Winter is a very aimless time for me. I’m freezing. It’s too dark both in the morning, and too early in the evening. My hands are chapped. I’m fully clothed, yet still not warm enough.
Mostly, I spend my time watching the clock, to make sure that I don’t spend all day in bed trying to hibernate through the Winter months. When I’m not watching the clock, I’m double-checking the temperature gauge to make sure that my fear of exceeding my income by keeping the heat too low to save money isn’t unhealthy.
I turned on the heat for the first time in the new place as of November 2nd, and I got my first bill which includes the cost of the heater running, at an additional $9 for that month.
Since then, I’ve been running scenarios in my head, trying to figure out how high the heating bill might run for increasing the total of my bill. Until I get my next bill at the end of December, I’m not going to have any idea how bad it will get.
In my prior apartment, the lovely garden apartment “dump”, without any kind of insulation, my heating costs increased between $250 and $400 per month from October thru April, depending on my health and the weather.
The copper temperature gauge in the picture above had pride of place in the old apartment, and even though I’m not finished painting the living room walls, it was one of the first things I hung up in the new home. I no longer have the high income I had at this time over the last 4 years. Additionally, I no longer have the crappy income I had at this time last year. No, this year I’m dealing with half of the previous year’s crappy income, and trying to find a way to make it be enough. To be sufficient. I need this to work out, so that I can continue to live on my own while dealing with the reality that living with COPD has caused in its latest round of impact on my life.
So, today I took my aimless butt over to craigslist to see if there was any possibility of coming up with new surveys to take to earn a few unrestricted dollars, or find some sort of part time income that might work if I’m well enough to try.
Every other posting was for Uber or Lyft. Doordash or Amazon. So many opportunities pre-Christmas, when I am still highly restricted from doing anything while I am still employed and fighting for my back pay and benefits after being put on permanent disability.
I was able to find a couple of local studies for Yahoo!, and will hope that I get picked for one or more in order to get some extra dollars to get through the cost of heating my new palace.
Unfortunately, having had 3 car accidents as part of finding that it was time I go on disability as my COPD worsened, I don’t think it would be a good idea to join Uber or Lyft. There might be an option with Safeway for grocery deliveries (if the timing isn’t too tight and the bags aren’t packed to heavily), or with Doordash for bringing folks their fast food. Again, driving is involved, but the only safety I would be risking is my own vs. myself AND my passengers.
Of course, I’m sitting on my butt trying to evaluate what kind of work I can do, and should try and do, having just come from taking the cat to the groomers for her monthly appointment to defur her, and trim back the purrsuaders. (Believe me, the $50 I spend on her is vital to my mental health and physical health for living with her, and is not optional for cutting as a way to conserve costs). Before I could do anything, though, I needed a nap.
Exhaustion with COPD is a fact of life.
I was up at 7:30, at the groomers by 9am. Then, got breakfast (Bacon, Egg and Cheese McGriddle with my meds and water). Killed some time looking for a particular type of jewelry “looper” tool that I need for making tiny, .02mm loops and eye pin twists, but eventually it was 11am and time to pick the fur coated diva up to bring her home.
I’d been up less than 5 hours, and the only thing that I could do the minute I got home was go to bed for an hour or so nap.
How does one plan a work routine around exhaustion???
I’ve spent most of my work life hiding my condition and passing for normal. I know it’s a failing that I’m very competitive and will push myself in order to pass for normal when it comes to keeping up. That’s partially what lead to my 3+ car accidents. So, I’m still sitting here contemplating my naval and reading the “part time” and “etc” job postings in the hope that I can find a part time job that will get me a couple of extra bucks each week, and which will not be humiliating to lose if I find that I cannot keep up.
Yes, I’m seeking the golden egg, and haven’t seen hide nor hair of the goose that’s supposed to be delivering it.
This is (hopefully), going to be a big week for the lawyer to make progress on my lawsuit against my employer. I should hear something by December 5th about whether or not they have received the paperwork they need from SSDI to proceed, if my case is going to remain on hold, or if they are going to proceed in evaluating my health without that so called “critical file”.
I’m also supposed to hear at some point this month if they are going to terminate my employment status despite the lawsuit not being resolved. On the one hand, I wish they’d go ahead and terminate me, just so that I could get my hands on my 401K. On the other hand, I don’t want to do anything that will jinx the possibility of them paying out the benefits that I’ve paid into, and which they owe me.
So, unable to work a predictable 40+ hourly week, and restricted from taking any kind of part time work as I’m technically employed by my former company despite being on disability, I sit and wait. Aimless.
Hopefully, the next two weeks will be productive in term of resolving my working status, back pay and benefits, prior to the end of 2016.
Whether or not those two weeks are productive, though, as time continues to pass at a snail’s pace, is anybody’s guess. I just have to possess myself of patience while otherwise wishing my life away, hoping that the clock would turn faster.
No answers here, but I continue to ruminate on the possibilities once my position is resolved.