Saturday, April 26, 2014

MOVING DISASTER

PREFACE: 
I wish the best to all of you having to move by choice but please APPRECIATE anyone who is helping you! I just had to vacate my (5 year) rental due to my landlord lost the house in foreclosure and it was auctioned in January. So that means I moved NOT by choice. My 2/2 with 1 car garage was holding the accumulated possessions of 20 years with my late husband, momentos of my son growing up, 14+ years of crafting and fine arts, ongoing eBay sales items, and 10 years of teaching (student work) at college level. I had 60 days to whittle down the mass, pack and store it all...or get rid of it. NOT enough time doing it by myself! 

DISASTER STORY: 
The last night of moving belongings into a rented UHaul (by myself) ended in a bad step off the back of the truck as I BEGAN to unload this last load into the storage unit. I fell 4 1/2 feet and landed on my right foot, hearing a loud POP in my knee, crumbling down to try to catch myself with my left leg twisting my ankle, down...down...down landing just above my tailbone and then hitting the back of my head on the parking lot blacktop. Laying there for 20 minutes, crying from the pain, in a puddle with a light rain falling on me...not knowing what damage I'd done...the storage facility now closed to incoming traffic...I was completely alone, with a full moving truck to be unloaded! I finally limped and hopped my way back to the cab of the truck, crawled up into it, welcoming the heater available as it was dropping to 59 degrees rapidly! and my cellphone! I called everyone I knew within 50 miles and got mostly voicemail response. It was 9:30 on a Tuesday night. One of my friends said he'd come and bring others to help when I refused to call an ambulance. He came, with a friend and they both unloaded my truck. I couldn't walk but could press the gas pedal to drive the truck back to the house again for the things I had left for last minute loading into my car and distribution to others. They loaded up my UHaul truck again, and unloaded it again into my storage unit. THAT is true friendship!

At 2 a.m., I drove myself to the ER, used a Rubbermaid two-step ladder as a walker, and after x-rays found out I had broken my leg. I spent the next 8 hours in ER, getting pain shots and pills so they could straighten my leg to put a splint brace on. They released me to another friend to drive me away from the hospital, not that I was letting that happen. I had her drive me to my car and I drove to her house (up 2 flights of stairs! where the rest of my stuff was & my cat!). I was moving that day to my sister's house 140 miles south. I had already told her not to drive up to get me, I wasn't towing my car down, that I was capable of driving (with both feet), and would arrive later that day.

I am now recuperating with family in a spare room with all that I could pack into my subcompact Toyota. I had to suspend all my online selling, my artwork, and my crafting until I am (literally) on my feet again. Moving doesn't suck, it is a gut-wrenching life event that is like losing a loved one, especially if you aren't in charge of the decision. At this point, 17 days later, I don't know what I saved and stored and what was left to scavengers and the landfill. I have flashbacks about items that I'm not sure I still have in one place or the other. It was traumatic on so many levels that it will be some time before I am able to move forward, much less create and enjoy my arts again.


RESOLUTION: I am allowing myself time to heal. Writing about it is cathartic and hopefully will help others. I am so grateful for my dear friends who helped me through this and my beloved family who is helping me heal. Things can be replaced, people cannot! As long as your move includes those you love, you can always survive. 

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

SPRING HAS SPRUNG!

PREFACE
With spring comes renewal. Grass becomes green again, budding leaves and flowers everywhere, and change is in the air. My life is going through a big change and I don't have a clue how it will all turn out!

STORY
My landlord's house was sold at foreclosure auction on January 22nd. I have been getting letters all about it as the "unknown tenant" but with my name right next to that. So "unknown" but named...lol. Fannie Mae bought the house at auction, and is the agency that guaranteed the original "underwater" mortgage. Funny how things work.

It has been very traumatic to have to move again, and in with family again after 5 years of being on my own in a beautiful town and neighborhood. In central Florida, 2 hours from anywhere I would want to go (but didn't, except to visit family...where I'm moving back to!). I'm under a monumental amount of stress right now, and I broke down into uncontrollable crying today, just to slow me down some more.

I am asking myself what decisions did I make to get me here? Was I using good judgement when I signed up for a graduate level class in November and then continued to pursue that decision until I became $1000 in debt to family friend and 3 weeks away from the end of semester, still not knowing if I can pass this course or not. And when I do pass the class, it won't count for anything if I'm not accepted into the MFA program to complete my degree (of which I have 40/60 credits). It's all hanging in limbo, just like me.

Moving back in with my family entails the loss of freedom. No more walking around naked in the morning or sleeping that way at night. No friends allowed over. My cat isn't allowed anywhere there is carpet, so just my room and the enclosed porch. None of my furniture (my bed!) is allowed in except maybe my computer desk. And if I don't pass my class, I'll have to leave...move again!

