• Lara Flanagan

Day 7 - 360 days

Day 7 – Sunday 10th January 2021


Non-essential purchases: none

Weight: 66.7 kg– 4.1 kg lost in 7 days

Calories: under 1200 calories

Alcohol: none (day 7 of 7)

Exercise: 33-minute yoga, 35-minute yoga.

I had a lovely lazy day today that involved a blissful sleep-in, a couple of yoga sessions, and pottering while the kids finished off their rooms. When Rissie told me that she had finished her room, I went to check it out and have a little celebration with her. I was super impressed to find she had some empty bookshelves. We had a goodwill pile, but it didn’t seem overly huge, so I asked her where everything had gone. She looked a little sheepish and lifted the side of her doona and pointed under her bed.

It is amazing how much crap you can fit under a bed! She has ordered a double bed that contains storage drawers, so she had put all her excess stuff under her single bed. Apparently, she had gone through everything and it was vital to her existence. She was just being super organised and putting it under her bed as that was where it would eventually belong. Possibly her mother’s daughter, possibly not.

I could not possibly live without cheese or shoes.

A 360-days musing......

I rarely talk about the fact that I am a vegan. If I were to mention it for some strange reason, and I was with people I did not know, chances are I would hear two things; "where do you get your protein from?” and “oh I would love to be a vegan, but I could not live without cheese.” Both sentences baffle me. I don’t know why it is that everyone becomes a nutrition expert when they hear the word vegan. Regarding the cheese thing, it is not that someone could not live without cheese, it is just that they don’t want to. When I say that out loud, it sounds completely crazy! Cheese is not a need; it is a want.

The cheese thing is also a big indication that there are some words that make us instinctively focus on what we would lose, rather than what we would gain. If we focus on the imagined loss, then we don’t have to feel guilty about choosing not to embrace what we would gain. Cheese and veganism are remarkably like shoes and minimalism. Minimalism is not something I generally talk about either. Yet the few times I have, it is often about the shoes, (or the clothes, or the creature comforts, or the books, etc). It is all about how people could not possibly live without something.

Once again as human beings we are inclined to focus on what we would lose, rather than what we would gain. Especially if the path to gaining something looks even remotely challenging. On the few times I have brought it up, I will respond to the shoe comment with, “well if your shoe/clothes/stamp collection is that important to you, then who says that just because you are a minimalist, means that you must give it up?” Minimalism is about living with intention and ensuring that what you have in your life brings value to it. If your shoe collection genuinely brings you joy, if each and every shoe adds value to your life, then what is the problem with being a minimalist with a big shoe collection? None at all, if you have truly ascertained that what is in your collection adds value to your life.

I have been in houses where the children of the house have baskets in their rooms that are filled with shoes. I have seen homes that have a whole wardrobe dedicated to shoes. I often wonder if people even know what they own when I see that many shoes. In this instance I am not judging, I genuinely believe that if you find something that rocks your boat, then rock away.

But if it gets to the point where you don’t even know what you own, surely you need to question how much it is you own and what your priorities are. Especially now when we seem to be in more debt, more financially stressed, more focussed on our screens, and more miserable than ever.

For me, shoes were never an issue. I am a self-employed single mum who loves to travel. I stopped buying anything but the essentials when it comes to footwear a long time ago. Partly because I never felt like I needed anything more and mainly because I would rather buy a plane ticket or our vintage van Tiney-Boppa. This shoe rack represents the shoes that our little family of three owns. Not pictured are our gumboots, and a pair of boots that belonged to my sister Tiney, which Rissie treasures.

On the top shelf are our boots. We each have a pair of boots which is what we wear in winter in Tenterfield. The last two times I went to Italy I wore these boots and took no other pairs of shoes. I invested in a pair of vegan Doc-Martens which are all-occasion boots. I walk in them, wear them with jeans and when I have something fancy to go to, they look simply fine with tights and a dress as well.

The next shelf down is for my summer shoes. Black ballet flats for the fancy end of the spectrum and white sandshoes for more casual occasions. Next shelf down is Rissie’s. Black school shoes, sports shoes for school and white sandshoes for all other occasions. The bottom shelf is Archie’s. Black school shoes, sports shoes for school and black casuals for all other occasions. On the floor are our thongs for anything else! Looking at that collection, we are probably more on the extremely minimalistic side of things when it comes to shoes.

But it works for us. The beauty of minimalism is that it will be different for everybody. As to what works for you, it really is up to you. A lot of it will depend on your why. So, what your why is, is probably a question you will need to work out before you worry about the shoes!

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