Minimalist Nic – Introduction

I’ve decided to become a minimalist. Yay! Remember the couple in Absolutely Fabulous who were minimalists? Dressed in white in a room without furniture, wearing thick-rimmed glasses, cooler than cool. Or have you noticed that all the minimalists on YouTube have the same apartment sparsely decorated with green plants in white pots? Well, I don’t think I’m interested in being like those sorts of minimalists. I want nice things around me, but I’d also like the feeling of being able to pack a bag and move overseas on a whim, so that means not too many nice things.

If I can free myself of stuff, maybe I can free my mind too. Maybe you can too. So I’m going to start by decluttering anything I don’t want or need from my life to make room for the things I do. I’m focusing on four areas to minimise – objects, finances, online stuff and time.

I’m also going to try to write about becoming a minimalist without using the word “journey”. I hate the word journey unless it refers to physically travelling somewhere or the eighties rock band. The other type of journey is wanky.

Anyway, I’ve been reducing the physical objects in my possession for four years now and find it pretty easy (and getting easier) to do. It’s kind of fun too. And over the past couple years I’ve been looking at my finances. Recently I’ve come up with a budget I’m good at sticking to and now it’s time to look at my non-disposable income spending. Things like electricity bills and health insurance are a bloody rip-off where I live (Australia) so I’m keen to see if I can reduce them. And this year I’ve started to feel frustrated about how busy I am. Are you familiar with the saying “I don’t have time to scratch my arse”? So I want to look at how I spend my time. As for online stuff (my presence online as well as the files and apps I have on my devices) I’ve only recently started thinking about it, but I want to reduce it to only what’s strictly necessary.

So why minimalism? I don’t want to live in an empty white apartment, but I also don’t want to be tied to it (or anything). I want to have more time, space and finances in my life for the things that truly matter to me. Matter as in I’d still want them around even after an apocalypse. Although I’ve always been a below-average consumer by Australian standards, I want to free myself even more from consumption. How much shit do I really need? How much shit do we all really need?

I’m going to share my experiences here to keep myself accountable and to pass on what I learn so it hopefully helps others with whatever it is they want to achieve. Wow, it was hard to write with that sentence without using the word “journey”!

Viviendo en una oración

Érase una vez, no hace mucho,

Tommy solía trabajar en las dársenas, el sindicato ha estado en paro,

Tiene la mala suerte, es duro, tan duro,

Gina trabaja en la cafetería el día entero, trabajando para su hombre,

Trae a casa su paga por amor, por amor.

 

Dice que necesitamos aferrarse a lo que tenemos,

No hace una diferencia si triunfamos o no,

Tenemos el uno al otro y es mucho por amor,

Haremos un intento.

 

¡Ah! Estamos al punto intermedio,

¡Ah! Viviendo en una oración,

Agarra a mí de la mano,

Triunfaremos, juro,

¡Ah! Viviendo en una oración.

 

El bajo de Tommy está en la casa de empeños,

Ahora está reprimiendo, solía hacerlo hablar,

Es duro, tan duro,

Gina sueña de huyendo,

Cuando llora por la noche, Tommy cuchichea,

Cariño está bien, algún día.

 

Dice que necesitamos aferrarse a lo que tenemos,

No hace una diferencia si triunfamos o no,

Tenemos el uno al otro y es mucho por amor,

Haremos un intento.

 

¡Ah! Estamos al punto intermedio,

¡Ah! Viviendo en una oración,

Agarra a mí de la mano,

Triunfaremos, juro,

¡Ah! Viviendo en una oración.

 

¡Ah! Necesitamos aferrarse, listos o no,

Vives por la lucha cuando es todas que tienes.

 

¡Ah! Estamos al punto intermedio,

¡Ah! Viviendo en una oración,

Agarra a mí de la mano,

Triunfaremos, juro,

¡Ah! Viviendo en una oración.

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ApocaNix

Lately I’ve been enjoying reading apocalypse literature – The Passage, The Girl With all the Gifts, The Fifth Wave. I love being swept along on an adventure in a new world where the characters struggle for survival and discover strengths they never realised they had. Also they get to fight off zombies/vampires/aliens.

And there’s always a good zombie/vampire/alien (usually a half “infected” child) present to make us question what it truly means to be human. The protagonist will team up with this character, fighting side by side against the bad zombies/vampires/aliens and paramilitary pockets of humans who have gone too far. Usually at the end of a trilogy of such books, victory for our heroes will ensue and they settle down to enjoy life in a brave new world which has none of the problematic trappings of our own. In some cases, as in The Girl With all the Gifts, the only survivors are the half-infected children, a new kind of humanity who we hope will do a better job than we did.

As I said, I’ve been reading a lot of these books lately. This, combined with a few camping trips, has sparked my interest in a post-apocalyptic, survivalist society. Or at least my interest in writing a book on that theme.

I already have an early scene worked out – a previously romcom-watching, wine-by-the-bottle-drinking, office-working woman has fled the dangerous city. It’s infested with zombies/vampires/aliens, don’t forget. For the first time in her life she’s alone, and starving. She camps out in an abandoned farm and comes across a lamb. Within one second of spotting the animal, her thoughts move from seeing it as a cute thing to gush over to seeing it as a source of food she’ll need to kill. That one second is the shift; the world and the people living in it will never be the same again.

There’s adventure in things never being the same again, a universe of possibilities. The monotony and mundanity of the old life (our life) will cease. No more getting up early to go to a job you’d rather not do, no more paying taxes, no more being stuck in traffic and no more feeling anxious because you haven’t achieved all you feel you should. What really matters will become so clear it’ll almost blind you. But when you emerge from the daze, into a simplified life, you’ll be happier. And even with those zombies/vampires/aliens chasing you, maybe you’ll be freer.