un-fancy capsule wardrobe

Just when I thought, I am done with organizing my closet and put a freeze on purchasing for 2 years, I came across an interesting website. As I still suffer from excessism (did I just invent this term??, not really, google tells me that there is quite a bit of usage of this term), this website gave me a beautiful idea.

This website un-fancy.com will help me solve my problem in some way – she is a minimalist, fashionista, not an extremist. She has her 37-piece capsule wardrobe for every season. She has a budget and buys her clothes every season if required. Once the season ends, she packs most of them away, roll over to next season or gives it away if they are bit worn out.

I just loved her concept, not that I will follow her 37 piece concept, but I liked the idea of dividing my clothes into seasons. I will take it up once I am done with high-level of de-cluttering around the home.

One step at a time. Just the concept makes me feel good about having to choose from less.

Cleaninggggg

Yes, I am stuck at cleaning the home forever. I just feel like, there is never ending session of organizing, getting rid of stuff and most importantly cleaning. It is exhausting. You might say – what’s the big deal in cleaning isn’t?

For me, the very thought of cleaning home is daunting. I think of 100 things to clean and want to actually deep clean, then in turn it gets delayed for ever. For instance, if I were to clean kitchen this weekend (which I am right now), I need to organize pantry, clean greasy dishes/bottles/stove tops, microwave inside out, fridge inside out, cabinets – re-organize all the dishes, oven – this is in worse condition, thanks to our previous one’s who lived here, it is so dirty that I have been researching quite a bit as to how to handle that. Stove tops are worse. I just couldn’t get the gunk out with my numerous attempts at washing them. Oh.. the cabinet corners are dirty and I need to find a way to clean them and bring back the shine. To top it all, kitchen floor is mostly white, how do you clean linoleum floor eh? I tried bleach, it got better, but it has to be cleaned very regularly.

I took this as an opportunity, to get rid of most of the duplicate dishes. I could not be happier. I tried finding a place and hopefully, I’ll maintain those things in place. I like the clean and clutter free places, but mine seems to be a long way.  I do not know how and why and all it started.. may be it’s just that I feel, most of my weekends go into organizing, re-organizing, cleaning and cycle repeats that stops me from enjoying the summer time doing something that re-rejuvenates me is missing. This is the only topic that I have lately been talking at work, with strangers, neighbors, family, friends. Guess what, of course they are not interested in hearing the same story on repeat from me? I think, dream, live and basically obsessed with cleaning-organizing-leading-a-clutter-free-life. At times, I feel helpless, exhausted, mentally drained and yet I fail to wrap it up fast enough.

I do not even want to talk about living/bed/ storage room.  I am dreaded to even think about tackling them. The problem with me is, I have no artistic vision, I appreciate the homes that are tastefully decorated but I fail in that area. I panic the moment I see the stuff flowing into the home.

Thankfully, I have addressed the closet area, and put a stop to purchasing clothes all together. So, I have a hope.. some day, one day in the near future, I will have a clutter free, organized clean home.

Dear you, I know your homes must be bigger, and have children, or many people in the home – how do you live a relaxed life? how do you manage your chores? I would be interested in hearing your daily/weekly/monthly maintenance activities to have a clean and organized home.

Dissolving anger ? How ?

Does everyone have the ability to solve the problem under any given situation? I have my doubts about myself. If there is a problem, how does a person react?  I do not know how to solve it? I panic and I get defensive and start yelling at them for ruining my time and in turn I become so miserable for longer time interval.

Unfortunately, I only yell at people who are close to my heart and know for sure that they will not hold grudges against me for yelling at them.  I lash out harsh words that really hurt them and later, when I cool down, it hurts me for speaking that way. Well, I can never take my words back. It has already caused the irreversible damage.  Is it not? I often wonder why my emotions in general are so intense.

There is a clear need to find a way to control my anger. I am making someone accountable for my inability to handle a situation or being not prepared well enough to think through scenarios.  Why should I let someone have their impact on me?  I question myself from time to time and yet I cannot stop myself. It is no excuse.  It is the time to learn to find a solution to the problem, than displaying anger by shouting.

