The 10,000 emails

I am developing an interest for the idea of Minimalism.

Minimalism resonates with how I want to live my life. How I want to arrange my possessions. Minimalism is not a far stretch for how I have always envisioned my life. I have always felt drained in an environment where there is too much stuff taking up too much space.

This way of wanting to arrange my material possessions, this way of wanting to organize and purge items in my environment, is what led me to looking at my email inbox and the 10,000 emails I found. I mean, why not start there?

Keep in mind I have had the same email account for the past 12 years. I did not expect to find hidden among the Gmail labels, 10,000 emails. Quite a few of the emails were from email lists I had signed up for in the past, and then never found the time to read. Reading some emails brought up many tangled memories from the past. Some were from a friend who took her life 9 years ago. I kept those. Some were from an ex who lives in Singapore. We tried to make a long distance relationship work. And we did for 7 years. I kept those emails too.

Try it for yourself. Look at all the email you have accumulated in your inbox. See for yourself how many emails you have not had the time to read and are taking up space. Delete them.

So many things take up space in our physical and mental places. I pared my email down to 800 from the original 10,000. I am still working on removing more of the clutter.

And I’m working on removing or going through the multitude of items my Dad left behind after he passed. He collected everything. Piles and piles of things. Rows and rows. Rooms and rooms full from the floor to the ceiling. Empty boxes? Sure, we have those by the dozen. Jars? Too many to count. Nails and screws and nuts and bolts? So, so many of those..

The struggle is real.

I watched a Netflix documentary yesterday, which I highly recommend to everyone reading this:

The Minimalists: Less Is Now

You really have to check it out. And do it before the clutter sucks all the happiness from you. Believe me, it will.

And remember, it’s a journey, not a destination.

Be Specific

Going back to the idea of goals and what you (or I) would do if you knew you would not fail, I think where I and maybe you become tripped up is, we are not specific enough.

I always like to joke and tell people that when I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury years ago, I had been asking for some time off, a new hairstyle and to lose weight. I should have been specific in my request and stated – but not at the expense of a life threatening injury. Right?

When I went to college I knew I wanted to earn my degree, That was a goal I had in mind. But to get to that goal I had to pass certain classes. And in order to pass those classes I had to complete assignments. And in order to complete those assignments sometimes I had to do research and that could mean going to the library or otherwise gathering information.

You see how this works out right?

We can set goals for what we want to achieve for ourselves, but if we don’t break down the steps and concentrate on the beginning, on the details, we are highly unlikely to achieve those goals.

And I want all of us to achieve our goals.

Not really off topic but, I am currently reading, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by: James Clear.

I am actually listening to the book on Audible. Atomic Habits is likely one of the best books I have encountered in my lifetime. Check it out and see for your self.

I plan on writing more about the book, how it is resonating with me, and my progress implementing the steps outlined in the book at a later date.

And remember, It’s a Journey not a destination.

Breaking down the Blockers

My previous post was about Blockers.

Today we begin the work of acknowledging these blockers and start designing a plan to break through these blockers.

The first step is acknowledgement. Read that again. Acknowledgment.

I believe if we don’t look that black hole of an abyss, that blocker, straight on, then how can we ever have a chance at reaching any goals we set for ourselves? It is as simple as that. The beginning is at any rate.

Let’s say, as an example, that you have been thinking about finishing your college degree, but something is blocking you from even starting that process. Or perhaps it’s an entire herd of some things. I mean like, maybe they are all congregated into one gigantic pile of stuff and you can’t even separate them to sort them out to begin with. Hey, I have been there, and it is tough. It can feel like there is a mountain in front of you and you don’t even know where to begin the climb because all you can see is that peak way up in the clouds. And it looks like a rough hike up a treacherous trail to the land of unknowns.

Time for some hard truths.

So here is the nitty gritty truth. There are no guarantees. None. We all have a finite time on this earth and no one has the inside edge to know when their time will be up. And you say to me, hey why did you put that in here, I thought we were talking about blockers? because I want you to know, just as I know, that no matter how we plan our paths, that no matter what we do, success is not a given. I wish I could sprinkle some fairy dust on you and all your dreams would become your wished for reality, but that is not how this works.

How it works is to first acknowledge that there is something blocking the path.

Second, we take baby steps towards figuring out how to go around, go through, or go over that something.

Because the only sure thing we have in this life is, we will never succeed if we do not try.

So my challenge to you is, grab some paper and write some of your goals, or your wishes, or whatever you choose to call them. Then stare at those words written on that page and become really familiar with them. Put the list in your pocket and take it out when you can. Maybe add some more and take some off the list.

We will touch on whether they are really your goals, or your wishes, or what you think you should do in a future post.

Remember, dear readers, it’s a journey, not a destination.

Not forgotten

I haven’t forgotten about this place. Writing here is like that thing I know I need to do, and yet it is also that thing that keeps moving around on my to do list.

This week I started my journey walking 10 minutes each day at lunch. It does not matter that I used to bike 12, 25 or 50 miles without any issues. Or hike miles without any issues.

What matters is I am starting again.

I have taken the first steps.

I am not looking at a mountain peak so much as right now


this week

I am starting at the bottom and looking at my feet

as I begin the new journey upward

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”


if it is badly written
if it is poorly said
should it be kept quiet
or do we throw it into the wind
and wait for it to come back to us
silence is not really a virtue
not all the time anyway


trying to write
it’s the facts that cause me to stop
I have never really been


I have the alphabet forming disjointed sentences leading to open ended paragraphs traveling though my head this morning. And this is what it is like when change is afoot. 


I keep thinking I should write something. However, thinking and writing are categorized separately within my brain. I think a lot. I mean a whole lot as in I am always turning ideas over in my mind. It never stops. And for some who have been a part of my life, this fact has not been welcomed. At any rate.

I was thinking about the time I was taking my Dad to a doctor’s appointment. It was probably February since it was actually cold enough to have iced the wheelchair ramp. Of course, I did not know that the ramp was iced over until I was wheeling the Old man down the ramp. The ramp is a metal contraption with the base being mesh metal. I never thought ice would develop on the mesh. I was behind his wheelchair coming to the realization that my feet were sliding with the weight of his body and the wheelchair pulling us along. And all I could do was laugh. Because that is what I do. When faced with a situation that I find unbelievable, I laugh. It doesn’t matter if I am trying to stand up in a dry stream bed with my bike atop me after falling off a small wooden bridge while mountain biking or trying to get my Dad to his doctor’s appointment. When things look like they are going wrong, I laugh.

The sound of my laughter must have alerted the old man because he tightened his grip on the arms of the wheelchair and asked if everything was okay. I assured him everything was fine. Because that is what I do. I assure all those around me, no matter what, that everything is fine. And we made it to the vehicle none the worse for wear. And he never knew that we slid down the wheelchair ramp that day. It was controlled sliding and it is still funny.

And everything was fine.

Sunday musings

The city says that three times a year, we can put out larger junk items for garbage pickup. I live in the city, and it is one of the perks of paying taxes. I guess. An oh the three times a year is more of a fiscal year, not a human year. But you get the point.

Have I had the house in my name for two years now? It was my Dad’s house and the basement, and the second floor is still full of his junk I mean collections. There is just so much to go through. And to add to that, the old man would be sneaky and hide important papers in a box of trash. Seriously.

A while ago, I signed up for junk pickup email reminders. And usually, I would see maybe one email reminder. This time around, I have received multiple reminders. It is as if an email bot somewhere has decided I need to get moving on getting rid of stuff like it thinks I need an extra push or something.

The universe tips in mysterious ways sometimes.