On tying up loose ends

I parked /Notes here just after we moved from Gainesville to Tallahassee. I was starting a new job and thought this would be canvas: To document, learn, speak, experiment. But like so many other projects it was only partially thought-out and suffered for it. 3 months later it sits here unused.

Lately, whether it’s a lack of sleep or the settling into simple routines, I’ve been feeling stuck — a surprising feeling since everything is new: A baby, new job, new city, new house. I think routines have been have been a way to escape, to narrow down the possibilities a bit so that not everything is on a growth edge (as a friend once called it), an easier, less threatening way to organize time. Stepping back though it’s unsettling and a little scary — but useful to realize that it’s also not new. I’m feeling just a variation of old feelings & bad habits.

Nothing else to do but work my way out of them. With all this mixing in my head, I stumbled across two posts in Sean Bonner’s blog. We were contemporaries in Gainesville (c. early 1990s), but ran in wholly different circles. I’ve often admired that he, unlike me, carries his silly notions through to project completion stage.

First is his “Year of Less“, a challenge to reduce stuff and clutter.

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately. About how it’s easy to see in my mom, but block out in myself. About how difficult it’s gonna be to move again in 7 or 10 months. About going back to Cinque Terre and living for a year or somethign. And frankly about what a pain it would be to get rid of stuff.

Leading up to starting his Year of Less project on Jan. 1, 2012, Sean wrote:

One thing that keeps coming up that I realized last time I went through a major purge is that any single item can be justified. Take a box you have in storage, one that has been there for years untouched. One that you’ve been paying $100+ a month to store. Do you need anything in that box? Without opening it I can tell you that, no, most likely you don’t need anything in that box. You could through it out and chances are for the rest of your life you’ll never miss anything in that box. But! Open it up, and suddenly the stuff in there is oh so important. Stuff that 5 minutes ago you didn’t even remember existed is now precious and worthy of saving.

That’s the stuff lying to you.

I’ll say it again – on a single item basis, you can justify keeping anything.

Yes that camera still works and it would be fun to take it out one day and shoot a roll of film through it. Remember when you used to wear that watch all the time? Who are the people in these photos, summer school class of 1980-something? Do these batteries still work? You still have that t-shirt too?


The truth is getting rid of stuff is hard, but it’s hard for a reason. Stuff is designed to make you want it. If you haven’t needed it in the last 12 months, you likely won’t need it again, ever.

Spot on. So while I won’t be going as far as he is (only buying 12 new things in 2012), I am gonna start the great purge of 2012. Mix some of Sean’s ethos here with what my friend Dave used to do: To bring 1 new thing into his house he made himself get rid of 2 old things. Books and music will be the hardest, but it’s about setting up a structure. I think the other big challenge will be getting rid of the past. Digitizing and organizing it seems the way to go but that means doing it.

This is more about clutter than anything else. For me there are 2 parts: physical and operational. Stuff and ideas. For some reason I’m weighed down with the unfinished. So another part of purging in 2012 will be completing the uncompleted (or at least starting work on it again, or queueing it up at the very least), or moving it from the “on hold” to “abandoned with cause” column.

Second, was To Do, Everyday. If I had a dollar for how many times I’ve scribbled lists like this in my journal. And they’re usually very similar. But what jumped out at me was the why:

But I started playing around with superbetter earlier this month and was presented with the idea that doing something I like can act as a bit of a power-up. I like this idea a lot, and I think there’s things I should be doing everyday not because they would be accomplishments, but because I like doing them and I feel better after I do, and then I can do even more things that are accomplishments. So what might those things be? I thought about it and decided to make a list:

I’m thinking of what’s already on my list. I like the idea of making the list, periodically revising.

So reading those made me dust of this: /notes. I’d been thinking already of cataloging some stuff anyways — so why not all in one place? Like Sean’s #10: Be Awesome… let’s get to it!


Thinking about making some sections: Hear, make, read, do?

Hear + Read

01. 40 Miler – Tim Barry
02. Top Shelf presents: Shores’ Coup de Grace
03. Horse Heaven – Creepoid

sbdc: To Do, Everyday
sbdc: Year of Less
Sean Bonner: Neo-minimalism and the Rise of Technomads

Make + Do

01. Analyzed the 2011-12 Gainesville Celtics and figured out a rough replacement-level stat line for the h2h league.
02. Kickstarted ./Notes