Technology

Out with the old – and Happy New Year 2015!

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Wow… another year has gone by so quickly! I cannot believe that 2014 is over already. The last few months have been extremely stressful but also very exciting. 2014 brought a lot of changes for me, it was the first year without going to university (I work on my PhD individually at home in consultation with my supervisor). I’ve also worked part-time for a publishing house for seven months and subsequently started my first full-time employment in September. I have visited amazing places – The Netherlands, America and Croatia – and I have met amazing new friends as well as read some really good (and some really bad) books. I hope everyone can look back on 2014 with at least a few good memories. Every year has its catastrophpes, personal and social ones, but one should try not to forget the happy moments – even if they are just small ones.

On a yearly basis I’m clearing out my stuff in December, no matter if it’s books, magazines, clothes, old technical devices or paperwork. I have sold so much stuff on ebay and momox or donated it. I love getting rid of stuff that I don’t really need any more but usually it’s too good to just throw away. It’s also environmentally friendly to donate or resell the things one doesn’t need any more. It is easy to forget what’s exactly in the depths of one’s basement or attic.

I’ve found so many things in my basement that I kept because I thought I might need them at some later point in my life. An example are two DVD players that I have not used in over two years which still worked perfectly fine. I decided to sell them because I seldomly watch DVDs and if I do I watch them on my laptop. Coincidentally I found an ad that day that advertised a flat-screen Smart TV with an included DVD-player. I have to admit that I don’t own a flat-screen yet, my TV is ten years old but since it still works fine I didn’t have a reason to buy a new one. I really am intrigued by that flat-screen TV though because my apartment is very small and, in addition, its energy efficience is much better than that of my recent TV. So I am definitely thinking about buying it in 2015 although it will be a slightly bigger one than the one advertised: 27,5″ instead of 23,6″. Long story short, I will sell or donate my old TV before I get a new one so that I can keep enjoying my clutter-free basement. 🙂

German edition of ‘Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui’ by Karen Kingston

I know this is nothing new, especially since Karen Kingston published her book Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui in 1998. It is an amazing book, I have read and reread it many times and gave it as present to my family and friends. It helps you to analyse and decide if you need the things you are hesitant to get rid of. It suggests that everything you surround yourself with affects your life and I have to say I found some tips truly helpful and inspiring. Years after I first read this book I interned at a Feng Shui institute to learn more about this way of life. Feng Shui means “wind-water” and it means that one should live in harmony with one’s environment.  The book’s main purpose is to help you get rid of the things you do not need any more and to keep your things organised.

I have to say my yearly “end of the year decluttering” makes me feel much better even though it is sad that there always seems to be stuff that I don’t really need but still accumulated. We will see how long this organised feeling  lasts but for now I am really happy about it.

I wish you all a very happy New Year’s Eve or a happy New Year if you are already in 2015!

See you on the other side (hopefully clutter-free)! 😉

Life Update #1: Life without take-away coffee & a data plan – it is possible!

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It’s been over a month now that I’ve written the blog post on being a coffeeholic and I have to say my coffee-addiction has changed quite a bit. I haven’t bought one take-away coffee since publishing that post! Instead I’m silently judging the people who pass me with those little plastic cups of coffee every day at the train station on my way to work. Adding to that, I also haven’t taken a coffee with me to work or anywhere else I went. It turns out that life without coffee on the go is possible – who would have thought?! Instead I drink one (admittedly huge) cup of coffee every morning and the second one when I get to my workplace. I might not be saving the environment but I feel a lot better about not wasting as much paper and plastic as I’ve used to.

There has been another addiction in connection with commuting to work: my smart phone. I have had a data plan for three years which I cancelled this month (there are much cheaper ones available by now) but I haven’t yet gotten a new one because I’m waiting for the new iPhone to come out which will be (hopefully) in September. I don’t yet own a lot of Apple products, I only have a 2nd generation iPod (it turns 8 years old in November and is still working perfectly *knocks on wood*), but having an iPhone has its advantages – especially if you have lots of American friends who all have iPhones and/or iPads. I’m not sure if I can afford the newest one but even buying a 5S right now seems silly as they are probably a lot cheaper when the new generation comes out.

WiFi only – for now at least…

This gives me about 3 to 4 months without having a data plan and I have to say it was horrible during the first week! While I would still prefer having a data plan, I now seem to only send messages when they’re really important. Like the other day when I finally got offered a job interview after sending out tons of applications – I sent an international text message to my best friend as I wanted her to know about it immediately because she has been so supportive whenever I complained about my job hunt. Before, I used to spam my friends just because I could. Now that I had to stop doing it, me spamming less might save a lot of my friendships. I hope my internet addiction (especially to facebook and whatsapp) will get a bit less intensive so that I will not start all over again once I have a new data plan…

Enjoy your take-away coffee (hopefully in a tumbler) while you read this post on your smart phone! 🙂

I love Bloglovin

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I just found out about Bloglovin which is a way to keep track of all the blogs you want to follow. It seems to be amazing! I already have 28 new posts to read of blogs I follow. And I do know that I’m probably the last person on this planet to find out about this. 😉

Happy reading everyone!!