Thursday, February 4, 2010

Decluttering. I Tried...

I haven't given up. But I have to say that the sheer volume of crap that I own is staggering. I've lived out of home for nearly four years. I spent the vast majority of that time unemployed, living off scholarship money and Youth Allowance payments. But somehow I managed to acquire the contents of what might make up a museum of early 21st century hobbies in a hundred years time.

I own books on everything. I'm not exaggerating. This will merit its own paragraph.

I own books on cactus care, professional writing, speaking French, stand up comedy, playing all sorts of instruments, martial arts, psychology, diet, public relations, pop culture, fitness, programming, acting, various religions, philosophy, popular science, physics, the occult, drawing,  nursing, drug guides, painting, a whole set of books on history, several complete encyclopedias, speaking German, all types of martial arts, film making, AD/HD, natural medicine, business, the share market, card games, finance, strategy, sociology, stage magic, famous crimes... This is just off the top of my head. These are not your standard "Short Introduction" books. These are meaty textbooks. The kind that would be fascinating for someone with intense interest, but otherwise they would be thoroughly boring.

Of course, those books aren't just from the last four years. But a lot of them are. And it doesn't cover fiction. I don't own that much fiction. I own hardly any straight-up fiction. I only read the really complex stuff. When I say read, I usually mean half-read. The non fiction I own is typically pilfered from MA or PhD reading lists on the subjects. I usually get about half way through them before I lose interest. Its not from not understanding what I'm reading, its just because the sense of "OK, now I know. There's nothing else here to interest me." I'm one of those lucky combined type AD/HDers who don't have co-morbid dyslexia (though I am occasionally guilty of lazy spelling and grammar. I keep meaning to read a chapter of this old journalism textbook that fixes me up for a few months...)

But yes, where was I? Oh yeah, possessions. I own a lot of varied crap. My most used stuff is generally broken. Whenever things break I usually try to fix them myself for a couple of hours. I research on the internet, improvise, whatever. The stuff I have to take places to get fixed I typically won't find the time to do it. Or I'll procrastinate it. I'm not sure why. Maybe its more stimulating to look at something and to know that I have a purpose for it (to fix it), rather than looking at it when its in working order and trying to figure out what to do with it. That example may be most applicable to a $500 midi keyboard I own. I use it to control my music hardware when I'm writing music. While its not working, there's only one thing I can do with it - fix it. When its working, I can only really use it to write music - and even after doing it for years, its still something you have to start and the options can become quite overwhelming.

Despite that, I really wish the damn thing was working. It's a great keyboard.

So what did I get done? I have a corner desk. I vaguely set up one side of it with my synthesizers and mixer. Now there is a pile of books, DVDs, and CDs on the floor. I discovered that I'm missing some of my audio cables and an adapter for my still functional keyboard. The whole place kind of got on top of me a few months ago so I pretty much abandoned making music. I'm not talented with music, its just something I could hyperfocus on occasionally because every track I made was so different from the one before it.

This post is a bit of a rambling mess, I admit. I have more meaty posts in mind, but I'm having a bit of an off day. Can I give this post a bit of credibility by saying its a snapshot of an off day for an AD/HD adult? Probably not, but that'll have to do.

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