Category Archives: Uncategorized

Memikirkan Ulang Gaya Hidup Minimalis

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez from Unsplash

Lol serius amat judulnya.

Hari gini siapa yang ga tau Marie Kondo dengan metode decluttering-nya? Terus ada juga orang-orang seperti Fumio Sasaki yang bilang bahwa minimalism bukan cuma tentang urusan beberes rumah, melainkan gaya hidup.

Jujur sejak 2 tahun lalu saya juga terinspirasi dengan prinsip minimalism ini. I used to live according to this logic:

I feel shitty, therefore I deserve new clothes.

Pernah ada masanya saya belanjaaaa mulu semata-mata in order to fill the void in my life, tsah. Baju, lipstik, buku. Iya, hanya karena buku itu jendela pengetahuan (begitu bukan sih istilahnya?), bukan berarti bisa beli buku sebanyak mungkin dengan excuse menambah wawasan. I’m saying this as a writer: there is a lot of junk out there and reading 300 books a year does not instantly make you smarter. Ini sebabnya juga saya berhenti ngikutin Goodreads reading challenge; karena sering saya mendapati saya baca sebuah buku for the sake of menuhin challenge doang.

Ya udah, intinya tahun 2017 saya mulai ngerem belanja dan ngurangin barang. Beli lipstik dikurangin, itu pun di-downgrade ke merk lokal. Buku-buku yang ga bakal dibaca ulang akhirnya dijual. Mainan Amel yang udah jelek dikasih ke tukang loak.

Jadi apa masalah saya dengan minimalism?

Salah satunya, janji bahwa begitu kita terbebas dari ikatan dengan benda material, hidup kita akan lebih ringan. Pada kenyataannya, gampang banget mengubah obsesi terhadap barang menjadi obsesi akan mengurangi barang. Misalnya aja lewat 100 things challenge, tantangan untuk hidup dengan tidak lebih dari 100 barang. I mean, kok ujung-ujungnya jadi kompetisi mengenai siapa yang punya barang paling sedikit?

Challenge lain yang lumayan terkenal adalah no clothes shopping for a year. Bagi saya yang problematik adalah bagian “for a year”-nya, karena jadi kedengeran kaya puasa, di mana orang nahan laper sesiangan, cuma untuk binge-eat malamnya. Sejak tahun lalu saya udah ngerem banget belanja baju, apalagi setelah sering denger dampak lingkungan dari industri fast fashion, meskipun sempet khilaf sesekali pas lagi feeling shitty about life. Tapi tetep aja ada occasion yang mengharuskan beli baju, seperti buat tampil dance Mommy Shark. PENTING BANGET SIS.

Lalu salah satu metode decluttering yang terkenal adalah dengan beralih dari buku fisik ke ebook. Buat saya sih ini ga applicable. Setelah 7 tahun punya Kindle, saya bosan baca ebook. Sekarang biasanya saya download sample bukunya lewat Play Store atau Amazon. Kalau suka, beli buku fisiknya. Saya ga bisa membayangkan beralih sepenuhnya dari buku fisik ke ebook. I like having stacks of books here and there.

Intinya, my problem with minimalism adalah ketika gaya hidup ini difokuskan pada kuantitas barang yang dimiliki seseorang; ini mah ujung-ujungnya sama aja kaya materialism bukan? Instead, why don’t we focus on feeling enough with what he have?

*terus disuruh ngaca ama suami*


The End of A Decade (or: Overthinking As Always)

In less than a month, my twenties are gone forever, and it’s freaking me out a bit (okay, a lot). And so before abandoning my quest for eternal youth, I’m going to have an existential crisis first.

The direction of my, um, career (what career? HAHAHA) has taken a very different turn from what I thought it would be. I’m getting more anxious now with the growing gap in my CV (5 years and counting), the feeling that my life is passing me by while I’m doing nothing.

As I’m sure my husband would agree, too many times I’ve been going back and forth between, “I’m so ready to try and go back to work,” and, “You know what, I think I’m going to stay home a little bit longer with our daughter and focus on my writing.”

In almost every discussion about being a stay-at-home mom vs working-mom, people always say women have their own choice. But I’ve met mothers who want to stay home but have to work outside, and I’ve met mothers who want to work but have to stay home. Maybe child care costs more than our salary–God knows how expensive child care is; either way, many of us have to make the choice we didn’t want to make.

I don’t know. Folding laundry and calming a toddler tantrum are hardly fulfilling; then again, who says we need to find fulfillment at work? My parents surely did not care about it; they just did what needed to be done. So I was thinking that maybe, just maybe, there is happiness in acceptance and low expectations.

