Weekly Rundown

I’ve not been wholly satisfied with the Weekly Rundowns, so I may be changing them a bit here in the near future. Still playing with form, so we’ll see how it lands. But for now, here’s some stuff for you:

Reading: Locke & Key Vol. 1 from IDW Comics, written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez. And there he was again, this Joe Hill. Son of Stephen King, and prominent storyteller himself, has created a lot of buzz with Netflix’s adaptation of Locke  & Key. I think I became familiar with the series while reading the recent Hill House collaboration with DC Comics: Basketful of HeadsDaphne Byrne, et al. NOS4A2 was on AMC last year, and now Netflix has Locke. I watched it, I enjoyed it, and I wanted to see how close it got to the source material. I read Volume 1, and it’s close enough to be familiar, but different enough that I enjoy reading the comics even after watching the series.

Listening: Honestly, nothing with any repetition. No new music this week, though Flora Cash’s Somebody Else and Fun.’s 2012 album Some Nights have been in my head this past week.

Doing: Packing. With my months away quickly approaching, it’s been important to put as much as I can in storage, free up space around the house. I wanted to have a yard sale before leaving, but it’ll have to wait until I get back.

Sharing:

Increased output necessitates decreased input

Increasing output by decreasing inputs may seem contradictory. But if you read yesterday’s post, you’d know that given diminishing returns we may already be reducing our potential productivity. In nearly every case, we are. We lump so much into our lives that it’s impossible to create as we should be creating. Barely getting enough done.

So, if our productivity suffers from too many inputs, we must reduce them to reach peak productivity. Hence entire movements on time management and minimalism.

Maybe peak productivity isn’t the goal. Maybe it’s a simpler life. Or fewer bills, less stress, less to clean. Maybe it’s just the search for more happiness.

Whatever it is, it can’t be found by throwing more and more at it. It’s better to try and remove one or two things at a time until you can find some breathing room.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Weekly Roundup

Hello again, campers! Ready for your campfire tales? No? Not really?

I finished listening to the Camp Red Moon short anthology, and it took me a while to recognize the voice in the second story. Kevin T. Collins, who’s performed the audiobooks to the Sam Capra series by Jeff Abbot. Speaking of, it’s about time for another installment in that series.

Anyway, here’s what’s on my plate this week.

Reading: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. Just getting started, and I haven’t seen the movie either, but I recognize the desire to travel, isolate, and found yourself. A lot of my library seems geared towards those sentiments, even if they all haven’t been read yet. A 26-year-old, reeling from tragedy, decides to make the 1100-mile solo hike.

Listening: You Learn from the Alanis Morrissette jukebox musical Jagged Little Pill. I had this in the nineties (it’s probably still floating around my cd collection somewhere). This ensemble number is really touching, and I enjoy it a lot.

Doing: Goal setting. I’ve been using a couple of resources – Designing Your Life, Tony RobbinsSeth Godin, & Tim Ferris. Before I start making cuts to some of my projects and interests, I want to make sure I’m doing it for the right reason. So having those goals set are important.

Sharing:

Everything in moderation

I had a teacher once tell me, “do anything you want, as long as you do it in moderation.”

The reason for this advice was, at the time, I was not known for moderate living. Even now I still have flashes of excess. But I’m more able to control my urges, likely a result of getting older. Impulse control can be a challenge for anyone, and I certainly had troubles in my youth.

But the advice is sound, and still applicable.

Moderate spending is the key to debt reduction and building wealth. Moderate eating is good for weight management, and moderate activity for staying fit and healthy.

As we cross over into the new year, be mindful of moderation in both your lifestyle and in your resolutions. Pushing too hard out of the gate is a sure-fire way to not make it to the finish line.

Improving

It’s no fun working to get better at some things. Most of us aren’t inherently wired to find joy in the difficult tasks.

Maybe that’s going to the gym. Or cleaning house. Separating transactions into individual accounts.

For a select few, that is a place of extreme joy. Some people love going to the gym and pushing themselves to their very limits. Some people love organizing, cleaning, and meticulously managing a household. And some people love numbers in such a way that accounting becomes both game and reward.

Us others are left looking in with amazement. However, we can cultivate that joy. We can improve. It’s just a matter of sticking with it.

We may be limited in ways that will prevent us from being top performers. We may not be. We won’t know until we try.

But no matter what it is, we can get better by doing.

More

It seems that we’re constantly in search for more. More money, more time, more freedom, more happiness.

I’m actually looking for my space on my computer, prompting this post.

And I started thinking about all that I already have. And it’s a lot. I think we accumulate a lot of stuff. Would I like more time? Sure, but I could be using the time I have a little better.

More money. Absolutely! But I don’t need to be spending the money I do have on things that aren’t enriching my life.

We often focus so much on the more, we neglect the why. And if you’re not appreciating what you currently have, then do you really need more of it?

Week’s Highlights

Some of the things that caught my interest this week.

If you’re thinking about how you’ll make it to retirement, here are six suggestions from NBC’s Kelsey Butler in January of last year. I’ve been thinking about retirement accounts a lot over the past couple of months, having blown through three of them over ten years.

The Tim Ferriss podcast with my hands-down favorite author Neil Gaiman. I first read Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Workweek last spring (listened to the audiobook, twice in a row on several trips across Florida). Gaiman’s Neverwhere I read as a high-schooler, and that was my first introduction to the author. I’ve since read just about everything he’s written, including the Sandman series (straight through and then with the annotated editions from Leslie Klinger), American GodsStardust, and The Graveyard Book, to name a few.

If you have an Aubible subscription, get Sam Shepard’s True West, the West End production featuring Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones‘ Jon Snow) & Johnny Flynn. It’s a free download for subscribers (up to two Audible originals each month), and it’s really good.

Unroll.me. I was slow to get this one, but it really works! I’ve gone from a couple hundred emails a day down to less than 30. I’ve still got some clearing out to do, especially across multiple email addresses. but thus far, this has been an amazing help. Plus, its single daily email with previews of each email you’ve rolled (not unsubscribed but not individually let in) gives me one place to see if there’s anything there that I need.