The Challenge of Packing Light

suitcase

I’m about to leave on another one week adventure and as always, I’m conflicted.  I envy travelers who pack lightly, can fit everything in carry on luggage, and still seem to have everything they need.

Perhaps the secret to packing light is to not need so much.  When packing, I check the weather at my destination – and then I prepare for all kinds of weather.  If the forecast is 85 degrees and sunny, I pack an umbrella to be prepared for anything. And maybe a sweater or two in case the nights are cool. Darn my Girl Scout past.

With one more day till I need to fill the suitcase, I will again attempt to curtail the clutter that is intended for the suitcase.  My intent is to look at everything I have laid out for the trip and then put half back in the closet.  I’ve been searching the internet for packing tips and that seems like good advice.

This is a casual trip, so no dressy clothes are necessary. Make up, hair products, and lotions are in small travel containers. I’ve done my research and this should be easy, right?

I’ll get back to you on that.

The Buzzing of Bees, the Buzzing of Drones

213-36687_Consulting_-_Training_-_Noise_on_offshore_installations_-_Vibrations_663x320_

After reading an article about the adverse effect of declining bee populations, I decided to take action. A tiny impact on a growing problem.  I will plant more native perennials that will attract bees and butterflies, and of course will not use any pesticides in my garden.

As I research perennials that will meet those requirements, my husband is flying his Phantom 4 drone over the very gardens that will be our connection to nature.  If you’ve never heard a drone fly, let me describe it as the sound of an angry hornet. On steroids.

Rather than be annoyed at this intrusion into my nature journey, I’m intrigued.  The technology is amazing!  It stabilizes itself, avoids objects, and can be programmed to follow the user for some awesome film footage. Of course, you need to do something awesome at the time.

My husband flies his drone responsibly, in safe areas and at safe heights.  He’s a videographer and can create some fantastic footage from the drone’s camera.  The technology enables him to have a bird’s eye view of our intriguing earth, so how could that be a bad thing?

PicMonkey Collage

Those Rebellious Hands

My hands refuse to cooperate.  I don’t ask remarkable things of them.  No classical piano playing, no awe-inspiring sleight of hand magic tricks, and not even those art classes I’ve been thinking about.

So what ridiculous demands am I making of my hands?  Turning doorknobs to enter a room.  Shaking hands with people. Typing, clicking my mouse, and even picking up my MacBook Air.  Love my MacBook, but it’s a little heavier than air.  Especially to those of us with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Occasionally, someone will ask me to hold something for them.  I scrutinize the object, quickly estimating its weight.  The last thing I want to say is that it’s too heavy.  Why? Because the response is usually “Oh, it’s not heavy at all.”   Why is it so difficult for me to explain that my hands hurt and they don’t always respond the way I want them to? So, I grasp the object in question, hold it with my hands and secure it with forearms, my chest, or anything else that will prevent me from dropping it.

Learning to make accomodations for all my affected joints – hands, feet, knees, hips, and whatever hurts that day – is a continuing challenge. But my hands frequently give me more trouble than my other joints. At times, my hands are so uncooperative, I think they may belong to someone else.

Maybe…..

thing

Thing from the Addams Family seemed to enter the scene right on time. So, no… that can’t be the hand(s) I have.

Or… The Hands of Orlac.

456147.1020.a

Yes, more likely. Those hands had a homicidal life of their own.  

That movie did not end well.  Here’s hoping I maintain better control of my hands.

 

 

 

 

 

Getting the Most from Retirement

I’m setting out on a personal quest to understand what it means to be retired.  In the United States, we use the term so flexibly that an individual can be retired from one lengthy career and begin another. If that’s the definition we apply, I’ve retired several times already. But this is the big one for me. Retirement with a capital “R”.  My intent is to work freelance only – and only if I IMG_3657need/want extra cash or when I find the work to be enjoyable. But what are the specifics?  Still an intriguing mystery to me.

My intention is to develop this new phase of my life into a shape and form that I can decode and describe.  Currently, my days are going by at the speed of light. Planning more events in my day than possible to complete has resulted in frustration – and a growing list of things on my daily calendar I need to complete.

My first hurdle is to be more realistic about what can possibly be accomplished in one day.  Since I’ve been making daily lists that are packed with too many items for the last several decades, it’s no small barrier to overcome.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll trim down my lists and spread out the things I want to complete over the week. And it might be a good idea to schedule in some time for fun.

I retired so I could have more time. Now it’s time to manage that extra time.