A New Addition to My Tolkien Collection


Last Thursday, I finally made myself a little gift. After checking out my Amazon wishlist very single day for 4 months (no kidding) to track the price, this Extended Edition of The Lord of the Rings finally reached 29,90 € and I placed my order. You know, I alredy bought this set back in December for the same price, but it was a gift for a friend, then I received some Christmas money and I wanted to purchase it for myself, but the price was increased around 50 € and I couldn’t afford it. I was hoping it would return around 30 € sooner or later, but I had to wait 4 entire months for that!

However I’m so happy I finally got it (for a good price, yay perseverance!), because as unbelieavable as it might sound, I never watched the Extended Edition BTS of The Lord of the Rings, just a couple from The Two Towers at my friend’s home. Some people might say I wasn’t an actual fan, because I only owned the theatrical cut edition and my shelves aren’t full of memorabilia (I got my own replica of the One Ring in my early 20s), but believe me when I say that Peter Jackson’s movies have been everything to me during my teens and deeply shaped my life. It’s just that DVDs were incredibly expensive at that time!

After purchasing this box set, I felt incredibly guilty, because it was 30 € after all, plus I was adding something material to my life once again (if you’ve read my previous post about Minimalism, you’d probably know what I mean). But then I remembered what Minimalism is all about: happiness. This box set is not the next shiny object to me, it’s something I really care about, something I wanted since I was 12. It’s a little piece of personal history added to my collection, not a random movie on a DVD.

Middle-earth and the Wizarding World always made me happy and helped me a lot through my life, plus Harry Potter is the only geeky passion I share with my mom (even if she still refuses to accept her inner fangirl), so it’s okay spending money for that once in a while. I’m not going to become a collector and dedicate a whole room to merchandise, so IT’S OKAY, ALICE. It’s okay. Now breathe.These are the best 30 € I’ve spent in the last couple of years, I watched the LOTR BTS for the entire Easter weekend (while I wasn’t eating) and I still have to start The Two Towers! Clearly the DVDs I would bring with me on a desert island. :)

Do you ever feel guilty for your purchases (even if they are super special)?

Minimalism


When I received an email from Netflix saying that the Minimalism documetary was finally available in my country, I thought it was a joke. It was April 1st, after all. I started following the minimalism movement on YouTube a little bit, but I never found it very doable for me until I stumbled upon the Lavendaire channel. Aileen taught me that minimalism is not just about how many items you own, having a house all black and white, wearing the same T-shirt over and over again.

Minimalism is a state of mind, first of all, it's all about feeling yourself happy.

I'm not going to explain here the whole concept, there are plenty of articles, blogs, channels about it. I, instead, want to recommend you this documentary because it really impressed me, even if I approached Minimalism in a totally skeptical mood at first. While living in such tiny houses with zero decorations or being a nomad with just a suitcase of belongings wouldn't be doable for me, I loved the things they shared in this film. I learned a lot and I found myself reflecting a lot on my life. When one of the Minimalists shared his sad story about his mom, it totally made me cry, because I know what it means sickness and it totally reasonates with my believe of spending as much time as I can with my beloved ones before it's too late. I think this documentary is mostly dedicated to those people affected by consumerism, not actually my case.

I lived on a budget for the most part of my life, in an average european house, my parents never spoiled me (on the contrary, they were afraid of that, being an only child, and even overdid the other way). But I always thought that having more money, affording more things would make the difference, would make me happier. I eventually learned it’s not true. The other day, talking with an Instagram (now real life) friend, we noticed we had a pretty similar "hipster" childhood, our moms grew us up in a similar way, valuing homemade things and little pleasures of life, while both of us wanted to be like the others, eating junk food, owning the next shiny toy and so on. Now we know how our families grew us up well, we're grateful for that. Minimalism was already in our lives without even knowing it.

After watching the documentary, I started listening to their podcast during my commute and I just finished reading one of their books, Essential. Again, while I don’t agree with everything they say (and I’m not going to get rid of my stuff tomorrow), I think it’s such a powerful message and an inspirational lifestyle and we should spend some time learning more about it.


Have you heard of Minimalism? Do you have any thoughs/advice/knowledge to share? I’d love to hear from you! <3

Current Projects and Random Thoughts


Today I feel like sharing my own "state of the biz" with you, as they call it. Probably it will help me clearing my mind now that I'm close to finish my exams (hopefully by the end of the year) and start my thesis.

After a whole month off from Twitter, I decided to take it with a different mindset and dust off the old purpose of that account: connect with other Tolkien fans around the world (hence the @alicegreenleaf handle I have). I arrived at a point where I have too many interests and not enough time to dedicate them, University is killing me and I basically only have the evenings to cut some time for my passion projects. I should create a Twitter account for every single topic I'd like to talk about (the blog, Tolkien, Harry Potter, productivity, blogging tips and tricks, and more), I should follow the right people with the right accounts​, and schedule tweets and updates to go live at the right timezone for my different kinds of audience. This is what I tried to do once (with only 2 different profiles) and this is what led me to burnout.

But now that I deleted Buffer from my browser, I'm going to schedule tweets only if really needed using TweetDeck, that’s free and doesn’t require additional login and passwords.

My main social media will continue to be Instagram, thanks to Stories I can interact and share stuff even if I can't snap great photos, plus it's still my favorite platform.

