Monthly Archives: January 2013

SQUEAKY WHEELS GET ATTENTION

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oil wheel

Remember the idiom  – “Those who squeak the loudest get attention.” ?

SqueakyWheel

It seems to be the guiding philosophy behind protest movements.  Perhaps it was learned as a toddler seeking mommy’s notice.

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I am not aware of any studies that confirm this strategy and can think of multiple reasons why it could fail.

  •  As a mother, I found isolating the offending child to a room was often more effective in halting the irritation.

squeakywheel2

  • As an employee, I discovered my supervisor was more likely to register my complaints as a’ bad attitude’ on my evaluation form.

Squeaky wheel sweatshirt-8x6

None of my experiences prepared me for dealing with Merlot, my new 2004 Ford Taurus.  She started squeaking a few days after purchase and has continued intermittently for several weeks.   Random people have suggested that her struts & springs are failing.   I researched the results of these failings on the Internet and learned there were potentially dangerous consequences, if indeed this was the proper diagnosis.

My next action would require obtaining an accurate diagnosis.  I am familiar with how to diagnosis human failings but have little experience with treating cars.   In fact, I have a distrust / fear relationship with auto mechanics.  How will I know if the diagnosis is valid and more to the point how can I guarantee the repair and cost are appropriate?

Again, advise flowed from many sources.  If I substituted the subject of my car for a human body, I could understand why patients avoid medical diagnosis and find treatment choices so stressful.   I could obtain more than one opinion but the consults would cost $.  What if each opinion was different?  How would I choose which to follow?

Finally, I knew what I had to do.   I had to TRUST ME, my choice.

I had to pay attention to my feelings, my squeaky inside voice.

http://dekku.nofatclips.com/2008/10/freelancers-union-squeaky-wheels.html

Once again I find it is the path and the process of getting to the answer not the solution that makes life such a grand ADVENTURE.

NAMASTE

Letting Go of Stuff

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My stuff clings to me like a drowning non-swimmer.  Sometimes I can lessen the grip with promises of a new home, an adoption of sorts.  The negotiations of these adaption contracts are exhausting.  The contracts feel more tedious than a divorce settlement.

For example my mother’s pearls that I never wear require a special home.  I cannot sell them or give them to a thrift store where their emotional value will not be appreciated.

Other items are unadoptable like the popsicle-stick basket from my daughter proclaiming her love for me in childish letters.  My chest constricts with the thought of releasing it to the trash bin and I am required to examine my feelings.

Will her gift be less real if its physical form no longer exists?

I can take a picture or better yet store the memory so it will be with me forever in consciousness.

What if I forget?

The thought takes my breath away.  Didn’t my sister just remind me of a forgotten object I had given her a few months ago? Was my over 60 year old brain destined to erase everything? Didn’t I have to write down my daily task for fear of forgetting?

And with that thought was the solution – WORDS.

I can record anything I want to remember with words.

Glorious Delicious Words

words

My words help me let go AND remember.

The perfect green solution to STUFF.

SLASHERS & GIGS – a new language.

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I am one of those who can’t answer, “What do you do?” with a single word or phrase.

I am a SLASHER. (One Person / Multiple Careers: The Original Guide to the Slash Career –Marci Alboher.)

Veterinarian Receptionist / Research Psychologist / Childbirth Educator / Public Health Coordinator / Conference Planner / Computer Software Sales / Project Manager / Registered Nurse / Nurse Practitioner- Midwife/ Ambulatory Health Care Specialist / Semi-Retired

Years ago I was confronted with criticism for having multiple career interest and told my resume was too confusing.  I didn’t seem to fit into any category until my sister-in-law introduced me to the concept of ‘Creating a Life…’.

She suggested that I put together my life story as if I had pre planned all my career experiences.  Taking ownership and organizing my interest into a coherent form revitalized my resume and led to new opportunities.

A term used to describe ones work situation is the gig.   Like a performer of the arts providing discrete services, a person can have several / gigs covering different situations and time spans.  A full time, long term, work environment is not necessary.

musicians

I like the idea of viewing my work experiences as gigs.

In 2012 I explored retirement or at least a change in life style.  I moved to Costa Rica for several months where my fixed income could pay for living expenses and give me processing time to consider my options.

