My minimalism: a relaxed approach

While gazing at people in a ballroom, one of the protagonists in the favorite series of mine says:  “Quite an eclectic group: have money, want money, no money left”.  This is where the minimalism of today stands.

The ‘have money’ don’t care about minimalism and the more they have the more they gather…interesting, for they won’t take it to their graves for love of God.

The “want money” do anything for money including pretending to be better off than they really are by, among others, accumulating things that they don’t really need, but which show their supposed status.

And the “no money left” are the ones who had money, but have lost it somehow. They usually divide into two sub-groups of “will do anything to get back to having” and “money come, money go – one has to live the life”. There is not much they usually have, or things that they do own and have accumulated are past their initial beauty and freshness. I won’t comment on the 1st sub-group, but the 2nd is an interesting one, for they foremost do not care about things. Why? because they have learned that money and things are something that can disappear fast, that is temporal and that in life there are more important things.

The last group, not mentioned in the quote, is those that do not have money at all. They don’t own and there is not much to say, because most often they do not have a choice in the matter.

I think the key is to strike a balance. It is true that having a variety of things is useful, yet we don’t use most of them 95% of the time. For instance, I don’t need 100 shirts. What I need is a few.. maybe 20 at most… shirts that will mix and match with my max. 10 skirts, 2-3 jackets and 3 pair of pants (2 in that jeans). I used to have a lot of clothing, due to economic reasons most bought at thrift stores. However, with time, with several massive home changing operations and the travels I had to make, I observed that I do not use most of it and I would rather change the volume to quality. Over last 3-4 years, I did a revolution. I buy clothing seldom, but I buy it at mid-range stores where the quality meets the price. Ergo I get a good wear to price to looks ratio. Poor people don’t have the money to waste on trash things, for they need to be replaced often resulting in spending more over a longer span of time.

Another idea I did implement in my wardrobe is the 6 month rule. I have 2 hangers, where I put the pieces of clothing which I do not use that often, and every 6 months I take a look and ask myslef: “have I used it in the last 6 months?” if no, I move it to he black hanger, where it stays for another 6 months. Should it not be touched for another 6 months, I start at first looking for a person who would like to have it.. I give it a month.. if none appear.. it goes to the Red Cross container nearby. I do my best to buy clothing only when something used up needs replacement.. but am far from perfect at it.

All of this, can be applied to any other area of life and things we accumulate. I it with almost anything I have at home. It all takes practice and strong will to fight off the temptations, but after 3 or almost 4 years of this, I can pretty much pack all my clothing into 1 large (standard size) suitcase, I can pack for a week into a carry-on without an overweight including my electronics. And I find this ideal. I still believe I own way too much junk and will be working on limiting it.. but I hope these few ideas will help others also.

It is better to find friends, real friends, to have plenty of things.

 

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Gaming? 4 reasons why I quit.

I have been an faithful gamer for years, from CounterStrike and Warrock though Grenado Espada (Sword of the New World), Diablo series and many others. I still play… by not so much… Why?

Why I have stated to play in the first place? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMrN3Rh55uM)

It was back at university.. I was in RPG club (way better mode of relaxing to be honest) and kind of got talked into trying Diablo. It was already a tad old by then – that was in 1999 or 2000. I got hooked on it due to overall stress and problems with my family that I really needed to vent but had not many options. It was cool to imagine that each of the dogs in it (the ones spitting acid or venom at you) are the person that most hurt you. From there it was a down hill.. maybe not as deep into the pit as some of my friends went (one passed out at the computer after playing for 3 days straight) but I did take it to extremes for a moment. After I graduated games were for me a way to vent the frustration resulting from numerous unsuccessful job searches. And when my son was born.. and I reached the level of tired where you can’t even sleep cause you are so exhausted (yes, there is something like that).. they helped me unplug and reset.

