Last year has been incredible in terms of the number of projects i poked my head into. But i realized that i take on too many things and master none. It is very evident from my old blog. I want to set a new intention to myself: SIMPLIFY. I want to start with my home. A few friends dropped by last weekend and thought my apartment was one of the most interesting homes they have seen. And then, one of them went on to say, “everywhere i turn, i find something very interesting to look at”. It was meant as a compliment but its something that alarmed me. I have seen my fair share of museum homes and wonder if i am headed that way. Having less clutter around, less to look at, less to clean, more space, … feels like the right direction to head towards. To-do: 1. Get rid of all the little objects lying around in the living room. 2. Fixtures, kiddish ornamental items that are no longer our style, need to go. 3. Get rid of everything that is not useful or insanely beautiful. Kitchen: I love to cook. Its no secret. I actually walk around bragging about the food i make. Picking out ingredients excite me as much as buying a new dress. But i have too many ingredients in my pantry. I make a 15 ingredient breakfast smoothie everyday that is rich in super-foods. It can be a good thing, but it is starting to work against me. I no longer taste the ingredients and appreciate them and it has become a routine gulp down of the concoction i make. Elizabeth from Easy to be Raw recommends using a few ingredients and rotating them often to appreciate the taste of smoothies. And looking at my grocery expenses, i spend a disproportionate amount on micronutrients and special ingredients. This may work for Gwyneth Paltrow as seen from the recipes in her book, but its not necessary for me to eat this way. I want to move out of my experimenting heavily with new ingredients to making family meals that are interesting. I also have a weakness to collecting cookbooks (hereditary, i blame mom!). I have enough and every recipe can now be found online! To- do: Sell/donate the appliances that i havent used in months. 2. Maintain a strict budget for micronutrients and super foods. 3. Learn more simple recipes that let me re-use ingredients. 4. Do not try to over declutter and get rid of useful stuff. 5. Continue to learn about food from different countries. Do not give up on that.Exercise: The rush i get from climbing a mountain, going exploring a new locality on my bike, bliss after yoga, abs after sprints, … are all addictive. It is so easy to get carried away and center my day around these activities. There have been days when i cant work before a 6pm yoga class because i am too excited and wait for it to start. I want it to be a means towards an end, but not become the destination. To-do: 1. The excessive research about anatomy, recovery, protein rich diet has to be contained. 2. Keep doing a variety of physical activities and not let yoga become the only workout because it’s indoors and convenient. 3. Try to get good at a few activities –> I pick the mountains and yoga. Skincare: My father is a dermatologist and our house had a samples draw in the vanity. Well, i am not one and i dont need to keep everything given to me. I do not need 10 lip balms laying around the house. And a box full of skincare samples. When i see multiple things laying there in my room, its adding to my stress. I know what works for me. To-do: 1. Donate as much as i can. 2. Stop trying new products often. Switch when only really needed. 3. Excessive research about natural and organic products needs to stop. 4. I do not need to DIY my own soap and concoctions . Outsourcing a few things is okay. Do not get carried away. 5. Use up the samples when travelling this summer. Reading: Today, i have 1270 unread articles in my Feedly. And i do my best to scroll and read the ones that i like. This takes a hour of my day, everyday. The act of going through all sorts of articles and picking the ones relevant to read requires me to scroll through lots absolute crap. I need to take the time and unsubscribe. To-do: 1. Unsubscribe from blogs that i no longer read. 2. Resist the urge to click on the reading links posted on facebook. 2. Let go of the books i know we will never read or have read and will not re-read. 3. Take to the kindle. Physical books take up too much space in the house and are collecting dust from what i see.
Closet: Being a Francophile, i crave a french capsule wardrobe. But i am no where close to achieving it in reality. I have come a long way in this regard and have gotten so much better with my purchases. But my closet is a dump of awesomeness <proud grin> and disorder. To-do: 1. Create a 30 piece capsule wardrobe for summer and have a very tidy looking closet. 2. Have a uniform of sorts so that i dont get tempted to buy random stuff. 3. Slowly build on the accessories collection, and the operating word being slowly. 4. Learn to mend and take care of what i have. Obsession with art and artists: I cant really be upset about this. But its very time consuming. And the art of journaling. Is one of the most intensely enjoyable activities i ever do. Again, time consuming. Falling hard for calligraphy pens and moleskin notebooks has disadvantages of its own. Time, energy and space. I still want to continue doing what i am doing, but with fewer materials, variety and raw materials. To-do: 1. Do not copy other artists illustrations into my journal. Its not cool. 2. I have enough raw material. Resist urge to buy. 3. Organize this material and well, so that my desk looks tidy. 4. Illustrate more. Photography: Oh where do i start? My love for pixels knows no bounds. I could spend days looking at work of photographers, reading about it all and taking photographs. Carrying around an 8lb bag. Gawking at cameras and lenses. Wanting photography books published by the masters. Wanting to stay on the streets waiting for a good shot. Collecting props…. would all be good if i was training to be a photographer. But i am a full time research person. The urge to run away from the lab with a camera is working against me. To-do: 1. Master the equipment i have. I have absolutely no reason to need any new equipment. 2. Learn post-processing. 3. Cut down on the time spent getting inspired and invest it in actual ‘doing’. 4. Start a tumbler and show my work instead of hiding it all on my laptop. 5.Do a project 365 on Instagram.
Learning related Projects: Currently, i am doing a course on Photoshop, iphone dev, google analytics, MAC OS, Machine Learning, Linear Algebra, World History and Video editing. I really really think i should do less of them and see them through instead of starting so many courses. To-do: 1. Finish photoshop and iphone dev in the summer. 2. Do Video editing and Mac OS in the fall. 3. Linear Algebra is non negotiable. Do it at work/during work hours.
Wanderlust: My favourite thing to do in life. Is to wander. And see things. If i do simplify other aspects of my life, i can make this more possible. Can save more and use it towards travel. Save time and explore my city. Can pack less and head out into the woods. And carry around a backpack with essentials instead of lugging a lot of luggage. To-do: Wander. Wander. Wander. Like a nomad. Its the simplest pleasure that time and money can buy.
I believe de-cluttering home, wardrobe, kitchen etc is not really an issue with the physical space i live in, but the mental clutter that takes away time from my being more productive.
Everything listed above is aimed at making me more time in the day: less time thinking about things, making wish lists, craving items seen in beautiful photographs aka props, caring for items i already own. I want to reclaim the time and energy. In addition to that, get off facebook ! I am not one who over shares every thought that runs through my mind or has to comment on every silly thing posted. Selfies repel me and i dont think twice about unsubscribing to posts from annoying ‘friends’ who send digital clutter my way. But I do follow lots of artists and interesting people on Facebook (apparently twitter is made for this sort of thing, but dont want another network to monitor and use). Its a constant temptation to read the content that they post. Limit log-in to once or twice a day. DO I WANT TO BE A MINIMALIST? Not really. Not yet. But i do want to live in a clutter and distraction free clean space that provides me with a peace of mind. To-do: Make blog posts to show progress in each area.
P.S: This post was partly inspired by Zen Pencil’s Live. Buy. Die comic. Do take a look if you havent.
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