As I continue to work on things away from this blog (which is a collection of Free-Time/Casual Online Writing, Remarks, And Notes By ME Whelan) and continue to figure out what goes and what stays of my existing online-writing, the de-emphasizing of one or another continues as well....

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Some Real Elaboration On The Previous Post About Keeping Track Of Things When One Does Not Driive

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about some of ways that keeping track of things can be tricky when one earns income/spare income online. 

That post is:  Earning Income/Spare Income Online - Why Keeping Track Can Be Tricky

That post was actually more of a background type of post because what I was really aiming for was to ultimately make some points about keeping track of things "on the road", and specifically on the road without a car.

This post that I'm writing as the companion post will be used/associated with some of the "notebook blogs" and is more about the keeping-track challenges away from the "administrative end" of things.

In my most recent post(s) on the walking-related "notebook" I pointed out that over any given period of time (and for the most part, in my "pre-leg-injury era"), I had any number of different things going  on
in my life. Over the years and at one time or another (sometimes one time AND another), I've received payments/checks/deposits weekly, bi-weekly, monthly on one date, monthly on another date, upon completion of work, bi-monthly, and willy-nilly.

Without going into unnecessary details, I'll say that some of those payments have come in the form of checks in the US mail.  Some have involved one- or two- party electronic deposits/transfers.  Ordinarily, I've kept offline money separate from online money.   There have been times when converting to US dollars has been an issue.

Depending on when it has been, I've had my collection of different cards/bank cards, along with the usual non-online-earning-related credit cards.  Then, of course, there have been those times when I've had to first get a paper check deposited in my bank/ATM before I could even use any card associated with the deposit.

Normally, I'm not one to write a grocery note.  I have a good memory and tend to buy the same groceries, particularly when I am in a car (even if it's not my own car).  I'm big for writing notes and keeping notebooks when holidays are coming.  It's not just grocery notes, but notes about which dishes I'll be  using for which foods, extra stuff I'll need to buy, etc. etc.    So, I'm not anti-shopping list (or anti-paper-list) at all.  Neither am I anti-computer-list/phone list. 

I do find, though, that when I'm not sure I can get on WiFi somewhere out, or when I'm not sure I'll be able to use a device where I'll also be able to see the screen; there's also something to be said for a good, old, paper, list in my bag.  With a lot on my mind, and particularly with the crowded store on Saturday (when I'm usually in a car), or with the crowded store at any time; and then with whatever "frazzlement" walking has contributed (wind, weather, the late-afternoon/dinner-time traffic, etc.) the paper list(s) in my bag just simplifies things.  (I like to keep my head as clear as possible, and a list in the bag helps do that.)

During times when I've been at the height of the mixed-income/mixed contacts/mixed everything activity, I would sometimes, although not always (if I didn't think it was necessary) write a list of errands to do, things to buy, etc. etc.    Sometimes, however, it didn't seem necessary ahead of time, and it only became apparent that it might have helped to have a back-up plan on paper if something didn't work out.

For example, getting to an ATM, only to discover it was out of cash or out of order.   There would be times I'd plan my stops (on foot and in the suburbs stops can involve quite a bit of walking), only to discover that x store didn't have y product, which meant I'd have to shift around even some simple plans.  OR, there have been times I've discovered that one or another store isn't accepting x-type of electronic transaction at the moment, but they'll accept some other kind.

Although some of the "Internet cards" offer people at least something of a break on fees (if enough money passes through them each month), some don't offer much in terms of a break.  Then again, some are great.  "Regular" banks, of course, let people do all kinds of electronic transactions without charge.

One reason it's particularly important for me to plan my stops is that I may want to do only one, "main", transaction with a card that charges a couple of dollars every time you use an ATM (and if the ATM  charges you two-plus more dollars when you use it).  Not too many people want to wipe out 5.00 on too many, if any, unnecessary electronic transactions.

Ordinarily, I've always been able to manage things and plan things in a way that doesn't mean too many changes in my original plan-of-stops/actions.  Sometimes, too, if some little, different, thing happens it's no big deal for me to change plans.

There have been times, however, when I wouldn't otherwise go out if I wasn't one pay day or another, particularly if I knew someone was coming to the house, a holiday meant there wasn't much time to waste, or even if I just needed groceries I'd rather not do without.

Although I've always considered my being a super-efficient, super-organized, person to be an asset, and a help; there have been times when being thrown off my carefully planned "system" and organization  may have added to my frazzlement.

Since I've never wanted to carry a lot of cash with me,  what I've always done is try to get just enough (maybe a little extra) for whatever errands I've had in mind.  Sometimes some of the smallest things have thrown me off.  For example, I can think of a time when I'd, maybe, get a twenty-dollar bill with the idea of buying stamps at the grocery store's courtesy window.   I'd get there.  Maybe they wouldn't have the stamps I wanted, and, for some reason, I'd shift my plan-of-action (to get the stamps somewhere else) from using the twenty-dollar bill for stamps to using it for something else at the shopping center, and then planning to get an extra twenty-dollars back from a purchase (to buy stamps elsewhere).

It wouldn't take too many of this kind of "throw-off" to add to any frazzlement I may have had going; and while there have been times when all has gone mostly smoothly, there have been other times when whatever I had planned when I left the house had been completely changed at any point along the way.

Screen-visibility aside, finding a corner outside where I might be able to check on one thing or another online (only to to discover slow loading), and/or phones that don't keep their connection in one or another store have all been issues.

All of this (although I certainly haven't covered everything) is the stuff on the "keeping-track" end of things that kind of tells the rest of the story.

Even when I'm in a car, however, it isn't that much different.  The "frazzlement causes" are different.    Weather isn't generally a cause.  Neither is a walk between, say, one place and the other two or three errands.

But, if I'm with someone there is their time to consider.  Since I'm a flexible (and try to be) thoughtful person, I'll adjust if I think I'll make things easier for the other person.  Besides, being in a car makes no difference when the "surprise" is related to electronic transfers, cards, etc. etc.

Since a good part of the time I don't write down plans/steps for a trip out, I obviously keep it all in my head (and I'm thankful that I can).  What has so often happened, however, is that if a "throw-off" is a big enough one, I imagine I probably shift from my calm, organized, efficient, mode of operating into some kind of almost immediate "kick" into a "stress-type of mode" (one or another kind, or type, of "frazzlement"; which I have frequently described as "short-circuiting" (often, once I get into one or another establishment (especially a crowded one), and feel knocked enough off my usually solid footing/grounding to start a "cycle of kind-of-upset".

Something that does not help is that this kind of thing has been a part of my life for so long, I pretty much feel closer and closer to a saturation point about it, rather than, say, getting used to it.

I think of other people who walk (and maybe who aren't nearly as organized and (ordinarily) on top of things as I am, and I think of, say, some elderly people in some situations.  I'll eventually fined a way to tie all this in with some of those people.

In the meantime, I also think of myself and how often I've looked like a frazzled mess when I'm somewhere that otherwise wouldn't involve such frazzlement (like the local and familiar grocery store that I've been shopping at for years). 

Without the convenience and shelter of my own car, I pretty much most often (and for one reason or another) have "an outside me" (that's, to one degree or another, some version of a frazzled, or "frazzled-ish" mess) and an "inside me" (the "regular me", or at least as "regular me" as I can be under a sometimes challenging, unique and/or "non-regular" situation).

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