4 reasons why saying no is so difficult

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When I became a vegetarian eight years ago (I’m not vegetarian now, but it was a valuable 3 years’ experience), it first hit me that saying no is difficult but necessary. I had to say no to meat at first, but indirectly I had to say no to dinners out when veggies aren’t available, barbecues, “sacrifice fest” which Muslims celebrate by sacrificing an animal, so basically any gathering. Saying no meant not settling for less, and knowing my standards and limits. At first it was very difficult, then it got really easy and felt I was validating myself.

However, I couldn’t apply these standards to other aspects of my life that easily. Like when someone asks if you are free that evening, you are, but you don’t want to spend it with that person. You just can’t say, “I don’t feel like going out with you.” like Sheldon does:

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That would require like zero super-ego, which is almost impossible unless we live a solitary life.

And when you decide to live a minimalist life, you’ll have to say no to lots of things/people.

I think if we understand the underlying reasons of why we say no, we can choose if we are saying yes or no to things for the sake of our well-being. So here are 4 reasons we just can’t say no:

1. We fear being rejected.

We feel like when we say no to someone, they will reject us and no longer love us. Why are we so insecure and needy? If we value them, they need to value us and our lifestyle. If they just can’t accept who we are, then there’s something wrong.

If you have a meaningful relationship and reciprocal understanding, then this person won’t judge or reject you. The people we can’t say no to might be, sadly, people that we can’t connect on a deeper level.

2. We fear sounding rude.

When we say yes out of fear of saying no, we actually betray ourselves and our priorities. I am a firm believer in being kind and polite at all times, but being kind doesn’t have to mean you never reject anything that is offered to you.

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Cinderella (2015)

Maybe it’s as simple as a candy offered by your coworker. If you believe candies are bad for your health but you don’t want to be rude, you accept it. But actually, you are being rude to your body. Or, it may be a request for a charity donation whose cause you don’t believe in. You contribute a few dollars, just not to stand in the crowd. But inside, you fill with resentment, you start to hate yourself for not being brave enough to stand for your priorities. So, I think Cinderella’s advice is really valuable: Have courage, and be kind. If we practice enough, we can do both at the same time.

 

A good piece of advice that I read about this topic is delaying giving an answer. If you feel an immediate no will be quite rude, you can say “I’ll get back to you.” But some people just get away with this, never giving an answer. I think this is ruder than saying no immediately.

3. We avoid confrontation and conflict.

Saying yes is much easier than no because sometimes we are too tired to face confrontations or conflicts. This is especially true with the people closest to us. We fear if we end up fighting, it is going to be bad for our relationship, so we just shut up and agree with the other party. This is actually very very serious. If we suppress our feelings every time we need to make decisions that involves other people, it means our voice is never heard. This has two big consequences. First, the feeling of resentment towards yourself and the other person gets bigger and bigger, at the end possibly harming your relationship. Second, maybe you were right in the first place. No was the correct answer. By saying yes in order to avoid conflict, you ruined the chances of making the right decision for you. So, even if it causes conflict, try to make the other person consider the choices before you say yes or no.

4. We fear being selfish

If a person asks for help and for some reason we are unavailable, we are afraid to say no because we’re afraid it’ll look selfish. We’re afraid of being a bad person and not being loved again. This is indeed very selfish, because when we say yes when we aren’t available, we simply cry for the love and the approval of the other person. We sacrifice ourselves, not out of pure love, but out of the need for being loved and valued. This also results in resentment because you are not true to yourself. When you think of it that way, this really is pathetic, isn’t it?

What can we do about it?

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getty images

I don’t really suggest you start saying no to any offer or request in your life, but I think saying yes to everything, everything we don’t really want is a big problem. So as I said before, requesting for some time before you make a decision is really a great idea. That way, you can think about it more clearly and make your decision from a realistic and objective point of view.

Seeing the reasons that I talked about helped a great deal for me, I think it helps you, too. Realizing the patterns and the motives behind our behavior makes us more mindful, creating the path to a more fulfilling life.

