Turning 30- and Adulting?

I’ve turned thirty recently.

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I’m shocked over the fact that thirty years have passed so quickly, and overwhelmed by the expectations of being a grown-up.

Most millennials would relate, I don’t feel like a thirty-year-old, at all. I rather feel like I needed to do something before I hit thirty, and I just skipped it.

Like adulting!

Come to think of it, what does being an adult mean?

And like most millennials, I googled it, and it gave me many different definitions.

The most common definition is the combo of joining the workforce, getting married, and having kids. Let me think… I’ve been earning money since I was nineteen, and I got married four years ago. I don’t have any kids yet, but I don’t feel like an adult at all.

Another one is giving up the impulsive, childish decisions and becoming more serious.

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Even as a kid, I was just too sensible not to make any rushed, impulsive decisions. Yet I am very decisive, once I make up my mind, I fully support my decision.

But if adulting means being more serious and losing your ability to have fun, then I guess I’ll never grow up. I got a warning from my colleagues not to laugh and talk loudly in the office just the other day! And I wasn’t goofing around, I was just telling my coworker how fun qualitative research is. For some people, work is never supposed to be fun I guess.

Another popular perception is that adulting means being able to lie easily. Okay, I will never be able to do that. Even when someone tells me to keep a secret, I blush and give it away. You shouldn’t tell me any secrets because I turn into a five-year-old when it comes to lying and hiding stuff.

This one I like: Feeling responsible for the world and society. By this definition, I have always been an adult.

What about this? Getting lonely. This is surprisingly a very common perception. For me, though, my adolescence has been my loneliest period in life. I couldn’t connect to anyone except for my journal and books. I’m really grateful that I’ve been surrounded by the loveliest people during my young adult life.

Understanding you can’t have it all, losing your confidence, another person wrote. This is just the opposite for me, too. As a kid and teenager, I lacked self-confidence. I was even anxious for asking for things from my parents. My self-esteem, and also confidence in life grew in years.

Maybe this is why I don’t feel like an adult because I haven’t lost my confidence yet, in fact, I’ve just found it.

Or it may be because I don’t fret on the mistakes I’ve made, or others have made. I can laugh about them and go on with my day. Mistakes by which standards, anyway. There are no mistakes in the universe.

You could say life hasn’t shown you the bad side yet. Of course, it has. I’ve surely seen more than some of you, and less than some others. It’s all part of being a human, and thanks to all experiences, I am strong today.

If being an adult means losing the love of life and the ability to laugh, feeling entitled to judge people without empathizing, or just talking about “serious” topics, no thanks, I’ll pass. But if it means taking the responsibility for yourself and the world at large, then I’ve always been one. Maybe that’s why I don’t feel different.

What about you? Do you feel like an adult? What’s your definition of adulthood?

 

Four Ways to Ground Yourself and Connect to the Earth More Deeply

October was a crazy month for me because basically, nothing happened!

(Bu yazının Türkçesi için tıklayınız: Topraklanma Nedir: Kendimizi Nasıl Topraklayabiliriz?)

I’ve been living in Singapore on a dependant’s pass, which means we are here for my husband’s job, and Singapore government doesn’t let a dependant’s pass holder start a job (or change one, in my case) before making all kinds of inquiries possible. They even called my university to check if my diploma was genuine! This process, called a Letter of Consent (and no actual letter in sight) or LOC for short, took nearly a month. There goes my October.

I was thinking that I could use this time very efficiently. I would meditate every day, catch up with my readings, declutter and deep clean the apartment, and many many projects. But waiting beside the telephone every day for good news, my days sort of melted away and I basically did “nothing” for a month.

Even when I started doing something, something inside me was restless and didn’t let me finish it. The best way to put it into words is this: I felt there is a body living this life, but I (or my soul, or the observer, or whoever this is) had no right over this body. My hands are mine, and they aren’t. It was like something was out of sync, just like watching a 3D movie without glasses.

