A rant: Decluttering does not equal minimalism, sustainability or eco-consciousness.

This is likely going to come across as quite ‘spacey’ so to speak, but I need to get this out. So, if it makes no sense, then I guess I’ll have to fix it later.

Lately I’ve been noticing this trend going around the internet (I’m pretty sure it started with that Marie Kondo book) and around people in my life, if I’m being totally honest, where people are promoting ‘Decluttering’ and ‘Minimalism’ because it’s become trendy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people doing things that mimic the notion of “I’m a minimalist, it’s so trendy, look at me decluttering in my photos, on my Facebook Page, in my videos, in my blog posts… it’s so great!”

Here’s the thing… if you were actually a minimalist, you wouldn’t have bought those fucking things to start with. Furthermore, please stop pretending as though this trend of becoming a minimalist is sustainable, eco-conscious or good for the environment.

Hearing about how you decluttered your home to throw a bunch of stuff in the trash, that’s the farthest thing from being eco-conscious. And honestly, please don’t try to pretend like you’re doing anything better by donating these things to a Thrift Store. While Thrift Stores try to resell what they can, they’re inundated with millions upon millions pounds of junk people bought and didn’t need each year, so they decided to ‘donate’. And I’m sorry, but you’re not saving the planet by forcing a Thrift Store to throw out things for you.

A minimalist is someone who doesn’t buy things they don’t need. A minimalist isn’t someone who declutters so they have space to go and by more things.

An eco-conscious person is someone who really thinks about their purchases and how they can make purchases that are better for them and smarter for our earth. And I really cannot stress this enough, an eco-conscious person is someone who makes use of what they already have.

For example: Being eco-conscious is not about buying a stainless steel water bottle when you already have a plastic blender bottle. An eco-conscious person says ‘I already have a water bottle so I’m going to make use of that one until it’s worn out or I can’t use it anymore’. Don’t just declutter your water bottle because it’s made out of plastic. It’s a water bottle. You already own it. Fucking use it. Dear god, please just use what you already fucking have.

This eco-conscious movement is being driven by hyper consumerism and it’s driving me crazy. You’re not doing anything good for the environment if you’re throwing out something you already own in order to buy something that isn’t plastic. You’re not doing anything good for the environment if you’re purchasing things from a Thrift Store if you still don’t need the things you’re purchasing… I don’t care how cheap they are. You’re not doing anything good for the environment by consistently donating what you have because your home is a revolving door of what is new and in style.

Furthermore a minimalist is a minimalist because they don’t buy/own things they don’t need. They’re not doing it to be trendy. They’re not doing it for clout. They’re doing it because if they don’t need something then they don’t want it taking up space in their home. Minimalists don’t have to declutter because they use what they have.

If you really want to make eco-conscious and sustainable decisions – start composting. Start recycling. Save your leftovers and eat them tomorrow. Don’t buy something because it’s trendy, buy something because you need it. Make smarter decisions.

I’m so tired of people throwing away entire boxes of Ziploc bags and plastic wrap because they purchased beeswax wrap or reusable bags on Amazon. Firstly, if we’re talking sustainability here… Amazon in itself is a huge problem. Secondly, you already own the Ziploc bags. You already own the plastic wrap. You might as well make use out of them, since you have them. And then, when you run out, that’s the time to think ‘how can I make a smarter purchasing decision next time’. Don’t just throw them in the garbage.

I will not ever fault someone for wanting to make eco-conscious, environmentally friendly decisions. That being said, please, please, please educate yourselves when doing so. Because there’s so much perfectly good/usable stuff sitting in landfills right now because someone needed to go out and buy the plastic free version, or the ‘sustainable brand’. And how is that helping anything?

Some people.

Some people just walk into your life and you know, immediately, they’re meant to be there. They fit. They make things better. They make you better. They make the sun shine brighter and the bad days seem shorter. Some people turn your whole world around. No matter how perfect or imperfect it might be, they never let you go. And that, that means everything.

If you’re grateful for this life, you’re grateful for everything in this life… even the hardships.

This is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot as of late. People are so quick to state that it’s the wrong time, that they’re not ready, you’re not ready or I’m not ready. Everyone’s got an opinion about the wrong time. Something that people never seem to want to share though is, when is the right time?

With all the things I’ve been through this year, with all the things that everything has been through this year, why are we questioning the wrong timing rather than living in the now?

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Now, understandably so, all they can think/talk about is all of the mountains they never climbed, all of the marathons they never ran and all of the times they put these things off for work, or for ‘life’ not really thinking one day they wouldn’t be able anymore.

Point of this story? The right time is right now. Stop telling yourself that it’s the wrong time. Stop telling yourself that you’ll do it later. If it’s something that you want, do it. Do it now. If something is happening, whether it’s in your control or not, this is what is supposed to be happening. This is something that I’ve had to learn the hard way… because it’s been a crappy year. Even just typing that, I feel like a broken record as I know it’s something I’ve said all too many times before.

When you’re going through a hard time it can feel like everyone and everything is against you. And honestly, on my bad days, that’s what I’ve spent a lot of time this year believing. However, I watched an interview between Stephen Colbert and Anderson Cooper last night to which Stephen Colbert said something that really struck me.

I’m paraphrasing here:

“I’ve learned to the love the thing that I wish most had not happened. What punishments of god are not gifts?”

It’s a gift to exist. It’s a gift to exist. And with existence, comes suffering. There’s no escaping that.

If you’re grateful for your life, you have to be grateful for all of it.

