Zen and the Art of Squirrel – simplify

Life is too complex.
It is the complexity that we have added to or lives that make me want to scream on a rather regular basis.
Right now my life is rather simple, but it has taken a lot of work to get here.
I go to work in the morning; I leave at 7:30, every day.  I get to work at about ten to eight, every day.  I grab two shots of espresso and head upstairs to answer phones and enter orders, although there is some variance in this depending on vacations and who is sick.  The phones quiet down around noon so I eat some lunch.  I have a cheese sandwich and some form of fruit.  I go back to work and make sure that there is nothing pressing that needs to get done right away, everything else can be put on the orders for the next day.  I put a list together of who has an order, who it is being shipped with, which ones are drop ships, and who has a COD.  I put something witty on the bottom as a signature line.  Something like “Its turtles all the way down”, or “Goonies never say die!”  Then I go down to the production floor and I help them finish up. 
At some point after that it will become obvious that everything is going to make its way out the door and the world will keep turning for another day.  I check to see if there is anything pressing going on in the downstairs world.  I look at the clock, update my time sheet and I go home.
Every two weeks I get a direct deposit into my bank account.
Sometimes when I am upstairs I work on spreadsheets, research problems, make forms for QuickBooks, do graphic design, sometimes I have nothing to do.  I hate those times.
I don’t like clock milking.  If I don’t have anything to do I would rather be accomplishing something important like cutting firewood.  Going on a nature hike, writing about Zen and squirrels.
I have a degree.  I also know that I could get a job somewhere else if I put my mind to it.  I know I cannot do sales, that would involve talking to people, even worse, meeting people.  I may have to remember names, put names with faces.  Talk to people that I don’t already know everything I need to know about them.
I like my simple life.  I don’t need much.  I am actually gradually working on getting even less than I already have.
I would love a tiny house.  I think it would be perfect, a life refined down to only the things that you need right now.  If that does not seem like the way things will work I may try for a sailboat.  I would not even really need to go out sailing; I sleep better on a boat than I do anywhere else.
The hardest thing that I would have to part with if I got everything more refined down is books.  I am not sure how many books I could actually fit on a small boat or in a tiny house.  I really like my books, but I do not consider have a book case or two of books to be extravagant.
Having a large screen TV, that would be extravagant.
Last year, in an attempt to make the basement where I am living while I take care of the parents and make sure that they have things like heat, lawn mowing, and snow shoveling.  The decision was made to get rid of the old tube TV in the basement and replace it with a small flat screen.  It was not a big screen, I did not object.  The resulting TV has not been turned on in a few weeks.  I will admit that a few weeks ago, maybe towards the beginning of summer there was a show on PBS that I found interesting and watched down there.
It has not been touched since.
I bought a gaming console in an attempt to get my mother to use the exercise program that we had for it.  She was just getting her mobility back after a joint replacement and it was a low-impact exercise option.  She didn’t use it; I think I played one game on it.  It is still there.
I did use it for NetFlix for a while, it was good for that.  I ran out of Doctor Who episodes and the selection of science programming was lacking.  The BBC makes good programming, but they can only produce just so much.
If I had a sailboat I would not likely have a TV set.
There is a stereo system down there, hooked up with the TV and with all of the surround sound stuff and doo-dads.  It also has not been turned on in months, perhaps not yet this year.
I have a basic laptop computer, which I am working on right now.  The first thing that I did with it was to remove all the extemporaneous software that I am never going to use, and truly just find bothersome.  I have to run Windows 7 as a result.  None of the newer systems can survive the process.
I need to do basic things with what I have.  I like programs like Excel®, I can do spreadsheets.  I can write spreadsheets that show you amazing things, even ones that you can just paste a data set from another program into it and it will do all of the calculations for you on another page.  It doesn’t sound like much, but it makes sales analysis much easier.
I like beer, but not fancy beer.  When I am at the bar I generally go to I drink Old Style®.  When I am out of town I drink Grain Belt Premium®.  I have my three beers and I go home.  I happen to be sitting at a bar while I am writing this.  I ordered the beer before I started getting set up to write and I am roughly a thousand words in now.  I have not taken a sip yet.
People try to maintain multiple social media profiles through Instagram®, Facebook®, Twitter®, and etcetra.  I have a Twitter® that I send notifications out on.  I have a Facebook® for my cat so that in an emergency people can get a hold of me.
I don’t have a cell phone.  I found that despite my complete lack of communication skills the cell phone culture was actually making it worse.  I started paying attention to the way that people behaved when they are out and I discovered that people spend most of their lives glued to a screen.  It is appalling. 
I crushed my phone in a hydraulic press in protest.
People who know me know that they an call my home phone at a reasonable hour and I will be there, and if I am not there, then there is a decent chance I will get the message that they called.
I have had the same main email for about a decade.  It is a very simple email address and other than the amount of spam that I get I have yet to want to get rid of it.  I have a couple of gmail accounts, but I never read them.   There may also be some abandoned accounts; I believe I had a hotmail and a yahoo.  I have no idea if they are still functional.
I have only really talked to two people since I got here.  I got invited to one event that I am not going to be able to make, although it sounded fun.
I do a lot in my life and I want to do less.  I am working on it, but I have to be careful where I trim.  People already get weirded out when I tell them that I don’t have a cell phone and deleted my Facebook®.
“But how can I get a hold of you?”
Write me a letter….
I have not actually gotten a letter in years.
If you scroll through this blog there is a good possibility you can even find my address if anyone feels so inclined.
Copyright Jeff Harrison – 2015 all rights reserved

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