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Monthly Archives: January 2018

people watching

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Everybody people watches, in one way or another. Once upon a time a friend and I would sit on a bench at the beach with our morning coffee and watch people passing by. We sat drinking our coffee and as each group neared we concocted outlandish stories based on the impressions of what we saw. It wasn’t mean-spirited in any way. It was more an expansion of what we might think if we had simply walked by them on the street.

I don’t make up stories anymore, well not really, but now I want to know the story. I want to know the 5 W’s of their daily lives. It’s more because I’m curious and just a tad nosy. Now as I sit passively, keenly taking note of details, I wonder. It’s what I do out of habit more than entertainment.

Yesterday an Asian man sat across from me wearing a mustard coloured jacket and heavy boots. Both seemed like were far too big for him. He’s doing that obnoxious man spreading thing and beside him sits a giant bag (doubly bad). He would be what someone would call nondescript perhaps; a little mussed with a receding hairline and thick glasses. He held his hands in a strange manner and it immediately piqued my curiosity. Then he pushed the glassed up his nose and I caught a flash of colour on his thumbs. A little while later he checked his watch and I saw all his nails were painted a deep blood red. Then as he had before he tucked his fingers into a fist, tucking in his thumbs into his hands, hiding his nails and he became just another person riding the train. And there was me on the other side of the aisle, still wanting to know why. A phrase popped into my head “what’s your story morning glory?”.

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paring down

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water-2045469_960_720At the beginning of January I decided to do a lot of things. More exercise is perpetually on that list along with a host of other resolutions of sorts. This year I decided to work toward decluttering and living smaller so I joined the #MinimalistChallenge2018 Minimalist game knowing full well it was going to be difficult. I also didn’t have a person to play against so it was just simply a challenge.

I’m sentimental in a great many ways and it extends to belongings. If I’ve carried things with me, moved them many times they’ve almost become an extension of myself somehow and I am reluctant to let go. Blue glass, boxes, pictures, a variety of doodads and whatnots. Look around and my apartment and you can see testament to that.

I was very gung ho and cast a baleful eye around my house looking for items to shed. I knew I can well live without or I am hanging onto a multitude of items “just in case” or in the event “i might need” it. For instance, I own a a veritable rainbow of scarves, purchased in crazy deals at one of those chain stores or discovered at thrift stores, even gifts I’ve gladly received, but I never wear them, not all of them. I have a few favourites I rotate through and there are a bunch in a fancy box by my front door. I also have a special scarf place in my bedroom and it contains seasonal scarves, the warm and cozy ones or ones not as popular as others.

So the premise of the game is that you throw away, donate or otherwise give away the number of items of the day: the first day you get rid of one thing and the second, two, the third 3 and so on. Every day I diligently sifted through different storage boxes and closets and stowaway places to triumphantly comply with the rules of the game. Every day it got a little more difficult until day 19 when I decided I couldn’t go any further, then on day 20 I managed to push it just a little further. It’s day 21 and I just have to tap out. Perhaps it’s just a little too ambitious and cuts to close to the bone for me. I’m not ready to live that simply just yet. I like to have some amount of doodads and colour around me. I like boxes of all varieties and shapes. I collect them, I’m going to allow myself to be a collector of some amount of things. Technically I lost and failed at Minimalist Game , not miserably however so I’m going to cut myself a break. I learned. I keep what I need and some amount of what I really don’t. Balance. Some clutter is quite alright, as long as it’s kept in check and I think that’s the most important thing.

Easy like…

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I went for a walk this morning, not willingly. I had to force myself out of the house. The sun is still hiding behind a thick layer of grey and I wanted nothing more than to curl up into the softness of a blanket and begin binge watching something. I went before my second coffee or crosswords or any distractions could give me an excuse to put it off or not go at all. At first it was just going to walk around the block to say I’d done something but I forced myself down to the sea wall. My hands thrust in my pockets I passed groups of eager runners and the occasional dog walker as the clouds dispensed a pit pat of misty rain. I managed 25 minutes of striding with some purpose before looping around back toward home. As I neared the paper box I realized the paper’s not published on Sunday although the happy reward was that someone had left the display paper behind. I’ll get some brain exercise as well. Look at me go.

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