Peeling off the lamination


"It's not fun until it's laminated"

A funny thing happened on the way to this blog. We got downsized. Or more precisely, “laid off.”

Hang on while I back up a bit.

Last fall, I started writing posts for a blog I was calling Comfortable Urgency. (Don’t try to Goggle it; it never got out of my Microsoft Word files.) It was supposed to be about two broad, dovetailing themes in our family life:

  • Downsizing efforts planned to coordinate with
  • Sam’s departure for college in the fall of 2011.

Using one of those online calendar tools ( , I calculated the number of days until the Self Contained Unit departs for some as yet unknown ivory tower or urban tenement. Six hundred eighty-five days: 6-8-5. That’s what we were working with at the time of the first blog. And here’s what I had planned to chronicle in that time frame:

  • Getting square with the world.
  • Keeping Sam’s college application process sane.
  • Organizing Everything/
  • Downsizing the wretched excess.
  • Having fun.

Yep. A tidy little laminated plan.

On November 2nd, The Man screwed Paul. And my tidy plan.

Oh, the hubris, a.k.a.: Don’t you just hate it when life bites you in the ass?

But what the hell, you can’t cry. You can’t moan and wail or even wring your hands…for too long. And you certainly can’t tell your child who has done Everything Right to forget that whole middle-class-birthright-four-year-college-of-your-choice thing.

What you can do is rename your blog. Hence:

process not product

Comfortable? Yeah, that’s gone. And ur-gen-cy remains in everything we do; it’s just not baked into the title.

We are committed to a less-is-more ethos, not merely because of our evolving circumstances, but because living more consciously is less wasteful, more efficient and more egalitarian. It should be what’s normal not what’s  fashionable.

So really, there’s absolutely nothing in my plan that needs to change. Downsizing, organizing, staying sane: check, check and big hopeful check.

And having fun? That plan started well, long ago. Marry best friend, employ village to raise a great kid (thanks village!), ride bike, use library: check to all that.

I guess it really all goes to expectations. Life, planning; being here, getting there.  I’d like a plan. I am the kind of person who needs a plan. I just won’t always need to laminate the plan.

(Today’s calculation until The Downsizing? 524 days, which feels pretty darn urgent.)


One Response to “Peeling off the lamination”

  1. Sean Says:

    I love this entry, though it is difficult to stifle my revenge fantasies over the Man. Where’s my katana? Stifle, Sean, stifle.

    The thing about lamination though, it’s like paint. You can always smack another layer on top. And then it’s fun again.

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