The failure to stay in the Now was causing these out-of-sync feelings probably. My previous job was stressful (which job isn’t) and the anticipation for my new job was making me impatient. It kept me on the edge of my phone, and it made me anxious.

While I was watching the mood changes in myself, I was telling myself: “Pelin, how weak you are… You let the outside affect your inside. What you’ve been reading, experiencing, learning hasn’t made any single change on you. You understand things on the mental level, but not internalizing them. You miss the Now because you worry so much about the future.” The rabbit hole of self-blame.

Thankfully, I started working at the end of October and stopped tearing myself apart for a while. But the new job situation was much worse! Burned-out teachers, unhappy students… The first week all I could think about was this: You need to ground yourself.

Now I don’t even remember reading about grounding, and I didn’t know the meaning of the word, either. But still, I kept repeating it like a mantra through the week: You need to ground yourself.

At last, I turned in and googled it. Turns out, grounding has two meanings, first, neutralizing the electricity, second, neutralizing the energy of the body.

And I learned, that was indeed what I needed. I wish I’d learned this a month earlier, but everything happens for a reason. That “lost” time was probably an important period for me.

When do we understand we need grounding?

  1. The mood changes I was experiencing was a clear sign I needed to ground myself. You could also feel as if you are in a dream, and you are not exactly you who is doing things.
  2. If you crave for a certain type of food. This could be a healthy vegetable, for example, or not so healthy food like chips, chocolate or coffee. The reason you are craving might be because these foods can help you to ground yourself. But before indulging in a whole box of Pringles (I’ve been there), if you try to ground yourself using a healthier alternative, it could be more beneficial for you.
    Still, if you end up eating food that is considered unhealthy, don’t worry too much.
    Lots of sources point out that root veggies like potatoes, yam, beets, carrots and the like can help you with grounding. I crave for raw red onions sometimes, what about you?
  3. When you feel like people or places are sucking your energy. I certainly feel this way each time I step into a mall (and certain ones drain more of my energy). Especially when they are crowded in the weekends, it’s unbearable for me.
    And I’ve noticed that although I walk for 5k in nature, I don’t feel as tired as walking 1k inside a shopping mall.
    I had a similar experience in my previous workplace too. You know why I quit my first teaching job in Singapore? Cause the classes didn’t have windows! Okay, this was only one of the reasons, but it was a big one. The classroom felt like a jail cell, and the surroundings of the school building were just beautiful (an old church on one side, a park and a garden with a heritage rubber tree on the other sides). But the windows are not on the classroom walls but in the hallways! Both the students and I felt like we were choking.

How Can We Ground Ourselves?

  1. The first and the easiest way: Be one with nature. Walk on grass barefoot, walk in nature, touch flowers, touch trees. Your mood heightens instantly.matthew-henry-25568-unsplash
  2. Meditation and visualization. Imagine yourself as a tree and imagine you have roots going deeper in the ground. You can also do guided meditations if you just search using the term “grounding meditation” on YouTube.
  3. You could eat feel-good food for a quick fix. Some people also say meat is one of the grounding foods but opinions differ on this. It certainly is one for my husband though. 🙂

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    Root vegetables are said to be great grounding foods.
  4. Gardening. Playing with soil has a great soothing and grounding effect on us. If you live in a tiny apartment like I do, you can still adopt tiny plants or even grow your own herbs. I love growing basil, for example.
    Gardening is also a great way of grounding for people who have little access to outdoor gardens or parks.

What’s your favorite way of grounding? Mine is definitely touching trees and flowers. Watching the patterns on tree trunks, realizing they are different each time, watching how the seasons change trees is one of my favorite things to do. But sometimes I get stuck in my mind, and I need to remind myself again and again.

I think grounding is all about realizing you and the whole world around you, which you count as outside, is one and the same. My own intention of being and the whole intention of the universe is the same. Grounding just helps us remember we are one, we are a part of nature, we are not a fragment, we are whole.

Next time you feel like you are stuck, out of sync, or uninspired, try one of the techniques, and tell me how it works for you. 🙂

If you liked this article, you can pin this image below and help me spread the message.

