30 November 2012

Positive side effects of minimalism

So, I've been cleaning out the magic bus, reducing the amount of stuffs and things in here. I have made progress, and Sunshine has even gotten rid of some things.

Many parts of our small home look bigger or lighter or something along those lines. It just FEELS better in here without so much stuffs and things to distract/overwhelm/annoy me. (We won't talk about my desk, which is actually a dining table, which is still serving as staging area for all things in transition. Tia's next pile of bits and bobs for crafting are still sitting there, as is the mail Sunshine brought in, and the Christmas cards we haven't been able to buy stamps to send.)

Overall, my home just feels better. And I find myself more motivated to keep it clean, since you can now SEE the tabletop the monster teevee rests on (and all the other surfaces in our home).
But there have been other benefits, as well.

I cleaned a fucktonne of shit out of the closets and cupboards, and at first I had trouble deciding what to wear. See, I had left myself with few options, but all of those options are really nice options. I don't have a "really nice" life. Well, I have an exceptionally good life, just not a life that REQUIRES a lot of formal dressing. So I kept thinking stuff like "Those pants are too nice to just sit at home in them."

Wait. What?

Yesterday, as I got ready to go face the monumental, dreaded task of Krogering, I grabbed a casual pair of trousers that fit well and I like a lot, but are nothing special; they are just pants. The more I thought about the outfit I had planned, the more I thought about all those fashion-magazine spreads from the height of the economic crash in '08-'09.

You remember the ones? High-low dressing? Where they paired a $6500 Armani jacket with a $3000 pair of Celine pants and a "cheap" tee-shirt ($300 from Moschino Cheap & Chic). Ridiculousness, I know.

Yet, the concept resonated with me. So I swapped out the "nothing special" trousers for some sublime silk trousers paired with the sweater from the same store as the trousers I had initially planned to wear, and went about my day. I felt fabulous, even though I was angry as hell at some dumbbunny secretary who was having problems with a document that was 3 pages of pdf and 1 page of jpg. I mean, in an age where my dumb-ass smart-phone (that will commit battery suicide trying to communicate with a wifi router that ignores it) can convert a jpg to a pdf, that dingdong should have had no trouble doing the conversion on her fucking desktop machine.

I digress.

I felt good yesterday, in my fancy-pants. Who cares if it's only Shreveport and nobody even knows who Salvatore Ferragamo is? I felt good in those pants.

So, as I dug around for something to wear on laundry day, I started to wail that I have nothing to wear to stay home and do laundry.

Then it hit me. Those Dana Buchman harem pants? Are casual pants, and look a bit like sweatpants. They're comfortable, the material is a divine silk, and I bought them to fucking wear them. I bought them for ME. So I have paired them with a Talbot's sweater that I love as much as any $800+ designer piece I've ever worn, and I'm doing laundry.

And here I get to the heart of the matter. My minimalizing was done so I could get rid of the superfluous and surround myself with only the things that created or added value in my day-to-day routines. Why get rid of a framed print I didn't particularly love, clothes I only bought "just because", and knick-knacks that had no meaning, if not to enjoy the things that mean something or bring me pleasure. Like a print that makes me smile when I see it hanging on the wall, a pair of pants that feel luxurious, and a small pile of fossils collected on the day "I became an asshole" in a big yellow thing (search my blog for it, it was a beautiful adventure!)

Life is too damned short to wear pants I hate. So fucking what if nobody else is going to see me wearing them? So what if nobody will ever see those cute little plates I bought on clearance at Ross? (Well, Aryka noticed them when I tweeted my Mollie enjoying her Thanksgiving feast, which was cool.) I bought the plates because A) we needed new plates and B) these plates served the function and C) pleased me visually.

By getting rid of the superfluous, I have created space to enjoy the finer things in life. By throwing "supposed to" out the window (THANK YOU, TIA!), I have given myself permission to enjoy what matters most to me.

By stepping away from a consumerist life of more stuffs and more things, I have begun to truly value the things money can't buy. Things like the quiet that I enjoyed when I got home yesterday, the view from our driveway, the comforting feel of Sunshine and Mollie sitting with me on the couch, and the joy of feeling good when I'm doing laundry.

It makes me want to do a happy dance.

Maybe tomorrow I'll wear those $20 skinny jeans that make me feel invincible. Because life is too short to not enjoy every single moment. Who cares if nobody sees me? If it feels good, DO IT.

Disclaimer: all these designer clothes? Yoox.com or consignment. I don't pay $800+ for one item of clothing.


  1. I'm absolutely with you here, Cindy. I am currently in a miserable clothes desert (in part because of the kind of year I've had and the way that clothes literally fall apart in such a short time) but I dress for myself. I remember another parent asking me why I dressed "up" to drop my kids at the school in a way that was meant to confer her own discomfort upon me. It didn't work: I didn't dress to impress, I dressed to feel comfortable in my skin.

    I love that you are letting yourself enjoy the pieces you have so carefully kept. The style, the material, the swish, those are for you to feel great in, not to show others up. And I believe people like you and I (and so many of us, really) do not think about showing others up, we just happen to live in a world that creates narratives like that and sometimes some people follow suit. Hmnm ... does this make sense? It may or may not be too early in the day for me and I may or may not have told off the Parks Board GM last night at a meeting. I was dressed in tights, rubber boots, a fleecy sweater and a mini. I am probably still suffering the aftereffects of it all. >.< love you.

    1. You make perfect sense. Thank you for understanding!

    2. Oh phew. Sometimes I wonder ...

  2. I love this.

    Hardly leaving my house (except for quick grocery store trips) means hardly dressing in anything other than yoga pants and old t-shirts. But I COULD wear my nice pants, and beautiful shirt to the grocery store, and enjoy them. I really could.

    Thank you for that reminder.

    There is something about pulling out those nice clothes and wearing them now that speaks to living life where you are, and not waiting until something perfect comes around to really live it.

    1. Yes! And YES! Life is to be lived, and the living happens right now. Right now can be the perfect opportunity to do something nice for myself. We live in a world that is so frenzied, so busy, that there is so little time to "do something nice for myself" (and who can afford a spa day with massage, facial, and mani/pedi anyeay). So I wear nice clothes, because a "perfect occasion" doesn't exist. Right now is perfect! (((Hugs)))

  3. First, I heart your new pretty layout/design. Second, I heart you!!

    I love that you're living for YOU, that you're finding the joy in the moment. I'm happy and so blessed to be a part of this journey with you. Together, we'll get rid of "supposed to" and continue finding our happiness.

    Now to find myself some silky pants...

    1. Oh, yes, I hope you find some silky pants! They just lift one's spirit. And thank you for helping me see that sometimes (lots of times), "supposed to"out is just bullshit. I love you!

  4. Anything that makes you feel invincible should be worn on the regular.

    1. Except on "fat" days (a.k.a. those days when I drink more coffee than I pee out).