Addictions to let go of & minimalism update #2

I have been attempting lately to embrace a simpler and less complicated lifestyle. One where I am no longer a hoarder in terms of holding on to actual physical items. But also, I want to let go of a lot of other… ideas that hold me down as though they are an unshiftable weight that refuses to let me go.

John Green; epic human being, author, YouTuber, released a video explaining that he was going to leave a few things behind in 2017 and not carry them with him into 2018. A truly wonderful concept. Easier said than done, of course. But if it can be said, then it can at least be attempted.

This video sparked somewhat of a debate amongst my people. It got us talking first of all, about things we are addicted to, that we should consider weaning ourselves off this year. The answers were varied and colourful; food, online shopping, make up, swearing, clothes, conversation, Netflix, YouTube and people.

If you thought food was mine I don’t blame you. I do love me some grubb, but it wasn’t, I’d be surprised if anyone can figure out which one was mine actually.

We talked about all the possible and healthier alternatives we should explore (reading and the gym being popular choices) instead of our respective addictions if you like and all in all it was an interesting debate. Not a fan of debates though I am.

I’ve already, in a previous post, outlined what I would like to achieve in 2018. So I don’t mean this to be repetetive, but every this year I really want to be less affected by shit. Especially when I feel that I have been wronged. People don’t like being wronged as a general rule but when it happens to me, I get upset times a thousand. I weep and lose sleep over it for days. This is because I invest a large chunk of myself into anything and anyone that means a lot to me. No one makes me do this, so I have only myself to blame, I know. But I can’t help it.

My mother on the other hand, when wronged, can turn the other way, learn from it and forget it ever happened. I want to be like that this year. God knows she has tried to explain to me, that not all people will forgive you just because you forgave them, they won’t all be here for you at 5:00am because you were there for them and they won’t always welcome you back with open arms like you did for them.

She says you can either stop being too nice or stop expecting too much and that the people who wrong anyone will one day wake up and think ‘shit, I should have treated this person better and now they’re gone,’ and that’s that. My thick head refuses to get it. But I shall work on it this year.

Enough with the heavy. I present to you minimalism update number 2.

I have, to my great horror, managed to collect and accumalate 10 plastic water bottles from my room today. Something I actually do every week but have never thought twice about. I’ll let you do the math. Ahem. My family buy water bottles in bulk and I take one to my room every night in case I get thirsty which I hardly ever do.

Ideally, I wanted to replace these with a steel or glass bottle that I refill every night but I only happen to have a plastic one at hand for now. So I shall use that one until it breaks or gets misplaced.

Next thing to minimise on; books. The one I dread the most. Eeeks.


Minimalism Update #1… ish.

Sup ya’ll?

The season to be jolly is over. Yours truly turned 30 and apart from a little knee pain (I know!) and a cold / cough that refuse to go away, I feel aight ya know. Same ish, different day.

I have spent an alarming amount of hours watching romantic films. I blame the holidays for this you know, they do me in. I’ve also been listening to the song from The Snowman (walking in the air) a lot. If you haven’t watched The Snowman (1982), do. It’s on YouTube, only 27 minutes and it is pure magic.

So, minimalism updates. I haven’t done much per se. I yacked on about it to a lot of folk and got some hate mail because I apparently inspired a couple of people to clear out their loft and attic. Yay! Result! I inspired people. I haven’t done that since the 90s. That’s when some of ya’ll were born, kids.

Anyway, they now hate me because I made them throw away stuff they don’t use anymore. How dare I indeed. I’ve also inspired my cousin (a journalist) to write an article about it apparently. Minimalism is not a recognised concept where she lives, you see.

As for me personally, I need to invest in a couple of things, I think, to start living minimally. I don’t like the idea of spending money to become a minimalist but I feel a couple of sacrifices will have to be made at the start of this journey. Namely a tote bag.

My reasoning; I am the worst culprit for using plastic bags at the supermarket. I go through tons. I tend not to care about the extra charge and even when I buy a “bag for life” I never take it out of the car because it’s big and bulky and crinckly and just not compact at all.

So, I think a fabric bag will be perfect. You can fold it away and be done with it. It is necessary and not that pricey I feel. You would agree with me if you knew how many times I go to Tesco a week. They should give me shares honestly.

Anyway, I am torn between these two, opinions please.

My (very Asian, very Arab) family’s response to me becoming a minimalist

I’ve been talking to telling my family that I’m seriously considering becoming a minimalist and someone who somewhat practises the zero waste movement to the best of their ability. I won’t go too deep into explaining either lifestyle as they are pretty self explanitory and you can YouTube them if interested. But essentially, with the 1st you don’t buy and hoard shit you don’t need and with the 2nd you recycle and become a more concious consumer.

I’m not claiming to suddenly love the environment and I am debating buying an obscenely expensive chair as we speak but I do want to do my bit for the world. Maybe turning 30 is making me nicer hella bored and I feel like I need to do something with the routine cycle I call my life.

