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Monday, June 8, 2015

The Less is More Project: Week 23 - Inspiration everywhere!

JSM, 2015

Inspiration. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Oftentimes, when I write, the words that appear on the - virtual - page seem to have been whispered in my ear by a mysterious "voice" rather than created by my own brain. The word inspiration itself refers to "divine guidance". On the etymology of "inspire": 

Middle English enspire, from Old French inspirer, from Latin inspirare ‘breathe or blow into,’ from in- ‘into’ + spirare ‘breathe.’ The word was originally used of a divine or supernatural being, in the sense ‘impart a truth or idea to someone.’ (Source: Google)

Divine/supernatural or not, I feel like many writers (or artists, or composers) have experienced this peculiar phenomenon of receiving inspiration "from above".

It might not be quite as glamorous, but this week, I received inspiration for the blog in many, unrelated ways. I did not have to look very far for ideas - they just kept popping in front of me! See for yourself:

I watched a travel documentary. The first part was about Turkey. It was an organized trip for a group of North Americans. Despite all the interesting visits (nature and culture oriented), I quickly noticed how half of the planned activities had to do with shopping. What is it about traveling that entices people to try and find as much stuff as possible to bring back home? I have traveled a lot (read: over 20 different countries), yet I have brought back pretty much... nothing. Wait. Actually, I have brought back a lot. A lot of wonderful memories, that is.

The second part of the documentary was about Israel. The approach was completely different. The reporter went off the beaten track and visited a remote kibbutz. A very small and simple one, too. There were no luxuries to be found there, for sure. Basic lodging, some gardening, some goats, a slow-paced life. I loved how each interviewee seemed so calm and peaceful. But what I loved even more was how one of them said "We don't have much, but we have enough, and we have each other".

This weekend I participated in a Spartan Race. Not only was it demanding in itself (8 km of steep uphills and downhills + 20 obstacles), the weather made everything even harder: it was cold, it was raining, and the ground was just mud puddles of various depths. After a final, giant leap over fire (literally), I humbly received my medal (for finishing - let's not get too excited here) and went home for THE best hot shower in my entire life, followed by THE best snack in my entire life. Truly, the wonders of being warm, dry and fed are understated.

A friend gave me a magazine she had finished reading. I opened it at a random page. If showed the picture of a pair of high heels, with the following legend: "Instant lift. I reward myself with retail therapy - I'm a shoe fanatic. Price: $850." (I'll abstain from commenting on this one.)

Finally, some remarks I heard from the mouths of my friends this week. The first, talking about an acquaintance, exclaimed: "She ONLY owns ONE TV!" The other, upon opening my linen closet, exclaimed: "OMG, how many hand towels do you own?!?" (In my defense, I have never bought one - they all came from well-meaning grand-mothers. I have given some away, but maybe I can still work on said linen closet. Pretty sure it contains more than 100 items. As for the TV, I have "only" one, and barely ever watch it.)



This week, the "Temptations" rubric is officially eliminated from the blog.

Donations (good riddance)

Still more clothes. I'm surprised at the amount of clothes I can get rid of without experiencing any undesirable effects... (Wait. That sentence could be interpreted in all kinds of ways!!! LOL)

Observations and cogitations

Almost halfway through the challenge and I can't say there's even one thing I regret donating or not acquiring. Hmm...

Your turn to share about your struggles and victories of the week! What did you resist? Did you donate or get rid of anything? Did you face any challenge? Please comment below! And...

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  1. Among the many traits Blue Zone inhabitants share, is the gift of minimalism. Your comment of the kibbutz reinforces that.

    Simple lives are often longer ones. I mean, if the goal is to live long...

  2. I sense you have had a very good week!

  3. Retail therapy is not for me. Despite that we still have waaaay too much. Of most things. And an ample sufficiency of the things that matter.
    I have filled two more boxes with books to give away. A start.

    1. A start is good!

      I can see the plusses of retail therapy: acquiring does feel good. It's the consequences that I deplore.

  4. Another bag of donated items was taken to the charity shop containing 2 tshirts, a drinking straw dispenser and some games my daughter no longer wanted. But I did bring into the home some books for my daughter which were being given away by a work colleague. They are ones by authors she loves and I know she will enjoy them and that eventually they will be passed on too so I don't feel bad about those.
    Lisa x

    1. As long as you get rid of one item for each item you bring in, right? :-) And books are great.

  5. I love to browse thrift stores and dollar stores! Regular shopping is not for me, though, I find it stressful, but I do enjoy seeing things that others find. You have a lovely blog. :)

  6. Well I do have 'sort outs' from time to time and donate to local charity shops ... but today I purchased a bargain see here http://thelowcarbdiabetic.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/got-myself-bargain-today.html and I was so pleased with it.

    You can donate and you can purchase and if you do it through a charity shop you are helping others.

    All the best Jan

    P.S. Well done in the Spartan event.

    1. I'm glad you found that bargain that visibly makes you happy! :-)

  7. Going to switch spare bedrooms-turned-home-offices with my hubby. After he paints for me, I get to weed out even further than I did after Kondo Marie'ing my home. LOL

    Good job!

  8. I love coming here for inspiration. I am made of good intentions held together by bad habits.