The Undeniable Ruth Rotating Header Image

Ruth Carter

Minimalism in 90 Days Update – What was Unpacked During Week 6

This suitcase was overflowing with clothes a week ago.

This suitcase was overflowing with clothes a week ago.

I am over six weeks into my variation of Ryan Nicodemus’(of The Minimalists) “packing party” and I have yet to go a day without unpacking something. Every time I think I’m going to have a day where I don’t unpack anything I’ll want to watch a DVD I haven’t unpacked or I’ll need a pair of socks – usually something mundane.

It’s started to get colder in Phoenix so I’ve started unpacking cold weather linens and clothes. I’m also being more diligent about unpacking things I know (and I mean really know) I’ll need or want or getting rid of things I know won’t survive the final clean-out.

Here’s what I unpacked during the last week:

Day 36

  • DVD
  • Tall socks and t-shirt
  • Japanese figurine and somersault girl figurines
  • Extra keys
  • Spare change
  • Mug

Day 37

  • Fish bowl
  • Checkbook

Day 38

  • Sweater, slippers, cold weather running shirts, and running tights
  • Brown handbag
  • Rosie the basset hound saved 3 tennis balls from the charity pile

Day 39

Day 40

  • Lipstick
  • DVD

Day 41

  • Thermometer (I have to remember that I don’t have a fever, I have cold hands)
  • Glass cups

Day 42

  • DVD

Items set aside for charity this week: 13 hangers, banker box full of clothes, big blue vase, dog brush, dog toys, 5-pound dumbbells, and plastic party cups.

In terms of the number of boxes and suitcases in the minimalism pile, not much has changed, but the volume of stuff in each one is steadily dropping. I found a few items in the that I inherited from my grandmother in my things that have basically become dust collectors there are no reasons, not even sentimental ones, for me to keep them anymore. So I will be passing them along to various family members when we get together for Thanksgiving.

Other updates from the Minimalism in 90 Days project:
What was Unpacked During Week 1
What was Unpacked During Week 2
What was Unpacked During Week 3
What was Unpacked During Week 4
What was Unpacked During Week 5

Marathon Training Week 10 Recap – Masochism Begins

under 10km/h by kssk from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

under 10km/h by kssk from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I am 10 weeks into Hal Higdon’s 18-week marathon training program. I needed KT Tape last week and after a few days, my leg felt well enough to run without it. Yay for that! I’m still having ongoing hip pain but my physical therapist friend suggested a stretch that helps a lot.

Here’s the recap from last week’s training:

Monday:  It was a chilly 46 degrees this morning. I didn’t feel like running in the cold and I definitely didn’t want to take the time to find my cold weather running gear. So I ran on the treadmill for 4.5 miles, and I ran my face off. I was done in 37.5 minutes. I wanted to be done so badly I cranked the speed up to 8.5 for the last few minutes. Hat tips to The Creative Giant Show and The #AskGaryVee Show for keeping me distracted and entertained.

Tuesday: Rest day.

Wednesday:  I ran 7 miles today. It was 52 degrees outside when I started so I ran in long pants and long-sleeved shirt. I was warm enough that I could have been in shorts and t-shirt by the end. I was entertained by an episode of the Dr. Drew Podcast with guests Anna David and Mike Carano. I laughed out loud several times.

When I got back from my run, I cranked out 100 push-ups: 4 sets of 25.

Thursday: It was another chilly morning, and since I worked from home today, I waited until 9am to run my 4.5 miles so I could run in the sun. I made the mistake of listening to my Christmas playlist today. Although it has some awesomely powerful songs, there were way too many ballads in the mix to be good for running. Plus it made me sad because it reminded me that I’m away from my family on Christmas.

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday: I ran 15 miles today – the longest run I’ve ever done. Ever. I filled the 2.5 hours by listening to episodes of The Dr. Drew Podcast, The Daily Show Podcast without Jon Stewart, and a repeat of Profiles with Malone and Mantz featuring John Hughes. My hip handled the pain pretty well but it still hurt, as did my foot and my knee by the end. I started hating myself around mile 11. The last few miles were not pretty, but they got done and that’s what matters. It takes a true masochist to voluntarily run this far “for fun.”

