Archive | February, 2012
Saturday, 25 February 2012

Who’s not got mail?

 

Email is a strange addiction. You battle with it daily, feel the need to check for replies, get that buzz when something interesting arrives, feel overwhelmed then you have too much of it, yet empty when it gets taken away.

I came to the conclusion that my personal email traffic must be actively reduced. This was about six months ago. Finally I have taken the first step to put it into effect by unsubscribing from BananaRepublic.com, a retailer who has managed to bombard my inbox with enticing emails almost daily.

Clicking that unsubscribe button was not an easy task. BR emails have been my electronic distraction for a very long time. Hard day at work…ooohh, nothing like a 30% off online sale to set it right. I have made an art of time wasting by surfing this and other shopping websites, clicking through on the latest must have shoe, handbag, shiny bauble or must have dress, top, skirt or suit. I have spent a small fortune on feel good pick me ups. Now, my online dealer is cut off. Unsubscribed. Cold turkey.

Let’s see how long I can stay on the program…

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26 Feb Postscript…

I guess it is true what they say about breaking the seal. Email junk mail purging has continued like an avalanche gathering momentum:

  • New York Times – gone
  • Bed Bath and Beyond – unsubscribed
  • Trip Advisor – no thanks, I don’t need to know how many people have read my review
  • Trulia – this one has saved me from house envy
  • Amazon Local, Groupon – enough of the 50% off the things I don’t think I want until I find out they are 50% off!

Sleeping much easier tonight…

Monday, 20 February 2012

Ode to chair

I found you in a op shop on South Road. They no longer had use for you, but I did. You were the very first piece of furniture I bought. You were the wooden embodiment of the hope that one day I would move out of home, have a place of my own, throw fancy dinner parties with dear friends drinking wine out of real wine glasses.

You became my constant companion. In my little room, you sat beside my bed, holding glasses of water and the books read before I fall asleep, dreaming of a bigger world beyond these four safe walls of home. You graduated to become my telephone chair in Station Street where I would sit for hours sharing the many highs and several lows that would make up my early twenties. I asked so many questions and found so many answers, seated on your hard slats.

Then we moved to Clowes Street, falling in love with the secret life of us. Friends would drop in on a constant basis, and so many would seat themselves on you. You weren’t particularly comfortable, in fact you are still to this day a little rickety, but there was something inviting about your simplicity. You seem to remind us that even when life was getting complicated, we were going to be okay. Simple and plain, it was as if you allowed life to happen around you without fuss.

You earned your sea faring legs when we left Australia for Hong Kong. I was growing out of my own skin, yet you were my constant. My sturdy friend, by my bedside again. Even as I bought my first grown up couch, dining table and all the trappings of adult life, I took solace that each night I would rest my journals on you, and you would keep them safe until the morning. In Caine Road you saw me fall in love with English Hubby. You overheard the many late night conversations I had with my dearest friends. You saw my best ever flat mate, K, come and then go. You’d listen patiently as I recounted adventures to my friends back home and probably even chuckled when I was conferencing S and B for help with that infamous ‘do I make the bed’ predicament!

You earned another stamp in your passport, taking a leap with me to New York. I followed my heart, and I knew even if it ends up broken, you would be there for me to rest my weary soul. For you are my reminder that I am grounded, just like the tree from which you were made. We’ve gone from west side to east side of Manhattan island. You’ve held my handbags over your shoulder, to the point where it is worn smooth. Today you are part of my private space in a teeny tiny apartment. A place mine alone where I can sit and pay bills, write emails and keep life spinning along.

I know you are just a thing, an object. To everyone else you are ugly, worn and about to fall apart. But in spite of the years you still hold it together. Perhaps in some strange way, even hold me together. Somehow when I look back, you’ve helped me stand on my own two feet, sometimes offering four more to keep me firmly planted.

As I write this, I cannot fathom why I’m even considering throwing ¬†you away. Even as your very comfortable replacement has been paid for and is making its way to our apartment as we speak. It feels wrong, like discarding an old passport. Each scratch and scuff is a chronicle of our journey, and I wonder what else you will see in the years to come. I now know I still need the thought of you, and I am not ready to let you go.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

How far can you go with fortune cookie logic?

Every now and then there are words that ring so true that they stop you in your tracks and you feel as if you’ve stumbled across a secret key to unlock your own universe. It is Sunday. I am reading the next installment of The Happiness Project. The words are: “but I didn’t want to be the novelist who spent so much time writing his first sentence that he never wrote his second.”

Oh dagger to thy heart. In one fell swoop this humble pop psychology, change-your-life-by-setting-little-goals-each-month book has summed up my last year. A frustrating year of paralysis and standing still whilst moving. Like reaching a career high, yet feeling none the wiser. Like making a promise to focus more on family, but still only wading into unknown waters without actually taking the plunge. Even mundane symptoms which include starting many blog posts, redrafting them a million times over and then never letting them see the light of digital day.

A first sentence polished and perfected; a second sentence never following, seems like an awful waste of life. So where to next?

Take this post and put it out there. Forget about spell checking, don’t let it sit in the elephant grave yard whilst searching high and low for the right photo, don’t wait until the dishes are done, the bed is made or any other first sentence distraction. Follow fortune cookie logic that declares that many a mis-step was made by standing still.

Stop. Standing. Still.