Being polite is always important, but just don’t say no for fear of being rude. You can still validate your friend or loved one without agreeing with their every idea or decision. It is tricky but I believe we can come up with millions of different ways of saying no without hurting the other person.

p.s. I was inspired by this video to think and write about this topic. I also got the four main subtopics from Teal. So I really recommend watching it. 🙂

Reklamlar

Less is More- What does it really mean?

Az Çoktur- Aslında Ne Demek?

We were passing through Kozak Valley, in the northern Aegean region. All the car windows were open so that we could breathe in the scent of beautiful olive and pine trees, but catching up with conversations became harder and harder due to the wind. Tevfik, an 84-year old distant acquaintance whom I never met before that day, turned around and told me: “A colleague once said ‘Less is more.’ Up to day, I have lived by this and it became my motto in life.” Then he turned back. I was so startled I couldn’t even ask him to elaborate. I didn’t even know he was a well-known architect, he quit the academia due to a small conflict, he’s interested in spiritualism and now he lives alone in his village, where he was born.

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Kozak

Kozak Yaylası’ndan arabayla geçiyoruz. Önce zeytinlerin, sonra çamların kokusunu içimize çekelim diye tüm camlar açık, rüzgârın sesinden konuşulanları duymak zorlaşıyor. Öndeki yolcu koltuğunda oturan, o gün tanıştığım 84 yaşındaki Tevfik Amca bana döndü:

“Biliyor musun, eski bir meslektaşım ‘Less is more’ demişti. Bu benim hayat felsefem oldu. Hep böyle yaşamaya çalıştım,” dedi ve sonra önüne döndü. Ben de öyle şaşkınlığa uğradım ki soru bile soramadım ona. O zaman Tevfik Amca’nın zamanın önde gelen mimarlarından olduğunu, bir inat yüzünden profesör olmak üzereyken akademiden ayrıldığını, spiritüelizm ve tasavvufla derinden ilgili olduğunu, şimdilerde ise tek başına memleketi olan Gelibolu’nun köylerinden birinde yaşadığını bilmiyordum. Less is more, yani az çoktur deyimini bilmesine hayret etmiştim ama belki de Kozak Yaylası’nın havası çarptı, ben Tevfik Amca’ya bunu nereden bildiğini sormayı unuttum.

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Recently when I was browsing the internet I saw the saying again. This time it had a name under it: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Turns out what Tevfik was referring to as a “colleague” actually lived a hundred years before him, and is one of the most influential figures of  modern architecture. Mies reflected “Less is More” philosophy to almost every building he designed. One of his most renowned works, Barcelona Pavilion was designed in such a special way that when you first look at it you think it’s quite simple, but then it gives you the impression that it’s infinite. It’s incredible. Mies no doubt changed the way we perceive things and our approach to design. His legacy continues to amaze us in the 21st century.

Geçenlerde internette gezinirken karşıma çıktı yeniden deyim. Altında da söyleyen kişinin adı yazılıydı: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Meğer Tevfik Amca’nın meslektaşım derken kastettiği, kendinden yaklaşık yüz yıl önce yaşamış, modern mimarinin önemli figürlerinden Mies imiş. Mies bu sözü hayatı boyunca tasarladığı tüm yapıtlara yansıtmış. En ünlü yapıtlarından biri Barcelona Pavilion, bakınca insana hakikaten de az çoktur duygusunu yaşatıyor. Hem çok basit gibi geliyor insana hem de sonsuzluğu çağrıştırıyor. Şüphe yok ki Mies hem 20. hem de 21. yüzyılı en çok etkileyen mimarlardan biri.

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Barcelona Pavilion

In a time when it’s all about world wars, conquests, and thirst for more; Mies chose simplicity. During the times he designed Pavilion the inflation was huge in Germany, the money lost its value so quickly that people used to carry a bread’s worth of money in sacks. But this maximalism maybe made him a bigger defender of the minimal approach.

Savaşların, fetihlerin, hep daha çok olsunların dünyasında yaşamış Mies. Öyle ki onun Pavilion’u tasarladığı yıllarda Almanya’da enflasyon almış başını gitmiş, ekmek almak için çuvala para doldurup götürür olmuş insanlar. Ama o yine de azı savunmaya devam etmiş.

