Kiss5Tigers

The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.


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Passport Drama

You may know that I am going to Alaska on July 4th. It will be a cruise, and it leaves out of Vancouver. I will be flying from Dallas to Vancouver.

If you didn’t know, Vancouver is in Canada and Dallas in in the US, and therein lies the difficulty. Canada is another country.

In the 70’s when I lived in Canada, you could pretty much cross the border with a driver’s license as proof of residence. I had a passport, but that’s because I was technically an American living abroad. Also I was under driving age.

But 9-11 has happened and border security is tighter so I need an actual government document that proves my citizenship, so I need a passport. I do want to be clear: The problem is not leaving the country, the problem is coming back in. It cracks me up. They don’t care that much if I leave, but gosh darn it, we got to be careful who we let back in.

I contacted the passport office. I mean, I was about 6 weeks out, I needed to be sure of the process. They told me go to the post office. I made an appointment at the post office, got my paperwork together, and 5 weeks out I ordered the passport.

Now in the US, you have a choice: You can get the regular booklet passport or you can get a government ID passport that looks like a driver’s license. Well I”m not attached to getting the stamps, so I opted for the card. I opted wrong.

Today my passport card arrived. I opened the package and took the card off the paper and I happened to notice something in bold print across the bottom of the paper. I looked more closely. “Not valid for air travel“.

Well.

That couldn’t be right. I mean, I am only going to Canada, surely this is a mistake?

So I called in to the helpline. Yup, to fly into Canada, I need the booklet. I sure didn’t see anything about this on the website. And of all the questions I was asked, nobody asked where I was going or how I was getting there, so no person told me there were restrictions.

“What is the card good for, then?” I rather exasperatedly asked the customer service rep.

It’s good for cruises around the Bahamas and ground crossings into Canada and Mexico. That means I could drive to Vancouver, but I can’t fly in. And if you’re just going to the Caribbean on a cruise, you’re fine. But Dallas to Vancouver on a plane? I”m SOL.

The first option is to get off the plane when it stops in Seattle and spend $30 to take a bus. I could do that. I’d only be out a couple of bucks. But since the ticket is booked to Vancouver, there is the possibility they wouldn’t even let me on the plane without the correct documentation. So that’s probably not a good solution.

The other choice is to get the regular passport. In order to do that, I need to file a missing passport form and pay $110 for the booklet plus a $65 fee for expedited service. At least unemployment finally started paying me, I have the money, but it seems exorbitant. Still, I’m in a bind, I’ll just suck it up.

Now I’m less than 2 weeks from leaving, so I qualify to go to the passport office directly. I went to the website and put in Dallas. No appointments available in the next 2 weeks. Okay, let’s try Houston, that’s only a day of hard driving, and I could bring my daughter to see her half-brother. But no, no appointments in Houston either.

I called the help line again. They told me I could go to the passport office as a walk-in. Well cool, I can do that. Only I didn’t think they took walk-ins.

Turns out they do, but you must be within 3 business days of leaving. And I’m glad I said something because they are a little stingy with the information. She didn’t volunteer that there was a time restriction, I had to ask.

So on Monday, I will go down to the passport office. It will be July 1. I am leaving on July 4, which is a holiday, so I am within my 3 days. But man, this feels like cutting it real close.

And yet, this is all first world problems. A day ago I was counting pennies for gas money and couldn’t pay car insurance. This? This is cake. I am worried about a vacation when I have nothing to do between now and then except get ready. I am already on vacation, really, just not on the trip. And it will all work out, it always does.

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Telling the Truth and Dating

I have had the idea of truth come up in my feed several times in the last 3 days.

I like truth. It gives me a firm foundation for basing my life. Lies are slippery and you can’t depend on them. Truth may change with new revelation, but it is always reliable. You can work with it.

I’m thinking of, for example, dynamics in a relationship. The truth of love can keep a relationship together through some pretty rough stuff. And the truth of love dying makes for an even rougher time, pretty often. I don’t know where I”m going with this. But if you communicate along the way, it goes smoother. I’m thinking of Meg Ryan breaking up with Greg Kinnear in You’ve Got Mail, where they realize that even though they check each other’s boxes, they really don’t love each other. And they are relieved! They don’t have to pretend any more. Because they reached truth.

I have had to share some truth with someone today, and it makes me sad. Now I have a LOT of truth to share, I just keep it to myself a lot of the time to make life smoother!

A guy I know asked me out. The big truth, which I didn’t say to him, is that I’m not attracted to him. I don’t know why. He’s not bad looking, he has a job, I’ve known him for a couple years now so I know he’s a good person. He just doesn’t do it for me. But I didn’t tell him that. I felt like that would unnecessarily hurt his feelings.

I did tell him, I am not looking for a boyfriend at this time, which is true. And that I’d be happy to go out as friends, which is also true. I just don’t want to lead anyone on with expectations about kissing or sex when I’m not on the same page.

