Hello. Hi. So, how are you?

So…um…how have things been? Yeah, let’s not try too hard to catch up, half a year later, as we try to figure out what there is to catch up on. (I’m talking to you, Imaginary Reader. Unless you are a Real Reader. Then, hi! Hello there. So…) Life is crazy or amazing or hard or–something, things are always changing and staying the same, there is so much and so little to be talking about. Oh, and senior year of high school stuff, school and colleges and whatever else is associated with the senior year of high school. Actually, that might lead into a post I want to write. Maybe next time. (Because I kind of already have a topic for this post.)

There was a time when I had trouble writing because I had so many ideas that I didn’t know where to start. Then I realized that it doesn’t really matter. Pick a place, any place. (Let’s start at the beginning. A very good place to start.) As long as you actually start. (I’ve found–and need to remember again–that once I get past the fear that drives procrastination, it’s not so bad. And it might be kind of good, at least.)

I think I may need to try minimalism again.

At the high school Student Activities Fair last month, I signed up for nearly every volunteering or community-positivity-type club, and more, while knowing that I don’t have time to take on more activities. (I don’t know if it would be a waste of time to join a volunteer club*. The club would be fine without me, but it occurred to me that it might be a great way to spend time if a person ever had enough of it. There’s something about generic volunteering that makes me feel forever young. *I said join a volunteer club, not start volunteering. I already volunteer.) As soon as I left, the harsh realization that I would not be at the meetings for any one of those clubs (except for the clubs that I actually was already in but signed up for anyway) hit me. This year, I have had to quit a club that I joined at the end of last year as well as quit an activity. (On the other hand, I have joined another club this year, but to enhance my experience with one of my pre-existing club commitments.)

I need to declutter and simplify:

  1. All the stuff in the house.
  2. I deleted a whole bunch of emails that I’m not using anymore so that it’s less annoying to search for emails that I want to use. I’m working on deleting browser bookmarks. I have saved so many articles to read (that I have not yet read) and other pages as reference resources (that I don’t actually reference). There are so many of them that it’s hard to read and see what I have. If I don’t actually read and use these, there is no purpose to keeping them.
  3. Digital and periodicals reading list. I think every so often I need to ask myself which blogs are adding value to my life. I have sorted through the blogs and news I read and put them in three categories: weekly, monthly, and no. The sites that more frequently produce content (or produce more content less frequently) that I find worthwhile to read are categorized for weekly reading. I found that most of the blogs I read don’t have posts that often, so I could probably read them monthly. Then there are blogs that I find are not worth spending time on, either because the posts are boring or I have lost interest in the blog.
  4. I could do what Maja did: “I made a list (yes, an actual list) of what’s important to me, and gradually peeled away the things that didn’t make the cut. Then I spent more time on the things that were actually on that list instead.” I think that is basically minimalism. Which is great.
  5. Clothing. I think the capsule wardrobe didn’t work for me because I didn’t have enough clothing to build a capsule wardrobe. Over the summer I bought a bunch of clothes (that didn’t meet the ethical standards I set at the beginning of tenth grade…another topic I want to post about…but since tenth grade I have seen that ethical fashion and sustainability are a lot more complex than I wanted them to be) that fit style guidelines I have been working on throughout high school. The other day I wore an outfit that I was not used to (and disliked at first) for a certain occasion, but I actually liked it a lot better than what I usually wear. So I see my style shifting yet again. (Or maybe it is always shifting.)
  6. Food. I need to learn how to cook. Again. I suppose I can actually cook, but it’s scary. Things burn or get all mushy or spill all over the place…And I want to start taking specific, feasible steps* to cut down on the amount of meat I consume, because that is the one of the most effective lifestyle changes a person can make to reduce their carbon emissions**. (*I tried to phase out CAFO meat and tell my parents to do the vague thing of cooking “less meat” a few years ago, after reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food Rules, and Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,  but I didn’t have a solid plan. So it was like I wasn’t even doing it.) (**According to William MacAskill in Doing Good Better, the most important lifestyle choices for carbon footprint reduction are reducing meat intake, reducing travel, and reducing electricity and gas usage. MacAskill then goes on to explain that there may be a more cost-effective strategy to reduce one’s carbon footprint–through donating to Cool Earth–but that one may want to reduce meat consumption to help animals. And it’s still more complicated than that.) I also want to eat more local.
  7. Work habits. Single-tasking, deep work and deep breaks. Do all the things they tell you to do in Learning How to Learn (great course, by the way!).

Maybe this wasn’t exactly an interesting post. But I need to start somewhere. There were a lot of subtopics within this post that I may write about in future posts. Thanks for reading, and don’t get lost in all the trash*!

-Pearl

* literally–in the world. literally–under the bleachers. metaphorically–of society’s lies and contradictions. metaphorically–all the mean things people may be doing.

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