Sunday:  I did a 19-mile bike ride today for cross training. It was only about 50 degrees when I started and I was only wearing shorts and a t-shirt, so it was pretty chilly. On the upside, it was like I was icing my body as I was inflicting pain on it. I can definitely tell that my quads are getting stronger and have more definition.

When I got back, I finished my push-ups for the week with 4 sets of 25.

Weekly Totals:
Running: 31 miles
Biking: 19 miles
Push-ups: 200 push-ups

Minimalism in 90 Days Update – What was Unpacked During Week 5

I still have a suitcase filled with clothes I haven't worn yet.

I still have a suitcase filled with clothes I haven’t worn yet.

I am over a month into my variation of Ryan Nicodemus’(of The Minimalists) “packing party” and I have yet to go a day without unpacking something. On most days I unpack only a few items. I expect that day will come soon, but I also expect days where I’ll be unpacking a lot more. I’m starting to think about what items are going to survive the final clean out even if I don’t use them on a regular basis – like the keys to my parents’ house in California or the Ziploc back of spare change I haven’t unpacked yet. If I think of those items and I know they’re going to be spared, then I’ll unpack them. Likewise, the moment I know an item isn’t going to survive the final clean out, it will go into the pile of things to be donated to charity.

Here’s what I unpacked during the last week:

Day 29

  • Crockpot and pan
  • DVD

Day 30

  • DVD
  • Towel set
  • Handout and magnets (to attach it to the fridge)

Day 31

  • Sweatshirt (It’s finally cold enough that I want a sweatshirt instead of a zippy to walk Rosie in the morning)

Day 32

  • Antibiotic ointment
  • DVD
  • Replacement tube of Rosie’s toothpaste (I have several replacements for toiletries I currently use that are still in a box. I might unpack all of those because they will be used. Don’t worry – I only have 1 replacement for each item at most. I’m not like an extreme couponer who has 100 bottles of shampoo.)

Day 33

  • Dress
  • Cassette

Day 34

  • Music stand and sheet music
  • Donation to charity: unused travel size toiletries

Day 35

  • Aztec sun (I’m storing this on the wall for now)
  • Birthday card for brother-in-law (bought it during Independents Week sale)
  • Stage manager bag of pens, highlighters, velcro, and safety pins (to work at Ignite Phoenix event)
  • Vinyl pants, FMBs, and pasties (to wear at Ignite Phoenix event)
  • Mascara, foundation, lip liner, eyeliner, shimmer powder, and lipstick case
  • KT Tape (for my sore leg), alcohol pads, and knee socks (to sleep in my KT Tape)
  • Music binder

The list on this post goes through last Friday, but I usually shoot the weekly video on Sunday so I’ll be talking about a few things that you won’t see on the what-I-unpacked list until next week. I’m definitely trying to treat my condo more and more like a home. I don’t want a lot a knick knacks – just a few sentimental items that make me smile.

Other updates from the Minimalism in 90 Days project:
What was Unpacked During Week 1
What was Unpacked During Week 2
What was Unpacked During Week 3
What was Unpacked During Week 4

Marathon Training Week 9 Recap – Back in KT Tape

Number 9 Sign by tedeytan from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Number 9 Sign by tedeytan from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

KT Tape is my friend. When I did the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona half marathon in 2013, I think my feet and legs were taped up from November until after race day in January. Since doing physical therapy for my shin splints and re-working my running form earlier this year, my pain is greatly reduced, but I’ve been plagued by post-tib pain in my left leg lately. So I’m back in KT Tape for the foreseeable future. Here’s how this week of training went.

Monday:  Rest day. My quads definitely feel like they ran a half marathon yesterday. My neck and back are bit sore too.

Tuesday: It was a chilly start to the day – only 58 degrees when I started my run. I’ve given up on running on the treadmill and elliptical at the gym. Running in the real world may take longer, but it’s a lot more fun. I listened to an old episode of the Evo at 11 podcast wile I ran 4.5 miles – thanks for making me laugh.

