You Never Ever Know What is Coming Next [ & Other Horror Stories]

I usually keep my personal-update posts to a minimum, or condense them into the fewest words possible in other posts, so as to a) not bore you, + b) get to the real writing meat of the post - assuming there is any real writing meat to get to.  But then I says to myself, I says, "What if people really would like an update on what's going on with you...??"  At the very least, it may make you feel better about yourself!

(this post does not actually contain horror stories. on rare occasions i have been known to exaggerate just a little bit for the sake of drama.)

NESTING + MINIMALISM  ||  Everyone watches my stringent purging/minimalist endeavours & says, "That's Jenny - she's nesting."  This is...true-ish.  My actual "nesting" urge did not kick in until about a week ago, when I looked at Wolfgang's room (filled, at the moment, with furniture we mean to dispose of), and felt that i MUST GET IT READY RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW.  It needs to be completely perfect + set up YESTERDAY.  BECAUSE I ONLY HAVE THREENHALF MONTHS OF PREGNANCY LEFT.*

The rest of "everything that I am doing" is partly my frantic need to channel my creative energy SOMEwhere (since "Ethandune" was heretofore being so crotchety), but mostly I'm just really in love with clean, white spaces, minimal belongings, + a much simpler way of living with possessions.  It makes me happy + I am pursuing that happiness with more energy than I actually have. 

* this may seem excessive; it may seem like i have time.  don't be fooled.  those months go by like wildfire.  ain't nobody got time.

THE LITTLE MANIFESTO  ||  I meant to jot down a few thoughts on minimalism, but when I was done, I found I had written a full-on manifesto for the thing.  I won't give you the whole thing here, just hit the highlights, because there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding this idea, when the idea itself is really extremely helpful + healthy!

"Our culture is an affluent one; the thought of getting rid of so much material prosperity produces a feeling tantamount to nudity."

"We face the misconception that 'minimalism' is an austere life painted in white with modernist furniture that looks impossible to sit on.  This is a misconception I aim to overthrow.  Minimalism, regardless of any one person's tastes, colour ideals, or mode of living, is simply this: THAT YOU CHOOSE TO POPULATE YOUR LIFE WITH POSSESSIONS THAT YOU ACTUALLY, TRULY NEED +/OR TANGIBLY ENRICH YOUR SOUL."

" 'Minimalism' in its stereotypical sense is not for everyone; but everyone can benefit from a minimalist mindset."

"Once the needless, unused, ugly, unwanted articles among our possessions are rooted out, leaving behind those which service us + speak to our souls, we begin to see what kind of life we really want to have."

"This is the key: to persevere.  At a point in the purge (different for everyone), the work of trimming the 'body fat' off your life reaches muscle, + begins to build.  Once your life is a healthy weight, + you have reduced your possessions to what you really need + love, the energy transfers into a clearer vision of yourself, your tastes, your ideals, + how you want your life + home + work to be."

"THIS IS MINIMALISM IN ITS SIMPLE SENSE: TAKING BACK OUR LIVES FROM A SUFFOCATING CULTURE OF USELESS, INNUMERABLE POSSESSIONS."

(thank you for reading that :3 )

FILIGREE  vs. WOLFGANG  ||  I have had so many obstacles to get over/through/run down by this pregnancy which I did not have while carrying Filigree.  There was absolutely no way I could have seen this coming + no I did not see it coming.  I am in my second trimester, + already experiencing the fatigue, the weight, + twice the pelvic pain I had with Filigree.  At roughly 25 weeks, I'm not quite the size I was full-term with Filigree, but I am registering more weight now with Wolfgang than I did full-term with my daughter.  (My parents say every baby carries differently.  My friend says I probably started with a higher muscle content with Wolfgang than I did with Filigree.  I like that second one better. XD )  REGARDLESS, I am always just a few steps / one wrong twist away from crippling hip pain, if I haven't actually taken those steps / twisted wrong already.  Eh, it's pregnancy!  What can you say?  It's never EASY.  Yoikes.

