5 Feb 05

I am now putting the finishing touches on my conversion to an all-digital audio lifestyle. A couple months ago I sold half of my cd collection, leaving behind just what I thought were the essentials of my collection. The stuff I really enjoyed or that had some sentimental value. This morning I snuffed out the sentimentality and sold everything else. I am now down to The Photo Album (Trammell mangled the case when he was a puppy) and Achtung Baby (this was rejected by Second Spin due to a scuff mark). It feels good. I like seeing the empty cd tower to my left. Entropy is being reduced. If my house burned down tomorrow, I would have a couple hundred fewer things to report to the insurance investigator. The DVDs will be next, although that will certainly involve some Mary persuasion. In the mean time, one of these days I’m going to have to get around to actually learning how to use my ipod.

What does this fire sale really have to do with anything? Well, probably nothing, but I’m going to play philosophical and make the leap anyway. I’ll start by saying that I rarely watch movies. Rarely meaning that, outside of work, the last movie I saw in a theatre was Elf over a year ago. Lately though, thanks to the marvels of bittorrent, I’ve been perusing a few more. As I think back to the movies I’ve watched over the past weeks, from great (Million Dollar Baby) to ridiculous (Without a Paddle), it strikes me that for the most part they’ve all had the same message.

You’re life will be defined by how you spend your time. If you’ve lived with heart/love/dreams, no matter what happens, your life was well-lived.

Mary teased me on the day we were due to sign for our new property when, after watching Without a Paddle, I nearly had a breakdown. What if instead of spending that money on dirt and trees we used it to travel the world? Why buy an acre when you can see continents? I got over that dilemma and have no regrets about our purchase, but I think the question was appropriate despite the absurd link to Dax, Seth Green, and that guy who played Shaggy in Scooby Doo. Why should I have $600 worth of cds sitting on my shelf when I could use that money to finally buy that kayak I want or to zip out Joshua Tree again? Or to do anything. When I’m eighty I’m sure I won’t remember what GameCube games I played this year, but without a doubt I’ll remember the week spent backpacking in Arizona.

If I were paralyzed from the neck down today would I look back and know that I did what I was supposed to with my life? Have I lived passionately for my dreams? To use a football cliche, did I leave everything on the field? Maybe. Definitely not all the time. But there have been significant periods where I felt at peace with how things were going. I don’t think I’ve found the X on the treasure map yet, but at least I’m getting closer to locating the map.

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