When I got back, I cranked out 100 push-ups: 4 sets of 22, 1 set of 12. I wonder, once I get up to doing 4 sets of 25, if I could increase it to 6 sets of 25, twice a week. I think that would be more efficient than doing 100 push-ups, 3 times week.

Wednesday:  Another chilly morning run with Evo at 11 – 7 miles this time. It wasn’t that painful, but I felt like I was running exceptionally slow for the last 2 miles.

Thursday: I had an early morning event so I moved today’s run to tomorrow. I finished my push-ups for the week in the evening: 4 sets of 23 and 1 set of 8. The last 3 reps of each long set were a bit challenging. I expect to be up to 4 sets of 25 by the end of next week and hope to be up to 6 sets of 25 within 2 weeks after that. I love having muscle definition in my arms.

Taping my Post Tib with KT Tape - I'll probably have my leg taped up most of the time until after the marathon

Taping my Post Tib with KT Tape – I’ll probably have my leg taped up most of the time until after the marathon

Friday: I was in hurry this morning so I didn’t heat my hip before running 4.5 miles. That was a mistake.  It hurt like hell by Mile 2. The Creative Giant Show, a new podcast by Charlie Gilkey, kept me somewhat distracted.

When I got back from my run, I decided it was time to step up the care for my left post tibialis that’s been sore so I taped it up with KT Tape. You can wear KT Tape for as long as it stays in place so I’ll be wearing and sleeping in knee socks for the next 9 weeks to keep it from rolling and catching on things.

Saturday: I ran 10 miles today, and yes, I heated my hip before I headed out. It still hurt but it was much more manageable. As usual, I was entertained by the lovely Scott Mantz and Alicia Malone with their Profiles podcast. They featured Julia Roberts this week. I was bummed when they announced that they’re taking next week off so I’ll have to find something else to entertain me during my 15-mile run.

Ironman Arizona is tomorrow. On the second half of my run, I saw a lot of fit people riding very expensive-looking bikes. I assumed they’re all Ironman athletes getting in one more ride before turning their bikes in for the race.

Sunday:  It was weird getting on my bike after having a week off from cross-training. I rode for 19 miles and I noticed the ride is starting to get easier, except when I ran into a pretty strong head wind around Mile 3.  I hope it doesn’t cause any problems for the Ironman athletes.

I think I’m starting to experience the constant soreness I’ve seen in other friends who are marathon runners and triathletes. Sometimes it hurts less to run than walk, and sometimes it hurts all the time, especially my hip when I go from sitting for period of time to walking around.

Weekly Totals:
Running:  26 miles
Biking:   19 miles
Push-ups: 200 push-ups

Minimalism in 90 Days Update – 4 Weeks into this Adventure

Minimalism Boxes 11-9-2014

My Minimalism Boxes – November 9, 2014

Rosie and I have been in our condo for four weeks so that means we’ve been doing our own version of Ryan Nicodemus’packing party” for just over a month. (I closed on the condo on September 29th so the official start of the project was October 1st even though we didn’t move in until October 11th.)

Ryan’s “party” ended after 21 days. I’m giving myself 90, though I’m starting to wonder how much more I’m really going to unpack. I have yet to go a day without unpacking something and I expect to unpack more wintery things as it gets colder but the low right now is only in the 50s. (Ah the joys of living in the desert.)

When I got my first apartment, my mom took my shopping for my kitchen basics – dishes, glasses, cooking supplies, etc. When I moved to Phoenix, the house was fully furnished, so my kitchen gear mostly lived in the garage for 10 years except for a few specialty items. Now I’m rediscovering my cooking supplies and seeing what I actually need and use. I suspect I’ll keep a handful of basics that I barely use – like my hand mixer and my casserole dish – just so I won’t have to replace them when a rarely-used recipe requires one of them.

Here’s what I unpacked in the last week.

Day 22

  • Rosie’s flea treatment (she gets this once a month) and doggie bags
  • Toaster and plate
  • DVD
  • T-shirt

Day 23

  • T-shirt
  • Plate
  • DVD
  • Hairbrush (that I’m using this as a microphone to practice for an upcoming speech. I’ve always used a brush for this.)

