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I’ve learned not to say so out loud in a pleasant situation how nice it is doing, lest it upset Someone. For example, on a road trip, I might exclaim “How nice! So far this is going good, we’ve run into no problems!” “Don’t say that!” says Someone, clutching the wheel “You’ll jinx us!” Someone is usually the rationalist but not when reflecting out loud things are going well. Apparently this causes the gods (or demi-gods) to strike us with misfortune for my hubris. I point out bad things happen and often do so after a period of good things given the nature of things, but this is of no comfort. So I keep quiet. I also go along with the must-do-or-die ritual of black-eyed peas on 1 January.

I am not a superstitious person, preferring the sad colorless realism bad things happen for no reason and without pattern. I will put on my seatbelt to lessen the chance of motor vehicle calamity but I don’t touch the St. Christopher medal on the dashboard before driving, as my grandmother did. I happen to like black cats and I don’t stay home on 13 Friday. I don’t walk under ladders but this is common sense something might fall off on my way through.

All the same, I catch myself once in a while engaging in a superstition and realize I am not as rational as I think I am. There is a song in my iPhone I avoid playing in the morning as I remember a few times I did so and those days went badly. This is explained more readily by negative bias viz. I remember the days I listened to “Who will buy?” and those days had calamity and I don’t recall the other days it was played and things were unremarkable.

It would be a good thing if we eliminated superstitions but I fear they are so imbedded in our psyches they won’t budge. They merely transform into other types. As kids we wouldn’t step on cracks lest our mothers develop health problems, but as adults we won’t say Macbeth in the theatre.* Go to any casino and you will find people doing all sorts of shenanigans hoping to beat the house guaranteed to win in the long run,

We hold onto our superstitions because they give comfort and meaning. Behind them is the assurance there is something more to life than cold random chance. There is something called ‘luck’, given to us by a vague or distinct divine entity that is just and understandable (if we do “X” they are happy; if we do “Y” they are angry). He/it/they will provide – if we are good and do the right thing like knock on wood or wear the same socks to the auditions. Superstitions provide us with a sense of control in an otherwise uncontrollable situation. If I do so-and-so it will influence the outcome.

Do you have any superstitions? How serious are they?

*I have a few friends who are actors. They tell me the theatre is loaded with superstitions; it is both fascinating and horrifying to hear about them. These guys are proud atheists and believe in self-determination yet become spooked bunnies their careers will be ruined if they do “A” or not do “A” prior to show.

Today Monday (and this week) is going to be a challenge, as an algorithm commences, one quite complicated with more alternative universes than Stephen Hawking could conjure. I doubt this is interesting to anyone but I wanted to write it out so I can keep clear what needs to be done.

My first step is to contact The Boss to tell me what she hears from her Boss at The Overlords. The best-case scenario I call “A”: they let me enroll, late, perhaps with a penalty, and the algorithm ends. If this is not so, (which is likely) I move done the “B” side, which starts with whining and begging to get my 2021 bonus right away, and the promised 2022 raise quickly in place. 

Regardless of the outcome, I need to call the speciality pharmacy today to transfer prescriptions to Fry’s Market, which seems to have the lowest prices of pay-out-of-pocket prescriptions. I need refills by this weekend; I cannot wait until insurance is sorted out. 

Someone is not wanting me to go ‘bare’ as it were. He made me an appointment with an insurance broker for Tuesday. This fellow helped him maneuver through the Medicare application last year. In the “B” situation, he may have some options, including Obamacare. That enrollment date ends 15 January, so I have only a few days to get it going if I go that route. He gave me the OK if the cost is obscene I can call it off. On the other hand, I may not have any option viz. uninsurable. The Good Broker will tell me. 

This week Father is sending me a Christmas cheque which (depending on its size) may cover some of my pay-out-of-pocket meds for January. I will use a credit card, thus delaying the payment until his cheque clears.

I canceled my upcoming Wednesday appointment with the nephrologist, as I have no insurance to pay of it. The Good Doctor will be cross, but there it is. This afternoon I have an appointment with The Good Dentist. I will go as it is too late to cancel.  I will pay for this out of pocket and I plan to decline anything above and beyond a tooth cleaning.  

Yesterday I sat down with Someone to go over our income and expenses. He pointed out I know all of this already, I just keep forgetting like that dimwit fish in “Nemo”.  This time I wrote it down.  We have some wiggle-room to cut costs. We can stop making payments towards savings and retirement, and start taking money out.  Someone’s Social Security starts in Feb or March, which hoists up the income some enough to take some pain away from the monthly medication expense. 

