Monday, June 8, 2009

Daily Life: A Day of Small Things

I've been moving through a day of small things. Somewhere between last night and this morning, in my relatively small apartment, I misplaced the leather holder for my iPhone and my Bluetooth headset. I am sure where they are I set them down together and I am sure I had both of them when I came into the apartment last night. I am also sure that I will arrive home this evening and both of them, most likely, will be in plain sight and I will wonder how I managed to miss them this morning.

That got me to thinking about small things today and that thought stream was reinforced at work. I often spend a significant portion of my day in teleconferences. That is part of the life of a modern manager in a large company. When I am on teleconferences and they start to run long I will often walk over to the conference room and pace in circles. On a long teleconference I can easily walk a mile or more in repeated circles, first one direction and then the others. In the conference room there is a narrow place where the chairs around the table make for a narrow passage past a copier/printer.

Today, I stopped and pushed the conference table a few inches to one side, widening this little passage way to something that is comfortable to walk through without bumping into a chair on one side or the copier/printer on the other. That sort of crystallized my small things thought stream. As near as I could recall that was always a narrow passage area. Why didn't I slide the table over a few inches before? I've been in this work area going on two years now and I am pretty sure that passage has been narrow for the duration of that time. I am sure I've bumped into either the chair or the printer/copier a half a hundred times or more.

It just has me wondering how many other small things there are that I should do, that I need to do, that I would like to do - but just haven't done them because as single items they don't rise up high enough on the list of things that need to be done and they are definitely not on the list of things that I want to do. Maybe I should take and dedicate a day to wandering around my spaces and just - doing the small things that catch my eye.

I have flirted, at times, in my mind, with the idea of radical simplicity. Striping everything extraneous out, clearing my world of almost all of my "stuff". The challenge I have always run into is - I fight that urge within myself to store things for a rainy day. Never mind that when that rainy day comes, for the most part, it will not be stuff that I already have and instead be an excuse to get more stuff. Yes, I am dangerously close to channeling George Carlin there! Anyway, that is what I contemplating today as I move into the afternoon. I've finished my morning meetings. I've got the typical Monday correspondence and telephone calls cleaned up and I am ready to tackle the "to do" list. The sun has burned off the morning fog. I don't have anything planned for this evening, so I may take advantage of it and swing by the Laundromat to run a couple of loads of clothes through and get dinner at the deli down the street.

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