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  • David Loughry 5:16 pm on July 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: art, art collecting, beautiful places, beauty, being a variety person, fine art, , , homes, , lifestyle, , , real estate, ,   

    Getting Tired of Beautiful and Special Things 

    This is a post I shared on my personal blog, but it’s perfect for here too. —David

    I don’t know about you, but I can get tired of even the most beautiful and special things. I think this is probably true for most people.

    I’ve lived in beautiful places like Boulder and Vail in Colorado, both of which I appreciated less over time. I’ve taken truly special photos, put them on my phone as the background, and gotten tired of them. I’ve made awesome art I loved and grew less fond of it, and seen amazing, historically important art in museums that started to bore me over time. I’ve listened to great music too much and cared for it less and less. You get the drift.

    This is why I think differently when I see houses by the beach, or in the mountains, or some other amazing place. I’ve realized, yes, it would be great to live there for a while, but I would not want to live there for the rest of my life, or even for too many months or years. So I would not want to pay the high premiums people pay for houses in those places! For the same reasons, I avoid collecting expensive art, as I would get tired of it so quickly.

    This line of thinking also probably implies I would get tired of being wealthy!

    The thoughts in this post are yet more arguments for variety. And when you think about variety for a while, you’ll probably realize what you want is sustainable variety. At least that’s what I realized. This means finding ways of living over weeks, and months, and years, that give you variety you don’t get tired of! I don’t want kinds of variety that are like beautiful and special things that I get tired of. I want varieties of variety, and I want that to be sustainable, so I stay engaged and have the potential to keep being engaged. I think probably one of the best ways to get sustainable variety is to also pursue sustainable proximities. I think the two go together. Although that’s another topic, for now, here’s more on what I call the sustainable proximities approach at http://proxthink.com/ways/sustainable-proximities.php.

    If some of this rings true, you might be a bit of a variety person. You might want to join us here on varietypeople.org.

  • David Loughry 1:49 pm on November 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: being a variety person, flexible work ideas, guts, , jobs with variety, money, quality of life, time management, work   

    Sometimes Variety Trumps Money 

    Probably sounds like heresy.

    Sometimes being a variety person takes guts.

    Because sometimes variety trumps money.

    There have been many times when I could have made more money, but chose not to so I could have time for the kinds of variety that make life worth living and make life interesting. Things like time to workout, or sleep enough, or see a friend, or cook a good meal, or learn something new, or create something, or explore, or spend time with family, or even something that makes some money but not as much as I could have made doing something else.

    When I’m making decisions like these, I’m often acutely aware that I’m choosing to make less money than I could. It’s hard too because I don’t have much money, and don’t have a lot of room for error in terms of my budget. But both my main jobs right now are pretty flexible, so I often could be earning money when I’m not. I have both these jobs because they are flexible, so they allow time for variety and for work on my own projects (like varietypeople!) which may (or may not!) earn money in the future.

    I listen to different parts of me, not just my wallet. Sometimes my body is saying, “We need a run!” And my body is so happy when we go for that run. Sometimes some part of me is saying “We need more socializing!” Or “More sleep!” Or “We need something different today, not just the same old things we’ve been doing lately!” You get the idea.

    If you can manage it, and perhaps tolerate it, I highly recommend work that is flexible. That way, you can listen when variety seems to be trumping money.

    Perhaps we should start posts here that list jobs we know of that are flexible, and allow for the kinds of decisions in favor of variety that I’ve mentioned. Here are my two main current jobs: One is a Field Rep for the US Census Bureau, where you get cases to work, but can mostly choose when you want to work on them. The other is being a background artist, also known as an extra, on TV shows and films, which I can choose to be available for day-by-day. I’m tagging this post with the tag “flexible work ideas” so if you have ideas for other kinds of flexible work that allows for variety, please tag your post similarly. You can also add your “flexible work ideas” in comments to this post.

    Come to think of it, both my jobs also have quite a bit of variety themselves. Interviewing people in Census surveys means I meet a very wide variety of people. And being an extra means I’m always going to different locations and studios, playing different roles, and dressing in different wardrobe for the parts. I guess I’ll also tag this post “jobs with variety” to capture that idea. Perhaps you know of some jobs like that too, and can post about them and tag them the same way. You can also add your “jobs with variety” ideas in comments to this post.

