Kiss5Tigers

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


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Meeting People and My Work

I have decided that I’d like to date again, even have a long term relationship.  This is huge for me, this is something I never thought I’d do again.  Truly it has been 10 years since my last relationship.  I figured I was on my own until the end of my life, when I would move back in with my daughter.

The biggest problem is, how do you meet people?  When you’re young, you just meet.  You go out with friends and meet their friends.  You meet people at school or at work.  Then you settle down and family life takes over.  I was single into my 30’s so I lost a LOT of friends to marriage and family.  I don’t begrudge that, I think it’s to be expected.  Family takes energy and time so you just don’t have it for outside activities.  That’s okay.  But it does mean that your single friends move on in different ways and maybe you aren’t that close any more.  So you’re on your own more and more and eventually you’re used to being alone.  How do you get out of that rut?

I asked my friend B.  The first thing is, he had to clarify to me that even though he was dating someone and is not now, that he is not looking for a relationship.  I must be a real dog in that any time I talk to single guy friends about relationships, they feel a need to be clear that they aren’t interested in me.  I don’t assume they are.  And I’m probably not interested in them.  After all, if there was mutual interest, we’d already be more than friends.  I just figured, if you want to meet single guys, ask a single guy where he goes to meet women.  B did tell me two places:  church and online.  I’m not churchy, so online it is.

My friend K has been looking for a partner for some time now.  She has had good luck with online dating sites so I asked her what she thought.  She told me a little about the ones she’s used — which ones were more hook up sites and which ones were more relationship oriented.  So now I’m on a few websites, seeing what I find.  (If you’re reading this and you want to know me, I suggest contacting me in the comments.  And I’m talking about friends, not just dating.)  Now K is beautiful so she gets lots of responses, I am middle aged and plain so I get fewer responses, but I have noticed a few patterns.

Yes I have a job.  No I am not working at the moment.  My job is an on-call disaster relief position so I only work when there is a disaster.  There is not a disaster at the moment so I am not working.  I don’t have a call-back date because disasters don’t come on a schedule.  I will not be going back to work on Monday, this is not a vacation, it is a furlough.

Having said that I am not currently working, I want to clarify that I don’t expect you to support me.  I can support myself.  I am not a gold digger.  I am not looking for a man to take financial care of me.  To balance that, I don’t make enough money to support another person (if I did, it would be my daughter), so don’t expect me to pay for your life.

I don’t want to go dutch.  I don’t have extra money at the moment, so I can’t afford to do a lot of activities.  But even if I was rich, I would want the man to pay for dates.  Unless I asked, in that case I would expect to pay.  The thing here is, I have had a number of serious relationships where all the resources went to the man’s benefit.  Now if you want my interest, you need to be willing so spend a little money on me too.  Not for my necessities, I can pay my own rent and utilities, I am an adult; but gosh pay for dinner or bring flowers or something that makes me feel like you think I’m worth the effort.

Please take the time and pay attention to actually know me.  If I have told you three times that I am furloughed, don’t keep asking how my day at work is going.  If you asked me when the last time was that I flashed someone and I stopped talking, accept that this is not going to be a hook up.  If I don’t ask you about your blow job comment, don’t send me a dick pic.  If I say I read Charles de Lint, don’t recommend John Grisham.  Or at least ask me what kind of books Charles de Lint writes.  Know that my taste runs to steampunk industrial and don’t buy me american traditional.  Even though I love Frank Lloyd Wright.  I am smart and open minded and unfortunately I don’t have a sense of humor.  I am what I am and it’s not going to change much at this point.

So here I am venting.  I don’t think I’m unreasonable, just a little worked up at the moment.  Frustrated.  And trying to make it work out.  Because I don’t want to be alone any more.

 


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Ambivalent Job Search

Why ambivalent, you may ask?  Surely I am either looking for a job or not looking.  And well that’s the thing.

I’ve been a month with no income now and I am totally broke.  I didn’t think I’d have to wait this long to be deployed.  So I need some sort of paying gig for the next little while.  I will be checking out local food pantries for grocery assistance but I need to work for my mental health.  Days are starting to run together.  The other day I seriously asked my roommate if it was Saturday.  It was Tuesday.  Not good.

If I need to take a job, I’d like it to be something I’m interested in.  I think I would like to be a peer support specialist but I am not certified for it.  I believe I could do it, I just don’t meet the qualifications on paper.  I have completed the classwork but I don’t have hours as an intern and I can’t afford to work for free.  I also don’t have a degree yet.  I only owe 3 classes, but I also owe the school money and until that is handled, there will be no classes for me.  Unfortunately, nobody cares how far along the degree process you are.  If you haven’t finished, you might as well be in your first semester, years of work don’t count.

I get lists of jobs every day from Indeed and CareerBuilder.  CareerBuilder has lately been sending me engineering jobs.  I don’t understand that.  Nothing about my resume says engineer.  Indeed sends me everything containing the word “peer” and the word “specialist” so that’s a pretty wide variety of options, very few of them in mental health.

