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January 4, 2015: Micro and Macro Organization

I used to think that the way to get through life was to do it unencumbered. The less I owned, the better off I was because I was then very easily able to go places, see things, meet people. It was a very good life. I remember once on the spur of the moment, deciding to go from where I was living in Fairbanks back to New England, where my Dad lived. I went on the cheap, which in the end required some logistical finagling. But what little I owned, I left at the place I was then living, which was in a communal household.

I met Pete and soon became cumbered. In living with him, I became more domestic. In short order, we acquired pots and pans, serving spoons, and

tools, lots of tools. All this made life a lot easier. Reach for something and it was there. We didn’t have to borrow it or spend endless hours deliberating about purchasing it. Nor did we have to deliberate about type, size, or cost.

I remained steadfast in my belief that I didn’t want to own much, which was my primary reason for remaining childless. I didn’t want to have to pick up after children, which is what parents do, nor did I want to have to spend hours on end replacing items that they outgrew.

With gains came losses. I did manage to keep what I owned to a minimum. Purchase furniture and you’re a sitting duck. To this day we still don’t own a bed frame. For years we slept on four sheepskins sewn together. Our one concession to age is that we now sleep on an old futon which has a memory foam cover on top. I found that I could no longer go places as easily, but I could still go. Sorting through and putting stuff in boxes, and moving boxes took time, effort, and money. I at one point figured out that there was a difference between moving and travel, and that I could more readily travel if I had a place to keep stuff. Hence, I began my foray into the world of house ownership.

With house ownership came animal ownership. And with animal ownership came more purchases. Dogs – I now own leashes and collars, skijoring harnesses, and nail clippers. Horses – I now own halters, bridles, saddles, and rakes and shovels.

I do have regrets about now being tied down, especially when I think about the fact that I can no longer go anywhere as readily as I used to. The way it now works here, is that right now, one or the other of us can go someplace, but we can’t go together. And when either of us goes, we don’t go for long. The latter really holds true in the winter.

Last year Pete was an Iditarod Sled Dog Race volunteer. This year, I’m going to do it. I’ll go to Rohn and assist in setting up camp, parking sled dogs, and taking down camp. This will be in early March. I’m looking forward to this.

What I’ve figured out about possessions, for good or bad, is that each and every item acquired requires that I take care of it. And taking care of it takes time. But failing to take care of it takes time. And losing track of it is bad consumerism. Clean up, and things magically surface.

I’m now in the throes of cleaning up one of my two work spaces. I work upstairs in the winter and in my cabin in the spring and summer. I tend when working, to blast through tasks at the speed of light. I don’t stop afterwards and put things away. Instead, I just shove them aside. So, after a bit I have many, many messes on hand. It’s like being an intellectual pig in a sty. So once or twice a year I must backtrack and straighten things out, which is what I’m now doing.

Books, journals, drafts of articles, pens, art supplies, old computers, all must be put in places that are easily accessible. This takes time, effort, and yes, money. (Shelf space comes at a cost.)

I am now working on workspace Number One. I will soon start working on workspace # 2. I’ll deal with my horse works space in the spring; though I do need to oil saddles, bridles, horse gear. I’m now talking about macro organization, which is putting larger objects in their place. I’ll soon deal with the minutia.

So, this is what my life has become. Culhane’s one law of entropy is this – consider carefully before committing to purchases of any kind. For if you end up owning it, you’ll have to spend time taking care of it.

Next: 5. 1/5/15: Soulmates and Spirit Animals

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