Blog Post No. 482
There’s a George Carlin routine that I remember from time to time. In general he was a funny and insightful guy (though I don’t think it was a perfect genius like some folks do). Either way, the joke was about stuff. How people surround themselves with the objects they buy and when they go somewhere, they need a place to put it all. It’s an concept that I’ve dealt with for most of my life.
I try to not be a materialistic person, but I totally recognize the drive to consume that I have deep in my psyche. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been more able to see it and not let it control me (for my future retirement’s sake). With that in mind, I’ve always felt the need to build a sort of home base and settle into the space.
With writing, it’s obvious in the pens I keep in my backpack at all times. Not just the nice set of blue, black, and red Parker Jotters, but a bundle of less special pens, even though I mostly write on the computer now (I was sadly limited when I wrote exclusively by hand). My backpack is also full of extra cables, two notebooks, paperclips, a phone charger, and a hundred other things that I may only need to use once, but can’t help but bring with me everywhere I go.
Lately, I’ve been trying to travel light since I disinfect everything when I get home from the day job. That means no more backpack, but you’d better believe that my pockets are full (including the cargo pockets). Back when I was in grade school and fanny packs were new and exciting, I thought they were the solution to a problem I never had. I wore one every day. It was stuffed with my wallet, keys, and who knows what else a kid thinks is important. I got some flack on the playground for it, but at the time, I thought that I was ahead of the curve, ready for whatever came at me.
In video games, if there is any kind of building component, that’s what I spend most of my time doing. A game I like to play semi-regularly is Minecraft (a fun game that some hard core gamers like to look down on). It’s a good game for zoning out and focusing on made-up busy work. There is a surprising depth to the game with other worlds that can only be accessed in specific ways and an actual ending, but in all the years I’ve been poking around in those virtual worlds, I’ve never gotten beyond building bases.
I get a little obsessed with organizing and setting up a perfect, whatever. Desk, room, vehicle, backpack. I’ll spend hours planning these things and more. Sometimes I think it’s a sign of something. Like a fear of moving forward (or my trouble with starting). Maybe it has something to do with not wanting to try in case I fail? Though, it could be no deeper than liking things to be in their place. It’s not like I never make progress. I’ve managed to write a few books. I just like to feel prepared.
It’s like how I love planning for trips. The trip itself is often nice, and I tend to overpack, but feeling prepared makes things that much nicer. It makes the journey part of the positive experience. I’m not sure what I expected to get out of this post (or for you to get out of it) but it’s an idea I’ve had for a while and I felt it warranted some reflection. Maybe it’s related to all the work I still have to do with Snow? I’d better get back to that. Maybe I’ll be far enough along to post an update next week.