 

four ways to ground yourself

Make your own deodorant- you’ll never go back to commercial deodorants!

Can antiperspirants really cause cancer or Alzheimer’s? Or, to be more exact, can aluminum be absorbed in the skin so as to cause cancer or Alzheimer’s?

From the scientific perspective, the answer is no. There is no conclusive research that clearly link aluminum intake through deodorants and diseases. There are some studies that aluminum levels were higher in Alzheimer’s patients, but we’re not sure if they were absorbed through deodorants, or other sources. Again, in another study,  women who had breast cancer were asked if they used an antiperspirant, and most of them did. But again, who doesn’t? There are so many factors to cancer, you just can’t do controlled research.

However, if you ask most supporters of Alternative (or Holistic) medicine, the answer is yes.

Well I am not for or against either of those, because I know most medical research is not possible unless you have a big sponsor (if you are curious go and check out what happened to the author of Pure, White and Deadly), and the Internet offers so many alternative medicine solutions by unauthorized people, it is unsafe to trust either sources of knowledge. So it is like a Russian roulette.

But I know for one I am allergic to most commercial skincare, especially because of the artificial colorants and aroma.

Thinking about the risks, I tried to stay away from it, and I’ve had some unpleasant experiences. Well I tried crystal deodorants (which were aluminum salts anyway), dermo-cosmetics, and some commercial spray or stick deodorants but the result was the same. They did not prevent the smell. They made it horrible actually and I sometimes felt really ashamed in public. If I had left my underarms alone it could have been better, at least the odor would be more authentic!

In my trial and error for three years, I have found  two perfect, inexpensive, harmless methods to prevent body odor (you will still sweat, and maybe we just need to accept sweating is healthy).

1) Essential Oils

lemon essential oil, natural deodorant

My friend told me one day she just uses lemon as a deodorant, she rubs it on her underarms and she is fine all day. I was hesitant to try real lemons, but I found just two drops of lemon essential oil very, very effective. I used it for over a year, and no unpleasant odor whatsoever! It hasn’t caused any irritation either (and I am super sensitive). It’s much more practical to carry and apply than the actual lemon, and ridiculously frugal. You just use a couple of drops per day. A 20 ml bottle lasts about a year.

I have also tried diluted lavender and violet essential oils. Their scent is not as vague as lemon, so it’s not a good idea not to use any perfume if you opt for floral essential oils. Their scent lasts for the whole day. And it might be worth trying to use other EOs you have at home. They may work wonders 🙂

2) Coconut Oil and Baking Soda Deodorant- My Favorite!

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After moving to Singapore, essential oils were just not enough because I was perspiring like crazy (perks of tropical climate, crazy humid all day!). So I had to find another way, and I finally tried the coconut oil deodorant.

I convinced my husband too, because even his aluminum-filled, commercial deodorant doesn’t work here! And he loves the switch, we’ve been using it for months and we’re never going back!

If you live in a dry-ish, mild climate the essential oils will work just fine. But if you perspire more than normal, and live in a humid area, then this is just for you.

The best thing about this recipe is that you can play with the ingredients as you wish. Baking soda might be abrasive for some and cause irritations, in that case, you can reduce the amount or skip it completely.

If you sweat like hell, then you can add more baking soda and skip starch too. Start with a small amount at the beginning, and go for the ratio you are most comfortable with.

DIY Deodorant Recipe

2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp baking soda
2 tbsp starch (corn, tapioca, doesn’t matter really)

optional: essential oil of your choice (lemon, lavender, orange etc.)

Directions:

If solid, melt the coconut oil first, and mix all ingredients.
Move to a jar with lid. Can be kept at room temperature.

Let me know if you try one of these awesome alternatives to deodorant. Not only is this way cheaper than commercial deodorants, it is a low-waste alternative too!

