For those of you who aren't familiar with this English idiom, keeping things "on the back burner" is another way of having a task or project that's on a rather lower priority. Or at least that's how I end up using it.
I've talked before about procrastination, which Tony Robbins aptly calls "the silent killer". In my experience, procrastination is not an uncommon theme with pack rats. And I don't just mean putting off the decluttering. One of the biggest reasons for keeping things that aren't really needed is the concept of "someday". I think I've come to hate that word. Look through the items of a hoarder, and you'll quickly find something that's being saved for something they'll swear they'll find a specific future use for. It's certainly not the sole reason why some people are pack rats, but I'd say it's more often than not a big one, and like I've said, I've already talked about it here.
When you finally get something done that you've been putting off since forever, it's quite rewarding. Some recent tasks I've done:
- Setting up the wireless server. When I moved in to my current apartment, the cable/internet provider also gave me a wireless router so that I could have wireless in my home. Needless to say, I never got it set up. I guess in my mind (and in my wife's mind too), it was presumably going to be a long and tedious process that would also take up more room that we didn't have. Well, I finally went ahead and did it. And now I'm wondering why the hell I didn't do it sooner! If you're in this situation yourself, go ahead and do it tonight. Just follow the directions they give you. You'll be proud that you did.
- Upgrading memory on my laptop. This is something I'd try doing off an on for the past few years, ever since I bought the Mac laptop used from somebody on CraigsList. Trying to find just the right memory card that would actually work, was a total pain the ass. I'd find one at Best Buy, then have to return it because it didn't work. I'd meet out with somebody on CraigsList who had one, only to find out there that it didn't work when I tried it at their home.
Finally, I asked a local computer store. It was already a minute or two past closing time, but they had one. The manager reluctantly said that he wasn't 100% sure if it would work, and that if I had to return it, it would be for store credit only. But I brought it home, installed it, and...it worked! I've now maxed out the RAM in this thing. It didn't resolve the problem that I thought it was going to resolve, but now I at least don't have the memory quesiton hanging over my head! And it sure beats breaking down and dropping some insane amount of money at the Apple store.
- Fixed the iPod. A couple of months I tried using my iPod as an external hard drive to back up some stuff. It wasn't really going the way I wanted to, so I tried cancelling the process, and ended up corrupting a folder. Long story short: the iPod still worked, but I couldn't get my computer to recognize it and add the newer music I had bought. I read everything I could find on-line, trying countless different things.
(On a side note, I swear that this is one of the biggest things that separates an alleged computer expert from somebody who claims to be a computer illiterate: the geek actually takes the time to read the help files, search the web, etc. to see if he or she can find an answer to the problem at hand. 99% of the time, this strategy works. Really. )
At some point I did get it to work the way I wanted to, but shortly after ran into the problem again. Finally, I tried working at it again using advice I found from a YouTube clip. And now, all is well. That makes another several hundred dollars saved by not paying Apple to fix it or give me something new!
- Breaking out the Carribean coffee. A few weeks ago I went on a cruise, which included a stop in Jamaica. I got to taste some really excellent Jamaican coffee there, and bought a pound or two at a fraction of the cost of what I would have to pay back in the states. I broke down and bought a coffee press.
- Bought the new Van Halen release. Hell yes! And I'm glad I didn't settle for the digital download, but went all out and got the CD/DVD set. Ah, printed lyrics...a former norm that is becoming such a nice novelty these days.
- Dusting, moving, cleaning. I'm starting to wonder if there are such things as dust pixies which magically leave thick dust in my bedroom when I'm away at work. Because I'm baffled as to why there's so much dust. I really don't get it. I run an air filter too. Is it just a matter of doing it every day, or what? But dust, I did. I dusted. And dusted. And dusted. Then moved furniture and dusted some more.
- Book cases and bureaus. At this stage, I'd say my ultimate goal is to get the remaining stuff off the floor. This invovled getting a new book shelf, rearranging the living room set up (which of course is easier to do when you've already managed to clear away a lot of the clutter, otherwise it's impossible), a trip to the trift store (unfortunately closed), a trip to Target (which didn't have what we were looking for), a trip to Big Lots (which DID have a cheap book shelf I bought and screwed together -- despite the fact that the directions had something printed wrong), and a trip to the in-laws to pick up a much needed bureau. Busy day. My only regret is not taking enough "before" pictures.