Anyway, here are some of my very Asian, very Arab family and friend’s responses when I told them about this change. Sidenote; I have never been more amused in my life;

~Oh you want less furniture? How about you think twice about getting a 2nd cat? Two cats is not very minimal, Tam- Ma

~New movement? You do realise this is how the prophet lived years ago right? – Friend

~A bamboo toothbrush? I think you’ll find that’s called a miswak mate. These Youtubers feed you lies and you just buy them. Shabash TamCousin

~Oh now they wanna use a “water system” when they go to the toilet to avoid loo roll? We’ve been doing it for centuries and been called dirty for it but now you wack a “save the environment” label on it and it becomes popular? Nice one Westerners- Colleague

~Oh God Tam, are you gonna start hugging trees and shit now?- Friend

~No, no good. Just do it properly though yeah. Don’t use our bathroom that’s too modern and bad for the environment. Go in the garden- Ma.

-So I take it you will be walking an hour and back to work now yeah? No car? – Friend

-Tam, is this you lowkey trynna be kanjoos? Because I’ll get the bill next time we go out don’t sweat it, babe- Cousin

-Mashallah. What next? You’ll go vegan inshallah? Because if so you can start next month. Your dad has already done the meat shop for this month- Ma.

30 lessons in (almost) 30 years: Revised Edition

1. Cough syrup is fookin’ useless.

2. Chai in bed can vastly improve even the worst of my moods.

3. There is such a thing as being too honest.

4. Being good is fucking hard but it will benefit you when you are 6 feet under. As will not swearing I suppose. But you know.

5. A stranger is the best person to talk to. But we really mustn’t speak to strangers. Note to self; stop doing this.

6. Being kind is everything.

7. The only person that will love you regardless of what a wasteman you turned out to be is your mother. God bless mine, I am her proudest disappointment. Mashallah me.

8. Even if you do what you love, it will still feel like work because Monday.

9. Humans were designed to betray whereas animals show you undying loyalty. Except reptiles, they evil. And my cat, she hates me.

10. The idea of love is beautiful. The actual ish is hella complex.

11. Health is one of those things you should stop taking for granted.

12. Being lonely is a thing. Even if you love being alone.

13. Not everyone you want to be in your life will want to be there because they think they are prestiege oh my actual days.

14. Thirty is a good time to start practising minimalism and (almost) zero waste as actual lifestyles. Here goes nothing.

15. Just like “money doesn’t buy you happiness,” love doesn’t put food on the table. So when da mandem be’s saying, “even the Sahabas weren’t rich!” – Bruh, in what other way are you a Sahabi though? Pft. Have several seats.

16. Time doesn’t heal, it teaches you to survive anyway.

17. The Casanova that listened to his mother and left you because you were “dark” and therefore “unattractive”? You lost him but you gained perspective. Also, he’s bald now, whereas your hair game is hella strong mashallah.

18. Life is kinder to attractive people. It won’t be you that changes that ridiculous notion so bite your tongue and iron your bloody scarf once in a while.

19. Take the photo. So someone tells you off. Big deal.

20. If you treat people like celebrities, they will treat you like a fan. No one is that great. No one.

21. Not everyone will like you. Even if you are super nice to them.

22. Ain’t nobody gonna see the good in you if you don’t acknowledge it 1st.

23. People that offer to drive are good people.

24. Tastes like acid in my mouth to admit this but… marriage isn’t all bad *chokes*

25. Le future other half? He has to speak English. But it helps his case majorly if he speaks another language as well. Like big time. Like help me Lord.

26. Today’s friend can unfortunately soon become tomorrow’s “who?” Don’t form unnecessary attachments.

27. Decluttering is life. Get rid of everything. Be sentimental in your heart.

28. Knowing a list of facts about someone doesn’t mean you know them. It’s the things you figure out without being told that count.

29. Real talk? The opposite sex only holds as much control over you as you allow them to. You are in charge of distributing the bullets responsible for your demise. Hand them out sparingly. He will not think twice about shooting.

30. It’s okay that the most peaceful you feel right now is sitting in your car alone (with food, always) listening to soppy songs and staring at the epic view you parked in front of, whilst mentally pretending you are in a music video. You do you.

It’s 2°, which is cold for England

…and I am absolutely boiling. Like to the point of being irritated. My colleagues are wrapped up and I am walking around sweating in a shirt. I can’t feel it per se but someone touched me and said I was radiating heat. To be fair their skin felt freezing cold and so comforting to touch. Ahhh.

Fever game strong this week. It’s on and off. Comes and goes. Sunday was my worst day though, I got so dehydrated and dizzy I basically passed out and created this whole scene for my family which was fun for them. I like to spice up their life now and then.

I’ve said it before but I really do have the worst immune system in the world which is not helped by the fact that I basically work in a germ hub. Still, I soldiered on and went to work because my new year’s rez is to improve my work ethic. Not.

I do however want to;

1. Finish a lip balm. I buy them, use half, then misplace or forget about them.

2. Stop giving people the time of day. This essentially means if someone is being a prick. Tell them. Don’t sugar coat it to spare their feelings. Here’s a practice run: “you’re a prick, stop being one.” Oh, that felt beautiful.

