The Tool Cleaning Phase

An Odd Lesson Learned From The Great Culling and Sorting

“Don’t wanna live as an untold story
Rather go out in a blaze of glory
I can’t hear you, I don’t fear you”

— The Struts, Could Have Been Me

With a new place came the chance to reorganize a whole lotta my stuff, and my life.  Obviously, reorganizing stuff is considerably easier than reorganizing my life.  Along the way, I sort of learned something.

I actually hadn’t planned on doing as much cleaning of my stuff as I did.  Originally, it was going to be a matter of getting all my stuff in there, organize it a bit, and get back to work as quickly as possible.  Murphy’s Law had something to say about that – I ordered Internet access though Cox, and it was going to be a week before I was installed.  That’s a bit of a problem.  So, I heads up my customer base, and used my laptop as emergency access for a while.  (Side note:  I’m thinking I’m going to be purchasing a MacBook Pro, and a 5k screen that Apple is going to be releasing soon.  The screen is special, because it contains an external GPU, allowing the laptops to have nearly as much 3D graphics power as most desktop machines.  In theory,  but it would solve the”development desktop machine” -vs- crappy laptop problem.)

So, I set about pulling everything out of my tool cases (I own 6), and be an hunting down all the tools that were hidden in boxes that weren’t toolboxes.  Then, I created two sets of tools: one set of cases exist in my closet, which includes a full set of hand tools and power tools.  The other two cases exist in my car (one needs replaced, it’s gotten that beat up.). That way, of got what I need handy at home, but also have a set ready when people call me to help them out with one thing or another thing.

Then all those boxes that had random tools in them?  Those got pulled out, and reorganized.  And a whole lotta stuff tossed in the trash.  I still have three “random stuff” boxes to deal with at one point, but it’s a lot better than it was.

Of course, there was also the other cleaning and arranging stuff that happened  – I’ll get into that with another blog post (with pictures 🙂 tomorrow or the next day.

After net access was restored, I dug into work.  Then I got a call about a possible part time job – it is need to be able to fill out an I9 proof of citizen ship.  It’s been so long since I’ve had to fill out paperwork for a new job, I didn’t now that was a thing.  Such lead to a problem – sure, I had a driver’s license, but couldn’t find anything from the rest of the list of things they wanted, like a birth certificate or social security card.

That set off the next round of cleaning and organizing – my files.  I have spotty records that date all the way back into the mid 90’s – but it could best be described as an eclectic set of records.  Speeding tickets, court records, taxes from part of my life (but with gaps), old credit card offers, old bank statements (unopened), divorce papers (two sets.  Oddly, can’t find my letter from President Obama about second wedding), foreclosure papers from my first house, old electric bills, magazines, etc.  lots of this didn’t belong in the four drawer filing system I have.  So, I ditched a butt load of it.

The process was sort of painful.  There’s so much history in those files, even with the big gaps in them.  But, I figured while I was looking for a birth certificate or social security card (which was never found – ends up, a copy of my birth certificate was in dad’s safe), it just made sense to clean a lot of that crap out.  Obviously, old bills and credit card offers provide no advantage to being saved, along with quite a few other things.  Sure, court records, taxes, and stuff like that still needed to be kept around, but the rest of it could go.

I slowly and meticulously started ditching things into a burn pile, and sorting all the keeper stuff.

Now, if you’re wondering how this all sums up into a lesson… I consider myself to be a loser.  Anyone who knows me well know that, and while I fight to try and pull myself up and away from such a position in life, I still feel like I’m there.  Compound that with also feeling like I’m fat and unattractive, among other things, and you get a good picture of where I’m at.

Disproving the fat and unattractive things seems to have become sort of mission of something’s somewhere;  I’ve had a number of instances where I’ve been reminded that my opinion of my personal appearance isn’t necessarily shared by everyone else.  Those aren’t stories I’ll tell, but, it’s a reminder to me.  I’m still not happy with myself, particularly after seeing myself in on screen after having ICT ComicCon recorded (too bad the audio didn’t come out – it was a good speech) – but, it also doesn’t mean I’m unattractive.  (Speaking of not happy with myself:  tomorrow starts daily progress pictures for workouts.  Not looking forward to that part, but it’s good motivation.)

That just leaves feeling like a loser in the other aspects of my life.  But, digging through all that made me have to relive some of those times.

Here’s the thing:  I’ve taken some big losses in life.  But, it’s because I throw in big pots when I bet.  I don’t make many small bets – and, when I do make small bets, I usually win those.  But, I’ve taken the big risks quite a few times, and while I haven’t won many (or, haven’t won them at the level of payoff I wanted), by no means did I lose every bet I made.  In fact, add all of them together, usually I won more than I lost.  And I’m still going.  The winnings from a couple of bets often got wiped out from one of the big loses.  Sometimes I bet with a partner – and the partner let me down.  Sometimes I doubled down, and managed to lose pretty much everything I had.

But, I’m still making bets.  Some of them by myself, and some of them with others.  Thing is:  you’ll never have big wins without big bets.  Right now, I’ve got a startup company and a game company I’m making big bets on again – and, with the later, I’ve doubled down by throwing the Kansas Game Developers’ Association on my plate.  That could act as a drag on my time and finances, or it could act as a multiplier for my efforts.

By no means am I a loser.  I’ve had losses.  Considering I’m still going, and still making bets, it means I never ran out of opportunities.  I never found myself at the end.  Sometimes it took a while, but I’d get back up, and start making bets again, starting with the small bets where I’d at least eventually get to the point of paying bills, and financing the next big bet.  Of course, not all big bets are about money – relationships, for instance, aren’t about money (well, in theory – I know there are those who are more focused on the money aspect, but I’ve been lucky in that respect.)

But, the things I regret?  It’s the bets I didn’t make.  There’s only a couple of them here and there that I wanted to make, and didn’t.  I don’t dwell on them – heck, until digging through my history, I had forgotten most of them.

I once had a female tell me that my losses were attractive, because I don’t hide them:  I embrace them, and accept them as part of me.  After The Great Culling and Sorting, I’ve realized I’ve embraced them, sure, but I forgot to embrace the successes too.  And, maybe I embraced those losses a little too tightly – time to burn some of those suckers, and let ’em float away as smoke. ‘Cause, in the net balance of my life, ends up I’m not in the red.  My life has been firmly in the black – even if not always financially – and I never bothered to notice.  “Could Have Been Me” is one of my various mantra songs, and very rarely can I look at a situation and say “that could have been me.”  Usually, it’s more like “Been there, done that, got the TShirt.”

It’s not the first time I’ve come to the conclusion I’m not a loser.  And, I’ll probably lose sight of that fact again sometime in the future.  If I do, someone point this post out to me 😉


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