Tag Archives: rich

A Good Week…


Well, this was a good week.  I’ve discovered a few more things about myself, some of which I have to face and get a handle on.  Most though, were good or,  at least, good enough.

I finally started walking outside as the weather has been cooperating and the ground has dried up nicely.  I think this is the main reason for my good moods.  shoesExercise is so important for one with bi polar as it helps to even out everything.  I found myself becoming bored at home for, really, the first time in over a year.  Thinking about my future brings a dose of reality.  Dr. G and I are talking more and more about finding work.  I keep imagining myself in a tiny bachelor apartment after Carly turns 18 (1 more year!).

She and I have been talking about her post secondary schooling.  She is eligible for so many scholarships and bursaries as well as student loans.  Hopefully she’ll be able to stay living with me when she goes to school but she’s not so sure what she wants to do yet.  Take a year off, move out with a friend or stay home and go to school.  So many decisions she has to make and it’s so great to have so many choices.

Now for a change of subject…I’ve always known I have an addictive personality.  I don’t mean people get addicted to me although, hmm.  Nah, that’s not what I smoking-PAmean.  It’s like when I used to smoke like a chimney until I quit in 1987.  I quit while I was pregnant with my boy too but started again right away.  Wow, I smoked a lot, more than 2 packs a day sometimes.  I loved everything about it and, as I said in other posts, I still dream I smoke almost every night.  Booze was a problem too at different times in my life. I pretty much stay away from it now.  I smoked weed in the latter part of high school and as a young adult until I was pregnant with my son in 1985 then never touched it again.  It was hard to quit so if people try to tell you there are no withdrawal symptoms from marijuana, they’re lying to you.

My ongoing battle has been with food since I turned about 20.  Food is always there.  One needs food to survive.  It’s starting to get bad again mostly because I live next to a 7-11 and they have everything that’s not so good for me.  I’m making super-bad decisions when it comes to food.  Chocolate is my weakness and diet Pepsi.  Chips for supper sometimes.  They’re cheap and filling.  The nights with chips are the nights my daughter eats at work so I don’t feel so guilty.  I never figured I was an emotional eater because when things are bad I just can’t eat.  It’s when things arefood pyramid going well I eat more and badly.  I guess that would qualify as emotional too.  I need strength to get through this.  I don’t want to gain weight after losing so much.  Dr. G is thinking it might be the new medication I’m taking at night to help me fall asleep.  Although I’m on a really low dose one of the side affects is weight gain.  I’ll be watching.

My mom’s cooking was pretty basic and good most of the time but sometimes kind of dangerous as she wasn’t too careful with health standards; leaving pots of soup or stews on the stove for days and serving them to us; meat left on the counter for way too long and some stuff just tasted bad you know? We all got the “Grand Beach Flu” at the same time and it was usually after her “Grand Beach Stew”.  I love her dearly but not the bugs that were in the flour that went into the gravy or the stuffing or the cakes or whatever.  I survived though and I’m sure it was why I was so skinny until I moved out.

I did so well with money this week.  It helped that the government sent out our quarterly GST refund so there was more money to work with.  I actually had food in the pantry and the fridge and still had money in my wallet by the time Child Tax Credit came in.  What a great feeling buying a bus pass and veggies and fruit for my girl who looks in the fridge and says, “Wow”.

My plan is to walk every day for at least 1/2 hour and increase it.  I need to invest in a good pair of runners as Carly and I are sharing mine right now (!).  I know.

She needs them for work and I need them for volunteering so one of us is using them all the time.  Hopefully at the end of the month I can get another pair for her.  My shoes are actually too big for her.  She’s a size smaller than me.

Shoes I should be getting...

Shoes I should be getting…

So the plan is to walk, eat better and get new shoes.  Those are pretty good goals for a week…

Shoes I want...

Shoes I want…

 

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Goodbye Aisle 11


Today was my last day working at the grocery store.  That means I’m down to 2 jobs in case anyone is counting.  I am.