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taken in Myntkabinettet Stockholm in 2014. These notes belong to 1922-1924 time period. // 2014 yılında Stockholm Para Müzesinde çekilen bu banknotlar 1922-1924 arasına ait. İki yılda 50 marktan milyon ve milyarlara gelinmiş.

 

I really liked this saying but after learning about the philosophy behind it, I liked it even more. And like Tevfik, I’ll try to live by this motto all my life.

‘Az çoktur’ deyimini hep sevmişimdir, ama arkasındaki felsefeyi öğrenince, daha da benimsedim. Umarım Tevfik Amca gibi ben de bunu hayat felsefem haline getirebilirim.

Decluttering Marathon Day 7- Electronics, and Thoughts //Azaltma Maratonu Son Gün- Elektronik Aletler ve Değerlendirme

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image: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2012/09/20/do-we-have-too-many-possessions/

*English version follows*

Tam yedi gün arka arkaya yapamasam da bu azaltma maratonunda beklediğimden çok daha fazla çöplük buldum evde. Çöplük diyorum çünkü insanın hiç de düşünmesine gerek olmayan şeyleri attık çoğu zaman. Bakmak yeterli oldu o objenin hayatımızda yeri olmadığını anlamaya. Ve yaklaşık iki yıldır yaptığım alışverişe, evime girenlere dikkat etmeme rağmen böyle oldu. İki yıl önceki halimle, ama şimdiki bildiklerimi bilerek bu işe girişsem herhalde evin yarısı gidermiş. 🙂

 

Fakat şunu da gördüm ki, kesinlikle azaltmak yeterli değil. Düzenli olmak da çok önemli ki bu benim en büyük eksiğim. Az eşyam da olsa hala kendi düzenimi oturtabilmiş değilim. Zaten bu nedenle bazen eşyaların varlığını unutuyorum ve yıllarca çekmecenin dibinde kalabiliyorlar. Doğuştan düzenli insanlardan biri olmayı çok isterdim, ama maalesef yapa yapa öğrenmek zorundayım.

Bugünkü konumuz elektroniklerdi. Yine komono kategorisine giren bu yaramazlar evin her yerinde olduğu için aslında bu yedi gün içinde onları zaten tespit ettik. Kurtulacağımız elektroniklerin listesi:

  1. Bozuk bir hdmi kablosu
  2. Eski bir klavye
  3. Bozuk bir tıraş makinesi
  4. Bitmiş piller
  5. Eski telefonun eski bataryası
  6. İki adet hafızası düşük flash disk (verilmek üzere ayırdık)

Şimdi iş bunları nereye vereceğimize kaldı. Bitmiş pilleri TAP topluyor, diğer elektronik eşyaları ise Media Markt’ın aldığını duydum ama gözümle görmeden inanmayacağım sanırım. Bugün yarın gidip vermeye çalışacağım, bakalım başarılı olacak mıyım?

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image: https://www.octa.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Mobile-Phone-Cell-Phone-Trash.jpg

English Version

Although I couldn’t do the seven day marathon in a row, I found lots of “garbage” at home than I expected. I say garbage because the things I tossed were generally not recyclable or reusable. And sometimes just looking was enough to understand that this object has no longer any purpose in our lives. And this is happening after two years that I’m shopping mindfully and responsibly. If I had decluttered with the mindset that I have now, I would have gotten rid of half  the objects in our home. 🙂

I also saw that decluttering simply isn’t enough. Being organized is equally as important, which is my biggest weakness. Although I don’t own much, I don’t have a sustainable organization style. That’s why I keep forgetting the items I put deep in the drawers and I need this decluttering marathon to remember them. I wish I was one of those people who are innately organized, but unfortunately I have to learn to be one.

Today I was supposed to declutter electronics. But honestly in the last six day, I encountered most of them and put them aside so I didn’t need a full day to inspect the electronic items at home. Here’s what we decided to say goodbye to:

  1. a broken hdmi cable
  2. an old keyboard
  3. a broken shaving machine
  4. old batteries
  5. the first battery of my previous phone
  6. two low-memory flash disks (to be given away)

So now the job is how to get rid of them. There are local centres in TR that collect batteries, but I never recycled electronics before. I’ll check an electronics chain store which claims to be taking them for recycling, but I have see it to believe it. I hope they won’t end up in landfill.

