Minimalism

It’s only recently that I’ve discovered the minimalist lifestyle. I’m still far from calling myself a minimalist, but I’m slowly trying to get there. You may ask, why this lifestyle? I have one answer – I want to focus on the important things in life. The ones that make me feel like life is good.  These past few years, I have gone through depression. I go through my day without any motivation, no specific goals, and I’ve just lost track of what I really want in life.  I thought I was keeping myself busy, but I was just keeping myself distracted.  My salary went into buying things I didn’t end up using as much. I was going with the flow – and I was not being deliberate with my decisions.

Minimalism is not just about the material things. To me, it’s almost spiritual even. It’s about getting rid of the things that don’t add value to your life. Mute out the distractions. Be deliberate – asking yourself the question “do I need this in my life, will it bring value to my life?” before making any decisions. And this can mean different things to different people.

Getting rid of clutter

 

Still too much things!

I’ve started by getting rid of the clutter in my house. There are things I feel attached to, but I’m not really using them (DSLR, PS Vita, Japanese CD Collection). I am working up the courage to let go of those. I have cut my wardrobe into half by donating all the clothes that don’t fit me anymore. My books have all been shipped to my hometown. They’re going to a small library my mother wants to put up in the province. Desks and shelves invite more clutter so I’ve gotten rid of some of those.  And I’m not yet done – I will continue to go through all of the things in the house and assess the value they bring into my life.

Downgrading

 

Downgraded my postpaid plan!

I’ve also started cutting down my fixed expenses. I went from an unlimited broadband plan that costs 4,000 PHP each month, to one that’s less than half of that. I’ve also downgraded my mobile phone postpaid plan with unlimited internet, to an 8GB a month plan. Just from these two, I’ve saved myself around 3,000 pesos a month. I have other subscriptions I’m considering for downgrade or cancellation (I don’t watch Crunchyroll and Netflix enough), but I haven’t decided yet.

Upgrading

 

Eliminating and downgrading don’t just save me money, it’s progress towards living life more. With limited wardrobe, I don’t have to waste too much time thinking about what to wear. I come home to a clean and more relaxing home – and that helps keep the stress outside the door.  With my limited data plans, it forces me to not be too dependent on the Internet. Now, I have to turn my mobile data off by default, so that I don’t exceed my plan – and that prevents me from checking social media every single minute. That saves me time to do other things, or focus on the people I’m actually with!

Missing Japan! Photo by Hannah Regencia

The net outcome of all of these efforts is an upgrade in life value. And that’s really what I’m looking for at this point in my life. I don’t feel the need or the want to live life based on other people’s perception of success, or value. Success is no longer about owning a nice car, or a big house, or designer clothes and accessories.  Success to me looks more like being able to spend meaningful time with family and friends, being able to travel to Japan (and other countries/places) as much as I want, and doing things that contribute to the betterment of the world. I’m also still working towards that, but that makes me want to work even harder because these are the things I want in my life. I only realized all of these when I started getting rid of distractions.

Resources

If you are interested in the minimalist lifestyle, you can check out these resources as a start and make your way from there:

Weekly recap (May 28 – June 3)

Here are the highlights of the week that was:

  • Crazy karaoke at Megapro with LMN friends. This was supposed to be for Rep’s despedida but she was tired and sleepy. We still pushed through and sang/drank like it wasn’t Monday the next day.

5/28 (Sun) – Crazy karaoke at Megapro.

  • Jolo’s birthday salubong at Rue Bourbon. Got drunk after 3 bottles of alcohol – Jose Cuervo, Johnny Walker Black Label, and Southern Comfort!

5/31 (Wed) – Jolo’s birthday salubong!

  • Jingkay’s 10th year P&G anniversary dinner at Locavore with LMN friends! Food was so good!

6/1 (Thu) – Locavore dinner for Jingkay’s 10th Anniv in P&G!

  • Reiprieza’s samgyeopsal party last Friday evening. This was our “farewell” dinner for Rep as she goes home to Cebu (for good)! Ok, maybe not yet – she’ll be back on the last 3 days of June before really going home for good. Oddly, I don’t have any pictures of this evening because I was busy with the grill. In the evening, we had a few bottles of beer while watching Black Mirror and playing Naruto on the PS4.
  • On Saturday, I didn’t do anything but study Japanese and also watched Samurai Gourmet on Netflix without the subtitles! It was fun, and I actually understood around 60-70% of the conversations. The rest was just gist.

Weekly Recap (May 8-14)

I’m sorry for being a day late, but as promised, here are my highlights of the week (May 8-14):

  • I have been going to work earlier than usual, so that I could also go home earlier. My friend (Ralph) and I were able to consistently get to the office by 7AM, and leave for home at 4PM. I want to continue doing this so that I can really maximize my day, especially with studying and blogging.
  • Last Tuesday, I bought myself a new gadget (a tablet) for my Japanese studies. I will post about it separately so watch out for that!
  • We have been getting free meals from Ralph’s dad, almost every day this week!
  • I drank with my brother last Friday at Crying Tiger, after a stressful afternoon at work.
  • I spent Saturday afternoon studying Japanese at Crepe Amelie. In the evening, we went to Solaire and managed to break even at Roulette.
  • We played mahjong the entire Sunday afternoon, and had a samgyeopsal (Korean pork barbecue) party afterwards!

Sunday’s Samgyeopsal Dinner!

All in all, it was a good week!

I Suck at Daily Blogging

I know, I know.  Even at studying for my upcoming exam this July. Just this week, I’ve blocked my calendar for these two main activities that I need to accomplish on a daily basis.

8-10 PM Blocked!

I wasn’t able to follow this schedule the past two days, though! I’m still hopeful – slow progress is better than zero progress, although I really need to get my act together.

I’ve been thinking of having daily themes – so that I don’t run out of topics to blog about.

  • #MusicMonday – I’ll post about a song, album or artist that I like – from any genre, any period! I feel it’s a good way of kicking off the work week. It also gives me a chance to listen to some of the old songs I grew up listening to.
  • #TechTuesday – Tuesdays will be for anything related to technology, gadgets, whatever I find on the internet that’s worth sharing.
  • #WhateverWednesday – The hashtag says it all – I’ll be posting whatever it is that pops in my head. Be it a random thought, a rant, a vivid dream, my attempt at growing a plant, whatever!
  • #ThrowbackThursday – I have a ton of photos sitting in my archives. I’ll pick one and talk about what I remember about that frozen moment in time.
  • #FridayFinds – Fridays are usually for lunch or dinner outs, coffee and desserts, or other activities that signal the start of the weekend. I’ll be post about places to see, things to do, and maybe some good deals within the metro (both Manila and Cebu).
  • #SlowdownSunday – This day will be dedicated to summarizing the week that was, since talking about what I do on a daily basis can be boring.

Saturday will be a rest day for blogging. Of course, I’ll also be posting other entries for moments that are significant enough to deserve its own post at any day of the week. Apart from that, I’ll also be posting some Japanese lessons as I learn them along the way, including some basic ones for a page I started on Facebook.  I really hope that I can stick to daily blogging this time around.

Wow, I am keeping myself busy. Wish me luck!