The only real pro I can find are the 3 good friends, whom I can count on, that are left from those years of gaming. I believe I could have met them otherwise as well. People we are meant to come across  can take us by surprise anytime and anywhere.

Games were my exile…. yet their cost.. and I’m not saying financial.. the toll they took on me and my life can’t be underestimated. I was running.. foremost from myself, from looking with clear eye at myself and my life. And I did get myself in a mess, hell I did.

Regardless of the reasons behind me gaming….now, some 15/16 years later. I can say I have unplugged myself from them. It was a conscious decision and here are the reasons:

  1. In overall scope of the day I used to spend at least 2 hours on games. After 10 year of gaming the count is simple 7300 hours = 306 days used up on something totally intangible. Imagine that I could have relaxed or unplugged with more beneficially by my second favorite pastime – book reading, or better yet needle point or developing my skills as a drifter? Where would I be by now?
  2. The involvement in games made me forget the world around me… this did take a toll on the way I look, on the way I see others and on the way I communicate with them. In some ways positive, in some quite the opposite. But it definitely made my ties with real life friends go somewhat loose. What would happen if I used at least part of those hours to actually physically socializing with those I care for?
  3. I took a deep look in the mirror. And I got shocked. I was shocked by my own thoughts on the matter, on why I actually play. I saw a person who is running away from herself, trying to avoid an honest look at her own life, at where she stood and where her path was leading. I fell into the trap of addiction (again maybe not as strong as others e.g. my own husband) but non the less and addiction. And addiction, any addiction, if not kept in check is destructive force.
  4. Then I did the math on all the money I have spent on the F2P games… believe me they are not free if you want to mean something in those virtual worlds and they ain’t cheap. The cost… well.. I could have easily gotten my dream car a few years earlier. And I am not rich by any means. I think this realization was the last nail to the coffin.

I do play now, but I keep a close check on when and how much I spend on it.. and I DO NOT SPEND anymore money on that. If I get tempted to spend more I do exercise or go for a walk; and the funds… I simply take out of my account put into my old-fashioned Piggy. After a year of keeping myself in check I have collected enough money to buy some books I wished to read for long time, to take my family for a fancy dinner and to have running subscription on Spotify (I love music, maybe they don’t have it all.. but they are better than average radio).

I decided I can use this time better, do something meaningful with it instead of living in virtual world.  So far, small steps.. but I already see much good in the decision.

I know that taking look at yourself, on why you REALLY game and facing the response is the hardest, but I strongly believe there is much to be gained. I would like to encourage those infested by the plaque to do so. We have but one life (at least that’s how much we are conscious of ) why waste it on something that will in few years leave us with almost nothing…

Natural Remedies and beauty tips 5 – natural antyperspitants

I’m not a health geek, or crazed about all the crap they sell to us in food and so on. I do try to be careful of what I eat or put on myself… for my own good. I have been using a variety of antiperspirants and deodorants over the years… most of them chemical. Now, I see the toll they took on my skin. And I ventured onto finding out what natural alternatives I can get. I have tried several brands that claim to be all natural and not to include anything that could damage my health… yet none quite cut it. They were generally quite expensive, in some cases gave me allergy and upon consultation with biochemists friends, I got, turned out to contain some things that are steroid-like or exert over body similar influence like hormones.

That’s when I said enough. If I can’t even trust those that claim to be bio… I will search for DIY solution. What I found is a number of different recipes. All easy to make with components relatively easy to find even in my backwater corner of the world. Most of them contain Coconut oil, and here is one of interesting tricks to remember.

The simplest one is simply to mix 1/4 of a cup of coconut oil with 1/4 cup of baking soda with a bit of starch(this last one I find can be optional although many sources insist on it being a necessity).  There is pretty much nothing here that could give you allergy. Soda neutralizes the bacteria and the oil keeps your skin moisturized at the same time dry. I like it due to its simple content and I came up with it by excluding via trial-and-error from other recipes I found.

