Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Year of Less

At the beginning of October, I read one of those books that for better or worse, sticks in your brain. Makes you think about your life, life in general, and how you want to make changes for the better.

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders

This book, paired with a bunch of things that were happening in my life, helped me decide that I will be participating in a "Year of Less", starting about 2 weeks ago.

So far I'm doing pretty good! Ha!

We as a (western, global north, developed) society consume WAY TOO MUCH STUFF. This is a huge contributor to the climate crisis, and our shitty lives under capitalism. Honestly. So many people have written so many smart things about this, I don't know what I could possibly add.

Cait Flanders gave herself some "rules" to follow over the course of her year, to guide her on what she could and couldn't purchase. I have decided to do the same, and use her categories.

These are things I am allowed to buy, like toiletries (only when I run out), and groceries (only when I have a plan for them).

These are things I am NOT allowed to buy. This is the long list.

  • Dishes
  • Food storage containers
  • Hair accessories
  • Notebooks
  • Craft supplies
  • Photo albums
  • Things at a craft sale
  • No new subscriptions
  • Indoor plants
  • Picture frames

Approved Shopping
These are items that might be covered in the "banned" items, but are specific things I know I am going to need over the next year, OR things that improve my life and don't add to my mental burden of "too much stuff".
  • Home improvement items from our Projects List
  • Fitted sheet (1)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking boots
  • Stamps
  • Photos
  • Travel

One of the first actions Ms Flanders takes is to go through everything in her house and take an inventory, and then start giving away any belongings that didn't fit or make sense in her life any more. This helped her see all the things she did have, helping her not buy some of those items in the future. But it also showed her that so many items she just "had to have" at one point in her life, weren't actually being used in her life anymore. I think we have all experienced that feeling.

I haven't done this exercise yet, partly because I still have so many boxes unpacked from our recent move. "Minimalism" is a movement that just doesn't resonate with me anymore, but I know I have too much stuff that I don't need or want. And I know that I need to live with less stuff in order to best live in our tiny new home. I plan on making time in November and over the December break to give myself a fresh start in 2020.

I am also looking ahead to doing some 30-day challenges as part of this. That is, 30 days of eliminating a thing or a behaviour that doesn't serve me, and can push me forward in my other goals. Like no social media, no plastic, no dairy, no candy, no eating out, etc. It feels as though in taking all of these small steps, I am so close to realizing this huge potential in me and my life. Life on this earth is only going to get harder over the next years and decades. I need to do my part to prepare and to mitigate those changes for me, my family and my community.

Here goes!

There are only 3 months left in this decade? How are you going to spend this time to get you where you want to be?


Saturday, September 28, 2019

This is 39

Happy Birthday to Me...2019 edition!

Birthdays are no joke. I don't mind getting older, but I have a hard time setting expectations and then watching them crash and burn. This year for my birthday, I had two goals:

  1. To not be sad on my birthday
  2. To wake up in a tent on my birthday
Well, I was sad when I slept in and missed the sunrise, lit the stove on fire so I missed my coffee, and had to pack up a wet tent, but hey! I woke up in a tent!

And to be fair the rest of the weekend was pretty damn spectacular...

Next year's plans are already in the works. Expect more of the same. But hopefully with a better stove.

This is 38 - Birthday Post & Birthday Scrapbook


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Lisa Reads 2019 - An Update

Aside from the fact that my book counts don't match up, I'm chugging along just fine toward my goal of 52 books read in 2019.

There have only been a few duds lately, which I am super grateful for.

  • Early Riser by Jasper Fforde, his latest and very on brand for him!
  • In the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant, a tasty fantasy-horror with mermaids...deadly mermaids!
  • All Systems Red by Martha Wells is a super fun and tense novella about a rogue android who just wants to be left in peace to watch their fave TV shows
  • The Nature Fix by Florence Williams is my go-to recommended book right now


  • Some history books about Czechoslovakia
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  • The Huntress by Kate Quinn

What are you reading this summer?


p.s. I'm (clearly) still alive and kicking, but haven't felt like posting anything here in awhile. Which is fine. Things change, people change...

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Tuesday Link List

Hey Friends! It's been awhile for one of my link dumps, and even though no one reads this, I still love sharing all my hot finds on here!

Let's start with some local news first. I am super interested in traffic safety, city planning, and improving the use of our streets, so I am super pumped about this initiative that's before City Council right now.
YEG Core Zone

I hate gender reveal parties so much.
Gender Reveal Parties Phenomenon

I've deleted the Instagram app from my phone again. I think I've shared this article before, but it bears (bares?) repeating.
Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched my Phone and Unbroke My Brain

I am in a current phase of hating to make dinner (and shop for food, which is my favourite/only hobby so this is a problem). This cookbook is also going to help me get excited again AND save money!
Good and Cheap

Here is another cook book based on the same premise.
My Food Stamps Cookbook

And finally, an oldie but a goodie! It's so hard to talk about taxes in Alberta (people up here irrationally and ignorantly hate taxes so dang much), but this is a good place to start.
Fair Tax System Down the Drain if Loopholes Aren't Closed

See you next week!

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

May Goals

April was so short! I spent the first 10 days in Dubai, and then I spent the next 5 days recovering from Dubai (jet lag is arlakgjsdhblarg!), and then all of a sudden April was half over! But boy oh boy, now that April is 100% over, have I ever learned some lessons let me tell you!

1. I want to feel relaxed on my trip to Dubai to visit my family! Yep yep yep.

2. I want to feel energy and work towards figuring out a good balance of diet, exercise, and mind work. This happened, but not purposefully, and not in the way I expected. I am dealing with long-term iron deficiency that is now significantly impacting my energy, my health, my strength...all these things that I already struggle with. I have been eating meat (gasp!), and going for slow walks, and being very gentle with myself. This is going to be a longer term work-in-progress and I'm still not sure how I feel about that. But I am glad I put it on this list, because even though I didn't "solve" it, it's in my face now and I can't ignore it.

3. I want to feel absorbed and work on a "100 Days of" project. Wheee yessiree! My project this year is unstructured and so relaxed and it's so different from past year's and yet also exactly what I need right now! I wrote more about it here, and already finished my first Project!

4. I want to feel triumphant and complete something that really challenges me. I left this as a TBD at the start of April, and while I didn't really consciously decide on it, after it happened I realized that I found my challenge this month.

1. I want to feel present and make a plan to celebrate Mother's Day my way. 2. I want to feel flow and make some changes to the way I'm living in my home. 3. I want to feel steady and make a schedule for Lucas' nights here. 4. I want to feel curious and do some deeper thinking about my word and my Big Life Goals.

May can sometimes be a strange month for me, as this is the month I got married all those years ago. And celebrating motherhood as a "single" mom is always deep-though-inducing. The Daily Habit I am adding this month is about finances, and with the plan to focus on more of my Big Life Goals I think this will be a month of slow and steady movement dotted with bursts of colour.

January 2019 Goals
February 2019 Goals
March 2019 Goals
April 2019 Goals
You can read about my overall plan for 2019 here.
I am tracking my Daily Practices with my favourite tool, created by Elise Cripe. You can download her "Habit Tracker" here.. (It will download automatically).