2.15.2017

Things I Order on Amazon

I'm kind of obsessed with the idea of documenting my life.  It's why I started journaling with I was 10 years old.  It's why I was always the one with a camera taking pictures at every sleep over, birthday party (which were also sleepovers if I had my way), gymnastics meet, and football game.  I'd drop the film off at Long's and wait the five days or so for developing, because as anxious as I was to see the prints I would not pay extra for overnight processing.  I'd pick them up and excitedly shared them with friends at school before carefully arranging the best ones in photo albums. I was the unofficial team historian.

Now.  I haven't bought a photo album in many many years, and all of my journaling is online.  Then I started a blog.  Of course I did.  Instagram and Facebook serve as date stamped time capsules, of all the fun things I've done and the special people I did them with.  Who woulda thought that shopping on Amazon could do the same thing?




I went through my past orders looking for a product I want to order again, and the first thing I noticed is how my Amazon obsession really exploded over the last three years.  This is a tally of my Amazon order history since 2003.  I'm already at 5 orders for 2017.  It's only February.

2003-6
2004-1
2005-2
2006-3
2007-1
2008-0
2009-1
2010-0
2011-3
2012-1
2013-3
2014-31
2015-38
2016-49!

The second thing I noticed is that browsing through my order history was like catching a glimpse of my past life via the things I ordered on Amazon.  It's all there, neatly organized by year, and in their own way they tell a story.  A story of me. 

2003
So this is my very first Amazon order, ever.  Did you know that in 2003 I was kind of sort of an aspiring actress?  These two books were required materials for a pretty intense acting class with a local casting director here in San Diego.  Once a week I sat in this cramped walk up studio downtown for three hours while this dramatic man by the name of Samuel Warren yelled and gestured with all his might trying to teach us the subtle craft of acting. I starred in an exercise infomercial and did lots of industrial videos.  Nobody I know ever saw them (thank goodness), but I still got paid!  I auditioned for an independent film in L.A. and distinctly remember blowing the call back because I didn't realize they were having us read a different script.  Obviously, I didn't "make it" and it was mostly really discouraging, but I loved it and I still look back on those days very fondly. 

2003
These purchases show that I prefer working out at home rather than the gym.  I do believe that these were my first home workout videos.  Ever!  I bought them on VHS because VCR's were everything back then.  That's all we had.  I always made sure to hit rewind after I finished otherwise I'd be super annoyed when I was ready to start my workout and had to wait for the rewind.  According to Amazon I grew my collection again in 2006 with some toning videos, and again in 2011 with 6 more videos.  By then, I was really into Barre, Ballet, Yoga, and Jillian Michaels, but I also repurchased that Kathy Smith Time Saver cardio video in DVD.   I can only imagine how funny I look doing it, but it's such a fun cardio routine, I don't care and it was worth buying again.  I went through a weight lifting phase in 2014 with the purchase of a cell phone arm band, but the at home workout thing really stuck and these days I workout almost exclusively at home.

2005
This purchase shows my age!  In 2005 I had a flip phone.  A Samsung VGA1000 Sprint to be exact.  'Aint she a beauty?  I think I'd lost my phone out of contract, and this was the replacement.  I'm pretty sure I thought it was the best phone ever at the time, but I remember how distraught I was that I had to spend Two-hundred dollars on a cell phone.  I WISH my iPhone only cost $200.  Was there ever a day that an iPhone was that cheap? I didn't get my first smart phone until 2010. 


2014
These purchases expose the serious popcorn addiction I developed in 2014.  It took me 5 months to eat my way through a 12.5 lb bag of popcorn kernels all by myself.  I had to eat it every single day,  and I loved this popcorn bowl so much I bought one for my sister and my mom.  That reminds me.  I really miss popcorn.

