A journal of healing

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Retirement is a carrot on a string

I know I am not the first one to turn 63 as I did two weeks ago. It should not be a big deal. But somehow, and I am not sure if it is the age or just the energy around these days, but it does seem harder and harder to get through the day. And it is not just me.

There is a HR manager who actually hired me. To look at her, you would think she was maybe early 60’s. She is small in stature and her still brown hair has never been dyed. She had eight children and 19 grandchildren. She has also been a ball of energy since I have known her.

But when I came back from vacation, she sat down at my desk with a heavy sigh. “You were missed,” she said. Heck, I was only gone three days. But we had a training class going through that was from hell. I thought there had been more issues, and there were. But that was not what she wanted to chat about.

She said, “I think it is time for me to retire.” I almost fell out of my chair. In truth, I did not expect it. She has been with the agency for over thirty-five years. We had just celebrated her birthday which marked 78 years. She has earned by all rights her retirement. But she works part time and has always said the job kept her going. I figured she would stay at least two more years.

She said she just did not have the patience to deal with stupidity any more. It was something I totally grasped and embraced. She was tired of seeing the repetitive efforts of our agency dealing with the same issues over and over with no better outcome. She said in general, she was tired of everything being a fight or lengthy discussion. She was also tired of the outcomes or consequences having no impact. She was tired of staff getting away with what they have been getting away with lately, like piss-poor documentation with no repercussions. I got exactly what she was saying. Management has an “everyone is a winner” attitude and coddles the clinical staff. But it is costing us dearly.

Earlier in the month, my dear friend and I had a similar conversation. She is one person who always looks to the good in people and is the very non-judgmental. But as we sat out in the garden chatting, she revealed her frustration with just getting through it all. She said she just does not have the patience for dealing with, (and I paraphrase), people.

I am right there with them both. I struggle with my impatience with the attitudes of people who seem to have no comprehension of way of things. Maybe it is that the way has changed and no one told me. I have no patience for those who are coming up who think they know everything and have no problem saying so. I listen to them at meetings coming up with things that have already been tried and failed. But they feel they are amazing and Einstein. They are rude and talk over people.  I really am turned off to their arrogance which they seem to drip with. I too struggle with the agency doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different outcome. And I am just tired.

They did a big injustice moving the retirement age up. I pity the next groups as I see them continuing to move the age of retirement up. It won’t matter as there won’t be any social security money anyways. There are a going to be a lot of folks in the next generations who will have a horrible time in their old age. They do not have clue about saving. Heck, they are still living at home until they are thirty.

What do I want truthfully? I would like to have an on-line flexible teaching job. I would like to have good health benefits that will continue with the treatment I am on. I already know that I will go to the recreation center which has wonderful programs for people with arthritis but the classes are for seniors and are in the morning. I know I am going to join the senior chorus that currently meets at 2pm. I have other plans for things but…. No can do now.

I need medical coverage. When I retire and go on Medicare, the drugs I am on that keep me going will not be covered. And Medicare is certainly not free. It costs my husband almost $300. 00 a month for it and his supplemental insurance. They take it right out of his social security monthly payment. NO choice. And the once a year, he hits the donut hole. The donut hole is now up to $4900.00 that you have to pay out of your own pocket annually. This is a whole other blog. But this is another reason why senior citizens are nasty and angry. We worked all our loves to get screwed by Medicare. My step-daughter who works on average 20 hours a week is on government insurance and she gets great coverage and it is FREE. That train ride will end soon.

Turning 63 and being close to retirement is like being on a diet in a bakery. Everything looks so wonderful and yet, you can’t have any. Am I turning into a curmudgeon? Absolutely.  But I am not alone. That gives me solace but it does not resolve my getting through it for at least the next two years. Some days I feel like I am being held hostage and have no choice about the direction of my life. I have to work and I have to work with the people I work with. And that gives me an attitude and I know it.

 

 

 

Just Hanging Out, Glorifying Obesity

I just loved this. What a new world we are creating. I hope one day, fat-shaming will be as unacceptable as racial bigotry.

Dances With Fat

Photo by Doug Spearman Photo by Doug Spearman  Dress by http://www.igigi.com

In that super questionable video I posted about, one of the “I’m fat but” statements was “I’m fat but I’m not glorifying obesity.”  No shit.  Because “glorifying obesity” is not really a thing.  Fat people being happy, doing stuff, living our lives, achieving things, being in the spotlight etc. are just being happy, doing stuff, living our lives, achieving things, and being in the spotlight.

