I haven’t been updating my Journal so much because life has been revolving around sorting through my possessions and putting them in boxes (and sometimes trying to find particular things that have been packed). With this much advance notice and available free time, I’ve tried to extract out another round of Things I Don’t Need, focusing on possible resale items and the ubiquitous Things What Might Be Useful One Day. This last category is particularly pernicious. If I had a dime for every item I’ve kept on the off chance of future use, I could have just thrown them all away and purchased NEW ones of the few items that I actually end up needing. For example, in my box of Cords, Adapters, and Electronic Equipment, I found TWO pairs of Walkman headphones where the speakers worked but the headpiece was broken. I’d already purchased replacements, but I hung onto the broken ones because they (you see where this is going) Might Be Useful One Day! I’m not sure HOW I’d use them (tape them to my head, perhaps?). Anyway, I found it very freeing to just toss them in the trash. (Don’t worry; I also have a large stack of items for Resale/Donation, so I’m not just stuffing the landfill with theoretically-useful things!)
There have been a couple events worth mentioning, however. Last Thursday I had an interview! I had answered an ad seeking a co-author for a series of articles and books on Collaboration and Organizational Development. Mike (wait, “M”) had published one book on the topic, and was looking for the synergy from collaborating with another writer on the subsequent ones. Out of the multitude of responses he received, I was one of about six that were asked to audition. So I brought some examples of my work and went over to talk about me! M turned out to be a quite personable guy. We talked about what brought us to Oregon, the frustrations of moving, the horrors of remodeling, and even a bit about our writing styles and backgrounds. I expect to hear from him sometime this week, and while I think we could probably work well together, I’m trying to not get my hopes up too much.
Which brings me to something I was reminded of the other day. I’ve often commented that my goal is to be retired; not because I want to play shuffleboard down at the Senior Center all day, but in the sense of being able to do as I please. I was reminded that aside from not having a predictable income, I am living the Retired Life! I’ve manifested my goal! All I have to do is find a way to make it sustainable, and I'm set! That thought always cheers me up.
We almost made it through the 4th without any particular celebration. I spent the day packing my office, books and closets. (And giving two kitchen stools a good coat of primer. Previously they were a nice blue-gray color, except for the vibrant yellow, orange, and green pattern on the seats which I suspect happened when the original owner was drunk with a fluorescent paint set at hand.) drarwenchicken commented that growing up in Arizona, where fireworks were illegal, had deprived her of the DIY fireworks experience. So I found my bag of fireworks leftover from previous years, and we set off some in the church parking lot. This being Oregon, what I had was pretty tame; small fountains, whistlers, sparklers, and spinning “beehives.” For those of you out of state, Oregon prohibits anything that flies through the air or explodes. Oregonians obey this law by driving across the river into Washington and buying flying and exploding fireworks there. So as we stood in the parking lot, we could see and hear a near-constant barrage of rockets and roman candles all around. To top it off, we walked three blocks to Clay street, where we could see the fireworks at the downtown Waterfront Park. They were low on the horizon and a bit obscured by the trees, but when it was over all we had to do was walk three blocks to get home. Beats dealing with the crowds, if you ask me.
So we had a good Independence Day experience, and those fireworks I had been hanging onto turned out to be useful one day! Maybe I shouldn’t be so hasty to get rid of those other things...