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Sunday, August 10, 2014

life in seemingly perpetual motion

Tending towards entropy without giving in to drift

I'm at that stage of moving prep where I go through boxes and stacks of paper and try to get rid of things I don't need, or take care of things I've let sit for too long. It's a little easier this time around. I did it when I moved to Oakland in 2011, and again when I moved to New Orleans in 2012, and again when I moved to Brooklyn last year. So, my packratness notwithstanding, there's not really a lot that I've got that I'm able/willing to get rid. As my best friend pointed out in advance of the Oakland-->New Orleans move, I am not a minimalist. And I'm ok with that right now. I don't give in, full tilt, to my urge to keep and catalog everything, but I also don't fool myself into thinking that I'll have, in any literal sense, only what I "need." But I also haven't had quite so much time to let the stacks of things accumulate between my last few moves, which probably helps as well. This time, a few books and DVDs, some old bedding, and a few pieces of clothing look to be all of the physical things that I'll get rid of on this move. And I've recycled a bunch of paper and made a list of follow-up and to-do items, mostly calls to be made to my insurance company, because god forbid they should get something right the first time and without making me fight for it. Ugh.

But, there's a whole nother world of virtual accumulation to deal with now—inboxes and folders and lists of links; things Pocket-ed, Pinterest-ed, or otherwise saved for later. Today, I've been going through some of those virtual things. This is, in some ways, much easier that the other kind of purging—there's no sentiment or nostalgia attached to the URLs and PDFs, and most of them are obviously disposable, being out-of-date in one way or another. But there have been a few things it was worth taking a few minutes to read. So far, I've reminded myself not to get so hung up on goal-reaching as the way to happiness (a chronic problem of mine); I've found a task-organizing program that I do actually want to give a test run (Todoist); and I'm making a playlist of new-to-me music to check out while fighting the neverending tendency towards entropy.

Now, yes, I've also put off the document review I'll have to do before I sleep tonight, and the actual putting of things into boxes that will have to happen before I can move, but this is not wasted time for me. Some people run as a way to clear their heads. I impose order by organizing to accomplish the same.

While deleting a bunch of things I no longer had any interest in or need for (so much easier than giving away clothes I don't wear anymore!), I found this little post hiding among the lifehacks and tips on everything imaginable. It doesn't have anything in it that I don't already know, but it's nice to be reminded to think of things like this. And, since I've been thinking of significantly scaling back my Facebook time, it's good to remember that there are other (and I might argue better, at least for me) ways to keep in touch.

So in the spirit of National Long Distance Friendship Day (I made that up, but don't you have a friend you need to call?), here is a list of the tips, tricks and forgivable blunders that have allowed me to delight in a collection of real friends."across the country and internationally.
--from Louise Hung's "Long Distance Friendships: 5 Louise-Approved Tips for Making Them Work" (xoJane)

Special shout-out to the friends who've made #5 happen when I couldn't. It's been fabulous to see you in New Orleans and New York, and I look forward to seeing you where you live when life allows. In the meantime, I'll see you on Skype and Google, and in New York again. I might even get my act together and call you someday soon.