Social Pockets

There’s a creepy email notice that arrives in my work inbox whenever an internal email address has been deactivated. Actually, there are two. One is oddly from “girlinterrupted.” But, the truly disturbing, one comes from the “bonecollector.”

I admit I’m a collector. Have been since childhood; don’t know why. I like to hunt and group. I like themes and displays, and collections of physical things: books, chickens, art supplies, fabric, which eventually find themselves in a repetitively mobile graveyard of unpacked boxes.

Paring and re-paring from move-to-move-to-move has lessened the compulsion.  Off-loading photographs of people I no longer know, tchotchkes that must have meant something at some time, and passing along books, and dishes and clothing have all helped free-up living space and cut-down on dusting. Now I only have a collection of non-things.

Cyber bogs clog up hours, to the point where they make my to-do list. Delete extra duplicate music files, back-up blog, organize pictures, back-up picture, sift through communications, save the ones worth saving, use or lose lists of sayings. Figure out where the 426 unread emails I have are hiding, delete daily coupons “good only for today.”

I arrived at Facebook after-hours, late to the party. I was tardy to Twitter, undeniably late to Linked-In, intrigued by Etsy, and passively able to lose myself for hours in Pinterest. I haven’t yet Snap-chatted, Insta-grammed, Flickered, Tumblr-ed  or  You-tubed. For a while I was active in Meet-Up; fruitfully engaged in Event-Brite. That’s where I found The Minimalists and the concept of lessening… things. But, as noted, I don’t have much in the thing department anymore, that I’m willing to part with, just yet. I’m against wastefulness and am satisfyingly content with just letting what I have wind its way down to non-replacement.

I’ve got Rocketmail, G-mail, Yahoo, Viber, text and voice mail, and a need-to-check running track rotation Every time I complete a lap, I feel compelled to circle back, start over, travel the same field. It’s honestly not good to check in once a week or a few times yearly to organizational accounts like the non-profit I belong to or my one devoted to my other life, not completely past. Expirations abound.

In the same breath, I know; something’s gotta go. Staying on top of the media cycle that drives publicity and engagement, there are expectations to meet. Rumoured wanings, declinations of non-seasonal Facebook followers may only be made up to lure traffic elsewhere. If it’s true, though, that the summer off-ers aren’t coming back in winter, I’m not sure what way I’ll go. I’m rather fond of Twitter for the conciseness required. The word-game challenge is how to say as little as possible with the most impact.

Having six social pockets is like wearing a pair of complex painter’s pants. Adding one more might lead to the need for carpenter coveralls, just for the extra front-load storage space. My phone has become a travel extension. It’s like carrying a suitcase and stopping every ten minutes to be sure something isn’t broken, hasn’t been missed.

So, I’ve got some research to do; figuring out the mass demographics of age and aim in the cyber info world, and where to find the people I need to find for the organizations I support. I’m pretty sure, following research will be a calendar not dissimilar to the one I have now, only more… filled.

Monday: One Brick Detroit Newsletter.

Tuesday: Knabble blog.

Wednesday: Condo Chronicles (updates forthcoming).

Thursday: One Brick Facebook audience engagement.

Something’s gonna win Friday, possibly even Sunday.

Not Saturday, though. There’s life to live.

 

Quote for the Week:

Choose your Moment jan 21 2015

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Word Paring: http://zenhabits.net/pare-it-down-cut-away-the-extraneous-to-leave-the-awesome/

Post-Gift Pare Down: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/30980998/list/5-ways-to-pare-down-your-stuff-before-it-gets-in-the-door

Wear It or Pare It: http://www.crumbbums.com/?p=5903

Amazon Platform

I may have mentioned this once or twice, or a few times more than that.

That’s how it goes when I get excited, entrenched, enthusiastic. I’ve found an organization that needs me, even when I can’t get to many of the many events scheduled during the dark months of Michigan winter.

Activated in October 2011, One Brick Detroit is part of a larger, nation-wide 501(c)3 non-profit organization headquartered in San Francisco, California. In June 2014, I made a long-term commitment to an organization that doesn’t require one.

Listing over 229 calendar events since 2011, One Brick Detroit has been successfully serving Detroit and the Metropolitan Area by scheduling an average of 6 events per month.

One Brick provides support to local non-profit and community organizations by creating a unique, social and flexible volunteer environment for those interested in making a concrete difference in the community. We enable people to get involved, have an impact and have fun, without the requirements of individual long-term commitments.

