Tuesday, May 28, 2019

On Breaking and Essentialism

Last Friday I nearly broke at work.

It was the on the tail end of what has been a rather long and hectic two month lead in to two graduations, one that has put a rather lot of strain on the energy and time of our family (I underestimated this.  Hopefully, they will be smoother from here on out).  A project, which I though I was done with, was not done at all.  We still had one graduation to go.

Needless to say, I am seriously begin to question a lot of things.

As part of this questioning exercise, I began to make a list as part of my Essentialism Exercise.  I listed activities that I have been interested in that I currently own something for, interests which seem to support those activities, and actions (which are the ways I spend my time, socially and employment).  The list for activities will probably be close to 30 by the time I am done calculating; interests were around 10 and actions were a small 4.5,

Yes, in case you are counting.  That is a rather large amount of things to be interested in and doing, especially when almost 30% of a week is consumed by work and another 35-40% by the simple acts of living.  So yes, I do have a problem and I need to resolve it.

But how?  That is always the struggle.  I can state that I will not continue to invest in activities, but in point of fact for all of my activities, the sunk costs are already in place.  It is not as stopping them will change the amount of money or time I have already invested in them.  And to "stop" something somehow feels like I am surrendering on something.

Interestingly, nothing remotely related to my career field is on the list.  Which is telling to me, although I have no idea what to do with that particular sliver of information.  As you can probably imagine, none of my activities are such that they would generate any income at all, let alone an income sufficient to even remotely replace the one I am making now.

I tried to split the difference today, going through my closet and doing another sweep of clothes I no longer need (how many Highland Throwing Event T-shirts can one own!) and papers that I have preserved over time for no particular good reason at this point.  It felt good to make that much progress - but in the back of my mind I understand this is really only a time filler at this point.  Serious surgery needs to be done if I want to actually make significant progress.

And, if last week is any indication of the rest of the year to come, I need to get my house into order rather soon.


  1. Ah. But which is the true problem? To divest yourself of your interests might make you miserable.
    The papers you save might be important to ancestry?

    *Hugs* and good luck.

  2. Anonymous6:32 PM

    Could it be that those interests are what makes going to the job worth it? It pays for those fun activities. I'm asking for myself as much as I'm asking you. I too have none of my activities related to my job. I do enjoy my job *most* days, but it is rather mentally taxing. Those activities are fun outlets for me; but sometimes I wish I had more time away from work to spend doing them. I guess that's how we've set up life these days. I don't know that it was always this way though. Keep publishing your thoughts, I enjoy knowing that others are also still trying to figure out how they should be living life. It's a constant battle for time, isn't it?

  3. Linda, it is a careful balance, and one that I sure that I make the decision for correctly all the time. My father (a very wise man) once said one can either have time or money, but not both. The problem most of us have is finding where to draw that line, I suspect.

    Trust me - these papers are of no interest to any but my former self: old stock plans for companies now gone, stock certificates issued to myself for The Firm -the sorts of things one saves as either reminders of past accomplishments or holds on to because one forgets to dispose of them.

  4. Anonymous - A friend has suggested the very same thing to me: the "job" helps to enable me to do those activities. It is true, of course: without my current employment we could not have gone to Iceland and I could not have trained in Japan for the last two years or had my saya for my sword rebuilt. But, if I am honest, it seems like a fool's trade: 50+ hours a week, 48 or so weeks a year so I can be "off" two to three weeks and come back to all the things I did not do in that time, or find my week consumed by the work to the point I cannot do those activities? That seems to beg the point as well.

    I have posted before the very wise thought "I want to build a life I do not have to retire from". That is what I wish for; right now at least for me the concept of working until I can retire so I can enjoy some indeterminate period of time doing the things I really enjoy doing is foolishness. I do not know that I have that long to live frankly, nor do I know that I will have the health and stamina to do them.

    There has to be another way. I feel that I am just too dense to see it - or maybe too close to the situation.

    Thank you for the encouragement and for stopping by!

  5. Have you learned enough of your art form with the sword that you could teach it here and make money from that? I realize that you never stop learning this sort of art form.
    Yard eggs sell for between $3 and $7 a dozen. Probably more on the West coast. While I hesitate to suggest this, rabbit meat sells well also. Especially if you can get a local restaurant interested.

    Sorry. I have probably mentioned all this already or you already thought of these and dismissed them.
    Just seems you are depressed and it makes me sad for you.
    *hugs* and God bless. He will show you a way. ♥

  6. So in a sense, yes Linda - I could (with proper permissions) open a dojo. That said, I could never do it here - it is a small martial arts community and I would only be competing with my Sensei. I could teach somewhere, perhaps - it is on the list still - but every Sensei I know in my art does this as a love and a hobby, nothing more.

    Eggs are interesting. Sadly, I do not think I could do rabbits at this point. Quail or honey maybe, someday - less attachment.

    Always make suggestions and never fear about making them - you never know when a good idea will take root!


Comments are welcome (and necessary, for good conversation). If you could take the time to be kind and not practice profanity, it would be appreciated. Thanks for posting!