a few things
May 5, 2011
A few things I’ve been thinking about or doing lately:
- I’ve simplified my wardrobe significantly. I’m trying to wear/buy only neutrals: black, gray, navy, white, plus a few things in the muted brown/green/blue/eggplant family (these colors all look good on me and are easy to wear). I’ve kept a few bright tops which I still like: a red summer blouse, some teal items (I like teal), a vivid violet t-shirt. But other than that (excepting yardwork or workout clothes, which I don’t wear out and about), it’s all neutrals or soft earthy tones. The reason for this change is that one day I realized I was just excruciatingly tired of trying to put outfits together daily, and usually failing miserably, and feeling frumpy and just “off.” It would be easier if I just didn’t care, but I do care; I like clothes and fashion. I have been SO much happier with this. I’ve been paring down my wardrobe over the past 2-3 years anyway, so there wasn’t much to go through, but now I’m down to just what I like and actually wear, in colors that all pretty much go together interchangeably (with a few exceptions), and a few standout pieces that I couldn’t bear to part with for whatever reason. I’m actually interested in getting dressed again in the morning, and I know I look (relatively) put-together with minimal effort.
- I’ve been keeping track of every cent I spend, writing down not just the receipts, but the actual items I purchase. This has been very interesting. I’ve learned that we are currently spending a ton on cat food, which is totally fine — Katie is eating so much right now and she can have whatever she wants. I mostly wanted to find out what we actually spend on groceries every month. From previous estimates it appeared we were spending the shocking amount of $600 per month on groceries, which just didn’t seem right AT ALL. So I wanted to know how much of that was cat food and other items, and how much was actually groceries. My adjusted estimate is now around $350/month (including what I eat for lunch at work, plus work snacks), which seems more likely. I’d like to get that down further, but the fact is that it’s expensive to buy food out here. I miss my Berkeley Bowl! Oh well. The rest is cat food, bottled water (our water is TERRIBLE; we are researching our filter options, etc.), or other daily items purchased at the grocery store or Costco (toiletries, etc.). So I feel better about that. I also was able to figure out how much I’m spending on putting the garden together, which will be helpful in figuring out what to budget next year. It will be much cheaper next year since I won’t have to put together the raised beds, unless we want to put in a couple more, which we may want to do. But at least I’ll know how much it costs. So, that’s been interesting. I plan on keeping track of the spending for another month or two, just to get a really good picture of what goes where.
- I’m considering an e-reader. I actually don’t really want one, but I’m very curious about them and feel like they could be a nice thing to have to tuck into my purse for travel, doctor’s waiting rooms, etc. But honestly I’ve gotten along this far with paper books just fine, so I’m not sure of the advantages. So I’m just kicking the tires, so to speak. I’m deeply ambivalent about them. I am really enjoying listening to audiobooks on my iTouch, and I have a few e-books on there for emergency situations (I have Stanza on the iTouch, it works great), so I’m not unfamiliar with alternatively-delivered books. Terri has an iPad and I’ve looked at books on its reader, which is fun. But do I really need or even want another gadget? Not really. But I still am very curious. Thoughts? I almost think I’ll just wait another few years to see what develops — I can see how it will be very useful in the future as more media is adapted to the readers. But just for books — I like real books just fine, and I don’t travel enough to consider carrying around a few books a huge burden, and I drive my commute (as opposed to riding on a bus or train). So. I don’t know.
- I’ve decided to take a two-week vacation this summer. I’ve taken one-week vacations before and by the time the week is up, I feel relaxed enough to actually start enjoying having time off, only to have to go back to work right then. So this time, I thought, I need a real summer vacation. So the first two weeks of July is free time! The county fair will be happening then (we are going to enter a few things: Terri a photo, and me perhaps something baked), and we might take a little local overnight trip depending on how Terri’s feeling and so on, and my dad has a track meet in Sacramento at the tag end of the vacation time so he’ll be here for a few days. It should be good. I’m going to think of some things to do that feel like real vacation. It’s Summer Camp At Home (the best kind).
I have so many things to do, I get overwhelmed. But they are all things I want to do. Like: take care of the yard, finish art projects, do a couple sewing things, make some things in the kitchen (like marmalade before all the oranges are gone), paint the bathroom, etc. etc. Plenty of things I *have* to do as well. Oh, and I have to rest, too. How does anyone do all this stuff? I mean really.