Uh Oh. I did it now.

I received two job offers today, both of which were from jobs I applied for before I went out on stress related illness. So, after seeing the assigned physician yesterday and my personal doc today, I have officially submitted my two weeks’ notice to my present employer.

Scary, scary, scary. I’m giving up job security (Ha!) and benefits in exchange for sanity and flexibility. No guarantees of work from either job though; they’re both pool/on call which scares the bejezuz out of me. I know, realistically, I’ll work probably as much as I can handle, especially during the cold months, but still. Scareeee.

Now I have to go get my personal stuff from my locker, before they cut off the lock and take it. I’m not sure how that works when you go out on disability and then give notice that you’re quitting on the day you’re due back. Probably not in the best taste, but it can’t be helped that my appointments fell the way they did. I’m just glad I got my appointments, because doctors and the phrase ‘booked for a long way out’ go hand in hand.

I learned a lot in my term of employment there, about the health care system, people, and myself. Mostly myself, I think. Which may be the most important information I will ever garner, and is something a lot of people die without ever gaining. Often, in fact, they die because they don’t learn it.  I feel lucky in a way, to have had this massive breakdown, because it forced me to look at my lifestyle, my spirituality, my marriage, my goals, my career, and so many facets of each in a way that simply would not have been possible had I not run right up to the edge of that cliff and nearly fallen off.  Perhaps, in a way, I did fall off that cliff.  The Gods, however, had other plans for me and I fell onto a ledge about ten feet down.   “What’s wrong with you is no little thing” as my DH says…but what’s right with me is no little thing either, and the knowledge of that is what I really needed.

I am just another casualty of our broken health care system.  Thankfully there was a safety net for me; so very many people are not so lucky.  I can’t imagine how awful our life would be right now without that safety net.  I think perhaps I will do more letter writing, more lobbying (though I hate lobbyists!) for causes that we as a nation cannot afford to ignore, even in an era of austerity.

On my palm my lifeline is broken into three segments – one stops abruptly, the next starts right below it but not connected to it, and the third breaks off as a new line from the second.  I don’t follow palmistry, but my aunt was always amazed by that and predicted I would have great upheavals in my life.  If the last year is any proof, she was definitely right!


Thinking two seasons ahead


Originally uploaded by susancoyotesfan

Like our ancestors, it is time to start thinking about being warm this winter. Since hand made items take time, it means that if I want to have gifts for holiday giving and warm things for myself, now is the time to start making them.

I spun this yarn earlier this summer; I dyed 775 feet of it with cake dye; it turned out a heathered color that ranges from a deep sky blue to a royal purple. The rest I left the natural color.

While I’ve taken projects from dirty fleece to finished object, this is the first of many projects that I plan to take from dirty fleece to woven object. Like most of my ‘firsts’ this scarf has issues – but it is my first attempt at weaving with my hand spun and I’m happy to report that my yarn is more than strong enough for the stresses of weaving.

In keeping with thinking two seasons ahead, the fall garden will be planted later this week. We’ll grow broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, as well as chard. I’ll try cabbage again, but I don’t hold out a lot of hope for it.

I’ll be placing an order with Johnny’s Seeds for some greenhouse plastic and the clips to hold it to PVC pipe; I think I can manage a cold frame that won’t blow away this winter. I’ll also be hedging my bets with my free sliding glass doors, using those over a couple of our beds and getting hay bales as necessary to keep the glass high enough to allow the plants growing room.

I have to go back to work soon; I am not sure how I feel about that. In the mean time, I’ve been busy preserving the bounty of summer. If it were from our own garden I’d be happier, but from the farmer’s coop is good too. So far I’ve made 100 pounds of tomatoes into sauce with 25 pounds blanched and waiting in the freezer to be made into paste. Today I roasted 30 pounds of green chiles and put them into our freezer. Mr. TF was aghast at the sheer poundage until I reminded him that last year we got 15 lbs from the store and it wasn’t enough.

I’ve been drying herbs like rosemary, oregano, thyme, and marjoram; I need to get out into the garden and pick basil to make into pesto for the winter.  I wish I could live a little more like our ancestors; I would love to exhaust myself all summer long with projects and preserving, knowing that this winter I will have a well deserved rest time.  Modern life makes that impossible though.

Re-evaluating things

As some of you may know from previous posts, I’ve been home for a while due to work related stress.  When this started, ever so long ago, I attributed it to ‘just part of the job’ and assumed that there was something wrong with me because I seemed to get little satisfaction that I had accomplished anything of value at the end of the day.  I can even remember having a conversation with a coworker who was also struggling a little, and she asked “why do we do this?”  My reply was “for the money” which even then I was trying to convince myself was the case.  Now, monetary matters always play a part in what one ultimately chooses to do for a living, but it shouldn’t be the primary reason – ever.

As it turns out, while my reason for staying where I was might have been a monetary reason, my actual reason for choosing my profession is something quite different.  I’ve been seeing a counselor and a psychiatrist as a part of my recovery, and they both tell me that the reason I ended up ‘breaking’ is because I care, not because I don’t.  Apparently the disconnect between the compassion in me – and others who care – and the financial drivers of today’s health care is so great that, for some of us, it becomes too much to live with.  Lying to oneself only works for so long, and trying to disconnect from caring means creating an emotional and psychological dissonance so great that it is only a matter of time before one ‘breaks’.  I spoke with someone else I used to work with today, and we have much more in common than it appears on the surface; our greatest differences are that she refused to lie to herself, and that she had the good sense to realize that the problem wasn’t within her.  It gave me great hope to speak with her and catch up; we will be meeting for coffee next week and I have to say I am overjoyed at the prospect.  I have avoided cultivating friendships within my sphere of colleagues, feeling that whatever was wrong with me was something I didn’t want to share, and truly failing to understand much of their lifestyle.  Some of that is because I’m peak oil aware and I follow they financial world and they don’t, of course, but much of it is because they just seem to be able to ‘cope’ better than me.  Finally, frankly, several of them are not people I would want to spend my valuable free time with any way.

It has been a great relief to realize that I’m not a horrible person (although some may disagree), I still care about individuals I come in contact with, though I could care less about our species as a whole,  and that I actually DO want to continue to do what I spent so much effort attaining.  To realize this is possibly the greatest burden lifted off my shoulders I could have had.  So if there’s a bright spot in this, it’s that this time off has given me perspective on myself.  Sometimes sucking it up and dealing with it, though many times IS  the solution, isn’t always the best choice, particularly if it means ignoring those little soft voices whispering in the back of your ear that this is wrong, it’s not supposed to be this way, you’re in a helping profession, …

So that’s it, my little bit of nothing.