There is a gap between what you expect adult life should be and what adulting really is–and it’s enough to turn someone into a nervous wreck. It’s not only about how big the gap is, but also how well you make the leap. And I’m sometimes embarrassed because, well, I always think of myself as a realistic person, and yet I can’t get over my unrealistic expectations.

I’m realistic about marriage. My husband is not The One. Then again, I don’t believe in such concept. He doesn’t meet all of my emotional needs, and nor should he. I can never relate to those people who refer to their spouse as their “soul mate, other half, best friend, therapist” etc. You can’t get everything from one person; your partner can’t be “everything you need”. It’s unhealthy and it’s just not possible.

This is why I don’t believe that there is one person that completes you. It’s actually a harmful idea, because the moment you wake up and you are not feeling so hot about your partner, you’d start wondering whether you married the right person. But this is normal. It doesn’t mean you need a major life change. It doesn’t mean you have to spend your savings on a romantic trip to bring back the sparks. Because the truth is, it takes a lot of effort to just coexist.

So if I can be realistic about romance and marriage, which people glorify way too often, why can’t I do the same for simpler things? The other day my 3-year-old said that pink is for girls and blue is for boys and I tried to explain that colors don’t have genders but she didn’t want to listen, because you can’t reason with 3 year olds, so I got tired and in the end I just nodded, “Whatever,” only to feel guilty afterwards. And on another occasion she said out of the blue, “Jilbab is good,” and I got so worked up about how long I should let her stay in her bubble and whether I’d be able to tell her someday about #WorldHijabDay and #NoHijabDay and the Iranian women who were arrested for taking off their hijab.

Overthinking is tiring. I going to bed now. Here’s to having low expectations for the next decade.

Amel dan Paddington

Si Amel itu tampangnya memang jiplakan saya banget, tapi personality-wise dia lebih mirip papanya. Ga cuma sekali dua kali saya bertanya-tanya, what do we have in common sih?

Sampai akhirnya kami mengenal Paddington.

Sebelumnya, flashback dulu ke kala saya dan suami mendapat kesempatan langka nonton Thor: Ragnarok berdua aja. Sebelum film mulai, diputarlah trailer film Paddington 2. Saya ingat bilang ke suami, “Amel pasti suka nih.”

Saya sendiri ga pernah kenal beruang Paddington semasa kecil. Pas film pertamanya diputar di HBO, saya sempat nonton, tapi cuma sebentar dan sepotong-sepotong.

Jadi fast forward beberapa bulan kemudian, suami ngajak nonton Justice League. Saya ga minat, dan Amel juga lagi ga bisa dititipin. Tapi kebetulan banget Paddington 2 lagi diputar pada saat bersamaan. Ya udah akhirnya suami nonton Justice League, saya sama Amel mah mending nonton Paddington.

Dari awal film si Amel udah ketawa ngakak-ngakak. Kekhawatiran saya bahwa dia bakal minta keluar teater ga terbukti. Dari awal sampai akhir dia tetap duduk anteng. Saya sendiri bakal tetap menikmati film itu bahkan kalaupun ga punya bocah. Magical banget sih. Langsung jatuh cinta sama Paddington.

Lama setelah film itu berhenti diputar di bioskop, Amel masih sering bilang, “Cerita Amel nonton film beruang.” Finally, the one thing we have in common.

Request dari Amel, minta digambarin Paddington

Setelahnya, saya beli buku Paddington at The Palace, disusul dengan Paddington in The Garden. Saya ga tau sih sampai kapan ketertarikan Amel dengan beruang ini bakal bertahan. Tapi kalaupun nantinya dia udah bosan dengan Paddington, sayanya bakal tetap baca, lol.

2018 and low standards

2017 left me tired to the bones. DD, DH, and I got sick very often; sometimes one at a time, other times all three simultaneously. I can’t remember a period where all of us were completely snot-free and cough-free at the same time. Being sick sucks, but caregiving is a new level of exhaustion; it is endless work with very little reward.

Also, being me, I spent a lot of 2017 worrying about the roads not taken, i.e. life choices I did not make. Just another case of FOMO, apparently, but sometimes those thoughts became so intrusive that I had to stop whatever I was doing in order to finish thinking those thoughts.

And so I came up with the conclusion that 2018 is the year of doing less. Think less, buy less, consume less. Social media pressure us to have an exciting and adventurous life, and a few years ago I might have agreed, but now all I want to do is stay home and watch Black Mirror.

