No More Stuff! George Carlin Understands

Mail SLot for Holidng Stuff

Mail Slot to Hold Stuff

I remember a book that I read in in kindergarten. Or first grade. But that’s not important.

The book was entitled The Man Who Didn’t Wash His Dishes and it’s by Phyllis Krasilovsky.

Full disclosure. I didn’t remember the title or author but found it on Amazon (Book Link). However, I do remember the basic plot.

The book begins with a man who has just finished eating. He puts the dishes in the sink. Rather than washing the dishes, he decides to do it later. Lo and behold, the next mealtime arrives, and he again puts his dishes in the sink. Once again, he delays doing the dishes.

This process of avoiding the dishes goes on for a few days. Ultimately, the man has no dishes left. He starts to use other items in his house as dishes. The dirty dishes pile up everywhere until his house gets overrun with dishes.

While I may have some of the details off (I forgot the ending till I saw the link on Amazon) this story had an impact me on me.

Some probably took away the helpful lesson of doing a task promptly rather than letting it grow and become overwhelming.  They are the types who do the dishes the second the meal is over.

That’s not me. However, I much prefer an empty sink.

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A Quest for Zero

It’s a long weekend.  I do love the Presidents. I’m sure many of you planned to go away for a few days, or maybe catch up on sleep, or spend quality time with friends, or handle something that you have been putting off. Me? I am on a quest for zero!

I am an organized person. Some might say compulsive.  They have not met my wife. Yes, we are an organized duo.  Anyway, I believe in drawers and closets.  A brilliant invention they were. (My wife is more of a “throw it away” person but this is not really about her.)

You see, I’m as a sentimental as the next guy. I have stuff that I want to keep (George Carlin had a great bit on stuff – but that does not mean it has to be scattered all over the place. Organization, neatness. Just saying these words brings me a sense of tranquility.

I get approximately 125 emails a day to my personal account. Truthfully, I never counted, but this seems right. Now, the majority of it is junk. SIDE NOTE: As children we were happy to get mail. Right? Now, it is mostly junk. Ten years ago, we were happy to get email. Now, it’s mostly junk. Prediction, soon, we will be saying the same text messages. Back to the point. While a good chunk of my email is junk, there are still plenty of emails which I feel a need to read and some of it needs to be read carefully and requires a thoughtful response.

With email there is an efficiency. You type it, you send it, and it’s received.  It is meant to be quick and an entire exchange can occur in just moments.

Now, some emails require me to ruminate. They are not of the yes/no, chocolate/vanilla, pizza/macaroni & cheese variety. In fact, sometimes I prefer to let an email sit in my inbox for a day, so I can truly consider my response whether it be of the thoughtful, heartfelt, or encouraging kind. I like to get the words as close as possible to the sentiment I am feeling.

Currently, I have 14 emails in my in inbox. Some have been there for months. The emails vary but generally, they are not of the type that I must respond to. Instead, most of them have information which I find practical and turn to with some regularity. So, I have kept them in my inbox. However, I am tired of seeing them there.

What, dare I dream, would it be like to have zero emails in my inbox? It’s the email version of a spotless house, a clear desk, a clutter-free mind. It’s the holy grail of organization. If it were an object, Indiana Jones would have gone searching for it.

Now, I recognize that this state of perfection may not last long as I get many emails a day. Still, zero is a goal worth having. Full disclosure — I have checked my email three times since I started writing this.

Anyway, I am a quest for zero. Those emails which I don’t really need? Delete. For the others, I have folders – emails version of closets. I can do it. I can get organized. While I would be happy to read your response to this post, just know the response won’t stay in my inbox long.