I like my job with the government and would like to be doing it, but this no income stuff is bull.  I need money, doesn’t matter what I like.  On the other hand, I can’t spend 8 hours a day hating what I do.  Either I need something I could be committed to and give up the government position or I need something I don’t hate that I could quit at a moment’s notice when I get deployed.  Since this is civil service, not military, there is no requirement for the employer to keep a job for me.  I hate to take a job knowing I would leave it, but . . .

So why am I ambivalent?  Because I don’t know what I want.  I look half-heartedly in case there is something really good out there.  I apply to jobs I’m probably not qualified for because of the pay or my interest.  I am required to make a certain number of applications per week while I’m collecting unemployment, if someone decides to pay me.  But I really want to just do the job I am already hired to do.

I don’t want bad things to happen to people, but I need a disaster to happen so I can work.  And I am ambivalent about that, too.

It’s hard to hold two separate and opposite ideas in mind, and yet here I am.

Something good will happen soon and this will be a non-issue, I just have to hold on until then.


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The Tightness of Money

I need to pick up my meds.  I also need to pay my phone bill.  I can’t do both.

It’s been a long time since I had to say that.  I’ve had enough money for about a year, even a little extra.  But right now today, I am poor.

I wonder how I’ll make it without the drugs.  I wonder if it’s better to let the phone get shut off.  I wonder if the phone company has a payment plan I can use.  I think they do.  I’ll have to check that out.

Not that it solves the problem of finding the money to make the payment.

Having the car towed the other day didn’t help matters.

Let’s see, what can I look forward to?  A friend is sending me some money she owes me.  I have 2 trainings next week so that’s about $40.  Maybe less after taxes.

I’ve listed some stuff on ebay and etsy.  It’s not moving but maybe in the future.

I should get unemployment.  We are waiting for the state of Virginia to close out the claim so the money can come back to Texas.  Mind, right now, Texas says I don’t have an open claim.  I guess I’ll have to call them on Monday and see what’s going on.

Technically I have a job, I just have no work at the moment.  So here I am squeaking by.  I wonder what I can do to make ends meet?  And of course rent is about to be due.

So this is really testing my faith that there is always more money.  Let’s see if I can keep a good attitude.

My Etsy shop

my Ebay listing


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Finding a Schedule

I seem to be blogging every other day, which is good until I go back to work.

Sleep hygiene is suffering lately.  I was somewhat manic and I’m not working, both of which push my sleep time later in the day.  Yesterday I slept until 1:30 in the afternoon so I just wasn’t tired at bedtime.  I wasn’t tired until after 4:30 am.  In the meantime,  I  heard from a friend that she needs help getting to work early tomorrow.  I am going to sleep at her house tonight so I can be there in the morning.  Well, I need to get up around 5 am, and I didn’t see me getting any kind of sleep if I went to bed late.  So I decided to stay up.  I figure I’ll be ready to crash right about the time I should go to sleep to get up in time.

It’s Fathers’ Day which is a non-event for me.  My grandfather’s and father have long since passed away.  My ex husband has also died.  I suppose I could call my uncle and wish him happy Fathers’ Day but that seems like fishing for inclusion.  I owe my uncle a call anyway, I just think I’ll put it off until Monday.

I filed my payment request for unemployment.  They say I have been awarded nothing at this time, but I will keep filing.  They should have all the documentation by now, but I will call them Monday as well just to be sure.  I should have something in my payment column since I worked until the middle of May.

Hawaii has been declared for individual assistance.  I hope that means deployment.  I’m dying to work!  Several other states have requested assistance, so maybe soon.

My roommate says the cats were glaring at me to go to bed, but I doubt it.  They probably wanted a snack or some attention.  My other roommate made coffee, so I am soon going to be sufficiently caffeinated.  Then I will clean out my car so my friend can be comfortable in it.

Today will be busier than planned.


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Demobilization

One of the things about working for the government is that suddenly all this military language is used to describe me.  It makes it even more true that working for the government is like being in the army only without the guns.  Until I am deployed, I am demobilized.  And I am in non-pay status.

It’s been about 10 days since I got back from orientation.  Orientation was good.  There isn’t really much to say about it, since to much was just listening to people talk about FEMA.  I did find out a few things though.

First of all, FEMA actually provides rather little in the way of direct help.  Most of what it does is coordinate agencies to resolve issues.  So, for example, you may get public assistance which involves hooking up the Red Cross with local agencies like churches to get water to people who need it.

The other thing FEMA does is provide money.  This is the thing most people are familiar with.  FEMA provides grants, but if your income is sufficient, they refer you to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for a low-interest disaster loan.  SBA reviews the paperwork like a regular loan application, so lots of people don’t qualify and get sent back to FEMA.  Which is fine, but it IS a time delay because of the extra processing.

The grant has a total cap on it of about $33,000.  No matter how much damage you have to your house or what it costs you to stay in a hotel, the most you will get for everything is that limit.  It’s not designed to bring you back to your pre-disaster standard of living, it’s designed to make sure your home is safe, sanitary and habitable.  So you lost, for example, a 72″ TV in the living room, another TV in the master bedroom, and one in each of the kids’ rooms.  Sorry, but you’re not going to be compensated for all that.  That’s what insurance is for.  You now have no TVs, FEMA will provide one TV because it is considered necessary, and it will probably be 24″ or so.

