Consider the Source

>> Friday, October 31, 2008

What does the phrase "second-hand" bring to mind? Inferior? shabby? Does it elicit a certain yuck-factor?

How is it that used bookstores are a sought after haunt while thrifts stores such as Goodwill and Salvation Army remain forsaken outcasts? Most consumers remain uncomfortable or disconcerted with these options, choosing to purchase most or all of their needs new.

Whatever the reasons or stigmas you may have can be quickly overcome once you get that sought-after item for a fraction of the cost or free. Before organizing a pilgrimage to your local Target or Wal-mart consider purchasing used or scoring a freebie from Freecycle or Craigslist. Adopting gently owned items prevents them from becoming waste and saves costly production of equivalent new goods while conserving natural resources and protecting the environment.

Several of my recent large purchases have been from a local Goodwill. I still smile when I look at the vintage 4-poster pineapple-knobbed bed my son is sleeping in and wonder the provenance of the piece. Whose children before, dreamed in that bed? Why was such a worthy well-cared for treasure given up rather than bequeathed? Did the owner purchase an IKEA replacement? ;)

Here are some easy segues to get your feet wet purchasing pre-owned.

  • Most folk wouldn't hesitate to buy a used car-
Use the same approach to purchasing any other previously owned item. Research Consumer Reports, look online for the ratings and reviews of the model. Research the cost new or used and judge accordingly.

  • They don't make things the way they used to-
Case and point: go to a large metropolitan city and look up at the architecture. You will never see the craftsmanship of buildings like Yale being built today, for example. Cheaper mass-produced items just don't have the longevity and workmanship of grandma's bureau.

  • Support your neighbors- keep it local
I'm not going to launch into all-out, no-import campaign but consider the recent headlines
regarding newly minted toxic plastics from overseas and where they are sold. Nuf said.

  • Check out used books- Some folk like their books pristine while I find "marginalia" fascinating. The prices are a fraction of the huge on-line booksellers.
*Patronizing your Local book store is the best option
*Swaptree - free less the postage
* Bookins - trade and exchange books. Only cost is $4.49 shipping for any book.
* PaperBackSwap

  • Looking for household goods-
*Salvation Army

Why not value the heritage of not-new and buck the disposable society? Come on, be a trendsetter!


The Death Clock

>> Monday, October 27, 2008

Seeing the evidence of genius all around me, my own littleness fairly stared me in the face.
I. Beecher Stowe.

It appears that I will live to the ripe old age of 92 and my exact date of passing according to will be Monday, October 15, 2057. I have 1,545,880,244 seconds left to live... actually every time I reload the page the date changes but the year 2057 remains approximately the same.

Wow, 1,545,880,244 sounds like Bill Gates portfolio when converted to dollars but in time-travel it sounds fleeting. What am I going to do with those waning moments?

Some years back I started a "bucket-list" (before the movie was conceived). It consisted of a leather bound handcrafted journal that I received as a gift. I counted the pages and found 110 blank canvases. 110 things I wanted to create, learn, divine, accomplish in this lifetime.

It started humbly....

* Owning a house was a huge one after being an apartment dweller for all my life - check
*Purchasing an SUV - done
* Visiting Mexico - Si~
*Seeing the musical "Cats" - check
*Gaining a fluent foreign language - yup (fluent enough to get me into trouble)

The list goes on ...but why, then, the underlying grumble in life. What to do when you should be content with all you have but still the twinge of discontent wriggles in your stomach?
Still that twinkle....that "what's it all about", "is this all there is" feeling.

Are you doing all you can to remain true to your life goals and bucket list?

Are you selling short and selling out?

Here's how to remain steadfast in your efforts to stay due North.

First you must have a set of written goals
The mind is a terrible thing to count on and relying on memory will fail miserably. Even better is a goal board - a montage of visual cues to keep you reaching for the stars. Pull out some old magazines and start clipping.

Keep the list where you can see it daily.
I forgot this key factor and tucked my list into a drawer for safe keeping only to find a year had passed without being reminded of the things I wanted to accomplish; too easy to do in the day to day minutiae.

Work on one bullet point at a time
Big goals need concentration and effort. Perhaps you pride yourself on multi-tasking but it is far better to put your whole self into the task and revel in the awareness than to spread thin and lose the adventure. After all, your list is about the experience not about merely crossing off a to-do item.

Test your limits
you remember a time when you accomplished something you had never done before? What is the one thing you'd most like to change about the world? About yourself? What is the biggest fear in your life? What are you afraid of losing? Go beyond the comfort zone in your goal-setting; it's easy to buy an airline ticket to a villa in Tuscany. Far harder to visit an orphanage in the Ukraine.

Embrace Imperfection

Completing a marathon is noteworthy. So what if you didn't finish 1st or 101st, the fact that you crossed the finish line is admirable. Celebrate your success; the journey is the destination.

Find your Passion

When you discover something that makes time stand still or over which you lose track of the have found your passion. Even if you never got paid to do it you would continue.

Revisit your ideas of success and goals annually Our lives, values and priorities change and morph more than we would like to admit. Some of our ideas no longer hold a sparkle, while others vie for our attention as situations change.

Document the kudos and experience

Pictures, ephemera, memorabilia will give reflection in years to come and a benchmark of what you are able to achieve.

Tick, tock....come on! Only
1,545,876,644 seconds left..Times a-wasting~


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