The trouble with all of this planning: no matter how I try to prepare for things, anything can happen and it will require impromptu quick-thinking and revisions. All my arithmetic may be for naught. 

The paradox of being not in control is when you accept it things go better than when you are trying so hard. 

Fasten you seatbelts it’s going to be a bumpy night.  

“Enough drama” said The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections in yesterday’s email. “Write about something pleasant”. Before The Spo-fans get severe with them, the dears passed around a horned helmet and collected some Danegeld coins (and a dead rat) to help with my costs. They also offered me ‘medical assistance’ in the form of blood-letting whenever I needed it, which is their answer to all ills. The dears.

I found money !

Yesterday I stopped on the dog-walk to pick up a penny. Like Sluggy, it gives me a thrill to find stray coins. I put them in the blue piggie-bank in the laundry room and once in awhile Someone packs the coins in paper cylinders that he brings to the bank. This can be up to 50$, depending on the proportions of the coins. I know many people poo-poo picking up pennies; they say they are not worth the pause, dip, and grab. I concur pennies are pretty much useless. I’ve heard many times they cost more to make than they are worth, and the U.S. Government loses 90 million dollars making these dreadful things.

I used to think it was thems in Illinois who were the culprits demanding that pennies continue, but it turns out it is the dastardly zinc industry that is to blame. Pennies are nearly 100% zinc with only a tiny bit of copper – the latter ore too expensive to waste on the manufacture of a one cent coin. I cannot imagine anyone in Congress brave enough proposing their cessation as the other political side would rise up in partisan to accuse the proposal as anti-American.

I believe most other countries sensibly stopped making such sometime ago. Paranoid as we are in The States, we would resemble an orchestra of scorched cats to see a two-cent round up in price as unacceptable, not considering any prices ending with ‘0.03’ or less would be rounded down, making everything even.

U.S citizens apparently like them enough not to demand this waste of money be addressed, but not enough to actually use them. Before I met Someone, I made a conscious effort to spend pennies so they wouldn’t follow me home. I suspect most of us have heaps at home in jars and such, unused and uncirculated.

All the same it is jolly good fun to exclaim “I found money!” when I find a penny, which is often. I sense people when given pennies don’t bother to pocket them. This brings me to the ‘give a penny/take a penny’ plastic dishes next to the cash registers at gas-station check-outs. This quaint mawkish help-your-fellow-man transaction would cease if everything was rounded up or down to a nickel. I would miss them, as I would miss picking up pennies from the sidewalk, but I would gladly do without either if millions of dollars are saved. Talk about penny wise/pound foolish.

Do you pick up pennies or let them lie?

Do you hoard pennies?

If you live outside the States, has your country gone to pot due to the lack of pennies?

I want to thank everyone who wrote support and empathy in yesterday’s comments. I also thank everyone for the tips. You are dears, all of you. Someone and I sit down Sunday to go over the situation and figure things out. Since I last wrote, some updates have occurred that bring optimism. On Friday afternoon I had a sit-down with The Boss who was quite generous in support and with ideas to help. She’s in contact with her boss at The Overlords to see if she has leverage with their HR. The Boss disclosed I am going to get a ‘substantial raise’ in salary this year. Now she’s back in the saddle, she is also arranging to give me a bonus cheque for 2021, as I got last year (she has been away for two weeks, so hadn’t forgotten this only delayed) Even if The Overlords remain implacable in their decision about enrollment, I will get that raise and bonus. She is also looking into the possibility giving me premiums that would have gone out this year to insurance to help me pay for insurance elsewhere. Sooner she’d eat rats in Tewkesbury than see me to leave. What really made me feel good though, more than these hopeful endeavors, was her genuine concern for my welfare.

At home there are means to improve our lot. A happy coincidence just happened: the car payments just ended, freeing up ~ 500$ per month. As the TV screen is kaput and we are not likely to get a new one Someone is looking to cancel some of the cable service, freeing up a few more hundreds of dollars per month. Every month we squirrel away a K for savings, this will stop. I won’t bother applying for the new 401K at work, so that money will be available. There are some nickel and dime savings to do as well: cancel the meal kits and cancel the charities and arts contributions.

