“Some years ask the questions, and some years answer them.”
I have no idea where I got this, (some Tumblr meme perhaps) but I recite it constantly. Almost as often as “Our strengths and weaknesses are two sides to the same coin” which will likely be inscribed on my epitaph one day.
2017 was absolute chaos politically, economically, socially; but personally it was pretty great as I received a lot of the answers I’d been seeking for the past decade.
It was The Year of Simplification. Of prioritizing. Of donating to GoodWill so I could fit all of my belongings comfortably into a tiny 350 square foot studio treehouse. Which meant cutting down on clothes, on beauty products, on home decor, kitchen items, things in general; a crash course in minimalism.
I learned fairly quickly just how little I need to thrive. In fact, even with less clothing, I’d argue my outfits are increasingly better than ever. My mornings quicker. More time to spend on my hair. Only one lip stain option.
I’ve always been lucky to live in apartments with massive kitchens; the treehouse, however, doesn’t even have a separate kitchen space. Let alone a stove/oven/dishwasher. And yet, with only a hot plate, a toaster oven, and a (seldom used) microwave, I’m cooking more than ever. I even nixed the blender and coffee machine, opting instead for a bullet and a French press which take up less space.. and more often than not, instant coffee (goodness, I know. But it makes me feel like a legit writer to switch back and forth between cheap red table wine and reheated instant coffee. It also makes me realize my father’s eating tendencies are genetic and we share more than a proclivity for Cheetos and olives.)
Also as it turns out, I’m pretty happy living on the culinary essentials: beans, tofu, zucchini, oatmeal, broccoli, rice, lentils, kale, popcorn, arugula… and of course burrata on Sundays. And red wine.
It’s a causal reaction of having celiac; an odd relationship with food. Constantly seeking nutrients that won’t leave me sluggish or sick. It’s also in part because I have this incredible job in which I get to eat and drink so many incredible things. I don’t need to indulge in food outside of that. And if I do, then the fancy wine paired three course dinners loose their spark.
All in all, as it turns out, I’m pretty content living off a nominal amount, and (of course) I’m curious how far I can take it.
Therein lies my revelry. I #RevelInIt 😉
And since y’all know I love a good social experiment, here we go!
2018: Exactly how little can I live off of? How little can I spend? How much can I save?
Originally, the boundaries were to be set at: How little can I live off of without it affecting my life negatively? But the more I think about it, the more I believe it’ll have a positive affect on my overall happiness and productivity.
We shall see! This new, additional form of discipline will either (finally) drive me to insanity, or facilitate more control and freedom from things.
Next post: the guidelines and tools for measurement.
Categories: Resolute Frugality
That’s great! I would love to be able to do that, but with 3 growing and active teenage boys it’s difficult. I’ll call you in a few years when they’re off to college (then I’ll really need to live minimally to afford tuition, room and books. Lol).
Hahah no I don’t think you’re quite my target demographic haha. But that’s because I need to live like a responsible adult in order to get to where you are!!!