2015
These purchases reveal that my skin is not always perfect, and that I was on a mission to lose weight.  I had perfect skin for most of my life, but in 2004, out of nowhere I had a horrible bout with hormonal acne that recurred in 2006, 2009, 2014, and then crops up here and there every year since.  When my skin is good it is very very good, but when it is bad...UGH!!  In 2015 I scoured the internet looking for products I decided on Arcona Acne Raspberry Clarifying Pads, Alpha Hydrox Intensive Serum 14% Glycolic Acid AHA, and Alpha Hydrox AHA Enhanced Lotion.  I really like the skin care products, because by this time it was less about getting rid of the acne and more about just caring for my skin and treating the acne as best I could during that time.  I had given up on trying to "cure" it because it seems to come and go as it pleases without any kind of rhyme or reason.  I bought the CoQ10 and Acetyl-L Carnitine cellular energy promoting fat transporting, pills out of desperation because I read somewhere that they'd assist with energy and weight loss.  They did nothing for me.  In 2016 I went about it the good old fashioned way.  Diet and exercise.  It worked, and I got to use the tape measure to keep track of inches lost.     
2016
These purchases show my love for writing, traveling, and that I married a Bills fan.  I bought these books for a fiction writing class I took last year.  I hated how long and exhausting it made my day, but I LOVED the class.  I learned so much and it was something I've always wanted to do.  I venture to guess this neck pillow is probably one of the best ones out there.  I HATE sitting up while sleeping on a plane for hours, so I bought this last year before my looong ass flight to Germany.  It's high enough so it actually supports my neck, unlike the cheapie one I had before, which I gave to MJ.  He likes it, but it was useless for me.  These Packing Cubes are awesome.  They keep everything organized in my suitcase and when it comes time to unpack I just take out the cubes.  It also comes in handy when I stay in places with minimal storage.  I bought a set for the husband too.  These socks were part of MJ's Chrismas gift.  He loves them.  Being married to a Bills fan means my husband makes me go to Buffalo.  I've got two Bills games under my belt, and I see more in our future.   

It started out innocently enough with using Amazon as easy order and ship for gifts, things I was having a hard time tracking down or things I couldn't find at a decent price like an inexpensive duvet cover, or a space heater during the summer. 

Then it turned into all the things.  Hair accessories, shampoo, cell phone chargers, goggles, protein powder, ice packs, toilet paper holder.  No item is too insignificant for me to order from Amazon, but I do try to keep a cart going until I have a few items so I can do a group order.  It is a heck of a lot easier than running out to the store, searching for the item, then possibly going to yet another store if they didn't have it.   Like those awesome storage cubes I got a few weeks ago to deal with all my stuff.  I could have gotten lucky and found the right ones on my first trip to Target or Bed Bath & Beyond, or not, but with Amazon I can do the run around online.  And if they don't work, I just print out a shipping label and drop it off at the Postal Annex down the street to send it back.  I used to add to my list of things to buy, never get around to it, and then give in and order it on Amazon.  Now, I don't even fight it.  I go straight to Amazon, because chances are I'll have it a lot quicker than the time it would take for me to go get it.

Amazon is easy and efficient; exactly how I want my life to be.  It feeds my obsession to document all the things, and makes a pretty nice time capsule of the past.  So there's that, as if I needed any other reasons to use it. 

2.01.2017

I Hate Stuff

Remember the good old days when everything you owned fit into your bedroom?  Everything.  All my clothes fit in one average sized non walk in closet, one tiny dresser, and a tall dresser.  I had one bookshelf, and a desk.  I had even less to work with when I lived on campus in college. 


And then this whole adulting thing happens. Somehow you end up with more stuff, and sometimes even your stuff needs stuff.

I lived in a few apartments.  I accumulated things, along with furniture.  I got rid of all that furniture and a lot of things, and started over in a tiny 400 square foot studio.  I'd say that was my most minimal moment of all.  MJ still laughs at me because I only had like three pairs of shoes...and they were all ugly.  Also, I had almost nothing in my kitchen.  Over time, I accumulated more clothes, more shoes.  Not a lot, and very few things, simply because of limited income and limited space.  I really grew to hate stuff, and would only take in essentials because any new items that came into the house was just another things to find space for.