Father, upon hearing my tale, immediately went into his role as ‘The Great Provider’ and is sending me money although I told him not to do so. The gesture comes to him as naturally as breathing. I should have kept my mouth shut, knowing he would do this. I do not like to lie to him, but I tell him the equivocation it all worked out and to stop this.*

Our medications – if paid out of pocket – are obscenely expensive. All these endeavors probably won’t cover them but it sure helps. I will meet with The Good Doctor (paying out of pocket) to talk about alternative medications.

So I have more hope than when I last wrote.

I woke this morning along with hope with some symptoms of a cold. My nose is running and my feet are smelling. Someone came home from work sounding awful both in the nose and in the chest, coughing up crud of dubious distinction. He regularly takes health tests where he works, so this appears to be a cold not covid. I wish the foolish man had stayed home today but he went into work again. I hope he doesn’t come home with ‘double pneumonia’ as folks like to call it.

I could solve both problems (coverage and cold) by converting to Christian Science. Rather than take meds I can read “The scientific statement of being” . As for this silly cold I think I have, I can just call it error, and unsee it. Unfortunately I tried, vigorously, and it refuses to unsee me. I will munch on some Hall’s cough drops (cherry). They don’t do any ‘good’ but they feel comforting to suck. And we have heaps, so it doesn’t dip into the Rx budget.

*Two of the brothers think I shouldn’t, as it gives Father ‘something to do’. All his life he has provided and he isn’t doing this anymore; he gets a good feeling back in his role, and it give him something to do. I see all of this, and it’s tempting, but no.

A sometimes recommendation to writers is to ‘write what you know about’ or ‘write what you are experiencing”, but what if what’s happening isn’t good? Do readers really want to know about your woes? Blogging is first and foremost a diary of sorts, a means to record events. Patients dealing with difficult matters are often encouraged to write about them, to help collect thoughts and work through emotions. So I will do likewise.*

I have lost health insurance; I will have no coverage this year. I discovered this when I asked about signing up for such and I was told I had missed the deadline. It was last month when I was distracted with work and Christmas and such. The House Manager checked with The Overlords, who told her no, I can’t sign up; I had missed the deadline. I was recommended to ‘try to find some outside insurance’ perhaps. With pre-existing conditions fat chance of that.

I admit my mind is reeling with worry with the what-ifs and the worse-case scenarios. This is America; if you don’t have insurance and if you can’t afford healthcare you go without. You avoid doctor appointments and stop taking meds, or at least ‘ration them’ as my patients often tell me. The main matter for me is my medication. I take several that are vital for my well-being and some of them are expensive – obscenely so. This weekend I have to figure out what to do about them. I figure there is leverage to save money by stopping contributions to my 401K, discontinuing some subscriptions (like meal kits), and canceling all 2022 travel plans, to shift funds to pay for prescriptions. I was hoping for a new car and glasses this year; these will be canceled. The Good Doctor wanted me to see a nephrologist but without means to cover the probable tests and recommendations, I won’t be going.

Yesterday I wrote about the notion of applying ‘good” to all events. I admit I am not finding anything good about this one. However, there may be some ‘good’ in time. I have long wanted to have a budget, to know where our expenses are going and how we are doing. The situation may force a come-to-the-lord sit down and look at our expenses. I keep in mind I have income; the medications can be covered at exorbitant cost, but it won’t be impossible.

I claim to follow the philosophy of stoicism that has at its heart the notion bad things happen but somehow you will get through it. I’ve had more Armageddons than I have teeth; I recognize one when it happens to me. I’ve survived all of them, so chances are I will get through this one too. 2022 will be a frugal one, without frills but that’s happened before too.

Fingers crossed now I don’t get sick or I have to go to hospital or resort to stopping meds. It would be an irony of sorts to have survived sixty years only to succumb not from sickness but from lack of resources.

*The last time I titled an entry ‘Bad News” I had discovered large dark spot on my back, and thought it was cancer. This turned out to be not so. There is a silly superstition if I title this entry likewise, it will work out OK as well.

I subscribe to a handful of medical journals and email services which keep me abreast of the news and latest findings in Medicine and head-shrinking. Some of these sources are rawther dry and lofty, but a few are a bit ‘fun’ in their way. One of them sends me ‘tips’ to pass onto patients. I thought I would pass on one to the Spo-fans, because I like it and it seems to actually do something. Spo

A fellow named Jocko Willink has a habit to respond to everything that happens to him with the word ‘good’. In an error or a delay, or even in a fiasco, he pauses to say ‘good’ and reflect on the positive opportunity provided. There is an hour delay for a flight? Good: this gives ne time to read or answer calls. The project has fallen through? Good: it frees up time to do other things. A mistake was made? Good: I can learn something from this to better things.

