August 31, 2015

Mind Trickery: August 31, 2015

This afternoon we went for a very long 5k run.  After it was done, my running buddy informed me that it was actually 8k.  I was glad to hear this because I thought I was perhaps dying.  It’s all about perspective.

Please don’t misinterpret this as me offering to dispose of 8 items so that I can feel like finding 5 items is easy the next time.  Not everything works this way.

Day 304 scorecard: 1520 down, 305 to go

August 30, 2015

Hot Tip: August 30, 2015

I’m going to let you in on a little secret about second-hand stuff.

Someone has already worked out the kinks for you.

See, I recently bought a cute bag (it says “books are my bag” and I thought it was hilarious in a trying-too-hard kind of way).  Because it was one of the few new things I have bought in the past many months, of course I promptly spilled coffee all over it.  Then, I applied stain-remover stuff to it and totally forgot to launder it.  Yesterday, I noticed it lying there and I put it in with a load of laundry, which I washed on cold.

It ran.

It no longer has coffee stains, but it is is dingy and the blue is smeared all over the white part.  I could spent hours trying to figure out a way to make the staining less obvious, but the effort is not worth it.  The thought of it is enough to make me gnash my teeth.   It also makes me furrow my brow, clench my fists, and other cliches signifying large amounts of consternation.

In contrast, I present today’s Frenchy’s find.*

If you are not also squealing with glee, I am not even sure I want to know you, reader.

If you are not also squealing with glee, I am not even sure I want to know you, reader.

I brought it home and washed it (in my washing machine) and it is PERFECT because somebody already worked out the problems.  What problems, you ask?  I do not know and I am, frankly, astonished that whoever bought this in the first place ever let it go.  The world is a wonderful, mysterious place.

(here is the site with more of these awesome pieces).

In any case, if you ever needed more incentive to pare down on what you bring IN to your house, remember this: pre-loved is just like those “pre-shrunk” or “pre-washed.”  Buying second hand means there are no nasty surprises.

Day 303 scorecard: 1515 down, 310 to go

* Credit goes to Clara, who found it and presented it to me, whereupon I squealed with glee, having longed for one of these ever since seeing them on the innerwebs.

** Spelling “credit” (aka – misspelling “lousy”) goes to Mike.

August 29, 2015
August 28, 2015

5Downed!?! August 28, 2015

So my running buddy (who also doubles as a swimming buddy, yoga buddy, lunch buddy, and regular ole friend) was here tonight and she reacted with complete incredulity when I was writing the chalkboard list and mused “huh, I’m not going to know what to do with myself in November.”

“What!?” she said.

“Oh,” said I, “I started November first last year, so it’s going to end at the end of October.”

“You’re just going to stop?!?” she said, “but you can’t just stop!”

Apparently there are people who will miss my blathering on about purging the crap out of my life.  I guess I should have been clearer that 5Down will be 5Downed at the end of October, as well.

It’s been a great habit to get into, but I don’t think I’ll pine for the frenzied search through the house each night.  Also, it’s getting harder.  I showed Running Buddy my empty totes in the storage room that I discovered whilst seeking goodies to turf a few days ago.  All good things usually end (particularly if the stuff going out exceeds the stuff coming in).

What will I do in November?

Day 301 scorecard: 1505 down, 320 to go

August 27, 2015

People Value: August 27, 2015

I’m thinking about value tonight.   In a general sort of way, value is what we think something is worth.  I’ve written, before, about how we shift our sense of value depending on a lot of things: maybe the item we’re considering is one of a kind, maybe it’s handmade, maybe it is from a coveted brand, maybe we found it at the side of the road.  Either way, one item can demand wildly different prices.

Quite apart from the question of “things” is the value we place on people.

How does this happen?  Sometimes I wonder whether we step back to think about how we decided how much respect a person deserves.  It’s easy enough to point out how we go crazy with prices and where the gap can be between the inherent value and the “actual” value (think of the same house located in the middle of nowhere versus, say, downtown Toronto) but it can be a whole lot harder to figure out where we went wrong valuing people.

Sometimes it is the ‘stuff’ that we see on folk: the clothes they wear, the body modifications they may have made, their makeup and hair.  Sometimes we come to conclusions about the person we’re looking at when that person is wearing a suit which would likely be extremely different if we saw that same person on the weekend in tattered jeans and messy hair.

What is harder to see is the value someone has when we’ve made assumptions about their abilities or tolerance.  It’s hard to see how assumptions about someone’s “rank” are just that: rank. How often have people been driven away by something as small, but as vast, as a lack of respect.

5Down is about clearing out physical and psychological clutter.  Sometimes it’s hard to separate the two things.  Sometimes it’s hard even to recognize when psychological clutter is present.

Food for thought.

Day 300 scorecard: 1500 down, 325 to go

August 26, 2015

Drop The Comfort Zone: August 26, 2015

I went tubing today.

I know you don’t know this, but this is really far outside of my comfort zone…but it was really really fun.  Both of my parents, both of my sisters, all of my nephews (on the Killam side) and one of my brothers-in-law…plus my three kiddos all came along.  If you’re counting, that made 13 of us. Apparently 13 is my new lucky number (seeing as how yesterday was our 13th wedding anniversary and all).

Day 299 scorecard: 1495 down, 330 to go

August 25, 2015

Love Rocks: August 25, 2015

In the spirit of non-clutter (and because we pretty much never give each other anniversary gifts) Mike and I decided to celebrate the completion of our 13th year of marriage with dinner at Privet House (so very, very, very delicious) and something that represented lace.

Why lace?  Well, I decided (last night) that it would be a fun challenge to look up what traditional item was associated with 13th anniversaries and try to match something with it.  As it happens, lace is much easier for men (ie: straight men to purchase for their wives).

Mike did decide to be creative, so there will be nothing questionable revealed here.  He decided to go with the antithesis of lace (it’s solid and not at all hole-y).  I think it’s pretty cool:

Its not even a rock!  It is a FAKE rock and that is just about the coolest thing ever.  Its like having a piece of the moon as seen on Star Trek.

It’s not even a rock! It is a FAKE rock and that is just about the coolest thing ever. It’s like having a piece of the moon  (as seen on Star Trek).

And I wandered around the neighbourhood and made this beautiful bouquet.  It’s Queen Anne’s Lace! (Or Wild Carrot, which is not nearly as romantic).

Mike's Lace

Queen (?) Mike’s Lace

Day 298 scorecard: 1490 down, 335 to go