Decluttering Marathon Day 6: Bathroom // Azaltma Maratonu 6. Gün: Banyo

Honestly this was one of the most cluttered places before I started this marathon but I didn’t touch it just to feel the joy of tossing so many items at once!

Açıkçası banyonun en dağınık yer olduğu başladığımda belliydi ama özellikle dokunmadım ki bugün geldiğinde fazlalıkları atmanın verdiği hazzı yaşayabileyim!

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This is the top of the washer. Did I say it was cluttered?

I already have a very small bathroom, so the only countertop is the poor washing mashine. And after coming back from the summer vacation I wasn’t that motivated to tidy it.

Zaten çok küçük bir banyom var ve eşyalarımı koyabileceğim tek yer çamaşır makinesinin üstü. Bayram tatilinden dönüşte de kendimi hiç motive edemedim doğrusu burayı toparlamaya.

 

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Sometimes organized people tend to hoard stuff. My husband is the most organized person I know, and I know when he’s committed to it he declutters like crazy (like in yesterday’s post), but he has this habit of collecting little hotel shampoo bottles everywhere he goes. Luckily for us- and the environment, no hotel carries these small bottles in Japan; so we didn’t bring any of these back from our Japanese holiday. But in Dubai, where he spent half of the last year, all hotels give these away and he made a big collection of nearly 50 bottles. I had to step in. I poured all the shower gels in the liquid soap container. We don’t use liquid sop any more but I know that my guests do, so I put it in the guest bathroom. To my surprise, it smelled great. I guess I’ll do the same with the shampoos as well. For now, I put them in the purple bag on the washer, in a drawer under the bed.

Bazen düzenli insanlarda da istif alışkanlığı olabiliyor. Eşim tanıdığım en düzenli insan, ve aklına koyduğu zaman neler yaptığını dünkü yazımda anlatmıştım. Fakat gittiği her otelden minik şampuan şişeleri ve sabunlar getirme gibi bir huyu var. Şansımıza Japon otellerinde hep büyük şişeler vardı, oradan bir şey getiremedik, ama özellikle geçen senenin neredeyse yarısını iş için Dubai’deki otellerde geçirince 50’ye yakın şişe birikti. Kullansak neyse, kullanmıyoruz da. Ben de duş jellerini sıvı sabunluğa doldurdum. Artık sıvı sabun kullanmıyoruz ama eve gelen misafirler genelde tercih ettiği için misafir banyosuna koydum. Kokular karışınca güzel kokmaz diyordum ama beklentilerimin tersi oldu. Kalan şampuanları da yatağın altındaki çekmeceye koydum, herhalde şampuanların sonu da el sabunu olacak.

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bye bye, things
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Unbelievable! Yarım saatte bu kadar değiştiğine inanamıyorum!

I changed the tablecloth on it too, and I really couldn’t believe how much it cleared in just half an hour. There were lots of things I parted with, especially old containers that I thought someday I’d use them for some diy project but that someday never came. Time to say goodbye. I also tossed old and disliked products like that hair mousse or the deodorant. But as you see, we still have some hotel products here. These are from the hotels he spent summer holidays as a child. Some of them are over 20 years old. What can I say? They give him joy.

Üzerindeki örtüyü de değiştirince yarım saatte epey bir ferahladı banyo. Belki bir gün kendinyap projeleri için kullanırım diye düşündüğüm küçük, büyük, spreyli vb. şişeler vardı, onlara elveda dedim çünkü o bir gün hiç gelmedi. Deodorant ve saç köpüğü gibi eski ve sevmediğim ürünleri de attım bu vesileyle. Bu arada gördüğünüz gibi hala bazı otel sabunlarımız duruyor. Bunlar eşimin çocukluğunda gittiği otellerden. Kimisi yirmi yıldan eski. Ne diyebilirim ona mutluluk veriyorsa, değil mi?