Here are the other, more complex solutions:

  1. Three DIY antiperspirant alternatives (http://www.naturalnews.com/043337_antiperspirant_do-it-yourself_toxic_chemicals.html)
  2. Confession… and a DIY (http://yinmomyangmom.com/2013/01/04/natural-antiperpirant-deodorant-recipe/)

  3. A recipe for a homemade deodorant that REALLY works! (http://www.treehugger.com/organic-beauty/recipe-homemade-deodorant-really-works.html)

Warning: One has to be careful with essential oils, some of them are simply fake and mixed with other components result in unpleasant surprises ( for instance I got a rash after using a rose one bought at supposedly bio-shop).

End of another year

I had plenty of ideas for writing this year, yet I hold back on many of them … too personal I believe.

There are a few things I would like to share with all. Lessons in life gained during this year, or reaffirmed by it.

  1. Men

Men are weird beasts. Sometimes you can ask them for days/months to do something. I hate causing fights or quarrels as I see them as counter-effective…at least the specimen I have at hands simply goes into ‘reject mode’ and won’t do the thing I ask for if I push or fuzz about it. He will even go into ‘reject’ if that is against his own better judgment. To be honest that pisses me off more than anything. Yet, over the years I have learned there is no point in fighting. I have a heart condition and I am not about to let his moods and laziness get to me anymore.. and that is my 1st lesson of this year. My health is more important than most of the stuff I have to deal with. PERIOD.

I still will have to work on the balance of actually getting him somehow to do the things as opposed to doing them myself.. cause that is not a solution either and I do not wish to have two kids rivaling over my attention (I mean man and his own son).

2. Dreams

Some dreams suck… I won’t go into it, but they do believe me. Ergo I do not wish anymore ‘may your dreams come true’… I wish others, and myself, “may what you need appear at the time of need”.

Other dreams are way worth, no matter what the trouble afterwards, of fighting for.  One example is my Mazda Rx-8. True the loan for it weights on my budget heavily… yet it is my sweet escape. I believe anyone should have their “ReX” … it does not have to be a car, but it does have to hold an important position of a hobby in your life. LIFE WITHOUT PASSION KILLS. Your soul, your heart simply dies on you. And this is lesson no.2

3. Limited trust

I am not the most trusting person and perhaps that’s why it hurts more once someone you did trust screws you over. This has happened to me this year. I guess I kind of hoped that being friends for years and part of one family (not my bloodline but by marriage) deserves the  benefit of doubt in what others say of the person.. I was wrong… Simple as that. Lesson no.3 reads do not trust even your own family

4. True friends in unexpected places

This year was extremely challenging… out of that.. only 3 of those I believed to be friends actually stood a test and reached out to help me at a moment of dire need. Thank you, guys. I know now on whom to relay.

Thus reinforcement of a old belief of mine – you know your true friends only while in trouble.

I have to say that some persons have profoundly disappointed me this year … or perhaps I simply had higher expectations of them, and they only have shown how real they are. It is good to be stripped of illusions.. better after 10 years than after 20 or 30, right?

5. Do not give up

That’s the hard one. I have had a few of really down in dumps moments. Mostly due to my relationship and my financial balance. Yet, although the both of them weight on me heavily I refuse to give up.  In the 1st.. there is not much I can do, it is all still in the hands of that one person… in case of the 2nd one.. well I will just have to work it extra hard, won’t I?

 

Now, off to a new year. I plan to start doing a lot of monitoring of my finances to start with. This means keeping a close financial diary of all the spending .. no matter how depressing it can be.. and limit wherever I can.

As I still do not seem to be able to state where I am going, I intend on making a plan and whatever power there is in this world may help me in getting it done. I have never made written plans, yet I feel, if I don’t I will fall of the wagon soon.

Third thing on the list for next 2 days is bringing order to my in-work madness. Due to the change of position in firm this year I am walking into a foreign to me ground of marketing nowadays. This poses a lot of challenge and I do need to learn a lot, ergo.. another plan on the list of to-do.

