WEEK 28 - Scales and Archers: My Next Five (5) Essentials

Week 28 - Speaking of essentials, I did an issue of my first five (5) essentials about a month or so ago, covering the Hardware of my essentials. So here are the Heartware!

It’s week 28 and we’re half through July. Again - the days may feel slow but the weeks and months fly by. So how are all of you doing? I’ve just gotten my first vaccine jab and other essentials.

Speaking of essentials, I did an issue of my first five (5) essentials about a month or so ago, covering the Hardware of my essentials in my bid to pare down belongings. Inspired by the minimalism movement, here’s a recap of what I’ve learnt:

  1. Minimalism is more about having just enough to make you feel comfortable and happy than a competition to see who can live with the least. 

  2. Minimalism allowed me to take a look at what I really needed to take with me, be it to move spaces, travel, or to have closeby. 

So yes, I’ve covered my hardware essentials, here are the heartware essentials! 

When you hear the word “minimalism”, what comes to your mind? How would you visualise a minimised version of your life? Share them in the comments - I’d like to know!

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Okay, still more “functional” hardware here, but only because it straddles between both the practical and the joyful aspects of what I need. Firstly, this is also my bread and butter - the tool that ensures that I remember the things I need to do and the goals I’m working towards. Other than that, it’s aesthetically pleasing, relaxing to look at, and serves as a daily space to jot down quick thoughts - practical, mindset, or just downloads from meditation.

P/S - I used to shop around a bit for a planner I would like and lately, I’ve been drawn to planners made by regional designers (like Autonomy & Helumi). My current planner is a weekly paper planner by Helumi.co. 

Reusable Cups

I have two main reusable cups - one is my KeepCup for the office, something I bought for my own birthday a couple of years back, and the other is a Stojo, a collapsible silicon cup to carry around and minimise the moment I am done with my water on-the-go. And both of them do the job well with both warm and cool drinks. 

Marie Kondo has two main criteria in order to keep things: Things that are functional and things that give joy. My earlier issue were the functionals and this issue more or less covers the joy portion. What about you? What items give you joy? Let me know in the comments!

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Lavender and/or Vanilla-scented Essential Oils

To be very honest, I didn’t buy into Essential Oils until a lot later - when one of the yoga instructors I went to more often started offering them before the session’s final pose. And his combination was usually Lavender, Chamomile, and Jojoba. After half a year or so doing this class and feeling absolutely relaxed (an incredibly rare feeling for me), I started looking for these oils just to help with sleep. 

Current Favourites? Lavender and Vanilla XD - great for relaxation. 

My Magpie-Like Collections

Okay, this is when the minimalism starts getting questioned here. 

Collections? Very minimalist of you, Jo. 

But let me circle back to the second point made earlier - minimalism is not so much owning very little things, rather, it’s about owning things intentionally. And this is how I pared down my collections: 

Coins - Funnily enough, my mother gave me my first collectible coin - a medallion with my zodiac animal on it, for one of the Lunar New Years. But I didn’t start looking out for Challenge or Commemorative coins until they introduced it for Project For Awesome (P4A), a challenge for YouTubers to spend a few days talking about their favourite charities and causes, started by the Vlogbrothers. Ever since then, I’ve been on the lookout, finding these medallions to remind me of causes, experiences, and identities.

Pins - My pin collection is actually a revival of an old hobby, which is a little sad because I actually got rid of the pin collection I kept as a kid. With an increasing number of independent creators going into enamel pins, I felt it was one of the better ways to show support for various artists, movements, and fandoms moving forward. Do I wish my old collection back? Maybe the Young Scientist and Library Reading badges I had from primary school =)

Dice - It started as an interest in novelty dice before I branched into various 7-dice set collections (the kind you typically use for Tabletop RPGs). Unlike my coin and pin collection, this collection has a definite end - I intend to close this collection once I get the dice designs I’m looking for. And considering how I’m still playing TTRPGs, I don’t see this collection collecting dust. 

Fandoms - Pretty much stopped with the figurines, keychains, and plushes before swtiching to the more functional fandom items - like Ravenclaw Washi Tape, Espeon Tabi Socks - before just paring down to coins and pins to look out for. Saves space and lets me get intention about supporting my fandoms as well. 

Others - Being the magpie that I am with games, the idea of collecting designer keys and wax seal stamps intrigues me not only because of their aewsthetic, but also because of the ideas they bring, especially with puzzle and game-making. I don’t have much on this front yet, but I’m definitely keeping a lookout.

Axe Oil / Muscle Rubs

No need for that much explanation here - I’m old and still exercise. Hahaha. Also, I’m one of those weird people who actually like the scent of camphor. 


So there! My 10 Essentials for whatever I go or am based at - both the Hardware and the Heartware of things =). And that’s it from me, see you all next week!

What are your essentials? Especially when you travel or go around? Do share them in the comments!

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