Saturday, August 29, 2009

Looking Back

Sorry about the delay, I’m a few days later than I meant to be. But back to my media fast. Days one and three (I’ll get back to day two later) went surprisingly well. Day one was wonderful. I finally finished redoing my room. After an entire summer, I was able to finish everything in one day once I got rid of all the distractions. I now have a beautiful, bright, peaceful, and slightly quirky room. (Too bad I’m moving back into UB tomorrow and I’ll have to leave this room behind.) I went to bed that first night ecstatic with the way things were going. How well the first day of my media/technology break went just made the crash and burn the second day that much worse. There were outside factors that I won’t get into here, but it was just a bad day all around. The first day, it was easy to stick with the fast, but the second day proved to me just how hard it is to go through a normal, crazy day without being sucked in by some aspect of media. The switched on Television, combined with a desire to be near my family overtook any vestiges of will-power I had left. If that had been all, it wouldn’t really be an issue. Those were, after all, special circumstances right? But I just kept going from there. Once the floodgates were opened a crack, I determinedly wedged them open wider and wider until they were gaping, and I kept them there with my stress long beyond the reasons I originally had. I stayed up late into the night, watching television and fending off any reason to go to sleep. The next day went smoothly again, with very few hiccups in the plan, but it seemed almost like an afterthought following the two days that were such polar opposites. I did a lot of writing and drawing, as well as finishing some unfinished projects. My media fast left me more aware of the relationship I have with media and technology, and I hope I can keep that awareness as I head back to school.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I’m back to my problem of not starting, back to my habit of delaying, delaying, delaying, until the moment has passed and I no longer even have the chance of beginning. Waiting for the perfect moment, tomorrow always seems better than today, in a minute seems better than right now. But really, what better moment is there than right now? What better chance will I have than right now? This time, what I’ve been putting on hold is a technology/media break. My brain needs a way to slow down, to relax, to sleep. With constant access to the internet, my iPod, television, radio, movies, and books, there is a practically unceasing flow of information through my brain. Sometimes it’s good to sever that information stream and let yourself just be. I won’t have as much chance to do this once school starts, so now is the time, but I’ve been putting it off for weeks. There just always seemed like a better time. But there is no better time, or if there is, that time is now: so for the next two or three days I’m turning off my laptop, putting away my ipod, leaving the television off and (this is going to be the hardest for me) leaving my books on the shelf. I’m in need of some downtime. Not from work or school, but just from the constant information onslaught that is modern life. There’s always room for flexibility, like going to see a movie with an old friend, but for the most part, I’m planning on moving outside of the flow for the next few days. It’s time to BE.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's going to cost how much?

I’m in Florida right now, and have been more relaxed than I've felt in months. But then, forgetting the entire point of a vacation, I made the mistake yesterday of checking if my textbooks had been assigned yet for the coming semester. Bad Idea. They were, so I decided to see how much they would cost from the University Bookstore. I picked the used option as often as it was available (it’s better for the environment and my wallet), but it still came out to a hefty sum. As soon as I laid my eyes on the total, I felt an enormous, slightly acidic weight cut right through the wonderful relaxed feeling that sitting under the palm trees had given me. After getting over that initial sticker shock, I realized that I had known that my books would cost this much and that it’s all part of being a student. That being said, I still don’t particularly like it. It left me with a sensation of tightness in my chest and a vague feeling of anxiety. I never want to be a slave to money, and my tiny house dream is a way of getting there. I have always been a saver, not a spender. I like the feeling of security and freedom that comes with having at least some money in the bank. A tiny house won’t weigh me down with a thirty year mortgage and massive utility bills. I’ll be able to save my money for the things that matter most to me. The financial benefits aren’t what originally brought me to the small house movement, but it’s one of the many reasons I found to stay.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Everything Must Go!

About a month ago, much to my mother’s delight, I finally got around to cleaning up and putting away all of the stuff that I had brought home from college. Nothing was where it was supposed to be. Books were in boxes, towels were in drawers, and my clothes were all over the place - in baskets, in piles on the floor, and even one or two shirts in my dresser drawers. I decided to make piles of everything and figure out where to go from there, so I started to throw my clothes into one corner of my room. By the time that I tossed on that last wrinkled tee-shirt, the pile was as big as my twin bed and half as useful. It was the first time that I had ever had such a clear visual of the sheer amount of clothes that I had. There was no way I needed that many clothes, so I decided right then and there to get rid of at least half of what I saw in front of me. I ended up donating six garbage bags of clothes, bags, and shoes to Goodwill. Dropping those bags off was a great feeling, but coming home and seeing how much less I had was even better. For years, I’ve been a believer in less stuff. Who needs it all? People need to downsize, not supersize. Coming face to face with my stuff in such a concrete way reinforced that to me, and made it more real than ever. Those six bags were just a start. Even more is going to be on it’s way out, and it’s not just going to be clothes next time.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Just Begin.

Stop stalling, forget the plans, and run down the path to see what’s around the next bend or over the next hill. Life can pass you by while you’re still putting on your shoes.

That’s something I often have to remind myself of. I get caught up in the ideas and the planning so much that sometimes I never really begin. I’ve adjusted the fonts and colors on this page more times than I care to recall, and the layout has changed at least twice, but somehow, I never got around to writing a single post. Then, today while I was sitting out in my backyard watching the afternoon’s rain drip off the eaves as the sun finally came out, I could hear the kids next door planning their game of “summer camp”. They spent an hour plotting out exactly where everything would be, and planning what they would do. I suddenly realized that I was doing the exact same thing. The dream is part of the fun, but too much preparation and you’ll wake up one day and find that you never set your feet out the door.

When I finally sat down to write though, I realized that I had planned everything out except for this post. I had no idea what to write. I may plan, but I often don’t plan well. Everything ran through my head at once: my tiny house dream, random observations, how I found the small house movement, family, art, poetry... I was stuck back in the planning stage all over again.

I stopped for a moment, listening to the rain fall outside (it started again sometime around sunset). I needed to just begin.