The Word for 2012 – Deliberate

The past few months have been busy. Lots of travel for work, but more importantly, lot of time thinking and acting on where I want to go in my personal and professional life.

In Mid-November, a writer for Change magazine contacted me about some of my lifestyle choices (the article will be out in Jan 2012). These questions got me thinking about the choices I’ve made over the past few years and how they affected me. When Reverb11 started at the beginning of December, I had further reflections about the past year and started thinking about what I wanted for 2012. One of the questions I asked myself is “If I had to pick a word of intention for this next year, what would it be?” The word that bubbled up to the surface from all this reflection was “deliberate.”

de·lib·er·ate [adj. dih-lib-er-it; v. dih-lib-uh-reyt] Show IPA adjective, verb, -at·ed, -at·ing.
1. carefully weighed or considered; studied; intentional: a deliberate lie.
2. characterized by deliberation; careful or slow in deciding: a deliberate decision.
3. leisurely and steady in movement or action; slow and even; unhurried: a deliberate step.
4. to weigh in the mind; consider: to deliberate a question.

Thought for blog The past few weeks have been spent contemplating and practicing living a more deliberate life. I’m starting 2012 off with a consumer cleanse – no new books or gadgets for the three months of the year. I have so many books and movies that I’ve bought but haven’t read or watched. Its time to do that instead of buying more. It’s time to use my large stash of cookbooks for cooking at home. It’s time to start using my exercise books and the olympic weights and dumbbell set I have to get fit and healthy. These are a start for my deliberate choices for the new year.

I’ll also be doing some clean-up and streamlining of this blog. It’s overdue for a realignment and I realized in my musings that I really want to help people live a more sustainable life here in Houston.

And the Minimal Living Work Begins

As crazy as this sounds, I went and talked to my apartment complex about getting a two bedroom this morning. However after talking to them, I realized:

  1. I didn’t want to go through the hassle of moving to a second floor apartment.
  2. If I made some simple changes, I could get more bang for my buck and save some money in the process.
  3. I’m basically cheap and deep down I know that I don’t need a bigger apartment.

So with my overall goal for this weekend in mind – getting rid of some of the surface clutter, culling the stuff I have to get rid of broken crap, or stuff that I should have never kept in the first place – the work has begun.

Today’s big goals are getting the recycling to the recycling center and culling electronic files. Since I don’t live in an area of town where there’s curbside recycling, I have to sort all that stuff myself, load it into the car and take it up to one of the nearby recycling centers. I’m combining trips so I don’t waste gas and I’m going to go work in the garden after I get done at the recycling center. When I’m taking a break from the physical stuff, I’m actually working on culling my inbox and my photography files for duds.

Probably not the most exciting way to spend a holiday weekend, but I’ll feel better when it’s done.

Minimal Living

A couple weeks ago, my cousin Justin got me thinking when he posted a link to a BBC News Article about Minimalist Living. The article coupled with his avatar on facebook that says

What would you do if you were not afraid?

really made me stop and think about all the stuff I’ve accumulated and what it would be like to live a minimalist lifestyle. How would my spending habits change? What would would it be like to only purchase books that I would read online or on my itouch? What if I streamed movies instead of buying DVDs or blu-ray discs?

The thought of not having my “stuff” scared the crap out of me at a very basic level when I first thought about it. But the intrigue was still there. I went and checked out an iPad. I tried reading on it, but wasn’t really happy with the results I saw on various news media sites. Then, when I was travelling to Nashville, I had a really interesting conversation with two gentlemen about sustainability and our resources. The conversation started because one gentleman was reading on his iPad and I was curious about how he liked it. He talked very positively about his experiences of reading on the iPad and said that most of his music at home was digital. He also mentioned that he and his wife were looking at downsizing as soon as their last child went to college in the next year or so.

So I’ve decided that starting September 1, I’m going to start moving towards a minimalist lifestyle and see where it takes me. Stay tuned because there’s more to come!

Project 365 – Sensible Sustainability

Project 365 – Sensible Sustainability focuses on looking at making life more sustainable and ecofriendly without blowing your budget. Too often in the past few months, reuse_reduce_recycleI’ve seen or heard that the answer to making our lives sustainable is “If we just thrown enough money at the problem, it’ll get fixed.” The fact of the matter is that with a little bit of common sense, we can make significant changes in our every day lives without breaking the bank or spending more to have a more eco-friendly life.

Starting on Jan 1, I’ll document the daily eco-friendly changes (in terms of time and money) I’m making in my life here in Houston. My hope is that this project will show that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to be ecofriendly and have a more sustainable lifestyle.