April 19, 2013

How to Beautify Your To-Do List

A Vulcan Victorian stands in a ray of sunlight with an opulent, full skirted gown
Beautiful, but not very practical
An inordinate amount of my free time is spent slipping through the interwebs looking for inspiration. Inspiration for what? Pictures of gorgeous ball gowns. Blog posts about how to elegantly hold a purse. Tips on how to politely inform your parents that you are goth/steampunk/alternative. All well and good bits of information if, when I shut the browser, I feel better about the world.

However, I don't attend balls- or many events that necessitate such extravagant formal wear as a poor grad student. My various cards, accouterments and the like are stored in my backpack or coat pockets- not a purse. And my parents have always supported my eccentric behaviors.

My internet time while, not exactly wasted, hasn't helped me find inspiration for the actual day to day tasks with which I am faced. Looking through the beautiful costumes and gowns is uplifting but not helpful when trying to pull together a practical outfit for sitting in class. Tips for lady-like actions from the turn of the century are inspiring, but not applicable to modern day juggling between job, school, family and friends. Watching the slow transformation of an ordinary kitchen to a gothic masterpiece is only so useful as  you have a kitchen to similarly transform.

Faux cherry trees in bloom, strung with lanterns, flank a white couch in a room that is half-forest, half dinning room.
Again, beautiful design with limited applicability.
In short, the inspiration found online is good for the soul but not direct application. To actually begin taking steps towards direct application, you need to for go your sources of inspiration and take a look at what you actually do in your day, wear in your week, or have in your room.

A girl in a tan full, bustled skirt and white shirt with a simple jabot stands in a steampunk tent
One of the most wearable and practical steampunk outfits I've found
For instance, I went through my day and came up with a basic list of activities of which I partake: breakfast,
commuting by foot to school, class note taking, class participation  lunch, homework, dinner, keeping in touch with friends, reading, blogging, letter writing and sewing. There are other activities interspersed depending on the season and location, but on a given day it is a good bet that I preform the majority of these activities.  Obviously, the list will be different for each person.

Lets take the first activity, breakfast. A normal, dull routine consisting of oatmeal with various garnishes and a cup of tea. How do I make this more Aristocratic? I could improve the setting: have flowers on the table. Make sure I sit down and eat leisurely  Include a fruit with breakfast. Take time to read through a novel or nothing at all rather than rush. Make sure I don't skip a meal. Again, it depends on your aesthetic for how you would improve this meal to better suit yourself.

Or take another: homework. For me, an Aristocrat studies for understanding the material rather than the test grade. This means completing all assignments in an orderly fashion. Pre-reading the lecture material and outlining sections to ask questions and going back to review material that may have been forgotten.

A darkly wooded bed room where the bed is hung with white linen curtains a red rug is on the floor.
A much easier to attain aesthetic as well
Ideally, you should go through each of your activities and brainstorm a list of how to do such daily activity in a more elegant, gothic, steampunk, or lolita manner- depending on  your aesthetic. Then choose one aspect from one activity and practice it for a week. Pay attention to how it changes your life, how it makes you feel, and, if it improves your general day to day living, keep it. If not, move on to something else.  At the moment, I am trying not to rush through meals, but take them slow and consciously.

It is well and good to dream about your aesthetic or to live it on the weekend, but why limit yourself and live your days in humdrum existence?

No comments:

Post a Comment