Carving Out What Is Not Needed

Here is the prompt from December 11th in the fabulous #reverb10 challenge.  This one comes from Sam Davidson:

11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

Okay, here’s my list –

  1. Shelves full of unread books
  2. Clutter
  3. Illness
  4. Regret
  5. T-shirts I never wear
  6. A broken A/C fan in my car
  7. Stagnant items on my to do list
  8. Yet another draft of my book (Hah!)
  9. An antiquated tracking system for the students at my dojo
  10. Frequent migraines
  11. Mindless Spite

Whew!  That was a tough list to come up with.  Looking at it I get very excited about having those things out of my life.  How would I go about eliminating them?

For the books I would like to spend more time actually reading them.  There are a whole lot though on my shelves that fall into the broad, “would be good to read someday” category.  Those I should put onto a list (I already have an app on my iPhone for doing just that) and getting rid of them in the meantime.  I can always visit the library…

Clutter is a constant battle for me.  I am a pack-rat by nature.  Luckily for me I am also mostly an organized mess type of person.  I know what piles contain what scraps of information.  Still, after having read a book or two, and a few dozen blog posts on the subject I recognize the drain on my energy these piles cause.  I need to carve out time to carry through with the plan I have had for a while: drag out all the piles and sort through them, filing actually important information and trashing the rest.  I could also scan in any old documents I might need some day and shred and recycle the paper.

For the last few years I have been caught in a cycle of persistent illness.  I suspect that the cause is systemic and I have an appointment with my doctor to explore some possibilities.  I need to keep my eye on the prize and keep up with testing until the question is resolved.

Regret.  That is a big one.  I don’t tend to have many major regrets, but the few big ones and the plethora of small ones really stick in my craw.  The truth is that the past is no more.  In my opinion being rid of regret is a dual process of both accepting, and moving on from past miss-steps as well as developing a watchful eye on myself and my actions to lower the chance of the formation of future regrets.  Reportedly one of Miyomoto Musahsi’s epiphanies was when he wrote the admonition in his journal to do nothing he would then regret.  He knew that the level of vigilance needed to live such a life was nearly superhuman, but that such a life would be well worth living.  I happen to agree.

T-Shirts!!! I have waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many.  Here’s an idea: Keep a separate shelf of the ones that come back from the laundry for two weeks and then dump the rest.  That would leave me with a maximum of 14 t-shirts.  More than enough!

A broken A/C fan in my car.  For the past year the fan settings on my car have steadily stopped working.  It now only works on 4, the maximum setting.  I drive in a wind tunnel.  The solution here is simple – take it to the shop!

Stagnant to do items. Another biggie for me!  The solution is simple enough; I need to drill in and actually get the existing items done and be better about saying no when my plate is full.

Yet another draft of my book. I’m up to 3 so far…. Aieee!  The easy answer is – finish it.  I have recently re-acquired a friend who is very enthusiastic about the work and has volunteered to be a proof-reader, editor and transcriptionist.  So cool!  I hope that will do the trick!

An antiquated tracking system for the students at my dojo. I manage the dojo I attend, Suginami Aikikai SF.  It’s a great place to train!  One of the issues we have been grappling with is the old system we have cobbled together to track our students.  It works, but it produces a lot of work that could be automated.  This year we have begun the process of transferring to a new system that our sister dojo in Seattle uses.  Exciting stuff.  All that needs doing is the doing.  That is going along fairly well, with some lag due to the season.  Still, it’s coming together!

Frequent migraines. I have been afflicted with migraines since I was 6. I am told that I am very lucky that they only recently gotten much worse and much more frequent.  I used to get them once or twice a year.  Now it’s about four times a month.  I am running through various treatments, so far not much has helped except for Migra-profen, an herbal remedy which abates a good chunk of the pain.

Mindless Spite.  ‘Nuff said.  😉

Hmmm, how would getting rid of those 11 things effect my life?

Well, in a nuthsell it would be –

Frickin’ Awesome!!!!

Tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Carving Out What Is Not Needed

  1. Naarah McDonald says:

    You have an ambitious list, but one well worth accomplishing! I have faith that with due diligence you will be successful. While much of this is work that you need to do on your own, remember that a support network that shares your interests and can offer time or personal experience is of importance. No one can do it alone. Use those around you that share your enthusiasm for those goals to move toward achievement, even if all they do is talk to you while you sort paperwork or piles.

  2. Travis says:

    Wise words, Naarah, and advice I do find hard to utilize. Perhaps this year will see a lightening of that resistance in me. I can hope! Cheers!

  3. Naarah McDonald says:

    It is all about choices and where you place your energy. Building your support network while working on goals builds that deeper connection. Mountains move over time influenced by the environment. Just a thought to ponder…

  4. Travis says:

    I like those thoughts! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *