Thursday, July 02, 2009


I have started reading Julie Morgenstern’s book, “SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life.” It has been an interesting read so far. The book asks the question when faced with a desire to change or a change brought on externally, how can a person ease the transition? The book is organized around three clutter points of entry including physical, schedule and habit. The SHED acronym is based on Separate the treasures, Heaving the trash, Embrace your [Insert Theme Here], and Drive yourself forward.

My own impetus for starting down this road was based on the 100 Thing Challenge post, I mentioned earlier. When examining my life, we have just had a second child, my work has become stagnant, and my hobbies are expanding. All of these have forced me to ask myself in Morgenstern’s terms, “Who am I without my stuff?” My answer is simply put on my blog description as “A thirty-something family man who escapes cubicle land every now and again for recreational sports and casino gambling.” However when asked the question what would I like, I answered “Supporting my family with time and financial means through mathematical analysis work while taking time for adventure sports and travel.” My theme is “Active Husband and Father.”

Under this backdrop, I have started the SHED process with a physical point of entry. I identified 350 articles of clothing and plan to reduce that amount so that things are easier to find and there is room for athletic gear. I found a few treasures in the form of logo knit shirts, but most of the memories are tied to single life which was not that glamorous. I am ready to heave the party clothes, but will keep a few items.

I had subconsciously started the heave process with schedule clutter. We have enlisted house cleaning and lawn help which opens up several hours per week. I feel it is important for me to do laundry and help put the girls to bed. Also I have tried to carve out time for triathlon training.

Habits have been a little tougher to inventory. I did not fall into any of the obvious categories such as workaholic, procrastinator, chronic lateness, or perfectionist. I do fall prey to mindless habits of watching television and internet surfing. At times that mindless habit had consumed 15-20 hours per week. I have dialed it down primarily due to an 8:00 PM hard stop based on getting the girls bathed and put to bed.

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