    Even having two different jobs can be awesome. If I only did one of my jobs, I couldn’t take it. But this way, I’m often like, “OMG, I’m so glad I’m doing this and not my other job today!” This change can be so refreshing.

  • David Loughry 3:31 am on November 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: being a variety person, Complexity, ,   

    Embrace variety. Or not (wink, wink). 

    To be interesting, and engaging, and to feel alive, and to engage with the world, and to connect with people, you’ve got to be both different as well as accessible. You’ve got to be complex enough people can’t quite figure you out, yet they feel comfortable with you as well. How can you do all that? Embrace variety.

  • David Loughry 3:55 am on November 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: being a variety person, competition, full life, ,   

    Winning at Life 

    A life made full with variety is the best way I know of to really win at life. Partly because it becomes not about winning.

    I guess this partly relates to the adage “living well is the best revenge.”

    It also relates to something I’ve said from time to time: Variety — it’s the best kind of wealth.

  • David Loughry 7:27 pm on July 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: being a variety person   

    Doing a bunch of different things you don’t like is not variety 

    Doing a bunch of different things you don’t like is not an experience of variety.

    Why? Because those different things share one common feature, which is that you don’t like them. In a sense, they weren’t even a bunch of different things, since you felt the same way the whole time.

    If you had felt a variety of different ways when doing those variety of different things, then you’d be getting somewhere!

    • Jeni Norton 6:35 am on January 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Now, THIS is some mighty astute logic. At first I was like, “Oh, come on. SURE it is. They’re different, which means varied, which is the root of variety.” And then you got me. With the part that starts with “because.” You also answered a “why” question. That in itself is somewhat heroic. Thank you.

      This makes me think, too… Perhaps I am not a variety person. Or perhaps I experience variety in a variety of ways. And maybe my ways are sort of “cheating.” But maybe not, as this is my first venture toward your philosophy as outlined in your blog. So… you tell me, if you want.

      As a kid, I started making up games just to get through the chores of life. Clearing the table after dinner became a mental exercise, a visualization game. I would see the table, memorize where everything was, focus and burn it into my imagination. Then I would remove two or three items, turn from the table and take them to the kitchen; then go back to the altered table and reconstruct it. In my brain. I think you may be the first person to have heard this; I thought people would make fun of me for it. Well… for this and about a billion other ways I qualified for the goober award I was sure existed among junior high kids (and maybe teachers, who knows.)

      As a grown up, I have sometimes gone to my job knowing I would do the same exact thing all day long. It has taken everything from placing slight emphasis on certain things and allowing others to remain in the background, to using all different colors of highlighters and writing pens and post-it note papers just to make my eyeballs happy, to volunteering for those head-stretching spreadsheet design tasks (with ghastly deadlines) to get past the tedium while keeping the paychecks (and the benefits) streaming in.

      I still play the visual games – especially when cleaning kitchens and bathrooms, or dusting my largest pieces of furniture – but also when doing laundry, and even on some of the most mundane reports at work. For which I also check back the work with a rainbow of ballpoints.

      OMG. What if there’s a goober award for adults, too…?

      • David Loughry 11:09 pm on March 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I’ll take somewhat heroic! You are most welcome.

        It seems to me you often take situations with low variety and turn them into ones with much more variety. You’re not sticking with the dreaded feeling of “I hate this, I hate this, I hate this” when doing boring things which, without your games, probably would be doing a bunch of different things you don’t like. You’ve found ways to like them!

        This reminds me of when I used to mow the lawn after coming home from the first year of college, which included some design courses that loosened me up. Going straight back and forth? Boring! I would make all kinds of lines and designs with the mower that would slowly disappear as I finished. I decided, so I mow some grass twice, so what?? So it’s a little inefficient, so what?