Day 24

  • Hat and yoga pants (Yay! It’s finally cold enough for yoga pants!)
  • Two knives

Day 25

  • Slacks, blouse, and t-shirt
  • Clipboard and notebook
  • Anniversary card (which I bought on sale in July)
  • Knife
  • Glow-in-the-dark ball (for Rosie)

Day 26

  • T-shirt
  • Cookbook (to help me make my shopping list), knife, and plate
  • Heating pad and 2 Styrofoam cups (to make an ice cup)
  • Lip balm (I have no problem admitting I’m addicted to lip balm.)
  • DVD (because I think you’re obligated to watch V for Vendetta on 11/5)

Day 27

  • Socks and tank top

Day 28

  • Hiking boots and socks
  • Caffeine pills

After the end of Week 4, I took some time to go through and combine several half-empty boxes. I’ve gotten rid of at least 4 boxes since my last video. It makes a big difference in the amount of free space I have and has me thinking about how I want to use it going forward.

Other updates from the Minimalism in 90 Days project:
What was Unpacked During Week 1
What was Unpacked During Week 2
What was Unpacked During Week 3

Marathon Training Week 8 Recap – Running Hurts!

Looking for Answers? by David Bergin Photography (Creative Commons License)

Looking for Answers? by David Bergin Photography (Creative Commons License)

Week Eight of following Hal Hidgon’s training program has been about managing pain.  This week I was scheduled to run a half marathon on Sunday and I was bummed that I couldn’t find a local race. It’s much less painful to run with the fanfare of a race around and it’s nice to have people cheering for you along the way. In case you wondered if it matters that you’re on the sidelines – it makes a huge difference. Here’s how last week’s training went.

Monday:  I didn’t have a workout scheduled for Monday but I was preparing to lead a 4-mile hike in Papago Park as part of a continuing legal education lecture on Friday. I wanted to make sure I knew where I was going, we went out and walked the route.

Tuesday: I’m not sure I’m going to keep hitting the gym for my Tuesday run. I was annoyed to see that both treadmills weren’t working when I got in there this week so I did my 4.5 miles on the elliptical again – in 31 minutes. I kept myself entertained by listening to three episodes of The #AskGaryVee Show podcast. The only benefits of working out in the gym is I tend to get my miles done faster and I can periodically glance over at my reflection in the mirror to check out my slowly increasing muscle tone.

After my “run,” I cranked out my first 100 push-ups of the week – 5 sets of 20. I’m thinking I’ll but up to 4 sets of 25 by Week 10 and might try to push myself to increase my push-ups to 300/week from 200.

Wednesday:  My hip and feet hurt getting out of bed this morning. Determined not to let that stop me, I headed out on my usual 6.5-mile run. The pain let up after the first mile and returned around mile 4 when I was going up the hill for the second time.

I went to the Injury Clinic at Runner’s Den to get my hip looked at. Matt from Endurance Rehab is always so helpful and super knowledgeable. He poked and prodded at me, had me walk and run a few steps (and said my gait looked good so thanks to Eric my physical therapist for fixing my running form).  He said I don’t have hip problem but a glute problem. He suggested I heat my muscle before I run and roll it on my foam roller afterwards.

Hanging out with my heating pad wrapped around my hip and butt is easy. Working it on the foam roller hurts like a bitch – it’s like self-inflicted deep tissue massage. It helps but geez it’s painful in the process. I’m glad I’m a masochist, but I much prefer to have someone inflict this type of pain rather than having to do it myself.

Thursday: This was my first run where I put heat on my hip and glute before heading out to run 4.5 miles. It helped a lot. Right now my 4.5-mile run has me turning around in the middle of the Mill Avenue Bridge. Something about that seems incomplete. I’m looking forward to my training program bumping me up to 5 miles on Thursday so I can run the whole length.

When I got back, I finished my push-ups for the week: 4 sets of 21 and 1 set of 16. I like seeing veins in my arms when I do them.

Friday: No official training today but I had my 4-mile hike. It was a nice mostly-flat walk.

Saturday: My training program says to run a half marathon on Sunday so I got today off. I’m really bummed that there wasn’t a half-marathon race in my area this weekend.  The race environment is so much more fun, and strangers cheer for you.

