Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Living Slowly and the Aftereffects of Konmari - My life for the last 6 months

Hi There!

Blogger tells me that I haven't posted since last September which is a heck of a long time! Some things have been shifting for me over the last couple of months which has lead to this unintentional blog silence. I can't say that I'm back for sure or even regularly but hey I'm back right this moment and that's enough for now.

About 6 months ago I joined the KonMari frenzy which I spoke about here at great length. It really resonated with me and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process of culling my belongings down to the things that brought me joy.

Since that post I've managed to inspire hubby to cull a whole heap of things he had hanging around as well. Even though he didn't actually read the book he really seemed to get it. He kept saying that opening boxes was like looking into our past lives and past hobbies. We were hanging onto things that used to bring us joy but we'd both changed, our interests had shifted and it was time to recognise who we are now, what we actually want in our lives and let our past selves go.

This whole process resulted in a huge garage sale 2 weekends ago which went quite well. We made more money than we thought and it was nice to see our long hoarded stuff being walked away by people who were happy to grab a bargain.

I was a bit wary of letting go of all our books because there was somewhere between 200 and 300 of them. Even though we sold quite a few on the day of the garage sale we were still left with about 10 boxes of books afterwards. We actually ended up putting them out again the next day with an honesty box asking for $1 a book. A girl who lives around the corner from me bought the entire 10 boxes in one fell swoop at a package price after we realised that she'd done the same uni course as me at the same uni around the same kind of time. Turns out she'd just put the finishing touches on her manuscript for a novel she's been writing that she's already got a publishing deal for. This sale really hit home for me. The items that I treasured the most and found the hardest to get rid of were taking up residence on an author's shelves destined to be read and in some way used as inspiration in her daily life and perhaps one day her writing. If nothing else this moment validated it all for me. The things that weren't bringing me joy and were cluttering up my space could bring joy to someone else and be just as meaningful.

Of course KonMari hasn't just stopped there. My house feels fresher, lighter and bigger. I hadn't realised until I moved all these items out just how stuck I'd felt in my life. I feel like I've been given a surge of new energy over the past couple of weeks which has all come from a renewed sense of order and joy in the belongings that surround me. I'm in control of my space not the other way around. Liberating, profound and simple.

And it's not over. Even though I've let go of a lot of things and even though my house feels different I'm still yet to rearrange what I've kept into their forever spots. I'm still revelling in the part of the process where I've fallen back in love with my house and I'm quietly observing where things should be kept now that they are the chosen items.

I'm still excited for the next part of the process where I rearrange things and I'm enjoying less clutter to clean up each week.

Apart from KonMari I've also been learning to live slower. About 4 months ago I got a new job working at a theatre locally to me. As in a 7 minute walk to work kind of local instead of a 3 hour daily commute. Needless to say it has been truly life changing. This new job comes with an RDO every 3 weeks and an hour long lunch break each day.

It's hard to explain just how much more living I've been doing as a result. I now have a big cooked breakfast every morning before work - because I have the time. I now cook up batches of lunches for the week - because I have the time. I now walk home and spend my hour long lunch break with my dog and sometimes my husband too - because I have the time. I now have something like 2 long weekends a month all dedicated to living more - because I have the time. Because life felt so incredibly fast and stressful before it's like I'm permanently on a bit of a holiday in my own life. Except it's real and it's every day.

I wondered whether all this time would result in more sewing but it's actually had the opposite effect. Something about Konmari still has my sewing output quite low and understandably so. Instead I've been super inspired in lots of other ways.

For instance we bough a vintage caravan a couple of months ago that I'm now starting to do up. She was built in 1956 in Leichhardt Sydney and I've gotten stuck into pulling out the doors, sanding back the walls and pulling out the old upholstery so I can redo it all. I can't WAIT until we can go caravanning in her in the next couple of months!

For my Christmas present I got a 3 month membership to ShoeMakingCoursesOnline.com and I've slowly been working my way through watching hundreds of hours of incredibly detailed content on how to make 17 different types of shoes. I've spent ages sourcing all the materials for making shoes her way and I'm now just waiting on my shoe glue and my new shoe lasts to arrive before I can get stuck into pattern making and then shoemaking!!

She ran an online seminar the other day about making your dream shoes which just about made my head explode. Do you remember when you first started making clothes and you realised what Frankenpatterning was? Where you could take the best parts of this pattern and mash it up with the best parts of that pattern and bring it all together to make something greater than the original? Well that's what this seminar was about. It explained how if you sign up to her paid classes on shoe design she will actually teach you how to frankenpattern any type of shoe ANY type of shoe by working off your basic patterns for each type of shoe. MIND. BLOWN.

Apart from all this inspiration I've also been influenced a great deal by a book and a documentary I read and saw at the end of last year. The book was called In Defense of Food and confirmed all of my suspicions about how badly I eat. If you know you eat too much sugar and want to figure out a way to eat better this is most definitely the book for you to read. I happened to read it around the same time as watching the documentary That Sugar Film which just hit home all over again. My eating habits are actually destructive to my body and I was caught in a loop I couldn't get out of. I've cut down my sugar intake and I'm slowly replacing packaged food with wholesome home cooked food. This was not something I could have a knee-jerk reaction about and try and quit all at once because I have quite an alarming addiction to sugar. I'm working on it slowly and even when I falter I'm much more aware of my choices and why I'm reaching for packaged foods which in itself is enough sometimes.

So there you have it. The last 6 or so months of my life has been about slowing down, refocussing and continually being inspired but not necessarily in the areas of sewing which is why I haven't shared anything. I'm not entirely sure if I'll be back here talking about sewing anytime soon and I think that's ok. I'm incredibly impatient to make myself some shoes with all this mind expanding knowledge I've acquired so I suspect this may turn into more of a shoemaking blog for a while.

I hope to be back soon with some things I can wear on my feet. Until then I hope some joy finds it's way into your life in one way or another.

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