Posts Tagged With: prepared

My Friday Five: Prepared

photo-17 copy 3Few things in life aggravate me more than getting caught off guard. I’m a bit jumpy by nature anyway. It only takes someone walking into a room quietly and simply saying hello for me to literally jump at the sound of their voice. I guess I’m wound a little tight.

In the spirit of being ready for whatever life throws at me, I try to take baby steps in that direction.  The following list of five things aren’t major investments. You could accomplish one or several with little or almost no energy, if you move slowly enough. And they will make your life a veritable funfest of joy and abandon. Okay, maybe not that last one.  But at least you’ll be better prepared for those wild kicks life launches at you.

Wild kicks?


You know, the unexpected, the not so happy moments in life, the inconvenient accidents, the uh-ohs, the dagnabits, the what-was-I-thinkings.

Yeah. Those.

Such as:

  1. Hospitals. Have small purse or satchel packed up ahead of time, this weekend, or next weekend if you want to tempt fate. Why? For when, not if, you have to visit an ER as a patient, driver, friend or loved one. Include a small thin blanket, (like the ones the airlines charge you an arm or leg to use.) Include some cash for the cafeteria, coins for sodas or snack machines late at night, a notebook and pen, (for questions, answers, games of hangman, profound thoughts) gum and mints, some granola bars, fruit snacks or chocolate, a toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, lotion, and a paperback book. On your way out the door, grab your phone and charger (or keep a spare in the bag if you can pull that off) and a sweater or jacket. Hospitals are some of the coldest places I’ve spent time in and the stress makes you feel even colder. There’s no telling how long you’ll be there. This is stuff you can really use, or you can share with some of your friends or family. You’ll be really glad you did this. Really. Truly. Deeply.
  2. Lock outs. Being locked out of your car or house throws your day off kilter like nothing else can. A spare key hidden somewhere handy could put you right back on balance. Don’t “hide” it in any of the predictable places. Maybe a spare house key hidden outside your neighbor’s house (if you know them and trust them). Not in a plant by the front door and not under the mat. You’ll figure it out, you’re the smart one. Also, get creative about where you put a spare car key. There are lots of nooks and crannies and ways to camouflage a key’s hiding spot on, around and under a car. This is way faster than waiting for AAA or a family member to get you out of your predicament. You can thank me when you slide that spare key into the lock.
  3. Whatever. A stash of cash for who knows what could come up. The more you can tuck away the bigger the uh-oh you can deal with. I wouldn’t keep it all in one spot either. A bit here, a bit there, and some over there.  A seldom read volume of Shakespeare serves as a great bank if the bills are, say, tucked in singly every thirty pages. (No, you can’t rifle through my volume.) And that’s just one idea you could try. Get creative. And then, this is really important, you need to write down where all those hiding places were so you can remember. And put that note somewhere you’ll see or remember without a reminder. (I know, I know, so much to remember to remember to remember.)  <== (Not a typo.) How much you need to stash is your call. I personally feel better if I’ve got a few twenties and tens where I know I can get my hands on them in a hurry without going to an ATM. I’d feel even better, and richer, if the twenties were hundreds, but let’s be realistic here, shall we?
  4. Lights out! Batteries, flashlight, matches, candles. Honestly there’s no reason to go without candles nowadays. It’s like a decorating staple item. The question is, do you have matches or a lighter to actually use them should the need arise. Hmmm. And batteries to match flashlights seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve been known to have one but not the other. In fact, I keep a small flashlight on my nightstand. And another one in my car. I keep thinking a key ring flashlight would be handy, too. Who knows when you’ll need to see into the dark, deep recesses of your purse? When that glitch hits your local power lines, who ya gonna thank? Yup, yourself for being so well prepared and not having to sit in the dark.
  5. TP. One can never have too much toilet paper, (or bathroom tissue) around the house.  I’d rather have too much around than not enough, wouldn’t you? Buy an extra package or two when you can, you’ll be glad you did. Sorry to say these aren’t generally regarded as a decorative item, so you’ll have to stash them discreetly. Although I have seen some ingenuous TP holders that, at the least, were entertaining to look at, if not downright artistic. Google it, if you don’t believe me.