I’ve started practicing this and so far it seems a handy way of finding the positive in things that could be viewed as entirely negative. The patient was a no-show? Good: I had time to finish notes otherwise done as homework. The pharm rep called to cancel lunch? Good: I can practice intermittent fasting.

The point of this exercise is not to deny the bad things but to realize everything has potential for growth and learning. There is brain research showing the more we focus on the ‘glass half-full’ the brain wires itself towards better ability for resilience and problem solving. The opposite happens as well and it is more chilling: the more we focus on the negative, the more the brain wires itself to immediately go for the negative in all events. Cynicism and negativism literally rewires the brain to become a paranoid anxious Debbie-downer. The cliché ‘think positively’ as a small grain of truth to it: choosing to focus on the light, not the darkness, is good for our well-beings and our blood pressure, as it were.

I am far from expert on The Jocko-Good approach; I find it hard to say ‘good” when there is no tea, a load of prior-authorization forms need to be done, and when lies infiltrate and dominate politics. However I know better not to see these as 100% awful (although the lack of oolong is a stretch).

That’s all I have to say on the subject. Good. I can get back to work and get ready for the day’s endeavors.

Spo-fans know that one of my resolutions 2022 is a daily dose of ‘5 minutes doing nothing”. I am to still still, sans music or podcast episodes, and just ‘be’. It is hoped a) this develops in time to longer periods and b) this does me ‘good’. I suppose there is an element of a challenge to it, not unlike learning how to sew shirts: I have no experiences doing so, can I do this? it would be nice for my hummingbird mind to have rest.

Over the weekend I started my my endeavors by lying down in quiet with my eyes closed. I set an alarm for five minutes. This went OK; it was a start. On the other hand, I was tired anyway and I didn’t have anything pressing. I believe one time I fall asleep, which isn’t exactly the point.

Yesterday Monday I thought ‘what if I did the opposite?” meaning in the middle of doing everything I stopped to do nothing, which is what I did. At noon or so, I closed the door to my office, set an alarm for five minutes, turned the computer to ‘sleep’ mode, sat in my office chair – and closed my eyes.

Oh the horror.

I’ve been told ‘letting your mind go blank’ isn’t going to happen and don’t aim for it.. I couldn’t if I tried. perhaps a minute into the endeavor, I felt a swarm of bats bouncing about the brain. flooded with things I ought to be doing and things to do as soon as this was over. I tried to focus on my breathing, yet it was like trying to relax knowing there is a mosquito hovering over you. Worse, my mind started turning the experience into a blog entry! I was simultaneously trying compose and not compose.

I began to get squirmy; was my five minutes up yet? I forbade myself to open my eyes and have a look-see at the stop-watch to know how much time was left. While the bats and mosquitoes whizzed about and my inner-scribe was trying to recorded into a blog entry, I tried focusing on keeping my eyes close and not peeking. Then the story of Orpheus and Euridice came onto the stage. For thems not familiar with the Greek myth, Orpheus was allowed to bring his dead wife back to the living on the proviso he doesn’t turn back to look at her during their percent up from Hades. Just as he nears the top he gets anxious, turns around (as he could not hear her) and blows the deal. Damned (pun intended) if I were to do otherwise. This tension mounted until I knew I was no longer benefiting from this exercise. After all there was no gom jabbar at my neck. So I opened them.

I had set the alarm for 5 minutes, but hadn’t started it.

I don’t know how long I was in this state. The iPhone said the time was 12:07; if I started around noon time then I lasted seven not five minutes. Either way it was deucedly uncomfortable, but I was pleased as Punch for my endeavor. I got back to work and found no one had died and the world hadn’t stopped spinning for my absence. Good to know.

I will keep doing this. Rome isn’t built in a day, and the Spo-mind doesn’t calm down in a day either. I think with practice it will become easier and my brain less batty. Let us hope so.

Friday the office is closed; I have the day off. This is a surprise, for I normally work on 31 December. In the past two weeks hardly anyone else has worked; apparently all the counselors took time off at the holidays. This morning I will review my 2021 journal and reflect on what did/didn’t happen this year.*

As is the wont, we won’t be going out this evening – again. There’s a part of me that always feels a bit sad or deprived by this. I envision all my nearest and dearest going out tonight to fabulous parties, dressed to the nines, having themselves a ball, while I sit home in my bathrobe watching the world go by. Boohoo and woe is me. Someday I may insist on going out, but not this year, what with covid19. Someone had a scare at work this week: he told he was exposed to someone who had tested positive. He had to stay home and get tested; yesterday the results came in: negative. He’s back to his ushering job, but is was a close call and a reminder one can still get it even with vaccines and boosters. Thus, we are staying home today and I will be partying with a bowl of shrimp cocktail that I’ve been saving for this grand occasion.

