This week I am participating in Ali Edwards‘ Week in the Life project. It is a seven-day documentary project taking a deep dive into the details of our everyday lives through words and photos. This year I hope to share most of my words and photos from each day here on the blog. For each day this year I am using a different story lens to guide my storytelling and I’m aiming to end up with 13 or so photos for each day.
For Wednesday, I used the story lens “The STUFF of Life” for my stories. I have been collecting actual bits of stuff from our life that I plan to add into my album in a 2×2 page protector. This was a challenging lens, but I enjoyed that today. Here are some of my words and photos from Wednesday.
The stuff I take with me to go for a run right now is my AirPods, my new SpeedDraw Plus hand-strapped water bottle and phone case, my sunglasses, supportive sneakers, and my iPhone. I got a bigger SpeedDraw for Christmas from Shawn because I needed some way to hold my phone. I’ve got a new pair of sunglasses due to arrive this week that are anti-slip and anti-fog and meant for running. My Merrells are my favorite shows to run in and I have two different pair. They are light and super comfortable. Two years ago, when I started this wellness journey, I owned very little of this stuff, and I certainly didn’t use it for working out every day!
The stuff on our nightstands are just the essentials. Mine holds Kleenex, treats for Ruby, the tv remotes, one of the remotes for our bed so I can adjust the incline as needed for my upper GI issues, allergy nose spray, and my charging station for my AirPods, Apple Watch, and iPhone. Shawn’s table holds his medical ID bracelet, his foot lotion specially designed for diabetics, his charging station, and the latest addition, a CPAP breathing machine for him to use when he sleeps. The tables are from IKEA and we bought them when we moved into the condo back in 2011. They are blue and I still love them.
The stuff in our house that we use on a daily basis is mostly technological in nature. For example, right now on this table during breakfast there are 6 technology devices that we use every day. Two laptops, two iPhones, a Nintendo Switch, and a glucose monitor. Technology plays such a huge role in our lives and has for as long as we’ve been a couple. Our lives have centered around technology devices, technology development, and technology education for more than a decade. We use this stuff to stay healthy, communicate with our loved ones, complete work tasks, build businesses, teach others, and share our lives.
The stuff that comes into the house at this point is very limited. The occasional package, mail, food deliveries, and groceries are pretty much what we bring into the house during these quarantine times. Our local post office had a COVID-19 outbreak back in April and since then our mail delivery has been sporadic. That’s pretty much fine by us because we only bring the mail in every 7-10 days anyway. I needed to get the mail today because my latest Elle’s Studio kit was delivered and taking up most of the space.
The stuff in our walk-in closet, which is mostly clothes and shoes, has been driving me crazy the last few weeks. I’ve been waiting until the weather warmed up to go through all of my clothes again and clean out things that either no longer fit or that I no longer like. I try to do this about once a year and it’s amazing to me how much stuff I manage to clean out every time. I always think I don’t have that many clothes, but today I cleaned out half a king size bed’s worth of clothes to get rid of. After holding each item of clothing I own and making a decision about it, I reorganized my clothes for the upcoming spring / summer season. It feels so good to have spent a couple of hours doing this task and have it done. Now there’s a little more breathing room in all my drawers and in the closet.
The stuff on our deck is bringing us a lot of joy these days. We added a fire pit and a cot for Ruby that are expanding the window of time it is comfortable to be out there and our time out there even more enjoyable. Today we decided to have lunch out there since it was such a gorgeous day. We need to do some cleaning out here, but are really looking forward to more time out here this season.
The stuff that takes place in Shawn’s workspace in the basement is sometimes a mystery to me. Today he called me down to have me take a photo of the project he’s working on. The task at hand was to heat up the end of a tube of glass he had cut to make the edges smooth. He’s always up to something down there. Today he said “I get to do the coolest stuff as a Maker!” shouting over the noise from the torch he was using.
The stuff on our walls is a hodge-podge collection that has taken us forever to get up. When we lived in Aberdeen, I think I had one framed photo nailed into the wall, that was it. We had a few more things hanging up when we lived in the condo, and this is the first year (Aside from Christmastime) that we have things hanging on our walls. Lots of these things are gifts. Most of these things are photo based. Some of these things are from our travels. A lot of these things are kid-made. We now have family photos and are working on getting at least one of photo up of each of nieces and nephews. Our National Park poster wall is one of our most eye-catching collections and certainly one of our most treasured. The same goes for our US photo map, we love adding photos to it each year of new places we’ve visited. We are unsure if there will be something new to add this year since we cancelled our Hawaii trip. The stuff on our walls doesn’t match or coordinate, but every piece of it is meaningful and makes us happy and isn’t that what a home should be filled with?
The stuff in our house has been dwindling. Over the years we have gotten rid of SO. MUCH. STUFF. There’s still a lot I’d like to get rid of. There is still clutter in areas where I’d like the surfaces to be clear. There are still boxes and piles waiting in the basement and garage for us to go through and sell, donate, or throw out. We have made a lot of strides in this area this year, but I think there is still more to do. I’ve been feeling a pull toward LESS. Less stuff, more heart. Keeping only the things we use, are meaningful to us, or make us happy. Then, being really intentional about what new stuff comes in the house. We have been slowly making our way there and every step we take toward that goal feels awesome.
The stuff we can’t live without right now is a random assortment of things that are making our lives better during this period of self-isolation. We couldn’t do without our phones and laptops. These are crucial to both of our work, but also enabling us to stay connected with friends and family through Zoom calls, FaceTime, text messages, and discussions on Slack. The Switch is another item we couldn’t do without right now. We have played video games nearly every day since we’ve been home. Often, we are playing Mario Kart with friends and family, which has been a super fun way to stay connected. Mostly we are playing Animal Crossing and that has been just a pure and simple delight and joy in our lives. Ruby’s toys are another must-have for being at home. She plays with them all throughout the day and carries them to greet each of us when we transition between activities. Some of the food stuff we can’t be without are cookies, ice cream, eggs, turkey deli meat, oatmeal, Eggs waffles, and delivery or carry out from some of our favorite spots.
The stuff in my office / craft room makes me so happy. I was really tired this afternoon and evening and didn’t much feel like joining in the crafty Zoom hangout with some of my friends from Makeation. I didn’t really have anything ready to work on and felt low on energy, but once I got logged in and saw everyone’s smiling faces, I felt more energized. What I love about the stuff in my space is that there is always something waiting for me to work on. Tonight I ended up stamping out times and titles for my Disney album journaling and got that all done and in the album! The stuff in that room brings me lots of joy and also energizes me. It’s truly one of my happy places.