new year, new shit
sorting through life's turds
The room was barely functioning.
Sure, I could walk through it.
There was still a spot on the step for me to sit and whittle.
Beside that though?
My 'workroom’ had become a dumping ground of endings.
Endings for me are messy.
Sure, I get shit done.
The shit that comes from the shit, or that’s needed in the doing of the shit?
It never gets put away.
It’s like I’m the kind of dude who eats healthy, takes care of himself, cleans the kitchen, makes a movement happen daily then never flushes the damn toilet.
My workroom was such a toilet.
Cleaners and wax from selling the car mingled and mixed with masonry tools from the flood repair. Fasteners from shed transformation were slopped on top of bike parts.
All were glazed with a piss of tools, balanced and sliding down every slimy stinking surface.
This wasn’t a toilet.
This was a sewage treatment plant - on which had lay dormant for months? Years? Who knew? I think it was in order back in 2020. Something big happened then and I cleaned. Shit has built up since then.
The task began three days ago. I started sorting stuff out. Tools went where they needed to go. Bits and bobs and oddities were sorted into keeping or chucking or cottage piles. This part was atrocious. Everything became really messy really quickly.
At the end of day one, I knew the floor was there. Somewhere. Based on the drawers on my tool chest, it was two feet below the crap line. And rising.
Despite the rising tide of turds, I felt somewhat relieved. The crap was getting sorted? I was sorting the crap. Liberty through shit sorting! I was living in a world where I no longer owned my shit, my shit owned me. Processing it all was messy. Knowing that I had the agency to take command made me feel like an un-bald, un-buff Mr Clean.
Day two I went deeper. I scoured tool chests, project piles, papers and paint cans. Things started flowing faster than a hippie’s ass after a mistaken ex-lax indulgence. Old plumbing crap were flushed away. Scraps from electrical projects kept ‘just in case’ became either recyclables or trash. With things flowing faster now, I finally had the momentum to attack the ‘oily dense turds’ of any workroom.
I have bins and bins of old screws and nails. Every project that I do, I end up buying new fasteners. These new ‘attachments’ - screws, nails, nuts, bolts and washers stick to me like seagull guano at a fishplant. Getting through the dense gunk of what to lose and what too keep took hours.
And? I did it. It took persistence though. So many of our attachments are threaded, piercing or have nasty, sharp unpredictable little pricks. By the end of the day, I felt like I’d shit a Christmas tree backwards - with the small end coming our first and things getting worse as it went along.
(Have you ever run a spruce twig through your hand? Running it one way the needles smooth out. When you go the other way though? That’s what this process felt like. Shitting fir boughs and going against the needles. [enjoy your breakfast and happy new year])
Today? I get to go and do the big stuff. I’m rearranging things to make it all move more efficiently. Today, I get to put this shit back together and see how it all works. Ideally I’ll have transformed this turd pile into well functioning soil to grow with.
Any change you make in your life will be a lot like this big basement clean up.
What changes are you making this year?
A note on the foolsletter / the direction for 2024
I’d like to welcome aboard a few new readers. Welcome aboard.
This thing that you’re reading?
It comes out daily. It is basically a first draft.
I attempt to re read it before publishing.
That sometimes doesn’t happen.
It won’t happen today.
On February 6th, this thing will be three years old.
And it hasn’t won the Kentucky Derby yet.
(there was joke there but it didn’t quite make it… more of just a ‘jo’ or a ‘ke’ but not a ‘joke’)
Things have been pretty random around here.
Much like my messy basement, I’m getting more focused.
November was focused on Men’s Mental health as Movember is focused on Men’s Health.
I’ll write exclusively about that in June which is not so much about prostate and testicular cancer. It’s the main men’s mental health month.
December was focused on brevity.
January? I plan on getting into the difficult stuff first. I’ve struggled to finish my book. With this in mind I’m going to spend most of the month taking some of the posts that found their way into the draft of ‘the book of wrong answers’.
It stands to reason that in the month that most people look forward, I’ll be looking back and revising chunks of text and releasing them here.
I have a few nanny posts and crow stories in the can as well. If you see one of them, You’ll know I’ve fallen behind on the revision train and pumped one of those out to buy myself some time and give my brain a rest.
That’ll be the months of ‘b-sides’. There, I’m going to go into the archives of drafts that didn’t make it or ideas that I held back on. In three years of writing daily, I have 194 drafts just on substack. I also have four boxes of index cards covered in really bad ideas. It’s time to take some of the stuff that didn’t make it here and see if there is any value there. The good stuff will live, the bad stuff will find the bin.
Lions and lambs.
I’m thinking this is going to be a ‘battle of the bands’ type of month. Here I’m going to have two different takes on something - one gentle, like a lamb while the other is a lion’s roar. Then? You guys can vote. It’ll be a Thunderdome of Blog posts. Two takes enter, one take leaves.
Fucked if I know… I have adhd - ADHD April maybe? Dunno. That’s a long way off and Kim Jonny Rocket man might nuke us all by then.
HAPPY NEW YEAR FOOLS
Big love and thank you for your time and attention.