The past weeks, I’ve started to make lifestyle adjustments. I thought it would be a difficult time to do so as I had Belgian friends visiting, but they were very helpful in challenging the prejudices that imprison my Negrense mind.
After the lifestyle inventory. I tried to take stock of what I have:
1. I have enough clothes and do not need to buy for the year.
2. I have enough sturdy shoes that can see me through different occasions.
3. I have enough unread paperbacks and hardbound books and magazines for entertainment.
4. I’ve hoarded more than enough ebooks and TEDtalks on my Kindle.
5. My prayer life is back on track and I’m working on never letting go of it again.
Recognizing this sufficiency, I have started to pen and submit myself to this lifestyle guide, which so far, is working out well — except for number 9!!!
1. For the year, try to keep off the boutiques and malls, unless you need clothes of a certain color, or make, to satisfy a (n discriminating) dress code. In case you get rabid, bring your vanity to a corner and remind the little monster of two faddish mullet dresses you’ve never worn.
2. For every article of clothing, or pair of shoes, or accessories over P500, that you buy, you must give away two articles of clothing or pairs of shoes from your closet. You could just easily let go of any shirt that’s been sitting at the bottom of the shelf since the days of elephant jeans, so what you should give away are those that are still trendy.
3. If you should buy clothes, opt for fewer prints so you can mix and match as often as possible, and so you can wear them over and over again. Look for fabrics that are wrinkle-free so you don’t have ironing to do.
4. When at the grocery and tempted to grab Ruffles and Lays and Jalapeno Cheetos, always recall that moment when these chips become too salty and stinging on the palate, halfway through the bag.
5. Commute so you can save more, but if the driver is exceptionally good and respectful, let him keep the change. Remember, too, that the jeepney is a rich source of stories and human observation. When it’s too hot, the umbrella was not invented for nothing. If your colleagues feel it does not suit the lifestyle that you should fake, well, you know better. You always know better, at least for yourself.
6. Buy generic Atorvastatin, Clopidogrel, Metphormine, etc., and save P10 per tablet on the average!
7. You don’t have to make that pit stop at Booksale after doing the grocery. If you’re itching for a new Crossword Puzzle book, then go ahead, but only if you’ve finished cracking the ones at home. At the bank, newspapers lie around — spare the daily crossword the agony and emptiness of remaining a puzzle!
8. Practice simplicity even in technology. Spend less stalking time on Facebook. Just keep one window open, one program running at a time.
9. Meet friends for coffee, and eat your meals at home.
10. When the urge to spend is pressing, examine where it’s coming from. Maybe you’re just feeling sad and bored and useless — go off the beaten track and look for a resourceful, new route. Grab your Encounter Prayer Book and clear your head.
So far, these are only the habits that I need to form so I can seamlessly, peacefully make my way into Simplicity School. This lifestyle guide is yet to have the projects that I envision for self-sufficiency, for clutter-free, excess-baggage-free, “transient” living.