Stephen Colbert

I’m not a religious person, but I do absolutely believe in what Colbert has said. If you’re interested in seeing the interview, you can watch it here: The Stephen Colbert Interview from Anderson Cooper 360 (I highly recommend watching it from start to finish)

If you’re grateful for your life, you have to be grateful for all of it. The good, the bad, the happy, the sad. And with that understanding comes the realization that the right time is right now. Whether it’s good or bad, happy or sad, right now is the right time for what is happening to you, for what you want and desire most, for what you think you cannot handle but absolutely can.

If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to have the weight lifted off your shoulders, I think this is what has done it for me. Honestly, these shitty times are setting me up for something. They have to be. And that’s why I’m choosing to believe that what’s happening right now is supposed to be happening right now.

Stop putting something off because it’s not the right time. Don’t tell yourself you can’t have a baby or buy a house or go on a trip or pierce your nose or change your career path. Do it.

*This definitely sounded a lot more coherent in my head. Ah well, I’m leaving it now.

Friday’s are for…?

I don’t even know where to start.

Wilson was elated to see all of us show up at the hospital this afternoon. He’s a bit of a handy-man by nature. Even at 85 years old he is still someone who made his own repairs to his home and changed the oil in his vehicle on his own, things like that. So, instead of bringing him flowers today, the neighbourhood all went to the hardware store and each bought him a tiny tool to sit on his windowsill in his hospital room. Kind of like… a little touch of him can be there since he’s not allowed to go home.

I truly think he was shocked as heck to see so many people today. But I’m taking that as a good sign. I think in times like these, the best things you can give someone is a smile, and this neighbourhood definitely did that for him today.

If you believe in it, send some positive juju to the universe for Wilson. He’s going to need it in the coming weeks. Today his son told us the doctor’s said it could be a few days, it could be a few weeks, they’re not sure how long he’s got left. The son says once he gets permission to he’s going to take Wilson home to his house (the son) to look after him in his final days. So send some positive juju for the son, too. I can’t imagine that’s easy to deal with.

In another update, I spent two hours on hold this morning to deal with the bank and PayPal to get my credit card sorted out.

PayPal has agreed with me that the transfers appear to be fully fraudulent and they said they will be refunding me within 7-10 business days.

My credit card has been cancelled (as a safety precaution) to ensure that no more charges are made to the card now that the information could possibly be compromised. The bank has told me that I should receive a new card within 7-10 business days.

The stupid part of all of this is that I haven’t even made a purchase on PayPal since 2015. And I’ve only ever made one purchase on PayPal. I’d forgotten all about any existing account with them due to lack of using it. I didn’t need the account so I forgot all about it. The whole situation is all too frustrating. I’ve been trying so hard to be good and not purchase unnecessary things and save my money and then someone goes and steals it. Well, I’m presuming it’s someone at this point.

I have to keep my PayPal account long enough for them to refund me. After that, I’m deleting it and never dealing with PayPal again.

My lesson in this? Don’t have leave your credit card information on sites you don’t use, or sites at all, really. It’s not that hard to rewrite your credit card number each time you purchase something online.

Also, sign up for text alerts from your bank. If they hadn’t texted me this morning notifying me of ‘Suspicious Purchases’ on my card, I wouldn’t have known for a while. I maybe check my bank balances once a week, if that. I don’t know how I signed up for text alerts from my bank, I don’t remember ever doing it. Let me tell you though, I am damn sure glad I had them today.

Holy headache Batman

The past week has been exceptionally trying on my physical health. At first, I had what I thought was a pinched nerve in my neck. My mom made a recommendation that I go see a Chiropractor, and though I was reluctant, I agreed.

See, the headache I have has been so bad that I’ve been having troubles seeing straight. When I stand up, if it’s too quickly, I feel as though I’m going to fall over. I have troubles turning my head. I’m afraid to drive. Honestly, walking down stairs has been quite difficult.

The visit to the Chiropractor was the wrong decision to make… mostly because the issues I’m having were not related to skeletal alignment. So, after another 2 days of suffering, I went to the doctor.

I’ve been dealing with sincerely debilitating pain for a few days. Now I am seriously contemplating going back to the doctor, or to the hospital. I seem to not be getting any better. It might be my anxiety doing the talking, but I feel like I might be getting worse.

The last time I can remember my head hurting even remotely close to this bad was a point in my life where I’d suffered a severe concussion after a physical altercation with a friend’s ex-boyfriend. (Honestly… a story for another day) Part of me, though, is wondering if the movements the Chiropractor did created concussion-like symptoms.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do. There’s not much the doctor can do for me right now. That’s pretty much the only reason I haven’t gone back.

If anyone has any suggestions to help with debilitating headaches, I’d gladly take them.

Ugh, my head hurts.

I dread the night’s most.

Lately I’m finding that when the day winds down and everyone goes to bed for the night, that’s when my anxiety takes over. Swallowing every ounce of what’s good about my mood and my being, I turn into a twisted knot of explosive fear and delirious sadness.

I tried to stay positive about the world this week, I really did. I made a conscious effort every day to try and see the good in what was happening. The good was there. There was good in my life and I did see it. The problem was, the negatives seemed to swallow me whole.

I’m scared that I’m going to make the wrong decisions, do the wrong things or say something that cannot be taken back. I’m scared that I’ll never feel like myself again. As much as I can give myself pep-talks that fear doesn’t really seem to fade these days. Coping techniques help, for a little while. It always comes back though, seemingly stronger than before.

It’s a vicious hamster wheel I’m spinning in.