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Kelly J. Cooper

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Ugh. [Sep. 8th, 2009|07:21 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
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Need to talk, can't seem to spit (or type) anything out.


Currently filling a small notebook with a thought exercise:

If you had 20 minutes to evacuate your house, what would you take?

I've been devoting one page to each thing (or cluster of things), with notes on why and some "To Do" notes on tasks I'd have to do if I want to be able to easily take a given thing.

I'm up to 20 things, which is a minute per thing, & I'm pretty sure I could do that. Given that I tend to multitask each trip up or down the stairs, I'm probably running a few seconds per item, and maybe a minute for cluster items.

What precipitated this? I've been watching Hoarders on A&E and thinking to myself, "Shit! I do that! ... SHIT!" I even put some stuff away while watching, because I felt like such a neurotic slob. I uncovered a one-minute organizer book & this exercise was one of the suggestions.

Anyway, the exercise has been nudging my brain to think about priorities with regard to my life versus my STUFF and that's been kinda helpful.

Many other things percolating, but not cohering sufficiently to type about.

[User Picture]From: rmd
2009-09-08 08:13 am (UTC)
20 minutes? 2 minutes for the first cat. 3 minutes for the second. 14 to find and grab the third cat who saw what happened to the first two and has gone to ground. and one minute to find something else to take.

fucking cats.

more seriously, yeah. stuff vs life.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2009-09-09 03:00 am (UTC)
Yeah, stuff vs. life.

S'probably worse with kids! Cuz you need a go bag of their crap as well.
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[User Picture]From: mopti
2009-09-08 08:49 am (UTC)

The follow-up question (Spolier warning!)

I did this a few years ago as part of a work-related trianing session.

Spoiler follows!

The training session was on awareness of the situation of refugees. The scenario is that the Pink Party had just won the election and as supporters of the Yellow Party we were worried about how we would be treated. Then word came through that Yellow Party members had been burnt out of their houses in Cork. The chairperson of the local Yellow Party cumann (branch) arranged to get us over the border to Northern Ireland. (Those of us on the training of a certain age noticed the irony in that particular detail.)

We were told to make up the list and imagine we had gathered the items concerned. After we had done that, the trainer announced that the bus that would take us to the border had arrived. We were then required to read out the items we were taking. And then he dumped items from everybody's list: "There isn't enough space in the bus - you can't take that". Half way to the border, we had to split into two groups in smaller buses and again stuff had to be left behind. (This time we got to pick the items we would take or leave from the reduced list.)

When we arrived at the border, we had to apply for asylum. Not one person in the group had chosen to take a Yellow Party Membership Card with them, and most failed to get asylum because of it.

(One funny moment in the exercise: after a few of the asylum seekers had gone through their application and we had all picked up tips on what to do and not do, the trainer, acting as a training course mixture of border guard and asylum officer, switched the language of his questions to French with the next colleague to apply for asylum. As it happened, she was the only person in the room who had grown up in Switzerland. It did bring a moment of levity when we all, inculding his nibs, laughed when she answered him in fluent French.)
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2009-09-09 03:05 am (UTC)

Re: The follow-up question (Spolier warning!)

That's pretty intense. Wow.

My wallet, calendar, keys, small notebook (with crucial information in it) and a couple of pens just live in my pants, which I always leave near my bed. When I get up, if I put on a different pair of pants (or shorts), I switch the items then. So if I had to get up in the middle of the night, I could just grab the last thing I was wearing and GO.

BUT, I have my birth certificate & passport (two important pieces of ID for Americans) someplace else. So they went on the list.

(Those of us on the training of a certain age noticed the irony in that particular detail.)

Oh yes, that is ironic.

Did it have any sort of long-term effect on you & your feelings toward your stuff?

Do you think it would've been better or worse if you'd actually had to pack your stuff?
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[User Picture]From: mopti
2009-09-11 06:12 pm (UTC)

Re: The follow-up question (Spolier warning!)

No long-term feelings toward my stuff. What did come out was the insight about why many a desk officer in a comfortable OECD country needs to think outside their box when they look for evidence that an asylum seeker is what they say they are.

(I know from a colleague of one deciding officer -- not on the course -- who would ask applicants who had medical evidence from and Irish doctor that injuries or scars were consistent with torture to produce the medical records from the country where the injuries had been inflicted to confirm it was torture and not accidental.)
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From: i_leonardo
2009-09-08 03:17 pm (UTC)
i had to do that for real once when i was small. for the next 12 years i made and edited that mental list kind of obsessively. i still do it regularly, but these days i project the anxiety onto the reasonably rational fear of a house fire.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2009-09-09 03:09 am (UTC)
Yikes. Poor small Robin.

I'm pretty much thinking the same thing - house fire. But I've also got tiny paranoia wiggles in my brain about other possibilities of a more political or regional disaster sort as well.

So I deal with all that free-form paranoia by pretending I'm evacuating from a zombie apocalypse. Slips it into the more cerebral & silly problem-solving areas of my brain.
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[User Picture]From: zanzjan
2009-09-16 01:18 pm (UTC)
1) kids
2) pets
3) paintings done by my great-grandfather
4) paintings done by me
5) stash of family photos & documents
6) my copy of the Codex Seraphinianus

If at that point I found I still had time left, I expect I'd also be significantly panicking and grabbing wildly random and illogical items.
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