Posts Tagged ‘Sydney’

Top 5 little luxuries

3 December 2013

Regular readers of this blog (both of you!) may be aware that I’ve been oscillating between living in Melbourne and Sydney. This oscillation (I do like that word!) will be continuing: I’m moving back to Sydney in about a fortnight (that’s two weeks for the North Americans among us), then returning to Melbourne at the beginning of March, in time to commence my doctorate. So my nomadic lifestyle shows no sign of abating, at least for the next few months.

As a result, most of my stuff is in storage at various places, which leads to the burning question: how much stuff do I really need? As it turns out, my peripatetic existence (oooh, there’s another nice word, peripatetic. I’m on a roll today!) — ahem, my peripatetic existence has been marvellous for my minimalism. How much crap do I really need? Even less than I thought.

Not everything that’s in storage will be purged. I have several coats, scarves and gloves that are staying — it’s just that there’s absolutely no point in taking them with me to Sydney. Especially in the heat of summer. (Winter was on a Tuesday there this year.) And I have a funky retro vase from the 70s, all white and terracotta swirls that is staying, but I’m not moving it until absolutely necessary.

The surprising turns are that things that I Absolutely. Cannot. Do. Without. They seem like luxuries, but here are a few items that help me maintain some vague semblance of sanity:

  • Singing bowl. Meditation has been linked to health benefits: try here, here and here for links. And there are more flavours of meditation than there are of ice cream: if you don’t like raspberry ripple, go for chocolate chip. My personal favourite is using a singing bowl, and I have a small one that’s portable enough to travel with me in a cabin bag.
  • Essential bath oil. Especially while I’m travelling or living a (wait for it…) peripatetic lifestyle, it’s just a little luxury. I’m fond of blends with a bit of vetiver or patchouli, and never, ever anything artificial. I don’t want my bath smelling like cheap air freshener, oh no no no. I’m on a budget; I can only afford the best. šŸ™‚
  • Tea. Good tea. Seriously good tea. Brewed from leaves, so yes, a small teapot is an essential item. I currently have a high quality one with laser-cut strainer, which works because I brew rooibos which is really fine, but I’m looking for something a bit more lightweight.
  • Chocolate. Again, the good stuff. Thankfully good chocolate is becoming more readily available in Australia, although the hot and humid climate in most of the country still makes transporting it a challenge.
  • Cuff links. Small, portable, adds a dash of colour and fun. I’m planning to get about five pairs, without any qualms of guilt, because I’ll use them all. Cuff links always add something.

Those are my top 5 little luxuries — what are yours?

What if things go right?

25 October 2013

I have a confession to make: several, in fact.

Firstly, I’ve been a terrible blogger. THAT much is obvious. Even after a gap of several months, I haven’t yet resumed my good habit of blogging every Tuesday, which I did last year (including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, no less). So I’m a few days late, trying to get my blog (and my life!) back on track.

Secondly, I’ve been a terrible minimalist. Well, not that terrible: my room is a bit messy. And while normally I would tidy it up quickly, I haven’t for the last few weeks; I made a start yesterday, and I may well do some more tonight.

And lastly, my life hasn’t exactly gone to plan: I didn’t plan to get gall bladder disease, lose my job, and seriously look at moving back to Melbourne. The last few months have been like a bad trip (literally: this one went for over 900 kilometres!), and it’s the most natural thing in the world for me to exclaim that all is not well, have a little pity party, and just take to my bed. For about a fortnight. (That’s two weeks for North American readers.) Which is exactly what I did.

Time for a reframe.

My friendĀ Daniel G. Taylor posted the question on Facebook “what if things go right?”. That is, when everything seems to be going badly, it may just be the universe’s way of unfolding something absolutely delicious. What if things go right? What if things were going right, right now? What if things were unfolding perfectly, according to a plan that I can’t quite make out right now, but that everything was not only going to be alright, but better than ever?

Mike Dooley has a similar idea, which he calls pronoia: theĀ belief that the universe is actively conspiring on your behalf. (It’s the exact opposite of paranoia, by the way.) And what if a belief in pronoia, that the universe is actively conspiring on your behalf, was actually enabling the universe to actively conspire on your behalf? And what if I could ride that wave?

So I decided to go down the pronoia route this afternoon. Looking on the job sites, I found a job that I’m abundantly qualified for in Melbourne (O Melbourne, how much I have missed you. A kind of a weird thing for a Sydneysider to say, but truthfully, I get Melbourne.) And jobs with my strange set of qualifications are not exactly common. I could go back, complete my doctorate, and research what I am passionate about.

And the money will come. I’m still not totally sure howĀ yet, but in a pronoic universe, it does, as long as you accept the universe’s gracious bounty. So far I’ve just had over $17,000 worth of debt cleared, so I’m on the right track.

So — what if everything was working out spectacularly, deliciously right???