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Highs and Lows

I was riding a high earlier in the week and then it all came crashing down yesterday.


But first, the good...


As you know, I spent the bulk of last week working my new organizing job. It's more physical labor than I ever anticipated - keeping in mind this comes from a woman that until very recently was lucky to get 1000 steps in for the day.


But also, the San Antonio job involves very steep stairs several times a day. I can do it, but I'd be lying if I didn't say it is a lot. Luckily the space is air conditioned and I did spend the bulk of my time sitting down and sorting...but I think we also know how klutzy I can be and stairs are initimidating!


The Houston job was a 4 story town home, though I spent most of my time on the first 3 floors. Also there was an elevator but I reserved that for transporting empty boxes and bags of trash. That job was unpacking for a couple that is downsizing and they have beautiful things. Lots of MCM items that I really wanted to sneak into my bag - but I promise that the things I came home with I had permission!


I'm not one to pass up authentic MCM pieces, and they were offered - I did not ask.


Well I did make it known that if they decide they no longer need the frosted pink and gold speckled barware that I would be more than happy to take it off their hands.


No such luck. Yet.


I did get a fondu set, a pair of MCM lamps that I will probably repaint because the color isn't quite right for the living room, some stemless champagne flutes that Karen and I plan to duke it out over, a framed vintage movie card, and a cookie jar.


Expect a fondu party soon.


And then I followed up 3 days of hard work - nearly 13 hours on Thursday - by a weekend in Austin to celebrate Misty's birthday. I miss my Austin friends and it was really great getting to spend time with her.


Finally on Sunday I came home after being gone for 10 whole days. Mister Manfred was very excited to see me.


I'm also cat sitting for our friends Marc and Mere this week - they've loaned me the use of a car and I go over every day for an hour or so to freshen food and just hang out. Both of their cats are pretty shy but Ruby will come out and at least scoff at me before running away to hide.


Cheddar has been persona non grata. I couldn't even find him most of the time.


Until yesterday.


Yesterday is also when I started coming off that high. It's been nice having a job to do and such a satisfying one at that. Even without the "perks".


I know my self-worth (nor anyone else's) is NOT tied to what I do (or don't do) for a living or how much money I make (or don't). I know this. But it is still hard on the ego, especially when you are someone that has worked since the age of 16 with very small gaps in the resume.


And normally I would feel pretty confident about finding a new job because I have years of experience as a processor and I am pretty good at it.


Except there are not a lot of openings out there right now. And the ones I do see are paying half what I was making.


HALF.


I don't know about you but that's not a pay cut I'm willing to take. And if I am, then I may as well start a new career, something I am more passionate about.


I'm very fortunate that Rob is (knock on wood) doing really well at his job and as long as he continues this current projectory we will be ok, even if I have to make less money for a minute. He says I did the same for him when he switched careers but I feel like it was less of a gamble on him.


Oh! I almost forgot the other reason I was on a high earlier this week...I paid off another credit card! I'm very proud of that because even with less income, by tightening our belts and never leaving the house, I have managed to pay off 2 credit cards this year that were entirely wedding expenses. We'd be further along if I was still working, but this is a huge accomplishment to me.


And then yesterday I had to go get a skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma) removed from my left arm. It's not a big deal, I worshipped the sun in the '80s and now I am paying for it.


*Please note, I now always wear at least SPF 50 when I go out, I prefer sunblock to sunscreen, and I get regular body checks at the dermatologist because early detection is key.


That's not what brought me down. This doctor even has Bupivacaine for numbing which works much better than an ice pack and doesn't make me break out in hives.


What brought me down was checking out.


My total was $906. That's with insurance! And the best part is, I have to go back in 2 weeks and have the stitches removed as well as a malignant melanoma so I think it is safe to assume that will be at least another $900.


At first I laughed. Then I panicked because I don't carry all of my credit cards on me and I didn't think I had one with that much open on it, but then I remembered I did keep one empty one for emergencies.


And then I cried a little. Not like full on sobbing or anything but I think someone was chopping onions nearby.


Because I was so proud of us for staying on top of things and paying off another credit card and here I go charging it back up again. I had a zero balance for like 2 days. Which I suppose is still an accomplishment and at least I have the credit available but still.


Two steps forward and three steps back.


Please keep in mind that I'm currently still walking around with a gallstone that I can't afford to take care of that will likely cost another several thousand dollars.


As a reminder, I do actually have insurance. But with a deductible of $6500 before they start covering anything, it may as well be 6 million. That's how it feels.


And not to get too political for a sec, but this is just one of the many things wrong with this country. I'm having to choose which medically necessary procedure I can do. I'm choosing skin cancer over gallstone because I know how important early detection is, but I can't put off gallstone forever. I can develop serious complications from it if left untreated for too long, including death.


I wouldn't say no to free healthcare, but I don't mind paying for it. I just don't think my only options should be to put it off and hope I don't die (yes I know I'm being extreme worst case scenario here) or go deeper into debt.


So by the time I made it to check on the kitties yesterday I was feeling pretty down in the dumps. That old familiar I can never get ahead feeling.


And I'm sitting on their couch frankly feeling sorry for myself and Cheddar comes out. And not only does he come out of hiding for the first time all week, but he jumps up on the couch and starts snuggling with me.

This is Ruby, This is her "oh it's you again" face.
This is the formerly elusive Cheddar aka my drooly snuggle buddy.

I miss those kitty snuggles.


Shadow doesn't really do that and Lily reserves her love for only 2 people and I am not one of them. And yes, Mister Manfred is a snuggly lap dog but there's something different about kitty snuggles. IYKYK


So I left in a slightly better mood than I had arrived.


Last night the boys and I baked a Bananas Foster cake - they did most of the work because I'm not supposed to use my left arm for a couple of days (stitches). And if you saw my Instagram post, it was every bit as delicious as it looks.


This morning I FINALLY had an interview! Well I had a pre-interview interview. I am confident I can do the job.


To be clear, I have not been offered the job yet.


But it is an on-site job and the office is near DFW. So we'd have to get a 2nd car - we sort of knew that would be inevitable. And with that comes a car payment (because even though we would buy a 'cash car', we'd have to put it on a card and would need to pay that off as quickly as possible), additional car insurance, and maintenance. Not to mention what would likely be a 45 minute or longer commute each way. Then there's the added wardrobe expense because as I mentioned before, I don't have a workplace appropriate wardrobe anymore.


And the starting pay per the online ad - we didn't discuss pay yet - is significantly less than what I was making.


It's just so frustrating. I don't mind starting over for a new career but not if it is going to cost me money to work there. That makes no kind of sense.


So yeah, feeling a bit defeated again today. I'll get over it, I know. And plenty of people have credit card debt.


Why do I think I get to be special?





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