My Capsule Wardrobe- Singapore Edition

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As I always say, wardrobe has been the easiest and fastest field of minimalism for me. I can push top 5 if there was a list of the most disorganized people in the world (even after all that decluttering).

Regardless, the wardrobe is the tidiest place in my home, thanks to capsule wardrobe.

When I started decluttering, I said goodbye to bags of clothes. I had been hanging on to clothes from college years. I realized in my first round of declutter that I had a hard time saying goodbye to branded goods, like a Mango sweater that was beyond wear and tear. You can read about my first decluttering adventure here.

What I learned from having a capsule wardrobe?

I always wanted to make a visual layout of my wardrobe, and I said now is the right time. It took some time, but it’s totally worth it. Here’s why.

This layout serves as a visual memory tool for me to see how my style changes over the years. I was shopping with a friend one day, and she pointed out that I like soft, natural colors. I said yes, but I was saying, no, I like vivid colors! inside. Because I was still stuck in my college years and early twenties. I used to wear vivid greens, pinks, reds, purples. And what’s more, I really liked having different colors on.

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this is me in 2010, last year of college. I loved my copper hair, matched it up with green top, pink backpack, red nail polish and I was wearing my favorite sandals that day, in red!

Until a few years ago, I stuck to my jeans- tee style. The dress code was casual in the colleges I worked at, so I said to myself, I’ll always be a jeans and tee girl. When I moved to Singapore, because the dress code in schools here are somewhere between casual and smart (no jeans allowed), I had to adjust my style.

I always had a few dresses in my wardrobe but rarely wore them. Here I try to wear them as often as I can, because they are really airy and in humid Singapore, that really helps. But I struggle with the desire to ride a rented bike on my way home, which I can’t if I wear a dress that day. Biggest struggle ever 🙂

I also learned to LOVE the 3 linen shirts that I have. A bit harder to iron than tees but it gets easier if I iron them while they are still damp.

I bought 8 of the 30 items in Singapore: 2 shirts, 1 t-shirt, 1 dress, 2 pairs of pants, sandals and a backpack (an unused secondhand Anello for just 38 dollars, yum!). And I sold a pair of pants and my no-longer-used North Face backpack for 40 dollars. I really like secondhand shopping in Singapore, will probably write a separate blog post on it. Stay tuned!

As Singapore has a tropical climate, we have the same weather everyday, around 30C degrees, always humid. So no need for a seasonal wardrobe. I really like it on one hand, you don’t need to think about changing your wardrobe and preparing for winter. But I miss cooler weather and autumn on the other hand.

What do I have in my capsule wardrobe?

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Dresses: As I said, I started to wear my already existing dresses more. I was gaining and losing weight over the past months, so it is just easier to wear dresses. I pair them with sneakers or sandals, so they make me seem a bit smarter although I was wearing sneakers.

I had bought the black dress for a wedding ceremony but now I wear it to work too. It’s like my go-to dress for both work and fancy events. I now understand all the fuss about the little black dress!

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Tops:  The biggest change for me in this group is to move from tees to shirts. At least half and half. 🙂

In this year’s capsule I’ve got 3 tees. The black one is from Zara and the white one is from Esprit. Unfortunately both of them lost shape. Even the high quality t-shirts lose their shape and it is really disappointing. The pink one that my mom bought from a local store has proved to be much more durable, which is really very interesting.

I’m recently having a love affair with linen. It’s comfy, it’s both fancy and playful, it’s sustainable, it lasts for a lifetime. What else could a girl ask for? 3 of the shirts are linen, and I cannot get enough of them.

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Pants: I haven’t realized I have six pair of pants until I decided to make this layout. I certainly don’t need this much, but because of this losing-gaining weight thing, if one fits, the other doesn’t. So I can’t say goodbye to any of these yet.

2 of these are blue jeans, which honestly I haven’t worn 6 times in the last 6 months. In Turkey, jeans are usually okay in summers, but in Singapore, hell no. It simply was a bad choice to bring jeans here, but as they are high quality, they stay.

