Almost 72, Planning Still Works
Happy Aging Zone? There is a delightful balancing place most of us can find, with a little effort. It comes down to three concepts we’ve covered on Peoplenomics and here this year. For those who missed, these concepts revolve to form a “balanced life.”
- It’s marvelous to have/be-in a relationship with someone who returns the favor.
- Time set aside for learning and study pays huge dividends via improved thinking and mental acuity.
- And “working with our hands” is the personal form of magick. “Abracadabra!” “As I speak, I Create (or do).”
There are also three hacks to keeping your brain-mind relationship humming:
- The ‘center Self’ has the role of a Judge. That “voice in our heads” (driven by fear, experience gone bad, and such) needs to be “silenced by the Judge” who instead will point to physical Externalities — Reality itself. Referencing reality is good….
- Each day is lived with the “Judge” looking through the “viewfinder of Life” – mentally “filming it all.” Because (like it or not) the odds are extremely high that the phrase “life flashed before my eyes…” – common among those who have had a “near Death experience (NDE) – is true. What are you bringing to this “film festival at The End?”
- And there’s a hack to this “movie-making” – because what you choose to remember – even if from dreams or self-guided meditations – is just as real in your “Life Film” as the life experienced directly through sensory inputs. Kinda like CGI…but faster and better resolution.
Toss in absolute total honesty and you’ve got the makings of a high-functioning Doer.
2020 – Our Priorities Shifted
We have a ton of projects that didn’t come to fruition this year. Because life – like golf – will sometimes not only land you in the rough, but it will change the whole game on you.
When we learned earlier this year Elaine would need hip replacements – and then got those scheduled for early 2021 – neither one of us understood how much impact they would have. She has a terribly painful time just walking from the kitchen to then living room. We hope the surgery doesn’t get CV delayed on us.
A lot of project-time has gone to dealing with a lack of mobility. Ure has been back to his (“watch me put on weight!”) grand cookery self. Unlike living on a sailboat, we’re not as active though. We bought another scale this year. Didn’t help much.
More on this in a minute (see “Pizza” at end). Beyond this, I’ve been working on streamlined meal plans, finding new ways for Elaine to better cope, and so forth.
It’s been an adjustment for her, as well. Until this year, “the house” has been entirely her domain; “the office and shop” was mine.
The mindset each of us has – about running the house – is a study in contrasts.
Elaine is an artist. She considers things and is always fine-tuning on the go. Perfection often results.
My approach is different: I make house-running a game of “See how many machines I can get doing my work for me at the same time!”
My idea of a house is one where the washer, dryer, crockpot, oven, and vacuum cleaner are all working overtime. While playing an audible while in the studio, a dub-down is coming off a reel-to-reel tape machine while sloshing down a beer. If the cat gets in the way, oh well…
Elaine’s countenance is not based on power-tool harmony. To each their own. We respect each-others way.
No Excuses: It’s All Learning
This is not a series of “excuses” though.
I’ve enjoyed every step of the way. I know more about Topricin Pain Relief Therapy Cream, Dr Kay’s Adjustable Height Bath and Shower Chair, and the ArcMate EZ Pro Reacher Grabber Pick Up Tool than I ever wanted to know.
Remember, 72 will come for me in a couple of months, so my attitude towards “getting things done” has dramatically changed this year. Elaine’s momentary delays in mobility have been a marvelous blessing, however well-disguised!
Take for example how “the bug man” was replaced by me (and a lifetime supply of glue boards) to catch scorpions and other critters common to Texas. Instead of writing a $500-check every year, the combination of CV-19 and Elaine’s walking issues got me doing all that pest control stuff.
But now, armed with the (thank you!) reacher/grabber, I can roll through the whole property laying out fresh traps faster than a 25-year old pest technician. Well, almost….
Now, as I get a bead on 2021, the Frederick Winslow
Taylor in me has come out – in spades! Know him?
“Frederick Winslow Taylor (March 20, 1856 – March 21, 1915) was an American mechanical engineer who sought to improve industrial efficiency. He was one of the first management consultants. Taylor was one of the intellectual leaders of the Efficiency Movement and his ideas, broadly conceived, were highly influential in the Progressive Era (1890s–1920s).”
Implementing Change – Broadly
We all live in a “mental pasture” which has soft self-imposed limits around it. Kind of like “mental barbed wire.”
Keeps us from constantly tearing down the fences and risking new adventures. Keeps most people “thinking like everyone else…”
One trick to fool aging is to recognize that one reason people “grow old and die” is because there’s nothing else to do. (God, do we have that fixed!)
Couching out Life? That’s a hell of a way to live. When I hear stories about how someone “Worked for 40-years, then retired to the couch and didn’t get up for five-years till he died…” I can’t imagine a greater human tragedy. People write their own scripts, though. I like adventures, not death-drama, thanks.
