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Steps Forwards, Steps Back - Body by Henson, brain by Seuss. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kelly J. Cooper

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Steps Forwards, Steps Back [Aug. 31st, 2008|04:04 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
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I was reading Johnny's List and decided to check out his "Cross Into the Abyss" blog. Then I read his Philosophy, and then the About page.

And something he wrote at the bottom of the About page struck me.

    Fixing my life was going to be my new Project.

And as I poked around the rest of his page, reading about the garden I watched them construct, I was thinking about that idea, fixing my life as a project.

One problem I have is with completing projects. Even here, on this bloggy, I don't finish stuff. I never typed up the last set of Neil Gaiman notes. I gave up on status blogging my day or my week. I lost interest in posting bits of fiction. Once I'm distracted, or it becomes a chore, or I forget and catching up requires a time investment... I just stop.

Also, although my life is probably "broken," I would rather imagine it as ill-fitting, in need of tailoring. Or perhaps a well-used room that needs to be updated and made useful again. Because the idea of BROKEN is depressing and because there is no "fixed" state for yer life. Fixed implies that you've finished, and life just keeps going, whether you want it to or not, with or without you.

But still... the idea of a my life as a home improvement project, with a plan, a bunch of goals, maybe even a budget... it's very appealing.

I'm going to think about it more.

Meanwhile, if I hired you as a contractor to upgrade my life, what would you do? How would you suggest we go about it?

[User Picture]From: dpolicar
2008-08-31 08:39 am (UTC)
Step one... hire a more competent contractor.
Step three... profit!
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[User Picture]From: foomf
2008-08-31 10:11 am (UTC)
This sounds dangerously like an invitation to get one of those Makeover Hacks to swoop down on you like sluttily dressed vampires and leave you stunned, with the requisite fang-marks in your ego.

(Can you tell I dislike Stacey and Clinton? Well, I do. He dresses like a pattern-blind New England preppieboy and she dresses like a 42nd Street midrange hooker.)
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[User Picture]From: rmd
2008-09-01 09:49 am (UTC)
or else dealing with robots Trin-E and Zu-Zana from the "bad wolf" episode of dr who.
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[User Picture]From: foomf
2008-09-01 09:07 pm (UTC)
The actual women themselves aren't bad at all. They don't play amateur interventionist, with a side of pleather dominatrix and her gay but in denial preppy troll, and they don't try to make their clients change from functional local fashion to worthless New York Street Walker.
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[User Picture]From: rmd
2008-09-02 08:12 am (UTC)
yep. as is often the case, the british show is far superior to the american knock-off.

i can't watch the american one.

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[User Picture]From: liralen
2008-08-31 11:43 pm (UTC)
Study what it is you really, really like and want to do, first. Then figure out what changes would help you do more of that.

That's how we seem to do it. John and I just sit down and talk and suddenly we have a porch or a new kitchen, or I suddenly have a schedule by which I can write, or Jet suddenly has a new backpack and a stack of origami paper. Or... we suddenly cleared out one of the less used desks right next to a North Window, and I have a painting area.

That's one of things I've always loved about myJohn, as we are pretty much always looking to improve things.
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[User Picture]From: rmd
2008-09-01 09:48 am (UTC)
the thing i'm dealing with in live improvement right now is that to add things, sometimes you have to let other things go. relatedly, previous priorities sometimes fade or shift because of changes in the world, and then you have to actually change behaviors as these priorities stop being priorities.

i suppose the structural equivalent would be controlled demolition -- tearing out walls and pulling up carpet. an example for me was the realization that 90% of my reference books and saved textbooks etc are moot in the face of the internet and things ranging from wikipedia to open courseware to epicurious. i didn't blindly toss all of them, but i did look and ask myself "do i need this *now*, with the other resources i have?" and so while i kept "routing in the internet", i tossed 9 year old cisco VOIP docs. I kept the cook's illustrated best recipes and julia child's the way to cook, but tossed half a dozen uninteresting cookbooks.

so, with this burning a hole in my brain, i would blatantly project and ask what you need to remove, and what things in your life currently are holding you back.

it's not that your life is *broken*. i think it's more that some of the priorities you are optimizing for are not the priorities that serve you well here and now.
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