I liked working there; in a specialty aisle filled with organic and natural products.  Everything from diapers, hair colour, skin care, vitamin and mineral supplements, gluten-free items, cereals, potato chips and more, more, more.  I got to know this stuff pretty good.  I knew what belonged and what didn’t.  After a while I started to know the rest of the store too.  Keep in mind, this is a “big box” store aka HUGE.  Regular customers knew where to find me and sought me out.  These were mostly sweet little old ladies and gruff old guys and sometimes the other way around.  I would lead them right to what they were looking for in another part of the store.  I was always surprised at their faces when, after telling me they already looked down that aisle, I found it.  I would get so excited sometimes I would actually say, rather loudly, “Oh oh there it is!”

I know, not very dignified but I never claimed to be.

It always gave me a thrill when they knew my name and I totally forgot I wore a name tag.

When I started out in this job I could barely bend over, I huffed and puffed after only walking a few metres, my hips hurt so bad I hobbled and my feet were so swollen I couldn’t put shoes on.  This was all before I started work for the day.  Before each shift I took to taking some Arthritis Tylenol I found in the house.  Amazing how well it worked.  I realized today, my last day, that I hadn’t taken any of the Tylenol for a few weeks.  I was bending over, picking up boxes, and running around the store, on “No Tax” day no less, with barely a heave.  Mind you I’m still tired but I do have a crazy schedule.

There was one guy who would come in on a Sunday when I was working.  He had a basket and gradually filled it with different things from my section.  He would come over to ask me questions or my opinion on a product.  Often.  Very often.

After about the 3rd Sunday of this and he finally left the store, one of the grocery guys came over with a very annoyed look on his face and a full basket in his hands.  He asked, “any of this stuff look familiar to you?”  Of course it did.  It all came from my department.  All of it.  The grocery guy informed me this was the 3rd week in a row where they would find a basket filled with Aisle 11 products in it.  Gulp.

The next week the guy came in again.  I went to the bathroom.  For a long time.

The customers were great and the experiences I had with them were so good.  Even if something was negative (I can’t think of anything) it was always positive.  The staff, on the other hand, were just downright rude.  There must be something about earning minimum wage that puts an edge on people or a chip on their shoulder.  I barely had a friendly conversation with anyone, and not for lack of trying.  One guy I did talk to a couple of times told me something that curled my already curly hair.  He had been working there for 7 years and earned .35 and hour more than me!  Seven Years!  No wonder people are miserable.  The managers lord it over the staff; I heard, at least twice, a manager speaking to an employee in a very derogatory way.  No skills at all.  Another one today was so rude to a customer it was horrible.

Good to get out of there.  Now instead of the 75 hour weeks I’ve enjoyed the last little while I will be working 60.  I just spent 1/2 hour on MSN with my fella and going over my schedule and booking time with him.  Booked time with my sister at her cottage too. 

Schedules are great.

Please don’t give me shit for all the hours I have to work.  I know it’s a lot and I will soon have enough money to get a lawyer so Carly and I get what we need.  Then I can go back to one job and not be so desperate.  I care very much about myself and have already made changes about important things.  Since my days are going to be very long, I am eating a lot better.  I rest whenever I can and I plan to keep up with exercise (we have 2 flights of stairs to climb at my government job).  My meds are in order and my fella still loves me.  I have plans to grocery shop after work since Sobeys is now open 24 hours and so is Wal-Mart.  On my days off, my time is with Carly who, by the way, has a very busy summer all planned out for her.  When this contract with the feds ends, she and I will take a little vacation until the next one begins again.  Oh and she and I will be moving next month.  We shall bond over boxes.  And pizza.  We could afford pizza.

New adventures for me all over the place!  I hope you all stick with me as I know my writing may become sporadic. Here’s hoping it doesn’t.  I still love it and I love you.

In My Place


I walked through the door of the free Legal Clinic and gave my name to the receptionist who added me to a very, very long list.  He waved in the general direction of the waiting area.  I searched for a chair that would allow me to stretch my legs and protect my aching, swollen feet at the same time.  I had just worked 3 jobs in 2 days and I was there because I wanted this madness to end.

I brought my book, knowing anything free was going to take a while to get.  One by one, names were called, people went through the little door.  Surprisingly, no one came out.  Undeterred, I focused my attention on not falling asleep and on the powerful words of Mr. King.  Stephen, not Martin Luther.

