Minimalism – Podcasts and the Concept of Ownership…

Podcasts

I’ve really started to enjoy pounding the treadmill in the gym. Not just because I want to get fit, although after my over indulgence in Cornwall it is necessary, but to enjoy the world of the Podcast. I’ve recently listened to various podcasts on Spotify, YouTube, BBC World Service and BBC 4 (list below).

Minimalism

As I was running, I became particularly interested in The Minimalists’ views about curation and ownership which is more thought provoking than it sounds. The fundermental starting point is this article:

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-08-12/american-ownership-society-is-changing-thanks-to-technology

Tyler Cowen is concerned because Americans own less stuff. Will this stagnate the economy? Cowen clearly thinks it will. It does question whether owning stuff is a good thing or not. Listening to The Minimalists’ podcast, raises several interesting points.

Due the new concepts such as Kindle, we do not own so many books. We don’t buy DVDs or videos like we used to because now we have such things as Netflix. Spotify and or YouTube caused us to stop buying CDs. Apparently, and this did surprise me, car ownership is decreasing because people now  travel more and by bike, taxi (Uber), use public transport or walk. Cowen argues that the American dream to own things like cars is dwindling in favour of urban living, and greater reliance on the above mentioned.

This fascinates me because I’d never realised how little we do actually own nowadays in terms of these products, or even thought about it. I agree, this is a good thing. People still own stuff, but not as much. Not having to buy books, albums, DVDs and cars is beneficial. Just having your favourite books, albums (vinyl is making a come back), DVDs, etc, does suggest an organised way of living and provides the freedom to disengage from the extraneous stuff. Just have what brings value.

When I was growing up, everyone disliked the idea of renting possessions such as homes, cars and even televisions. This has changed, particularly with the younger generation. It is better for the environment to buy and keep good quality clothing, borrow/rent cars and live in smaller homes. Seriously, you only need so much stuff. Americans losing the connection with ownership is a good thing although don’t think it has happened …yet?

Focusing towards a sharing community is better isn’t it? Who wants all the gym equipment in their house? Do we really need a massive TV and a home theatre? Much better to go to a gym, see a play/film and chat with others. This is what life is about. Doing stuff rather than accumulating things. Going out and about and experiencing stuff.

Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.                                    The Minimalists… (Joshua Fields Milburn, Ryan Nicodemus)

Cowen argues private ownership gives us a stake in the system. Yes, and it may force hard work rather than meaningful work. As mentioned on the podcast, we never really own anything; we just pass it on after 80 years anyway. This way of thinking is ambiguous, although thought provoking. The concept of ownership does remain important. However, the thing is not to become too used to excessive possessions. I advocate looking at your surroundings as a stranger would. Recently, I wondered why I still have a big table in my kitchen when I could replace it with something useful.

Obviously, some things are essential like a car, books, photography gear and furniture. But if you are short on time and have busy schedules, then it maybe a good idea to evaluate what you actually use and need day to day.

I am well aware people will read this, and think haven’t got time to worry about stuff. But having just returned from a break in Cornwall and unpacked my little case, in about five minutes, think again. Why have I been taking a massive suitcase with me all these years? It was great to return home without loads of stuff. (Although still have a shoe issue…)

As a minimalist you still own stuff but only what brings value. It creates simplicity and purpose and removes everything that distracts us from good experiences. Wish I’d realised this years ago because it saves so much time and energy although still working on it.

In fact, views about owning a property are slightly changing. Unfortunately, in the UK rents are extortionate so the whole process is challenging. People try to invest in a property in a cheaper area, part own a property or rent. Also, it is popular now to save and live frugally and invest in a future without being tied, long term, to a job you hate. The main premise then is possibly having a decent space (living area) with the minimal sleeping area and fewer possessions. Do not let the stuff own you. Ultimately, people may prefer to own a property and accumulate wealth or rent and not have the responsibility of ownership. Not everyone wants ‘a stake in the system’. They may just want to do what suits them and be a part of a community and contribute. This does seem common nowadays with the notion of online work, charities and so on.

Overall, focus on what is needed and brings value. I’m still thinking about that dining table and why I take several pairs of shoes on holiday but there is no such thing as the perfect ‘minimalist’ or for that matter, environmentalist or anything else. This podcast is thought provoking and does advocate a changing society.

