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Posts Tagged ‘hobby’

I know the main mantra of decluttering is ‘keep only what you need or use’ the problem is I have developed a lot of needs. 

Already I can see the improvement in my life from doing this challenge. Last night I started a Latin Dance class! I first took dance classes at the beginning of 2008 (that was where I meet mi amor) unfortunately we didn’t keep going, ‘life got in the way’. From that time I had a pair of pretty black satin dance shoes that had never been worn. This challenge brought them out of the cupboard and reminded me that dance is really something I want in my life. I’m so happy.

Zen Habits wrote today about the difference between simplicity and minimalism. Pretty much, minimalism goes all the way. And I’d call living with only 100 things very minimal so I am taking his definition to heart:

…how is minimalism different? It’s basically an extension of simplicity — not only do you take things from complex to simple, but you try to get rid of anything that’s unnecessary. All but the essential.

So I’ve discovered on this journey that dance is essential, now I have to resift my list of 211 things and purge anything that’s unnecessary – find the gold – find my essentials.

Out:

– baking soda face scrub (I can always use the kitchen stash if I want an at-home spa treatment)

– brown thongs (I don’t need two pairs and Mum was desperate for these)

– a detox book and an exercise book (I still like these books; they pass the smile test, but a friend at work is keen to get healthy and I don’t use them i.e they’re not essential, so I’m gifting them to her.)

Items: 211

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While I was visiting Madrid in 2006 I noticed a lot of girls wearing leopard print shoes – it was love at first sight, and by the end of the day I had a pair of my own. A few months ago I finally wore through the sole of one shoe and I’m embarrassed to say I stuck a piece of sticky tape over the hole to get through the after work walk to my car.

Normally I’d just get new soles put on but unfortunately these were a cheap pair of shoes. The sole is a kind of foam (oh so comfy) and I can’t see how a shoemaker would separate it from the equally cheap inner-sole. They kinda pass the smile test, they are great to wear and always look good under jeans and black capris. But, a few minutes ago I gave myself an ultimatum; fix them or throw them.

I based the final decision on their overall shabbiness. If I’m only going to have 30 items of clothing they better be good; in quality, in wearability and in looks and these ballet flats, with their scuffs and mangled bows, just didn’t make the cut so out they went.

Also out; a half painted canvas. Going with yesterday’s flow – that painting isn’t a practical ‘hobby’ for me – I have stopped kidding myself that I’m ever going to finish the canvas. So into the bin it went, another tiny weight off my shoulders.

Items: 291

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I’m an artist. I know it, I can feel it in my bones.

My soft spot is paintings, especially colourful acrylic ones and my favourite styles are contemporary Australian aboriginal and Cuban naïve style. (See below)

When I was studying for my business degree in Melbourne, Australia, I was luckily enough to work for  Sotheby’s International, one of the world’s premium art auction houses. There my eye quickly became tuned to beautiful pieces and excellent technique.

My eye also quickly picked up that I sux as a painter, I can’t really put it any more eloquently than that. This is unfortunate but its just the way it is. I guess I could practice for years until I can produce something of quality but the journey would be a painful one. I learnt to see the freedom and joy of the artist visible in the brushstrokes of their work, I learnt to see when a painting was forced or painted without soul (often occurs when an artist keeps repainting a popular work). It was a hard lesson, but then I came to see art in many other mediums; gardening, sewing, cooking the list is endless when it is work with passion and I opened my eyes to other pursuits;

One of these is cheese making, another is Spanish.

My 100 thing list has made me see that these passions are important enough to rank high on the list, but like most people, I often don’t make time for them. But what is life about if not for doing the things you love? Why own these things if I’m not going to use them, and use them often? So this morning when I woke up I raced to the kitchen and make two batches of Italian Ricotta cheese. Watching the milk curdle into whey is astonding – it’s magic. It makes me happy to create something, and then it makes me happier still when I get to eat it.

So I’ve decided to make space (and free up the guilt of not using these things) by gifting my paint sets and paint brushes to my Mum. She has just taken some art classes while on holiday in Cyprus and loves it. Again, it feels great that these resources are going to someone who wants and needs them and not sitting in my cupboard.

What hobbies are you holding onto that don’t suit your current lifestyle? How can you free up your life (physical and mental) so you have space for the things you truly are passionate about?

Items: 293

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Yes. I just checked my rules. And under the last rule (make it up as you go along), I’ve decided that hobbies will count as one thing each.

One of my favourite personal belongs is my cheese making kit. A 2008 birthday present from Mi Amor. It is filled with all sorts of goodies: baskets, cheese cloth, recipe book, sterile containers that look so professional and fun stuff like wax and mould.

This collection is perfect. No excess.

So Peaceful living (thanks for your comment) my answer is: a collection of supplies can be one item if it has already been pared done to the perfect ‘enough’ point.

*to find out about the magic ‘enough’ point you should read: Your Money or Your Life.

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