Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Don't You Want My Stuff?

The picture of the day features two bags of books on their way to Half Price Books, a bin of dry-cleaned dresses on their way to the AHA All Stars theater costume stock and my golf clubs.

I was surprised how little I was paid for my two bags of books.  I had pulled what were the better books (in my opinion) from my shelves to see how the book buying program worked.  There are lots more books that I still have to unload.  In any event, they gave me $4.  There process is to purchase and shelve anything they think they might want to sell, and the rest get recycled.  While I'm glad that the books get recycled, it's a lot of great books to just get turned to pulp.  Ah well, so much for stuff.

I'm having similar results listing furniture on Craig's list.  Again, I just started and all I listed was a set of chairs...but so far no bites.  It might be harder to get rid of my stuff than I thought!  I don't really care if I get anything for the few pieces of furniture I need to unload, but I do need to clear things out!  My place looks like its been rented for July 15th, so packing and moving must proceed!  Despite the fact that getting rid of stuff isn't quite as easy as I had thought it might be, simplifying remains the primary goal!  We truly use so little of the stuff we have.

Pithy comment of the day is brought to you by the recent explosion of multi-media social networks that I was unaware of until yesterday.  There is a funny moment in The Internships involving the site Instagram, and last night my daughter was explaining and vining to me.  Both of these latter sites involve sharing short videos with friends in a facebook type environment.  Keeking involves creating 6 second looping videos, which sounds kind of cool.  I actually am pretty consistent around checking out my facebook feed and seeing what people are up to.  I am slowly removing the feeds from people who share with me how their bunyons are aching and narrowing it down to folks who are sharing interesting news and insights from their world and beyond.  I have a few friends who tend to share things from the other side of the political fence, which I like as it keeps me aware and I hope they continue to watch and respond to my posts, as that keeps me honest.  The idea of curating my social network feed is kind of a new one for me and seems essential in making the whole social network thing work.

There was also a reference in The Internship to the idea of facebook envy, and that's an interesting phenomenon as well.  Its obviously not just a social network thing...people have been envious of friends who ramble on about their accomplishments long before we could do it virtually...but the fact that it can intrude itself onto us while we're sitting alone in the privacy of our homes is a new thing.

Envy is a hard thing.  With the exception of the challenge of actual chronic poverty, most folks have equal access to happiness.  Life can be hard, but for the most part its up to us whether or not we choose to meet it with aplomb.  Most of us know people enduring illness or bad times who are still cheerful and resilient, while we know others who seem to have had an unending string of successes who only seem to see the parts of their lives that are not what they might be.  That being said, it can be easy to fall in to the comparison trap when someone else is sharing their own successes pointlessly.  I think you would need to unpack this idea of "pointless" to really get at what I mean by that.  Sharing happiness is a wonderful thing, and it would be a shallow life if we couldn't experience joy for others.  At the same time, there is a subtle difference between sharing and bragging that is central to the way that the success is experienced by others. I'm rambling.  There is something here but I'm not getting at it this morning.

In any event, it's great to hear what friends and family are doing and to share in their joy, yet there is an extent to which we can experience a wide range of reactions to their news.  Self-doubt is vulnerable to the comparison trap, and sometimes a joyous response is a choice.

Along those lines, another quick thought.  Recently I have had a number of instances when I have been experiencing impatience, then thought...what's my hurry????...and slipped into a place of amusement and happiness.  Seems like a good choice...perhaps I'll learn to make it before I get frustrated rather than after.

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