Archive for January, 2016

Library and Gym- check, check

Posted on January 21, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized |

IMG_0497[1]My first full week up in Portland is complete and I’ve definitely got a better handle on various amenities in the  neighborhood, traffic patterns and blase way that GPA will bring me to a unprotected left turn just to have me barely escape with my car and person in tact, and probably most importantly where all the dishes go once they come out of the dishwasher. Beyond that my highlights have been getting a library card and joining a gym. While these things might not seem all that important in the grand scheme of things or warrant a blog post, they actually mean a whole lot to me and my new life up in Portland and here’s why…

 

I recently started answering some questions to help me discover my most meaningful pursuits (here’s the list if you are interested: http://www.becomingminimalist.com/meaningful-pursuits/. I’m hopeful that answering these questions will help me direct the path of some of the next big decisions in my life.  In reflecting on the first question on the site (“What currently leads to most of my happiness and fulfillment?”), I confirmed that two of the top things that lead to the most happiness in my life  are reading and working out, so a library card and gym membership are huge steps towards a happy life for me. In many ways books and a good sweat provide similar benefits to me- they help quiet and distract my anxious mind. Exhausting my body also exhausts those little voices in my head that tend to run around like chickens with their heads cut off, worried about everything and anything, but doing little to solve problems or make plans for improvement. It is really hard to worry about mostly trivial matters when my greatest concern is not falling off the elliptical machine or hyperventilating while trying to keep my heartrate high. Reading has a similar effect of taking my brain to a different space and giving it a job to do. Whether that job is simply to imagine the scenery, conversation, or other situation in the book, or something requiring a bit more brainpower like analyzing a story, thinking about how it applies to my life, comparing it against others or forming an opinion on the material, it is all a welcome challenge.

 

The other things that came to mind for me when I thought about the 20% of things that lead to 80% of my  happiness were writing, having conversations (deep, funny, academic, you name it), regular community building around activities like games (bowling, board games, ping pong, etc.) and hanging out with my new best mate, Ian, age 4 months. Time will tell how these will impact my future, but I’ve got some ideas in mind. Surprisingly for me outdoor activities, travel, watching soccer games, eating out, those things that I either do quite often or think I should do more often didn’t show up. Go figure there’s a difference between the things that bring us the most joy and the things that show up on our status updates!

 

So I leave you with the question of what leads to the majority of your happiness and fulfillment? How are you putting aside time to engage in those things and how are you seeking them out if they aren’t a current part of your life?

 

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Moving (to Portland) Lesson Number 1:

Posted on January 13, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Upon moving into a new house, do not under any circumstances open the Tupperware drawer. Whether this is done on purpose or by mistake, it will not end well. Looking into other people’s Tupperware drawer is fraught with the same perils as investigating someone else’s medicine cabinet or underwear drawer. Best case scenario you glance at each of these spaces, realize the harm that awaits and walk away quickly and quietly- none the wiser. Because invariably, if you even hesitate for a second, if you let your eyes lock on even one item, then they become shape shifters and you are transformed into a world where nothing is what it seems. In the case of Tupperware drawers not one single container has a matching top, no two containers actually stack inside one another, and the second you take one item out, you are forced into the most intense Tetris game of your life.

 

Hypothetically if you are lucky, a housemate comes home quickly and shows you the “trick” to their individualized version of the game. If you aren’t lucky however you end up with your whole arm as far back in the cabinet as possible scrounging around for the container, lid, rat carcass, or whatever else shifted during your investigation and is now causing the drawer to remain permanently half open. And when retrieval doesn’t work you must simply go about your day wondering when your housemate will be home to help and laugh at you and praying that you don’t walk straight into the open cabinet, fall over it, squish the small dog left in your stead and break a limb, hypothetically speaking of course.  

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