Seven Day Decluttering Marathon- Yedi Günlük Azaltma Maratonu

Seven Day Decluttering Marathon- Yedi Günlük Azaltma Maratonu

Because I wasn’t at home that much during summer, no decluttering was done. Since my childhood, summer has meant home to me, spending more time at home, bonding with home. However, this summer was different. Between the travels and family vacations, home was a bit lonely. Before autumn hits and school marathon starts, I wanted to have a one week decluttering marathon. Today, I’ll start with the kitchen. Cupboards, kitchenware, fridge, food… Let’s see how much I’ll get done in a day. If I can’t finish everything, it’s OK. Tomorrow, I’ll go on with the second category, which is known as komono in Japanese.

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Bu yaz evde pek olmamamdan mütevellit temizlik ve azaltma işini epey bir “salladım”. Benim için yaz mevsimi küçüklüğümden beri ev demekti, evde daha çok vakit geçirmek. Bu yaz ise daha farklı oldu. Seyahatler, aile ziyaretleri derken evim biraz kimsesiz kaldı. Sonbahar gelmeden, okul maratonu başlamadan ben de bir azaltma maratonu yapayım dedim. Bugün ilk gün mutfağa girişiyorum, kap-kacak, buzdolabı, bakliyatlar… Bakalım ne kadarını halledebileceğim… Yapabildiğim kadar, bitiremezsem yarın devam etmeyip bir günlüğüne Japonca’da komono olarak bilinen kategoriye el atacağım. 

Decluttering Marathon Day 1- Azaltma Maratonu 1. gün

Decluttering Marathon Day 2- Azaltma Maratonu 2. Gün: Komono

Decluttering Marathon Day 3: Paperwork / Azaltma Maratonu 3. Gün: Evrak

Decluttering Marathon Day 4: Bedroom / Azaltma Maratonu 4. Gün: Yatak Odası

Decluttering Marathon Day 5: Bedroom and Komono cont. // Azaltma Maratonu 5. Gün: Yatak Odası ve Komono’ya Devam

Decluttering Marathon Day 6: Bathroom // Azaltma Maratonu 6. Gün: Banyo

Decluttering Marathon Day 7- Electronics, and Thoughts //Azaltma Maratonu Son Gün- Elektronik Aletler ve Değerlendirme

 

A few tips on packing/ Bavul yapma üzerine birkaç ipucu

1. If you’re packing a sun hat, put it upside down and fill inside and the outer edges with soft clothes like t-shirts and socks. This ensures the hat will stay in shape.


1. Eğer bavulunuza bir hasır şapka koyacaksanız ilk önce ters olarak koyup, içini ve dışını tişört ya da çorap gibi yumuşak kıyafetlerle doldurabilirsiniz. Böylece şapkanın şekli bozulmayacaktır. Bunu öğrenene kadar bu şapkayı uçakta/otobüste elimde poşetle taşırdım. 😄

2. Fold the clothes so that they can stand up on their own, using the Konmari method ( vid below). That way you can take the clothes you need without messing the organisation of the suitcase. 

Also, pack your shoes separately to make the best of the space.

 

2. Giysileri yukarıda görüldüğü gibi, dik duracak şekilde Konmari metoduna göre katlayın. Böylece içinden bir giysi almanız gerektiğinde diğerleri bozulmayacak ve her şeyi bir anda görebilirsiniz. Konmari metodu ile giysi katlama için aşağıdaki videoya bakabilirsiniz.

Diğer bir ipucu da ayakkabılar üzerine. Ayakkabılarınızı tek tek poşetleyin ki yer kaplamasın. 

3. Last but not the least, don’t over pack. Only bring what you need. For me, for one month of visiting family and then going to the seaside, I packed 6 t-shirts, one pair of baggy trousers, one pair of jeans, swimsuits, one summer hat, a very light towel, one pair of sandals and one pair of sneakers. Besides clothes, toiletries and basic skin care products. For makeup, just a 10 ml bottle of foundation and an eyeliner. I guess this suitcase will weigh below 10 kilos it’ll be more than enough.

