Minimalism

I saw a a documentary on minimalism the other day.

It lasted over an hour but was nicely distilled in the end by a sentence which went something like this: “love people, use stuff. Because, doing it the other way around is just not a good plan”

We don’t need much stuff. We need people.

And we need work to do which makes us proud.

And a nice space to live in.

And wine.

Birthdays

I just turned 37 a couple days ago. To paraphrase Marilyn Monroe “…makes a guy think….”

Approaching (hitting?) middle age for me means a few things, but the overriding feeling I have is that, obviously, time is fleeting. So what to do with fleeting time?

Here’s an idea. We live in an extraordinary moment when everyone has access to the sum knowledge of humanity. Stanford university is giving its courses FOR FREE online.

Khan Academy is teaching pretty much anything in a really great format and also FOR FREE through its app.

With this in mind, I’m learning maths on Khan and I’m reading up on the links between health, sustainability and interior design/architecture in a new book by Esther Sternberg.

Staying curious. That’s what I want for my 38th year and for any more time I get on this amazing earth. This sounds pithy but it’s true.

Happy Sunday Chimps.

Getting bored and having energy

Is getting bored a good thing?

In the age of Facebook, Netflix, Spotify and Fortnite it’s easy to let the system take control. If you allow them, these streaming, entertaining, dopamine tripping platforms will keep you glued to your seats all day. They won’t let you get bored.

This thing is, getting bored serves a function. As far as I can tell, the whole purpose and spiritual breakthrough of Yoga is to cope with boredom and through this to reflect on life. No time for that in a video game.

Some other activities where boredom is there to be overcome:

Taking a walk with no phone in hand. Just walk.

Listening to an album from start to finish. Just listen

Running for 30 minutes straight. Just run.

When were you last bored?

Match

Are you more of a corporate manager, or a children’s show presenter?

Do you have the time to enter an ultramarathon or are you better off focusing on the problems in front of you?

Will a holiday away actually be relaxing for you? Or should you rather sleep in at home?

Will you benefit from buying that new iPhone, or should you put the money into a savings account?

I think all of the options above are valid. They just need to match up with the rest of your life to avoid angst.

Engaging with a market

People are prickly. If you came into my house shouting at me to buy something I’d push you out.

Speak to me for four years consistently on a topic. Speak to me in a neutral venue. Be respectful. Build a track record you can show me over the years. Then maybe I’ll buy what you’re selling.

Maybe.

Fixing daughters

My kid is sick. Ear infection. With the first one we left it too late and her eardrum popped. Let’s not do that again.

The other cut her leg. Germolene is a disinfectant cream. To me it always sounds like the title for an Allman Brothers song “oh Germoleeeeeene” …But I digress.

I am learning that with the girls there is always something to fix. Sort of like my old Audi. It’s part of being at school and growing up.

They bounce back way better than the Audi though. Like little trampolines.

Atrophy

If you ever want to prove the rule of atrophy, just go on a holiday.

We left the house in mostly working order. WiFi, phones, alarms, pets, cars all up and running.

But when we came back last night, the gremlins had struck. The power was out, which had tripped our alarm, which had sent the dogs into a two day frenzy. Phone and WiFi has disconnected. The car was dead. And so on.

If you throw a bunch of bricks in the air, it’s almost impossible that they will land on top of each other in a nice organised wall. Atrophy is a natural order of things. It means that everything falls apart and bends toward chaos, unless it is maintained.

Just ask my dogs.