This week has been Too Much.

This has been a crazy week…


Things started to escalate on Tuesday, when I had an appointment with the diabetes nurse at my HMO. She seems kinda impressed that I’m managing the diabetes without medication and without even testing my blood sugars, which means that this interaction was much better than our previous meetings.

I mentioned to her that I think I’m addicted to sugar, as I can’t stop eating it (cookies, donuts, cheesecake, cannoli…) even though I KNOW it’s bad for me. She said that many people are addicted to sugar, and she suggested that I do a sugar detox to change my taste buds so I don’t want the sugars any more. She gave me an article to read that detailed a sugar detox; “Go cold turkey (protein & non-starchy veg only) for three days. Then you can add a dairy and a fruit back in…”

My response to the article was “Three days is nothing. I’d need to be cold turkey for like, three weeks.”

And then I started making a plan for this sugar detox, which will likely happen at some point, but I’d like to run the plan past both my nutritionist and my primary care first, just so everyone’s on the same page.

The emotional part of this is that I enjoy sugary things, and I will have to deprive myself of things I like to better my health. And that’s hard to wrap my head around, because there have been times where there was so few things that brought me any happiness at all, and now I’m reluctant to give up anything that increases my happiness quotient. (This is, of course, the addiction talking, and logically I know that kicking it will be better for me… and this is apparently a cyclical explanation. You get the idea.)


On Wednesday, I was supposed to have a one-on-one meeting with my supervisor; the bosses like to have these every two weeks to check in with you on progress, etc. (Personally I think that once a month would be enough, but I’m not the boss.). Only mine wasn’t a one-on-one, it was two-on-one, as the boss-man (my supervisor’s boss’s boss, who oversees a few different teams) was sitting in. When the person who hired you sits in on a random private meeting, it tends to not bode well…

My supervisor started by recapping what we’d talked about last time, how one of my personal goals is to pay down my student loans, because I know that having them hanging over me is going to prevent me from doing a lot of things that I want to do (such as traveling). She then asked me to fill in the boss-man on my plan & progress.

A bit of background info here: I’ve done 8 years of undergrad, yielding a BA in Math and an AS in Engineering, and I was working on a BS in Engineering/Environmental Science when I withdrew for health reasons. So I have a private loan (at 9.66%) and lots of Federal loans (between 3.4% and 6.8%); they sum to about $53,000. At the rate that I’ve been paying my private loan ($150/month, even when I was unemployed) it’ll take me about 13 years to pay that sucker off. My Federal loans are on an income based repayment plan, and because I’ve been consistently so poor my required payments are currently $0, though some of them are accruing interest. … MATH.

So I explain to the boss-man what the deal is. He asks what my take-home pay is like per month (about $1200), and then asks me what my bills are that I’ve been spending it on. THEN, he spends at least half an hour lecturing me about what he thinks I should do to pay off my loans. His plan included:

  • NOT getting an apartment (continuing to live with my dad, despite being almost 30)
  • Draining most of the savings I’ve built up since starting my job in March: leaving $600 “for emergencies” and using the rest to pay down some of my private loan
  • Getting a second job on the weekends and putting that income straight to the loans
  • Somehow living on only $200/month, and putting the other $1000 take-home straight to the private loan and it’d be paid off in a year
  • Maybe considering putting my cat down, because her healthcare is expensive

So I have to sit through this gods-awful lecture, trying my best to not cry in front of my bosses. Then they bring up my work performance.

A bit more background: I schedule trucks to deliver product from vendors (Hershey, Kraft, Hormel, etc.) to my company’s warehouses. The trucking companies request the appointment online, and it pops into the queue to be scheduled, sorted by which facility it’s going to. (We call those “webs,” for web-requests.) We have a 2-hour turnaround time for webs, and every two hours my supervisor runs a report that lists how many webs are pending, how many are over 2 hours old, and which facilities they’re for. Apparently my facilities always have the most webs pending, which says to my bosses that I’m not pulling my weight with the team. (Personally, I think their data is skewed. Like, what are the web flow rates (how many webs come into each building)? Because I’m pretty sure half the problem is that I have the busiest facilities.)

Anyway, the boss-man thought I was over-thinking the scheduling of each web. I had to correct him, “No, I’m easily distracted.” Which is true; between the noise in the office and my body being uncomfortable sitting for so long, it is hard to focus. (Another problem is that in the web browser of my mind, there’s always at least 5 tabs open at all times, and it’s easy to distract myself when I’m bored… Which is pretty often at work….)

The meeting culminated in talk that sounded to me like, “We really like you & we like having you on the team, but you need to start doing better with your webs or we’ll fire you.”

And then I had to go back to work for another 2 hours after this meeting ended.

After work I rushed home, gave my cat her medication, and made dinner. At the end of dinner I was literally almost done cleaning up when my stepmother came home and Dad said, “You need to do that somewhere else,” essentially kicking me out of the kitchen. Gods forbid I spend 30 seconds in the kitchen finishing my dinner while you guys are starting yours.

