The Year of Living Minimally – Week Forty-two


The Becoming Minimalist blog has the same theme that I’d planned on this week, so I’ll share their post and then write about it. Joshua Becker’s title is ” 8 Reasons Successful People Are Choosing to Wear the Same Thing Every Day.” Now, you might be totally repulsed by that idea, but hold off on your judgment until you read the post (by clicking on the highlighted text at the beginning of this paragraph).

Uniforms are great! Whether you wear scrubs, or khakis and a polo shirt, or black pants and t-shirt, your agonizing over what to wear is non-existent. Becker says, “We have no idea how much of a burden our possessions have become until we begin to remove them.”

So what if you work in an office, as I did? I quit that job seven years ago, and I’m still donating bags of clothes and shoes. Now I go into an office one day a week, and I have no stress about what to wear. I saved a couple of pairs of slacks and three or four shirts, all appropriate for an office.

Have you heard about Project 333? The link will bring you to the website, but it’s the idea of wearing only 33 items over a 3-month time period (a season). All clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear, and shoes count toward your number. You don’t have to count wedding ring(s), underwear, sleepwear, in-home lounge wear, and workout clothing. Well, I’m in! And next week I’ll detail what I compiled for my 33 items.

What about you? Could you try Project 333?

The Year of Living Minimally – Week Five

Not much this week, I’m afraid. I had plans, believe me – clothes, shoes, linens. I just didn’t get to it. Sometimes life gets in the way, as it did this week. And next week I have this melanoma excised, so I’ll likely be unproductive for days afterward.

I did pack up another box o’ books, and we’ll bring them to the library. And there’s more shredded paper, of course – there’s always that! I’ll get to it, I will. It’s only week five (she wrote, thinking about closets and more drawers and the kitchen cupboards and the garage and…)

The Past Week

Misquamicut Beach, photo by Mark Reynolds of the Providence Journal
  • Monday brought Hurricane Sandy to Rhode Island. We celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary waiting for the power to go out (it never did), watching some coverage on television, and reading (I finished “Every Last One” by Anna Quindlen). Fearing a loss of electricity, I made a chicken soup early in the morning, so we ate a lot of soup on Monday. Our dear friends in New York and New Jersey have a long road ahead of them, and our thoughts are with them as they struggle to rebuild.
  • Hallowe’en was uneventful. When we moved to a condo six years ago, we lost out (if you want to look at it that way) on dozens of children parading around the neighborhood, from sundown until we turned the lights off. One year, I remember three way-too-old teenagers showing up just before nine o’clock. They just stood there on our front step: no chirpy “trick or treat!” They were a little scary looking. I think one of the girls may have had a cigarette dangling from her lip (not a prop, it was lit). I acted cool and handed them the rest of our candy, locked the door and turned off the lights.
  • The roller coaster life we live with an elderly parent continued. A couple of months ago, my husband and I decided that it would be smart if we sold our condo, put his father’s house on the market, and buy a new place where his father could live, independently and privately, but with us (that would be either a duplex or a house with a separate in-law apartment). For numerous reasons, this was a good idea, although we knew we’d be making some sacrifices. And for all of you who have the struggle of dealing with an elderly parent, you will understand that there is a lot of emotion involved. My husband is an only child, so the responsibility falls to him alone. When dementia first took hold of my mother ten years ago, my two sisters and I joined forces to share the burden (and I use that word with love) of taking care of all the issues that arose.  Well, my father-in-law at first dismissed the plan, then embraced it. Then, this week, he dismissed it outright and last night he was ready to embrace it again. My husband, so wise, so good, gently told his father that we were scrapping the idea, that we wouldn’t put him through it, and everything would remain as it was. <sigh> At this point, with an unhealthy, 80-year-old father, this is probably the best decision.
  • And then National Novel Writing Month kicked off on Thursday! Last weekend, I took my notebook (no, the kind with paper in it) and pen to my local Barnes and Noble bookstore, bought a “grande” Salted Caramel skinny hot chocolate (looked it up online after – 310 calories, 3g of fat, 66g of carbs, 2g of fiber – really?), and began to plot out my new book. I’m still writing “The Reunion,” and am hoping a different, catchier title comes to me at some point, but I wanted to start fresh for NaNo. So I decided to write a sequel to my début novel, “Chocolate for Breakfast.” I’m moving right along, trying not to edit as I go, and I’m having a blast!
  • Finally, some very good chicken escarole soup for a chilly weekend where we gained an extra hour of sleep last night. No wonder I’m so rested!