I’ve been accused of “glorifying obesity” many times. Oddly, I am also short with curly hair and yet I have never been accused of glorifying shortness, or glorifying refusal to straighten my hair. That’s because this is about fat-phobia.  It doesn’t matter if it’s perpetuated by people because it’s their goal to create a fat phobic society, or if it’s their sincerely held personal belief that fat people should never be (or see any fat person be) anything but miserable…

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The Draft

It’s hard to believe it was forty –five years ago. It was so different from now. I was 18, innocent and trusting. The world was in turmoil as we were involved in Viet Nam. All the guys who I graduated with had registered with the draft. We all knew someone who went over and did not come back. It was an unjust situation. You had to register and you had to take your chances.

There were tons of stories on how to get out of being drafted but it was very hard to be 4F. My hubby was one of the lucky ones who was exempt for a medical reason. His number was 35 in 1968.

My sister had many friends who went over. My brothers all went to college and were exempt. My first close experience was in 1972 with a Vet who had returned. His name was John. I was going to college with my best friend from high school. We had sung as a duo since the time we met. Music was our lives. There was a big presence of returning Vets who went back to school at the college. She ended up marrying one. She and I joined the Jazz group on campus and went on tour to other colleges on the East Coast. John was in the group and played guitar like a dream. We eventually formed a group with another guitarist named John, also an older Vet, and the four of us called ourselves Synapse. We were good.

I had it for John really bad. He really was not that good looking. He was older and I think that had appeal. He also had his own apartment which for us who still lived at home was a super plus. He was also pretty messed up and did drugs. No one could wake him up or startle him. He would go bat shit if you did. There was a lot more, but let it suffice that although there were many firsts with him, it was not a stable relationship. But oh, could he play a 12 string.

Then I met my ex. He was also 19 and in a band. He was on the draft at a precarious 200 number. He would be called up eventually. He was not going to go to college and was working as a machinist. But at that time, his love was music too. He was in a band called Jaspur who played country rock and was very popular. He had long hair and a beard. He did not do drugs. We met, fell in love and made plans to go to Canada. It was my dream to have a farm and he was prepared, city boy that he was, to live in the woods instead of Nam. The draft ended in 1973 and the need to escape ended.

Later in our lives, he became a cop and fell in with a group of right wing supremist who were all ex marines. He blamed me for not going into the service. That is just another reason why he is my ex.

My family did have members who served. My sister-in-law is a lieutenant and actually served oversees during the Nam war. My Uncle and his son were/are both commissioned officers in the Navy. My oldest nephew had one foot out the door of high school and the other in the Navy. He served for over 20 years and just recently retired as a Master Chief. I won’t say he isn’t messed up because he is. He feels like life sort of passed him by and wished he had a family. My mother’s father served also. WWII was the cause of the death of my grandfather. He was really messed up when he came back and they thought he might have been gassed. He died in a sanitarium.

I think the fear of being sent to war made my generation hateful of the government and we do not trust it. Returning soldiers were not greeted at the airport with banners and flags. They were spit on. Nam ruined lives in many ways and this was before they had treatments for PTSD like they do now.  The generations after us have no idea what it was like to know that graduating from high school could be a death sentence. It is not like my parents’ generation where going to war was glory and honor. There was honor in my grandparent’s generation too.

I am not against the people who serve. I am against war. I abhor violence. I think we are still involved in places we should not be. I think it is crazy to sacrifice our young. But I know I would rally for a real cause if need be. I thank the people who served whether they had to or choose to. It is a true sacrifice. I mourn those who did not return. And I grieve for the lives ever changed by the horrors they saw.

I pray every day that the blond idiot in the White House does not get us into a conflict with his mouth.

 

 

Ripples

Last week I was chatting with my friend who is about the same age as me. We both agreed that the energy we have has dwindled and that it seems so much harder to get through the week. I am not sure if it is the weather, our age, our physical limitations, or all the above. So I sat and thought about it. I realized it was all the above but then there are other things happening that has definitely changed the energy of our world. Although I am not directly impacted, the ripple does affect all. These are some of the things I have observed.

The whole Trump situation is totally negative. Whether you are for or against, it sets up a very adversarial situation, since there are few who are not affected by his actions. I personally can’t stand the man for many reasons. But every time he opens his mouth, he sets off a ripple of anger. Either people are destroyed by something he does or people feel they have to defend him because no one trusts him. It has created a state of anxiety and fear and he is totally unaware of his actions. He is so far removed from reality that there is no way he could have an idea of what affect his decisions have. But the people around him do, and they are letting him. It is so out of control right now that it sets up an atmosphere of fear.

We have a severe water issue here in my area and upstate New York. I have a friend who lives on a road that is between the big lake and a series of ponds. Her house is slowly filling with water as her beach area falls into the lake. She said her basement walls are weeping water which will eventually dissolve her foundation. There are many in this situation. My beloved River is over her banks as well. Parts of Boldt Castle are underwater. They had to close down operations up there. That will really hurt their economy as they only have six months to make their money. Although it does not affect me directly, the idea of my favorite place in the world being in jeopardy does upset me.