‘Commitment-free volunteering’ allows One Brick members to choose when to volunteer, rather than having to make commitments for a certain number of volunteer hours, or agreeing to be available every week at a specific time.

We create a friendly and social atmosphere around volunteering, and after each volunteer event — which typically lasts only 3 to 4 hours — we invite volunteers to gather at a local restaurant or café where they can get to know one another in a relaxed social setting.

One Brick chapters are 100% volunteer-run! We have no employees…we don’t even maintain offices! But we do have a lot of dedicated volunteers who make it all happen. We’re very proud of that and thankful for the wonderful, caring individuals who arrive at each One Brick Detroit event ready to step-up to whatever tasks are needed.

Having been given the creative freedom to be the representative voice behind the One Brick Detroit weekly newsletter, a contributor to the One Brick Detroit Facebook page, and as Marketing and Publicity Director for One Brick Detroit, I’d like to point out the one little thing that makes what I am going to suggest matter.

Southeastern Michigan is not much different than the rest of the country. We’ve had hard times, we’ve had large needs. The thing is, need is always there. Before the holidays, during the holidays, after the holidays, One Brick Detroit will be helping.

As we enter the giving season, giving thanks and gifts, there is simple way to help us do what we love to do: volunteer, help others, meet like-minded people, and make our little corner of the world a friendlier place.

So, here it is: my first blog platform pitch:

Amazon Loves One Brick!  When you shop using our special link Amazon donates 7% of the total to support our work.

Please bookmark this link: onebrick.org/amazon, and use it each time you shop.

Click here for more details.

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Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Visit my chapter, and see for yourself what’s so awesome about One Brick and One Brick Detroit:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/One-Brick-Detroit/108983815861413?fref=photo

Website: http://detroit.onebrick.org/

If you don’t usually shop Amazon on line, there is another easy donation avenue open: http://www.onebrick.org/IL1B

Quote for the Week:

It’s so much easier to commit 11 25 2014

Crush

Crush sucks up a lot of my daily life.

Most late afternoons, my perpetual lists and lists of lists are updated, reworked; feasible within normal limits of someone who has no other circumstance or person requiring energy divergence. Daily, I corral 4 or 5 must-do’s, herding them to the top of the list. There are always a few wishful thinking “If-I-Feel-Like-It’s” further down. Eventually, the IFLI’s rotate into prominence, and other not-so-urgents take their place. The harder things and the piddily things slide up and down; the regular things are the ones I remain committed to.

Post-work early evenings, an hour’s worth of unlisteds begin. Walking comes first, if possible. Postbox mail retrieval, plant watering, clothes changing, disassembling my lunch box, dinner, dirty dishes, assembling lunch, cat tending, prepping clothes for the next workday; all rote. Then, the decisions begin.

Some days the mail purposely remains unread. Nothing-to-handle piles itself up on the sideboard. Seeing it sitting there is a stressor semi-easily re-categorized as semi-ignorable. On the days when action is required, I clump the must-handles together, and rifle and toss the rest. Unless it’s a magazine; then, it piles itself on the coffee table for another someday. Under the handle it once rule if I am holding a bill, I want to pay it, file it, and be done with it. I take myself upstairs and wait for the computer boot, all the while staring at my list.

A problematic get it-out-of-the-way temperament derails me. Payment secured or scheduled, logic dictates continuity; other acts must follow. I update my register, review the budget, log expenditures in EPS.* As long as I am sitting at the computer, I might as well delve into the weight of main and multiple email accounts, checking for more required payments and due date reminders hiding between notifications: Twitter, Linked-In, Facebook, Word Press, Sparkpeople, MyPoints, E-Reader, Kohl’s, Pet Supplies Plus, Current, Vermont Country Store, FTD, The Grommet, Living Social, Groupon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Sears. AT&T, Verizon, Zingerman’s, Costco, Kroger, Daytrotter, MeetUp, Snapfish, Omaha Steaks, Live Nation, Amazon, Expedia, Women’s Ministry, Crafty Kids, Brad’s Deals, What on Earth.  Click, delete. Click, delete. Occasionally, just delete. Unless MyPoints has a click-thru, or if I haven’t logged my nutrition or exercise into SparkPeople, or if an email actually looks save-for-a-later-date interesting. Coupons don’t get deleted either. Discounts should never be sneezed at.