I hope this post helps you to pack lighter and in a more organised way. 🙂 

The other half of the suitcase/ bavulun diğer yarısı

3. En önemlisi de, yalnızca ihtiyacınız kadar olanını alın bavulunuza. Bu herkese göre değişir, ben bir ay kadar ailemin yanına gidip sonra da deniz kenarına gideceğim. Bunun için altı tişört, bir şalvar pantolon ve bir kot pantalon, bir çift parmak arası terlik ve bir çift spor ayakkabı, banyo ve cilt bakımı malzemeleri aldım.  Mayoların yanında kurulanmak için bir peştemalim var ki hem hafif, hem de suyu kalın bir havludan daha fazla emiyor ve anında kuruyor. 

Makyaj malzemesi olarak 10 ml lik bir fondöten ve bir göz kalemi yetti. Bana yetecek hatta artacak bu bavul tahminimce 10 kilodan az oldu. 

Umarım bu yazı daha hafif ve düzenli bir bavul düzenlemenize yardımcı olmuştur. 🙂

Keeping the Possessions Minimal, but Not My Interests.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAVJAAAAJDY2ZTI5OTNiLTA1YWMtNGEzMS05ZTljLTUzNmRlZTE0YjE1YgSometimes people think (and I think) I’m contradicting myself because I choose to live a minimalist lifestyle with less clothes, less makeup and overall less possessions. Yet, my interests are not minimalistic at all. I’m currently interested in writing: blogging, creative writing and handwriting/lettering.

But I also like to read and talk about psychology, the environment, sustainability, sewing& embroidery, botany & gardening, cooking & nutrition. Not to forget I work full time as an English instructor and I love teaching. And I’m almost sure I forgot to mention a few some.

My old (though somewhat related) interests were in playing the guitar (which I decided to sell as I wasn’t playing for nearly a decade), knitting and crocheting, animal rights, social anthropology, sociology, and political sciences. Last but not least, I also want to learn (and feel the need to learn) more about positive sciences. I’m regretful that I hated Math and Physics in high school.

Does a person who wants to lead a minimalist life style need to keep their interests to minimum? I definitely don’t think so as the whole idea behind minimalism is to keep what matters and what is valuable. So it pretty much depends on the person.

But then again, I sometimes feel guilty that instead of excelling in one particular skill, I tend to go back and forth between these areas, and knowledge and skills  grow slowly. It feels like I need to have a life purpose yet I don’t. Wouldn’t life be easier for me if I just tried to excel in teaching? I sometimes wonder.

However, recently I came across a term, coined by Emilie Wapnick:

Multipotentiality

“An educational and psychological term referring to a pattern found among intellectually gifted individuals. [Multipotentialites] generally have diverse interests across numerous domains and may be capable of success in many endeavors or professions, they are confronted with unique decisions as a result of these choices.”

She also has a fantastic TED talk:

She simply describes those of us who has many interests shouldn’t blame themselves, or be afraid and discouraged. Even if you lose your curiosity in one subject and be a beginner many, many times in your life, you use all your accumulated skills and knowledge and bring a new perspective to your new areas. So in a way, you are always a beginner, but because of your complicated history, you are never a beginner.

This really makes sense to me because as separate as they may seem, all of my interests feed into each other, and help me lead a more meaningful life every single day. I can relate to most of my students, who are studying at different departments, because one time in my life I delved into their profession in one way or another.

Sometimes I decide to quit one of these areas altogether, as in the case of the guitar, and I feel a bit guilty about that too. But after watching Emilie’s talk, I realized practising classical guitar taught me rhythm and mathematics, as well as  how to appreciate music. It introduced me to great musicians as well. So I’m always grateful for that. I don’t want to go back in time and become a master guitarist, though, I just wasn’t meant to be one. I didn’t have the motivation that my teacher had, for example, practising four to six hours everyday. I was too busy researching some other area I found mind-opening.

Learning that there are a lot of people like me is a relief. Learning that multipotentiality is not a burden but a gift made me more confident in pursuing my endeavours (or starting new ones, does learning really end anyway?).

Do you feel you are a multipotentialite, too? Or is specializing in one area more of your thing?

image source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-multipotentialite-judi-umali-rajkumar ( a good reading piece too if you’re into it)

you can also visit: puttylike.com (Emilie’s website)

5 things to be before you die

In a creative writing book, one of the prompts was to write “5 things to do before you die”. Five isn’t a big number, that’s why you  need to put only the biggest dreams there. You can’t put “not so sure” kind of dreams in a list of five.

