It’s moving season

Squishy the Cat

By this time next week, I’ll be gone from my little home on Bodine St.

Hypothetically, that is. While the new tenants have put down their month deposit, nothing has actually been signed and I haven’t even started packing.

So like. There’s that.

As I’ve been thinking about throwing all of this accumulated crap into boxes and all the sorting and shuffling and tossing that is about to take place, I can’t help but want to be rid of it all. I’ve moved my art and clothes. There are a few more things I’d bring, but for the most part, I’d be SO happy to begin with a clean slate.

Okay, then… what’s stopping me?

For one, both of the boys have expressed how excited they are to be acquiring a whole bunch of cool, new-to-them things. As much as I love the idea of dropping everything off at Phila AIDS Thrift for some lucky scrounger to dig up, I equally love the idea of those two being stoked on anything domestic. And either way, sharing is caring.

I’m also a sucker for sentiment. I’ve gotten much, much better at this one, but I do that thing where I tend to anthropomorphize most of the things I own. How will they feel if I just… GIVE THEM UP!? [Hint: they won't. Because they don't have feelings.]

And HELL if I am getting rid of my books.

But a few months back, I culled my wardrobe in a particular way that I think will come in handy – instead of pulling out the things I didn’t want, I pulled out only the best-fitting, most practical and beautiful pieces I had. I “shopped my wardrobe.” I could happily do it again, but my relatively sparse closet shrank by about 80% (scientific guesstimate).

I’m hoping to apply the same method to packing by only pulling things based on the 2/3 rule:

To justify holding onto anything, it must be at least two of the three:
beautiful, sentimental, useful.

Everything else should go.

(I wish I could find the person to credit for this idea. Give me a shout if you know who it is.)

So I suppose I should start getting things together. Emotionally, I moved months ago. Tomorrow, I start boxing the rest else up and scooching over.

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A few inspiring things…


As I’ve been working on developing Matter + Time, I’ve been searching around a bunch for some… preemptive support, we’ll call it?

I’m really excited about the idea, and it’s a subject matter that I’d like to explore and get other people stoked on, but I’ve always had trouble using myself as a good enough justification for anything – meaning, if I don’t have an external motivation (eg: deadline, money, other people), it’s really hard for me to do something that’s just “for me.”

So, as I tend to do, I’ve been searching around for a little advice from other people – mostly bloggers – who are further along with their careers. I’ve come across some really inspiring and supportive words, and I think they’re worth sharing. Some of them are very blog-focused, but I think there’s a lot of good life advice in all of it, especially for people within any creative profession. I can’t recommend any of these enough if you’re feeling down or needing that extra push to keep doing what you do.

Creative Something
Creative Something always – always – has great advice to help anyone get through the frustrating parts of the creative process and keep you going. It’s a blog that I think everyone could read on occasion, whatever your profession. It really pushes the idea that creativity doesn’t have to be exclusive to art- and design-based careers or lifestyles.

With Intention’s Jess Lively
Jess Lively is a business/style/life consultant who offers loads of encouragement on being you, keeping a good perspective on life and growing your business and self. I recently signed up for her Wish I Knew Wednesday newsletter, and I’m so happy I did. She pushes you to really think ahead about what you want from life, and to live “with intention.” This post is a great example of one that hit home and got me moving and focused on what’s important to me.

A Beautiful Mess
Elsie and Emma from A Beautiful Mess mostly focus on DIY and Lifestyle blogging, but with super “yo, you got this!!” posts mixed in on the regular. I just signed up for one of their e-courses and reading Elsie’s personal story has been so reassuring, especially at the beginning of what I hope is a many-years-long journey. It’s absolutely given me a huge boost of much-needed confidence to move forward with my projects, to focus on doing what I love, and to be honest and true to myself.

Satsuki Shibuya
Satsuki is a creator in just about every way. She maintains a blog with piles of beautiful photographs and regular updates on what she has in the works, but what really jolts me is her Twitter. I swear, every day since I began following her, she’s managed to say just what I needed to hear in 140 characters or less. It’s always eloquently put, concise, and powerful.