We open Christmas prizes today, perhaps before or after supper. My prizes for Someone are wrapped in gay colors* and ribbons and wait under the tree. I hope he likes them. I haven’t seen signs he’s wrapped or done anything for me so I am going to be surprised or this will be a one-way gift-giving endeavor.

I will call SIL #2 and wish her a happy birthday; I will text The Boss-lady too for it is also her birthday. I will call Father this evening and wish him Happy New Year. Every 31 December my parents would get together with two other couples, The McCartneys and the Macintoshes. They did this every year as far back as I can remember. Of the six, I believe only my father and Mrs. Mackintosh are the only ones still alive. I wonder if they will call each other; I hope they do.

As is custom, I will say “Rabbit! ” as the last word of the year spoken out loud; it is the first word of the new year as well. Brother #2 and I saw this suggestion in a kiddie-calendar when we were youngsters and we’ve been saying it ever since. The other brothers picked it up in turn. I don’t know if this superstition actually does any good at promoting luck, but it is a comfort knowing on 12/31 at 1159:59 PM all my brothers and I wherever we are will be saying the same word at the same time, and thinking of each other. It is a pleasant thought the last thought of every year goes this way.

So, in this last entry of Spo-reflections for 2021, I wish Spo-fans and readers far and near a prosperous and happy new year.

See you in 2022.

Rabbit !

**Turns out not much.

*My paternal grandmother was one of the last who used the adjective ‘gay’ to describe something or someone as cheerful and colorful. Whenever I use the word by that definition, I think of her.

What’s top of my mind: New Year’s Eve. Normally we don’t do anything on this most festive of nights; driving out to a bar in Arizona traffic is something to be avoided. I fall asleep around 1020 PM local time, after watching on television the ball drop in Times Square.* This year Someone and I exchange our Christmas prizes this evening. I plan to have some shrimp, something I associate with the holidays. There is a bottle of ‘the boy’ that is getting old; perhaps I will open it for the sake of the evening. Happy new year, everybody!

Where I’ve been: Barnes and Noble. Once upon a time long time ago in a faraway land, going to bookstores was a regular pleasure of mine. I have not been to one in a long while. On Boxing Day I went to the B&N in the nearby mall. Fascinating! – and not in a good way: the store seemed bereft of books. Rather it had a coffee shop doing a fine business, and a large section for puzzles/games. I went looking for blank journals, a daily planner, and some face calendars. These were minimal pickings at best. Alas, Babylon! These objects are going out like the antiquated bookstores that house them. This makes me sad.

Where I’m going: The nephrologist. The Good Doctor wants me to see one, based on my recent KFTs (kidney function tests). I can accurately predict what this doctor will say and do. I will be asked to do a 24- hour urine sample. He will redo the KFTs, and declare they are indeed ‘down’. He won’t have any advice, other than to keep hydrated and follow up with him in another six months so he can watch them decline. All docs is quacks.

What I’m watching: Statistics. Each December I review my goals and compare them to previous years. This includes my weight, the number of books read, the number of shirts made, the traffic stats on my blog, and the number of times I have rolled down grass hills. The scientist in me loves doing this sort of stuff, to see patterns and correlates to make predictions and plans for the new year.

What I’m reading: My 2021 journal. It’s amazing (and a bit disturbing) the events I forgot happened each year until I reread my daily entries. After I go over them, I make a list of the ‘highlights’ and put these in a summary in the back of the book for future reference.** Every year I read my former self fretting about the crisis de jour and realize not only have I survived them all I don’t even remember most of them. It is a comfort. Note to future self: keep this in mind when 2022 delivers onto you fresh crisis.

What I’m listening to: The little match girl. Every New Year’s Eve since I was a boy I read or listened toa recording of Mr. Anderson’s tale ‘The little match girl’. I had a Walt Disney LP with his stories; I was happy to find it on The Tube of Yous so I can hear it again. I suppose ‘The Mouse’ would not make such a recording now, as the story has all sorts of disturbing elements by today’s standards. While it is a sad story, it ends in glory, appropriate for entering into a new year.