Down to 601 unread emails, I’ve been sitting for another hour now. If I haven’t already taken my evening walk, by this point, I’m not likely to.  I log out of my inbox and the news pops up. All sorts of things distract me; horrific, entertaining, intelligent, dumb. Unlimited information streams nurture fears of missing important pieces of the world. Cruising creates another time crush, which I eventually abandon out of boredom. Before kicking off the internet, I convince myself I should make sure I’m not missing a Facebook birthday. I should play moves in my current 30 Words with Friends games in the interest of promoting myself as being responsive, polite player, and for the added benefit of possibly making another move later.

Glancing at the list, I bite my lip and sigh. Not enough time for that, not enough concentration for that, not enough enthusiasm for that, before I do that I have to do this. Between overwhelm and laziness, I succumb, self-offering certain possibilities for tomorrow.

On these strangely justifiable late weekday evenings, the mindlessness of Candy Crush is enthusiastically welcomed. It’s a wind down experience; a blanking, mind-numbing, pre-retiring near-necessity. After using all 5 immediately available plays, I smooth into another crush. This one involves cookies and pastries that thankfully don’t resemble reality. When those plays have dwindled, I flip back to the first crush, and back to the second crush, and back to the first crush. Until the next energy deposit is 20 minutes away and I have cruised past a decent bedtime for a responsible adult.

Somewhere in between, sometimes, some things get done. I’m not sure that the reason I don’t do these things is because I don’t want to do them. They’re on the list because I want to do them. I have plenty of time; not enough incentive. Plenty of responsibilities; not enough reasons for resistance.

First thing amid the disappointment of morning, the list is reappears. Contemplation, evaluation, reprioritization, recommitment: re-ordered as attainable tasks I aim to accomplish, today. I set the bar again, prepared to leap past it, though I fully expect the crush.

 

Quote for the Week:

The remedy for responsibility is candy crush

Enjoy this week’s Discovery Links

Crushing Demographics: http://www.mnn.com/money/sustainable-business-practices/blogs/candy-crush-saga-addiction-is-worth-millions

Hedonic Adaptation – No Pay for Play: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=science+of+brain+waves+during+acndy+crush&qpvt=science+of+brain+waves+during+acndy+crush&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid=3292BD8E7F5DD384DD333292BD8E7F5DD384DD33

Non-Addictive Stress Relief Games: http://stress.about.com/od/funandgames/tp/games.htm

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PS. EPS = Every Penny Spent, spreadsheet of where the money goes, and goes, and goes…

PSS. I don’t pay to play, never will.

Kind

Facebook requests come at me often. General inquiries aimed at anyone, mostly themed around the current child’s worlds.

I’ve never been an expert on children. I’ve never been an expert on anything, truly. I can only help out with bits and pieces from research and my own formulated impressions.

Personally, I’ve always objected to being labeled “nice.” For me, the word implies satisfactory, fine (acceptable), merely pleasant, nondescript, and definitely non-remarkable. Interestingly, the Merriam Webster definition of nice includes the word “kind.” I disagree, based on nothing more than self-derived semantics. The subtle difference is in the appointment.

Nice is surface: it’s how you behave when meeting a new person, politely with reservation. There is no investment in nice, no kindred-ship. Although, in most situations, the world and all its inhabitants, are a little easier to handle when everyone is “nice.”

But, kind…

Kind is deeper: it’s actually caring. Again, from Merriam Webster: showing a gentle nature and a desire to help others : wanting and liking to do good things and to bring happiness to others.

My interpretation and aspiration of kind is spiritually and/or physically drawing others near enough to determine what is needed, and providing it.  This is my problem. I want to invest… in everyone. And, depressingly, the number of people willing to be kind in return is extremely, extremely small.

I’ve lost the lead-by-demonstration battle so many times, and yet, I go at it again and again. It’s crucial to my existence. Not quite like breathing; more like inhaling deeply to oxygenate places unreached by shallow draws. It’s my expansion into the world; my Spirit Life; my Rise.

It runs a little low, at times. Periods of pull-back, of recoup, aren’t as uncommon as I’d like them to be. I am always drawn back, thanking Ephesians, the Dali Llama and Steve Earle for my repeated resurfacing.

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Quote for the Week:

kind fierce brave

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Enjoy this week’s discovery links:

Ephesians:  http://biblehub.com/ephesians/4-2.htm

Dalai Lama: http://dalailama.com/

Steve Earle. I’m the Other Kind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDors12JDlU

Kate Forsyth: http://www.kateforsyth.com.au/kates-blog