Monday, July 20, 2009

100 Thing Challenge

"Stuff starts to overwhelm you," says Dave Bruno, 37, an online entrepreneur who looked around his San Diego home one day last summer and realized how much his family's belongings were weighing him down. Thus began what he calls the 100 Thing Challenge. (Apparently, Bruno is so averse to excess he can't refer to 100 things in the plural.) Bruno's online musings about his slow and steady purge have developed something of a cult following online, inspiring others to launch their own countdown to clutter-free living.

Well, I passed the time in a boring meeting by starting a list, topped my by ipod and Garmin405, but as I got farther down the list, I realized it was just stuff - all replaceable for a bit of cash, and I quit the list.

Then started the "what do I take from burning building?" list - kid's photos, some family jewelry, an old diary. OK , a favorite bathrobe maybe. But that's it - really. As long as the family and pets are safe, I'm fine and that realization was like a breath of fresh air.

So a bit of cheat. I've avoided throwing away any of the stuff or even really examining how much of it I'd need to replace to maintain my consumptive lifestyle. But I know now its just that - stuff.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

(Swiss wood stack)
AA Gill, the columnist for the Sunday Times, is a guy I love to hate. He's just too smug to live, but I have to admit that he's often funny and clever, and Billy reads his restaurant review before anything else in the Sunday papers. This week he wrote:

"I've often thought that Europe is a allegory for the ages of man. You're born Italian. They're relentlessly infantile and mother-obsessed. In childhood, we're English; chronically shy, tongue-tied, cliquey, and only happy kicking balls, pulling the legs off things, or sending someone to Coventry. Teenagers are French: pretentiously philosophical, embarrassingly vain, ridiculously romantic and insincere. Then, in middle age, we become either Swiss or Irish. Old age is German: ponderous, pompous and pedantic. What Germans have instead of sex and laughter are word games and complaining about grammar. Then finally we regress into being Belgian with no idea who we are at all."

OK, I'm not ready to be anything more than middle aged - but he didn't really describe the Swiss or Irish psyche. I don't want to be my stereotype Swiss (compulsively tidy and xenophobic), but I can't fit into my Irish stereotype either (care-free and engaging, but slurring my words).

So, I'll try to be the best of both - disciplined (15 weeks of half marathon training to go!) and friendly (making people smile and feel good about themselves).

With my navigating Garmin back (THANKS TO GLENN!!!), I'm exploring the trails again, and I paid up for another 3 mo at the gym, so now I can focus on the path ahead to the WWFOR Half Marathon in October, and enjoy the journey.