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Tribulations

This year was especially trying for me and my wife. First, my wife and I got sick at the same time. We were both out with the flu. It never happened before that we got sick at the same time. Usually one is available to take care of the other. One midmorning, I managed to get up from my weak, nauseous condition and looked at my sleeping wife in a separate room and thought “what’s gonna happen now, how are we to take care of each other?”

We survived that one. Then the following months our workload doubled because of 2015 reports. Then we had to sell our home overseas which presented some really unique challenges. There was no blueprint and no clear path to follow. We did the negotiation mostly by email and phone calls.

At the same time, we mapped out the process for moving to a new residence while we prepared another comprehensive report for the first Quarter of 2016. We moved into the new residence without a major hitch. But then we had to go overseas to complete the home sale process. It was a complicated process because the banking procedures were archaic.

We got back home, and a family member needed to go to the hospital.

In any medical emergency (as I experienced in my 2012 surgery, all the issues of life (tasks to be done, bills to pay, buying or selling a major thing, possible investments, etc. etc.) fade to the background like they never exist.  The focus switches to the medical issue. Everyone’s focus suddenly becomes: “How do we fix this?”

In all of the above, the common denominator is prayer. My wife and I don’t have the answers so we always prayed. I prayed harder and longer on my knees. Sometimes we went on mini-fasts. I even asked several groups and individuals to pray for this recent medical problem. The Faithful people asked a group or other individuals to pray. The more serious the problem, the more people were asked to pray.

Does thing turn out for the better? It always does. Sometimes I can’t believe how the things get resolved, but it does. Life has many trials, but they’re only temporary.

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Organizing 102

Did you miss me? It’s been awhile since I posted. Was I a little bit disorganized lately? No, my mother was sick and was finally scheduled for surgery. It was devastating emotionally primarily because I was 7,000 miles away. She is about to leave the hospital now to recuperate at home and I can finally breathe easier. She’s almost 80 now and she’s been strong all her life. After the surgery, she looks weak but still has that strong will to live, which got me thinking – I need to maximize every minute of my remaining life. To do that, I gotta be more organized.

For this post I want to separate organization into two groups: Time and Things. We can probably discuss more about organizing other matters but it generally falls between these two.

Organizing Time

I could not speak about distractions enough. One of them is the presence of cable TV. These days, a few internet gurus are stating that cable TV will be like the dinosaurs because it will be extinct soon. Streaming video is supposedly going to take over. Don’t you think that even if cable TV goes away, the distraction will just switch to web-based video? Same expense, different vendor. Same distraction, different delivery. So what are we to do? Cut off time spent in front in TV is what I’m driving at. That should free up our time for more productive and creative tasks.

And yes, sports, soap operas and sitcoms goes to the trash too!

Shows in which you learn new skills or marvel about nature are exempted of course.

How about daily activities? I tend to adjust my activities based on different factors. For example, during our vacation, we had some house repairs done also. Due to heavy torrential rains and a storm almost every 10 days, I had to adjust my expectations. Add to that heavy traffic from 7 am thru 9pm and you’ll get the idea. We only scheduled one or two vendors per day, and we only bought materials one at a time: sofa today and electric cooling fans the next day. Even back in Cali I purposely take on one task at a time from the list so I don’t stress out trying to finish everything in one day. This technique actually made me more productive because I was able to focus on one task while not anxiously thinking about the next one or two.

Organizing Things

One technique I learned from a friend is adjusting the location of your tools to be as close to you as possible. For example, each room has its own pair of scissors (yes, they are cheap so you save time by having one available close by). Then I split daily tools such as pliers and screwdrivers between a tool bag in the master’s bath and a tool box in the kitchen. The bicycle tools are separated too. For some fortunate people with garages, it’s probably logical to store the bulk of the tools in the garage, but at the same time keep some in the master’s bathroom so you don’t have to walk to the garage every time you need one.

I use one of those plastic organizers which has several small compartments for sewing kits such as threads, buttons (separated by color), needles, needle threader, etc.

I use another one of those for keeping different type of fasteners like nails, screws, nuts, etc. There are also plastic or glass jars available where you can store those things – which is the best choice if you are clumsy (like me). If you tip one of the jars, only one type of item is scattered. With the organizer, you will be forced to reorganize them again in their own individual containers.

So that’s all for this issue. Maybe I’ll post another one about organization next time, or I’ll switch to Building Wealth Series. So come back soon!

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