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my minimalism 2014

7 January 2014

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I didn’t write a lot about my minimalist journey in 2013. It does not mean it’s any less a part of my life, in fact quite the opposite. It is a strong, important part of my psyche that means a lot to me and indeed is now also a valuable coping mechanism for my worsening vision. Sometimes I didn’t want to write about it, just live it. Sometimes it’s hard when others don’t understand it and tease you for something that is very important and helpful to you. Sometimes the most profound thoughts remain unsaid and that is lovely. There were no massive undertakings last year, just a continual chipping away at purging stuff, trying to slow its entry into our home, and mulling over thoughts and priorities and dreams.

The minimalist in me is most happy when travelling with just a suitcase of belongings (but with access to good quality healthy food in the absence of a kitchen sink!). As has always occurred post-travels since I was a teenager, upon returning home I seek to declutter more. When travelling I am reminded of how much more free & peaceful I feel with less stuff, less time online, less nonsense filling the mind and indeed how much less we need to live comfortably and healthily. Speaking of mind clutter, I resolve to work more consciously on the one 2013 resolution that I neglected – caring too much about what others think. Minimalism forces us to face many issues as we limit our interactions and attention to the meaningful and it’s a hard slog but one I want to conquer. I am good at doing what is true to me, but still too concerned with what others think of me and this needs to change – want to cheer each other on? My cookbook project forced me to explore different types of cooking and therefore discover what appeals to me most. I’m taking this new comfort and acceptance of my own food style forward as I seek to declutter the kitchen of more gadgets and pieces this year and not bring anything into it that isn’t already a determined need. I’m also seeking to reduce my cookbook collection from 30 books to 15 and have already made a start. I’m keeping those that inspire me with my kind of recipes and imagery, but conversely are also easy on my vision with minimal paper reflectiveness, indexes/contents pages, clear print and layouts. My wardrobe is always moving towards my goal of less clothes with only those that look and feel good. I recently found a photo of my wardrobe from years ago and was shocked at how much I owned at its peak! Some items won’t be replaced until they are worn out. I’ve accepted that I am best wearing sporty clothes more often in summer for the amount of walking I do. I’ve made good progress this year in learning more about what colours work best, particularly now that I have not coloured my hair since late 2010 and have loved seeing my natural hues come through. I’m experimenting with working with my natural hair texture more often rather than always blow-drying it or having it cut for a hair type other than my own. My bathroom cabinet remains pretty basic bar a few products for experimentation and what I suspect will be a very brief flirtation with nail polish for the first time since summer 2009 – fixing up the chips after a couple of days, and the additional products in the bathroom just annoy me! At some point I’d like to go through my Sentimental Suitcase and re-evaluate its contents. My books are most enjoyed on my Kindle where I can use enlarged text, backlighting and a lightweight object to carry many engrossing reads. I would like to have zero physical books enter the shelves this year. I have decided to resist temptation (even in the face of enthusiasm) and reduce my involvement with events so that I can focus that energy on my own projects, some of which I will share in due course.

I continue to be grateful for all of you who interact with me via this space – your friendships and support are precious and I’m happy that in using only blogging, one social media channel for my nearest, and email, I have found a way to navigate this noisy world and reach through to the heart-warming real. Thank you for being a part of that.

Want to share your goals for 2014?

12 Responses
  1. January 7, 2014

    Hi Lucent, I think we could all do with some minimalism in many aspects of our lives! Good luck and happy 2014 to you.

    My goal for 2014 is to live each day a little more gently.

  2. January 7, 2014

    Great minds, eh! It’s great to reflect on your relationship with minimalism at the beginning of a new year and I totally understand how it underpins so many aspects of your life as I feel the same. Being proud of our values and not worrying about others’ reactions is difficult but sharing here helps :) Good luck with your minimalist life and new projects in 2014 Lucent and thanks for the IT advice. Claire x

  3. January 8, 2014

    My goals for 2014 – not to bring any more books into the house until I have read all those that have accumulated – not to buy any more clothes and get rid of any that I am not happy wearing – not to spend unnecessarily and finally to keep within my food budget. The book and clothes goals will be hard as they are my weakness. Oh, and like you, would like to try and spend less time on-line. The main thing will be just to enjoy being me.

  4. January 8, 2014

    I think one of the things I have learned from your blog, Lucent, is to prioritise. And to do that I need to ignore a lot of the media hype and think about what is important to me. For 2014 getting healthier is important – so far more walking, less sugar about sums it up, and I’m enjoying doing my own research. So here’s to your health in 2014!

  5. January 8, 2014

    As always it is a continual chipping away of everything! Remembering your example I curbed my emails at the beginning of the year.
    I took my daughter back to Uni last week and stayed the night with her. I was impressed that my overnight bag was small until she pointed out I had no night clothes! I am concentrating this year on being more organised in all aspects of my life which will hopefully lead to a more simple existence.
    Sarah x

  6. January 8, 2014

    Cheering.

    Purging stuff creates so much room for life. I don’t have a sentimental suitcase, but I do have a memory drawer!

  7. January 9, 2014

    Very nicely written. (Love your writing!) Sounds like a great journey towards clarity and freedom. :)

  8. January 9, 2014

    My goal for 2014 is to narrow down my focus in each individual area of my life, instead of trying to do everything that possibly could interest me. Ie: one focus in music, one focus in photography, etc. I’m treating 3-5x exercise as necessity in health, rather than a “bonus”. Cheers!

  9. January 9, 2014

    Happy new year 2014! I relate to this feeling of wanting to declutter after travelling. When I am away from home for a long time, enjoying living out of a suitcase and, sometimes, the convenience of a hotel room, I feel like editing, simplifying, re-arranging once I come home.

    I have many goals for my life, but one of them, for 2014, is to keep consistency within my projects and objectives – steady progress, no matter how slow. Thank you for this post, it is always very inspiring to read you.

  10. January 10, 2014

    Happy new year! My goals for this year are worrying less about everything and live happier… I get stressed about everything and I tend to be negative, I always expect the worst and that’s not good . Also, as you, I want to keep my wardrobe with less clothes but that I really love wearing, therefore spending less money on things that I don’t really love so so much and get rid of those that are not being used anymore (in fact I have already done some cleaning).

  11. January 16, 2014

    I love books. Can’t get enough of them! And I love owning the books I’m reading. I’ve made a deal with my boyfriend that I won’t buy any more books until I’ve read at least 80% of what we own……

  12. January 18, 2014

    I think we could all take a leaf out of your book and stop consuming. I’m currently in the middle of cleaning out our spare room. So far I have barely made a dent and have already thrown out three huge garbage bags of junk and have another huge bag ready for LifeLine. And trust me when I say I’ve barely made a dent. I walk a fine line between wanting to keep EVERYTHING and trying to only keep what is useful and important (with a few pretties, obviously).

    On the topic of nail polish, have you ever thought about gel polish? It doesn’t cost much to get done and lasts around a month without any chips. There’s no fake acrylic nail, it’s simply painted onto your own nail like a normal polish with but it sets faster and harder than normal polish. I haven’t had it done in ages, but it is a wonderful thing for people like me who tend to chip their polish before it’s even full dry. It’s like as soon as I have to keep my hands still I NEED to fidget! *flails hands around*

    x Jasmine

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