Sunday:  I ran a half marathon by myself today. I let myself wake up a little more than usual, had a bagel and a banana for fuel, and put in my contacts so I could enjoy my surroundings more. Despite these allowances, this was a pretty painful run. My feet and right glute hurt from step one. My shins started hurting around mile 4. By mile 8 it seemed like everything from the knee down hurt on both sides. Around mile 10 I had to pick up the pace a bit to cross the street before the light changed. Based on the reaction from the car that was waiting at the intersection, I think I actually grunted. (Sexy I know.) The last mile was pretty brutal. But it got done and that’s what mattered. I finished in about 2:15. Hat tips to Scott Mantz and Alicia Malone of Profiles and the Dr. Drew Podcast for keeping me entertained.

After my last half marathon, I booked a two-hour massage the next day. The only thing I have scheduled after this run is several sessions with my foam roller and work.

Weekly Totals:
Running:  28.6 miles
Hiking: 8 miles
Push-ups:  200 push-ups

Minimalism in 90 Days Update – What Got Unpacked During Week 3

The Minimalism Pile at the End of Week 3

The Minimalism Pile at the End of Week 3

Rosie and I have been in the condo long enough that we’re starting establish day-to-day patterns so most of what we need is already unpacked – and yet there are still 21 banker boxes and other boxes and bags that I haven’t unpacked. Now I know some of these things will be unpacked – like the rest of my dishes. My dish set only came with 8 plates (4 big, 4 medium). Keeping all of these is not excessive. As the weather gets colder I’m going to unpack my warmer sheets, blankets, and my crock pot.

I have yet to go a day without packing something, but the number of things I unpack each day has dropped significantly.

I’ve started adding some commentary to this what-I-unpacked-list, not because I need to justify why I kept what I kept, but to share why certain things are valuable.

Day 15

Day 16

  • Hair dye shirt (the t-shirt I wear when I dye my hair and do messy projects), hair dye, small bottle for extra developer (as a short-haired person, I get 2 dye jobs out of each box)
  • Towel set (I told myself I can keep both sets of towels I own)
  • T-shirt, shorts, Crocs (makes it easier to work at my standing desk)
  • Vacuum
  • DVD
  • Rosie’s nail clippers
  • Everything That Remains book (love this book and I wanted to remember when Ryan Nicodemus had his first day without unpacking something – Day 10 for him)
  • Family calendar (yes, my family creates a calendar every year with photos from the previous year) and a tack to hang it up
  • Ibuprofen

Day 17

  • Mixing bowls (I used the small bowl to make tuna salad so the whole set got unpacked)
  • Plunger

Day 18

  • T-shirt and sweater
  • Lint roller
  • Floss

Day 19

  • Hair trimming scissors (my bangs were getting too long)
  • Pants, dress socks, dress shirt, neck tie, and boots
  • Law books (I had a TV interview at my home about the law and Airbnb so I put them out to give my office more of a lawyerish look, including copies of my books)
  • Jason Surfrapp’s Creativity for Sale (I got out my extra copy to send to a friend)

Day 20

  • Dress
  • Fork
  • DVD

Day 21

  • T-shirt (I could have gone without unpacking anything if it wasn’t Halloween and I didn’t want to wear my Coroner shirt to work)

I wouldn’t be surprised if I go a day without packing something next week.

With the number of things I unpacked this week, I was able to decrease the number of boxes in the “minimalism pile” but there’s a lot of stuff left. It makes me wonder if I should make a pass through them and start clearing out some things before the end of the year.

In this video I make my standard pass through the condo but I gave you preview of what I expect to add in the next six months. Please tell me what you think of my ideas!

Other updates from the Minimalism in 90 Days project:
What was Unpacked During Week 1
What was Unpacked During Week 2

Marathon Training Week 7 Recap – And the Pain Begins

Lucky 7 by Jim68000 from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Lucky 7 by Jim68000 from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

When I was in college, my friends and I were frequently flyers at the piercing parlor. (I’ve had 14 piercings in my life but I’m back down to 2 currently.) After my last piercing they gave me a sticker that says, “We put the ‘f*ck’ in ‘That hurts.’” That was theme this week.

