Monday, April 19, 2010

Every new beginning starts with an ending....

There have to be endings. Endings are like the spring-cleaning of life. I've got a mini-ending going on right now with my garage cleaning.

The garage had become a cluttered mess. It was still a good garage, and worked okay to put my cars in, but I was unhappy with its dirtiness, which seems to get progressively worse year after year. I knew I had two choices -- I could pick up the trash, and sweep the spaces where the cars actually sit, or I could deconstruct the entire garage, keep some things that I liked or were useful, throw out a bunch of things that are not useful, or will likely never be used again, clean everything thoroughly, and then reassemble what would essentially be a new garage. It would still have the same walls, ceiling and floor. And I'll keep the metal shelves and the battery charger. But the 1980's tennis rackets went into the trash, as did the ET poster and the wheelbarrow with a broken handle (which I was sure could be fixed some day). Of course, deciding what to get rid of is the toughest part of the whole job (except maybe carrying all those boxes of books -- amazing how heavy books can be!).

As an analogy, this works pretty well. Picking up trash or sweeping the floor is a lot like what I did when I made my last job move. It was like I drove home one day, and tracked a lot of mud into the garage, and I knew it needed to be taken care of, but I just wanted to opt for a superficial clean-up. So I shoveled out the mud, let it dry, swept out the residuals, and found myself back in the same old garage I had always been in. In this case, I traded one job for another of similar properties.

Now I'm engaged in the real spring cleaning. I've tossed a few items out already that were obvious (no more working for bosses again, at least not at public companies), and forget the rock star idea -- it just isn't going to work at age 47 (just like that wheelbarrow handle isn't going to get fixed). Now I'm down to some harder choices and I'm not sure what to throw out and what to keep.

One thing for sure is that this will be a much different looking garage when I'm done with it!

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