I have more dreams, more projects, more energy, more ambition, and even more resources now than at any time in my personal history. I can literally do anything.
The ugly secret is? ANYONE CAN. It’s all in your attitude and outlook.
Take the canceling of the bug man. Didn’t want to do it. Good guy (the most recent one). But, it was someone who came from outside the “green zone” of CV-19 protection, so it was a risk to eliminate.
Along the way? Those reacher/grabbers are not in every room in the house.
- In the studio, when a reel retainer dropped and rolled under an equipment rack, guess what tool was at the ready?
- Instead of Elaine bending over tow feed Zeus on the porch, it’s the 32″ version of the reacher.
- When I smack, a golf ball out on the property, no hand going down into tall grass – there’s a 40-incher in the golf bag.
- In the shop, there’s a 40″and a 32″ on the half-wall by the miter saw.
- In the living room, if a small remote gets dropped…well, you get the picture…
Now, we could whine and feel sorry all day long, but there it is: A simple $27-tool and life gets no harder than it was before. Except the operating costs came down on the self-done pest control. (Want me to write that up? It’s not that hard…)
Tool Use Matters
There are a number of big, heavy projects ahead in 2021.
The most interesting (next weekend more on my solar add-ons to our existing solar lash-up) involves some real construction. Welding, rebar, setting T-Post, trenching in wire and a whole-lot more.
Thing is – having learned from Elaine’s fast adoption of the “reachers” – there are hacks for nearly everything ahead
Example 1: I didn’t think about it – but trenching in the heavy copper cable for the additional solar panels would constitute real-actual work. Instead of pick-axe time, though, an old 110V electric chain saw may be put to use to get a first pass done.
Example 2: Part of the new solar panel holder (there are 10- 265-watt panels waiting to go up) involves a 40-foot line rebar and spacer” beam. What’s the simple source for “beam spacers?” eBay! Amazon! Welder “coupons!”
OK, you may not have much “hands-on” with “welder coupons” but when I was teaching myself to weld, I wanted to weld – not spend all year on the plasma cutter and grinder to make up practice materials. So… a few clicks later? Welding Cube Kit 2-PACK 2X2X11 Gauge And 2X2X1/4 (Contains 12 (6ea 11g and 6ea 1/4) 2″ Square Coupons).
Is it perfect? Not quite – but damn near – and the savings in prep time? Let’s just say at “this end of life” every second means something!
Same with putting in T Post with the impact driver/demolition hammer.
Step one? Buy a 1.75″ wide 24″ long “earth auger” (Metal Earth Auger/Ground Auger Drill Bit 24″ Long 1.75″ Wide Helix, 8 mm Diameter Non-Slip Hex Shank – under $22) and toss that into the battery-powered impact driver. Whoo-hoo!
Aug out a hole 12″ deep, fill with water and let sit for a few minutes each. Stick in T-Post, and turn on the next power tool. Demolition hammer with T-Post head. No way has T-Post ever been so easy.
Anyway, there’s a little more to it than that: It helps to hit the end of the T-Post with the plasma cutter to rough-out a point…but you see how this works?
When you encounter a problem in life: Size up the problem. Engineer graceful answers. Buy tools and implements as needed. And then get ‘it done!
I’d write more, but sun’s up and the compressor is on making air for the plasma rig. Holiday weekend? Joy of Making never takes a day off.
Why would it? Besides, one of those Tyson pot roast kits is already in the crockpot. Which is another well-engineered solution to dinner, since we use the “slow cooker bags” which means zero clean-up time on the pot…
Point is? Think about it: How much is pot-scrubbing worth? Under $6 for Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liners, Regular (Fits 3-8 Quarts), 12 Total. Is it worth 50-cents NOT to wrestle with a hot crock pot? Not a hard call these days…not a hard call, at all!
Last Note: Pizza Temp
Pre-made pizza people know nothing about making pizza. Ure’s secret recipe for kick-ass pizza even from store-bought?
- You MUST have a pizza stone.
- You must have the oven at 550.
- We use a Di Giorno thin crust Suprema as a base to build on.
- Thaw the pizza for a half-hour to 45-min.
- Add 4-5 fresh sliced mushrooms.
- 1/2-1 cup of additional “mutz” – more is good. Just remember your cardiologist and strike the balance that way…
It’s not the 90-second bake time (900F) or classic Neapolitan, but way the hell better than any other frozen “by directions” crap. 12-minutes or so and marvelous. You may need the stove hood on high for the smoke. Turn 4-5 times with a pizza paddle…serve with a gallon of Carlo Rossi.
Write when you get rich,