Posted by: vcsbtown | January 7, 2011

What’s new with you?

I’ve consistently been purging my belongings, but sometimes things creep back.  I had a good collection of used running shoes, basketball shoes, casual shoes that was collecting dust, but had sentimental meaning to them.  After realizing how much space they took up, and how little or non-usage I was getting out of them, I put them in a large garbage bag and donated them.  Haven’t looked back since.  I started an RSS feed last year and jumped on every single subject that I had found interest in; however, once I had realized that certain ones weren’t being read and just collected unread article after unread article, I deleted a good portion of them.  Mainly, I kept the ones about minimalism and living within their means.  The tribe of Leo, Everett, Tammy, Seth, etc did a good job of luring me in and like reading their posts.  I’ve also taken a keen interest in location independence and that will be something that will be looked into.  They say blogs are supposed to provide readers with content that will be of value to them.  This one’s more about me.  Sorry.  Not really..

Posted by: vcsbtown | August 9, 2010

Coffee and Happiness

Yesterday I arrived at my local coffee house to catch up on some work and read a few books and magazines.  I ordered one of their specialty coffees and they said it wasn’t ready, as they had just started to brew a new batch.  It really was no big deal.  I was going to spend a few hours there and it would have taken me a few moments to get organized and comfortable anyways.  I set up shop at one of the tables, washed my hands in the bathroom and when I came back, I had a hot 16 oz cup of coffee waiting for me.  I took out my card to pay, and the girl said it’s taken care of.  I didn’t really pay attention so as I extended to give her my card, she politely said again, “It’s taken care of.”  Puzzled, I took a second, smiled and said, “Oh, cool.  Thanks.”  I sat down and started my work.  The more I thought about it though, I realized just how important this small gesture was.  She didn’t have to give me a free cup of coffee, I was ready and willing to pay.   But the fact that she did will make me come back as a loyal customer.  It wasn’t so much a freebie that will make me come back.  It was really the warmth and honesty of the gesture.  I wish I told her how much I had appreciated it, but I’ll probably see her again in a week.  I posted a comment on my Facebook a few minutes later that said something along the lines of “The cost of turning a patron into a loyal customer: $1.95. Marketers take note.”  Rather than flashy advertising or a trendy new drink or snack, it was a small personal gesture that will keep me coming back.  Thank you Cook Street Coffee.

Posted by: vcsbtown | July 18, 2010

Having Lunch during Lunch

I have made it a point to enjoy my lunch during….well, lunch.  All too often I see my co-workers in the cubicles next to me spend their entire morning on the phone or in front of the computer.  Then, they order in fast food and/or soda and eat their ‘meal’ in front of their computer.  Are they even enjoying their food?  Have they truly separated themselves from work to eat?  Is it even real food?

There is a beautiful pond in the back of our office where you can see the fish swimming on a clear day, birds chirping everywhere and feel a nice cool breeze.  The other day, I even saw a heron catch a small bass from the pond.  The grass is green and comfortable to sit on and it really is a separate world from the flourescent lights and constant buzzing of our wireless routers and phone system.  Of the dozens of people in my building, I feel that I am one of maybe 2 people who actually enjoy the scenery in the back of the office.  The only other time I see people go back there is to have a cigarette.  For a half hour or an hour, I am able to disconnect from my cubicle and enjoy my well being by having a slow, enjoyable lunch, reading a book, or just breathing slowly. 

I feel that those who just bring their food back from a local eatery and eat at their desk are neither truly working at the moment nor enjoying the food they are eating.  It really is unfortunate because this can be a daily occurence and there truly is no disconnect between work time and break time.

Posted by: vcsbtown | June 29, 2010

Driving with less

I’ve been reading some cool articles from www.rowdykittens.com and www.farbeyondthestars.com about living car free.  I have not quite gotten there yet, as my commute to work is beyond walking and a bike ride.  Maybe one day.  But lately, I’ve been having to drive my brother’s Jeep Wrangler.  It’s a bit of a dichotomy as gas for this ride is brutal.  It feels like I’m filling up twice as much as my Honda Element.  One positive twist on this situation, though is the size of the vehicle.  Because it is small, I cannot put a lot of stuff inside.  Also, I like to drive with the top down, so I drive with little or no valuables with me.  It forces me to limit what I can take with me, so it is the necessities that I bring with me.  I realize that I really don’t really need to carry very much stuff with me.  Every little thing, therefore, becomes trivial.

Posted by: vcsbtown | June 28, 2010

Minimalist Eating

I was listening to a podcast the other day and heard the most interesting comment said about eating.  When the guest was asked how to differentiate whether a food was good or bad to eat, the guest said, “If you have to read the label, then you shouldn’t eat it.  When you buy broccoli, there’s no label to read, it’s just broccoli.”  If that is not simple eating, I don’t know what is.

