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Mold and The Law

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My house is moldy and Parkinson’s Law is mostly responsible. If you’re not familiar, the Law is usually spelled out like this: “The time required for a task expands to fill the time available for its completion.” It works for money too.

So when you’ve settled into a schedule filled with recurring tasks, they each have a tendency to expand until they press up against the next one, and then they don’t move around very easily. Without much variation (a day job does this quickly) the parts get dusty, then mold grows between them, and you begin to forget that they can move at all. Instead of a series of independent tasks, a routine can come to look to the mind like it’s one solid, familiar ring, seven days in circumference, studded with the odd unexpected task or birthday party.

I’m doing some house cleaning and I still have some mold problems, so I’m giving a large part of a routine a quarter-turn by dialing my regular article forward to Mondays for a while. I’ll see where the other bits reassemble around that. It’s like defragging my schedule, for you computer geeks. Call it a mini-experiment.

Certain important things (namely reading books and meditating — probably the two most wholesome things I do) have been flung out of the ring due to substantial G-forces, and there are no obvious gaps for them to jump back in safely.

I’m aware it’s more of an internal adjustment that isn’t really meant to interest you, but I thought I’d say something today because I don’t like to be a mysterious no-show. You might also want to try this kind of defrag in your own routine and see how it settles out.

And while I have you here for a moment, there are a few interviews I’ve done with other bloggers that I never had a good chance to share.

Sui from Cynosure asked me about self-love and hard times.

Nicki from The Veggie Tales talked to me about food.

And (quite a while ago) my friend Srinivas from BlogcastFM interviewed me about blogging in this podcast.

Anyway, see you Monday.



 Photo by Monster Pete



EcoCatLady October 19, 2011 at 1:00 am

Hope your schedule shake-up works. I personally don’t have the mold problem because I can’t seem to stick to a schedule long enough for it to become routine! I try… really I try, but my inner rebel just won’t do it!

David October 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Yeah it just kind of emerged as I added a few regular commitments at the same time that my job got really busy. This is probably a temporary thing, I just needed to shuffle something because it was a bit too structured and pinched in some places.

marc van der linden October 19, 2011 at 1:23 am

Once in awhile an (internal) house cleaning is absolutely useful :-)

David October 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Yes, and the internal chaos was starting to become external. I’ve been falling out of my treasured habit of cleaning up at the end of everyday, and that creates a bad feedback loop.

Lindsay | The Daily Awe October 19, 2011 at 9:02 am

I’ll be interested in seeing how this changes your routine and shakes things up a bit. My posting day is Thursday, and I think readers have come to expect it to arrive in their inbox that day. If I skip a week, I get emails asking where the article is. Feels good. Anyway – the point in sharing that is saying it’s good that you informed your readers of the change. People get accustomed to routines very quickly.

David October 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Hi Lindsay. Yeah I don’t like to leave a blank on my scheduled day. It makes me feel bad. Posting Wednesday usually meant I’d be doing most of my writing Mondays and Tuesdays and it occurred to me that that might not be good because my job can eat into those evening unpredictably and I don’t like to rush articles.

nrhatch October 19, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Happy cleaning . . . or should I say de-fragging?

David October 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Both :)

Janet Maher October 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm

First of all, I love your posts. Secondly, I entirely get your predicament, being in one very like that (not exactly mold, but feels similar). The analogy to the cyber and living space holds too, for me, continually at a loss trying to find what could be anywhere amid several logical places, actual or virtual. Third, I love the analogy to the Irish flag, if it was that, with neutral territory between extremes. Still works, even if it is an ordinary lemon short of a twist, left to take on the residue of time.
Keep on keeping on. Your writing is great!

David October 24, 2011 at 6:32 am

Thanks Janet.

Alicia October 29, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I can’t help but see this and think “Go Pack Go!”…perhaps this is an omen that the Packers will go all the way again this season? :)

David October 30, 2011 at 9:31 pm

They do look pretty untouchable right now.

Diana Grant December 27, 2011 at 7:17 am

Hi David, good luck for your cleaning task! I am doing it too, have a general cleaning for my house all the corners and everything so when the New Year comes, I have fresh and clean home.

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