3. Somehow improve my immune system. Any recommendations? I feel like I spelt that word very wrong. Good thing I don’t impart wisdom for a living or anything.

4. Finish cups of tea. Not let them get cold, re-heat repeatedly then tip in the sink.

5. Remember less people’s birthdays… it’s getting ridiculous how many people I have to buy ish for which brings me on to…

6. Be better with money, *remembers bank balance, closes eyes in horror*

7. Don’t impress anyone. Least of all employers. They only see who what they want to see and nothing else. Why bother?

8. Really get into minimalism. Read: own less shit.

9. Get into the recycling hype. Or at least try.

10. Not to get attached to humans. Only things. And cats.

Woman, Please.

I was driving to the doctors today and hit a traffic jam. Frustrated, I leaned back and turned up the radio and this is what I heard…

It would appear that women who breastfeed their children are being given shopping vouchers as a treat for providing food… to their own child. It’s a new scheme that has been put into place in order to try and raise the very low figures of breast-fed children in England. Some women reported that they felt rewarded enough by the scheme to carry on feeding their children via this method. To clarify, no vouchers = no breastfeeding. Vouchers = happy to continue breastfeeding.

The many facial expressions I made whilst listening to this “news” were quite the sight for other vehicles passing by I imagine.

The mind… it boggles. I appreciate that breastfeeding doesn’t work for some women and causes pain and therefore more damage than good. I even get that some women choose not to go down the breastfeeding route because they are not comfortable with the idea, fair enough. To each his her own.

But to then tell me that you are essentially being bribed to feed your own kid, I somehow can’t get on board with that. She says like she was invited to get on board.

I just feel like there are a million and one other ways to encourage women to breastfeed; creating more (clean!) breastfeeding rooms in public places for instance, just off the top of my head.

Mothers are great humans and should be given all the rewards known to man. Just not this very twisted one whose main purpose is to raise statistics and has naff all to do with actually bonding with your child.

Cue hate mail.

//. 3

“Mrs. me buying the matriyal now. You taking me car, yes? Is grout is tile is plaster is heavy.”

-Matriyal? Oh material. You need it now for the wall you mean? Yeah, I’ll take you. Come on, I’m driving past that shop anyway.

“Is very good you drive.”

-Ha, is very slow you mean. You drive?

“No Mrs. me no paperwork for drive.”

-Hmm, you paperwork for work though, Jan, yeah? I don’t fancy going to jail for employing your ass. Even if you were recommended by my cousin.

“No understand. Very fast you talk. Why laughing, Mrs?”

-Never mind, Jan. You’re very funny.

“Yes, me wife say all time you funny, you funny.”

-Ah does she? You have kids?

“Yeah me two, girls. But is sad story.”

-Oh dear, sorry to hear it Jan.

“You want hear story?”

-No, no, I meant…

“Okay me tell you. Me living in Hungary, wife two girls. Me sending here England for better life. Me saying is better you go then me come. Me coming one year later she going Scotland with new boyfriend and taking me girls.”

-Shit. I’m so sorry to hear that.

“Is hard you know. Me staying here no job, no house. In Hungary me famous builder in England me nothing.”

-Sounds about right. You have to start from below 0 here. So what did you do?

“Mrs. me doing car wash job is £4 one hour.”

-What? That’s not even minimum wage!

“Is hard because me zero English no can do any other job, car wash is no talking Mrs. just you wash.”

-Hey now, your English is… not zero.”

“I know! Me English is now is very good. Me saying two years ago is zero. Why you laugh again Mrs.?”

-Your English is very good in that case Jan. Teaching it yourself in two years is amazing. Good for you. So how did you become a builder again?

“Me washing car one day of big man. Me hear him talking on phone bout matriyal for skim wall me see picture of wall with him . Me say this no good. First fix wall from inside then get different matriyal me give him name of good brand.”

-And by big man I’m guessing you mean….

“Yes is your cousin Mrs. very good man. He tell me how you know this? Me say me very good builder Mr. he say ok come you work for me. Stop car here please. Is parking next to shop. Let’s go. You got money yes?”

-Yeah I have money, what happened after that then?

“Then he gives me jobs and me leaving car wash. Then me save money £500 and me buying two machines and starting work alone. Now me got 10 mens working for me. Is finish story. What tile you want Mrs? This one or this one?”

-You choose the tile. But, wow.

“Why is wow?”

-Because that’s the most inspiring thing I have heard in a while, Jan. Well done you. Life screwed you over and you bounced back. Sorry about your wife though. I’m sure you will find someone else.”

“Oh me already find someone Mrs.”

-What? It’s not even been two years. No heartbreak? No pining for her loss?”

“Hahahahaha. Why is heartbreak Mrs? Someone is leave you one time is better you leave them ten times, yes?”

-Ah, inspiring but very much still a man.

“Is no understand.”

-Just choose the bloody tiles, Jan.