Then we got a house.  It's great.  We don't have to live on top of each other, and my clothes were no longer perpetually wrinkled from being too tightly packed.  There is a place for everything and everything in it's place.  Well, as much as humanly possible, because let's just say I'm the neat one.  We brought our own set of stuff into the merged household.  We decided what to keep, and what to toss.  Houses need stuff, so we bought furniture, decor, and kitchen housewares.  I got a 3-drawer file cabinet to keep up with important documents.  We have a basket of cords, and chargers, and all manner of random electronics.  I don't even know what half of it is.  Over time, I accumulated more clothing, and my own personal junk drawer, that I've been meaning to clean out for a few years.  We have plenty of stuff.  

I have a bunch of plastic shopping bags in my bottom drawer at work.  Why?  I have receipts for random things from three years ago.  Why?  You would not believe the number of tote bags, and carry cases I have.  I am literally, a bag lady.  I have a bathroom cabinet, make that two, full of toiletries I'm not using.  I have a stack of photo greeting cards we have received over the years sitting on a leaning bookshelf, that I don't want but feel badly about throwing them away.  I have clothes I haven't worn since Bill Clinton was president.  Whhhyyy? 

And you can only imagine how excited we were when MJ's aunt sent him a gigantic box full of random stuff from grandma's house.  We pulled out a few items, but this box of useless stuff basically went from one person's garage to another.

I'm not into nick nacks or having random objects.  I am conscientious about what I bring into the house, but once it's in I find it really hard to let it go.  I've got my childhood keepsakes down to two plastic bins in the garage, and I plan on holding onto some letters and cards from family that hold sentimental value.  That fits in a box.  I'm fine with that.  My biggest problem is clothing, and personal items.  Like those damn tote bags.  And pajamas.  I have only purchased a few pajama items in the last decade for two reasons.  1. I went through a serious Victoria's Secret pajama frenzy a long time ago and I have a ton.  2.  A lot of my old clothing becomes lounge wear/pajamas because I am so reluctant to get rid of anything.  It has to be a rag before I think I should get rid of something, and even then something inside of me makes me think I can save it...or that I need to re purpose it into a dust rag.  I get anxious about getting rid of things I might need later, because it would be the end of the world, if I had to re-buy it.  I feel guilty about getting rid of anything that was a gift.  I once drove around with a Goodwill stash in my trunk for an entire year.  I am not proud of this. 

I might be a a borderline hoarder.





These cubes are awesome!! 
I came home from work one day and went on a rampage.  I didn't plan it, I just knew that stuff needed to go.  I went straight to my closet and started pulling clothes of hangers.  Then I moved to my pajama trunk, then my sock drawer, then my workout wear drawer, then my shoes....and well...you get the idea.  Once I started I couldn't stop and I ended up with a nice pile of clothing that is going to goodwill or the trash or anywhere, but my house.  I found these cloth collapsible bins to organize my pajama trunk and purses.  I feel really good about it.

All that stuff was sitting inside my house, but once I let it go I realized that I had also been carrying it around with me.  It bothered me that my closet was so tight with clothes I don't wear; clothes I don't even like.  Seeing clothes I disliked, mixed in with clothes I did like, was making me feel bad about my entire wardrobe.  It was a burden just having them take up space, and now that they have been relegated to the get rid of it pile, it feels great.  I have tons of boxes that have been chilling in the extra room since last year that need to go as well.  It's time! I'm over it.  I did a round of paring down the house a while back, but I need to go back and do more.

I love the idea of minimalism.   I even love the idea of  Tiny House living for that reason.  You cut stuff and you cut expenses freeing up your time and money for what is truly important to you.  I kind of want a Tiny House, however, I don't think I could get my husband to live there with me and I'm pretty sure I'd end up hating it anyway.  I lived in that 400 foot studio for five years.  It was cool at first, but by the time I moved out I felt like a rat in a cage.  It was stifling.  I need space, but I also want a streamlined and uncluttered life.  I enjoy having a reasonable amount of stuff, but I crave order, organization, and simplicity.  I want stuff, but I hate stuff.


I don't want to be forced into keeping less stuff by living in a shoe box.  I want to do it on my own.  The trick of it all is finding a balance, and learning how to free myself from an attachment to items. That's the part I suck at.  I did the KonMari folding method on my husbands T-shirts awhile back, and I think it's time to KonMari my life.


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