Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More Minimalizing and Money: Getting Down and Dirty

See this? This is what our spare bedroom still more or less looks like. Remember this post here? Yeah, this room is obviously a little better, but still not by much! Granted, yes, I was finishing up my degree during the beginning of this year, but now it's over with and I have returned to my "wanting to purge things" way of thinking with a vengeance!

I recently read "The 100 Things Challenge" by Dave Bruno and there was something in there he said about getting rid of the things you have been holding onto that are part of the person you wish you were. For me, this is my homebrew kit and my cheese press. Both of these things have been used once. I really wish I was the type of person to both make my own beer and my own hard cheeses. The first and only time I made beer it turned out delicious, but it was SUCH a pain in the butt to make in our small apartment. Having an outdoor area would make this so much easier. Because we don't plan to live in our little apartment forever, maybe I will someday be the person who homebrews. And if not, that's okay. I have enough beer-loving friends that will supply me with homebrew that I don't need to make it myself.

And the cheese. I made cheese several times and it was actually really awesome, but it is SO time consuming. Like, up to eight hours time consuming. Granted, I made some badass Monterey Jack and cheddar (seriously), but it took forever. Maybe I will be the type of person who makes their own cheese more in the future but I think for right now I am over it.

To say this stuff out loud (well, typing, whatever) makes me kinda sad. My dad got me the homebrew kit for my birthday in 2009 and actually made me my cheese press after I supplied him with my thoughts on how I wanted a cheese press made. (My dad is pretty badass.) Part of me feels like I am letting him down in a way by not using these items he supplied me with that I was once SO excited about. Have we ever discussed the homebrew kit or the cheese press in the past few years? Nope. So the fact that I am now in the right frame of mind to pass these items along to people who will actually use them, instead of having them collect dust in their spare bedroom does make me happy, although with a little twinge of guilt.

I have also been really good about getting rid of some clothing items that I should have gotten rid of a long time ago. Like a true Alaskan, I am a lover of adventure gear, especially coats and jackets. I have had a LOT of adventure jackets in my life. I still own quite a few jackets of various sorts, but I wear them with much more regularity than other jackets. (If you ever need me to justify some jacket purchase for yourself, I am the girl to go to. I freaking love having the knowledge of layering that I do. Seriously, give me a projected climate and your activity of choice and I will tell you what to wear for maximum comfort and badassery.) I finally broke down and sold a bunch of stuff on eBay this week and it felt good to let some of those things go. My North Face puffer jacket that accompanied me to the Iditarod in 2009. My Marmot rain jacket that looked great on me, but the sleeves were just a little too long that it bugged me. My Patagonia sweater jacket that Jonathan told me I should have ordered a size smaller but I didn't and then it never fit me right and he was right.

It feels good to get rid of these items because I am starting to purge more things again. I now have the mental space to renew my vision of having fewer things. Also, I need to put about $500 a month into my Antarctica 2014 fund for me to be able to pay for it by my projected date. This past month I didn't do that and it kinda bugged me. Where did my money go? Well, I bought a new camera and a cardigan (that was on sale). I did want both of these items, so they weren't frivolous purchases, but it still was $250 that didn't make it into my travel fund.

Which leads me to now. My work schedule in August is pretty wonky because of the shop owners going out of town several different times. My job interview I mentioned previously went great and I really hope/think I have a good shot at the job, but the company ran into some snafus and have paused all hiring for 8-12 weeks. We had to get our car worked on to the tune of $2,000, which was a huge part of our savings. If I were a more excitable person I'd be pretty freaked out right now, but I am pretty level-headed and I know things will work out. Yes, it definitely concernes me that we have so little in our savings right now, but we have been good at savings and just need to tighten our belts and be a little bit better. I am house-sitting for a month or so at various friends' houses and won't actually get to sleep in my own bed for a few weeks. This cuts down on the amount of food we need to buy, as my friends have all told me to eat their food. Because I'm not working much I am able to stay at the houses with the pets I'm staying with and I don't really need to go anywhere. I have Eleanor to get me to places for free.

I got the go-ahead from work to go to Ketchikan to house-sit for a month for some friends of mine whose wedding I am going to. Those lucky ducks are heading out on a Mediterranean cruise a couple days after the wedding and I get to take care of their three kitties. I am super thankful because they are paying me to cat-sit and I will also be able to work full time for three weeks while I am in Ketchikan at one of the jobs I worked at last summer! One of my crafty friends here in Portland also signed me up all the way into December for several craft shows during the holiday season. Basically, things are working out, although not in a linear fashion. 2012 has made me give up some of my tendency to plan things hardcore. It feels good, although I can't say that I'm not frustrated sometimes. There is so much travel I'd like to do. I want to go have drinks with my friends. I want to do fun stuff with Jonathan that isn't based around us staying in the apartment.

Things will be fine and things always work out. Life is a journey. I feel like I've grown again in this past year. July marks one year of purging things and there is so much going on in my head about that. I feel like my eyes have been opened. I have done a lot of reading of library books lately with all of my free time while I'm house-sitting. I feel like I should start doing book reviews or at least perhaps having a list of books I've read. I just am feeling really good about the way my life is going, despite the ups and downs of the past year. What happens next? I really don't know, but I look forward to finding out.

P.S. Sooo, anyone want some soap? Because I am offering 10% off your order in my shop with discount code ALASKA at checkout. Help a girl out!

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