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I’m trying to simplify my life.

That should be easier for me than for many others — not because I have any special talent for reducing simplicity, but because my life has become so busy and complicated, there’s really only one direction it can take (“regression to the mean”?) and that is toward simplicity.

Three things are happening now relating to this shift:

1. Selling our rental property.
We’ve now had two offers on the house, and I think we’ll be able to make one of them work and finally stop being landlords. Given our weekly rental strategy (the only financially viable option for us, which we’ve miraculously been able to sustain) it’s been a meaningful – sometimes heavy – workload to keep the house rented and the tenants happy. I’m a little disappointed we won’t have this long-term investment anymore… but that feeling is dwarfed by relief that I won’t have to deal with that place ever again. One house is plenty to manage!

2. So long, Fantasy Football.
I enjoyed playing for about a decade, especially in a “dynasty” league (with IDP, free agency, rookie and veteran contracts… it was pretty amazing), but last spring during my recovery from surgery I decided it was too much of a distraction from my life’s priorities, and I bowed out of that main league. I forgot to quit my other more casual league, and didn’t realize it till right before the draft. Not wanting to leave them in the lurch, I played for one more season. (So when the guys at work asked me to play in the league too, I couldn’t say no since I’d be doing the research anyway… yeah, I sound like an addict.) Anyway, now I am finally done with fantasy football, and I don’t plan to start it up again. There’s a bunch of free time I will get back, with my attention and priorities aligned.

3. Grades, Schmades. (R is cool but… reality check).
I had been meaning to take a programming class, and after an interesting conversation with an old friend of mine who does amazing things with R, I thought that sounded like a good choice. So I signed up for a 4-week Coursera class “Computing for Data Analysis”, which is all about learning R. The weekly assignments are due by midnight each Sunday. Last week, I finished the course lecture videos around 11pm Sunday and completed the quiz [9/10, hey I get this stuff] with minutes to spare before the deadline. This week I vowed to manage my time better but I’ve been so busy with work and trying to sell that house and with my family, that I only improved by an hour, finishing the lectures around 10pm tonight. I went ahead and took the quiz [10/10, w00t], but this week there are programming assignments too, which look somewhat challenging, for me, but totally reasonable… if I had a few hours to devote. Which, I’m finally admitting to myself, I just don’t. So, even though I really like what I’ve been learning how to do with R, I’m going to stop caring if I pass or fail this class and just take in the lectures at my own pace, if and when I can spare the time. No more Sunday midnights.

So, there are my three real steps toward a simpler life.
Step 4 is next month — when I take my 12th and final round of chemo!! Of course we are adding a puppy to the mix at home, with all the chaos that entails, but hey, nobody’s perfect. 😉

Goodnight, all.

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