Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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If we were having coffee at my house this weekend I would serve you iced tea while trying to convince you to take some of my extra artful objects home with you. I am either giving away or selling as much of my superfluous (high quality) junk as possible. On close examination, I find most of it has become useless and redundant. All of the closets and cabinets in my condo contain gear I do not use. I own a small barn on a lot across the street which is full of things that nobody has seen in years. It is time for me to take an inventory, make appropriate adjustments, and sell the real estate I own across the street. Once I made the decision it was easy for me to sell my big 4 wheel drive Beemer which is all wrong for my lifestyle now. I bought a tiny, darling and sporty Mini Cooper that zips around town. It is perfect for my current needs. I don’t need to become a total minimalist, I just need to carve away the excess from my burden of ownership so that it makes sense today.
The big car is going to be sold to a friend for his son who will take it to college. I made wonderful use of the car. It has served me well, but I am happy to let it go. It will be a safe and functional vehicle for a college student in Utah. Maybe he will use the 4 wheel drive. After the BMW leaves for Salt Lake City my partner will be able to fit his Mustang into our two car garage. The lot across the street has only been serving as a parking place for his car, and a place to store things we don’t really need. We enjoy the fruit we grow over there, but I pay property taxes that are higher than developed land just to have an urban orchard. I can let that go easily. The next owner will enjoy the fruit…and pay the taxes.
We will have to move our firewood storage to the small backyard of the condo, but this is not a terrible sacrifice. We will acquire wood in smaller amounts and when we want to feed the fire it will be right outside the back door instead of across the street. Once I started the chain of events I started to feel very liberated. I can accomplish the give-away/shift in possessions with little effort. The money from the sale of the land will support me for years, so it will be well worth the effort. I will list it right away in hopes of selling it before property taxes are due in October. That would be dreamy. A property tax bill for less than half my current one would be a fabulous way to end 2017.
If we were drinking iced tea I would tell you the monsoon here continues. My rain collection barrel is overflowing. It has been raining every day, but no damaging flooding has taken place. Fires in the forests are contained. My writing is on schedule, more or less. I skipped my fiction post for Friday yesterday in the excitement of trying to get rid of all my possessions. I have enjoyed writing the memoirs, and will continue on Mondays with that theme. I just found a picture in a book that sparked a story idea for next week. What is key for me is keeping the memoir short and time specific. Maybe someday I can expand that range through practice. I also want to “cross over” to historical fiction eventually. How has your muse been treating you lately? Have you been productive? Creative? Ingenious? In my own case the muse is feeling sluggish and lazy from all the humidity. She is around, but kind of flat. I hope yours has been lively and helpful.
If you want to keep up with the digital beverage party go to Diana’s blog, Parttimemonster to comment, read, or write your own post. Join bloggers from around the globe each weekend for coffee and a chat.
At the end of the year we typically make a purchase for the home and call it our holiday gift to ourselves. We have also enjoyed short trips in December to celebrate for a few days in the past. The travel is not in the cards this year since we had to spend big on a new air conditioner recently. This purchase, needed but not very sexy, shot holes in our budget. We will enjoy the time between now and 2017 in Tucson at home.
This is not at all bleak. I decided to make prudent small investments in local fun available to us. I purchased a three month subscription of Sling TV to add new programming to our nightly ritual of watching a few shows. They offered me a free Roku stick if I paid up front for three months. I may quit at the end of that time, but for now we are having a lot of fun with all the new options. I am watching a series on Cyber-War that is blowing my mind. We like the comedy series Bunheads, which we just started to watch. The stick is in the mail, which I think will be fun. I don’t know if it is voice activated, but it is updated to make search easier. For a total of $60 we get the new stick and three months of channels we like. I also decided to let Alexa keep her subscription to Amazon Unlimited music. At the end of my free trial she will switch my payment plan to $3.99 a month to play every song at Amazon, but only on my Echo. She will be the only device able to stream this. I have been having a great time calling up all artists and almost all songs for my home at will. When Alexa is loaded with this unlimited capacity, she truly rocks my world. I want her to be able to do all the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s greatest hits in December, so I don’t mind paying to have her loaded for a while longer. I listen to her all day, so I do get a lot of value for dollar from this subscription. I have been traveling down memory lane in music, and it has been fun.
To put finishing touches on our festive celebrations I have also decided to loosen the Uber budget. I rarely use the driving service, but love it when I do. Any time I want to drink alcohol or don’t want to fight the crowd at the end of an event I call Uber. It makes such an upgrade to any event arrive and leave with your driver. It only costs us about $20 round trip to go downtown Tucson for dining, shows, or the 4th Avenue Fair. This is my last gift to us, a few more more to spend on transportation. Our basic entertainment is restaurant dining. If we take Uber we can cocktail without worry. There is plenty of tourist excitement for us just a few miles from our house.
I am finished with my holiday shopping now. All I have to do is pay for the Uber as we use it, and I am done. I feel intensely liberated this year. I never get into the shopping frenzy thing, but this time I am happy all the gifts will be invisible, consumable, and will not require and storage after the holiday. I wish you all such efficient holiday planning. Good luck! Do you have your plans made? Do you shop for lots of gifts, gentle reader, or take it easy this time of year?
My recent odyssey was perfect for my taste as well as my health. Winding up the last three days and nights in Desert Hot Springs gave me every chance to relax, release and renew in the water. The drinking water there is also excellent, so I came home hydrated and healthy. Taking a mineral water cure is always my favorite way to retreat to center and focus. Leaving home is a great way to assess which best and healthy practices to nurture, and which habits to eliminate. I was very lenient with my diet on holiday but did not suffer ill effects from a few days of extra alcohol and taste treats. We did not go overboard very much on the trip, and a little splurge is good for the attitude.
The first day of fall beckons to holiday celebrants to begin planning, singing, and collecting recipes. The Pumpkin Spice lifestyle is propagated everywhere, and obligatory holiday consumerism is praised as virtue. I am not opposed to merriment, gifting, or parties, but think it can all be done with less waste, more true spirit of giving, and some refined restraint. I plan to use this season of harvest and thanksgiving to clean up my act, my house, and my lifestyle choices. I am the only one who can give myself these gifts.
Now that I am home I have the chance to create positive new change:
When the winter solstice arrives in December I want to feel happier, lighter, and more free. Three months of concentration on my wellbeing is an investment that will pay big dividends long into the future. This holiday present I am giving to myself is more valuable than anything I could be given by another person.