There you have it. My five bits of wisdom for you. Sadly, most of it I’ve learned the hard way. I’ll leave those stories to your imagination for now. Or not.

On that note I’ll leave you with this lovely thought by a smarter woman than I am.

photo-17 copy 4“Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.” -Maya Angelou

Categories: Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Purses and Backpacks and Pockets, Oh My!

Margaret Thatcher, one of the preeminent leaders of the free world. Powerful, respected, memorable. I watched the biopic “The Iron Lady” recently and one thing struck me as outrageously odd. She carried a purse everywhere. I figured by time you reached that level of power and influence in your life that maybe, I don’t know, someone else could haul your stuff around for you. What does a world leader carry in her purse. Lipstick? Powder? Feminine hygiene products? Pictures of the kids? Smelling salts? A small caliper gun? Snacks?

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher (with purse.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Men get by with a few pockets. Granted there are all those mysterious hidden pockets in suit jackets that I’m envious of. That probably helps, a bunch. And occasionally they carry a briefcase. Or someone carries the briefcase for them. Of course they aren’t prepared for every single possible scenario that might happen to them in a day. No needle and thread, no granola bars, no bandaids, no juice boxes or acetaminophen or crayons. No. They manage to get through a day without packing around all the contingencies.


About three years ago I stopped using a purse.

This was pre-smart phone for me. I carried a tiny notebook, a small pen, my driver’s license, a bank card, some cash, my keys and my flip phone.  That left one pocket empty. That pocket could hold lip balm, or some change, a tissue, or a small pack of gum or mints. Or it could stay empty.

This move left two hands free. And a mind free.  Going without a purse let me enter a room and leave a room without wondering or worrying about my purse.

Where to put it, don’t forget it, is it safe.

The only thing I wonder about now is why I hauled around a purse for so many years.

louis vuitton medium speedy with rabbits foot

louis vuitton purse (Photo credit: …love Maegan)

With little kids it’s kind of a necessity to haul half your house hanging from your shoulder.  I think that’s why I walk a little lopsided. My massage therapist (thank you Michael) says one leg is slightly shorter than the other. I never confessed to him that it was probably due to the bulldozer-sized purse I used to schlep around.

Somewhere in the diaper bag/purse phase I went back to college and adopted the ubiquitous backpack for keeping my on-the-go life going. Was that ever convenient. And heavy. Even now, when I travel, the backpack is an essential item for keeping chaos in check. But my pockets are still essential and well loved.

As the kids got older you’d think the purse would have gotten lighter.  But I adopted an organizer system that consisted of hauling a ten-pound notebook everywhere I went. It was the paper version of a smart phone. If you needed info, I had info. I was one organized wonder woman in those days. Of course, my shoulder hurt, and sometimes my neck hurt too. But I was on a schedule, my kids were locked and loaded, life was under control.

Unless I misplaced my planner/organizer. Or needed my hands free. Or it slipped off my shoulder and got in the way. I called it my brain. That’s not so good.

But it was helpful and had its time and place in my life.

The What-ifs

Here and now, all the what-ifs of a purse just don’t matter that much.

jeans watch pocket

jeans watch pocket (Photo credit: Muffet)

Three years ago pockets became all I needed. And I have stuck with it. Once the smart phone became part of the equation I was able to ditch the notebook and pen. And now the fourth pocket carries my ear buds for audio book opportunities or easy hands free phone conversations.

Wardrobe decisions come down to pockets more often than not. I really, really, really don’t want to haul a purse around anymore. Some may argue that filling your pockets ruins how your clothes look. Sure I’m not all sleek and smooth with stuff in my pockets, but then, I’m kinda lumpy and bumpy even without full pockets, so it’s no big deal.

Sure once in a while I’ll grab a bag, or purse, or a pack for something unusual. But mostly, it’s just me and my pockets.

It’s not for everybody. The style-conscious look at me like I’m certifiable, which may be true some days. The ultra-prepared can’t imagine going purse-less. Feels too out-of-control.

It’s all about the freedom and convenience for me.

Maybe it’s a trend that’ll catch on.

Or not.

Categories: Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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