February 9th, 2017


Optimizing Life

I’ve done a lot of research and brainstorming. I’ve reviewed my agent’s notes. I guess that means today I need to start writing. This is a weird situation in that I’ve already written, but now I’m going to be rewriting, but I’m not editing. There’s a little less of a sense of “I’ll ruin this perfect idea once I write a word,” but at the same time there’s the sense of pressure to make it so much better than it was, so I still have that blank page worry. I love this idea so much that I want to make it as good as it can be.

I’ve managed to accomplish more this week because I’ve been able to get myself out of bed earlier. Those mattress commercials in which people spring happily out of bed in the morning because their beds are so comfortable are a huge lie. When your bed is that comfortable, you don’t want to get out of it. Most of my “oversleeping” isn’t sleeping. It’s lying there and thinking and drifting off again because I’m enjoying how comfortable I am. It seems a shame to be asleep most of the time I’m in bed, when I can’t really appreciate the comfort, so I enjoy lying there, especially in the morning when the memory foam has molded to my body. But the last few mornings I’ve been up much earlier, and I don’t think it’s just because I started keeping score and giving myself points for getting up. Part of it may just be the seasonal adjustment, with the sun coming up earlier. I think it also helps that the last few nights, I’ve turned off the TV and computer earlier and have read longer in bed before turning out the light. At any rate, in about a month we’ll have the change to daylight saving time, and that’s where my body clock functions best. But still, I love optimizing things, so I may keep adjusting habits to see what works best.

Speaking of optimizing, I keep going back and forth on the best way to get the house organized and cleaned, so I’ll be in a better position to someday sell this place. One method has been to take a space and get it set inside-out — declutter and organize it, then clean it thoroughly. The benefit to this is that it creates that “place for everything” situation, which then creates a cascading effect on future cleaning, so anything that belongs in that space can get put away properly. But the problem there is that my biggest problem spot is my office. Most of the clutter in the rest of the house is stuff that should get put away in the office but doesn’t really have a good spot, and the office is daunting. It’s also really hard to see results, so I get discouraged and give up before I get anywhere. So I’ve tried the other approach, getting the whole house superficially tidy on the first pass, then digging in deep. I tend to manage the superficially tidy for quite a while, and it encourages me to want to continue decluttering and organizing, except it also tends to create work because I have to go back and re-clean things.

I think half the reason I’d like to move is that it will allow me to start with a clean slate in a new place. I never really developed the skill set to live in one place for as long as I have lived here. I’m used to being able to keep my life managed by moving every three years. Then I can sort through everything and organize it before anything builds up.

Mind you, we’re not talking about a Hoarders situation. My office is a bit junky because that’s also sort of a storage room (one problem with this house), but otherwise the house is just a bit messy. I just happen to be the sort of person who enjoys hotel rooms and am not entirely happy unless my house is like that, but at the same time I’m lazy and the kind of perfectionist who gets discouraged when things aren’t ideal, like there’s nothing between my ideal and “why even bother?”

What I usually end up doing is coming up with a detailed plan, and then ignoring it entirely. The current solution idea is to do a little bit in the office every day while also tidying the rest of the house.

But now I’m going to fall into another book, and I’ve got a convention this weekend, which means I guess I’ll deal with it all later.