Life is too short to focus on the negative. I started writing a post about some things that I now seldom use, because they annoy me so much (TV & news) but I decided it was a bit of a turn off. (It was also a total opinion-rant with no evidence to back up my claims.) So I thought I would switch things around and focus on some things I like instead.
And here they are…
- Books. You can pick them up and put them down whenever you want and they (usually) have a high content-to-advertising ratio, that is, most of it is content and very little of it is advertising. To me, that is a sign of a quality product!
- e-books and e-readers. You can carry a whole library of books around on one small device. Also, many devices allow you to purchase a book any where, any time.
- Beautiful gardens. I own many books about gardens, not because I like gardening (I find it a chore) but because I love beautiful gardens. Books allow me to travel to these gardens in my arm-chair, without the expense of actual travel. Having said that, I do travel to beautiful gardens that I can get to easily. (So, I have revealed that I am not a travel buff!)
- Minimalism and decluttering. I subscribe to the kind of minimalism espoused by Francine Jay and The Minimalists. I must have read Francine Jay’s The Joy of Less a dozen times or more. I discovered it before Marie Kondo published her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Both books are pretty radical when it comes to dealing with your stuff. Instead of getting you to focus on what to get rid of, they focus on what you find essential; the things you cannot do without.
- Simplicity. The minimalism and simplicity movements overlap. The bits I like that overlap are usually related to saving the planet and doing away with goods and services that exacerbate the complexities of life. For example: I got rid of my car because (a) driving it contributed significantly to my carbon footprint, (b) it was a significant financial burden to maintain and (c) walking to the bus stop or train station is significantly cheaper than a gym membership and boosts vitamin D, i.e. getting rid of the car improved my health. I used to think driving a car was convenient but now I think, “Is rotating tires convenient? Is changing oil convenient? Is paying $800+ for registration and $200+ for insurance every year convenient? Is paying tolls and for parking convenient? Is finding parking in congested areas convenient?” (Hint: The answer is, “No.”)
- Working part-time. The truth is, working part-time was not a choice for me. My employer more or less “forced” me into it. (It was a choice of work fewer hours or look for a new job. I love my job so I decided to stay.) Financially, I am much worse off but what I have more of now is time. Because I finish the day early, I can run errands after work that would have been impossible to do when I worked longer hours. And I get to spend more time with my cat (who is another favourite of mine!)
As you can see, books are an important contributor to my favourites and I suspect I will mention more books in future posts!