Friday, April 1, 2011


IN an attempt to keep up with customer demand, The Editorial Committee for this blog has instituted a new feature. (This has been done after consultation with Bear, whose blog this is.)

Henceforth, the new feature, "Answers Department," will respond to the pressing concerns of you, our gentle readers. It is one more free service which we provide. (And it may be worth exactly what you have paid for it.)

Lydia, of Clutterquake, in response to Bear's blog item "Focused," asks: "Oh, Rob-bear, do tell the secrets to this editing of one's life."

Bear replies.

Thank you for your question, Lydia.

One has to be fairly intentional about this process. Not to the point of being brutal, but to the point of being thoughtful.

It's all a matter of knowing yourself. What motivates you? What brings joy, and animation, and pleasure to your life? Which relationships help you to grow; which relationships burden or shrivel you?

When we are younger, we tend to have more energy to life. As we age, we have less energy, but we become more focused. It is important to remember that.

So pick the items in your life which are most important. I suggest somewhere between half a dozen and a dozen. For me, it's things like my relationships with my family and friends, followed by health care ethics, animal ethics, poverty, homelessness, health, politics, and Celtic Christian spirituality. Choosing those key topics or areas is the crucial part.

Then see how much space you really have for these items. Or how much time you have for keeping up with people.

I'll start with the paper-related, or material items.

After choosing the specific topics or themes, anything that doesn't fit in one of those topics become trash or recyclable. Paper is recycled (re-used first, don't waste one side of a page). Other physical items can be recycled through the Salvation Army, or a local Thrift or Goodwill stores.

Once you've got all that done, file the materials in the pre-determined space. If it doesn't fit, repeat this step until the material does fit the pre-allocated space.

Then, in another six months, go back to the material, noting what's there and what you've added. What is still important in these areas — meaning what is worth keeping? Re-edit the files. (No, it won't take nearly as long as the first time.)

This applies not only to paper and other materials. It applies to work, hobbies, relationships, and the like. It may be easiest to start the process with the reflection and action related to paper and other materials. But different course of action, following the same principles, may work better for other people.

Hope this helps. If it does, you might want to share it with your readers.

Blessings and Bear hugs.



Natalie said...

Thanks, Bear. I thought that was well answered. ♥

Rob-bear said...

® Natalie: I had hoped I got it right. Thanks.
Are a lot of things are changing in my thinking right now. I'm "flying by the seat of my pants." (That's an old flying expression from the "Barnstorming" days of flight in Canada/North America. My dad's commercial pilot's licence in Canada was #101.)
I think that, in more ways than I realized, I'm my father's son — particulaly in terms of being on the "leading edge" of things (another flying expression).

cheshire wife said...

Oh dear Rob, I go AWOL for a couple of weeks and the world changes. I hope that you have made the right decision to part with Miss Sadie and move home. Miss Sadie seems to have gone to a good home which must be the main consideration and I am sure that an apartment will be easier for you, once you have got over the upheaval of moving.

I know that we will not be able to live in this cottage for ever. Even if we can manage the stairs one day the garden will be too big for us and it will be time to move on. Until then we shall enjoy living here.

Rob-bear said...

® CW: Well, I go AWOL for a couple of weeks and the world changes.

Don't worry; this is just a conspiracy to keep you interested in the world, while you're battling M&S. (Congrats on the win, btw!)

And Miss Sadie is doing just fine!

You understand exactly what's happening, and that it will happen to you, too. A healthy perspective on life. Good for you!

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Elisabeth said...

Well Rob Bear, I appreciate these thoughts but I have trouble;e imagining how I might implement them. It's worth a try though.

Rob-bear said...

Elizabeth: Ah, yes.

Well, A journey of a thousand miles began with a single step. ~ Lao Tzu

Perhaps the way of starting is to ask of yourself, "How important is this," whenever you think of something or touch something." It's just a practice exercise. But, as the Greeks observed, "Practice is everything."

Anonymous said...

After reading your article, I realized I don't "organize" I just lose things and forget where they are. So far, I'm not the only one. Ever since we moved...Joe can't find his false teeth.

Diana said...

I love this answer Bear! A sound and logical way to approach life in general. Love Di ♥

Wendy said...

Sounds like a wise strategy at any stage of life.

Rosaria Williams said...

Bear, you're on a roll, eh, a roar!

Rob-bear said...

® dana: You don't lose things. You simply place them in an alternate location, but have trouble remember which alternate location that is.

® Diana and Wendy: Thank you for your kind thoughts shared.

® rosaria: Not a roar, a roll. Lying on your back in the grass, rolling and wriggling around, makes for a wonderful back scratch, and helps get rid of an accumulation of fur. Besides, roaring is ill-mannered; we don't want to scare everyone off.

Rob-bear said...

® Diana: HI. I'm asking a favour here. Could you please send your e-mail address to my e-mail address. (Yes, I know; it's a bit weird.) Problem is I'm having some difficulties maintaining contact with your blog, and I thought you might be able to help me figure out the problem. Thanks.

My e-mail address is on my profile page.

kj said...

aha! i have arrived at the blog of a wise man. thank you for your visit to mine. you made me laugh. fyi, i don't just highlight rear ends. sometimes i give advice too :)


Rob-bear said...

My advice would be that, since you do such a good job on rear ends. you've got nowhere to go but up. Go for it!