This image really strikes home, especially as I embark on this solo adventure. Source: “PostSecret” by Frank Warren.
As things wind down to the bitter end, I find that I am probably taking more pairs of glasses than anything other than socks and skivvys. I have a pair of progressives, a backup pair (really?), single focus for computer/reading, prescriptive sunglasses, and plain sunglasses. Wait. FIVE pairs of glasses?! How did I get here?
I need the dailies, well, because daily. A backup pair is a nice-to-have, but probably not really needed. Those go to the bottom of the list. Computer/reading? Yeah, my progressives have that prescription at the bottom, but I am finding myself looking down my nose at the computer when I work. I guess I could sit up straighter, but I'm fucking retiring, and you can't tell me what to do, MOM.
I guess it depends on how much time I may spend on a laptop. I plan to update this folderol semi-regularly, and I do have a couple of work contracts that I may get some work out of, so...I don't know?
Prescription sunglasses? How else am I going to read on the beach, and still be able to people-watch properly behind dark lenses? Pretty much a necessity, don't you think?
Non-prescription sunglasses? Definitely necessary. Anyone ever tried running a technical trail wearing progressive lenses, where the bottom of the lens is for close work? Yeah, trip and fall likelihood just went up by a factor of 100. I guess for as long as I plan on running (or cycling for that matter), non-script sunnies will be tagging along. Although, they are cheap and easily replaced wherever I may be.
I may have to forego a shirt or something to accommodate the multitudes of lenses. Thankfully I take no meds. That'd take up way too much room, and I'd have to leave them behind.
Last night I attended an outdoor, free concert here in my (current) home town featuring Mumbo Gumbo, a band that has been playing the area for thirty years. Of course I went, since I'd seen them play probably eight or more times since I've lived in the area. What made this experience especially poignant to me was how it bookeneded (if that's not a word, it now is) my living here.
Mumbo Gumbo played my wedding way back in 1997. That was really the cement on my adherence to the area, as now I was married, had a good job and had plans for kiddos. The ceremony was a blur - ask anyone who attended, since I mispronounced my future wife's name - but the reception was memorable to all: it was a party for the ages. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, who attended had the absolute best time: great food great music, plentiful alcohol and the dancing went on into the night.
After last night's show, I had the opportunity to meet and chat with the two lead singers (Chris Webster and Tracy Walton).
"1997, a wedding at Edgewood. Do you remember?"
"OMG! We were just talking about that yesterday! Who stole a piece of the challah bread?!" I jokingly pointed to Chris.
They remembered. I was disproportional happy about that. We chatted about how they were at the beginning of my life here, and now, at this particular concert, they were at the end, since I'm on my way Walkabout. I'm pretty happy they remembered playing the reception; I always will. I'm glad they played at the end of my stint here in this town as well, as it was less bittersweet and more rockin' an exit. I'm going out with a bang.
Over the weekend, I did a practice packing with the minimum of stuff I planned to take. Wow. I didn't realize I had such bare minimums. I was able to add a fair amount of additional clothes.
Overall, things are progressing nicely, and the countdown inexorably continues. I've turned over nearly all work to my replacement, I've put ads out for all my furniture, and what doesn't get given away, I'm making arrangements to have taken. What I plan to keep is containered and scheduled to be housed in a friend's storage shed. The photo below is the bins of keepsies, and the two packed travel bags.
I'm going light. If I find I need anything along the way, I have a suspicion I can get it wherever I happen to be.
All that's left is to arrange for turning off my utilities on the day I split, party before I split, and split.
It's the final countdown. This holiday weekend I will be doing a full practice packing to see just how many pairs of socks and shirts I will be taking along. It's pretty remarkable how many can get packed into a small bag with the new fabrics. What gets bulky and requires more concentrated decision-making are bulkier items like warm outer layers and, most especially, shoes.
Shoes tend to be the biggest problem - pun intended. I'm not intending to get all stereotypy, but from personal experience, women tend to think to bring along multiple pairs when traveling: day, night, beach, casual, exercise, etc. At least my ex did. Me? I've never gone in big on shoes, and I'll be addressing this with a single pair of shoes that can be used across all situations: running shoes. They are only optimal for running (which I plan to do, definitely), but, and I stress this, can be used in virtually all the situations I envision myself in. I can sightsee and visit museums, I can walk the beach, and I can go out to restaurants wearing them. Since I'm not taking any kind of even semi-formal wear, upper class restaurants where I'd need something a bit more classy, are not on the docket at all. I'm also taking along flip-flops, because my dogs need to breathe.
I'm addressing the problem of bulky outerwear with a decisive two-pronged approach. The first prong is the easiest: since where I go and when is completely under my control, I'm not going to go where it's really cold. Boom, done. The second prong on this is to go with multiple layers: layer one is a Houdini windbreake that is ridiculously compressible. Layer two is a puffy jacket. Not an expensive one, like a Patagonia, but one I've had for a few years, and quite serviceable. Layer three is a rain jacket. I spent some coin (for me not my Witcher) on a Nike Hypershield Flash a few years ago as well for quality and visibility. (It appears this is no longer available. Huh.) When I'm out there in the dark, I look like a running disco ball when lights hit me.
Top that off with a beanie, gloves and neck gaiter, and I'm good to decently bad weather. Stay tuned for how well the packing goes.
Just a guy out exploring the world. Former world-class never-was endurance runner.