Monday:  I had early plans on Tuesday this week so hit the gym today. To my dismay, the treadmill was taken so I jumped on the elliptical instead. I did 4.5 miles in 32 minutes (~8.5 mph). The last time I ran on the treadmill average, my average speed was 7.1 mph. I burned fewer calories than running but I was super sweaty by the end of my workout. Hat tip to Dr. Drew and Gary Vaynerchuk whose podcasts kept me entertained.

When I got back, I knocked out 100 push-ups: 5 sets of 18 and 1 set of 10.  It was challenging at first but got easier by the third set. I hope to be up to 5 sets of 20 next week and build up to 4 sets of 25 within 3 weeks.

Tuesday: No workout today. I spent the day at Shankminds Phoenix.

Wednesday:  Back to running in the real world today, but I accidentally ran 6.7 miles instead of my usual 6.5 because I told a wrong turn into the condo complex next to mine and I got half way around their parking lot before I realized what I did. I did some speed work until I experienced a bit of hip pain around Mile 4 and took it easy for the rest of the run. If this issue keeps up I’m going to hit the injury clinic at Runner’s Den next week.

After my run I finished my push-ups for the week:  4 sets of 19 and 1 set of 24.

Thursday: I went super pathetically easy on today’s 4.5-mile run. I’ve been trying to research hip pain related to running and I wonder if my pain is caused by doing speed work and running on hills. Everything from my waist down seemed to hurt today with a 2 or 3 out of 10 on the pain scale. Hat tip to The Daily Show Podcast without Jon Stewart for entertaining me today.

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday:  Holy crap today’s 12-mile run was hard. My right hip and left post-tib hurt from step one. My goal for the run was just to finish without stopping – except for stoplights. I felt pretty pathetic sometimes but I got through it. The last three miles with the hill were really hard. That’s when my knees and quads really started to hurt and I was running so slowly. It barely counted as running. My thanks to Profiles with Malone and Mantz for their extended show about Alfred Hitchcock that kept entertained and distracted from my pain.

My New Shoes

My New Shoes

After today’s run, I checked my running log and saw that I’d run over 330 miles in my current pair of shoes. That doesn’t include wearing my running shoes out and about or walking Rosie. This pair of shoes has probably walked 400-450 miles since I got them in July. My post-tib has probably been hurting more because my shoes are dead. While I was out running errands, I hit REI for a new pair of insoles and Runner’s Den to replace my shoes. Nate at Runner’s Den said the wear pattern on my old shoes (Asics GT-2000) looked “perfect” so I’m definitely in the right shoes for me so we just replaced them. (I’m glad they still had them in my preferred color because it looks like next season’s colors for these shoes are ugly.) I also hooked myself up with another pair of Asics running shorts with the built-in brief and Feetures seamless socks.

Sunday:  The increased muscle tone in my quads definitely came in handy on today’s 19-mile bike ride. I’m able to ride harder and faster than before. (Wait, that sounds dirty.) More endurance + less pain = happier Ruth. And it was nice cool 68 degrees this morning – perfect for a bike ride.

Weekly Totals:
Running: 27.7 miles
Biking: 19 miles
Push-ups: 200 push-ups

Adventures with my Bashful Bladder

Pre–employment drug testing by Francis Storr from Flickr

Pre–employment drug testing by Francis Storr from Flickr

I was recently offered an adjunct instructor position at an art college to teach Business Media Law. When they told me that they wanted to hire me, they explained that the next step was a background check and a drug test.

A drug test. This was going to be fun.

My problem with drug tests isn’t that I worry about passing. It’s that I generally can’t pee on command.

I’ve always had a bashful bladder. When I applied to the U.S. Air Force Academy, a drug test is part of the physical. I was there at 7am and I couldn’t make myself pee until after I finished the rest of my tests. About 10 years ago, I participated in one of the Merck HIV vaccine trials. I had to take a pregnancy test before each time I was due for a vaccination. I drank tons of coffee before going to the clinic and it still took forever to get me to pee on command. After that the staff gave me a set of specimen cups and trusted me to pee at home and bring in it with me. It was weird carrying a cup of urine in my purse into the clinic each time.

