Friday, July 30, 2010

Choices, always choices

Internet for this moment ... whoo-hoo!  (and internet for the edits near the bottom of the article on the 31st.  Spiffy!)

To be or not to be, that is the question ... {grin}

Well more to the point, to carry or not to carry, that is the question.

We always have choice, sometimes the primary choice and the alternative choices are not particularly to our liking.  But we always have choice.

2000 people had to evacuate their homes due to California Wildfires ... they had to make choices of what to take or not, if they even had time to make the choices.

The guy who loaned me his muscle on the 26th lives in Palmdale.  Hope he's all right.

If you could only take with you from everything you have in life, one backpack's worth of stuff ... what would it be?

My reason for making those choices is not the same as those who had to evacuate due to the fire -- but it boils down to the same thing.  What would you take with you?

My choices and why I made them:

The sleeping bag?  Nope, not going to fit in the backpack.

Besides, if I cannot get into a 1-night shelter each night, my chances of coming through unscathed by actually putting a sleeping bag down on the street somewhere are not high.  I don't know the streets that well anymore, not even where the safest places may or may not be.

Scratch one sleeping bag, it goes to Out of the Closet.

The notebook that holds all the paperwork I have for SSI and DPSS.  Yeah, that has to go in it.  Hmm, let's see here, will my official acknowledgement of graduation from the local Junior College fit?  Will I need it?  Is it worth saving the money of getting a duplicate, should I need to prove said AA degree?  Let's stuff it in with the SSI and DPSS paperwork in the notebook, if I take it out of it's holder, it's only a small piece of paper.

Toiletries, bandaids, shampoo, camping soap that is supposed to suds up really well with only a little water -- egad!  Look how much room all that stuff takes up!  Phew!  Well, at least it does include a small camping towel and wash cloth.  Okay, we'll stuff it in.  A small box of 3 TravelJohn!'s too.  Gotta be civilized!

The 6 pictures I pulled out of the photo albums and my certified copy of birth ... can I get 'em into the SSI/DPSS notebook?

Bleargh ... that cellphone, it's prepaid with 60 minutes of airtime.  I don't like cellphones, but the only way to reach my DPSS worker is via a telephone call between 10:30 and 12:30 Monday through Friday ... walk-ins are not accepted, the best you can see is a lobby worker.  Okay, stuff and wedge!

Can I fit 3 t-shirts in there?  3 pairs of underwear, 3 pairs of socks and a second pair of sneakers?  Doubtful on the sneakers.  Gonna have to stick with the orthotic pair that I've hoarded.  An extra pair of slacks, if you roll 'em up and tuck right ... there!  Okay.  That's a tight fight, but better two pairs of slacks, that way you can hand wash or hopefully the shelter will have a laundry facility.  Can't wash 'em if you don't have anything else to wear.

The laptop someone gave me to use while still in the house (that I still have to pay them $100 for)?  Nope, too heavy, it's an old one and just not gonna be feasible to carry. Maybe I can wipe it in time and give it back and ease off *that* debt!

And badda-bing, badda-bang .. that's it, there's no more room.

I'd rather carry a book that has stories I want to learn to tell, notes on stories I was preparing, and a book that I've read and re-read scores of times because I feel great when I read it.  Because those are my life, not the other paperwork.

My reality is I have no interest in carrying documentation that shows I graduated with an AA, or the copy of my birth certificate or the paperwork that I have to carry to show folks at SSI and DPSS that I am ernest.

After all, the A.A. has never gotten me a job ... on that score, I kept getting told, a B.A. is what's being looked for.  I do often note to myself that I wish I hadn't sacrificed the time and built up debt to get the A.A. because when I was younger I chose to believe the rhetoric that higher education was necessary for a job.  If I'd gotten a B.A. then I would have been told that I needed a Master's.  That too, in my experience is a screening out process..

The fact that I'm even considering choosing to carry paperwork to show SSI and DPSS that I'm ernest?   Pffftt.   What difference is it going to make?  They don't even file my paperwork on time, so I give up what makes my heart sing to lug paperwork onto the street with me?

When it comes down to it on Monday night as I make my final choices about what goes into my backpack, for Tuesday morning to begin my interaction with the first emergency shelter?  Will I go with what is necessary for my heart or what my logic dictates I should carry to try and deal with the people within DPSS and SSI?

If there was a fire threatening your home, what would you take with you and why, other than your breathing body?

I truly do want to read your choices.  Please take a moment to comment on what is important to you and why.

We always have choice.  Don't give your power away.  Your exercise of choice is power.


  1. Tough question. If only one thing. I think I would want to preserve my pictures and important data on a disk.

    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. ~Henry David Thoreau

  2. Huzzah Careerguyd, thanks for the response. Have an excellent weekend!


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