Simplifying Life

Dropping Attachments

Hi, my name is Steve, and I’m a collector…

The proper response at this point is to say “Hi Steve”, and then we’ll get into our discussion – because identifying your issue is the first step to managing it;-)


I haven’t seen it as much of a problem…

Very few body-damaging effects, manageable time constraints, and some nice up-sides.

But still, as I’m learning to release attachments, I’m seeing some benefits.

The positives of holding on

Collectors do so because at one point an time, the collection of “whatever” came in handy.

In our basement growing up, we had the “work bench”. The work bench was a collection of tools, fasteners, and scraps of all sorts. Needed a wrench – it should be right there.

Wanted to build a little something? You could probably find a piece of wood and other stuff to do so – even a hinge to allow motion (and that hinge might have once worked on a kitchen cabinet door).

Don’t throw out my stuff!

And invariably there would come a day when a current project called for a triangular strip of wood – that you remember adding to the scrap wood pile a few months or years back.

Except the scrap wood pile is gone!

“Who moved my cheese!?!”

But the damage is done, that wood was burned in a fire last winter…  And you move on.

Where to put it

But at some point space becomes tight. The extra copy of the magazine that you thought the kids might like for school projects hasn’t been touched in years.

You’ve filled your allotted space…

Activities too

So you like Tennis?

And Golf?

And Hiking?

And Biking?

And Camping?

And Traveling?

And Pets?

And Gardening?

At some point the end of the week comes and you just don’t have any more time left.

Something’s gotta go…

Things I like

Here’s an interesting thought from the other day:

I had a great time doing X, but I’m all done for now.

Which is a whole lot less threatening than saying I’m quitting.  And certainly more definitive than:

I think I might like to do that (again) someday.

And even more so than collecting objects, I seem to enjoy collecting activities.  I like to try new things out and experiment in life – there isn’t much that I wouldn’t want to do or try in the future, it’s just that I can’t seem to fit more than 24hrs into a day…


And so with a little nudging from Zen Habits, I’ve been working to set aside some activities (and things), and simplify my life. And it is an interesting journey.

I’m not quitting cold turkey here, just taking a look at some of the things that seem to be filling up my physical, mental, and emotional life and saying – you know what – those were interesting and fun for their time, but I’m not really getting much out of that right now, and not likely to do whatever it is again soon…


Aren’t always what they seem.  Perhaps the memento from yesterday is holding some other significance…

At least thinking about mementos, and dealing with the space and time in a constructive manner is better than letting them sit around without contributing to current life.

So I was just wondering – What are you attached to?

One comment

  1. Mick says:

    Simplicity in not always easy but at the same time it is very important. I like ” if you can’t say something in 2 words, than you don’t understand it !

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