Blog, INC. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho
Joy Deangdeelert Cho of Oh Joy! wrote the book on blogging. Literally. I’ve been working through it slowly, but it’s been a great go-to for the process of developing a blog altogether. It’s slowly – but very surely – helping me get over the frustrating stigma that sometimes surrounds the idea of being a “blogger” – a stigma that has absolutely kept me from pursuing this kind of instantaneous publishing platform as a passion and way to connect with other people who share my interests. I’m building the confidence I need to give a big middle-finger (or… okay. I’m more of a shoulder-shrugger anymore) to anyone who so much as raises their eyebrows at the idea of blogging. Yeah, that’s right. I’m a blogger now. What. I said it. Whatchu gonna do about it. ::middle finger::

AND! of course
Make it Modern at Design Milk
Yeah. I know. I’m writing the column. But that’s the thing! While I was pretty amped up to get M+T going at the beginning of the year, getting to write a column for Design Milk (!!!) has given me the enormous push I needed to really have-at-it. Like I said, I have trouble holding myself to obligations “for me,” so that extrinsic motivation is HUGELY helpful. I really hope it inspires other people in absolutely any way – to make something with their hands, to pull together their own DIY column, to play with color and form and fabric, to shift around their furniture – any way at all. Aside from the column itself, if I can offer anyone advice, it’d be to find a way to turn what you love doing into an obligation – an obligation to a friend, an employer, yourself – whoever will genuinely hold you accountable and make you stick to it.

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So if body language affects mood…

I thought this talk on body language & empowerment was pretty spectacular, but it got me thinking – is the way we hunker over in winter to maintain warmth related to “Seasonal Affective Disorder?” I know I’m definitely more bummy through the winter months, especially on colder days, all bundled up with my shoulders hunched. Hrmm…

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I give up.

I’m giving a thing up for Lent.

I was brought up in a pretty traditional Roman Catholic household. Where I’m at with all that now is neither here nor there – you shouldn’t be talking religion or politics in mixed company, so that’s not really your business, eh? – but suffice it to say, I haven’t done this for…. a long long time. I may have even forgotten it was a “thing.” Don’t tell my grandma. Honestly, this is what got me thinking.

Regardless, if there’s anything that upbringing has taught me (other than profuse and excessive apology) it’s that there’s a value in practicing abstinence and moderation. It helps you appreciate what you have. Some people like making resolutions or setting goals. On a base level, I don’t think those work for me. Or for the thousands of other people who renege on those things every year.

So while you might choose to do a juice cleanse, or climb Mount Everest, or “get in shape,” I’m choosing to not do something.

As of this morning, and for the next 39, I’m giving up sleeping in.

Yes, it’s really just a re-framing of the action (I could just as well say “I’m choosing to get up early!”), but you have to work with the perspective from which you see the world. And the view from my seat is that this is something that has to stop. My choice is a luxury, for sure, but it’s something in which I indulge myself on a very daily basis. And so it’s become a root cause of a great number of my personal struggles. It feels great in the moment, but it causes nothing but problems.

A couple months ago, a friend linked to a quote that’s been following me around: “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” – Jim Rohn

I’m wrought with regret at the lost hours, the fatigue, the lack of energy, the inability to fall asleep at night. All of which lead to other issues and dependencies and inactions that lead to… more regret.

So I choose discipline. I choose 6AM.

For the next 39 mornings, anyway. Seems like a good enough time span to make it a real habit.
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What happens when I’m antsy.

I don’t know if it’s the new year or what, but I’ve been caught up in a strong wind of getting-stuff-done and making-whatever-needs-made. I whipped this together last night in less than an hour (well… not including a little troubleshooting. It was more like 2 hours, but it won’t take that long the next time around). It was perfect for an evening project – super simple, fast, and inexpensive to make. Granted, I have a ton of leather scraps lying around, but you could totally use an old broken belt, some canvas, etc. I’ll get together some better instructions so I can post a full DIY. I started to take photos this time around and then I realized I needed a second set of hands or a small tripod for this one, to, y’know, show how to properly handle the thing that’s being made. Oooops…

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