Naturally I cried when I got back to my room, but I couldn’t indulge long because I had to get to the dance hall before 7 because I had the cash box for taking money at the door. And then, I was stuck at the hall on clean up afterward and didn’t get home until 11:30 pm. And then I passed out for six hours and woke up on Thursday to go back to work…


Thursday was emotionally / spiritually hard. I listened to my iPod all day, and I think I did alright on my webs, but no one acknowledged that I was doing better or trying harder or anything. I felt like I was suffocating, turning into a drone. I left work, picked up the farm share, went to the bank to make the deposit for the dance, and went home. I might have cried a bit, I don’t remember.


Anyway, what I’m trying to get at here is that it was kinda a crap week. Any one of these things would have been enough to deal with on its own, but all of them at once is excessive. Also, despite me working here since March, my boss clearly has no idea who I am yet.

  • I have to get an apartment & move out. Not only is it LONG past time I do so, but 1) my dad is selling the house in the next year, 2) my stepbrother is getting out of prison soon & I don’t want him knowing where I live, and 3) my abusive ex-boyfriend still knows where I live, as I haven’t moved since we were dating.
  • $600 is not emergencies. An emergency is my cat spending three days in the hospital and I suddenly have $2500 in vet bills. $600 is not NEARLY enough to cover anything.
  • Getting a second job is plausible, I suppose. My excuses for not doing so are that I need time for things like exercising, snuggling my cat (gotta take advantage of the time we still have together), and house chores.
  • Living on $200/month is absurd. (I know some people do it, and I’m not putting them down. I’m explaining why I can’t do it.). I’m diabetic and I cannot live on meals of rice & beans. My other bills add up (phone $50, car insurance $35, YMCA membership $15), and that’s not including gas for my car. I’ve been poor. I honestly still consider myself poor. Why would I voluntarily make myself miserable?
  • Do not even think about suggesting I put my cat down. You would never suggest that a parent of a human child put their baby down just because their medical care wasn’t cheap. I have no intentions of parenting a human child; my cats are my children. This, was not acceptable.

</rant>

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New Tech!

Testing… Testing…

Writing to you now, from my fancy iPad with Bluetooth keyboard.

I have some things in the works; hopefully with this app on my iPad I’ll actually be able to post more often. 🙂

Stay tuned!

Lvl 1o: Life & Goals

What is Level 10 Life?

I first came across the premise of Level 10 Life from a Pinterest pin, which led me to this blog post.  The idea is that you want to be living your best (happiest, most satisfying) life, and the first step is an honest assessment of where you are right now.

There’s some contention about what to call the areas of your life that you’re assessing.  For instance, you’ll likely see “relationship” or “marriage” as an area to look at, and that’s fine if you’re in a relationship/marriage, but if you’re like me and single, what do you do?

I made up my own categories.  I tried to make sure that the final list of areas of my life encompassed as much and as many areas of my life as possible, without having a bajillion categories:

  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health
  • Emotional Health
  • Spiritual Path
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Work / Money
  • Crafting Skills

So. You’ve got your list.  Now what?

Now you take a really honest look at yourself, and how you feel about each area.  How satisfied are you, on a scale from 1 to 10, with that part of your life?  Do you have any really low or really high times to compare right now to?  How much room for improvement does each area have?

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My assessment (on Jan 7th) was as follows:

  • Physical Health = Lvl 4
  • Mental Health = Lvl 6
  • Emotional Health = Lvl 3
  • Spiritual Path = Lvl 2
  • Friends = Lvl 3
  • Family = Lvl 2
  • Work / Money = Lvl 1
  • Crafting Skills = Lvl 2

As you can see, I wasn’t feeling very good about my life.  I was unemployed, my relationship with my father (or as I occasionally call him, “the Fatherlord” — Avatar reference) has been pretty dismal for years, I hadn’t practiced my spirituality for quite awhile, and my craft projects were not progressing.  My physical and mental health were only assessed so high because I have recent lower points to compare with.

So… if the goal is for each area of your life to be maxed out at Level 10, how do you get there??

Level 10 Goals

You set goals.  Achieve the crap out of them.  Celebrate.  Repeat.

… Seriously.

I feel a bit hypocritical saying this, because so far I haven’t been very good at this.  But it’s working.  A month and a half later and there has been progress in at least two areas.

I chose 2-3 goals for each area, because much more than that would be overwhelming and nothing would get done.  The key is to try to keep them realistic and manageable.

