A New Life in Seattle

A New Life in Seattle
August, 2018

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Learning to Carry a Much Lighter Load

I've always carried heavy loads. This probably dates back to college, when I'd head out with several texts, notebooks, poetry and more paraphernalia than I can even recall now. After all, I'd most likely head to a bar after my last class...and who knew where I'd end up after that for the night?

Old habits, etc., etc. Even now, all these years later, my backpack typically contains: a heavy Dell laptop, a heavy adapter cord, 2 notebooks, a pouch with flash drives, cologne, a hair brush, my Kindle Fire, a newspaper, an umbrella, a headset, a book of poems...and more. Add to this, on the way home, a bag of groceries.

On April 5, however, I took a bad fall that has changed things. One of the fall's complications has been a strained back. And, as a result of that, I can no longer carry the usual loads. Oh, I resisted admitting this fiercely--until three people, including my doctor, urged me to come to my senses...unless I wanted a bad back for life.

And this article finished the process of turning me around:


I had to learn quickly, if I were to heal, an art that had always escaped me till now:

Image result for traveling lightly images

To succeed, I'd first need a sound game plan:
1) Reduce typing days on my novel to my off days from work. And even on my off days, type at a nearby cafe or at home. After typing, take or leave the clunker laptop home. 
2) On the road, rely on my smart phone for Facebook activities.
3) For Twitter, make more advanced use of the Schedule function. On Wednesdays and Sundays, my two full days off work, I can schedule Tweets an hour apart for my working days.
4) Pack a notebook instead of the laptop when I head out for work. Get in writing time, free of distractions, before and after work.

My interim backpack replacement is a courier bag something like this:

The whole trick is to pack strategically and to better synchronize my daily time and the week's tasks. Meanwhile, both my back and I enjoy the lighter loads and the sense of freedom.

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