Not Lost…Just Plagued.

I have been falling apart for the last two to three weeks, but I believe I’m FINALLY on the mend!!!  YAY!!!!!  It started out with:

1.  Ugly Rash on the Back of BOTH Hands.

Probable Cause: Bathroom shower cleaner leaked into gloves.

Current Status: 98% Recovered, Still using hydrocortisone cream at night.

I always wear gloves when working with chemicals because I know how sensitive I am, however, it doesn’t do me much good when the cleaning chemicals leak inside my protective gloves and I’ve unwittingly marinaded my hands in Lysol.

Next, I was:

2.  Sick with a Cold for TWO Weeks.

Probable Cause: Stress/Temps Fluctuating from 13°F-55°F.

Current Status: Fully Recovered.

Just a cold…but one of those LINGERING colds that want to set up shop in the sinuses.

Then, I experienced an unexpected:

3.  Twelveish Hours of Severe Abdominal Pain.

Probable Cause: Food Allergies/Food Intolerance

Current Status: Fully Recovered.

I know better than to grab just anything to eat because I’m running late for work!

And yet a couple of days later:

4.  Over Half of My Body Covered in Itchy HIVES.

Probable Cause: Food Allergy??

Current Status: 98% Recovered.

Dye-Free Benadryl became my new best friend.

Sooooo…yeah.  That’s where I’ve been!  Not a true plague…but it’s been pretty bad.  LOL

 

 

 

 

17 Minutes

My Telephone Hearing lasted 17 minutes.

That’s 17 minutes of hands shaking, heart in my throat, shallow breathing, and raw nerves.  It was the longest 17-minute phone call of my life.  And…I don’t think it’s over just yet.

I got an email last night that seems to be saying in convoluted legalese that I owe money for the week my severance check arrived, however…I went through this before.  Same severance check.  Same week.  Identical letters.  The only exceptions are that THIS letter was sent out last night, and the other was sent back in March. And…I already PAID back that week.  The State received this payment already, we just didn’t have a Phone Hearing about it when these events occurred last year.

It’s like smacking your head against a wall, with similar unsatisfying results. I’m supposed to get a letter in the mail this week.  Once that occurs, I’ll probably have to make an appeal.  It’s not a terrible dollar amount, but when you’ve already paid this bill once…well one would HOPE that right hand talks to left hand once in a while.  I only received ONE severance payment.  Why am I being penalized for this twice?  For the EXACT same week?

The moral of this story?  If you ever find yourself in the position of having to collect unemployment, save EVERYTHING.  Save your last pay stubs.  Save EVERY letter and email from unemployment.  Write everything on a calendar.  SAVE this calendar. Keep detailed records.  It’s been a YEAR since I lost my previous job, a job I’d been at for 15 years.  I was released on good terms.  I have NEVER had to collect unemployment in my entire life before this time.  I never tried to reapply for unemployment.  I’m working at a new job.  But NONE of this matters.  I’m still battling bureaucracy ONE year later!

As a side note:  If you’re ever asked to be part of a conference call Telephone Hearing, you’re still asked to raise your right hand and swear to tell the truth, just like anything else court related.  This request seemed slightly bizarre as there was no one at home to witness this.  For a split second, I thought about not raising my hand. How would anyone know?  I’m in my living room.  Wearing a Weeping Angel t-shirt. Who’s going to see?  But then I thought about one of my former managers. She used to say, “You should smile when you answer the telephone, because even though the customer can’t see the smile, they can hear it.” So yes, I DID raise my right hand…just in case you can hear it.  (Also, because I’m a bit rule-obsessed.  If someone in authority asks me to raise my hand, I raise my hand.)

 

Track Record: 100%

“On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%…and that’s pretty good.” ~Author Unknown

One of my FB buddies shared this quote with me this week, and it made me smile.  I should probably post this on my bathroom mirror or something, a reminder to keep moving forward.

Phone Court?

It’s been a stress-filled day.  In fact, I’m so upset, I was close to tears.  I received a letter in the mail.   It seems I have a telephone hearing next week regarding the unemployment benefits I received a year ago.  That’s right.  A YEAR ago.  Who knew judges were conference calling eligibility cases?  It seems surreal, like something plucked from a dystopian novel. My former employer, my advocate/lawyer, the judge, and myself will all be on this same conference call.  Maybe this happens all the time?  Maybe conference hearings are quite common?  I’ve never heard of this before, but that means nothing.

In the meantime…I’m sick with worry.  I’m rehashing EVERYTHING that went on leading up to my release from my former company, a company I’d worked at for 15 years.  I will fret over every scrap of paperwork I saved from that time, making sure it’s ready and at my fingertips.  I will second-guess every box I checked on last year’s paperwork when I filled out my unemployment forms for the first time in my life.  But worse of all, I will be battling my demons from last year.  They’ve already begun to whisper in my ear telling me, “See? You weren’t enough.  Not good enough.  Not special enough.  If you were enough, perhaps your boss would have tried harder to find another position for you to work within the company.”

In my head, I know “being enough” had nothing to do with my release.  When my former employer closed my store, there too many “chiefs” leftover.  Some of us had to go.  In fact, my former boss frequently used the phrase, “It’s not personal;.  It’s business.”  But…it still hurts, like breaking up with a friend.  In many ways, it feels a  lot like I got dumped. Fifteen years is a long time.  My former job was a relationship of sorts.  After all, that’s where I spent a great deal of my time.  Working! Working! WORKING!  Even still, my former employer may have initiated the “divorce,” but I thought we parted on good terms.  I thought I was okay with the changes that happened to me as a result of my employer’s decision.  I’ve moved on.  They’ve moved on.  There’s nothing left to say.

Except now I have a court hearing—sorry, a conference call hearing.  And while I know I will bounce back from this strong, today I feel broken.  I’m cookie crumbs left scattered across the kitchen floor.  I’m sad.  Angry.  Hurt.  I want to put this chapter of my life behind me.  I don’t want to go back to where I was before.  I don’t want to feel the negativity burning inside me again.  I don’t want to feel used up and broken.  I gave away fifteen years of my life in exchange for a paycheck.  Fifteen years where I put my job ahead of my family.  No one twisted my arm.  No one forced me to work.  But that’s the truth of it.  And now it’s over…but it’s not over.  I’m ensnared in the past when I should be embracing my future.

Wearing David Bowie’s Pants

Like most people, I have dreams that have gone unfulfilled. I’ve made plans and broken promises to myself. Excuses happen. Life gets in the way. Daily demands occur that are hardly noteworthy. Feed the dog. Wash the laundry. Do this. Do that. Take out the trash on your way out the door…

But then I see this:

 

David Bowie writing, singing and performing his own epitaph while dying of cancer. You have to admire a guy who’s willing to squeeze every drop of time and LIFE out of his last months here on Earth.

What did I do today? What did I accomplish? Did I do anything at all today that will bring me closer to my goals?

Excuses have been anchoring me in place for far too long. I think it’s time I put on my big girl pants (or a pair of David Bowie’s pants) and move forward with my life.  It’s time for me to make tangible progress in my writing life career.  I’ve started making plans, throwing dates on the calendar.  Dana Ellington of Satin Sheet Diva had a great motivational idea on her blog post for turning plans into actions.  (Waving hi!)

It’s a new day.  A new year.  A better me in 2016.  :)

Thank you so much Haddon Musings for inviting me to have a seat on your couch today, even though I’m not quite ready to claim my discount at Denny’s!

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