Friday, June 24, 2011

Floor & Fridge & Health & Hygiene

My father-in-law installed new flooring in my husband's childhood bedroom. It used to have a fire-engine-red carpet that my husband picked out himself - when he was 3 years old! The new floor (woodgrain laminate) looks great. But Dad didn't want to put anything back in the room! At all! Mom said that he had kept it completely empty for two weeks, and she finally convinced him to let her put the Christmas decorations inside the closet. He even wanted to keep the closet empty, he was enjoying his hard work & beautiful empty space so much! I don't blame him.

I cleaned our fridge last night. I only had to throw out one thing, a HUGE jar of "apple butter" (why do they call it butter?) that had expired with probably only 1/2 cup taken out of it. Goes to show...economy size is not always the best choice, even if it's cheapest per unit! (I know that now, but I didn't two years ago when I bought it) But I wiped down all the surfaces, lined up every item with the label facing out. And I kept wanting to look at it, haha, admire my work. But keeping the fridge open is much more foolish than keeping a bedroom empty!

In other news, you know that coconut oil deodorant recipe that's been practically viral on the internet recently? Well it SERIOUSLY works. I made Kaden smell the pits of the shirt I wore all day yesterday, and they smelled like NOTHING. It's nothing short of a miracle!

I've had success with homemade deodorant. I also have had success with the "no 'poo" haircare method. I washed my hair with nothing but water or dry arrowroot powder from Feb 9 (the very beginning of my interest in minimalism) until June 20. I decided to wash it, finally, because I became concerned that it was contributing to my allergies, and I was afraid it might smell bad to people who are unfamiliar with natural body odors. On Monday morning I washed with a paste of baking soda and Dr. Bronner's. It made my hair so fluffy!! I'll probably do that a couple times a month now, for those reasons.

Due to my successes with natural hygiene (and man, is it less expensive than "beauty products"!!), and due to my growing distrust of the medical institution/industry, I'm going to be switching to a naturopathic doctor, and trying to learn to manage my asthma and allergies through homeopathic methods. I read about something called the Buteyko breathing method, and I'm really excited to learn more and practice it. If I can manage my asthma by a breathing exercise, I will be so fucking thrilled!!

So that's what's going on with me. Kaden just asked me, across our desks at work, "So, next summer, are we going to get rid of all our possessions and take an RV to Zion National Park?" I was like, "No, we're just going to take a vacation to Zion National Park. But we can definitely get rid of more possessions! I'm into that!"

For about the last month or so, maybe a little longer, I'd loosened my grip on clutter clearing, feeling a little disillusioned with the idea of minimalism. I'm still not absolutely sure that I know what minimalism is, and I needed a break to examine my everyday relationship with the stuff I still had. Now I am easing back into it. I bought some new curtains for our bedroom. Since we moved in in October, we've had red sheers over the standard dirty-white blinds. I switched them to a barely-off-white, and they open up the room SO MUCH. I know buying NEW stuff is somewhat against the principles of clutter clearing and minimalism, but it was necessary to enjoy the space fully. I also moved some furniture in the livingroom, switched the loveseat and the record shelf, which made it really cozy, and also opened it up!

This isn't the greatest picture, but basically the loveseat is facing the window now,
where it was perpendicular to it before, and now the record shelf is fully accessible.

So I'm really happy, and had a HUGE breakthrough using Nonviolent Communication, and I'm so excited about it! This gets a little personal, but I found out among other things that Kaden really needs me to make decisions for myself, without asking his opinion or worrying about whether my choice is the same as his choice. I truly hadn't realized the extent to which I did that, or realized how that shifts responsibility for my choices onto him. I feel very happy and liberated and I am exercising my ability to make decisions already.

And I'm reading in the sun and riding my bicycle as much as I can.


Robin said...

About buying the curtains...I call that spending your resources for something you value (a clean, light-filled room). I love minimalism but sometimes it seems like there's a huge guilt trip laid on anyone who dares to pick up a pair of window-length sheers! Good job.

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