Any comments are welcome and hope you enjoyed my musings about life.

Sources:

https://www.theminimalists.com/p146/

Podcasts I enjoy…

The Minimalists/Happier/The Dr’s Kitchen (Spotify)

Health Check/The Infinite Monkey Cage/Crowd Science/Business Matters/World Book Club (BBC)

Is there such a thing as intentional living?

I hope you enjoy the mishmash of my thoughts on intentional living!

To me, it is easy to drift through life and do the same thing day in, day out in a habitual way. We have choices in life and it is easy to forget that. After a tragic family event, my aim is to enjoy life. It is possible to do what you like to do. Money comes into it, but you can often do stuff cheaply.

Sometimes it is a good idea to step back and evaluate what you have. Recently, I decided to look at my home and had a massive declutter.  It is easy to keep clutter because you just stop seeing it. Have two huge sacks ready to go as we speak.

Another thing is that I’ve joined a group of walkers for not only exercise but to meet new people and enjoy the company of engaging folk with fresh views on life.

Trying to decide how you can improve life is a good idea rather than just aimlessly carry on with it. Of course, it is tricky if you have children, but can still be done with some effort. If you think about life, read, explore issues and go out and about it becomes a good way to examine your interests, talents and passions.

People often continually moan about things and this is fair enough up to a point. We all do it. However, sometimes it is good to step back, take risks and change things isn’t it?  Turn of the TV and go out and do stuff. Write a book, walk, paint, declutter, decorate, socialise, etc. To answer my question intentional living is possible if you decide to do it. What do you think and what have you done?

Conclusions…

  • Evaluate life and who you spend time with
  • Make some choices
  • Discover your passions and do them
  • Stop complaining
  • Turn TV/Screens off

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow, if you like my musings.

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Update on Minimalism, Life and Blogtober…

On the minimalism front, I have cleared out more clothes (1 sack), some handbags and shoes.  Bought some white, simple plastic hangers and set about re-organising the wardrobe.  The hangers are cheap but good quality and the wardrobe looks so much better. I’ve written my tips about re-organising the wardrobe which will be published in the next day or so.

On the life front, I’ve cut my work commitments back so I can spend time pursuing my interests.  This includes writing, producing and promoting this blog.  Also, reading, travelling and well, just doing stuff and going to places, e.g. the Tenterden Folk Festival.  I’m really enjoying writing and promoting the blog on social media.  Recently, there have been blogs about Blogtober which are thought provoking.  Is it possible to blog every day?  Not sure whether a blog will appear daily, but the aim is to blog more during October.

Thanks for reading and please follow, if you like what I write.  It is a mishmash.

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Latest declutter – Minimalism

Recently, I spent a couple of days clearing some bedroom areas and eradicated clutter that was languishing in the bottom of my wardrobe.  This does, I admit, sound boring but it was quite liberating.  The house looks clearer as does my head!  The plants have been tended, stuff has been recycled or put away, parts of the house have been redecorated and I’ve had some exercise in the process.

This minimalism malarkey  is an excellent idea, but it doesn’t happen overnight.  This time, I found bits of paper that I thought I may need and realised that they just needed to be cleared. It is astonishing how many bits of paper you keep, thinking you will read it again one day!  I had three piles and got rid of loads of stuff…

  • Pile 1  Stuff to keep, but reorganise.  This included reorganising jewellery and recycling a wooden box that was very large for the tiny amount of jewellery in it.  (I put it on Freecycle and a very happy lady collected it.)
  • Pile 2  Dispose
  • Pile 3  Dispose but recycle – Sorting paper work that I knew I would never need or read, but kept, because I thought I would find it useful.  Put into the paper bank.

A friend remarked that my house isn’t cluttered, so why worry?  She also told me that I mustn’t go for the sterile look!  The trouble is, one tidies when you know you have visitors coming don’t you?  Most of the clutter is behind the scenes.  Not anymore though because over the last year I have got rid of loads of just-in-case items.  The items you keep because you may need the information in the future.  The future that does not exist.  None of it has been missed.  Not one book, piece of clothing or bit of paper.  Anyway, anything that I find I need I can replace for a few pounds but I’ve never needed to activate this hypothesis.  You can’t get rid of your clutter overnight and need to keep revisiting areas over time to really scale down on stuff.  It is a long process isn’t it?  But it is worth the effort.  What do you think?

