The take off list.

I’ve always wanted to go somewhere, for anything.  I get bored easily I guess or maybe I just like to go and see new things.  For years, I would ask my kids, what do you want to do?  Ready for any answer and there used to be many.  Let’s go to Chucky Cheese, let’s go to the movies, let’s go to the park, let’s go to the store.  Let’s go, what do we need, let’s pack the bags and go.  Over time, and as the situations changed, we’d often have go bags packed.

Of course, when they were little, the go bags were diapers and bottles and such.  Then toys and technologies, and batteries and chargers.  Don’t forget the sunscreen, snacks, and a few bottles of water.  Going for a bike ride?  Another bag was ready with a spare tube, patch kit, and bike tools.  Lately, it seemed like those bags didn’t get used as much.  And of course, as my youngest learned to work with me, we both developed our own ‘go to work’ bags, with the tools of our different trades and plenty of snacks and water.

That bag got used a lot the last few years.  My big adventure each day, to go to work.  It’s hard to complain about living a dream, until you wake up and wonder if you were living someone else’s dream.  Or maybe the dream I was chasing, isn’t the one I settled for.  That sounds more like it.  In fact that sounds more like what I’m trying to say in general.  To have a goal or a desire, then to settle for something just less, a compromise between what I want and what I believe I can achieve.

Two months ago, my ‘dream’ was to be financially stable as I endured a lifelong disability.  Was that ever my dream in life?  I don’t think so.  It was my wishes for the best compromise of the situation I thought I was stuck in. Then, I got unstuck.

Why didn’t I try that sooner?  To solve the problem rather than compromise my life around it?  Well, in this case, I feel I was gaslighted by my doctors into believing my situation was that dire.  Did I myself ever really feel that way?  No.  Not from the very beginning.  I remember that first time I was alone after waking up in the hospital, the first day I was never quite alone (or quite awake long enough to realize I was alone.)

The second day though, Thursday evening I remember being alone in my room for the first time (and wide awake to know it.) And I broke down and cried.  What the hell did I do to myself?  How can I go on from here?  Dammit, I had things to do.  I have things to do.  Things that need to be done.  This is what I told myself.  Then I asked myself, what?  There is nothing you can do.  And I prayed.  It gave me something I could do.  I prayed every day, not for myself, for my team; my doctors, nurses and caretakers.  It was a long list and it gave me a lot of things to do.

I’ll probably never be able to tell every story that happened LAST year, but over time, I will try to fill out the whole picture.  But for now, rather than worry about last year, I’m going to focus on today.  Today was a good day.  Woke up warm and hungry, ate breakfast, and made some tea.  Played radio for a while, checked into the RV net.  I’ve been listening to that one for a while (7.184, 6:30-9:00am MST) but waiting until today to check in, as a traveler.

Played with APRS some more today, as I really do want to get a digipeater up and running, however the raspberry pi shortage (caused by the larger chip shortage) has increased the price of a raspberry pi almost ten fold and I just won’t spend that much for one.  However, as I do now how two cell phones, my old Jackson local phone, and my new traveling phone.  The new phone has a much better plan and hotspot data for my laptop, and when it rings, I know someone I love is calling.  The old phone I though was worth thirty dollars a month to keep my number for password recoveries.

Yet, I do have that second phone, so I started searching for iPhone apps to integrate as part of an iGate system.  Ends up the best (per Internet) app for APRS runs on Android, so after thinking about it for a second, I figured I’d swap my Jackson local phone for an Android.  Quick google search showed the nearest AT&T store just a town over in Alice.  And I was just at the point in the day where it was starting to get a bit too warm, a thirty minute drive in the A/C sounded good.

Let’s talk about these Texas roads again, they are good, smooth, well maintained, and no frost/freeze cycles down here.  And that is great, however there is more to driving than the roads.  From Mathis to Alice is Highway 359 which goes through Orange Grove on the way.  It’s a two lane highway (one each way) much like M-50 in Jackson County, Michigan from Vandercook to Napoleon.  Same width of road, same types of curves (with a lot more straightway between the curves.). And the speed limit is seventy five.  I’m getting used to it.. it just seems a bit much.  In Michigan, pot is legal, and in Texas speeding is legal.

The whole way there and back I felt like a race car driver keeping my eyes tuned on the road.  Oh well, I’m sure I’ll learn to text and drive at seventy five soon enough (kidding!). Let’s back up a bit.  It was a great morning, and first thing- I stood up well getting out of my tent this morning.  Like seriously, I felt like a normal person for a second.  Walking around, my leg muscles didn’t feel as ‘tight’ as they usually do, rather, they felt ‘full’.  As if they had stretched all over with a bit of growth.  And walking around, I felt more stable – and less like a drunken sailer.

Okay- less like what I thought a drunken sailer would look like.  Having been better educated by my cousin, whom has some experience at being a drunken sailor (or experience at observing other drunken sailors,) I was inspired to do better.  He expected better of me in fact.  That being the case I went for an early walk this morning, the full half mile loop.  And I did it like a real drunken sailer.

I didn’t cut the corner by the bathhouse, I stayed on the asphalt loop all the way around.  And I tried hard not to stumble, lest shore patrol take notice.  Also, I did my best not to lean forward, although that takes some pain out of my rump when I walk.  Rather, I stood as straight and tall as I could and took my weight in the small of my back- and all the way up my back for that matter.  I carried my small chair, but I did not use it- I almost did, just before the corner I almost cut- then just made it all the way one step at a time.

I didn’t do it with a straight face though.  By the end, I came back into my site moaning and groaning with each step as if I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders.  At least I was breathing.  No cane all day today, don’t think I’ll need it anymore.  After today, it’s hard to deny that what I am doing is working.  I am getting what I want.

How did this happen?  Well, I made a plan, made a list, started to cross off the items preventing me from getting it.. then I took off and got it.

Hmmm… is this a repeatable pattern?

I need another take-off list I think, I’ve been thinking all day about it all day since my reminder to “Post take-off list” went off at nine this morning.  Last Monday, I skipped it as I had already taken off and was in the midst of my travels.  Today though, I was pretty stagnant as I thought about the list: it was empty.  Done. Finished.  I have broken all my chains and found complete freedom in life.  Well.. wait a minute.

What was the list about, everything?  No, just one thing, one goal, one desire: my bar.  I wrote about this before and I have a lot more to write about it.  That was to goal, and I didn’t get it the way I thought I would, in Florida.  However, with that goal planted in my mind, and my progress towards it, I ended up with my local surgery, that really couldn’t have been better for my timeline.  A day to recover, and I was still on my way.  I think I need new goals, new things to work on, I still need to find and eliminate the things holding me back.

Next Monday morning will be back to a separate post for the take off list.  It might not always be about physical take-off’s quite like my exodus from Jackson; however, it will be about taking off more chains holding me down.  I think if anyone has been reading here on the regular, they may have noticed that I seem to be carrying some extra baggage around.  Not in my car – there was no room for excess there – yet in my mind, I still have a thousand? a dozen? a few? unresolved issues that could use some finality.

What does that mean?  I don’t know yet.  As far as I’ve come, I have not gone nearly far enough.  More stories to be told and the time is coming sooner to tell them all, one at a time.

Okay, enough talking, good day; good to feel strong.  Good to know I can carry a case of water and walk fifty yards without seeing my feet and without falling down, or even stumbling (much.)  Good to know I can walk tall and take the pain from my legs to my back.  Likely, my back needs some growing too.  Lots of that needed all around.

Time to rest.

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