  • Physical Health:
    • Complete weekly checklist (exercise goal: 5x each week, with various activities that count as exercise) ((Shoveling snow totally counts as exercise.))
    • More vegetables! (Need to sign up for the farmshare this summer)
    • Stretching and/or physical therapy exercises
  • Mental Health:
    • Sudoku at night (stop browsing Pinterest; Sudoku doesn’t use data)
    • The Great Courses lectures (something educational)
  • Emotional Health:
    • Regular (daily) time outside
    • Journaling prompts
    • Move out & get an apartment
  • Spiritual Path:
    • Observe Sabbats & Esbats (solar & lunar cycles)
    • Practice divination regularly (Self, you’re not gonna get better at it if you don’t practice. Love, Me)
    • Work on & improve Book of Shadows
  • Friends:
    • Attend potlucks & game nights
    • Monthly letters to far-away people
  • Family:
    • Tell my brother & my bestie how much I appreciate them
    • Have tea with my aunts and/or cousins
    • Contact my mom & stepdad weekly (They live in western PA; I live in western MA.)
  • Work / Money:
    • Apply for 3 jobs per week until working 40 hrs/week.
    • Restart Etsy store
  • Crafting Skills:
    • Crochet a hat
    • Make a corset
    • Re-cover a parasol

There has already been progress.  I think I’m going to do an assessment quarterly (4x per year), so the next will be around my birthday in early April.  Stay tuned!

I got a job!!!

As the title of this post suggests,

I got a job yesterday!!!

It’s a full-time office job located 15 minutes from where I’m living.  $14.50/hour, 40 hrs/week, paid every week.  They offer health insurance and a 401k.  (I’ve never been offered benefits before!)  They’re really flexible about needing time off for appointments and I can make up the time lost.  After a year of working there, I’d get a week of paid vacation.  (Which alternate universe did I jump into??)

I owe the friend that recommended me to them, big time.  And a Lannister always pays their debts.

I can do things now.

I am most excited about getting this job because it means I can do things, like:

  • buy groceries
  • apply to refinance my private loan to a lower interest rate
  • get my car fixed
  • bike to work once the weather warms up
  • attend dance weekends & events
  • progress on my costuming without excessive worrying about cost
  • save for an apartment & move out! (Hoping this one happens this coming fall)
  • sign up for the farm share again this summer (will literally be working down the road from the farm)
  • send my winter coat to the dry cleaner’s (it’s wool, or I’d wash it myself)
  • buy myself new sneakers in the spring
  • bring Holly to the vet, should she need to go
  • go to the chiropractor without excessive worrying about cost
  • bring my dance boots to the cobbler for repairs

If things progress smoothly, my starting date is Feb. 27th.

Health Update #I’veLostCount

The Good News:

I went to the nutritionist this morning and weighed 248.5 lbs, which is down 23 lbs since the Diabetes diagnosis in September! Yay progress!  Go me!

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Screenshot of my FitBit app.  You can clearly see the peak in Sept.

What kinda baffled me at the time of getting on the scale is that, for the past two weeks or so, I’ve been eating a lot more carb-ish types of food than I had been, and I’m astounded than I’ve continued to lose weight.  The problem, of course, is that I’m still unemployed, and based on bills, current bank balances, and how much money I net-lost last month, I’m putting off grocery shopping for as long as possible.  That means a lot more meals featuring beans and rice than I (and my medical team, I’m sure) would like.

Luckily my nutritionist is pretty understanding of circumstances (and this isn’t the first time I’ve had issues affording decent food), so my “homework” from today’s session:

  • Continue elliptical & walking & dancing – 1 day per week each
  • Increase vegetables – inexpensive ideas: broccoli, cabbage, frozen veggies, carrots, & turnips
  • Continue to limit portion sizes of things like rice, beans, etc.
  • Continue lots of water

I don’t know when I’ll get work, or when I’ll run out of okay food to eat from the pantry, but I will definitely keep the veggie ideas in mind (in other words, tell my bestie so he can cook them).

But YAY, PROGRESS!!

I’m grateful for…

January 2017

  • Holly (my sweet kitty, who’s been with me since I was 10 yrs old)
  • understanding friends
  • Bubba (the best Best Friend a girl could ask for)
  • clean drinking water
  • Zack (my younger brother, who is pretty cool)
  • MassHealth (yay health insurance!)
  • good night vision
  • YMCA discount membership (YMCA Greenfield MA)
  • my long winter coat (calf-length)
  • I don’t have food allergies

February 2017

  •  my new winter boots (a much-needed gift from my brother)

BuJo-Planner Lists

Adventure Ideas

Books I’ve Read

  1. Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs – A Beginner’s Guide
  2. Mercedes Lackey’s “Owl-” trilogy (Darian’s tale)

New Restaurants

  1. Fresh Side (Amherst MA) – The pad thai T-roll and spicy chicken T-roll were the best, but the pho was pretty good, too.

Entertainments (Movies, Concerts, Shows, etc.)

  • The Secret Life of Pets – 1/12/17 – Cute, a little funny. Likely, once was enough.
  • Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox – 2/3/17 – Calvin Theater, Northampton MA – Not as satisfied with this show as I was with the last time I saw them.  Music was still awesome, but the show felt rushed (entire show was 2 hours, for $44 per ticket); I missed the emcee acting like it was an old radio show, and Scott Bradlee himself doesn’t tour anymore (what??).  As I said, the music was still great, but I felt the whole “PMJ Experience” was lacking.

Completed Projects

  1. Remade blue scrap yarn circle afghans; Actually know how to crochet a flat circle now!
  2. Finished mending for Saera H.
  3. Replaced a bag zipper for Katie O.
  4. Finished crochet Slytherin sweater