Thank you for liking, commenting and following.  It is appreciated!

Twitter: @mishmashmedia_

 

5 reasons why you should take a mini, mini break…

Windy times on the beach at glorious Brighton...

Windy times on the beach at glorious Brighton…

The trouble with going on holiday in June, is you have to suffer everybody’s glorious, happy holiday pics, in July/August.

The best way to alleviate the envy is to take yourself off on what I call mini, mini breaks and enjoy the free time you do have.  To be concise the mini, mini break is daft language for a few hours off.  Do something extraordinary, explore and then explore some more. This mindset will endorse spontaneous action, not only for yourself, but also the family or friends that are accompanying you.

To get over the wish-I-was-on-holiday feeling, I recently went on a short trip to Brighton. I tend to go to Brighton, only once or twice a year, mainly because it is so flipping difficult and expensive to park.  (Next time I will go on the bus.)  However, Brighton is great for the quirky shops, pubs, galleries, restaurants and beach life.  It has a hippy, soulful vibe and the shops and stalls are fascinating due to independent traders and their array of talents and well, being Brighton bonkers with the erratic fashions and dreadlocks.  I found it a great place to spend time, wandering aimlessly, exploring the lanes, eating tapas in the Spanish restaurant and people watching.

The result, after recovering from the cost of parking fiasco, was super.  Invigorating in fact. If you feel fed up it revives you to have a day by the sea.  Or anywhere outdoors.  Like having a holiday without packing.  Also, the excitement does not dissipate (unlike long holidays).  Wander around the shops, have a glass of red and soak up the atmosphere as I did.  Or go for a walk in a local park, lounge by a lake or walk in your local woods.  Have a coffee in your local high street and watch the world go by.  But go outside, walk, explore and explore some more.  It will enlighten your life because you will be enjoying experiences and new adventures rather than wasting money on material objects.

A city break, even for a day or two, can be very satisfying and makes you feel you have been away for a week or more.  Doing something different lifts your mood, makes you happier and recharges your mind and body.

Here are the advantages of taking a mini, mini break…

  • Endorses spontaneity
  • Enables exploration
  • Makes you happier
  • Provides experiences (rather than material stuff)
  • Recharges your mind and body

Overall, it is good for your health and well being.  Where are you going for a mini, mini break?  Tell all in the comments section.

Thanks for reading my blog it is appreciated and don’t forget to follow.  🙂

 

Minimalism – Progress at last…


Although I can’t claim to be an expert on the subject, I have now realised that I’m quite pleased, at last, with how my home is looking.

This has taken many months. Books, clothes and unwanted furniture have now been despatched to charity shops, decorating has been done and the place is beginning to look how I want it. Here are some of my tips that i’ve collected during my journey.
Take your time
Clear one section of a room at a time
Do something new
Take a trip to a new place and explore (mini, mini holiday)
Write about experiences – start a blog or journal

I’ve not managed whole tech free days.  I blame the blogging haha!  But I’m working on that.  Minimalism does change the mindset.  No more worrying about what people think or wasting time on arrogance or ignorance.  It isn’t worth the energy.

This encourages positive thinking and a healthier outlook. The parkruns and village jogs have been started and enjoyed or should that be endured! Now to sort the healthy eating (see previous blog).

If you follow me, a big thank you and if you don’t, please do!

Bye until next time…

Proposed Healthy Month Plan – August

After a family wedding and subsequent holiday, everything is now back to the old routine.

This means a serious plan to get back to a healthy diet and exercise plan.  The plan is to do a series of healthy months and call the idea Healthy Month (probably one in four months). Therefore, the first one will be Healthy Month – August.  Or #HealthyAugust.

The plan is:

Eat healthy meals with a focus on fresh vegetables and fruit.

Low alcohol consumption.

Exercise almost daily.

Blog, Facebook or tweet about progress.

My goal is to lose 2 lb a week which is quite a challenge for me.  It seems a good month to do the above, but I am aware there may be the odd outing when I will succumb to some booze or naughty food.  However, I plan to be strict.  Anybody want to comment on the idea? Feel free to comment below and/or join me!

Don’t forget to follow my blog.  Thanks.

Andyx

 

 

 

The next blog (part 2) tips for gaining a good relationship with food…