Thursday, August 1, 2013

Scattered thoughts

First, a follow up on my "looking for my grandfather" post last week:  I didn't hear from Sydney about my grandfather, but I did find a genealogist in Colorado who tracked down the birth and marriage and divorce records I needed to conclude Sydney is not related to me. A newspaper article the genealogist sent me related that my grandfather Myron and his wife Edna were both high school students when they married secretly, but a church bulletin leaked the news. At that time (early 1900s), married students could not attend school, so they both had to drop out. Still, I wonder why Edna's mother signed for permission for her daughter to marry. Was there an unsuccessful pregnancy? I don't know. The dropping out of school piece was enough information for me to be able to move on to other genealogical curiosities.

Now, on to my scattered thoughts.

I used to be able to juggle nine balls in the air. Not actual balls, you know, but things I was thinking about or working on. I noticed as I got older that I'd drop a ball occasionally, until I only tried juggling eight. I can do it now with about five. But I still have a to-do list on the refrigerator and on my online calendar.

Still, I'm scattered this week. There are a lot of balls looking for a basket to rest in.

1. My husband Art is leading a weekend retreat later this month. It's not something he ordinarily does, so I'm spending time listening and reflecting and helping him prioritize. Yesterday I spent a couple of hours rekeying an application packet because the leader last year didn't save an electronic copy. Phone calls Art makes sometimes don't get returned, and, while he has many, many redeeming qualities, patience is not at the top of the list.

2. We filed an extension on our taxes this year. I have all the information I need now to complete them. I need a couple of hours of uninterrupted time to take care of them. "Finish taxes" has been at the top of my list for over a week and it is still sitting there, guilting me.

3. We were invaded by carpenter ants. The exterminator came on Sunday. I still see an ant every now and then, but I believe they have left the residence. They creep me out.

4. I have overscheduled us for hosting travelers.

One couple, David and Sharon, are friends we made in Tennessee on our road trip last year. They arrive on August 12 for a week. The other couple, Ray and Marianne, are home exchangers from Maryland on their way to Australia. They'll be here on August 22, also for a week.

Once those arrangements had been made,  our 13-year-old twin granddaughters' summer camp got rescheduled from July to August, so they'll be arriving and departing between sets of houseguests, with a one-day overlap at the beginning of Ray and Marianne's stay. There was nothing I could do about that one. The girls will just have to share a bed, or one of them will use an air mattress on the floor.

We also have a couchsurfer, a fourth-year veterinarian student doing her externship in our area. I thought she was coming in October, but I just noticed today it's September - with a two-day overlap at the end of Ray and Marianne's visit! That one I missed because I was juggling too many balls.

It will all work out. I'll have the housekeeper come over an extra time and I'll remind Art he needs to clean up the office/second guest room and he needs to be patient!

5. I filled out my application for retirement today. I quit my job three years ago but am just now old enough to get a full pension. I have many thoughts about this.

6. Every day I walk or swim or line dance. Most days, anyway. Fitting it in can mean juggling times.

7. We need 1600 more air miles to qualify for MVP on Alaska Airlines for next year. I'm thinking Colorado, Maryland, Iowa or San Diego. Maybe there and back in one day, but more likely a week, using a timeshare or Evergreen Club. I know this sounds like a frivolous ball to be juggling, but it takes time also. I ask Art where he wants to go and he said, "I don't care." He'll have a good time wherever we go. Right now he's focused on planning the retreat.

8. Our Designer Cat, Larisa, needs to have her nails trimmed. I have to catch her first, and then do one or two nails a day. In the meantime, she is snagging many fabrics.

9. Art got hearing aids last Saturday. They are quite state of the art, but they are not quite perfectly adjusted yet. I am hearing a lot about that.

10. Last but not least, I am on level 130 of Candy Crush on Facebook. It's a good few-minute filler. But I find myself thinking about it when I should be doing other things. An embarrassing number 10!


Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Like you, I can only juggle a smaller number of balls than I once did, and it seems to take more effort. Had to laugh when I got to #10. Haven't tried it...yet. It's only a matter of time, I am sure. Take a deep breath every so often as you keep juggling!

DJan said...

Multitasking is a skill that some of us don't learn all that well, if at all. I can do a few, but when I read about everything YOU are doing, I broke out in hives (well, almost). :-)

Barb said...

I am absolutely terrible at multitasking-always was. I seem to get too involved in one thing, and one thing only. My only multi tasking is done in front of the tube. I have to write it all down or nothing gets done.

Arkansas Patti said...

I used to multitask quite well but now I'm kind of a one ball tosser. Not enough to juggle and am relatively single minded.
You amaze me but I am glad it is you and not me.
Glad you are on top of those carpenter ants. I had them in my guest house and was told they do similar damage as termites.
One treatment got mine. Good luck.

Perpetua said...

I need lists too, otherwise my multi-tasking just fails completely and I used to be so good at it. And I don't even try to do half as many things as you, Linda. :-)

Sally Wessely said...

Whew! I read all of this, and now I am exhausted! I can't even keep one ball in the air these days. You have a lot going on girl! I'm glad you are finally getting your full retirement benefit. That will be great.

Sharon Longworth said...

Yep, I'm in the 'I can't keep juggling the same amount as I used to' club. I keep telling myself that keeping my brain active is good for me - then I fall asleep in the armchair...

wheels4me said...

I was never proficient at multi-tasking. By far and away, I do better doing one task at a time. These days I am focusing on being in the moment of doing one thing well right now. Of course, I don't get much done but that is another story!

Deb Shucka said...

From what I've read, multitasking isn't all it's cracked u to be. And I find that really reassuring as I have a hard time even holding one ball in a hand some days. Your list made me laugh. What an incredible life you have.

Dee said...

Dear Linda, just reading your schedule--all those balls in the air to juggle--leaves me both dizzy and tired. I could say it's because I'm ten or twelve years older than you, but even when I was your age I couldn't have done all of that. I was never that organized; nor did I ever have energy in abundance. I so admire the way you get involved in life. It's inspirational.

I read your earlier posting on Sydney and found everything intriguing. I've never gotten involved in a genealogical search and so I was never aware of all one could do. It amazes me. Peace.

Linda Reeder said...

I'm wondering WHEN you might need a "few minutes filler"!
I couldn't handle hosting people I don't know in my house for a week. Lucky for those people that you are not like me!
I find that I am not very good at multitasking any more. I gradually lost that ability after I retired, since I didn't need it so much. Now I plan carefully to be able to concentrate on one thing at a time.

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