The idea of a "capsule wardrobe" has gained a ton of momentum over the last few years. This is the concept where you have a limited wardrobe of items that you really like instead of a closet full of clothes that you rarely wear. Some people have taken the idea further still by creating a personal "uniform" and only wearing the same thing every day. Famous examples of this are Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Barack Obama; I wrote about personal uniforms already over here.
On the extreme, uniform end of the life-simplification-spectrum, there are some people who eat the same meal (often lunch) every day. This article in The Atlantic explores some of these folks and the different reasons they have had for this streamlined habit — from simplicity, stress-reduction, time-saving, to just plain enjoyment.
Few of us will instate a personal uniform, but many more are eager to embrace a more minimal wardrobe overall. In the same way, few of us want to eat the same thing every, single day; but, do we have the same interest in a limited rotation of meals or ingredients?
For a majority of the world, eating the same thing every day (and the same thing throughout the day) doesn't have a fancy name; it's simply called: eating!
Rice & beans may be the daily diet for billions of people in hundreds of countries, but here, the attitude towards eating the same thing over and over is often viewed as an uninspired, character flaw.
As The Atlantic article explores, people who bring the same meal to work every day are good-naturedly teased — "What's for lunch today, Joe? [snicker, snicker]" — and mostly the response from others neutral. But, the scale would tip definitely more towards an eyebrow-raise rather than admiration or inspiration.
Personally, I find it really easy to wear only few articles of clothing; fashion is not an area in which I feel compelled to express myself. Maybe that's from wearing a school uniform for many years, or maybe it's my aversion to fast fashion (and the lack of funds that would allow me to keep up with trends with higher quality, better made clothing).
Food, on the other hand, is much more of a creative outlet for me. I love to cook, to experiment, to try new things, dabble with ingredients. When I had babies and my husband was a student, a friend of mine (in the same life-stage) shared her monthly meal plan with me. It was impressive... and oppressive! (to me, at least!). I later got a glimpse inside her fridge: where was the abundance of random half-full bottles (Asian dark sauces, curry pastes, various mustards)?
When she looks in my fridge, does she see overabundance & excess where I see creative juices flowing?
Are these one-and-the same? Is a "capsule diet" or "capsule menu" going to be the next KonMari-ish trend? Which one would be (or is) easier for you to be a minimalist: in clothes or in food? Weigh in below!
(Photo courtesy of Friends of Basha)
Reflections from my experience visiting a Brothel in Bangladesh
As impossible as it is for me to believe now, earlier in 2020 I flew around the world. The primary objective was to visit Bangladesh and see, in person, the life-changing work in which dignify has had the privilege to participate over these past 8 years.
A friend recently asked on Facebook for “the most challenging and enlightening resource you have read/watched about the problem of racism in America”. This question received numerous responses within the day: half a dozen films, dozens of books, podcasts, courses, and other hubs of information resources (as well as the astute reply, “Conversation”, which is, of course, the most relational and human of “resources”).
I think that this experience was shared by most people in early June (as protests & concerns over racial injustice had reached a critical volume): so many resources, so much to learn.
But now, 2 months later… what have we done with the magnitude of worthy, fascinating, perspective-altering information & insights that have been brought to our attention?
And this it only in the area racial injustice. In other interests & concerns: How much do we know? How much have we learned & read & listened to already?
Approximately 25 years ago (in March 2020), we did a customer/reader survey. I asked what you like to read on the blog & one of the respondents suggested a post on "living generously". What a fabulous idea and perfect for this time in history!
[The title of this post implies some kind of authority or expertise — ha! Nope, no experts here... just some thoughts on generosity from a fellow human, trying to make my way!]