I work in health care. It is the most regulated industry out there. We live in fear of audits. They are not fair. Our last audit they hit us for things that have never come up before. Stupid things. We had to go back and get I 9’s for all the volunteers. We have never had to do that. People who submitted an application electronically and who were hired had to come in to HR and sign their application even if they have worked for us for ten years. There were more stupid things.

Every week we get a letter called a Dear Administrator letter. The one for last week was about the requirements for Home Health Aide training. They changed the rules. So now I have to institute classes to compensate for a change in a regulation so we do not get dinged when they come in. We live in fear of this kind of thing all the time. This fear and constant worry about documentation and regulations permeate this field. It is extremely negative but there is no getting around it.

Maybe I am just getting tired of this constant negative world. I know I am not going to do anything about work for a couple of more years. I certainly can’t quit with no health insurance.

Well, this blog certainly did not cheer me up either. It doesn’t help to spread doom and gloom, so I will stop and go sit outside in the rain.

Water, water, water…..

 I used to think it would be so grand to have a house down on the big lake. I would actually love to have a place on the River. But after this spring, I am not so sure. The rain has been non-stop. The creeks are overflowing, parks are under water and roads are closed. We took a journey out to one of our favorite parks this afternoon. It was shocking.

   This is one beach area at the park. In the distance, you can see a break wall under water. That is how far the beach use to go out. Now it is right up to picnic area.

  This part of the beach was three times as big as it is now.

  Where those trees are used to be dry. You could walk out there and sit. There was a small beach area around the trees. Last week,  we also went down to another favorite spot. There is a long pier going out from the bay to the lake that you can walk on. It was too windy for us. We took some pictures of the houses that face the lake.

  Where the logs are out far was where the beach once was.       The  erosion and water is very bad. This was last week. This location is now closed because the bay and the lake have breached on either side.

  It has been so cold and damp that I have not been able to sit out. I also am very sick with the flu. It has wiped me out. I have never slept as much as I have this past weekend. Although I think I am on the mend, I would not wish this on anyone. Well, maybe Trump.

  Our garden is waiting for me to spruce it up. Fortunately, the flowering trees have been spectacular. My annuals are coming up including the roses I thought I lost. The lilacs are blooming, but they need more sun. Mrs. Dove grew her baby and it took off last Thursday. She is already sitting on a new egg or two. We also have a sparrow family in one house and a chick-a-dee in another. I want to sit out. Slowly I hope the weather and I will improve and it will be garden time

 

 

Spring is here

 After the longest March, we finally are past snow and ice. It was particularly brutal and I feel like it took a lot out of me this year. Fortunately for us, we did not have any damage done on the house, but our neighbors were not so lucky. But moving on, it is finally Spring.

  I knew it was Spring when Momma dove suddenly appeared in her nest from last year.These two little guys faced many harsh and cold nights, but managed to survive. We did not think they would be alright but they made it to become big and beautiful.

 The one Sunday, the bigger one flew away and left one behind.  Eventually, she  left. Now Momma is back and has one new baby already.  We have so many doves now that come to feed at my feeders and I hope many of them are the offspring that were birthed in this nest.

 Miss Cookie and her counter part, Browny have certainly enjoyed the warming up. Although she loves to roll in the snow, she could do without rain.

             One thing that says Spring is the sunsets. We sit on a hill and the light comes through the trees and is very pretty.

  My neighbors all have beautiful trees which are in bloom. I sit out every chance I get to enjoy the view.

   Yesterday, we went for our annual visit to this one peach orchard. I always try to catch it when it is in bloom. I missed it last year and the year before, the guy was spraying on the day I went out. This year, they were magnificent.

  There were a slew of us out there taking pictures making it hard to get a clean shot.

 One thing this Spring has brought has been a lot of rain. Here and everywhere on the Big Lakes. So the water level is extremely high. This is causing a lot of issues on the shorelines. We went down to a little park we like and was amazed how high the water was. You could not even walk out on the pier because the path way to it was under water.

 The waves were pounding the shore and they had put rocks to protect what was left of the beach area.   I hope you enjoyed my Springtime views.

 

 

 

Waking From the Dream

Fascinating…. and wonderful

The Complete Soul

Question: If I understand you right, you are saying the self-image is something separate from the soul. The soul, which is already complete, is the real of us. If this is true, how do I reclaim the soul as my true identity?

Let’s say someone gives you tickets to the Broadway production of The Wizard of Oz. As a member of the audience, you seat yourself before a stage. The house lights are still up, the curtain is drawn and the audience murmurs in quiet anticipation of the drama about to unfold before them. At this point, there are two worlds. There is the world of the audience and the anticipated world yet to unfold on the stage. The music begins, the lights go down, and a hush falls over the audience. At this moment, a transition occurs. Two worlds merge into one. As a member of the audience, your…

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