Finally it was my turn.  I entered a tiny office that smelled of stale sweat, and old booze along with the pungent odor of cigarette soaked clothes.  I sat across from a young man, named Gordon; a law student.  He looked as tired as I felt.  He barely looked up as he pointed to the chair in front of his desk.

An interview started; why was I there, what did I expect the Clinic to do, what other avenues have I tried.  He expected brief answers.  I do not do brief very well but I gave it a shot.  He kept getting my name wrong.  He finally asked me to expand on why I was there when his cell phone rang.  Well, it buzzed.  He spoke into it briefly then hung up.  I hadn’t lost my rhythm at all.  He hasn’t looked at me once.

He shuffled papers, yawned openly, blew his nose and asked me questions I already answered and in a bored voice too, I might add.

He was getting a glazed look in his eyes.  I asked him a question.  He didn’t answer me.  Keep in mind I had been at that place for 3 hours already. I was anxious about going and this wasn’t helping.   I was feeling some tension and I frantically picked at my hangnails.  I felt stupid and in the way.  He got my name wrong again.  I asked him if he had the right file.

I said his name so he would look me in the eye.  He did finally.  “This may be just another case to you or another stat you need for the funding of this clinic, but I assure you this is the most important thing in my life right now and I resent the fact you are ignoring just how important it is.”

“If I was paying you, would it be different?  Is it because I am not a human to you with major problems that someone like you is supposed to fix?  Does your knowledge make you superior to me?  I work hard to empower myself, and take care of my family and just keep going.  Because of this legal issue, I have lost power in my life.  I need an expert who would be there to give that power back to me and my family.  I didn’t expect to be demeaned and have my self-confidence whittled away by the very person who is supposed to be dedicated to help.  me.”

Great huh?

None of it happened though.  Yet.  Don’t be mad at me.  I plan on going to the Legal Clinic (as soon as a day off I have coincides with when they are open)where I truly expect to be treated with contempt, much like I outlined above.  Based on my past experiences with Legal Aid and a private lawyer, indifference is what I will face. This is a good exercise for me or even therapy; create the scenario and it helps to be just about ready for anything.

I want to stop working so many jobs, soon it will be down to two but I will still have long, long hours.  I want the family home that my daughter and I do not live in, sold.  My ex has everything.  Everything.  I want child support every month.  I want food on the table.  I want bus fare for Carly and gas and repairs for our car.  I want furniture for fuck’s sake.  I want what is fair.  I want to spend time with my daughter instead of working 7 days a week, 14 hour days.

I’ll make it, I always do.  I say this more to myself then to readers.

What started all this?  Today I saw a woman I used to be very good friends with while my ex and I were still together.  That would be almost 20 years I knew her.  She and my other friends all encouraged me to leave him and as soon as I did, they disowned me.  Blessing though really.  Bad friends.  Anyway she was ahead of me at the check out with her $300 shoes and her $300 purse and her $300 tally at the register.  There I was in the shoes I just wore to my job at Superstore ($15) that don’t fit because my feet are so swollen, my Winners $10 pants covered with dust and stains from the job and my sweat soaked $3 white shirt from Value Village.  Glad I left the red vest with “Ask Me” in huge letters on the back in the car.  My cart consisted of lettuce, a cucumber, salad dressing, ground beef, burger buns and peanuts (a treat for Carly).

I didn’t notice her at first until she walked over and looked into my cart.  I don’t usually pay attention to people at the checkout but her shoes were something.  After the second time she approached me, this time to look at the gum, I finally realized who she was and looked AT her.  She was looking back at ME then she  deliberately turned her head away from me. Next she showed me her back.  My ex goes to her place and has dinner with her husband and family at least once a week.

This is the third time I’ve met someone I used to know from my former life.  It all ends the same.  Funny how it seems they want me to feel ashamed, take away from my self and “put me in my place”.  They have no idea that I feel so much better knowing I am away from that crowd and their narrow-mindedness. I haven’t missed them at all.   They knew me then and are missing out on the person I am now.  I, on the other hand, am missing out on nothing. They have money, I have happiness.

“Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey”  Lennon/McCartney 1968

Empower, enable, filled to capacity. I will not fall.  – Marie Boomer

Thanks, dear readers, for letting me vent.  Feel free to let me have it.