Downsizing…

This week I’d like to focus on the task of downsizing. I think we all go through a phase where we have too much stuff and not enough space (or perhaps have filled that space with meaningless items); and then we begin to purge. Lately I’ve been thinking more about downsizing and how I want to get back to what is important.

Last week I went through my closet – which I’m sure you all can picture is set up like a temple. Everything has its place, matching wooden hangers, shoe boxes stacked to the ceiling, drawers meticulously hold folded sweaters, accessories and miscellaneous all neatly arranged. I realized two things while looking at what to keep and what to sell.

First I realized life is too short to wear anything that doesn’t fit properly (that eliminated a good chunk as I am a very slim guy – 5ft 8 / 115 lbs. / 26-inch waist). I’d been buying clothes for years that were a little too big because nobody in the industry sold slim extra-small dress shirts/t-shirts. Pants/jeans were far and few between because again the 26-inch waist wasn’t a thing until recently (and even then, getting a 32-inch length inseam combined with that is impossible). Once I eliminated what I didn’t wear, I realized that I was basically wearing the same pieces repeatedly – why? – because they were all slim/extra small or within my waist size and fit properly (thus I looked better in them). I held onto so much stuff purely because I spent money on it (way to drink the total Consumer Kool-Aid).

The epiphany I had was that I also needed to shop differently. I can still get a new piece here or there – but going forward it must fit properly – otherwise it’s a no.

The second major thing I noticed as I decluttered my sanctuary to the fashion gods, was that I double up and don’t wear something for fear of ruining it. I have two jackets that are almost identical (but different price points; one cost double than the other) – which do you think I wear more? It’s something I need to acknowledge because going forward I need to be more aware of what I’m buying, and I need to lose the fear of wearing something just because it was more expensive.

After finally rummaging through my closet and reaching the back wall, I started looking around at the rest of my apartment. When you take the time, you notice everything you are not actually using and it begins to feel like you are empowered to change it. I had a stack of pillows that needed new shams – they are finally getting onto the couch.  Old laptops that needed to be recycled over a year ago – gone. So much that could be used or perhaps should have never been purchased in the first place – it was a relief to go through and re-evaluate everything.

Some items will be donated, some sold; and others recycled; in the end, life is going to hopefully get much simpler.

What is cluttering your life? What could you do without? Is your closet on the verge of exploding because it is packed to the walls?

Vacation Season

June is literally around the corner and I think to myself it is that time of year again; I call it the fifth season – Vacation Season. Some might say that it coincides with summer, however I define this fifth time of the year from the beginning of May until the end of September. We are currently in the upswing as students are finishing another year of school, and us adults are thinking of far away destinations, or perhaps a stay-cation. June is when it really picks up and people really have vacation on their mind. 

For me this time of year comes after what can be months of planning. Flights are booked, hotels picked, the research has been done; and now it is time to just do. This year for me can only be described as a bumper crop of travels. Starting in February I returned to Germany for 10 days. The ticket was too good to pass up; for a short trip to Europe it was a nice needed break. This however fell outside my normal traveling time and so I will focus on Vacation Season and my travels ahead.

Looking ahead to July, my partner and I have a 4 day stay in Lake Tahoe planned. An 8-hour drive north of us, straddling California and Nevada is North America’s largest Alpine lake. This is a very unplanned vacation for us, as all it requires is the car and a hotel which we’ve already taken care of. For once we are playing everything by ear, no set plans other than when we will arrive and depart the Lake Tahoe area. What we need is some real nature again – having lived in Wisconsin and now San Diego, we are missing the outdoors.

August on the other hand is completely different animal; one that has required the last 6 months of planning. Originally planned for May of 2016, my trip to Sweden and Denmark was cancelled a week before departure (a fact I am still a little sour about) due to our moving to San Diego. However, that trip has been resurrected and we will now be spending a full month in Europe – from Stockholm to Munich. What I can only describe as the longest journey I have yet to plan (and yes I plan/research everything down to the detail), this was a bigger undertaking than any trip prior.

Once we have crossed the fly-over states and wide ocean; 10 hours later we land in Stockholm, spending a full 7 days in the Swedish capital (including Mariefred and Uppsala). Crossing the Oresund via train, Copenhagen gets 1 ½ days of sightseeing before we are whisked away to Berlin for 4 ½ days. After Berlin, we board a train bound for Munich and southern Germany. The bulk of our time (13 full days) will be spent visiting family and friends besides sightseeing (mainly for my partner, as I have been to Munich/Bavaria many times).

This may all seem straightforward, however think about the journey times between these destinations, coordinating trains, etc. It is a bit daunting keeping it all organized, and with a less-flexible itinerary; it requires a lot of research as to when everything is open, how much it all costs, etc. Nonetheless I am beyond excited, as most of the work is already done; and now one can truly enjoy a very stress free getaway (with hopefully very few unwanted surprises).

One Blog Post Per Week

My original intention when I put together this blog was to write a post at least once a week. I figured that one post a week would be enough to keep me busy without being overwhelming, allowing time to edit each post before publishing, as well as take and edit photos. Without a doubt the project has fallen to the wayside many times since I started. My goal and plan for the remainder of 2017, is to re-affirm my output of one blog post per week.

 

About the writer…

jimn3701-2

Hey, my name is Wade; I am the guy pulling the strings behind The Blue Bow Tie Project. Let me start off with a warm welcome again to my blog and new project!

I recently transplanted to San Diego, California from a small town in Wisconsin, and since I feel like I’m starting the next chapter in my life (making new friends, adjusting to a new job, new city), what better way than to open up and share my passions with the world.

Let’s start off with some background…ok so I covered that I moved to California from Wisconsin (born and raised – lived there 25 years)…what else…starting the blog… I know, let me fill you in about what I do in my spare time. It would be understated to say that I LOVE travel. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a passion for other cultures and languages. You’ll find this out soon enough if you continue to follow my blog and what I’m doing. I also dabble in acrylic painting and interior design, speak German fluently, cooking, and if I can get near some snow; enjoy cross country skiing. One of my favorite activities is getting dressed for work or going out; planning outfits is a source of inspiration for me.

We’ve touched on hobbies and interests…next let’s talk about family. Most of my immediate and extended family is back in Wisconsin, all living within the same city/county. I also have family in Wyoming, Florida, a few extended relatives in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Canada. I’m a very family oriented person, and keeping those connections is now more important than ever since I am further away from them.

So there you have it, a little bit more information me and what I’m all about.

Thanks for reading!

Wade

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