Recently, I became acquainted with the concept of an Encore Career through  http://www.encore.org  and Ms Alboher’s new book The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life.

Her guidebook has become my new adventure quest.  I adore the feel of creating an encore and redefining my ‘retirement’ years.

PURA VIDA

TRANSITION

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My dictionary defines ‘transition’ as the changing from one state or condition to another.  Transitions can be physical, mental and emotional.

I like the word transition better than change because it evokes a sensation of flow and balance like the waves on a beach.

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100 When writing about life’s adventures, the experience of transition permeates all and I am trying to capture its essence.

 A few days ago a friend’s dog transitioned from his physical existence to a thought form.  My feelings of loss blend with vivid memories of a happy dog living life to its fullest.

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DOING THE SAND DANCE

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YOGA STRETCHES

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I believe this dog found my friend and created a bond of companionship – an agreement that allowed each to be free to be.  Their interactions were a joy to observe in the physical and I can still feel it in my memory.

Thank you Hugo for sharing your loving spirit and making life’s adventure worthwhile.

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You are rememebered.

THE ART OF PURCHASING A CAR

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ART can be defined as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, producing works to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.  It is a subjective experience.

The art of purchasing a car likewise is a creative, subjective experience with multiple dependent variables such as:

  •  The physical and legal ability (driver’s license) to drive
  • Financial resources – cash, credit for loan or lease
  • Knowledge of needs – # of miles / year, type transmission, size, gas mileage,  reliability (consumer ratings)
  • Car insurance

My past history of car purchasing has focused on acquiring new vehicles based on multiple false assumptions.  I call these assumptions my ‘Shell Game’.  Like with the shell game of finding the pea under the changing movement of shells it is based on the belief that I can focus on all the changing actions to track the current position of the pea.

These beliefs include:

  • New cars are more reliable than used cars.
  • Having good credit should be used to finance a loan, especially if it is no interest – let my money continue to earn interest for me in my bank.
  • Manufacture’s financing is better than a bank.
  • It is easier to find a new car that meets all my needs.
  • I have an accurate assessment of my needs now and for the life of the car.
  • All car insurance will cover any unforeseen accidents and is worth the cost.
  • I can anticipate and control all the variables of car ownership (predict the location of the pea.)
  • Car sales representatives are professionals trained to do the job of finding me a car and know better than myself what I need. They can be trusted.

Finally after years of negotiating and purchasing cars, I saw the slight of hand beneath the shells.  I traded in my current car prior to moving out of the country and discovered that the loan I thought I had negotiated was not as I assumed.  I had asked for a low monthly payment – which I received, but I didn’t keep my eye on the actual buy out cost of the loan.  At the time I didn’t anticipate selling so didn’t pay attention.  My buy out price was 50% of the car’s trade in value!!

NOW my decision to purchase a car was filled with ‘What ifs?’.  I no longer had confidence that I could beat the shell game and get what I needed.  I was consumed with a paralyzing FEAR (False, Evidence, Appearing, Real) of doing it wrong.   My creativity was blocked.

View Segd’s workshop for actors (humans) for resources. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz7wwvmDTzg&list=PL6WaWVTFHAIRWlWNhXBOLeNi_u03i-v8T ]

I remained in this state for several weeks feeling the uncomfortable sensations of being trapped and helpless until I had an in the moment feeling and knew what I had to do.   I consulted my siblings and allowed their wisdom and support to guide me.

The dynamic process of being embraced and allowed to ‘make a mistake’ was life altering and filled with laughter.

My new car is named MERLOT for her sparkling wine color.

She has an occasional shimmy but don’t we all?

Merlot

Ford Taurus 04

MERLOT,  my 2004 Ford Tarus SE.

Thank you for your attention – be in the moment.

 

 

MOBILITY

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Mobility is an assessment criterion for wellness.

Usually it refers to the ability to move ones body through space independently without aid.  A person without this ability is labeled ‘disabled’ and may qualify for public assistance such as public transportation.

Was I disabled?  Should my inability to climb a steep hill qualify me for special public transportation?  According to research in the USA my age – over 60 – was the only criteria that might provide me with public transport without a medical diagnosis.