Posted by: vcsbtown | June 21, 2010

It’s Okay to Slip

The last few months I’ve been really good about my eating habits.  Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been on a healthier diet.  Nothing set in stone, but just a common sense approach to go easy on the processed foods, fast foods, desserts and such.  I’ve done pretty well.  I started the year at around 190 lbs.  Last week when I weighed myself, I was 166 lbs and still eating comfortably and am never really all that hungry.

Yesterday and today, I fell off the wagon a little bit.  Last night, I had a few beers more than I should have, gorged on some late night pizza and skipped the gym for the most part.  On top of that, my dad has the best barbecue I’ve ever tasted and that’s saying a lot.  So, on top of the huge cinnamon scone I downed with my coffee, I had ribs, chicken wings, blueberry cornbread and apple pie.  I’ve been stuffed since 2:30, enough for me not to do a yoga session today.

Good news is, I’m not freaking out over it.  What’s the big deal if I give myself a day off or two?  I feel that it’s good to be disciplined, but it’s also not a bad thing to treat yourself.

Posted by: vcsbtown | June 13, 2010

Continuing to Declutter

Getting rid of old stuff that hasn’t been used in years and has been stored away in the same amount of time is liberating.  Being able to wipe the dust off, maybe re-live an old memory and be able to move on is a fantastic feeling.  Creating more space in the process is a big plus too.  I’m in the midst of clearing our garage, similar to what I’ve read from www.becomingminimalist.com, and am pretty stoked about the process.  Sure the dust and the mold is reviving my asthma, but I know the final product will be a clean garage, and it’s well worth it.  I’ll post pictures if I remember

Posted by: vcsbtown | June 3, 2010

Sleep when you’re tired

I had a plan that after work, I was going to run some errands, work on some projects, do this, do that, and if I have enough time, I’ll get a few hours of sleep.  I got tired.  Early.  So I’m going to bed.  Is that necessarily a bad thing?  Were those things that I was going to do that important in the first place?  I don’t want to rely on coffee or diet cokes to keep me alert throughout the day.  I think it’s important to focus, get things done, and rest as much as you can.

Posted by: vcsbtown | May 30, 2010

To Clutter and Unclutter

Decluttering of My CDs

Piled high in various rooms of the house are the collection of compact discs that started circa 1990.   I was/am awfully proud of the different genres and artists that I have compiled over the years.  It’s fun to reminisce the different phases of music tastes that we went through growing up, especially in high school and college.  Everything from hip hop, rock and roll, country, metal, jazz, R&B.  I used to keep the plastic tape at the top of the CD’s that sealed them shut and had the artists’ name and album title.

As time passed, my brother, especially in the last two years, kept telling me to sell off those CD’s and just copy them onto my computer.  Of course, I loved my CD collection and didn’t want to get rid of anything.  Those CD cases and books became a pain in the ass after a while.  They took up so much space and looked ugly piled up in a corner.   Every album I bought, I copied onto the computer anyway, so I finally caved and started collecting my CD’s to sell or donate.  Initially, I had that feeling that I was going to regret giving away my collection, but after thinking about it, it really became no big deal at all.  After all, you by CD’s to listen to the music, right?  I really never cared for the liner notes anyways, so what’s the big deal?  Slowly, I started to purge more and more of my music collection and I didn’t and still don’t miss having the physical copies.

I’ve been reading the blogs of Everett Bogue’s Far Beyond the Stars and Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits and they do a fantastic job of keeping mindful of what is really important and keeping focused on what matters.  I thought that my music collection is a prized possession, and to me it is, but I was able to rid myself of the clutter of the CD’s keep the music close to me and create more space within my household.

Posted by: vcsbtown | May 30, 2010

Intro to Blogosphere

Hello world!  Well, I know I’m a few years late to the party, but I thought it was important to start my own blog to be able to detail life’s transitions as we get older.  I named this blog, “The Transitions of Life,” but it just occurred to me that I probably am going to change it.  As we speak, I realized that I want to streamline this blog to just a few different subjects: 

  • my embracing of a more minimal lifestyle
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  • health, fitness and personal well being
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  • money matters
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  • career choices and expectations
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    Over the last few months, I have chosen a few different blog covering those said topics.  The interests in those subjects were what made me subscribe to those blogs in the first place, so that’s where I want my focus to remain.  This being the initial blog entry, my focus may perhaps change as time goes by, but for now, I’ll leave it at that.   I intend on uploading pictures here as well, ranging from amateur photography, as I’m learning the different facets of my Canon SD 850, food, body, and anything else that I find interesting.   I know this isn’t the most well written introduction, but I figure that as time goes on, my writing will be more direct, fluid, and hopefully interesting!  Anyways, I know this will  be a fun endeavor and I would like to keep doing this on a pretty frequent basis. 

    My goals with this blog is to increase my own personal awareness and creativity and to hold myself accountable for the things that I say and do publicly.   I feel that just from reading some of my favorite blogs, the online community keeps people to their word and like-minded people who read this will be supportive.  I know this is a very generalized introduction, but I really haven’t sat down and focused on exactly what specific goals I want to post here.  Maybe I’ll do that with my next entry.

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