Friday, July 08, 2011

Suck it up and move on

My "demanding" meanie of a blog friend has not surfaced for a week while he is on vacation, but I am going to blog without prodding. I know he is having a wonderful time with his family and only wish I could be there with them. Having been unemployed for 2 summers, I have not enjoyed myself during those summers, thinking I am undeserving of such frivolity. Even if someone handed me a vacation for free, I would probably deny myself, feeling unworthy.

I have not had many nibbles of jobs to apply for recently which is one of the big problems when the largest employer in town bans you from applying. For those curious, I was tenacious in contacting the lawyer, having e-mailed him once and calling twice before I simply walked into his office today in my sweaty walking clothes. He made me wait but gladly met with me to hear my situation. It didn't take him long to conclude that he can be of no help to me. He said it was obvious that my supervisors wanted to get rid of me and used the HIPAA violation as a reason. And since I had not worked there long, there was nothing much we could fight. Suck it up and move on was basically his message. I would have had to file a grievance within 10 days of being fired, and I was still curled up in a ball by then so it's not as if I missed the cut-off by a day or so. Funny, I wasn't that upset by his conclusion. I assumed that's what it would be. I would have been surprised if it had been different. On the good side, he said that people rarely win grievances against the university. I am to contact him if I am denied unemployment in order to file an appeal. I told the lawyer that I had written my side of the story to put in my file, and he encouraged me to send that to my supervisors with a copy to HR which I did at 3:55 in hopes it got to them before the weekend. That felt good to do, and I guess I just need to move on. I found this quote in a book a friend sent me this week:
You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is
that you meet it with courage and with the best you have to give.
Eleanor Roosevelt

As before, waking up early and moving is the key as much as I hate it. I woke up early today for a dentist appointment and did not go back to sleep when I got home from my walk. I felt good walking into the lawyer's office without an appointment, determined. I felt good sending that attachment to my file to my former supervisors. I felt good today. I continue to watch "The Waltons" in the afternoons and wondered why. Such a simple life. Listening to each other's stories as entertainment, hard work, writing in long hand, terrific parenting, home cooking, helping others, appreciating every little thing. And if you notice, people during this time worked so hard that they rarely had time to be depressed. And ironically, they were living during the Depression! I think that, alone, sends us a valuable message. May I channel that spirit and hope. I continue to type my friend's family history and marvel at the hardships people from the past had to endure and how easy our lives are now and how whiny we all are, especially me. I think both of these experiences are helping me appreciate my days.

I continue to take deep breaths, try to exercise, stay in touch with friends, appreciate the friends who keep me in their prayers, and thank God for my good health.

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Sunday, July 03, 2011

Jewel, Lover, Prayer

I've been a very bad blogger. Let the finger wagging begin. I had 3 assignments for the weekend while my "shadow" was away from cyberspace. He's going to reappear tomorrow and find out that I didn't complete my assignments, and, boy, will I be in trouble. When I asked him why he is making me write, he said, "If you were a potter, I would encourage you to make pottery. If you were a painter, I would make you paint. You are a writer. Write." And so I write.

Yesterday's topic was my cat Jewel. I have already written a whole missive about my lovely kitty Jewel, so sweet I named her after my favorite high school teacher. Jewel was a teenage unwed mother, a whore on the street, when my daughter found her. She had nursed her kitties and lived on the street when a neighbor took her to be spayed. If you remember, I assured my daughter that no outdoor cat could willingly become an indoor cat. And yet, from the minute she brought me Clio (her street name), she walked out of her crate, curled up in my lap, and never looked back. The door has accidentally been left opened twice, and she has stayed far away and said, "I don't think so. I did that once. I'm staying in here." She purrs, kisses me, never jumps on things, never misses her litter box, doesn't shed much, and loves her belly to be rubbed. Purr delight.

And then in came McMurphy. A friend of mine just earned her PhD and does not know where the wind will take her. She longs to live in DC where apartments are costly and even more so if you own a pet. So I said I would take her very large black cat named Mr. McMurphy. She is Irish so I assume he is, too. Black Irish. Tee hee! He is beautiful, moves like a gazelle as he jumps on top of the refrigerator and perches on top of the cabinets for a better view. Or to get away from that evil mean bitch Jewel. I had never heard a hiss out of my sweet Jewel until I introduced the interloper. Man, is she pissed. Why would I do this to her? She hisses and bats at him, and he stands there, all 20 lbs of him (you read that right) and says, "What? What did I do?" But I have watched him wait for her around the corner and jump out at her so she will chase at him and hiss and bat her claws at his face like a pugilistic fur toy. He is clawless. And clueless.