At the beginning of the list, I wrote “publishing my novel or stories”. Then I thought, what if it happens? Will I accomplish my dream when I get to publish one book? That didn’t sound right. Or one of my biggest dreams was to travel to Japan. Hopefully I’ll realize it this month, then what? And when I thought further, I really couldn’t find any goals or things worth “doing” before I die.

So I blamed myself for having no dreams, no passion. But the problem wasn’t with me, it was with the question. The word “to do” indicated a process which is fated to end. If you say “to be”, however, the things you’ll write can be more extensive and more meaningful. And as long as you live, your dream doesn’t have an ending. You can keep on “being”. With this in mind, I prepared a list of five things to be before I die.

  1. To be a writer. A blogger, a novelist, or any kind of writing that I can’t imagine for the time being.
  2. To be a traveler.
  3. To be a minimalist, living intentionally.
  4. To be consistent with my beliefs and principles.
  5. To be a master of yoga (having it as a part of my life)

Now this list feels right!

And not to forget:

Style Matters (but not the size of your wardrobe)

style

I really can’t say I’ve found my style yet, a style that I can keep for years. Or rather, I’m denying my jeans & basic t-shirt style and hoping that I’ll come up with something chic (or I’ll be a cool grandma who’s still wearing jeans and a star wars t-shirt). Meanwhile, I adore people with style, people who follow a timeless fashion.

In an earlier post, I talked about fashion designers like Micheal Kors and Vera Wang, who stick with black in their wardrobe. Today I’d like to turn to Royal Family and the “repeaters” that I like a lot!

princess anne

Princess Anne, the only daughter of the Queen is definitely my favourite, she likes wearing the same outfits with small changes again and again, and here is one outfit that I love. She first wore this marvelous lavender coat with a matching hat in 1979, and has worn it to several occasions since. Her outfits are probably made from the finest material and with great design and tailoring involved, why waste them, right? This coat is definitely timeless fashion. If you want to see her other outfits that she’s wearing again and again, you can check this newspaper article out.

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Princess Kate also follows Anne’s footsteps, and she’s getting lots of attention for it, like everything she does. I remember how the media blamed Kate  for wearing skinny jeans! (I thought she looks great in them too.) She is on the newspaper no matter what she does, so if she chooses to do nice things everyone knows about it. I’m not British, but maybe because I teach English for a living, I’ve always thought the Royal Family is a huge influence on today’s society. They are big role models, along with superstars and scientists and politicians. So I really appreciate these two princesses’ styles and hope we can learn from them. Being thrifty and frugal is not only for the commoners! 😀

Things I said Goodbye This Week

This week I said goodbye to my guitar, which has a sentimental value but has never been used for the last seven years. It’s been sitting at my parents’ house, sadly. I remember the first time I started to play when I was twelve; I had a very cheap guitar, but I was quite eager. I even filled my journal pages saying that it was my only friend. Ovsn853792er the years, however, after I saved some money and bought a Yamaha, I realized I wasn’t made for playing the guitar. I could write, or cook for hours for example, but I couldn’t stand guitar practice for more than an hour. So I slowly stopped playing it, and this photo is from 2009, when I almost never played the guitar.

I asked a friend of mine, who is a musician, what to do with it, and he said he can gladly buy it. As a matter of fact, he needed a classical guitar. I sold it for a symbolic price, after all, what matters is that he is going to use it far better than I did, and it will make the guitar happy.

 

The second thing I said goodbye to is eight books. Two of these, I realized I will never read them again. Two of them, I realized I had the original English copy of the book, and these img_0997are the translation. I never liked the other four anyway. So I put them on the Freecycle group of the university I’m working at,
and in a minute, I gave them all away.

We fill our homes with items saying “what if” to ourselves. What if I play the guitar again? What if I read this book again? What if my grandchildren want to read this book? We even imagine these items as our legacy, we see our grandchildren using them as a memory. In reality, no grandchildren will keep 500 books just because they inherited them. They will most likely keep the ones of utmost value. So I believe even if we keep some items as legacy, we must keep the best of them and in the best condition.