It's warm and sunny today, and like most Finns, I feel slightly guilty for not spending the day outside, especially since this warm weather is taking a break for all of next week. Instead, I'm wearing my pyjama bottoms and sitting on the sofa, reading blogs of people who've done a working holiday in Australia (I started reading them last night, which led to dreams about Perth, of all places...). It's actually quite nice. Why is it that people think they have to feel guilty for doing nothing on a Sunday, if they're enjoying it?
Oh, wait, I did get a bit of action when I had to fight an extended battle against a wasp that had found its way inside. I won.
I posted this just over a year ago, so I thought it was time for another inspirational video. This one is by the Finnish national public-broadcasting company Yle, and it's a beautiful video with a lovely message. This one's the English version, but for those of you who speak Finnish or Swedish, you can choose those versions from the side bar. Enjoy!
As can be seen from the title of this post, today I'd like to talk about two concepts I've recently discovered: Simple Living and De-cluttering. I can't remember quite how it happened (maybe it was divine intervention? I'd sure need it!), but the other day, when I was slowly starting to think about and planning for my impending move, I ended up on a blog called Keep It Simple (only in Finnish) and a post about getting rid of the chaos in your home, basically de-cluttering. For those who know me, it comes as no surprise that I need help and advice on exactly that - my home is rarely tidy, and there is usually random stuff lying around. So, this concept of Simple Living that this blog introduced me to inspired me to go and look for more, and I came across an absolute gem for all things related to Simple Living, including de-cluttering, time-management, sorting out your finances, and much, much more. So, this weekend I have spent some time reading some of the many interesting posts in zenhabits, which is a blog by Leo Babauta. For anyone interested in this concept, I recommend going into the Start Here section of his blog, where you can get an overview of the topics he's covered, and find the things that you find useful and interesting. After each post, there are links to related posts, so the information is easily available, and you could spend hours reading through it all.
For me, this is a perfect time to start the process of de-cluttering, since I'll shortly be moving back into my own flat - it makes so much more sense to go through all my boxes of stuff now, and get rid of what I don't need, and then only bring what I actually need back into the flat. Every time I move, I do get rid of a bunch of stuff, but this time I've got my new Simple Living tools at hand, so hopefully that would make the process even more efficient. When sorting through my boxes, I always try to think: Do I really need this? Do I use it? Does it fit? And, most importantly, is there space for this in my flat? I live in a 35m2 studio apartment, so there isn't much room for extra stuff. I've also started re-thinking some of my storage solutions, to maximise the benefit I get from every single closet, cupboard and square metre of space.
At the moment, I'm very motivated to start this process, and to keep it up - de-cluttering isn't something you do once, you have to keep doing it. We'll see how well I'll do once I actually get back into my flat - there are loads of bad habits to be broken - but so far, it's been going quite well. Up till now, I've had about ¼ of my clothes in a closet, and the rest in three bags (one large duffel bag and two smaller ones) that have been in storage. Yesterday, I emptied out a large paper bag full of clothes from my closet, and reduced the amount of bags to one small duffel bag. I also dug out my folders of old school and uni papers from my boxes, and got rid of everything (except old report cards and a few essays) - amounting to a ½ metre high pile of paper. In addition, I've thrown out a few handbags and 9 pairs of shoes (yes, it hurt, but it had to be done). Right now, I'm very excited to keep going, so I hope I can keep this up in the future. And once the de-cluttering is properly underway, I want to tackle some of the other aspects of Simple Living that Babauta introduces in his blog.
I don't tend to plan very far ahead. Or rather, I tend to plan, but my plans also tend to change. A lot. And very quickly, too. So, although I may at one point decide that I'll, say, spend the next two years in Finland, I may also change my mind only a few days later, and end up spending 6 months in Scotland (true story). So for me, making plans for a year ahead isn't always very realistic.
But now, I've done it. I've bought tickets for 11.4.2013 - a date so far ahead that even my calendar won't let me note it down. And for once, it isn't a plane ticket, but a ticket to a gig. I am going to see Eddie Izzard in Helsinki!!! Yes! Amazing!!! I own most of his DVDs, and I've watched tons of his stuff on YouTube and TV, and now I get to see him live!!
Can you tell I might just be a tiny little bit excited about this?
I've just got back after 4 wonderful days in Edinburgh. It felt like I never left at all, that I'd seen everybody just a little while ago, which was great, but that's probably what made leaving again so hard, too.
When I was over there, I realised I'd forgotten quite a few things about Edinburgh. First of all, I'd forgotten how bloody cold, no, absolutely freezing the flats over there can be. I'd forgotten the (in my opinion, although some seem to disagree) disgusting smell of the brewery that sometimes takes over the city, and seems to live permanently in the stairwell of my old flat. I'd forgotten about the bloody tram works, which have now taken over an even greater chunk of central Edinburgh (I remember a time when I could take a bus into Princes street, and not have to walk down the entire (quite long) street (that's always full of people, mainly tourists). Seems so long ago now...). And then there's the wind.
But I'd also forgotten other things. Like how green it is everywhere, and how the tiniest bit of (rare) sunshine can make everything look all happy and lovely. And the particular atmosphere that comes from all those old stone buildings. And how cheap it is, especially food. And British TV! And shopping. And now, in the spring, there are cherry blossoms everywhere, and it's just so very pretty despite the clouds and rain!
Mainly, though, I realised how much I've missed Edinburgh, and all my friends there. And that I really, really want to move back.
Good thing I'm doing a degree where I can work from anywhere... :)