A year has gone by

Last year I wrote a post on some resolutions I took ….It is time to take a step back and review.

“Screw what others say”… pretty much that is working out for the best. I grew more resistant to some stupid remarks and they do not bother me that much. It does not mean I do not review them and consider their value.. on the contrary I do… but I do no give a heck about hate language anymore. I do not take it personally anymore.  So, on that one I do have to give myself a point.

This year was not much easier than the previous one.. yet my group ‘to die for’ has evolved… or should I say deteriorated. One person failed friendship test, and yet has not found any quilt in themselves.. while I was capable of admitting to my faults on one end, I refuse to take whole of the blame onto me. Too bad, for years I did my best to support them.. ohh, well.  A family member failed me as well. Guess my expectations were to high set… well, I am no set on having expectations only towards myself.. and the rest.. take it as it comes.

I have to admit to at least partial failure on the end of ‘not taking decisions on behalf of others”…try as I might being mother makes me fail here, my son is still not at the age when he can do stuff legally on his own.. so.. sigh… And I do admit to having made some out of lack of patience with others. Here is a – for me.

I still refuse to subdue…that’s a plus.. although I do feel burned out.

I am still set on my goals, though I have not moved much forward… except maybe for standing the test at the collage and for making one of my dreams come true – Rx-8.

Though I’m rather down in the dumps on this b-day of mine.. the calculations comes out more in +. I need to stick to the plan and control some aspects of my life better. I’m working on that, and I hope to pull it through, though a transportable nuclear battery would be of great help if I am to keep on the path.

Briefing

It’s been a really long while since I published anything. I think I do need to pick up on that habit. I do like writing, sharing what I know and experience.

So, here is a brief what has happened to me. This year is basically one big nut house and I am the main protagonist tied up in the center, it seems… with some influence… but I feel also a lot of stuff have been taken out of my hands.

I did finish my 1st year of law at Kozminski University in Warsaw, and am back for the 2nd year now. Decided to write some trial papers, for I lack European academic writing experience and would not wish to write my master’s without any preparation ahead of time. One of my professors was gracious enough to agree to guide me along the way. It seems I’m headed for one of those big and interdisciplinary works.. not that I mind.. it will just take a longer time to prepare.

I did not end up in Canada, as I wanted … instead had a failed attempt at moving to Moscow. I do want to go back, but am interwoven in too much here and now. I’m not sure how that will work out. In all honesty, I am much disappointed by some people I trusted.. yet some have proven to be more friends/family than I would have though. Not going to point any fingers, but I know now who I can relay on.

My husband got a good kick out of that trip and changed his ways in some areas… yet in others I hear declarations but see no actions. Not sure how that will go. For the worst that can happen to you is to love someone and be at the point when you can’t watch anymore what they are doing to themselves. And I have been at that point this year. It was killing me inside .. I’m not sure he cared…never-mind that.  Time will tell.

My cars.. yes, there are two of them now.. not just one. 126p is with my friend. It had front joint and bearing replaced recently and needs a bottom body paint/protection job done (kind of short on funds at the moment) but that’s because at the same time my Rx-8 went to the shop to get some routine things done .. that did not turn out so routine.. won’t be even showing those.. no point.. just the initial appraisal went up by 100% on one end making the others rather short. Yet, I prefer to get that attended to right now than have to look for way more serious and pricey solutions next year. It is best to prevent than to try rescue whatever is to be rescued later on. I apply the very same rule to human, cat and car health. Comes out more economic in the end.  And once you do get rx-8…let’s be honest…is economy/ecology something one can eat?

One great thing I did do this year.. is I finally went to the US and told those people whom I love, what I felt needed to be told. I think, regardless of the effort and money spend, I would not have forgiven myself had I not gone ( I will post some photos from the road trip NM->CO and my visit later on).