The other reason I found is, some of the anger on a person stems from my past interactions, or them being mean to me at one point of time in life (even though they are sweet and nice people now), or used me to their advantage.  I am also angry on myself for certain things from the past. I am stuck there. My best and dearest one suggested me to put things in perspective. The only way to get ahead is to learn to not repeat the same mistake and move forward. Forgive yourself and forgive others that caused you so much pain and be a free spirit. True, but It is easier said than done.

Anger seems to be more damaging mentally. I need a way out and I am determined to find a solution to this recurring problem.

What about you folks? How do you get past your anger if you have such intense emotion? How do you deal with the situation? I really am looking forward to hearing from you that will help me some way to get past and look beyond the anger.

 

The numerous gods

Being born into a Hindu family and with 3 million plus gods to pray for which one would you chose? I am probably aware of less than 25-30 gods over all but the story goes that the time is divided into 4 yugas, the first yuga was called Satya Yuga, it all about being truthful. No one lied, ergo it is said that all humans from that yuga are considered as gods. Probably the population was around 3 million back then. (want to know more about it – click here).

As a kid, I was naturally confused on which god to choose to be my primary one? (like you would have primary healthcare physician) But, then it never really occurred that I pick some one until I came to high school. I would pray Goddess Saraswathi to impart me with knowledge and wisdom, Goddess Lakshmi for wealth, Dhairya Lakshmi for being brave, parvathi for overall strength, so on so forth..But we had only one god frame in our home. We would visit him in Tirupathi. But, we were not that religious people and it was alright. That god existed and we have to pray. So, I just followed what my family would do.

But, when I entered high school, there came a neighbor that came next door who was so much into strictly following religion disciplinary things. She believed “Saibaba“, I was particularly impressed by it that in our area be it a Hindu, Muslim/Islamic or Christian they would go to his temple.  This god has a favorite day as well which I am not sure why this particular day is dedicated for him. I was so influenced by her religious actions, her fasting every thursday, reading his semi-bio-graphy and posting something to shiridi where this person was originated from and receiving prasam in return intrigued me. So I became his devotee, fasting every thursday, going to temple in the evening for aarthi. It was fun, and yet times painful but it also kind of disciplined me by making me rest without craving for any food/activity from outside.

I did so many other such things for different gods at different intervals, and my only purpose was to do well in studies. Somewhere, it grounded me as well. Just praying not studying obviously would not work, the thought of me praying any god at the time of need helped me relax, be at peace in times of difficult or stressful times. I am not sure if the god exists or does not. Just the mere thought of there is some superior power beyond our thinking makes me feel that everything is done as part of greater good. It makes me do my best in my power and for the things that are not in my control, I will leave it to the God (the unknown).

Each and every person in our family had their own favorite god, but collectively we were all devotees and ergo we were disciplined. Which was good to do things on time and had a routine. Going to temple in that mountains also gave me some sense of pleasure. Now, thanks to media showing all the religious activities, temples, priests, horoscopes, astrology – it has only become business and it does not motivate me to visit temple as much as it used to be. Last time, I was in a temple in my home country, the priest was giving his blessings from one hand and with his other hand extended for donations. And the donations were big. I bet he is more rich than any of the devotees visiting. There is nothing wrong with donating, but giving away to priest who is already employed and payed by the government – does this make sense? I feel guilty weather I give or not give to the priest – a catch 22 situation.

So what was your perception growing up? have you believed in any of such things?  What is your take?

Goals

Having goals is one thing and reaching them is altogether a different ball game. I love to have goals; after all they will help you grow as a person.  Some of the goals, that I am planning to achieve in next few months, that I believe will not only change current lifestyle but also makes us more environmental & health conscious person.

Goal 1: Eat fresh home prepared meals.

I have signed up for CSA farm share and I will be receiving bi-weekly organically grown vegetables directly from the farm. I do not have a say on what I would get as part of that package. They all will be fresh and directly from the farm. For people who are not aware of CSA farm share is – it is community supported agriculture, where we pre-pay the farmers to farm their lands. Give the farmers loan and expect fresh veggies in return.

Last year, I tried one bag and it lasted for about 2 weeks. They were mostly green leaf veggies and I had to find ways to make it edible for me.  Also, there is considerable amount of work – the veggies are directly from farm and needs a good wash. It is quite some work.  Plus, the veggies are not only expensive, but will go bad soon, so you are forced to prepare them fresh.

Goal 2: Compost all that can be composted

We have a tiny little back yard, so we sure can make use of this composting.  I need to upgrade my knowledge in this area.  There is a long way to go.

