Monday, June 28, 2010


I have four weeks before my final two state teacher-prep exams. I've passed all three that I've already taken (miracle) and if I can pass these last two on July 24th, I'll have all of my prep exams done before night school starts on August 25th. Crazy. My life is very strange.

These tests are competency exams to be licensed to teach business and social studies (that one is all essay), and I just started studying yesterday. Not the brightest given that I spent about two months of intense study for each of the previous tests, but I've just been burnt out on studying, and I've been enjoying the arrival of the gentler, more frequent summer waves. I've spent the last two days on my balcony with my cat and my books, and I'm going to try to stay here until I feel like I've made some serious headway. Or until I can't stand it anymore and I need a little surfy surf.

I gave up my basic cable a few weeks ago (and my fancy cable months ago) when I realized that I never really turn the TV on, and when I decided I needed to cut back further. I'm keeping up with the news thusly for about 30 seconds a day, and am totally enjoying what is, to a large degree, a media black-out. I'm not a "Kill Your TV" person by any stretch, but I feel more peaceful when I don't have urgent, irrelevant messages pouring into my brain all the time. When I lived in Japan, I had an almost four-year break from advertising, and it was very positive. I think having less money has made me less focused on consumerism/consumption. It's a good change for me. If I think of something I want to buy, I try very hard to think of reasons why I might be better off without it. Sometimes it works. Every once in a while I come across something in my house - for instance, I have all matching wooden hangers in my closet - and I think: now there's a sign of a person who used to have too much money. (That was actually just OCD, but you understand what I mean.)

A month or so ago I donated probably 98% of my clothes to Goodwill. I ended up with about 4 pair of pants and a lot of t-shirts. (Literally.) I know the joke will be on me if I get another job where I have to dress up, but it is SO much more relaxing to go to my closet to get dressed now than it was before. I put some old blankets in my dresser drawers because they're empty! I've been overflowing into the garage with boxes of clothes for years. Silly.

Maybe I'm just trying to prepare myself for living on a teacher's salary? I don't know. I'm just trying to do ok with less, less, less. What does a girl really need besides good underwear, a few books, and a surfboard, anyway?


  1. aw. it sounds like you are doing well. i've been worried and have been meaning to write, but my internet broke this weekend. now, i'm at m's hogging his.

    isn't life without the news awesome? cnn at least. there's something about the voices on npr that can make the worst disaster sound like your mom is rubbing your tummy and reading you winnie the pooh.

    i hope you pass your last two tests. and i'm really proud of you for getting rid of so much stuff. we hoard, we do. it's lighter without.

  2. I like how you included good underwear on your list of must haves.

    Learning to live simply is no small feat. I'm impressed! But you do need some clothes that actually fit (ahem). ;-)

    I have zero doubt that you will complete those tests just like the previous tests and be on your way to your new career. You're good like that.

  3. If you need some help studying I'm not doing anything. Literally, I work six hours a week and spend the other days wondering how I'm going to make rent. (Still manage every month, go me?)

    I will even make healthy snacks to bring.

  4. A pet of some kind, some way to play music, a headband, and a walk through anyplace in Seattle with some random guy named Matt. Good underwear just makes it feel even better to have all of that.

    I like where you're going.

  5. Love it. Love the JJ pic too, I'm going to steal it. :)

  6. Yanno I loathe the consumer minefield. It just feels as if we can connect more to self and each other when we let go of all of our crap (both literally and figuratively, natch). It's just so awesome to be able to share in these transitions with you!