zen week, tasks 60-67

Assignment 60: Simplify your RSS feeds.

I don’t actually follow blogs anymore – too much clutter. I do loosely keep track of blogs I’m interested in on Facebook though.

Assignment 61: But subscribe to Unclutterer.

Meh. I don’t really want to add one more thing to my inbox.

Assignment 62: Create an easy-to-maintain yard.

When we were looking at upgrading from a noisy condo on a busy street to a house we discussed at great lengths what level of commitment we had for home ownership. My partner and I both agreed that we wanted a yard to enjoy but not slave over every weekend. As fate would have it we found our cute little house came with an equally cute backyard, about the size of a postage stamp. For reasons unknown to us the former owners had asphalt laid from the driveway to wrap around the back and opposite side of the house like a giant “U”. We’ve overlooked this odd method of landscaping and I use the corner of yard that features a large concrete slab and this asphalt as my garden nook. After the first summer we realized the giant trees on both of our neighbors’ properties prevent us from growing anything in the “grassy” part of the yard with the small exception of ferns and moss. After some careful planning, and other ideas rejected due to extraordinary costs for a space we only enjoy four months out of the year, we opted to have a pebble walking path installed with classic New England cedar mulch spread around it.

This combination of growing space and hang-out-in-the-shade space makes our tiny backyard charming and a delight to be in it. Our yardwork generally consists of spring and fall leaf cleanup, with peppered sweeping and raking during the summer months. For a relatively low fee we can hire our favorite landscaper to come out and do the spring/fall cleanup job if we’re particularly busy with work or social events.

Assignment 63: Carry less stuff.

As cheesy as it may sound I got one of those as seen on TV purse organizers at the pharmacy last summer and I love it. I carry: lipbalm, sunglasses, bandaid, wallet, arnica, advil (travel size), feminine pad, keys and a snack bar or small bag of trail mix. I’m pretty low maintenance in the handbag department (used to carry way more stuff in my teens and twenties though), and when we’re going out to a fair or some kind of public event I just bring my ID, some cash and a credit card.

Assignment 64: Simplify your online life.

I’ve cut back a lot of my activity online — mostly because I don’t have the time to keep up with a gazillion things. I’ve started giving myself time limits for certain activities (like blogging, or checking/answering emails), as well as cut myself off from internet activity in the evenings.

Assignment 65: Strive to automate your income.

Kind of hard to do in the wellness industry when you provide a service that requires human contact! In other areas of my work life I’ve been able to produce small streams of revenue (mostly through writing on health topics), but my ‘bread and butter’ work cannot be automated. I will sit down and brainstorm some ways I could generate other automated streams of income though…

Assignment 66: Simplify your budget.

I don’t do a traditional budget (maybe because my income is not so automated? I mean, it’s not like I get a weekly or monthly paycheck or something). But the one we have is pretty simple.

Assignment 67: Simplify your financial life.

After my first credit card as a teenager I built up to having 5 or 6 cards, being on multiple bank accounts (my own, my parents’, my brother’s when he was in the military) and then signing up for that dental loan thingy, it all became very overwhelming to keep track of. Now I keep two personal credit cards, a business one, and the ATM cards for both banks (biz bank and joint account) though I rarely carry those on my person anyway. I may whittle it down to one personal credit card just so I have less to keep track of when it comes to bill pay.

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