So I guess I didn’t tell the whole truth, but who knows how I”ll feel in a couple of months? I assume my lack of sex drive is a combination of meds and menopause. Anything could change. I might decide in a couple of months to ask my psychiatrist about the libido issue. Since, you know, I’m thinking I might like to try dating again at some point. Just not yet. Not quite ready yet.

I still feel bad for turning him down. He’s like, someone I *should* be interested in, but I’m just not. And I don’t think he needs to know that. I like him fine, I just don’t like him like that. And I’m not in a place where I feel the need to have a steady boyfriend, or even a friend with benefits. So I have told him this plainly, and if he still wants to be friends, he’ll let me know.


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Vision Boards and Banks

I did the vision board presentation again today, and it went well. I’m pretty pleased with it in general. I need to figure out a way to bring some music into it. I don’t listen to anything on my phone and I don’t have a bluetooth speaker so my options are a little limited.

One of the guys finished his but didn’t want to talk about it. I talked about mine, a couple of the ladies talked about theirs. It’s good, I think, to look at what you end up with and think about how it reflects your life.

Tomorrow and Thursday I am facilitating some other groups. Then next week we do vision boards 2 more times. It’s a good thing. I’m glad I did it.

But to balance out the good, I got an email from my bank regarding an overdraft.

How did that even happen? I don’t believe I have overdraft turned on. If I’d known I had a little leeway, I’d’ve spent $20 on Care.com to be able to contact clients.

Now I know, if I’d gone to the grocery store, the card would have been declined, so I don’t know why they paid what they did. I zero’d out the account for a reason. I would think that was obvious.

Additionally, they just send me a new bank card because my old one got compromised. It has a new number which I have not given out. Another reason those charges should not have gone through.

So I will call the bank tomorrow and see what’s up. Hopefully we can get it together and I won’t owe the whole $200. Because I should get unemployment next month, but it will only be for one week because of that thing where they hold a week back. I don’t want it all going for an overdraft that never should have happened.


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Vision Board Presentation

I did my first vision board workshop today. It went very well.

So, vision boards. In simple terms, it’s a sort of affirmation meets arts and crafts proposition, but it actually works.

When you think a thought often, you strengthen that pathway through your brain. It becomes easier to think that thought again. So if you are thinking something negative, it becomes easier to keep thinking it. That’s why we get caught in thought loops about being, say, ugly or worthless or stupid.

But the reverse is true too: If we get into the habit of thinking positive thoughts, those also become easier to think. That’s why affirmations work. You spend more time thinking a positive thought, it becomes easier to think it, and eventually it becomes second nature. I am a good person replaces I’m worthless.

Now the left side of the brain contains the language centers. Working with words like affirmations activates the left side of the brain. But there is another side of the brain, one that does not think in words but in pictures. You are familiar with its way of thinking, you call it intuition. It’s the things you know that you don’t have the words to express, because you don’t know it in words. In order to make changes, you want to activate the whole brain. So how do we activate the non-verbal righthand side?

Turns out, art and imagery are a good way to engage the right side. So if we want to fully activate the entire brain, working with words and images together is one good way. So if we combine the words of an affirmation with pictures, we get vision boards.

There are several benefits to creating one yourself. First of all it causes you to think about the topic. In my presentation, the topic was “live your best life” so people had to think about what their best life would be like. Then they had to find words and images that spoke to those ideas. Now some magazines have content that fits exactly, but lots of time it’s just a case of symbolism. You might, for example, find the word “relaxation” or you might find a picture of a hammock. They speak to different parts of the brain.

People find that once they go through these exercises, the ideas really do stick. And because they stick, we act on them. Maybe not consciously, but we open ourselves to possibilities and take actions in line with the new way of thinking. Both halves of the brain work together to bring about a change.

So my little group of people, they are going to find themselves experiencing some changes in the future. They have developed an idea of what their best life looks like and feels like, and they have worked it into both sides of their brains. The non-verbal side will influence their behaviors even if the verbal side still provides negative messages.

People had fun with the activity. One of the ladies found an image that clearly depicted the kind of confidence she wanted to have. One of the men found wonderful words that spoke to his self-described zen self. Several people asked for another piece of paper to do another one at home.

The only complaint was that there weren’t enough male images. Now that’s no surprise. I get mostly women’s magazines, and for some reason I didn’t have any Wired or Fast Company in my stack. I did have some National Geographics. But it’s a valid concern, so I will have to hit up Half Price Books and see if I can find some Sports Illustrated or GQ. Maybe Men’s Health.

So I would say this was very successful, and I’m excited to be doing it another several times. After this, I start to monetize it. Because I need something I can do when I’m not working for the government.


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Zero’d Out the Bank Account

I just took the last of my money out of the bank. I want control over what gets paid and what doesn’t, so I just pulled it out and paid my rent for May. I am now broke.

