Monday, February 25, 2008

Very Big City cleanout

Despite the fact that I always travel with a suitcase, I also have a rather large wardrobe stashed at my sweetie's place. But, there are a few issues with this arrangement.

First, it's a problem in general that I have a wardrobe all ready to go, and yet I'm going to the trouble of packing and hauling "stuff" (as George Carlin terms it) around with me.

Second, when I arrive, I kind of rediscover my clothes, and wear those far more than I wear the stuff that I actually bring. This is also compounded when I hit up the local Goodwill and wind up with "new" things to play around with. So, even though I bring stuff with me, it doesn't tend to get worn, especially given that I tend to forget what I've already stashed.

Third, because I'm in University City (aside: is it sad that I can't remember if this is my usual pseudonym?) most of the time, the clothes that I like the most from Very Big City tend to wind up coming back with me when I travel. As a result, even though I tend to rediscover clothing that I like when I'm in town, the bulk of my wardrobe isn't necessarily the nicest or most flattering of clothes.

Today I decided to start doing something about my wardrobe situation. In part, it made sense since it's looking like sweetie is going to have to move at some point in the next six months, and I wanted to have less stuff here to be hauled around.

However, I also think this is a good idea given the overhaul I've been working on in my own apartment, and especially to my wardrobe. In general, I'm trying to clear out all of the clothing that doesn't fit, doesn't work with other stuff and, most importantly, doesn't leave me feeling good. I certainly have some clothes that aren't particularly flattering, but I have lots more that are just so-so - not terrible, but not all that great either. I'm trying to get rid of everything but the best, in the hopes that I'll have a cleaner, simpler closet as well as an easier time dressing in outfits that really make me feel great.

So, I now have three large bags ready to go to Goodwill (easily over another 50 items), plus another pile of things that I'm considering (which will inevitably wind up going too, since they clearly aren't so very fantastic.) The closet is much cleaner, my clothes are the ones that I really like, and I feel better overall.

Given how much of an improvement I'm feeling, both her and at home, I'm thinking I should spend some time really thinking about how I want to dress and what I'd like to have in my wardrobe. Part of my problem, I think, is that there are a number of different styles and fashions that I really like - Anthropologie is the first that comes to mind. Because I like them, I tend to pick up bits and pieces here and there that fit into the aesthetic. The issue is that these styles don't tend to look so great on me - either in general, or just to me. But, in any case, the items don't get worn, and just hand around, taking up room and giving me too many options in the morning.

I'd like to take the time to figure out what I really like, and what really works for me. I do have some general ideas as to styles and preferences - Toast and J. Crew seem to be good for me in terms of aesthetic and wearability, as do most other simple designs in good materials - but I'd like to take these ideas and figure out specifics, in the hope that I can only wind up with things in my closet that really will get worn and loved.

But, for now, I'm happy to work with what I have, take in my Goodwill donation, and enjoy the new space in my closet.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pre-travel update: the year thus far

I'm going to be travelling soon (albeit brifly) and before I go away, I decided to take a look around and to see how my New Year's theme is coming after being inspired at Living Deliberately.

I wanted some more sustainability and balance in my life, specifically in terms of:

- academic and work
- community and relationships
- health
- creativity
- home
- finances

Some of the changes have been gradual, so I'm happy to realise that I have made a good amount of progress on some of the things I wanted to work on.

- Strides have been made in prepping for teaching classes early, which is good for work and for my stress levels
- I've applied for another conference and a summer program, since I know I sometimes need motivation and goals to work towards
- A number of weeks with my sweetie are coming up - yay!
- I've taken some extra time to see friends when opportunities presented themselves - a bit extra time on campus means a lot more time with people I don't always get to see all that often
- Three words: lots of salad!
- I've signed up (and attended!) advanced swimming lessons (one class a week) and aikido (two classes a week)
- I'm also doing yoga a few times per week before bed
- Given my bad ankle, I'm also taking steps (doctors and physio) to get it better - I'm rather fond of being able to walk, and I'd like to be able to do it for a long time
- Over the last few days, I've purged over 50 things per day from my apartment - I now have sex garbage bags, plus lots of other stuff ready to go
- The bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen are also nice and clean now
- I've made a few goodwill trips, but only spent money on a birthday gift for mom
- No purchases other than food and gifts have been recent memory, which is nice...(oh...the trip...that too, and a cookbook with a bunch of recipes I've been dying to make...crud)

So, not a lot on the creative front, other than one night's worth of drawing the last time I was in Very Big City. But, I haven't had the TV on in over three weeks now, so I've been listening to more music and reading a lot more, which at least feels a bit more creative than just watching.