Yes, there are other community services that could provide mobility.   These services require planning ahead, patience and a small fee in most cases.  Their use precluded spontaneous mobility and for me a depressing feeling of confinement.

Awareness of Public Transportation and its role in community mobility continues to be an evolving environmental component.  It need not be an either/or situation but a hybrid of both public/private transports – Park and ride centers to mass transit are one example.

I have decided private transport is a critical ingredient for my current well-being and have decided to purchase a car.   Log in to my next blog to learn more about car purchasing – a shell game.

Pura Vida

Getting Around – Public Transportation: Back in USA

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I decided to rekindle my research on Public Transit back in the USA.  I’m temporarily staying with family and using their private transport until I find a place to relocate. Though, I was familiar with the area and could easily navigate around town , I had never used the city’s bus public transport system.

MTA_New_York_City_Bus_New_Flyer_C40LF_988 Logging into the city’s online Internet site provided me with area bus routes and a timetable.  I even discovered discount rates for seniors.  It was exciting to plot out the familiar routes around town to malls, downtown and university areas by bus.  There was even an automated site with a software program that would deliver a personalized print out for your journey.

My enthusiasm was boundless.  I wondered why I had never used the bus service before.

Then I attempted to plot out a trip online to a nearby shopping plaza with a grocery store and workout gym.  I discovered that the route would not calculate despite the presence of marked bus routes.  Further investigation revealed that two separate buses were required for transit – one going East – West the other going North – South.

The first problem was finding a way to transfer direction without going miles out of the way and using considerable time. The actual destination was only a mile away.  It would be more efficient to go to a store across town than a few blocks away.

The second problem was a deal breaker.  I decided that the store wasn’t so far that I couldn’t use an alternative form of transportation – walking.   After all, I thought, I had been walking and riding my bike farther distances in CR.

walking

The next day I decided to walk to the store following the bus route.   Much to my surprise, I was unable to physically walk from my home to the adjacent street without fatigue and shortness of breath.   I was now living in a mile high city andI hadn’t adjusted to the altitude well as inhaling frigid air into my lungs.

Adjustments were implemented.  I slowly build up to the walk a day at a time.   When I finally made it to the adjacent street and found the bus stop, I was again faced with a new factor – a very long steep hill I had not notice before.

Yes I could easily walk down the hill but how would I get back up the hill especially with packages.

I called the bus services and was told there was a bus service at every senior center in town that could take me to a grocery store.  The service could not however get me or my packages from my home to the center or back again.

My adventure with public transportation reminds me of the story of the man hunting for his keys under a streetlight some distance from his house….. (Streetlight effect – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

I continue to ask about access to public transportation from potential rental property managers throughout the USA.  Now I ask for specifics and if the person I am talking with has ever used this form of transit.

I don’t have an answer yet for my original question “WHAT is public transport? Is it real? Does it work?”

 I have however learned a new perspective in which to look at the world around me and ask questions.

Next  private answers to public transport….

Getting Around – Public Transportation

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WHAT is public transportation? Is it real? Does it work?

Public  is defined as – ‘shared by all the people of an area or country.’

BACKGROUND:

Last August I released my private transportation, my car, for the first time in over 40 years.  I was proud of my cost savings – no more car payments, insurance, gas, repair expenses and a big step into the ‘green’ environment movement.  I was moving to Costa Rica where I was told public transportation was abundant.

I envisioned traveling the rural roads via bus and meeting like-minded participants.

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I quickly learned that buses had a limited route and if I wanted to ride I would have to walk to its access point a real barrier to a nonathletic, heat sensitive individual.  I never figured out the cost of a bus but was assured it was the cheapest form of public transportation.  I also learned that the places I wanted to go, the grocery store, the bank, fruit stand etc. were not available by a local bus.

I would need to engage a private taxi to drive me.  Fortunately, the process of engaging a taxi was explained to me in detail by a helpful neighbor.  I would need a contact # for a driver who spoke English, access to a telephone and $2 per one way fare within the town limits.

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A few weeks later I investigated riding the bus to a nearby town and learned that the buses were extremely hot with no air conditioning.  I ended my intention to use public transportation and purchased a used bicycle.

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To be Coninued – back in the USA.