Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Keeping up

I am finding it harder and harder to keep up with, well everything. I have not posted on this blog since March of 2006. Looking back, that was a challenging year. I started to feel over my head in caring for my Dad, and began a search for an assisted living or skilled nursing. I visited probably 30 places, putting my findings on Excel. It was not a pretty picture. In November of 2006, reluctantly I moved him into a small board and care about 15 miles from our house. He needed so much care at that time I felt it was the right choice. The place was highly recommended and he was on hospice. It was very pleasant, well staffed and I felt pretty good about it, and I spent loads of time getting his room set up, and I spent a lot of time visiting him too. All went well for about three months, and I got a phone call from one of the nurse owners on March 15, 2007 that he had fallen in his bedroom, when he was briefly unattended. He was not able to recover from that, and he died on March 25th atthe age of 97. It was a rough ten days.

From there, I settled his affairs and accepted a full time job two months to the day after he died. It went very poorly, no surprise. I was still in some kind of shock, partly about losing my Dad, and partly about the major life upheaval that I experienced joining the world of work after six years at home. My job was total chaos on top of the internal chaos I was feeling.

In June I had to put down my beloved kitty, so both my old boys were gone. I went home after my hideous job and just cried and cried, there was no reason to go home any more, my kitty was the heart of my home.

I managed to make it through the summer in my job, by demoting and transferring to another department, also a huge mistake. In October, I was having lots of problems that I just could not resolve, and I decided in favor of my health and sanity and gave my two weeks notice.

In the second week of my notice we had the Witch Creek fire in San Diego and I live in an area that was heavily burned. I was now a total wreck, and although my home was spared, I don't think I was ever so scared in my life. I had adoped two shelter cats at the end of September, and we evacuated to my office, where a coworker offered me a place for the night.

2007 was just traumatic and truth be told, I am still not recovered. I scrambled to print up some business cards and set up a little website and started working freelance. I have had some success with freelancing and I love the freedom, but as the saying goes, "freedom has its price". Freelancing is not steady and does not offer what a girlfriend calls "direct deposit" or financial security.

As 2008 winds down, I still find myself looking for direction about how I will spend the next ten years of my professional life - start a "real business" get a "real job"?? I'd like to retire, but no can do. When Medicare kicks in, maybe partially retire. Or maybe if we get a new president who actually does anything that he promises, there could be some health care reform. What I would do differently in my life if I didn't have to worry about medical insurance? I would feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Then of course there is the financial meltdown. Never worried about this stuff when I was younger, so I guess this is my time to catch up, grow up and all that icky stuff. I've always been a peripheral person, and how at almost 59 to reconcile all these conflicting needs - love of freedom, need for security, expression of passion, creativity and life purpose, desire for challenge, need for balance - will surely occupy my next ten years.

Everything seems so complicated lately. After the last two years, I'm ready for something to be easy.