Car cruzy

I love my Polish Fiat 126p. Not abandoning it by any means. Although, once my hubby passes his driver’s licence I think it will be his.

However, I got myself my long time dream – Mazda Rx-8. It is not new, but it is younger by 14 years than my 126p 😉

Past Friday, when I got it, I wasn’t quite ready for it. The first I drove it seemed like an alien space ship reaching the absurd speed in under 1 sec (“space balls”). On Sunday I took it quite early to a huge shopping moll parking lot… and ohh, boy did I discover joy…. I doubt I will ever change to a different car now. I still need some time to get used to the specifics of running Wankle engine, starting at 2k rpm and things like that, but this car is like music to my heart. I am deep into reading manuals and stuff for it now, but there are few things that I have ever been as enthusiastic about as it.  I was and still feel the same way about my 126p… yet those are two different beasts… one is for relaxed fun drive; other can’t stand still 😉

Narc?

I have been silent for a while cause I stumbled across, or more like it was pushed under my doubting and denying nose, the possibility of being in a narc relationship. Narc? What the heck is narc? Well, it is a narcistic …. I think you might be thinking at this moment ‘hold on a sec, those are easy to recognize. Why would you possibly fall for someone like that?’ Or ‘nee, he is a nice sensitive guy’…. 

I had been give a pseudonym – Spartan life coach- by someone who is getting out of an abusive relationship herself and who does care for me as if we were real sisters. I looked up. 

The more I heard/viewed of the guys page and his fb videos ( admit to having seen just 4 for now.. Can’t digest more ) the more my heart trembled and the more I was going ‘ wtf? How come he knows my mother so well… Furthermore how on earth he know my husband inside out’. 

I’m still at the doubting stage and I am about to go see some friends recommended Psychologist just to be sure my diagnose is correct. 

It turns out narcs are foremost very clever and they often masquerade as sensitive introverts… You might be going now just like I was ‘come in again?’

Well, for now I won’t be spilling anymore beans. I will let you look it up on the net (narcistic personality disorder). I am embarking on a strange and scary journey. Unknown is ahead of me. I still can’t grasp the whole of it. For if it is true that would mean I behaved archetipically … Escaped one abuser to fall into hands of another equally potent and clever and equally heartless .. Believe me I would rather not discover I have been that silly and blind .. Yet I had no other pattern … The only ‘other’ there was ascaped 18+ ago causing the worst non physical suffering I have ever experienced. 

Nasze dzieci i młodzież

(originally posted at http://amirgse.blogspot.com/ on 8th July 2010)

Dopiero co rozmawiałam ze starym znajomym z Internetu. Przez pewnien okres razem graliśmy w Lineage 2. Ale to stare dzieje, okres błędów i wypaczeń ;-P.

