i like helping

minimalism in a nerdy world

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Layering on monthly challenges – #SummerofNew continues

With a little perseverance you can get things done
Without the blind adherence that has conquered some
-Corey Hart “Never Surrender”

It has been fun to continue the Summer Of New experiment. Wifey joined in and we are seeing the PVR and Netflix queue reduce, and our enjoyment increase.

After years of accumulation, I have no physical to-read pile of books or comics. And the digital piles are also being chipped away. As well, we are taking this opportunity to try some new shows and reading material.

But there’s a problem:

It’s not hard enough.

As far as experiments go, I’m not learning enough about myself. It’s fun to nudge myself and give myself an excuse to try new things, but it’s not transformative.

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Minimalist Collector video: Decluttering a chest of (junk) drawers

because I’m afraid

You’ve got to roll with the punches to get to what’s real

-Van Halen “Jump”

Wifey and I were on vacation in the mountains and spent an afternoon at a hot springs pool. We lounged around and relaxed. Nearby there was a swimming pool and a high diving board.

I am not a strong swimmer, having been mostly self-taught in the calm waters of the Northumberland Strait. I am careful around water though not fearful. Still, because I am cautious, I’ve never used a diving board.

I watched for a long time as people ranging from children to older adults went off the board. Noticing me looking at it, Wifey asked “are you going to jump off the board?”

“I’m afraid to do it.”

I settled back into our soak. Taking in the minerals and healing balm of the natural hot springs.

When it was time to go, I said “I just have to go jump off the diving board.”

“I thought you were afraid?” she said.

“I am. That’s why I have to do it.”

I climbed the dozen steps to the top of the high dive. I calmly walked to the edge.

I was terrified.

Then I jumped.

Minimalist Collector video – Modified KonMari (because socks aren’t magic)

clutter is selfish

Anton Chigurh: You know what date is on this coin?

Gas Station Proprietor: No.

Anton Chigurh: 1958. It’s been traveling twenty-two years to get here. And now it’s here.

-No Country For Old Men

One of the drives that really started getting Things out the door was the realization that it was very selfish to hang onto them.

Since I do not think of myself as a selfish person, I can only reconcile this by letting go.

If I’m not using a Thing, and others would, it is inherently selfish to keep control of that Thing.

I use “control” quite specifically here.

If, for example, you are holding onto a book for a theoretical later use or to give it to a hypothetical “right person,” you are exerting control over who can get value out of it.

You are attempting to control the destiny of that book. Grasping on like Gollum to something that is adding no value and is costing you time and space.

Let the book go. And let it land in whomever’s hand it will.

Maybe that destiny is to gather dust on the shelf of a used bookstore. Perhaps to go unread in the home of a book hoarder.

But maybe, just maybe, that destiny is to get picked up for $1 by an inquisitive teen who will forever remember it as the book that changed their life.

Let that object continue to travel through the world without you.

Let go.

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