It’s what’s on the menu

What I’m eating: Black-eyed peas. Every year Someone insists on black-eyed peas ate on the first day of the year. Last year we waited until New Years day to buy some, and Uncle Albertsons was fresh out! This sent Someone into a gummy panic of potential twelve months of bad luck. We managed to find a tinned version and ate that, to great relief. This Friday, as part of his prizes, I am giving him a bag of dried peas that I purchased a few weeks ago. Who says I ain’t considerate?

Who needs a good slap: No one leaps to mind. I can’t think of anybody at the moment. It’s too bad, as I’ve had some rancor rising on and off this week and it has no cathartic outlet. I need a Backpfeifengesicht. Spo-fans are requested to leave modest proposals in the comments and I will rate them on my now-legendary 1-5 scale.

What I’m planning: New Year resolutions. I have three for 2022; two are concrete/measurable goals and one is a philosophy of which to be mindful:

Every day have five minutes of sitting doing nothing.

I don’t remember a time when I had any. This shall be done with no music, no podcasts, and no activity – just sit still with my eyes closed and be quiet. Five minutes per day is the starting time; maybe in time it will expand towards 15 minutes. I think this will do me a lot of good. Let us hope so.

Every day discard a useless or unwanted item.

I wrote about this yesterday. I start 1 January with the bowl of replacement bulbs for strands of Christmas and Halloween lights we no longer have.

“No hurry; no pause

I recently read this and thought it a good slogan to apply to my 2022. I rush doing everything, as if there is some sort of timer goin. This rushed approach often causes emotions of vexation and feeling worn out – and mistakes are made. This is apparent when I am cooking: I bungle , I get frustrated, and by the time the dish is done I’m too tired to enjoy it. The point here is to slow down but keep going, like The Tortoise in the Aesop fable. I read 95% of the results wanted can be accomplished calmly putting one foot in front of other. “slow is smooth; smooth is fast”. Worth trying.

What’s making me smile: George the Cat. Every year at Christmas Brother #3 makes us all a calendar full up with family photos. He didn’t made one in 2020 and 2021 as nobody went anywhere to make such photos. For 2022 he made a ‘beefcake’ calendar for our niece, Warrior Queen, using twelve photos of Gorgeous George, B#3’s cat, in provocative pussycat poses. Yes yes yes I want one too; he is sending me a copy.

*I wake up briefly at midnight local time when the neighborhood idiots shoot off guns.

**I wish I had a shilling for each time we fail at recalling in which year so-and-so visited or which year we went to that-place. When this happens, I pull out my journals and look in the backs at the summaries until I find it, and then I read the actual entries – and remember. Many events would be lost to memory otherwise.

That does it. I start one of my new year’s resolutions this week: every day I will throw out something. Yesterday while rummaging about the larder I discovered a tray with candy canes from 2020. I put them there to ‘some day eat’. I was about to put away the 2021 candy canes for the same reason. This little bit of lunacy stiffened my resolve to be rid of something, anything each day in 2022. I will put it in my “Way of Life” app to remind me. I will do OK with this one.

I will start with the useless things, objects away that won’t be used ever again. I start with the year-old candy canes. While in the larder I also discovered a canister of breadcrumbs with the expiration date circa 2018. After the larder is depleted of old and never-to-be used items, I am going after several hand-held controls for various television screens long ago discarded. They go next.

Some things go directly to the dustbin but many are still useful just not for me. These will go into a ghost bag to bring to Goodwill. Indeed there are three large bags of clothes in the master bedroom closet, so old I don’t remember what’s in them. I will trust my past self the clothes therein are indeed items I won’t be wearing ever again.. I will add a few more items until the bags are bursting and off to the charity bins they go.

Someone points out these items are not particularly taking up needed space in desperate need of clearing, so why throw them out, on the grounds of ‘just in case’. While there is some logic to this, the psychological purging this will provide me is worth the risk I may throw out something I later regret doing. That said, the odds are good we won’t be needing those tape-cassette recordings of Broadway soundtracks, or the paperbacks we read so long ago we have forgotten we have them (or recall their contents). These go to the library or the ‘book bin’ outside Uncle Albertsons.

I thought to put in my journal (for I write daily) what item was ostracized that day, but I think maybe I won’t. While it may be amusing a year hence to read ‘today I discarded the electric toaster, the broken one that has been sitting in the garage for years”, there may be a part of me that longs to get a replacement, so I better not tempt my future self. I don’t trust him to not get more.

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