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I took some time off this week and will be taking more time off towards the end of the year. I am working on my RoboBoat project testing my abilities to stay focused on doing fine motor skill work in my shop and also manage my current small Internet business.

I am discovering that my expanded business planning could exceed my abilities and time. I realize that my physical strength due to my increasing Peripheral Neuropathy (PN) may not be up the demands of making product and running a full time competitive business.

I have had to be cautious with all my physical actions. Peripheral muscle strength and fine motor skills are noticeably reduced. That involves feet, legs and arms as well as hands. Small moves like installing a small screw into a threaded hole, that used to be automatic, now require forethought and careful (read slow) execution. I can still do most manual details but it takes more effort. I randomly drop hand tools. This can create a few expletives.

I can drive my car safely as those movements are rather large and are accomplished while seated, my most stable posture.

In my case pain is not gain; it’s a signal that I have gone far enough. So be it. Exercise does not make me stronger, just tired. I like working hard enough to become tired, so that is a worthy goal.

I don’t want my working retirement to become an endurance test for my weakening nervous system and muscle control. I will continue to push those limitations but not to the point of frustration. I intend to enjoy my pending “retirement” for everything that word implies.

I can easily adjust hobby type work to my declining abilities so that is a solution that is fine with me. My new goal is to do just what I enjoy and stop trying to imagine a business or product where I pressure myself to make only what I think others want. If the two goals come together, all well and good as I can share the serendipity.

I am moving my mode of thinking back into a no pressure hobby phase instead of a high pressure business one. I want to work on my Pennsy A3 steam locomotive or carve a new walking cane or make a Lithophane with no guilt about how much can I sell it for or how long it takes to produce. I have had a revelation this week rediscovering my interest is really in the ART of design and creation and not mass production.

Businesses for profit thoughts have pushed me away from working on purely fun projects.

I want my working retirement to not create undue stress. Dare I say I am too old for that? The stress of being financially dependent upon a working income is different than working to stay active and just support an artistic hobby or two or three or… more. I thank God to be blessed with the second option.

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