I am grateful that I have somewhere to go, even if for only a month or two.

CONCLUSION
I must re-examine what I am manifesting if this is where I am right now. I don't want to be at this point, with these decisions and pressure, moving back to where I gladly left 5 years ago. I don't want to be "let go" from another college teaching job after 3 years because I don't have my MFA! I just wish I knew what to do, what to decide. I will meditate (which I have been doing more and more lately) and ask again, and again, and again, until I get a clear answer. My life seems to be nothing but change and renewal. Happy Spring!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

AND FALL IS UPON US

PREFACE
Good thoughts. Think of how you want your life to be and it will be. Thought becomes reality. I am really losing patience. Had a birthday, lost my job, may lose my home, car is in need of repair, haven't seen family all summer, NO dating prospects...

STORY
The weather is turning cooler, thank Mother Nature for that! It is a glorious time of year to be outside and to work in my gardens. I have three raised flower gardens in the front of the house and one veggie/herb garden in the back. The water from the well has quit twice now...very late this year for it to be short on water...hmmm. Got 23 plants on Friday from Lowe's, for $24! Such a deal!! Now I have to plant them before they wilt and die. I have been wanting some Cannas to plant and most of them are...some red flowers, some with variegated-striped leaves, some with dark coloring under the leaves...beautiful. And they were going to throw them away!!

I got notice that the house I am living in and have lived in for 4 years is going to be judged for a final foreclosure decision on Dec. 6, 2013. My backdoor neighbor said that even after that, it may be several months before any action against me takes place. I am expecting a miracle.

I haven't heard anything from the college about me teaching in the spring as yet. The schedule came out on November 1st and even if I'm not listed, they should know if they are going to bring me in to teach. I live for teaching, love it so much, and I don't know what to do when I'm not teaching. Teaching is what I am meant to do.

My health has suffered at my own hands. I have been idle for SIX months and my body is showing me that this has to be reversed or I am headed for trouble. My muscle tone is gone, my hip joints hurt...not to mention the increased pain in my knees and back, and I'm starting to look and feel my age. What a horror!! This is not how I want to be. I can change this. Exercise. I have lost 20lbs.

CONCLUSION
Get up, get moving, DO SOMETHING...build the life I want. Peace & Joy!

Friday, October 25, 2013

AND HERE WE ARE AGAIN

PREFACE
It seems that every three years, I am unemployed from teaching at college level. Never mind that I don't have my terminal degree (Master's in Fine Arts, like a PhD but not called a PhD, still no degree above it). Never mind that I get higher student review scores than full time professor colleagues. Never mind that I'm a woman, and post-secondary institutions are notorious for being male-heavy in their instructors/professors! Oh, and besides, I have no significant man in my life.

STORY
I have worked for this college for 3 years. I was told that my "credit hours" were to be cut due to Obamacare and I couldn't go over the requirements of 30 hours. WHAT!? I teach 10 hours a WEEK! That requirement to provide health insurance coverage for employees that work over 30 hours...is per WEEK. I teach 4 classes, 2.5hrs each class = 10 hours for fall semester (12 credit hrs). Plus 10 hours for spring semester (12 credit hrs).. Plus 2 classes, 6 hrs/week for 6 weeks for summer terms A and B  (12 credit hrs total). That comes to 36 credit hours for the YEAR! not per week. Ok, so cut me back to no classes in the summer = 24 credit hours (NO, TOO CLOSE TO 30!) Frustrating getting a straight answer out of anyone.

Along comes SACS accreditation and 4 adjuncts get axed due to no MFAs. 2 women, 1 black man out of 4. Hmmm. A vague promise to hire me back in the spring when SACS is off their backs. Meanwhile, I'm living on $692 (+ $162 food stamps) per month. Not a whole lotta living-wage jobs out there for a 57 yo woman without a masters degree.

CONCLUSION
I am confident that everything will work out for the best for me. Right now, my depression has kicked in and I have to go to sleep. Tomorrow is another day (actually it's already tomorrow...hmmm, looking out the window...looks like a better day!). Namaste'

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

RETIREMENT AGE DATING

PREFACE
I have to qualify the title "Retirement Age Dating" to what it means to me at this point in time. It means those single women and men just short of or at retirement age. Now retirement age use to mean 65 (and that is what it means to me) but now full retirement age is 67! or even 70! We are living longer and working longer. Of course, more women are living longer than more men but that's another article. There are a lot of places now that consider ME a senior at 55 and give me the senior discount!

