May 24, 2021 · 9:51 pm
I remarked to an acquaintance that as soon as I arrive at my new retiree landing pad, I want to troll the second hand and antique shops of New England for a great desk. She said “can’t you write anywhere?” Well, yes, I do actually, mostly on my iPad. When I accidentally discovered the split keyboard option, my happiness overflowed.
But her question made me stop and think. Has technology’s leaps and bounds also made my vision of hammering away at an old desk go the way of the dinosaur? I do need a place to hold my paper clips, laptop, little photo frames, and other sundry, especially now that I am no longer reporting to a job. But ever since I moved to laptops and iPads, I haven’t actually required a desk. However, there is a difference between requiring a desk and really needing one, at least in my mind.
The IKEA lifestyle has left me weary. As I move back to the east coast, I hope to leave slap together furniture behind. Don’t get me wrong – the affordable, flat box marvels definitely helped me keep up with E’s ever changing dreams and passions. And NO ONE can beat the Swedes when it comes to intricate builds with really cool screw locks. But I am looking for more substance and something with a style other than the smooth, minimal Scandinavian lines that come complete with directions and hardware.
There is just something about a nice desk that gives one an anchor, a center from which to view the world, both through the internet and a vivid imagination. And of course, I expect the search to be the best part.
March 21, 2021 · 12:06 pm
My daughter regularly accuses me of cursing her with it. I think it’s one of the few really good things I passed on to her. What is this trait that I’ve forced on her psyche? It’s the need to be absolutely and always on time.
I don’t know why I have this deeply ingrained habit because Lord knows, our family was never on time for anything. Maybe that was because there were three boys in the mix and let’s face it, they were hopeless. And I can say that because I grew up with them. I don’t have exact memory clips of these times and have this stylized version of me sitting on the sofa in my pretty dress and Mary Janes, still and calm, while everyone races around in Quicksilver time grabbing jackets, ties, and looking for the errant shoe. But in all honesty, what snippets I did retain involve a lot of racing up and down stairs before throwing myself out the door.
So where and how did I cultivate this unique habit? I remember my mom standing at the door with a stern face, purse in hand, and can almost hear a foot tap, although I think that’s an embellishment. Maybe I inherited it but that doesn’t explain the elevated heartbeat or the flop sweat I experience while I tick down the minutes in my head.
I have always chalked it up to my Capricorn quirkiness because it fit so well into the narrative of my life, which included things like detail oriented, list keeping, and other good habits. My star sign has served me well.
Then I found the blog Personal Growth by Margie Peterson which has a wealth of information and handy tips. I zeroed in on the post titled 5 Secrets of People Who Are Always on Time like a battle drone. It was a revelation that gave deeper answers to the why, things like valuing my time and the time of others, and being on time helps with stress and confidence. All of these resonated and, while I appreciated the confirmation, I always had the feeling that I wasn’t just obsessed with time but actually planned the events of my life to be better for me and for those with whom I came in contact. I just couldn’t put it into words.
Now that the words exist, I’ve sent the post to my daughter, along with the note “See? It’s a good thing!” You never stop being a mom.
February 28, 2021 · 10:44 pm
To prepare for the “big move,” I was given a tip by a friend who recently left town: Get rid of everything.
I laughed at the time but it all made sense last night, standing in front of my picked over bookshelves.
We do love our books. As I referred to in my previous post Books are Life, it is a trait given to me by my mother and I’ve passed it down to E. But now I have to actually move a life and I’m beginning to sweat – and this is just the books! After a second pass over the shelves, I realized I needed to sit and rethink. In my job, if a system stops working, I step back. I take time to objectively figure out a new approach. I figured the process would just as easily apply to my big move so I stopped everything and just sat.
First, I asked what I wanted out of this move. Turns out there was only one real question that needed answering before packing another box: Am I transplanting or am I moving forward?
I had lived and worked different lives to get here. I was into typical trends as a young girl, graduated college, enjoyed my twenties, traveled cross-country several times, worked at sea, been married, gave birth, divorced, raised a child, and worked for a wonderful agency until retirement. And that’s the abbreviated version. Like velcro, my life rolled throughout, picking up stuff and sundry along the way. What I have in this house is the collection of a lifetime and I needed to decide how much from those past lives should come with me.
The answer was….well, I wasn’t sure. But rather than asking if something sparked joy, I needed to ask if it belonged in my new life. I then started to approach this not as stressful packing but more as an opportunity, and that made all the difference in the world. The light bulb went off, I heard the bell ring. It was my A-HA moment. The stress receded (for that part anyway) and I was energized to start again.
Some things I would shed, donating to groups, selling online, and giving to friends. Special family items would be shipped to nieces and nephews to carry forward. The process would have its own type of stress, but I had found a way to be more focused and almost eager to keep it moving forward.