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Themes on Repeat

Updated: Feb 12, 2020

Episode 1 of the podcast ends with a short segment of repeated themes, stuff you will hear often in the show. I now wish I had held those themes to now. After recording 14 episodes plus minicasts, there were more repeats than I anticipated. Plus, this way I can add themes as I recognize them. (Besides, if I told Ryan I wanted to re-do the intro episode—ha! In the spirit of living and learning, however, if I was starting this ‘cast today knowing what I know now, I’d record the intro episode last.)

Time is limited.

We often think we can accomplish more tasks than we can because we forget about time. Lots of life administration seems easy, and much of it is not difficult, but that does not mean it is intuitive or instant. It involves lots of individual tasks and coordination of those tasks. Both the learning how to do the tasks and the doing of the tasks take time. We tend to underestimate time. For instance, we might forget to count travel time for an errand even though we cannot teleport instantly to and from the dry cleaners or the grocery. (And then, of course, there's the time to unload and put away). We also neglect to add time up. Your day's to do list might have a bunch of little tasks, which seem easy to get done, but when you add up the time for each task, it becomes clear that you have a week's worth of to dos that you expect yourself to get done in a single day.

Life is Local

Most of life is lived in your home and your neighborhood. Whether we are discussing comfortable bedrooms or city politics, you are generally going to get more results for your efforts if you focus locally.

Life has learning curves

Life administration stuff isn’t instinctive. That is not to say it is hard, only that it needs to be learned. And since most of it is practical skill, the learning involves practice. You won’t likely get this stuff right the first time, or even the second and over time you will learn new and sometimes better methods. Give yourself time for practice to work.

Perfection isn’t a realistic standard.

Aiming for perfect is laudable. Expecting to achieve perfect is a set up for failure. For example, in the Real Environmentalism episode we discuss the problem of single use plastic and recommend avoiding it. But you can go though my house and find a bunch. I have a goal to phase it out, and I do better with it week by week but I still have some. Progress should be your goal. Expecting instant achievement leads to frustration and then exhaustion. Merely aiming for perfection gets you closer each time you try.

You live, you learn.

This theme is related to learning curves and perfection frustration, above, but it is more about an attitude towards life. Recognize, use, failures and frustrations as lessons. It’s a little mental edit with a snowballing impact.

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