that don’t serve us. Maybe those are the most important things to let go of…

Weekly Rundown

What I’m reading: Dungeons & Dragons and Philosophy by Robichaud and Irwin. Sometime last year I played D&D for the first time, though the campaign only lasted a few months. Some friends and I have been talking about getting back together on a weekly basis. Also being interested in Philosophy, this was an interesting find for me.

What I’m listening to: White noise. Lots and lots of white noise.

What I’m spending time with: Decluttering. Between selling things on eBay, throwing stuff out, and donated gently used items, it seems like I’ve gotten rid of so much and yet I still have too much. I’ve found that everything has a way of piling up. From the smallest receipt to the boxes that online orders come in from. I started with Marie Kondo’s book three years ago, and have waged a war in my house against excess stuff. It’s still anyone’s guess which of us will win.

Other things of interest:

  • HBO’s new series featuring the indomitable Helen Mirren as Catherine the Great. This article addresses the troubling effects of rumors, especially as they relate to women who take their sexual power seriously. A good read. Another over at The Daily Beast.
  • Star Wars Episode IX final trailer is out. Umm, I have thoughts. I’ll wait to see it, but I was underwhelmed by Episode VIII. I thought Force Awakens set up a good series, but then Last Jedi felt less like a part of the saga a more a one-off film featuring characters from the Episodes. So like I said, I’ll wait to see it.
  • Vulture’s Read Like the Wind – a new space for discovering books. I like books. They like books. It’s two for one.

Kondo

In my realm of time-suckery, I’ve been decluttering a house ala Kondo. It’s exhausting. When I’m not working, I’m decluttering. There’s quite literally stuff piled on every possible service in this house, because I’m emptying boxes, cabinets, drawers, and doors that had been closed off for years. Jimmy Hoffa may still be in one. I haven’t checked them all.

While doing the task, I’ve noticed I’ve had little energy for reading or writing. My mental capacities have been used up in decision making – Does this item bring me joy?

If the answer is no, it’s gone. But then it gets separated into donate, sell, or trash/recycle/shred. It seems as though I’ve spent 16 hours a day on this project, though I know that’s not possible. Not because I’m sleeping 8 hours a night, but because I know I can’t concentrate on any one thing for that long. And I’m tempted to just leave everything outside and let Dorian take it when it comes by.

However, the light is starting to appear at the end of the tunnel, and it is a joy-filled light free of unnecessary things.