A whimsical wander through postcolonial literature, fashion, fantasy fiction, and more...
Sunday, 16 September 2012
Best Things in Life are Free
Ah Janet and Luther, you're righter than I have ever known. For many reasons, I'm going on a complete non-essential no-spend. I need to reconfigure my life and what makes me happy - it's not things, but people, experiences, memories that do that, in the most long-lasting and joyful of ways. So here's a list of things that are free/non-"stuff" based that I can and should enjoy more.
1. Listening to music - on the radio, on Spotify, from my substantial CD collection. Music takes me away from things in a way buying stuff never could, to good places.
2. Reading, especially utilising my local libraries and bolstering my knowledge of the classics, which are more often than not, free on Kindle.
3. Writing/drawing/making/sewing - why do I spend so many hours idly browsing online shops when I could be DOING something that stimulates my brain and makes me feel more positive about myself?
4. Spending time with/talking to friends - I hide away and get lost in my own world, forgetting others need me, and that I need them too.
5. Exercise/cooking - I need to lose some weight, my immune system has hit rock bottom, I'm exhausted all the time and I need to get myself fit and strong again because WINTER IS COMING. And I never feel as buzzy as when I've exercised, which I will need when the days get shorter and I get sleepier. I also want to experiment with healthy versions of Indian classics. I have so many recipe ideas in my head that never make it to the plate - paneer filled steamed dhokla muffins, for one.
6. Enjoying/contributing to my community. Little makes me feel happier than knowing I belong somewhere, that it's home. I should really celebrate that more and contribute to it. Because that's how you really feel part of something. And our city has so many things I haven't explored, writing groups, galleries, museums - I need to go out and explore all it has to offer, and give something back.
7. Gardening - my little garden is not looking so happy right now. But the little time I've spent in it (mostly pruning the weeds - or de-gardening as we have termed it) has been some of the most relaxing, rewarding and physically demanding work I've done. I'd love my garden to be a little purple floral oasis this time next year, a space we can relax in and enjoy. I'd love to grow plants from seeds and see them bloom. How smileworthy will that be?
8. Remixing and customising my clothes. I'm going through a grungy phase at the moment. So my instinct would usually be to rush out and buy that pricey velvet dress I featured, new makeup, new jewellery. Except I can so easily do grunge with my existing wardrobe anyway. I have heaps of dark, vampy nail colours. I have a black maxi dress I have layer up for winter. I have dark, moody scarves and long snuggly cardigans. I HAVE LONG BLACK HAIR. So I'm not rushing out to buy it after all.
9. Learning more about my faith. I've been on a journey back to Islam this year. It's not something I speak much about either here or to my friends and family. But it has immeasurably enriched my life and helped me through many difficulties this year. So I want to give it the attention and time it deserves from me.
10. Writing my blog - you'd think with all the shopping, I'd be updating the blog all the time. Er no. Ironically, I don't even really like "OMG LOOK AT ALL THIS NEW STUFFS I HAVE BROUGHT OMG" posts (especially not when they commit that heinous spelling crime of crimes) but my favourite bloggers are the resourceful, creative remixers who also let you into their full and rich and multidimensional lives. I love seeing a dress twice or three times on a blog - resurfacing like an old friend. I love trying out a blogger's personally crafted recipe. I love seeing nail art and creative layering combinations of talented nail bloggers. I love to read book reviews - perversely, even of books I'd never read. So all this - this is what I want for my little corner of the internets.
I should be dreading this no-spend. But actually, I'm really excited about it.
Rabbit-like in a nose that twitches when I laugh and front teeth not 100% rectified by 7 years of braces, postcolonial in being of British-Bangladeshi heritage (and reading many many books thereon). Books, tea and dresses: these are some of my favourite things.