I don’t care about travels and holiday trips, because after such trip one of us always gets sick it’s hardly worth it. I have zero interest in reducing my carb intakes or starting meditation. I uninstalled all of my shopping apps but one; hopefully this year I can get by without buying any piece of clothing. I quit my SCOOP (now Gramedia Digital) subscription months ago because while it’s a cheap alternative for reading, I also feel pressured to read as many books as possible in a month in order to maximize my subscription. Capek ya.

So this year I settle with three goals to focus on, two of them writing-related and one money-related. They’re pretty boring, basically just more writing and less money-spending. But I already decided I’m more than okay with 2018 being an uneventful year.

Main ke Rimba Baca

Sejak minggu lalu, Amel sudah libur sekolah. Dia sih seneng, sayanya yang basi seharian di rumah. Buat mengisi liburan, kami menginap beberapa hari di Jakarta, dan hari ini saya sempetin ngajak Amel ke perpustakaan anak Rimba Baca.

Ini salah satu (kalau bukan satu-satunya) perpustakaan anak yang mudah dijangkau dari rumah. Lokasinya di perumahan RSPP Cilandak. Gampang dicari sih, tapi tempatnya sendiri ga ada papan namanya. Cuma ada poster kecil yang ga keliatan dari jalan. Jadi dari luar kelihatan kayak rumah biasa aja.

Parkiran ada, tapi spacenya ga begitu banyak. Kalau lagi rame kayanya ribet.

Jam buka
10.00 – 17.00
Saya datang sekitar jam 10.30. Masih kosong.

Tarif masuk
30.000 untuk Amel, 5.000 buat saya sebagai pendamping.
Ga nanya biaya membershipnya. Urang Bogor ga bakal sering-sering ke sini juga.

Ga ada. Cuma ada kulkas minuman plus keranjang berisi wafer, cokelat, dsb. Jadi sebaiknya makan dulu sebelum ke sini.

Perpustakaan Anak
Perpustakaan anak ini adanya di lantai dasar. Buku-bukunya dipisahkan sesuai kategori umur.

Di sini banyak kursi kecil, bantal, dan karpet lucu-lucu. Ada boneka Paddington juga lho. Amel langsung kegirangan ngeliatnya.

Tempatnya terang. Ada AC tapi ga gitu berasa. Untungnya sepi, jadi ga gerah.

Berhubung di sini belum ada katalog online-nya (ya iyalah perpus kecil aja kok), kalo kesulitan nyari buku harus tanya sama mbak-mbak pustakawannya. Koleksinya lumayan, kebanyakan buku berbahasa Inggris. Buku Paddington ada beberapa (tetep aja Paddington yang dicari). Buku nostalgia macam Enid Blyton, Astrid Lindgren, dan Roald Dahl juga ada.

Perpustakaan Dewasa
Di lantai atas isinya buku-buku orang dewasa. Saya cuma lihat sepintas sih. Buku-buku mainstream ada lah.

Yes. Lumayan banget ada tempat membaca buat anak yang nyaman dan mudah dijangkau.

Bullet Journaling

Setelah lama tertunda, bulan November ini akhirnya saya mulai membuat bullet journal. Dari dulu sih saya rajin bawa notebook di tas, tapi fungsinya lebih buat coret-coret ide tulisan alih-alih sebagai planner. Kali ini ceritanya saya mau adulting dulu, jadi orang yang lebih organized.

Berhubung saya ga bisa gambar dan tulisan tangan juga pas-pasan, jangan dibandingkan dengan bujo ala Instagram tentunya. Jauh.

In terms of apa saja yang dibutuhkan, I keep it at the bare minimum.

Yang pertama: notebook. Pengennya sih ya beli Leuchtturm 1917 tapi sebagai pemegang prinsip ngapain-mahal-kalo-bisa-murah, akhirnya saya memberdayakan notebook gratisan dari kantor suami yang lama.

Kertasnya dotted, agak tipis jadi gampang tembus. Sampulnya hard cover. Ada tali pembatasnya tapi sayang ga ada pen holdernya. Karena saya butuh banget media buat bawa pulpen, akhirnya bikin sendiri. Modal karet elastis dan benang jarum doang lol.


Kedua, pulpen. Tadinya saya pakai pulpen Staedtler Triplus, tapi tembus cyin. Jadi ganti ke pulpen Boxy doang. Murah cuma tujuh ribuan. Saya pakai warna hitam doang, soalnya ga mahir memadupadankan warna. Dan pengen ngirit juga lol.