She must eat first and get the first lap of fresh water. When she walks through the room, he jumps to different levels of height to stay out of her way. 6 weeks later and they both sleep on the bed with me, but he is relegated to the bottom by a stare while she sleeps next to me. I have watched them eat together now but can hear her low growling the whole time. She does not understand why I had to bring him in to her life. I see other cats get along and dream of the day they will wrap up in each others' fur and give each other kitty baths. I screwed up by not putting one behind a closed door for a week until curiosity overtook one of them. And now I am regretting the way they were introduced to each other. All of sudden, without gradually introducing one another. The basket a friend made Jewel never got the time of day until McMurphy came along, and now she curls up in her kitty basket as if to say, "Mine, mine mine." I'm hoping when the weather gets colder, they will need each other for warmth and be sweet sister and brother to each other. Until then, there's a whole lot of hissing going on.

My next assignment was to describe or explain my first lover. Wow, that is harder than one might think. So we're just going to leave that one alone for now.

My 3rd assignment, not even required in blog form, was to write a prayer. Wow, that is an overwhelming assignment. Profound, powerful. I could just whisper it in my head as I do every night before I got to bed. But I think its important to write the words. But before I do this, let me tell you about my day. I woke up early to wake up my daughter Dorothy for work since she overslept yesterday after only 4 hrs of sleep after working all night. I felt bad since she is working 2 jobs, 40-50 hrs a week while I'm doing jack shit. So after greeting her already awake butt, I promptly went back to bed. Who wakes up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning?? I had a breakfast date at 9:30 and my alarm went off at its usual time which is 7. I stayed in bed and dosed off and on till 8:30 when I got out of bed for a shower. He called and said he would be late so I checked my e-mail and read an e-mail inviting me over to a friend's house for BLTs and ice cream on a hot steamy day. My friend and I showed up at Panera's at the same time for pastries and Diet Coke (Ok, he had coffee, ewww!). I have known this friend since we turned 16 that summer of '73 and now live in the same time. He had called out of the blue the other day and I told him my news which is what prompted breakfast. After small talk, he asked how I really was doing, and I told him. I was hopeful when I told him I was thinking about filing a grievance and getting this off my record. He held my hand and said, "You absolutely have to do this. And if you need the money for a lawyer, do not hesitate to ask." Can you say overwhelmed with gratitude? It wasn't the money; it was the gesture. If any stranger had seen us at the place with my hands in his and tears in my eyes and that sweet look on his face, they might have thought we were having an affair. But we have been the dearest of brother/sister friends for so long that that is almost laughable, and we knew exactly what was going on. And then he said, "What else do I need to do? Kick your butt? Call you once a week? Get you out of the house?" Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes. We left with a hug while he reminded me to ask if I needed a check. Afterwards, I went to the friends' house for BLT's and ice cream for the rest of the afternoon. I don't think I had been out of the house and away from the tv and my computer for this long in, well, a month. Next up, I went to a friend's new house and helped him straighten him up his living quarters. Then went to Wal-Mart for power strips and to a sports bar for dinner. All total, I was away from the house for 12 hours without a panic attack, without my stomach flip flopping, without shaking with fear at large spaces and loud noises. I tell myself every day but do not remember it well, that once I am out of bed and out in the world, I am much better. Please help remind me.

So my prayer is this, as it is every night:
Dear God, Father, Mother, Creator,
Thank you for my continued good health.
I never want to take that for granted. For that, I am grateful.

Thank you, especially, for those people in my life who love, comfort, and support me.
I could not go through this difficult time without that support. I am blessed.
I don't know what I did to deserve such joyful loving family and friends.
May I never take them for granted.

Watch over x, y, and z (those people I won't mention by name)
who need You to wrap Your loving arms around them.

Lord, give me strength to go on another day.
Grant me courage to do what I need to do.

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