        Which leads, with your talk about your job, to two other points. One point is, while our society is not ONLY focused on efficiency, it may often be OVERLY focused on efficiency. Which may often lead to boring jobs. And I think many people may be often bored by their work. I think there are at least good two angles of approach in changing this. One is at the more micro level of putting the idea of more variety out there and then supporting people in their efforts to value, allow, seek and manage variety in their lives. The other angle is at the more macro level of treating environments, contexts and proximities as living things in a sense, that we can make efforts to keep alive, and when those environments, contexts and proximities are more the focus, individual people may be able to have more variety in their lives. It’s like by doing one thing you also get another thing you want. I also think networks allow treating environments, contexts and proximities as living things more than we are currently leveraging.

        The other point is about the evolution of computers. (I know, pretty gooberish!) Did you know there came a time when there were so many extra computing cycles (excess capacity) in their machines, they realized they didn’t have to write the most efficient code anymore, and could start doing extravagant things like creating the graphical user interfaces we are surrounded by now? Similarly, I think the ability of networks to let us monitor and relate to environments, contexts and proximities is currently a kind of excess capacity. What if wherever you went, you could not only just know about where you were, or be entertained by or buy things related to where you were, both of which current technology allows, but also if you chose you could join in to help create, sustain and enhance wherever you were, because you could easily see what was going on and what needed to be done? Wouldn’t that enhance the variety in your life? I think this is totally doable and I’m looking for people to collaborate with who are either already building it or want to build it.

        Thanks for your comment Jeni! Sorry it took me a while to respond. I think part of what I’m saying is your ways are NOT sort of “cheating” but you may sometimes be constrained by circumstances. And changing those circumstances may involve, to some degree, changing the mental, physical and software infrastructures we operate within.

        Also, responding to you resulted in some writing I may have to elevate to a post of its own! These are ideas I’ve had and sometimes written about, but replying to you helped me put them into a good, compact form. Thank you for that! I’ll give you credit and perhaps some other proxri for triggering it! Of course for your proxri it would help to know more about what is important to you via your ProxMonitor …

  • David Loughry 11:51 am on May 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: being a variety person,   

    Switching Gears 

    I’ve been working on my Artdown project a lot recently. I’m getting a bit tired of thinking about it, and working on it. I’m going to work on some other things for a while. It’s nice to have some variety. I try to set my life up so I have those kinds of options. I can’t always, but sometimes I can, and it makes a big difference.

  • David Loughry 10:16 pm on March 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: being a variety person, home, museums, travel   

    The world is your oyster 

    When you’re a variety person, there’s a sense in which the world is your oyster.

    I’m currently at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. I can imagine this huge museum is my home, because for the moment, it is.

  • David Loughry 10:16 pm on September 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: attitude, , being a variety person, buddhism, loose, speed   

    On Variety and Not Getting Stuck 

    Having more variety in your life means you have the option of not clinging so tightly to one thing, or to a few things. So, in a sense, it allows a lighter touch. It is perhaps something like non-attachment, in the Buddhist sense. You can have a looser attitude and approach. This also puts you in a more neutral position, allowing you to react more swiftly and well to things that need your attention. It’s not balance, because balance is ephemeral. It’s more an ever-renegotiated balance, if you want to use the word balance. But the sense I have of this not clinging is also a sense of not thinking so much, and of not getting stuck thinking about something, or stuck doing something.

  • David Loughry 8:53 pm on August 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: being a variety person, , refreshing,   

    Variety Instead of Rest 

    Sometimes, when I’m tired, I find rest isn’t what helps. Rather, doing something different helps. In other words, sometimes, variety can be as refreshing as rest.

    So I switch from working on one thing to working on something else. Or, I stop work and go for a walk. Or even, I stop relaxing and do something productive! These kinds of switches are not taking a nap. But they can be really refreshing.

  • David Loughry 2:25 pm on August 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: being a variety person, , , process, surfing, trust   

    It's like surfing. Trust the process. 

    Being a variety person is a bit like surfing. You have to trust the process.

    Example: A couple hours ago, there was something I knew I should do. But I realized I didn’t want to do it. I felt more like doing the dishes. I did the dishes, and realized I had to sort of mentally process the thing I needed to do. Now I’m ready to do it.

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