Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bring it on, 2013

While I wasn't looking, Blogspot changed their set-up and I can't figure out how to get this published.  I am working without a net here.  But I didn't want the occasion of my 8th blogiversary pass without acknowledging its existence.  How do I remember what day I started my blog?  December 29th, 2004, my 25th wedding anniversary.  No one should be starting a blog on their anniversary.  That should have been a red flag as to how the marriage was going.  So I am here to (a) acknowledge my blogiversary and (b) wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2013.
Christmas 2012

Dear Bloggy Friends,

id you miss me last year?  You probably didn’t even notice that I didn’t send out Christmas cards (snail or e-mail) for the first time in over 30 years!  What was I thinking?  I was thinking 2011 was so shitty that you didn’t want to read about it!  And then 2012 came.  Yee gads!  So I decided this year, with things going much better, it was time to “put on my big girl panties” and move on… and move back to St. Louis.  Columbia was not good to me so after 6 years of making every attempt to settle in I moved back home to look for work.  I found a roommate, and together (along with her teenage daughter) we share a house in South St. Louis (more later).

As many of you know, this last summer was my 3rd summer in a row of unemployment.  It was not pretty.  My mantra became “at least I have my health,” but even that thinking sucked after a while.  As depression overtook my every day thought process,I cannot begin to name nor thank all the friends (thanks, Sailor Dave) and family who helped me through some very difficult months all three summers.  I had people staying in touch, supporting me, loving me, comforting me and lifting me up in prayer.  The events of the last week have put a new perspective on much.  I was mortified and horrified to be fired last summer for helping a student while working at a counseling center on campus.  In the wake of school violence, I was fired for telling a professor to continue to worry about his student after his 2nd phone call because the student had never called for help.  Along with gun control and a new perspective on mental illness, we have got to evaluate our adherence to HIPAA codes when trying to help someone.  In the end, I would do it all over again if it meant avoiding another Virginia Tech.  I should have held my head up in pride instead of lowered in deep depression for attempting to help that unknown student.  The summer before I had been laid off the day I came back to work after my daughter’s wedding which was a big shock, but at least you can mark that up to the university’s budget.  This last summer’s job loss came out of the blue as the biggest shocker since the women at this job declared “we won the Lottery when we hired you.”  That all changed 7 months later when I was “let go” and given “it doesn’t matter” as the reason.  Crazy, huh? That’s what I meant by 2012 being the worst summer of them all.

But then I moved and found a great job (not getting too excited or jumping up a down because I’ve been shot down too many times) which is going very well.  I am the executive (Suck it, MU!) administrative assistant at a non-profit organization that translates material for medical professionals into “plain language.”  Got that (because there will be a test later)? Don’t start laughing, but I am in charge of payroll, billing, balancing,depositing and all sorts of money and number issues.  Laughable, huh??? I interviewed here for a position for which I clearly was not qualified, but the previous administrative assistant had just quit that morning!  And I would have never applied for that job had I known all the financial and HR work involved.  It's amazing what you can do when people put enough confidence in your abilities. It’s only a few miles from my house so the commute is not all that bad.  One of the biggest perks is we are given the week of Christmas off and don’t have to return until January 2nd.  With living back in St. Louis and getting time off, I do not need to race out of Christmas Day activities to drive back.  Yeah!  The new job and the excellent election results have been a positive start to 2013.

How are the girls, you ask?  Well, I see Mabel about as much now that I have moved 120 miles away as I did when I lived across town from her.  She still teaches math but transferred to the high school this year.  A few lockdowns and a gun here or there, but otherwise, things are good.  She and her husband celebrated their second anniversary in Paris this summer as their gift to each other after teaching summer school to pay for it.  Nice. 

Up until August, Dorothy was working at 2 jobs and living with me to save money for her next adventure.  After helping an actor backstage with a one-man show, she was offered an internship at a theater across the state by him and his wife who run it together.  We are forever grateful to her mentor and professor who arranged this and happily moved her west the first week of August.  She helped with backstage props for Three Tall Women in September and The Kentucky Cycle (parts I & II) in November and December.  I was so proud of her watching her in action behind the scenes.  To make ends meet, she found another job at and, in true Dorothy fashion, rarely sleeps.  The sisters and I drove across the state to see The Kentucky Cycle in December.  We had some time to waste before the show so I decided to fall out an antique store and meet the sidewalk with my face.  My shoes must have gotten caught on the step out of the door and down I went much to the horror of my sisters.  The gash above my eyebrow was responsible for much blood, but when Sister #3 went to get help, the only customer in the store was a nurse (an angel) who got the bleeding to stop and patched me right up.  After being hit in the face once, I do not know how fighters get back in the ring.  I am just grateful that I did not break my arm or crack a tooth in the fall.  The year before I broke (a bone in) my foot falling off a step in sister #1's garage.  I’m really not as clumsy as it sounds and am grateful to recover so quickly because of the aforementioned good health.

The only thing that is not working well is the roommate situation as I have dubbed my roommate’s daughter “the spawn of Satan.”  I already raised 2 teenagers and count my blessings every day that Mabel and Dorothy were and are kind, thoughtful, bright, responsible, respectable, hard-working, diligent, funny, conscientious young women.  The same cannot be said of this teenager.  She has not lifted a finger to help out around the house since we moved in together in September and spends most nights with her drop-out unemployed boyfriend (who doesn’t like crowds).  Isn’t that how most seniors in high school live?  (Get back to me on that one!)  She stopped talking to me the day I asked her not to smoke pot in the basement!  She attends a work-study alternative high school but was fired in October from Subway so she does nothing, including helping to clean around the house or take care of her cat.  One night she announced in front of both of us that her goal after high school was to move to a state where pot is legal and become a distributor. Of course, she was stoned at the time, and I knew the concept of not smoking the profits would be lost on her. Her mother told me that the SOS was thinking about quitting school and taking her GED so she could start college early. I was in disbelief. This kid is clearly not college material. She graduated early this December and said she will now use the time to relax.  And I have kept a straight face every time I get new tidbits about her.  (And the Oscar goes to…) I am counting the months till I can move out on my own.  4 down, 8 to go.  Let me know if you know of any alternative living situations for a single 50something responsible working gal.  (And while we’re on the subject of helping me out, if you know of any single 40-65-year-old employed men, don’t hold back.)

As you can clearly read, life is getting much better. I love being back in St. Louis closer to my sisters.  I miss my girls, but that’s as it should be.  I love going back to my church and am the substitute ringer in 2 bell choirs.  The kitties (Jewel and McMurphy) continue to fight like brother and sister but nap closer and closer to each other and keep me from going insane.  Stop laughing!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  So glad the Mayan prediction did not hold true now that things are going my way.

Fa la la la la la la la la,

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