(EPIDURAL FOR THE WIN  ||  I read a quite charming bitter article entitled something like "25 Things They Don't Tell You About Labor / Post-Partum."  Okay.  No.  Except for the fact that you get a snuggly wuggly your-own-darling baby at the end of the labour process, there isn't anything fun about the process - although, I had a very good, smooth time + my staff were the bomb.com - and the recovery process is even more painful.  I mean, what did you expect, considering what you just did?  But lET ME JUST SAY, if you have the freedom to choose an epidural + decide VOLUNTARILY to have a natural birth, YOU DON'T GET TO BE BITTER, LADY.  No one made you pick the consciously-painful method when you could have been relatively discomfort-free for the delivery, + you get to take narcotics afterward to help dull the pain/shock of what your body is trying to recover from.  Yay!  This modern age we live in!  I don't wanna hear the griping.  Take the epidural/narcotics + shut up, or be a boss-lady + muscle through without them.  No bitching allowed.)

PET PEEVES INCLUDE  ||  Elephants.  I don't get elephants.  Everywhere I look there are elephants on infant clothing + it fills me with an irrational loathing.  Why elephants?  What do elephants have to do with babies?  It does not make any sense.  I hate them.  I have to hate something so it might as well be elephants. 

Also, the notion that my ideals are going to give way because I'm going to have a boy.  They tried that on me with Filigree, + I made adjustments, but no basically I'm just as rigid + perfectionist-driven as before, if not more so (see "minimalism").  People underestimate my ironclad quixotic personality + my overriding decisions guiding my children.  I don't settle for mediocrity: I aim for perfection.  Wheesht + let me do my thing.

Also, people who pick boring names.  Names that are not "Filigree" or "Wolfgang."  It makes me sad.

JENNY + JANE AUSTEN  ||  I started reading "Sense & Sensibility."  No promises.  "Pride & Prejudice" is the only novel of Austen's that I've read multiple times; I've read "Emma" once + didn't make it through "Persuasion."  No promises.  But there it is.

I STILL LOVE WRAPPING PRESENTS BUT I AM DEAD  ||  At a meagre five + 1/2 months, the simple act of wrapping a few gifts leaves me in staggering pain (* not an exaggeration), so I'm thinking I'll have to politely not offer my services this Christmas season.  It's a sad truth.  Carry on without me.  It's been grand.

( + completely monochrome because i threw out all my garish coloured paper)

I'M GOING TO STOP THERE before I really do bore you to tears / the grave.  There are probably other random aspects of my life to share, but since I can't recall them right now, they can't be that important.  Thank you for sticking with me + caring to know what is happening to that Penslayer girl (because I would like to know too...??)

until next time,
xoxo!

12 ripostes:

  1. Thanks for the update and for letting us know what's going on in life with you! :) I am not sure all the influences, but I am pretty sure you have been an encouragement in my regain attempt at downsizing my stuff. So Thank you! (also b. my family and I moved into a much smaller house when we had to move to take care of my grandmother during her mouth cancer scare and I have been recently feeling suffocated with all the stuff packed (no joke) in my wee little room. (hope this isn't to much/boring.)

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    1. Having a smaller living space is definitely an aid for the purging urge! Our house is rather sprawling: if I were less sensitive to clutter, it would be so easy for us to let stuff accumulate because it wouldn't physically impact us as quickly. But mentally, it makes SUCH an improvement when you're rid of junk. I'm so glad you've been able to give your mind as well as your body a little more breathing space! <3

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  2. Lovely update! Sounds like we're due around the same time. :) And boo to hip pain!!

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    1. Someone was able to introduce me to some prenatal stretches which have made a HUGE impact on my hip pain management! So, that's a plus.

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  3. I laughed at the title and was so glad to see this update. I especially loved the manifesto highlights because I had been confused about part of what 'minimalism' really meant. You explained it very helpfully, thank you.

    I don't get the elephant thing either. I mean really, if you're thinking about any animal to have around a baby or associate with a baby, of all animals WHY WOULD YOU CHOOSE AN ELEPHANT? Gentle giants some might be but they're also very much huge, fierce animals. Yikes.

    I'm interested to hear what you think of S&S whether you finish it or not. It's my second favorite Austen, after the one and only P&P of course.