My daughter wants to donate plasma tomorrow and I’m gonna go with her. I can use the money and we can keep each other company. Then I’m taking her to the psychiatrist. We’ll have to figure out paying him.

What am I doing to find money? Well, I have applied to some temp agencies, waiting to hear from them. I have written an article that I hope to post on Nook. I have submitted it, but it still shows as pending, not actually for sale yet. I am signed up with Rev.com to do online transcription. I have applied to Amazon and will try Costco, since apparently they are hiring. I hate to burn bridges by leaving with no notice — and I get 24 to 48 hours notice before being deployed — but I need money now so I just might have to bite the bullet. I have also watched a dog and would consider house sitting.

In the meantime, my GoFundMe is doing well. Got another donation today, so that makes me happy. I’m over $200 now.

I’m working on hats. I have posted 13 of them in Etsy. I’ve had some looks, so hopefully there will be some buys soon.

I learned, in group today, that I basically like myself. I knew I didn’t hate myself, in spite of my periodic disgust with my body, but I didn’t really think about liking myself. I would be friends with me. That’s actually pretty cool. Not that I’m a perfect person, because there’s always room for improvement, but I’m good with who I am. And that makes me happy.


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Taking More Risks

Money is now very tight, I own about $500 and I have no income at the moment. The government has no work for me so I’m not working. I have tried temp agencies but they are mostly looking for temp-to-hire people, an; frankly nobody is going to pay me what the government does, so whenever they call me back, I’m going. I was collecting unemployment, but I have run out of funds in my account and I can’t reapply until June.

So I am trying things to see what I can do for money. I have written an article that I’m selling on Nook. Someone offered to help me set it up on Amazon but I’m not sure about the price point. I posted $2.99 on Nook because that’s the breaking point. Less than that, they keep 65% of the sale price, at $2.99, they take 35%. So that’s how I set the price. Amazon looks like it will be 65% regardless of price.

I need to work on the article, make it more so that it feels like I put some effort into it, not just the writing. I need to decorate it up a bit and add some color and motion to it. I’ll be printing it out later to see what I can do. Just need to dress it up a little. It’s not live yet so I have time to work on it.

I have also opened a GoFundMe for the vision board workshop. So far, no response of any kind. Not just no money, not even any likes. So that is rather disheartening. I’m thinking of changing to dollar amount. I think I can do what I need with $100. I’m not looking to get paid for myself, I just need to cover the costs of basic art supplies like glue and poster board. Money is too tight for me to do that myself.

I need to make a list of phone calls for tomorrow. I need to call my daughter tonight and see if she has that lab test tomorrow. I have some labs from the doctor myself so it makes sense for me to take her if we are both going. But I have things that I plan to do that somehow don’t get done, mostly phone calls. I think of them when it’s too late to take care of them. I figure if I make a list, I can do them after group tomorrow or before group on Wednesday. I hate to-do lists but I seem to be brain dead about some things I need to handle.

I usually make a have-done list. I usually list things as I get them done so I can feel good about my day. With the depression, it’s easy to blow off a whole day. But it’s also easy to get things done and feel like I did nothing. Keeping a list of what I did helps offset that. I mean, it’s too easy to just drift through days and suddenly a week has gone by and I’ve done nothing. Except I probably haven’t done nothing, and I can check that with a have-done list.

Hopefully something will start moving for me, moneywise. I know there is money out there, I just have to find it. And it has to find me. I need to keep on working it and trust the Universe to meet me where I am.


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100 Hats and the Vision Board

First I want to talk a little more about the 100 Hat Project.

The goal is to make 100 hats. I have a bucketful made already. They are for sale, and at the end, what doesn’t sell, will be donated. Probably to the local homeless shelter. You can follow the project on my facebook page, Kiss5Tigers. I will be posting hats several times a week.

I also took a risk today. I want to lead a vision board workshop. I know, it’s a little cliche, but I believe I can actually get paid to do this at some point in the future. I have several friends who’ve done this, none are doing it right now, so I feel like I could get mentored into it.

I proposed a vision board seminar to the community outreach liaison at the facility where I attend most of my groups. She said to put something in writing, and she’ll show it to the director. The director! I’ve never made a written proposal before, so it was a little nervous for me. But I have composed a class plan and included my information about the peer specialist core class I took last month.

I did also ask for a little support. I need poster board, scissors, glue sticks and maybe markers. I already have a ton of magazines, so that isn’t an issue. And of course people can bring their own materials like photos or colored pencils. I’m thinking of posting a GoFundMe. If I can get some money toward supplies, I can take the burden off the agency. I think I’ll look into that right now. I’ll add a link when I’m done.

Added:

Here is a link to my GoFundMe page:https://www.gofundme.com/envisioning-wellness

Now taking contributions!