The Uniqlo culotte pants are my favorite bottoms in this wardrobe, I wear them all the time when I’m not working. The other three are work pants, which honestly is enough.

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Shoes: All of the shoes I own except black sandals are at least 2 years old. When I started working in Singapore, I bought some flats but they ruined my soles, so I sold the expensive one and just threw away the cheap one, it went in to a terrible state in four months (never buying cheap shoes again!). Back to sneakers!

The Singaporean teachers I work with sometimes tease me when they see I come to work in sneakers: “Are you going jogging afterwards?” “Your shoes look comfy!” I get the sarcasm, but I don’t mind. 🙂 pelo gardrob aksesuarlar

Accessories:  I’ve got a backpack, a  shoulder bag and a sling bag. The Anello backpack, which I bought secondhand, is everything I ask for. It’s spacey, it’s got tons of pockets (one for laptop too) and it’s waterproof, very important in Singapore’s rainy weather.

My shoulder is really special for me because I designed it myself. It’s quite plain, but the dimensions and the inner compartments are just perfect for me. My mother-in-law had it sewn by a leather bag tailor (I didn’t know it was a profession, a dying one, to be more precise). It’s one of the best gifts I ever got.

Watches: I love my watches! The first one is a vintage Swatch from 1997. This is one of the earliest gifts from my husband, I believe it was a new year present for 2014. I love the design and the quality. Every time I take this to a Swatch shop to change batteries, shop assistants are amazed and they want to take pictures with it. Little do they know he bought it for less than the brand new Swatches, which are deteriorating in quality.

The second one is a Fossil. I had been eyeing on this for some time, and I grabbed it in a sales two years ago. I recently conditioned it with coconut oil, and it really helped.

Jewelry: I’d already said goodbye to my big collection of jewelry items which are not gold or silver. I have here in Singapore two necklaces with me, but I never wore them. I’ll probably put them in a safe because they have sentimental value and I don’t want to sell them. But I can’t see myself wearing them often in near future.

What have I not included in this list?

Loungewear: 1 home dress, 2 tees, 2 pairs of shorts, 1 set of pajamas

2 pairs of shorts, as I want to sell these and buy a new one.

Training: 1 pair of shorts, 1 pair of yoga pants, 1 tee

Verdict:

Preparing a list and an outlay  has been illuminating for me. I  got to understand my style better, and if I am to shop, it makes me understand what I do and don’t need.

It definitely is not the best wardrobe out there, but it reflects Pelin in 2018 perfectly. I recommend it to you to try preparing a list or a visual of your wardrobe as well, I had a lot of fun preparing it!

p.s. As a person who learned how to use a computer in Windows 95, I was of course going to prepare this visual using Paint and Word. So forgive me about not-the-best picture quality. 😉

Sunday Quote #14 Pazar Alıntısı #14

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Basitlik en üst düzeydeki başarıdır. Devasa miktarda notayı çaldıktan ve çaldıktan sonra, sanatın baş tacının basitlik olduğu ortaya çıkıyor.

Frederic Chopin

Bu haftanın alıntısı benim için çok önem taşıyor. İlk olarak, büyük saygı duyduğum, dinlemekten bıkmadığım, normalde klasik müzik konusunda orta derecede bilgi sahibi olmama rağmen, onu çok fazla dinlediğim için icraları arasındaki farkı anlayabildiğim, ayrıca İdil Biret’in ellerinden de canlı olarak dinleme fırsatı bulduğum Chopin’in de basitliği üst amaç olarak görmesi beni çok ama çok mutlu etti (of ne kadar uzun bir cümle oldu bu).

İkinci olarak ise, yarın 52 küçük değişikliğin ikinci haftası başlıyor. Bu haftanın konusu müzik. Hem birkaç tavsiyede bulunacak hem de sizlerden tavsiye talebinde bulunacağım. Fakat bugünlük size  Brigitte Engerer’in nefis icrası ile Chopin’i sunayım. İyi Pazarlar.

