Siege Diaries 9/29/2021


Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt: Where are my eyes bigger than my stomach?

You can tell who the target audience for these Daily Stoic books is: Relatively well-off white people, in at least their 30s. The associated meditation evoked “your first apartment” with its “own bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen where you heated up your ramen noodles,” to contrast with the assumed more that I have today.

Well, this is true for me. I remember that first apartment–although it was just a studio, with living space and sleeping space the same–and I remember how much I paid for it ($285/month). And I definitely have a much larger space today. But I’ve also downsized–the house before this one was much too large for us, even when we had five cats. The current place is good, and I have no desire for anything larger again. Could we downsize again? If we had to, sure. We won’t do it just for the sake of doing it, but it could be done.

And I am thinking about people for whom these statements are not true. I know a lot of younger people still living with families far past the point where I had moved to another country, and in cities like Toronto, that “first apartment with its own kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom” is likely to be either very small or shared with multiple roommates. And I have friends that have been in tiny apartments into their 50s–not to mention other friends who have been underhoused. It’s a real issue. I have significant privilege as a homeowner.

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I’ve been spending part of today tidying the office. I have an awful lot of stuff in here, and I’ve been taking the time to throw out items that have been sitting around too long (like three cans of premixed margaritas, or a pack of expired tinned cat food) as well as decluttering my work desk. I’ve been trying to train myself over the past couple of years to not bring new junk into the mix, although it’s not always easy to overcome my collector tendencies. But I think I’m improving. I have also figured out that I can use the fronts of the shelving unit where I have milk crates to display some of my embroideries, rather than sticking them on bookshelves in front of books.

I’ve completed my presentation for tomorrow’s speech for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation–which is a really good way to look again at the privileges I have that others do not. It’s not a comfortable place, but it’s not in my nature to avoid uncomfortable truths. It’s helped me refamiliarize myself with the Calls to Action from the TRC, and introduced me to UNDRIP (which I hadn’t actually read before).

I finished the presentation while listening to Shostakovich’s 4th Symphony with Mark Wigglesworth conducting. It’s good, particularly the finale, but I need to hear it on better headphones and while I wasn’t partially distracted by working on a presentation. Plenty of time for that–I’ll rip the complete set of symphonies tonight, and then put them onto my iPad, which has plenty of space and will work with my earbuds.