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Saturday, 06 May 2006



This rings so true with me, Shamash. When I started collecting things for my lifestylism project, I had this vague idea that if only we could align our lifestyle choices with our values, integrating the most important parts of our lives into one optimized, meaningful superlife...then everything would be all good. And it might be all good if you could pull it off, but I think it's impossible.

So many of our values (and goals) -- even core values -- are mutually exclusive. They can't be integrated. Instead, we're stuck deciding which ones we want to compromise on, which ones go on the backburner, and which ones get current attention. And life often intervenes to pull us in different directions, spreading us too thin even when we think we've got things set up pretty well.

A while back, I posted about a conversation I'd had with a friend at work. He wrote it up as his theory that you can only ever do two-and-a-half things well at any given time. I think of it often...I think he really nailed something there. It doesn't make it any easier to realize that we can't have all five lives, but it's good for those reflective moments when you're trying to figure things out.

Oh, and great post!


Jeremy: Thanks for the link to "2 1/2 Things Well". It's a great read, and a timely one for this discussion.


Wow, that was great to read. It makes me feel like telling you that you are a full-time human being. Even a writer has to stop and go pee and nourish her body. What rings out to me is that your inner being is so juicy and wants to experience so many things in this short lifetime that it wishes it had many lives.
I think we all must feel this way somehow. If I didn't have kids just think of the things I could be doing. At the same time, I think life tests us this way, making sure we're really up for all the great things our minds say we should be doing.
Anyhow, what do I know?
Keep writing!


You wouldn't believe how many times I've referred to this post in recent conversations -- it just captures something powerful about restlessness and the real limitations we face in a life full of choices and mobility and options.

"In giving a little here, a little there, every portion is half-assed."

I can sure relate to this feeling of being spread too thin. This is the dark side of trying to do too much in the live we're actually living in any moment. I suppose the alternative is to live a full, balanced life for a period of time, then uproot and start living the next one somewhere else, lining up great lives back to back in sequence...but I don't think it usually works that way, and might not be as satisfying as we'd hope.

I think this quote from Hugh Brody nails the dichotomy:

"We experience the lure of opportunity, keeping an eye open for where else we might better be able to do what we do. Each place seems right and wrong at the same time. Staying at home, having roots -- these are important sources of comfort and satisfaction and achievement. Moving on, making progress, wondering if we might prosper there rather than here -- these are necessary conditions both for many kinds of individual achievement and for the collective achievement of our social order. More than ever before, this order seems to depend on restlessness."

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