I have come down with a cold, and likely will not post again before the weekend.
Yoga with Adriene on YouTube.
Learning to breathe in and breathe out with the Anxiety Slayer podcast.
Weekends at home baking oatmeal cookies.
Getting into the groove and experiencing flow at work.
Genuinely enjoying the challenge of a No Spend Year.
When everything that does not add value to one’s life is cleared away, the things that are left represent abundant joy.
Here are the things that made up the last week of my life:
My laptop, on which I listen to the Oasis meditation from the Anxiety Slayer podcast nightly, as well as white noise, heavy rain ASMR, and watch Yoga with Adriene.
The tube of eczema cream, which is healing the dry skin on my arm, my thumb, and my cracked heels caused by long, cold January commutes with cancelled trains.
My winter work outfit of a winter coat, scarf, hat and gloves, which help to keep me warm and protected in the snow, sleet, wind and rain.
Our HDMI cable, which enables us to watch Disney films on the TV after a long and tiring day at work.
Letters from the Finanzamt confirming our correct tax code status.
It was a quieter week this week on the money front, due to all the bills and fixed expenses having been paid at the beginning of the month.
Here’s what I spent this week:
- Get on the right tax code
- Request a tax refund for the previous twelve over-taxed months
- Check your bank balance 4-8 weeks later 🙂
Life is better when trains are running properly.
Every moment of every day, modern life screams and shrieks that bigger is better, more is best.
I’m going to share a big secret with you.
It is a secret I learned only recently, and it is one that has begun to change my life in many different ways.
The big secret to spending less, saving money, living minimally, and creating less waste is …
Only buy something when you have genuine need of it.
Recognise the difference between your wants and your needs. Willingly give yourself what you need, but question what you want, and why, and whether you are looking for something else in a material purchase.
Learn what enough means for you. (Here’s another secret: if you are reading this, I can safely say you already have enough.)
Express gratitude for all the good things in your life, and work hard to cherish them. Your health, love, family, access to food and water, one thousand things and more that we so easily take for granted in the race for more.
More is an endless pit. Gratitude lifts you up and out. Life begins up there, where enough waits for you, peacefully.
I am always really interested to hear what people carry with them on a day to day basis.
I have a black Eastpak rucksack, and inside it you will find these things:
- My work laptop and charger
- My lunchbox, snackbox, and a glass jar for half a grapefuit
- My purse, containing my cash, as well as my debit cards, driver’s license, health insurance card, monthly rail pass, shopping list, and sweet notes from my husband
- My phone
- My iPod
- A little zip-up Totoro pouch, about the size of a sticky note, in which I keep some basic first aid items
In winter, I also carry a scarf, woolly hat, and a pair of gloves. I rarely take these off when I am out and about, and when I go indoors they live in the pockets and hood of my winter coat.
I read something recently that stuck with me. In order to change our relationship to things, stuff, waste, consumption, pollution, our impact on the planet, and so on, we need a new definition of the word materialism, one which recognises a materialist as someone who truly values the things in their life.
Here are the things that made up my week:
My 2019 fold-out calendar (Edwardian tin toy themed), which has taken up residence along the bottom of our pinboard, and which I got from my parents as a Christmas present.
My yoga mat, on which I do meditation listening to the Anxiety Slayer podcast, and yoga with my husband in the evenings following Yoga with Adriene on YouTube (we are following the 30-Day Dedicate challenge together this January).
The under-eye cream that was given to me as a gift before Christmas by a Year 4 pupil I support at school, and is the first of its kind I have used that has made a difference to this problematically puffy area of my face!
My bullet journal, probably my most treasured possession, in which I have detailed my New Year’s Resolutions and started tracking all the positive changes I have been making so far in 2019.
My Marill plushie, which I bought at Kansai International Airport when we first arrive in Japan in March 2017, and which I keep with me to help me sleep.
This was the first week of my No Spend Year challenge. This being the quarter of the month that our fixed expenses were paid, there was a lot to put in the money diary this week.
Rent and bills: 837.50€
Monthly rail pass: 81€
Healthcare items: 58.40€*
Monthly phone credit: 5€
*Sleepy body lotion from Lush, contact lenses, vitamins, epsom salt