Getting Things Done

Today was a mixed day.

There’s less than half an hour until it ends, and I still didn’t publish my daily article, so I’m rushing it a little. I know it won’t be a spectacular blog post. It may not even be read by anyone, and that’s ok. It’s still part of my 365 days writing challenge, and it will be written. That’s all that counts, now.

It was a mixed day today because I had quite a lot on my plate. A lot more than usual. And I’m talking about the kind of stuff that happens every 5 or 10 years, not about the “quite a lot on my plate” that you get when your morning latte was too sweet.

And yet, I’m finishing the day relaxed and at peace, knowing that I did my best to do everything that I wanted to do.

There’s something about getting things done.

There’s a big misconception about “getting things done” – namely, that getting things done will improve your life in some way. I mean, if you get things done, there’s a decent chance that your life will improve, but that’s not a direct relationship. There’s no direct causality between getting things done and your life getting better.

But still, there’s something about getting things done. There’s a tiny, imperceptible vibe of predictability, of order, of self-confidence. There’s the promise that tomorrow will unfold in a less chaotic way. There’s the self-gratification derived by the confirmation that you’re still able to form a cohesive image about your future, gather resources to support that image, and set processes in motion that will build that new reality. You still have a very small saying in how your life will unfold, because it depends on so many other variables, and yet, knowing that you did your part, the best you could, is reassuring.

You did your part. At least you did that.

The Slipping Wheel

One of the things I had to do today was to ship some boxes to a new location, in a new country. The boxes contained pretty much all my belongings. I’m not too attached to that, just to be clear, these are just basic things that I need and probably some very simple iconic memories, in the form of very dull objects, but with a deep significance (a Buddha statue from my trip to Thailand, or the vieirra from Camino de Santiago). Because I wanted to have just a few boxes, I packed a lot in each of them, and I ended up with only 5.

If you really think about it, just 5 boxes for all your belongings, it’s still a decent number. I’m working towards lowering that number even more, but for now, that’s it.

Each box weighed around 20 kilos. I shipped them with UPS and I chose to drop them off to a pick up point. I could have solve this with a collection service, but it was too close in time to my departure date, and I was running the risk of either losing the collection, or losing my train (I’m not flying, mind you, I’m traveling by train).

So, I used a small carry-on to take the boxes to the drop off place, less than a km away from my place. The carry-on was designed for shopping, not for carrying 40kg+ of weight. And here is where things got interesting.

The first trip to the drop-off place was ok, I had only one 20kg box and no problems. I left the box, and then got home for the rest.

But then the second trip, I decided to stack 2 boxes on top of each other, which resulted in 40kg+ of weight on a carry-on not designed for that. So, half-way to the drop off point, one wheel of the carry-on slipped away. It was an easy thing to re-attach it, but with the two boxes on top of it, it was still challenging. Nevertheless, I made it work. I delivered the two boxes, eventually, spending just a few more minutes than for the first trip.

And then the third trip, with the last two boxes, got really interesting. Almost in the same place, half way to the drop off location, the same wheel slipped away. I stopped, propped the structure with the two 20kg+ boxes on top of it, lifted as much as I could and re-attached the wheel. I was happy. 100 meters away, the wheel slipped again. I stopped, propped the structure, lifted as much as I could and re-attached the wheel. I was happy again. And then again, just 100 meters later, the wheel slipped. To make a long story short, I made it to the drop off location, with the last 2 boxes, after 3 wheel slippages. And probably 15 more minutes.

But I made it.

It took me more time that I thought and probably a bit more effort.

But I made it.

The boxes are on their way now, and they will be delivered to the place I’m going to, in this new country. I don’t know how my life will be in this new country. I don’t know if it will be better or worse than the life I had in Spain, for the last two and a half years. But I took the time to pack the boxes and to take them to the drop-off point. I get those things done.

If all falls into places, I will be in this new country in two days and I will reunite with my boxes.

There’s no guarantee that I will be better than now. But I get those things done.

At least I did that.

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