On Matters of Small Yet Inflamed Importance

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Do you ever have times in your life where you’re preoccupied with nothing but minutiae? Maybe it’s tax season and I’m thick in the middle of preparing mine — I’m surrounded by forms and receipts and spreadsheets, ugh — but lately I’m going through one of those phases where all I notice are details, dates, dress codes, tiny repairs around the house, and various other kinds of nitty-gritty — and I don’t really see the patterns or big picture. It’s a strange way to exist, and it makes my thoughts similarly higgledy-piggledy. And you know, semi-neurotic: definitely feeling more so these days. All I’m capable of are random thoughts these past few weeks. Like:

Taking the Idea of the Photographic Memory A Bit Too Far?

I enjoy taking pictures on my iPhone of loved ones and families, as well as the usual artsy shot. But I also take the pictures of the weirdest things with my iPhone. I take pictures of recipes in magazines so that when I go to the store, I can shop for the ingredients. I take pictures of my outfits so I can remember what looked okay on me. I take pictures of nutritional information on foods, just because. I take pictures of random things in stores I want to buy later when they’re on sale. I take pictures of inspirational thoughts, ideas, product mentions and such in magazines that I read at the gym when I’m on the stationary bike. It is the weirdest habit. Sometimes I wonder if this is warping my memory and brain in some way, like I’m not exercising my memory enough. And you know, if I was in an accident and somebody looked through my camera roll, what kind of person would I appear to be to them? It’s really crazy how having a good camera in your phone really changes your habits.

Closet Cleanout Madness

One night over the weekend I was feeling agitated about my closet. I would open it and just emit this little “Pfffft!” of disgust, like I had too much stuff but nothing satisfied me and I had nothing to wear. This is ridiculous thinking: I have plenty to wear, and my closet is tiny. But just looking at everything chafed, if you know what I mean. Then I realized: there’s still tons of winter clothes in there. I’ve talked before about cleaning out my closet and the strangely Zen peace it brought me — the evolving approach is that you have to edit your closet regularly to keep your sartorial equilibrium, and keep it up with the seasons. It’s like digital clutter — you just have to tackle it.

And so I took out and stored all my winter things, then rearranged and re-sorted what’s left by item type and color. I felt better, like I had done my small part in banishing this over-long winter. But I was still bugged out, so I took out all the more fun, frivolous, playful things and gave them their own space off to the side, like, “Hey hot pink dresses and polka dot tops! I like you, but you’re just the spices in the pantry that is my wardrobe.” And suddenly everything was better, like I had a clearer sense of what was in front of me and who I was, fashion-speaking; I didn’t feel those weird spasms of guilt and obligation that a poorly organized closet can subtly instill in you. And I felt less of that “itch to shop just because you can’t deal with your closet” feeling. Sounds ridiculous, but when your mind is just bits and pieces, arranging bits and pieces is a nice tonic.

My Rave-Inspired Workout

I used to go to raves in college (it was the 90s!) and so I naturally enjoy these Kinect dance games. This is my workout. Work on this about 5x in a row and you will feel it. It’s embarrassing how much I enjoy this and how dedicated I am to nailing five gold stars. I can get five stars pretty easily, but the gold ones are pretty special:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5mCcYoW3uQ

Also this one — it has cool Michael Jackson-style moves:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxwLsx02cF4

And this one just because it’s ridiculous and hard:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtFDI9uzIYk

Funnily enough, the more complex routines soothe my mind a bit more than the easier ones. You have to focus and pay pretty close attention to get the moves precisely right (especially in Dance Central, which is a lot harder to get a good score on), but when you do, it’s sooooo satisfying. You nail it, you get to that little oasis of pleasure and accomplishment for just a few second — and then it’s onto the next routine.

Stable Shopping

I am looking into stables in the area to start riding again in the spring time (my treat to myself for finishing my freckin’ taxes), and it’s giving me an identity crisis when it comes to equitation — should I just do pleasure riding? Dressage? Learn hunt seat and jumping? If there was ever a discipline concerned with fine details and minutiae, it’s riding horses. It makes for very boring yet urgent thoughts that no one else but your fellow riders can understand. But! Horses! It’s nice being around animals; they can’t really overthink things like humans do. I should really pick this up from them, no? I just need to jump on top of a horse and chill the hell out.

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