If you get the grant, FEMA will tell you how you can spend it, and they will look for receipts later.  So if you get money to fix your roof, don’t use it for debris removal.  You won’t be given more money to fix the roof until you show appropriate receipts, and debris removal receipts will not work.  You may even be asked to repay the award!

I have also learned some things about disasters in general.  Pets, for example.  Since pets are so important to people, they are often evacuated with their families.  However shelters are not prepared to take on pets, so special animal facilities are set up.  There is only one thing:  You need proof of rabies vaccination to drop off your pet.  So that is a good reason to keep up with your pet’s shots.

Otherwise, it was a good training.  I ate well.  I slept well.  I had time in the evenings to take a couple online art courses.  I saw my friends Bryan and Andy who have moved to Maryland a while ago.  I like travelling so it was fun.

Now I am back, waiting to be deployed.  Not that I wish bad things for people, but I am eager to get going with it.  Hope I get called soon!  I want the adventure.

 


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Mentoring

I have received an email from a lady whose creative work I follow and it includes an offer for mentoring.  This is a group email, so no big personal decision here and frankly while I could probably use a life coach, I’m pretty sure I can’t afford her.  I’m sure she would expect to be paid for her time.  No judgement implied, we all need to get paid somehow and if I didn’t have a job, I’d want to do what she does, get paid to talk to people.

The thing is, I would like to be mentored but I don’t have a goal.  If I had a career goal or a life goal, that would be one thing.  But I don’t have a real career goal, just to do something I enjoy and I think I’ll be doing that soon (more in a minute).  And my biggest life goal is to learn to love people, which I do the best I can and I am getting better at it.  I don’t have something specific that I could be coached to do.

This is not the first time I’ve gotten an offer, or even just been reminded that there are opportunities if I choose to pursue them, for mentoring.  I wonder if this is something I should reconsider.  Would it help me find a goal?  Is a life goal even necessary?  Is it enough to be sure my daughter manages her life in a good way?  I mean, for parents, there is an age where your children are the purpose of your life.  She’s past that age though she still needs help and guidance sometimes, but I’m not sure I want another long term project that requires that kind of dedication.  Not that my child is a project, but parenting, man, that’s a long term commitment.  Do I really want to take on another big goal?  I don’t know.  On the other hand, do I need maybe a little more direction than I have right now?  Maybe.

Yeah, work.  I passed the background check and I will be a reservist in about a month.  I’m just waiting for the start date.  I have 3 more emails to receive — the final offer, the training schedule, and the travel itinerary — and I can’t wait until I get them.  I am very excited about this.  More details will become available as time passes.

I still want to put together the subscription box too.  I love mailing things out and if I can get it to be self-supporting, I mean I don’t even need to make money just not lose any, that would be great.  The theme is chakras.  I am hoping for a $25 dollar box with maybe $5 shipping.

I am into the M’s in my mailing list project.  Once I get to the end, the next thing will be to answer the letters I’ve received in response.  Then I will move on to the mail art list.  I just want to get cool mail so I have to learn how to send cool mail.  Mail as a hobby is like instant karma.

Nothing deep in closing.  Just wishing you all love and joy.


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Yay, Fog

I left the house early Friday morning to drive to work. I leave before the sun comes up, which already is not my favorite time to drive. But that day, there was fog. Not mist, not haziness, actual fog. I couldn’t see the house across the street. The streetlight at the end of the street appeared suspended like the moon in the sky; it did not illuminate the area like usual.

I tried to drive, but I wasn’t out of the neighborhood before I realized I couldn’t do it. I went home and waited a half hour before trying again.

Now let me be clear. I am not a fan of horror movies so this isn’t like I believed monsters were going to get me. I felt like I could not see well enough through the fog to be safe. I didn’t want to hit anyone and I didn’t trust my reflexes due to the early hour.

At the second attempt, there was fog the way most people think of fog. I got on the highway, creeping along at 50 mph, feeling like I was going too fast for what I could see. However, other drivers felt that 65 or 70 was a better speed. I realized I was a hazard and pulled over, waiting until the sun was fully up.

I called my employee assistance program and they talked me down, I was so freaked out. I wanted to cry. I was unprepared to be so afraid of driving in less than sunny weather.

Of course I was late for work, which is a different problem, but still a factor.

After work, I went to my doctor. I would have gone to the psychiatrist but he is closed on Fridays. I was shaking and upset. I actually did cry in his office because I am so frustrated by this situation. I just want to go to work, nothing unusual.

Doctor asked if I thought this would happen again. Well, we are coming up on 2 weeks of bad weather, so yes it very much could happen again. He prescribed me some rescue meds to take the edge off. Catch 22: they may make me too sleepy to drive. So I have meds to take to calm down during stressful driving that could stop me from driving at all. I hope that doesn’t happen because I can choose not to drive without taking meds if it comes to that. I want to drive and get on with normal life.

So I have put new tires on the car and during the bad weather, I’m taking the train to work.

I just want to live life without freaking out over things.