Mini Interview Series- Sheila from Practigal Blog

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I have this mini interview series in Turkish, where I interviewed two of the well-known bloggers in the Turkish minimalist blogging community, Turk Isi Minimalizm and Basit ve Mutlu Yasam (hopefully I’ll translate them to English one day), but today I’m happy to have had a great interview with Sheila, the creator of Practigal Blog. I truly enjoyed reading about her story, I hope you do too! So here you are.

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1. To begin with, how did you start your minimalism journey? 

I began my journey to minimalism years ago before I really knew what minimalism was. I knew that if I wanted to live a life I actually loved, I needed to remove the things that were holding me back from that. At the time, I was stressed, overwhelmed, and tired all of the time. I slowly began decluttering my belongings around 7 years ago, as well as simplifying my schedule. Over time, the amount of things I wanted to have around me diminished. Decluttering turned out to be a repeated process and still is.

A couple of years ago, I discovered minimalism. Giving what I was already doing a name really just gave me a greater sense of purpose and resolve. It was amazing to read other minimalists’ stories and see how much it had benefited them. This was how I knew I was on the right track to living the life I truly wanted.

2. So you were already ahead of game. Moving on to my next question, how did being a parent affect your way of life?

Being a parent who was pursuing a more minimal life made it so that I needed to be flexible and understanding of others. I needed to be gentle in my approach. I decided that I would nurture minimalism in them the same way I would anything else…slowly over time. For me, that was about helping switch their mindset from “I need more” to “I want more”, and finally, to “I have more than enough.” Each of my children is different and has reacted uniquely to my conversations with them. I try, more than anything, to lead by example, and I’m seeing that they are coming around and seeing the value of a more minimal lifestyle.

3. What are your criteria when it comes to deciding on what to keep or declutter (like “The Minimalists” always say value, or Marie Kondo emphasizes what brings joy)?

My approach to decluttering is a combination of both considering an item’s value and personal worth. I pay close attention to my initial reaction when I look at something in my home. What emotion did it spark in me? The amount I am willing to part with has drastically increased overtime using this approach. It allowed me to declutter to the extent that I was ready! I didn’t force more on myself than I could handle. I try to take an honest look at my life currently, and only keep what I am actually loving and using now. If I forgot that I had it, it can go. If it’s always in my way, it can go. If it brings me stress, it can go.

Meet Sheila

3. What kind of changes did you experience after you started living more simply?

Since adopting a more simple lifestyle, I have experienced more calm and more joy! I went from stressed and frazzled all of the time to almost never. In general, I am calm because I don’t take on more than I can reasonably handle. Things I don’t love to do (like cooking and cleaning) aren’t taking over my life. I’ve kept these things as simple as possible so that I have more time and energy for the people and things I DO love. And because of this, I am able to be more present in the moment and truly enjoy my time.
Additionally, I’ve noticed that my mindset has completely changed with what I allow into my life. I am more intentional when I shop, and I actually feel the need to shop a lot less than before. And, I take the time to really think before adding something to my schedule or to-do list. I really consider the value that this activity will add or take away from our family. I think about the true cost of our things, as well as what I may sacrifice when I take on something new.

4. On a similar note, did you notice any other changes related to your habits such as eating, cooking or sleeping?

I’m generally more intentional with my time, so that includes self-care. I practice self-care much more regularly than before because it is part of each of my routines. I pay attention to what I am putting in my body like never before, and I prioritize eating well and moving more. In terms of sleep, I now consistently go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. This consistency has given me so much more energy during the day!

You must practice self-care in order to be healthy and present your best self. Learn how to prioritize self-care, even when you are super busy. Plus, get 20 simple self-care ideas for the busy woman that you can easily add into your routine.
an article on how to practice self-care on Sheila’s blog

5. This sounds really lovely, and something I need to work on as well. And what about your family? Did you get encouragement from family and friends during the decluttering process? Did they become a part of it, or, if they didn’t, how did you choose to react?

