Archive for February, 2017

Spring?

Today is set to be 60 degrees outside! That is crazy, especially for mid-February. This time of year comes with smells, sights and sounds that remind me that spring is coming. It’s such a nice time of year. I might like it because that’s when our birthdays are, or because it’s when things wake up, get nice out and is time to get outside again.

I doubt the warm weather will stay, but for now, we’ll enjoy the nice weather while it lasts.

Control

My son, who is 2, has discovered that he likes having control, like toddlers are wont to do. Once we get in bed, he frequently asks for water, snacks, a rinse of his pacifier or a complete pajama wardrobe change.

When we’re brushing our teeth, he takes over the brushing. If we’re flossing, he insists that he be the one to cut the floss, even if that results in using 3 yards of floss at once.

Getting him to do things takes on a whole new layer of complexity, especially when you want him to do things that aren’t on his regular schedule or have a time constraint.

Want to go to Target? You need to get dressed and out the door and into a car and all of those steps need to be his idea. If not, you can force it, but then you have a crying kid that is incredibly hard to manage from then on. Read On…

Repeated Accomplishment

I find that work is more satisfying when you can complete a task. Open ended assignments are tough to understand and need to be broken up into defined steps. 

The way to do this is through a backlog, work in progress and completed list. You work on things from your backlog, one at a time until they are complete. It’s so simple. Read On…

Adventure

I have made it a point to try and seek out adventure in life. To me, when you say adventure, it can initially sound like blindly hiking into the woods, or jumping out of a plane. But I think it can take on more dimensions than that. Adventure can be trying anything new or exploring.

That’s what buying a new house while selling your old one can feel like. It’s also what trying to set up your house while managing two kids and a household feels like. It’s what putting your house up for sale and not knowing how much interest it will garner feels like. Adventure is not really knowing what’s next but being open and anticipating it with open arms.  Read On…

Spend the Money

It took me years to finish all of the baseboard trim in our house, with the shoe molding. I’m perfectly capable of doing it and it looks great now that it’s done. But I spent a couple dozen brain cells over it and it wasn’t worth it. I should’ve spent the money and hired it done.

It took me awhile at first because Jess didn’t live with me at the time, so there was no constant pressure to complete it. Then, once we got married and she started to add it to my list, I would do a few pieces every night. There were a few key problems.

  1. I was hand-nailing, which with skinny trim nails, is very precarious. They can bend and give way before seating securely into the wall. This drove me crazy, until I was gifted an air compressor and nail-gun as I was about 95% complete.
  2. The walls and floor are nowhere near straight, level or plumb. Now I should have known most (all) houses are like this, but I didn’t. I was frustrated when a perfectly cut piece lined up with my other piece well, but left a large gap at the floor or along the wall, all because of the nature of the walls and floors. This drove me crazy.

Read On…

Consistent Investment

We had a staging consultant take a look at our house and give us ideas for how to best present it for sale. It was interesting. She had a lot of good tips about decluttering, how to take the best photos, how to light and how to lay out personal effects so the home looks inviting and not stark. She was impressed with our closet organization, so much so, that she took personal pictures of it to be able to show other clients.

The big takeaway for me was that throughout the 9 years living here, we have made consistent investments into how the home looks and how it’s maintained. It looks like every space has been upgraded and should sell relatively quickly. Once it is sold, we’ll have realized and recouped all of our invested time and money, and then some (hopefully). Read On…

How it Looks in Pictures

We had a staging consultant come over to give up tips and things to change before taking pictures or showing the house. Photos on tree listing are important for getting people to come look. Showings are important for getting people to make an offer.

The photos made or broke our perception of the houses we wanted to see. Every little detail adds up. 

Dave and Tim

We just bought tickets to see Dave and Tim this summer. I used to go to a lot of Dave Matthews shows but stopped after 2012 when we saw a particularly crappy show. I’m excited for this one because Dave and Tim play quiet, more acoustic music. A completely different experience than the full band, from what I’m told. It should be a lot of fun.

Evidence-Based

Consider the data. That’s how I try to treat many difficult situations in my life. Diet, exercise, productivity, relationships – all have data from somewhere that can help make difficult decisions easier.

I appreciate Dr. Greger’s evidence-based approach to diet. He changes his mind when the balance of evidence changes. I appreciate that he’s willing to walk something back based on evidence.

I rely on data to tell me what to do at work; where to spend my time and effort focusing to save the most energy. Anything less is a non-optimal use of my time, or, a waste. Read On…

Silence

I have been getting up early for over a year, and just recently added running a mile (or more) to my daily morning routine. It’s fantastic and I highly recommend it. But I usually take my phone along and thumb through youtube, email or twitter while I run.

Ever since I left my phone in the snow on a snowmobile ride, my phone has been reluctant to charge adequately overnight, so sometimes I wake up to a dead phone. My fitbit does the job of silent alarm, so I’m grateful for that. Read On…