Grunt, że rozmowa nam zeszła na obecną młodzież i jej zachowanie. Jednocześnie przypomniała mi się rozmowa z wychowaczynią mojego syna.
“dziecko to egzotyczny kwiat. Od rodziców zależy czy rozkwitnie i jak, bo to oni podlewają, dają glebę i dbają o dziecko na codzień. Nauczyciel jedynie jest jakby sąsiadem co podczas nieobecności właściciela przychodzi kwiatki podlać. Może jednynie podpowiedzieć, ale to od rodziców zależy jaki kwiat czy ziółko wyrośnie z tej sadzonki”
Zgadzam się z jej słowami. I moją ambicją jest, aby mój syn wyrósł na porządnego człowieka.
Jednak obserwując to co się dzieje w szkole mojego syna, na internecie, czy poprostu na ulicy zaczynam się zastanawiać gdzie są rodzice. Nasze społeczeństwo pędzi za pieniądzem, wpadamy w dziki pęd aby mięć więcej, lepiej, ładniej. Tylko co z tego? Jeśli albo tych dzieci poprostu nie ma, bo nie ma na nie czasu, lub jeśli o nich zapominamy. W codzienny pendzie i staraniu się zapewnienia im bytu podświadomie staramy się zapchać pustę jaką tworzymy w ich życiu przedmiotami.
Kilka lat temu poznałam dwie pary rodzeństwa, którym pomagała w nauce języków obcych. 2 x2 chłopaków. Mniej więcej w tym samym wieku.
Jedni mieszkali w mieście w kwaterunkowym 2-pokojowym mieszkaniu w starej kamienicy. Ojciec taksówkarz, matka pracująca jako sprzątaczka i pomoc domowa. Oboje rodziców zabiegani. Od świtu do nocy będący poza domem. A udało im sie wychować dwóch rozsądnych, pracowitych chłopaków będących obecnie studentami. Od małego uczyli ich, iż pieniążki trzeba zarobić. Kieszonkowe chłopcy dostawali jesli pomagali w domu. Jako 12-14 latkowie dbali o to aby pranie było zrobione, aby obiad był gotowy na powrót rodziców i aby było posprzątane. Chłopcy byli swiadomi, iż rodzice pomogą im na ile ich będzie stać ale tylko wtedy gdy oni wykarzą się inicjatywą i checią zmian, oraz tego, iż nikt im w życiu nic nie da. Będą musieli na wszystko sami zapracować. W życiu też nie słyszałam, aby któryś z nich podniósł głos na matkę czy pyskował.
Drugie rodzeństwo, też chłopców, mieszkało z rodzicami w domku pod Warszawą. Rodzice po studiach wyższych. Ona psycholog dziecięcy, on urzędnik państwowy. Każdy chłopiec miał własny pokój. Rodzice pracowali również od świtu do nocy. Ale chłopcy dostawali pieniądze na żądanie. W wieku 9/10 lat młodszego już było prawie nie możliwe zagonić do zrobienia czego kolwiek w domu a starszy (o ile dobrze pamietam) 13-latek wracał do domu, wpadał do pokoju zrzucał z siebie ubranie i krzyczał z góry do matki czy już mu obiad zrobiła, poczym wypadał i nawet mu nie wiunęło, że jest chora czy się zle czuje. Nikt tam palcem nie ruszył aby pomóc w domu. Chłopcy na moich oczasz żądali od matki pieniedzy (od ojca tez, ale delikatniej) i o wszystko się wykłócali albo robili wielką łaskę, że coś zrobią. Oni obaj byli świadomi od najmłodszych lat, iż jeden po babci dostanie mieszkanie w Warszawie a drugi 90m w Wawrze. Nie mieli najmniejszych nawet zapędów do nauki, no bo i po co jeśli mama i tata pójdą na koniec roku i załatwią to jakoś z nauczycielami? To przecież tylko dzieci, a dzieci nie powinno się stresować bo to źle wpływa na rozwój.
Pozostawię te dwa przykłady bez komentarza. Niech czytelnik sam się zastanowi nad ich sensem i znaczeniem.
Niestety większość dzieci i młodzieży obecnie należy do tej drugiej kategorii. Rodzic idzie do pracy, zasuwa 36h/dobę, aby zapewnić byt, aby dzieciom nic nie brakowało, aby nie stracić pracy. Wychodzi z domu gdy dziecko śpi, wraca gdy już śpi. A potem z własnego poczucia winy, że nie ma dla dziecka czasu, obsypuje tą latorośl przedmiotami. Przedmioty nie wypełnią pustki ani dziecka nie wychowają. Jedny nie produkują bandę gadżeciarzy, dla których pieniądz i praca rodzica nie ma znaczenia bo dostają je za darmo… zamiast miłości, opieki i przewodnictwa.
Je też nie jestem ideałem , ale się staram. Wolę prace w domu, może za mniejsze pieniądze niż bym dostała gdzie indziej, ale pozwalającą mi na większy wpływ i opiekę nad synem.