Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Close to 10 years ago I had a roommate who popped his tire the day before he was moving out.
He placed that tire next to the garbage can in my alley for pick up and moved to another state.
That tire sat next to my garbage can for a year before I accepted that the city was not going to pick it up.
So after my neighbors started to bitch about mosquito pools and west Nile virus I rolled the tire into my garage.
Where it has sat for the last 9 years.

Once in a while the contempt for the tire would come over me and I would Google what I had to do to get rid of it...

Get a tire voucher, bring it to the dump drop off site 5 miles from my house.

20 minutes of work I put off for 10 years.

I would get mad at the tire, my roommate for leaving it.

I would harbor fantasies about rolling it down the alley to another neighbors bin.

But mostly I held a grudge, felt angry, complained and did nothing.

I walked by that tire in December and I said to myself that tire is not the are.

I sat down at my kitchen table and I made a list of every thing like the tire that would take only about 20 minutes each to fix and for most part just require action on my part and no money.

Some examples

1.) Fix a door knob
2.) Tighten a banister
3.) Fill-out application for graduation
4.) Take tire to the dump
5.) Bring school books to half price
6.) Clean up credit report


I came up with 120 things that would make my life better that met the following criteria
1.) Simplify Life
2.) Declutter
3.) Expand your mind
4.) Lesson your needless expenses
5.) Increase your wealth and happiness
6.) Manage known risks

7.) Must be able to complete task in under 30 minutes

Then was born the 120
120 minutes a day
30 minutes of exercise
30 minutes of reading
20 minutes getting one thing done off of the task list

40 days into this year I have 40 things crossed off this list.

Yesterday after work I brought that tire to the dump.

Not a monumental task by any means but I tell you that when I tossed that tire into the dumpster that a million pounds of weight went with it.

And I smiled the whole way home.


Sornie said...

That 120 plan is a good idea. If I did something like that I might actually get rid of the tractor tire the previous owners of my house used for landscaping. It,s now slowly rotting alongside my garage and annoying the neighbor.

Ma said...

I'm so glad I finally know what this 120 business is all about but I'm really bummed you don't have an excuse to put "make a tire swing" on that list now...
maybe you can just buy another tire instead and add it to the list
(ps why didn't that tire guy you got such a supergreat deal from the other day offer to take it off your hands? don't they recycle tires?)

Brian in Mpls said...

It feels good:)

I guess I figured it was just the same as taking it to the dump and in the end I felt a little better just taking it there myself since otherwise I would have still felt like I was just pushing my problems onto someone else...if that makes sense.

MJ said...

That really is a great idea. It's interesting that I notice I have unknowingly had this kind of routine for the past few months. About a half hour of exercise, one hour of reading, and a half hour of meditation. Great habit to have.

And having roommates myself, I can sympathize with the "weight lifted" in getting rid of their left-behind crap.

Anonymous said...

This is a really good idea, I think that I'm going to try copying it for a while.


Anonymous said...

Great idea! I would love to do something similar if I could only motivate myself to make such a list.

I am confused by the 120 minutes though. 30+30+20 = 80 minutes. Please explain.

Ma said...

I think 30 and 30 equals 60 - being 1 hour and the other is 20 min - hence 120 like 1hr and 20?
or are you just bad at math... hehehe

ps I feel ya on the pushing your probs onto someone else deal... I'm glad you had such an enjoyable trip to the dump - I doubt most people can say they smiled the whole way home from such an ishy place :)

PPS I'm super impressed with the way you seem to be taking your life by the balls lately B! Nice to see that you are making progress and becoming happier with what you see along the way :) Kudos!!
Now when are you going to treat yourself to a trip to Hawaii to celebrate all this good stuff? hehehe
(I saw a place called Hawaiian Brian's Billiards the other day and thought of you!!! If/when you ever come we'll have to go there and play a round)