Wednesday, July 24, 2013

what you let into your life

i was reading this piece on brainpickings about the greatest books of all time. i'm always impressed when someone claims they have cracked that list definitively. this particular compilation asked famous writers for their lists (who knows reading better than writers, after all?). i'm not sure that gets us truly closer to a definitive list, but with the help of averages and some statistics, the book apparently gives it a go. what interested me wasn't so much the lists, as a quote by austen kleon (or is it paula sher?) that postulates "you are a mashup of what you let into your life."

and that triggered something in me that's been simmering below the surface, just out of reach in my brain during this long, hot summer (i'm not complaining, it's the first summer ever in denmark in 15 years and i'm grateful for it). you are a mashup of what you let into your life. and what have i let in lately?

i think that ever since the thing with the station fell through once we saw the proposed contract from DSB (the danish railway, who owns the building), what i have let into my life is fear and disappointment and a vague feeling of someone having tried to put one over on me because they thought i was a stupid hick. i was so disappointed when i saw the ridiculous terms DSB wanted to impose on us that i couldn't even write about it here. but quick overview is: they expected that we, as renters, would be responsible for everything inside and outside the building, but we would have no say on anything and have to ask permission for every screw and nail we wished to put into the wall. but if they decided to put in new plumbing or rewire the place, or have a new roof put on, we would have to foot the bill - as mere renters. i've never seen anything like it. it was so far from something we could accept that we didn't even go back and try to negotiate. the price was right (it was, admittedly, a very affordable rent), but the terms were not. not even remotely. and somehow it feels like it crushed my spirit. and it made me feel like i was controlled by fear, because i was truly too afraid to enter into such a contract. but worst of all, i felt like they presented us with such terms because they thought that out here in the sticks we'd be stupid enough to go for them. or at the very least that they didn't really want to rent to us at all, but let us go through several weeks of charade, planning and hopes. all of which led to me feeling disappointed and somehow paralyzed by fears and not really knowing how to pick up the pieces.

add in then that i probably have borrelia, molly was seriously ill with mastitis, someone stole our chickens and i lost my beloved frankie cat, aside from the good weather, it's been a rather crap summer.

it's time to start mashing up something new - hanging out with people who give me energy and happiness and laughter, working on new projects which excite me, doing more of the things that nourish and less of the things that don't. moving forward. and to stop thinking about that stupid piss-taking DSB rental contract and just get over it. it probably wasn't personal, but it was so connected to dreams and plans that it certainly feels that way.

i think it's what's so empowering about the statement: you are a mashup of what you let into your life - what you let in is a choice, which means you can control it. i hereby take back control right now.

* * *

and talk about letting in something different, check out tom phillips' humument project.
so inspiring it makes me a little short of breath.

* * *

a not-so-rosy, but very interesting, take on the new domesticity.
and how sex & the city lost its feminism.
(i have to wonder if it ever really had it.)

* * *

the modern face of poverty or
how a member of the working poor in england is blogging her way to a better life.


nacherluver said...

Love, love, love the quote! I'm going to ruminate on that today. I know the message to be true and have heard the lesson many times before, but I adore the colorful way it is presented here.
"you are a mashup of what you let into your life"
Makes it feel more human and forgiving and something we can change.
I appreciate the honesty in this post and am enjoying the link shares as well. Thanks for starting my morning out with a good read. Good luck on your new mashup! I'm in desperate need of one too. Let's clean the old slate before we start mashing the new, shall we?

Mary said...

Who steals chickens?! Did you see my email? Let's get together on some cool new projects! Look for something in your spam folder from "itchypartydress". :)

celkalee said...

...and a piece of a lesson is learned along the way. Control is the ultimate goal for most of us. Whether we control our reactions to events or submit to the control of an agency or another person, we do indeed make choices that will strengthen our own control. You certainly have had a bad run, no doubt about it. But with that camera and your insatiable thirst to grow, you will find your center again, and your control is already returning. Best of luck.

Molly said...

I missed that post about the station. Sorry you had that crap experience. I hope it didn't put you off that concept completely though, just on pause for a while?
Great links, reads, and thoughts after reading your post.
Thank you.

will said...

A little bit of nature, a dash of nurture, a spritz of luck and a whole bunch of accidents ...

Lynne said...

Oh, so sad about the station, but the concept is still wonderful, so maybe it is just a pause on the journey rather than an actual stop?

What you are saying about choices is so relevant and so true, and so exactly what I needed to hear.