The only thing that remains me to figure out is Medium, that's the platform where I share my productivity posts (many of them are on this blog too), since it's connected to my Twitter profile, which is also used to log in. I’d like to separate them somehow, so I must do some research.

It's funny how my love for productivity apps and time management articles makes people thinking I'm a super organized person and, consequently, a great student. The truth is that I'm a big procrastinator and I'm still trying to educate myself, plus I'm a very slow learner.

This March has been crazy (I basically came back home only for dinner) and made me realize, once again, that I can't allow myself to have too many passions and projects. I have to choose the ones I want to keep and the ones I want to dedicate more/less time. I really want to connect again with the Tolkien fans, because that's a wonderful community and I feel more at home with them rather than with the bookish community in general, because I’m not a typical book blogger/bookstagrammer.

I want to keep this blog going but more like a journal to reflect about bookish topics, life events and nice things I discover in the productivity world and I want to do it old style: no editorial calendar, no analytics, no SEO and no scheduled tweets. I will always be able to come back and revamp some post for something more serious in the future (when I’ll be an unemployed archaeologist, haha).

I really wanted to do the point of the situation, to let you know what’s going on and where to follow me. 😊

The Pressure of Not Reading Enough


When I started writing more about books on this blog, I tried to get some inspiration around the internet and I noticed that all the other book bloggers and/or booktubers were reading much more than me. Like 10/15 books per month, when I usually have some issues finishing one book these days, not because I don't like reading, but because I find it very hard when I have to spend my days at university or at home studying for exams.

This completely discouraged me and for some time I felt like I couldn't talk about books on my blog because I wasn't doing what a standar book blogger or booktuber does: monthly TBR, monthly wrap-ups, book hauls, book reviews, reading challenges. How can I talk about books ignoring those blogging topics? This was the question I ofted asked myself, this is what kept me away from my blog more than once. I felt like I had to follow some rules in order to call myself and my blog book-related.

I finally realized I was wrong and who cares if I do things differently, I still love books, and that's what matters. Speaking of which, I recently stumbled upon a great video by a girl who made me feel understood (and then I binge-watched her whole channel, totally recommended). I don't usually include other media than photos in my posts, but I think ones requires Ariel's video(s).


Similar to the topic above, I'd like to share an update on my Goodreads challenge. One of the main reasons why I joined it again this year was that I loved seeing the stats of all the books read during 2016 last December, having them all together brought me a good amount of satisfaction to be honest. But I have to admit I never stopped feeling the pressure of the number set at the beginning of the year. I felt myself so conditioned by that that I wasn't even enjoying my rereading of The Lord of the Rings earlier this month, because I felt like I would never reach my year goal going on so slowly and not reading a new book...you know, all those stupid things a crowded mind can think of.

So the other day, while I was waiting for my professor at my little university desk I had an idea: why not lowering down my reading goal to a symbolic number? I would still get my stats at the end of the year and wouldn't feel the preassure of reaching that number in time! That's how I lowered down my Goodreads challenge to only 1 book. I've seen other people doing this before, but it didn't feel right to me until I spent some time thinking about it.

Tracking books is great, I even set up a whole bullet journal with that in mind, but, in the end, what I really enjoy to see is a simple list of the books read during the year, I don't actually care about pages, editions, stars and so on. Also, I read books about some topics I studied at University more often now, for personal pleasure, and it was driving me crazy I couldn't track them on Goodreads (you can add books on your own to the website archive, but it's time consuming and most of those readings are often "weird" academic publications), fortunately I could add them to my little list on paper, but it was frustrating no matter what.

Then Ariel helped me once again to not feel like a lonely weirdo with another inspiring video I'd like to share with you all.


I hope this post helped you to not feel alone anymore, also, I'd like to hear your thoughts on this! Feel free to leave a comment down below :)

Currently | March


Watching: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (funny but nothing super) and the third season of The Librarians, this show completely obessed me, it's very close to become the top favorite of my entire life, no joke!

Reading: I'm currently rereading The Lord of the Rings and it's nice I still love it like the first time I read it. It will keep me busy for the whole Spring, since I have tons of stuff to do for University.

Loving: Google Keep, it sounds silly but I couldn't be more thankful for this app!

Thinking: about digital/social minimalism and the fact that I already practiced it without knowing what it was. It all started when I deleted my personal real Facebook profile like 3 years ago and it's still going on right now. I've been thinking a lot about my internet life lately and I realized I was spending too much time procrastinating here and there. I have less and less will to scroll through my social feeds now, I deleted the Twitter app from my phone and I recently found myself not being even so excited to go on Instagram, which is huge for me, so I blame the algorithm and all the crappy stuff they are doing for money. Same thing with blogs pretty much. But there is a positive note on this, keeping myself away from distraction is helping me a lot, I even found again some inspiration to write for Middle-earth News and I savor every moment spent reading LOTR, plus I started practicing German on Duolingo again.

Feeling: relieved now that I decided to take things easier on the internet. I blog when I want to, I share on social media when I feel like it...it works better for me.

Planning: a bunch of local events and exhibitions I want to attend this Spring, unfortunately I have exams to prepare so I need to plan my free time in order to have enough time to study.

Playing: so much LOTRO these days, I can't wait for the Spring and the Anniversy Festivals!

What about you, friends? :)