i like helping

minimalism in a nerdy world

Where are you storing your eclipse glasses?

You’re not the only one
Starin’ at the sun
Afraid of what you’d find
If you stepped back inside

-U2 “Staring at the Sun”

The morning of the eclipse, I regretted not picking up a pair of eclipse glasses.

Being disconnected from news channels and social media, I was late to the game on the eclipse. The rarity of the experience was lost on me.

Luckily a co-worker had a pair of glasses and I was able to see the spectacle. It was a wonderful moment to experience.

I teased my friend – “You know the resale value of those glasses is peaking right now? In an hour they are worthless.”

Which is a bit of ¬†lesson for anything we buy. It can be incredibly valuable one moment and worthless the next. And that’s ok. Many Things in our lives are meant for a time and then are meant to be let go.

Baby clothes, plaid overshirts, mystery novels. When the utility has passed, put them back into the world.

Just like the moon passing in front of the sun, Things move on.

And trying to hold on when that time is gone is just like the moment after the eclipse. When you are just staring at the sun.

Minimalist collector video: Quick declutter of a bin

succeed by freeing yourself from the memory of failure

autobiography of stuff escalator

Now those memories come back to haunt me
they haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true
Or is it something worse
-Bruce Springsteen “The River”

You won’t always succeed. Some dreams don’t come true.

That is a harsh truth, but only by accepting it can you free yourself from the myth that failure is always within your control.

While many other decluttering advice-givers talk about mementos being the hardest Things to purge, I argue there is an even more difficult category – your Autobiography of Stuff.

Your Autobiography of Stuff ties you not to the present, but to versions of yourself that existed in your past or you hope/hoped would exist in the future. A shelf of college textbooks for a field you never worked in. A box of art supplies for the painting hobby you never quite found time for. The language-learning tapes you are ‘just about to’ start, any day now…

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will selling your Things make minimalism harder?

the oddness of an autograph

We cling to our memories as if they define us. But they don’t. Our actions do.

-Ghost in the Shell (2017)

It is a First Principle for me that I support artists. And when I have the opportunity to meet one whose work I love, I like to show some gratitude.

Which leaves a conundrum. How, at a comic convention, do I support the creator, start a conversation, show appreciation, but not bring any of their Things home?

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