STORY
(1) I have a sister 9 years and 5 months older than I and she has been single for more than 30 years. First single when her husband left her for a 16 yo girl (yes, really!) and then legally divorced from same husband 9 years later so he could marry same girl who was then 25 (!).  My sister raised her only son by herself, fighting tooth and nail for support from her well-paid fireman husband. She didn't date because of being legally married and also due to her son (not wanting a parade of men vying for his affections/approval, nor wanting any ammo for the estranged husband on her lifestyle or reputation). She had two serious relationships in the last 20 years but neither worked out satisfactorily. Just recently she put herself on a popular dating site with explicit wants and needs for a companion (not a sex partner or marriage prospect). She got DF who is perfect in a multitude of ways, but she is not romantically nor sexually attracted to him. He so far he is satisfied with the arrangement and caters to her needs and wants without looking for a love commitment or physical involvement.
(2) The lady next door is 63 1/2 and widowed now 5 years. She was very shy about starting to date again but has been steadily seeing a man 10+ years her senior. He is different than any man she has ever known and he doesn't treat her well. He's the first man she has had sex with since her late husband died. The sex is great according to her. Their relationship has been off-and-on over the past two years. He has broken her heart several times only to come back and start it all up again. He tells her to seek out her other options (date other men who are interested) and then becomes jealous and insults her when she does. She dated one man who is very wealthy and could take care of her in style, treats her like a queen (except when he wanted to have sex with her and after she said it was too soon, he said he'd be willing to pay...!...what is wrong with men in their 70's???). Her steady guy is on lots of medications and has recently been taken off two of them. He's back in her life again and she sees a big improvement. Maybe it has been the combination of meds that has made him so "bipolar!" but we'll have to wait and see on that.
(3) And then there's me...55...educated...full-figured...energetic...diverse interests/experiences..healthy sexual appetite. What do I find? Men who want one-night-stands or fall madly in love with me and I feel nothing or I really like them and never get a second date-or-phone call-or-any communication ever again...WTF? This happens across age groups and ethnic groups. I've dated men from 25-64 and most every race. I'm so tired of searching and being disappointed.

CONCLUSION
It is a crap shoot! In my opinion, you have nothing to lose in putting yourself out there, whether it's online or in real life. The only condition is that you have to be willing to accept love into your life. If you send good thoughts and wishes out into the universe, you will draw good things to you. Whether you pray or meditate, do morning and evening affirmations, write down your wants and needs, build a dream board or let go and let God...sooner or later, you will find someone right for you. My wish for you is that you recognize them when they come along!! Happy dating!

Monday, June 06, 2011

NOT REALLY INTO THEM

PREFACE
You meet for the first time, you know within five minutes that you are not into this person as a romantic interest. It might be possible that you could be friends but do you really want to invest the time in getting to know each other? Maybe, maybe not. You may even go so far as to give it the chance of a goodnight kiss. Still nothing. Do you tell them now? Before you part ways?

STORY
I hear different responses from different friends. (1) Tell the person right away that you are not interested in a second date. (2) Give it a chance by agreeing to a second date and see what happens. (3) Let them know as soon as communication exchanged between the two of you has given you enough indication that this relationship is not going anywhere. (4) Go out several times and give it enough time to grow to like/love the person. (5) Don't be so picky. Anyone can become a soul mate. (This last one I really DON'T understand!)

Are we so thin skinned that we cannot take rejection? Or so afraid of being insensitive or "the bad guy" that we can't be adult and honest? Is it better to be with someone who doesn't feel the same affection towards us, rather than be alone or to avoid hurting their feelings?

CONCLUSION
My answer...NO! DO NOT SETTLE!! Being alone is not the same as being lonely. Anyone can find things to fill "alone time" without having to be constantly entertained or affirmed. Go with your instincts and be honest. It is the only way to be true to yourself. And after all is said and done, you have to live with yourself! Happy Dating!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

OUTBACK: PART DEUX

PREFACE
Two weeks ago I went to dinner with AW at Outback. I was running late and called him on my way to the restaurant which is only considerate. I was 20 minutes late which might have sent many men into a tantrum but AW was cool with it. He's easy-going, polite, attentive, and attractive. So why wouldn't I give him a chance to make me happy?

STORY
I am not physically attracted to him. There...I said it. I can't imagine myself having sex with him. Women can say this. Men can think about having sex with any woman (they make a multitude of jokes about it) or go through with sex with a woman while thinking of another woman (not saying that women don't do this too). Women think too much. We over-think everything, most of the time. It is our un-doing!

The first red flag was his statement that he just wanted to go to dinner and not a movie, because he didn't want to share the time with a movie. Meaning that he wanted no distractions from concentrating his attention on me. He just wants to cuddle with me. To watch a movie at my house and just "chill" with a pizza would make him happy. Starting to sound too familiar.

CONCLUSION
So I was going to tell him that he shouldn't waste any more time pursuing me. But maybe he wants to...waste his time. I am too nice. There are numerous women who would have him take them to dinner, movies, expensive shows, concerts, and spend, spend, spend...not me. I like him but he doesn't stimulate me intellectually.