Last week I got my official notice of my testing site and that I had 48 hours to complete the test. I drank a bottle of water after my morning coffee and when I started feeling a tickle in my bladder, I headed to the testing site. The gentleman with the African accent showed me to the bathroom and handed me the specimen cup with the instruction that I needed to provide at 50mL sample. I sat down in the stall and tried to think about scenes from my favorite comedians stand-up specials – like Kathy Griffin and Ellen DeGeneres. But no luck – my bladder wasn’t giving in.

I glumly told the guy that I couldn’t pee and headed back to the waiting room to drink more water and think about humorous things. I paced around the room but thought it would probably be better to sit still. No one may have concentrated more on funny things than I did sitting in that waiting room. Two more bottles of water later, I was ready to try again.

I sat down in the stall again and started thinking about Tom Green. His early stunts are so stupid and funny. They make me laugh so much.

Success! After thinking about a few of Tom’s stunts, my bladder let go. Here’s the clip I was thinking about when I was finally able to pee.

Thanks Tom!

Minimalism in 90 Days Update – What I Unpacked During Week 2

Minimalism Boxes - October 26, 2014

Minimalism Boxes – October 26, 2014

I’m a little over two weeks into my new minimalism project where I only unpack what I need as I need it – inspired by the “packing partyRyan Nicodemus of The Minimalists did. His process lasted 21 days. I’m giving myself three months for mine.

I looked up Ryan’s packing party story in Everything That Remains and noted that his first day when he didn’t have to unpack anything was Day 10. I’m still unpacking things every day, but the number of things I need is dropping – still mostly clothes, kitchware, and now that I have a TV, DVDs.

I realized that before when I needed something, I would look at everything I have and make a decision. Now that most of my stuff is still in boxes, when I need something – like deciding what I’m going to wear that day, I envision how I want to look and feel that day and decide accordingly. I don’t rely on the visual stimulation of looking at my stuff to inspire me but try to tap into what I really want instead.

One of the challenges I face on a daily basis is paper. No matter how much I minimize my life, I will always have to deal with paper in form of mail, business cards from networking events, receipts, etc. I’m toying with the idea of letting it pile up and deal with it once a week instead of daily.  That might be a more effective use of my time. Given that “freedom” is something I value greatly, conserving my time for things that matter to me is important.

For those who are interested, here’s what I unpacked during Week 2.

My T-shirt Drawer - October 26, 2014

My T-shirt Drawer – October 26, 2014

Day 8

  • Spoon
  • Sundress and cardigan
  • DVD
  • Highlighter
  • Coupons and store club cards
  • Laundry soap, dust cloth, duster, dryer sheets, and dishwasher soap

Day 9

  • Contact lenses, contact solution, lotion, and marker
  • Eyeglasses case
  • Bike pump
  • T-shirt and socks
  • Big soup pot, food storage containers, measuring spoons, medium pot, chopper, cooking spoon, colander, and onion goggles
  • 2 DVDs

Day 10

  • 2 T-shirts, tank top, bra, and cardigan
  • Salad container and measuring cup

Day 11

  • Tank top
  • Lids for food storage containers and mug
  • Extra razor blades and 2 types of mouthwash
  • Vase I use for spare change

Day 12

  • Skirt, blouse, and Mary Jane heels
  • Remote mouse aka “clicker”
  • Makeup brushes, eyelash curler, compact, powder, and nose hair trimmer
  • Crochet project

Day 13

  • Reflective belt for early morning running, t-shirt, underwear, Legal Rebel Converse high tops, and blazer
  • Extra business cards
  • Measuring cups

Day 14

  • T-shirt
  • Home inspection binder
  • Q-tips and tampons
  • Small pot, wooden spoon, and new knives

I wouldn’t be surprised if my first day where I don’t unpack anything comes within the next week. I think I’ll need about a month to get through the majority of the activities I do on a regular basis and then it will be easier to start going through my boxes and get rid of things on a more frequent basis.

In case you missed it: What I Unpacked During Week 1