“Debt is an opportunity cost. A cost that you trade for one of the most valuable things in your life, time.”

Tammy Strobel

This article skates a little too close to the idea that consumers are sheep (which ignores that the vast majority, even in the ‘west’, have to work to make ends meet not fuel consumerist goals). But to his credit the author bases it self-critically on his own experience(s).

These two snippets resonated (as I sipped on the $3 coffee i probably didn’t need):

Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy.


We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.

I started — on the heels of a week off of work — the annual review/plan that i’ve been trying to do for some time now, and with so much i’d like to accomplish I totally feel this way. That working 8 hrs/day leaves so little time for the other things I’d like to do. No great conclusions here, but more to think about.

Within My Reach, Diving

(Yes, I am listening to Slang as i clickety-clack. Gonna have to play that song next week on Better Off Dead).

Some random thoughts today that might end up as something different/bigger, but right now feel all weirdly connected:

1 / Time. I need more of it and/or the ability to use it. I waste it here in search of something, squander it there because i’m “tired”. Came across Mile 73 yesterday and today read about her quitting her job and this resonated heavily:

I told him I like my job, but I need more time.

2 / Thinking about quitting Facebook again. I’d have 3-4 more hours a week I think collectively (not that that’s how it really works, but…) if it was gone. I’m increasingly hard pressed to identify what i get out of it or my 3 email accounts.

3 / My phone. Ugh, i’ll admit I’m addicted. Checking, checking, checking. It’s reflexive to the point that when I don’t reach for it in the spare moments it feels odd. It may be time to destroy/unplug somehow.

4 / Vitamin D. Don’t know where I read it now (maybe Tammy’s blog) but another BAM! moment thinking about the lack of sunlight I have in my life. It felt acute in Boston when I worked in church basement, but somehow I brainfroze on the fact that I don’t see the sun for 4-5 hour stretches at a time at work in my little office building. Every day I yearn to leave for lunch (esp. now that it’s getting nicer out) and it sunk in today why. I might have to start bringing my laptop more, it may be actually affecting my mood, concentration, outlook.

5 / March is coming up, onto the next of 36 habits. I feel like I stalled out on getting rid of stuff and it might be time to push forward again. Could I really get away with cutting down to, say, 150 books? What about fitting them to my teak shelf from my 5×5 expedit? Keep the next 100 books i want to read and 50 I love?

6 / Came across Cabin Porn (via Huckleberry) and renewed the dream to build a little shack like Nikki’s mom has: Something out on a lake where we can go, read, swim, read, cook & eat, read, talk, walk, live low.

I sometime worry that we’re growing into a set life that might be hard to extract from when/if we want. Makes me more and more interested in selling 1716 sooner than later.

Feeling completely overwhelmed in my work life led me to think about time, balance, needs, priorities. Reading what others think about the intersection of these things helps clear the mental clutter — or at least gives the illusion of it.

I settled recently on that there are too many content streams and that it was completely overwhelming me. Instead of trying to do more, read more, understand more (breadth), I’m switching to try and focus on the few things that are most important (depth).

I quit Twitter, not that I was particularly active on it, but I would check it every so often and feel like I had read through everything — or at the very least scan to see if i missed anything.

So it’s with some personal interest that I read Adam Brault’s article “I quit Twitter for a month and it completely changed my thinking about mostly everything.

I used to believe that time was the most important thing I have, but I’ve come to believe differently. The single most valuable resource I have is uninterrupted thought.

That’s how everything I’ve ever felt was meaningful about my entire life came to be—either people I’ve come to know, things I’ve learned, or stuff I’ve created.

I’ve realized how Twitter has made me break up my thoughts into tiny, incomplete, pieces—lots of hanging ideas, lots of incomplete relationships, punctuated by all manner of hanging threads and half-forked paths. I am perfectly fine with unfinished work—in fact, I doubt I’ll ever be a better finisher than I am a starter. But I’ve found that my greatest joy, deepest peace, and most valuable contributions come from intentionally choosing where to let my focus rest.

I’ve felt more and more that either an exodus from Facebook — or a fantastically radical pruning of the folks I follow/friend — is in the offing too.