I would say that I was definitely alone in my new mindset in the beginning. Most people around me didn’t understand because they generally had the mindset that you work in order to have more (and bigger) things and do more (and bigger) things. Slowly over time, my husband has joined in. He needed to see the value of it first. Once he saw the changes that were happening in our home and with my mood, he was on board completely.

6. What was the easiest and the most difficult item for you to toss at the beginning of your decluttering process? What category would you recommend for beginners?

The easiest item for me to part with in the beginning was items in the kitchen. I cook frequently, but I don’t love it, and I’m not that good at it. I didn’t need a bunch of fancy baking pans and gadgets. They just weren’t getting used. The hardest items for me to part with were gifts. I had so many gifts from our wedding that we still hadn’t used…4 years later. But they were nice things and I felt like I should start using them, so I would keep them. Eventually, these things were parted with as well. It just wasn’t worth it to store them for no real reason anymore.
For beginners, I would recommend a quick sweep of the entire house first. You will probably find items in every room that mean nothing to you or are causing you stress. Next, I would recommend with whatever area is causing you the most stress on a daily basis. Start with that room, and practice maintaining the decluttered room before moving on to the next.

7. That’s great advice actually, and opposite of what I usually read. I loved the part about a quick sweep of the entire house. It’s less challenging for most and doesn’t sound intimidating.

Speaking of decluttering, are there any objects that you feel you will never get rid of? 

There are definitely pictures and keepsakes from my children that I will never get rid of. I don’t have the best memory for some reason, so I need a few things to jog my memory and help me remember old times. Here’s a picture that my my middle daughter drew years ago depicting her dream of opening an art store downtown someday. I don’t think I could ever give this one up, because she still has that same dream today!

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photo credit: Sheila Price

There’s also this figurine that topped our wedding cake. I don’t think I’ll ever part with it as it’s become a part of our home decor.

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photo credit: Sheila Price

8. Do you have any tips for our readers, or anything that makes you say “I wish I’d known this when I started decluttering”?

My biggest piece of advice is to remember that this is YOUR journey. Avoid the temptation to copy what others are doing or compare your progress to theirs. It’s super important that you are making decisions based on the life you are currently living and the life you want to live, so looking around won’t help with that! Only you can know what needs to go in order for you to live the life you’ve always dreamed of! And, only you know what will help you live a life you love. We are all wired differently and have different things that bring us joy and fulfillment.

9. Finally, a more personal question. You also write about being an introvert. Can you explain in a few sentences how you think minimalism can help introverts?

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Photo by Easton Oliver on Unsplash

I believe that minimalism (to some extent) is for everyone! For introverts in particular, minimalism helps with their need to recharge, their ability to be productive, and their desire to make deeper connections with others. A decluttered home filled with only things well-loved serves as a sanctuary for the introvert to recharge after spending time with people. A life that’s uncluttered minimizes distractions so that an introvert can focus better and be their most productive selves. And finally, the choice to prioritize healthy relationships and minimize unhealthy ones allows the introvert to invest in their relationships in order to give them the time and attention they need to continue to grow.
I once again would like to thank Sheila for the delightful answers. I recommend you to check out her blog to read about her experience with minimalism & being an introvert, and to get more tips about simple living.

Sunday Quote #10 / Pazar Alıntısı #10

Bugünkü Pazar Alıntısı İngiliz tasarımcı Vivienne Westwood’dan: “Daha az satın al, iyi seç.

Uzun süre kullan.

Nicelik değil, nitelik.

Herkes gereğinden çok fazla kıyafet alıyor.”

Favorite Place- Humlegården

Weekly photo challenge: Favorite Place

I love parks and gardens, that’s no secret. Wherever I go, the first places on my list are parks and gardens. However, the first park I ever saw on my first trip abroad remains to be my favorite: Humlegården in Stockholm. I had seen an old picture (believe it’s from 1880s) a couple years before I went there, and I used to dream about going there and seeing it myself, the same, now 300-year old trees captured in a 150-year old photograph.

Humlegarden, wintertime, 1880s.
Humlegården , wintertime, 1880s.