Goal 3: Produce very little trash

In my earlier posts, I did mention about few people who produce almost-nil-trash.  Of all the goals, this will be the most difficult to achieve and it might be the slowest and hardest of all. It requires lots of discipline, especially with all-plastic-packages-everywhere. I have to use my re-usable bags, pouches to store veggies (I am planning to make from my old-t-shirts), find convenient places that offers non-plastic like whole foods to buy lentils from, prepare our own bread, eventually get rid of all plastic containers and have only glass or steel ones.

Goal 4: Grow few vegetables in a garden

Learning to gardening is challenging. It took plenty of my energy to just pluck the weeds out. Sowing seeds and growing plants wasn’t that easy. I failed at it miserably and my timing of shifting was not good. So I plan to learn.

Goal 5: To write the weekly status update on this blog.

Goal 6: the most important of all, to follow through the above list of goals.

Dear readers: I would greatly appreciate your valuable inputs & provide if any website links that will help me find better ways to achieve any/all of the above goals.

Unwanted Inheritance

This was sitting in my drafts that I wrote 6 months back and never got around to complete and publish it.

***

I just read an article about offsprings are declining the “unwanted stuff offered” collected by baby boomers.

Read the article here.

I suffer from “de-cluttering” syndrome.  America is driven by consumerism. Growing up, I have had very few dresses and and we were never trained to hold onto stuff. My mom gave away all our stuff regularly, either to cousins, neighbors or maids or even to exchange clothes with something useful – mostly new kitchen utensils. And my mother was so good at taking care of things, even the oldest possible thing is in great condition. We still have those bamboo stick chairs in mint condition. They condition it every year and they are so comfortable to sit in. I was never interested in buying things and my mother along with her sisters would shop for me that I would be happy to wear them without any complains.

The day I knew that I will be travelling to america, I went on a shopping spree and got quite a number of clothes that would have lasted life time, if only I stayed that slim and “not cared about current fashion trend”. The real pain started after I got my first pay check – the shopping started there and it has never really ended (I try hard to not shop). American market is all about consumerism. Sale every where, the favorite past time is spending time in malls and drinking that expensive starbucks and caribou coffee. That is the trend back then among my peers and cousins.

I digress,  recently I went to a baby shower party, there were all generations of people. During the gift-opening-ceremony (and people going “awwww…” over every gift opened – entitles for another post), I ended up striking a conversation with a person of my previous generation about how nice to have some things inherited, especially the kids stuff from sibling or a cousin with older kids. The lady tried to pass on some of the home & kitchen furniture to her kids. Her kids have outright refused to accept it. She says – the current generation prefers minimal things and want to lead a simpler life.

It got me thinking – really? I feel, the cost of living has gone up. Affording a huge home, ergo inheriting furniture is out of question, especially with not-so-stable-ever-moving jobs. I am not surprised why some people would decline the offer. Myself, have inherited lots of furniture from near and dear ones. Unfortunately, I had to let go when ever I  moved. So it doesn’t work for me.

How about you folks?

Temptation to buy new clothes

This website my cousin suggested where we get really good clothes for great pricing. They have been purchasing great stuff and they really look cool in those outfits. I recently vowed to myself that I will not buy anything until I exhaust all my options. There is a strong reason behind my decision.

I am a victim of american consumerism. I have purchased quite a number of clothes, shoes and accessories with or without sale. The problem now I face is – organizing them, or the time it takes to decide what to wear when I have to step out. I tried sorting clothes and shifting 25% to the “Good Will”(a charity based organization) bag and yet I feel overwhelmed. The clothes fill my huge closet space and 3 big suitcases. I have hard time letting go of my clothes.

Despite, having so many clothes and shoes, I get tempted now and then to buy more. Every time, I think of buying more I try to think of hassle that I face everyday and the less space that I have at home to accommodate more. It is a very hard decision to follow through.

I lived a simple life growing up, never had to worry about what to wear and what to organize. We were a family of 4 and I had very few clothes growing up. Simpler times. I feel it’s complicated now more than ever. The biggest problem I am trying to tackle is letting go. I wish I could be more generous. Hopefully, some day I will.

Somewhere, I came across “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it… I can resist everything but temptation.” This is never going to apply for me in this case.