Minimalism · Writing

Know Thyself

Bonjour! Bienvenue!

It has been a few days since I was able to write a blog post. The move took a lot more out of me than what I expected, especially for a self-proclaimed “expert” such as myself.

We were without home internet for several days, which meant my online connectivity was limited to what I am willing to pay for my mobile bill this month.

Hint: that’s not a lot of money, I’m a cheap bastard.

A quick update:

I did not attend the Food Not Bombs meeting this Sunday because everyone (including myself) thought it was going to be the icepocalypse this weekend. Apparently not, because besides from an evening to mid-afternoon period on Saturday (for me), there was little ice to be seen on our roadways. It was supposed to be freezing rain all weekend, and the meteorologists kept warning death and mayhem, so I assumed I shouldn’t make any plans. I am still planning on going out there, but it’s going to get pushed to this upcoming weekend or the one after, and then hopefully one to two times a month after that.

On to our regularly scheduled blog post:

There are two things I have learned and/or decided in the last few days.

  1. I need to look at writing as a job.

For two hours a day, I’m going to plop my butt in front of my computer, turn it offline, and put my phone in the other room. While the two hours are going, I’m not allowed to do anything that is not related to writing except for actual emergencies and bathroom/water breaks.

For too long I’ve looked at writing as something to do when the inspiration strikes, but I’m going to quote Stephen King on that one:

Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.

Real words, Mr. King, and that’s just what I plan to do. Even if all I manage to do while I’m sitting here is pick my nose and stare at a blank screen, I’ve got to sit myself down and do it.

I do think, however, that it won’t be as bad as that. There are a ton of good stories knocking around in here, I just haven’t given them the time and space to come out yet. That time has come (today is day 1).

  1. I’m not having a hard time getting rid of stuff I don’t use, but I am having a hard time not buying more stuff I don’t need.

As I mentioned previously, I’m starting down a path toward Minimalism. It’s a movement I can really get behind—simultaneously clearing up the clutter so that you can live a fuller life, while also removing yourself from the consumer culture that is such a societal epidemic.

But it’s so difficult.

I had not realized how conditioned I am. It’s incredibly tough to go from “Hey, I have a need to be met so I should buy that,” to “I have a need to be met, so I should see if I can do without that need or borrow or rent the thing needed for it.”

For example the closet door in my new office (Squeal!! I have an OFFICE!!) butts up against the main door. I have the cat box in the closet, and I need that accessible to the cats. If you have the closet door open and the main door open, they kind of cancel each other out. The options were to both buy and mount a new closet door that would open from the other direction—a questionable choice when I’m renting—or to remove the door entirely.

I went with the second option, and immediately thought: I should put up a tension rod and a curtain so you can’t see the litterbox.

I went online and had a look around. The prices were reasonable for a single curtain panel and a tension rod—together they would be something like $30-40. Not too shabby.

I had both items in my online cart and was hovering over the “Buy It Now” button when I stopped myself and looked behind me at the space in question.

Why do I need a curtain there? I asked myself. It’s not going to keep the dogs out of the litterbox, and I’m historically not fond of interior door curtains because they’re difficult to shove out of the way. What purpose would it actually serve?

I removed the items from my cart and have left the open closet as-is. Now that I’ve come to a decision, it’s like a weight has come off my shoulders. I’m the one that’s in the office most, and I really don’t care if there’s no door or curtain.

And that’s just one of the examples of how difficult it can be to change your mentality.

We’ve been programmed to buy buy buy! Marketers and advertisers go to school to figure out how to manipulate the common man and woman into thinking that they need a particular product to be healthier, happier, sexier, safer, more beautiful, more desirable, just more.

But when it comes down to it, how in the world could those possessions actually fill all those gaps? They can’t.

The only thing that can make you more is more of yourself going out into the world.

One thought on “Know Thyself

  1. Thanks for sharing! It is nice–no, not nice but comforting–to know that other writers struggle with the process and motivations as well.

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