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    1. I've been semi-rabidly researching "minimalism" for several months now, and I've come to conclude that minimalism can look any which way you want it to - it just means getting rid of junk + excess, and being on the alert not to let those things creep back into your life and bog it down. It's so easy to own lots of stuff in our culture - it takes great strength of will to own FEW things. Yet it's such a benefit to go through the process, because it really is a journey of self-discovery, and that has a good lasting impact on the way you live life. <3

      (Most of the animal motifs for children don't make a lot of sense to me. Lions? tigers? bears? My only conclusion is to blame it somehow on Theodore Roosevelt and that makes it all marginally better...)

      Still working on "Sense & Sensibility"! I'm an abysmally slow reader, but it hasn't shaken me off yet!

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  5. It was all "so true," "I completely understand," "you go, girl," and then I hit the elephants and busted out laughing. I've never understood these things either. Why are clams happy and who loves Pete?
    By the way, I have to say that the fox baby stuff on your Pinterest board is adorable.
    Keep going with Jane Austen. She's famous for a reason. :-) Also, BBC has done an amazing Emma adaptation, if you enjoy that sort of thing.

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    1. I completely recognize that my hatred of elephants as a baby motif is TOTALLY IRRATIONAL, and that foxes are honestly not much better as a wild-animal substitute for children. XD But foxes manage to be so darn cute, whereas I rarely find elephants so, and that's my justification.

      I've seen the film adaptation of "Sense & Sensibility" with Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, Hugh Laurie, Hugh Grant... Gosh, the A-listers go on an on. XD I've seen it at least twice, if not thrice, and I love it to pieces; while the book has more expansion of unfolding plot and more pointed details of characters' personalities, it's still nicely coloured by my memory of the film because the film did such a good job and fits so well in line with the book.

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    2. A perfectly acceptable justification.
      I agree about the film and Mrs. Jennings is more hysterically funny every time.
      One of our favorite things to do is play "name that actor" in films and movies. BBC shares a GOB of them around and it's so much fun to point and scream. Doctor Who is the best. "Oh, look, it's that feller, from that thingamajig!"

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  6. I've been more and more interested in minimalism, not the streamlined, monochromatic type (that is not ME at all; I think it should fit one's personality, and I just about loathe neutrals), but the whole idea of simplicity. I've been reading/learning about how it is often (in contrast to Europe) an American issue. I am by nature a hoard and a shopaholic, but I am also easily overwhelmed. And "stuff" is so hard to manage. For a while I was worried about the waste of all my money and wanted to keep my "stuff" like sewing supplies (oh, I'll make that . . . even if I hate it now), but I have been purging excessively. My problem is that purging still takes the place of creativity. I'm nothing if not extreme. Anyway, loving the minimalism discussion. I'm glad you think it has to reflect one's personality too.

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    1. Oh, certainly! If the lifestyle isn't YOUR lifestyle, how can you be comfortable in it? The advantage of pursuing a "base-line" minimalism is that it shows you what you want that lifestyle to be, if you don't already know - then you build from there!

      I know the topic of "being wasteful" is one of the most immediate comebacks lodged when discussing minimalism, but if you're honest & you're not ACTUALLY going to use the items ("sometime" usually means "never," but we're not willing to admit it), then the items are still waste, they're just waste that you choose to keep in your home/life. But it's ludicrous to keep waste, & the mature thing, I think, is to own that fact & get rid of things accordingly.

      I am definitely a purgeaholic. Is that even a thing?? I LOVE getting rid of stuff. You'd think that, by now (like, eight months into this venture), I wouldn't have any more items to dispose of. But the more my attention is honed & the more I realize how little I need/use, the more things crop up in the house that I realize don't need to be here. But I DO love shopping, especially for clothes & skincare items, so I make sure there is turnover rather than buildup. I recently purchased a handful of clothes, so I went back through my existing wardrobe & discarded some of the "cheaper," "tide-me-over" clothes. It satisfies my need for novelty, but also retains my intense desire for minimalism. Win!

      In the end, if you really care about it, you figure out how to make it all work for you. It's not going to look the same for everyone, & that's okay. I just wanted to share so that, hopefully, others could see that it ISN'T scary, & that the benefits are enormous for everyone who tries it. <3

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