Monday, 6 June 2016

On the Go

I move around a lot. A few days a week, in Durham, where I have my 'own' place (and I love it), with all my bedding, most of my clothes, my own herbs and spices in the cupboard, and a stock pile of apple cider vinegar (not joking).

It used to bother me a lot, moving around so much. The day before I'd get a 'here we go again' sinking feeling and I wouldn't be able to live in the moment and just enjoy the experience of being where I was. Not looking to the past or anticipating an imagined future has been a really hard skill to develop, but I'm sort-of getting there.

Mostly it's just learned behaviour. What we repeatedly do, we become. Every five or six days, I take a plane and arrive in my new home, either at midday or at midnight. I spend a few days there, embrace whatever's going on there, then head off again. No mess, no fuss. To be honest, it took a few years to get comfortable with moving around so much. But I got there in the end.

The things I have learned so far:

Have less things
Having way less stuff means less stuff to lug around with you, less stuff to keep organised, less stuff to clutter your line of vision and make you miserable, less stuff to maintain (servicing the 'stuff' is a big part of many peoples' lives, they just don't know it)

Learn what works for you
What will make your travel and hometime your most efficient self? Learn through trial and error, and do that. I've got the timings of my train and plane down, a backpack for laptop and shoulder bag for clothes, and two simultaneous sets of cards, keys and life-admin things carefully managed so it's all where I need it when I need it. No sweat.

Don't have a lot of different types of clothes
I know 'capsule wardrobes' are a huge thing right now, and that's cool. But the logic of having less clothes, and having clothes that go with all your other clothes, is just sound logic. I think people can become a bit of a slave to the capsule wardrobe-anticipating the changeover, documenting it etc. The idea for me is to have a setup where I can think as little as possible about the clothes I will wear but know they are all adequate. 

Learn to take comfort in the simple things
You know what's beautiful? A fresh bunch of flowers, or a houseplant that requires minimal water (heathers are indestructible), a nice smell of essential oils and a cup of tea. I painted my walls white and just walking into my bright room makes me smile. Those are the things that keep you feeling ok.

Make the most of wherever you are
When I'm in Durham, there's not a lot to do I'm interested in, but there's a great folk music community, so I go to a lot of sessions. Not only am I learning loads of new tunes, but I'm meeting great people. I went to a session in someone's house last week and it was amazing-good tunes, great snacks, and a glass of Scotch to finish! Wherever you are, embrace it. Don't think of what might be or what you're missing somewhere else.

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