Change, spare and otherwise

Like some day in early January, it’s one of those days I want to delete half of what I own. Easily half of of it wouldn’t be missed; things in closets, stored away in boxes. The boxes themselves. Things collected against a possible future use.

But so much of it is pointless. A strategic purging is required, and more time-consuming than the initial hoarding. The sorting, deciding what stays and what goes. Editing always takes longer than the initial act of creation.

Sifting through the past— evidence of erstwhile trials and triumphs. Manifestos are easily written or memorized, but not so easily absorbed. Adaptation is slow and happens day-to-day.

It’s boring.

Few things become ingrained that were intentional. Most patterns are the result of things repeated thoughtlessly, and repetition is the way things become elemental or inherent. Change takes discipline. Deliberate awareness and deliberate practice. Constant reminders.

It’s hard.

Before you know it a third of a year has gone by, and everything is still scattered. The call to arms is buried beneath the sound of the coffee maker, traffic, overheard voices, whatever’s on your screen. It’s drowned out by distractions— you have to want to hear it.

Distractions steal focus. I start a million projects and finish few. I finish ones with deadlines, mainly, and almost none are deadlines I set for myself. It’s too easy to ignore those ones anyway. Therein lies the problem: lack of discipline. It’s partly rooted in fear. Friends are sweet and remind us not to be too hard on ourselves, but there can be such a thing as being too forgiving of one’s self.

This is where the desire to purge comes from: a desire to eliminate noise; destroy everything that was started then left as an ellipsis for some other [fictional] time. They pile up like the things in the closet, everything fitted together in an impenetrable wall of Tetris blocks. You don’t even know what’s in there anymore, and don’t want to look for fear of being crushed by it. Fear causes inaction.

Maybe just lay some explosives and blow it up wholesale.
(But that would be too easy.)

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