For the next few weeks, I'm hoping to:

- keep improving on managing my class and getting prep done early
- finishing my dissertation proposal (finally!)
- work on some papers with an eye to publishing
- more time with friends, including planning for a potluck at my place
- one extra night of yoga a week, plus some pilates for core strength
- more greens (and reds and yellows and oranges)
- clear out a bit more, especially books and kitchen stuff
- no more unnecessary purchases - as minimal as they've been, I'd like to be able to save that little bit more

So, that's it for now. There have been slips along the way - most notably in the form of caramel filled Hershey's kisses (betcha can't eat just 10) - but I'm proud of what I've managed to get done. And now, I think I need to pick up a drawing pad and get to work on improving on my creativity that little bit more.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Social balance

It has come to my attention that I live under a rock. It may be a very comfortable rock, but it's a rock nonetheless.

I think this is something else that I need to work on.

I walked out of my office today, and saw two of my friends together, holding hands and kissing.

This surprised me. It was a good surprise, but a surprise nonetheless.

I ran into a friend a few minutes later, and asked when Tall One and Cute One had gotten together.

Apparently, over a year ago.

Over. A. Year. Ago.


Apparently something else I need to balance in my life is social time. While I certainly don't think that not knowing the latest news and/or gossip is tragic by any stretch, it might be nice to know nice things that are happening to my friends in a timely fashion. So, with that in mind, I'm going to try for a bit more hang-out time on campus and at work, and see what transpires. I'll let you know what happens.

And now, back to cleaning out under my rock a bit more. It may be a comfy rock, but it's also a very messy and cluttered one right now.

The purge continues

Still no pictures - turns out that I can't find the appropriate cable to connect camera to computer in the mess that is currently my apartment. But, I have confidence that the purging and cleaning will eventually reveal its whereabouts.

In the meantime, the purge goes on. While this certainly isn't all that I've been doing lately, I'm still proud of my efforts. I cleared out the closet with shelves in my apartment. As I went, I got rid of a bag of stationary, 55 sewing patterns (yes, 55), a few pieces of fabric, a small ironing board, ten CDs, two coats and a scarf, two shoulder bags, a backpack, a binder, and a few books. Again, a small dent, but a dent nonetheless.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Sustainable blogging?

So, while I've been learning, or at least trying some things to make my life more balanced and sustainable, apparently one thing I have yet to figure out is how to sustain this blog, or at least get to it more often.

I still need to post pictures of the disater that is currently my apartment.

I still need to set out some guidelines for the purge that I'm working on.

I still need to think and write through some of the other things I want to work on - health, community and relationships, work, and so on.


However, even though I haven't been writing about these things, I have been working on some of them. So, in the interest of being at least somewhat accountable, and making sure that I note accomplishments as much as failures, here are a few things that I've done over the last week or two.

- I've gotten together a bunch of clothes to go to Goodwill, in the interest of simplifying my apartment
- I've picked up a bunch of healthy foods and have been eating yummy and good-for-me foods (well, yummy except for the apple-lettuce smoothie - yes, you read that right - which we will henceforth never speak of again)
- at work, I've at least managed to get my lectures started early in the week, even if my general perfectionism means I'm still tweaking them a half hour before class
- at home, I've cleared my desk - as well as the bookshelf with my work texts on it - so that I now have more of a workspace (there are still some lovely before pictures though, I think)
- I've signed myself up not only for another semester of aikido, but also for advanced adult swim lessons, which I'm hoping to write about soon (truly, this was a pretty great decision)
- ever night, before I go to sleep, I've started reading something non-work related - it's lovely
- I haven't turned on the TV since I got home, which has freed up lots of time for working on all of these other things (hooray - this one feels great!)

So, that's how things have been chez moi. It's been busy, but I'm feeling good about how the year has started, and am looking forward to getting more into these things as time progresses and, with any luck, talking about them more too. Perhaps that's the next thing that I should work on...