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minimalism in a nerdy world

6 slow living tips for the January blues

In winter with warm tears I’ll melt the snow

-William Shakespeare “Titus Andronicus”

I never got the hang of January.

I don’t know if it’s the post-holiday blues, or the weather, or that all the pretty lights and decorations disappear. January always seems a gray mess to me. This time of year can be a bit uphill for me.

Instead of getting trapped by sadness for a month or more, I take action to alleviate and assist my travels through 31 days of January-ness.

  1. Say yes to invitations – Push yourself to accept social invitations. There can be a tendency to hide away during the cold or when you are down, but getting out will help you in the long run.
  2. Keep to a schedule – Get the right amount of sleep for you. Build in time for activities that make you feel good. I book in blocks of time for relaxing past times like reading and playing silly video games.
  3. Make some short-term goals – I have a goal every year to see all of the films nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. That means starting in January trying to predict, and then making my must-see list when the nominations hit. If you have a movie friend to partner with, even better. I have co-workers and a sibling that have the same goal so we can compare notes.
  4. Do light box therapy – This has helped quite a lot the past few years. I take a few blocks of time each week to sit and read in front of a ‘happy light.’ It’s easy to do and an inexpensive investment (I’ve had the same one for 6 years).
  5. It’s not your fault – Be gentle with yourself. Many people struggle in the winter months, so take care of yourself and do whatever helps you.
  6. Make January the enemy – Put a face and a name to what is going on. This isn’t ‘just the way it goes’ or something to endure, this is you versus January. And all it has is the rotation of the earth around the sun on its side, you have scores of options available.

I hope this helps you fight January. Thanks for reading.

note: I was going to tag this as “Blue Monday,” but a few seconds research showed me that Blue Monday isn’t a real thing. It was invented by the marketing team of a travel company ages ago and took on a pseudoscience life of its own.

Fake it til you make it – positive gamification 2

Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then be Batman.


Wifey got me a new computer for Christmas and I have had a lot of enjoyment rebuilding my set up and playing with some new options my older, slower computer couldn’t handle (check out my latest videos for ones featuring actual editing!)

In the past year I have been accomplishing a lot but sometimes my brain is not connecting it. Decluttering might be rewarding, but not in a burst-of-happy-brain-chemicals kind of way. And a two-year plan to pay down my debt is not exactly like winning a lotto. So how do I get my brain convinced that I am accomplishing things?

I give it artificial accomplishments in the meantime.

Read more

Minimalist Collector video – Cleaning the Booster Cave!

the project

Prioritize or minimize: decluttering our fantasy self & The Project

And though we all know deep down in our hearts

That someday this will all fall apart

For right now let’s just be heroes

– David & David

The new buzz phrase in slow living is “your fantasy self.” The idea that we all create these versions of ourselves we wish we would be at some nameless future day. I wrote about something similar in my blog on the Autobiography of Stuff.

A close cousin to the Fantasy Self is The Project.

We all have them. From the big (learning a new language), to the small (making MP3s from that indie band’s compact disc you bought at their show in 96).

The Project is just about to happen. You promise. Any day now. That’s when you’ll finally use that sweater pattern (right after you learn to knit, of course). That’s when you’ll make that scrap book (forgetting that you minimized all your photos six months ago). That’s when… That’s when..

Much like the Fantasy Self, The Project ties to an imagined version of ourselves. The person we’ll be after we do The Project. But if we desired to be the person we would be during The Project, it would not still be undone, would it?

It’s time to put up or shut up.

Prioritize or minimize.

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2017 – a year in Things – Minimalism audit and check-in

Over the past year I kept track of all the physical Things that I brought into my life. Here’s a video check-in.

Here is the complete list –

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