I have two bags of VHS tapes to donate soon, as I’m also soon bringing over another carload of stored stuff. The more I downsize, the less it feels like I’ve downsized. The hallways are clearer and there’s less stuff blocking other stuff, it’s just… I keep unearthing more stuff to sort through, and increasingly, less of it interests me. Why keep anything that doesn’t immediately excite or inspire you? Just to “have” it around?
“I’m an emotional eater, too.” If I couldn’t find a good rowing option for the short-term, I needed to address my fitness from the weight loss perspective rather than purely the aerobic perspective. Ideally, I like rowing twice daily. Until then, I must eat under 2000 calories daily, because even after I find a rower quiet enough for my oddball hours, I will have to learn to restrict my diet to prevent long-term obesity-related health issues.
I can see the micro-expressions people give – mainly: envy, resent … sometimes: disgust – when I tell people about my downsizing adventures. It’s as loud as an object falling on the early morning ground. If I explain that I don’t need something or another, there might be a glimpse of greed, and I’m still victim to it myself. I still see occasional shinies and think: I might like that… It’s probably a human reaction to want overabundance.
I donated around 100 records some months ago. I don’t remember how many, just their overall mass. I kept my then-favorites, most of which I’ll sell off after I sell the records in this bag. I thought of bringing this to-sell bag along to my first Record Store Day, but they were too busy selling. It was fun walking through some music shops searching for my CD essentials – Nirvana and GUITAR WOLF – and walking away empty-handed.
It’s taken years for me to develop a sort of hardened empathy for drivers. I’ve always understood when people would drive erratically because of mistakes, but ohhhh those people… the ones that cut you off! Surely, they are the most terrible of people! The thing is, though, driving is actually dangerous even when there aren’t other drivers around. Crashes, mechanical failures… anything. Why, then, focus on them? Shouldn’t we rather focus on driving safe ourselves?
The good and bad of apartment living, as I’m being reminded, is everyone moves in or out at around the first of the month. Moving boxes are great. Rough furniture is not. There must be better solutions than apartment dumping grounds, but short of adjusting the mindset of having disposable things – income, furniture, or lifestyles – it will always happen. Thrift stores trash subpar donations, anyways, and they probably go to the same dumps…
As I gazed upon the otherworldly vastness of my depleting clutter empire, filling my apartment-mansion with innocent material wealth, I realized that somewhere between my Moving Zeal journey’s start in Winter 2018 and here in Spring 2019, my rose-colored glasses have shattered. I’m seeing crappy clutter rather than prized possessions. I continue photographing and sharing this journey in Downsizing Zeal because I am learning for myself what might be obvious to a neutral observer of these photographs.
Throughout the thrifting altruistic veneer is this sense of treasure hunting, whether for profit or to recreate memories from youth, where prizes like this duplicate of a childhood collection of wildlife flash cards could be yours for $5. The only problem is that these weren’t my flashcards; they were just around. I have no attachment to either the box or the contents inside, but when you frequent thrift stores, you might occasionally come across similar paramnesias.
Until recently, sugary snacks seduced me before doing any big task, even writing essays. After last week’s realization that I must moderate my caloric intake if I can’t exercise frequently, I started counting calories again, which is more useful for me keeping a rigorous structure to my eating habits than numbers-based metrics. Until I find a good way to quickly and accurately track my calories, I’m borrowing an accountability idea from my daily writing schedule.
Written as more of a casual conversation exploring the reasons why we keep things we don’t care about than an extensive textbook tutorial about materialism, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Kondo Marie has many simple revelations sprinkled throughout its breezy reading. Unlike the trivial Netflix series that overly dramatizes the unimportant, the book it’s based on wins its merit through asking tough questions, including: Would you be OK with letting this book go?