Once we arrived in Stockholm, we found that our hotel is only ten minutes walk away from Humlegården, so it’s our first stop in the Scandinavia’s capital. It doesn’t disappoint.

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Humlegården, autumn, 2014.

 

Humlegården, Stockholm
I like to think these are Yoko Ono and John Lennon. For some reason everywhere in Stockholm during that trip, I felt Lennon’s presence.

I’m a park junkie, there are many parks close to my heart, but Humlegården is the dearest of them all.

On being Frugal, Thrifty or Minimalist

I have written about saving money  before, but my minimalism journey didn’t start with the urge to save money, rather with realizing that I have much more than I need, decluttering and becoming more conscious about my shopping habits (besides other habits). Along the way I saw that my debts are gradually melting and I am able to save lots of money. Saving money is a plus but it wasn’t what I initially set out for.

Lately I’ve been seeing lots of posts on social media that go around the topics of being frugal, thrifty and minimalist. Some are trying to live a so-called minimalist lifestyle by just being frugal, some others are just on a no-spend challenge, and so on.  I fully support these attempts – but sometimes without understanding the idea behind minimalism, these challenges can do more harm than good, and may even affect your health.

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What I feel about minimalism is that it’s all about accepting yourself and the micro\macrocosm that you live in. If you are just beginning on the path of self-acceptance, limiting yourself and not buying what you really need may end up in frustration and self-guilt. That’s why I think it’s time to make a distinction between the three terms.

Minimalism is not frugality.

The fact that most minimalists can’t find stuff to spend their money on doesn’t mean they are frugal. The famous Minimalists, Josh and Ryan, like spending money on good coffee wherever they go and they mention going to lots of gigs too. Lots of others forego material goods and enjoy spending money on experiences. So not all minimalists are crazy about saving every last penny.

Minimalism is the art of spending money wisely. There are even discussions on reddit suggesting you need to be rich to be a minimalist. So if you think an item is going to add value to your life, why not spend good money on it? For me, for example, this could be going to places I want to see, theater or concert tickets, a high-quality pair of trousers or a really good chocolate. 🙂 You may also need to spend a lot of money (not all at once but eventually) on a capsule wardrobe that you will use for years. My suggestion is, spend money on things you LOVE. Other than that, just be very cautious about where your money goes to.

When you live more frugally, you also start to question the things you love and need. This may eventually affect your social life or your health even. So while one-week or one-month experiments or challenges are fine (I did one no-buy month back in November 2016 as well), making frugality a life style has nothing to do with minimalism in my opinion. It also can get very boring, you need to go out and spend money sometimes to do things you love (like arts, travel or sports).

Minimalism is not being thrifty.

I’m sorry but it isn’t. What is dangerous about being thrifty is that it can cause a hoarding problem. Imagine you see a big discount on toilet paper, let’s say, 70%. If you are a minimalist, you say, meh, I don’t need it right now, I’ve got plenty to last for six months. If you’re thrifty, though, you can go and buy years’ supply of toilet paper. You save more money than a minimalist too. That is the biggest difference here. While minimalists care more about living in the moment, thrifty people usually think more about the future. I can sometimes be thrifty of course, but at the end of the day what matters is what you choose to spend your money on, not how much you spend.

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At the end of the day what matters is what you choose to spend your money on, not how much you spend.

Money turns into a purpose rather than means if you obsess about how much you spend.

So which one is better?

The answer to this question is another: Which one do I need in my right now? At this stage of your life, what you need may be saving money for a purpose, or just clearing your debts. Then you can be thrifty and even frugal. But if you are financially in a good state, then you can decide which path you would like to take: finding discounts and good deals or living a more simple and minimalist lifestyle. At this stage of my life I’ve been trying to live a lifestyle that is based more on production than consumption, with minimum environmental impact as possible. And I have everything that I need, too. Need is a concept that can have various meanings depending on culture, gender, and individual preferences. So only you can decide on what kind of a lifestyle you need right now.