Ketiga, washi tape (opsional). Ini bisa buat pembatas atau dekorasi. Saya pakai dikit doang sih, itu pun hasilnya kurang bagus wajaja.

Lalu isinya apa aja?

Ada kalender dan Future Log buat mencatat acara penting dalam setahun. Future log saya mah kosong karena saya ga banyak acara.

Setelah itu saya juga bikin Cleaning Log buat mencatat kapan tanggal terakhir servis AC, bersihin ruang cuci, dll. Ga usah difoto lah ya, ntar ketauan malesnya.

Selanjutnya ada Monthly Log. Seperti ini penampakannya. Banyakan kosongnya karena hidup saya quite uneventful wajaja.

Monthly Log

Dalam sebulan saya mencatat Reading Progress. Saya menyediakan dua halaman buat ini, tapi kayanya kebanyakan sis. Lol. Rupanya saya ga membaca sebanyak yang saya sangka.

Reading Progress

Word Count Tracker gunanya buat mencatat berapa kata yang saya tulis dalam sehari. Bentuknya tabel begini doang sih.

Word Count Tracker

Selanjutnya ada Expense Tracker buat mencatat pengeluaran.

Expense Tracker

Jurnal ini ga cuma buat mencatat log pribadi saya. Kebiasaan Amel juga dicatat dalam Habit Tracker kaya gini.

Habit Tracker

Itu semua periodenya bulanan ya. Sekarang yang mingguan dicatat dalam Weekly Log. Awalnya saya bikin kaya gini:

Weekly Log

Tapi rupanya terlalu lowong, sodara-sodara. Secara saya ga banyak acara dan ga banyak daily goal juga selain staying alive dan menulis 500 kata sehari, yang sudah dicatat dalam Word Count Tracker.

Nah karena layout minggu pertama itu buang-buang space aja, buat minggu kedua saya jatahi satu halaman aja. Nyoba bikin kaligrafi tapi fail.

Weekly Log

Memasuki minggu ketiga, standar semakin rendah.

Weekly Log

Terakhir, saya juga punya seksi Brain Dump buat mencatat ide-ide tulisan. Bagian inilah yang paling mirip dengan jurnal saya yang lama. Letak dan jumlah halamannya random aja, tergantung sebanyak apa dan kapan idenya muncul. Gambarnya ga dipajang soalnya rahasia bahaha.

Saya ga bikin Gratitude Log karena not my style ah. Tapi kadang-kadang saya nyelipin quote di bullet journal ini.


Rethinking Social Media

I don’t want to be one of those people who said they are fed up with social media and then came back two weeks later, looking down on the rest of us from their digital detox high horse, writing articles like “I left social media and this is what I learned” and posting it on social media.

But it’s been a while since social media has been truly fun for me. 

I’ve always liked Facebook. It allows you to follow and unfollow people without them knowing and while staying friends with them. Sometimes I think it’s the only social site I need. But, how come only old people are still on Facebook now? Where have all my friends gone?

Instagram, apparently. But I often find myself spending hours on Instagram, just mindlessly browsing through stranger’ photos. It’s like the app is designed so that you never leave the place. Ever.

And then there’s Goodreads. To an author (or just me), opening Goodreads is like entering a warzone. I’d get so worked up on whether or not people like my book. How many reviews does my book get today? How many stars?

And so I came to a point where I wondered, what does this add up to? What do I get out of this? Sometimes it feels like I’m doing it out of habit or seeking validation (yay, likes! I still have friends!) than anything else.

So I tried some tips from people who broke up with their phone. Some people switched back to a dumbphone, because apparently dumbphone is the new cool. Eh, a little too extreme for me. Next.

Deleting the apps? I did that for Twitter and Goodreads, but then I’d just find myself opening the sites from the web browser *shrugs*.

Putting my phone in a different room during sleep? Here’s the situation: I usually wake up an hour before my daughter does, but I can’t leave the bed because somehow, her subconscious knows that and she’ll wake up. And asleep is how I like her best (I know, I’m such a bad mom). So without my phone around, I just stare at the walls. Alone. With my thoughts. At 4 am. Nah.

The only trick that works so far (other than STRONG willpower) is to log out of my account after using the app. The need to log in every time I want to use an app prevents me from checking it every 15 minutes.

I still haven’t found the middle ground to this problem (once again, other than STRONG willpower). Like, I still want to use social media once in a while, but not give in to what the developers want, i.e. for me to spend as much time as possible using the apps.

Can everyone just go back to Facebook, please?