Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Minimalism, again

It has been almost 6 months since I posted on this blog.  This interruption was due mostly to the fact that I was posting everything on Facebook instead.  While I don't mind posting there the truth is the format is more suited to short bursts of fluff than anything substantial.  In addition posts there tend to vanish into the background rather quickly, meaning I can never find anything I've posted there after a few days :-)  I know those posts are still out there (but who knows where?) but when I post on my blog at least I know where the thing is going to be the next time I want to refer to it.  But now on to the subject of this post.

Some time ago I was interested in the concept of "Minimalism" in life.  This is the idea that by reducing the number of our material possessions we could both reduce our impact on the planet, reducing our consumption of resources, and also improve our enjoyment of life by spending less time on cleaning, maintaining and just storing our "stuff."  There are dozens, maybe hundreds of web sites and blogs describing minimalist lifestyles, I won't bother putting up links here because you can just google the word Minimalism and find them yourself if you feel like it.  Besides, what is there to say about it beyond, get rid of all your extraneous crap and simplify your life.  It's pretty easy.  

My interest in the subject has been reignited by a recent change in my lifestyle, I'm now living 1/2 time in a 24 foot long RV.

For the last year I have been commuting from our house in Ceres to San Francisco 3 and 4 days per week, this 4+ hours a day of travel was exhausting, mostly because by the time I got home it was after 9pm and I had to get up at 4am or earlier to leave the house at 4:30 in order to make the train in Dublin and get to work at 7am.  The reality is I was only getting about 5 1/2 hours of sleep on work nights, and I'm definitely a 8 hour a night sleeper.   I was toying with the idea of getting a room in the city, but the only ones that were even remotely possible on my budget were simply vile.  Next I was thinking of selling the Toyota and buying a small camper van.  It was at that point that Mom stepped in and decided that we should get a full fledged RV that would not only provide me a place to stay in the Bay Area but also could be used for her and I to go camping.   So, she purchased the machine you see above here and for the last few weeks I've been living in it during my work weeks.  I really enjoy it actually.  

What this all has to do with minimalism is that I am perfectly content living in the RV with almost nothing beyond my clothes, iPad and iPhone, a bible and a couple of pots and pans to cook simple meals in.  (That is another subject for another post, what to eat and why)  I have a few blankets that I roll up and take with me, at home I sleep on the floor, in the RV I sleep on a bed, that's the only thing I'm not fond of to tell the truth, I'd rather be on the floor, but there isn't enough of that in the thing to sleep on it.  In my room at home I have some things that I think I can not only live without, but would really LIKE to get out of my way.  Knick knacks and my shell collection, those things can go away and I'll be as happy as the clam was that lived in one of those shells that I can't dust around without wasting a bunch my time.   I have a couple of boxes of old photos I'll never use again, they've been scanned and been digital for years already, plus they really aren't all that good for the most part.  I only keep them for sentimental reasons, and to pass on to my daughter, which I think I'll do right away, then she can store them or dump them as she sees fit.  I've already gotten rid of 99% of my books, not counting e-books, where my collection grows daily as I find new free ones to download.  My closet has been reduced quite a bit but still holds too much that I seldom or never use, so I need to go through that again.  My goal is to have my room set up in such a way that I can dust and vacuum in only a few minutes a week and keep it looking clean and neat at all times.  I like it that way.  

See, now all of this rambling babble just would not fit into a normal Facebook post, would it?


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