Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Mixed bag

Good news:
  • Power is still on; don't know why. Maybe they don't turn it off on holiday weekends since that makes it harder to pay?
  • Paid my rent today, though, so it's on time and happy. Even got a receipt, since I just signed my paycheque over to them. It was only $4 difference.
  • Remembered that the Chevron where I have the gift certificates is closed on Sundays and would probably be closed Monday for the holiday, so I went by today and got gas. Still have two more certificates. Thank you whoever you are, yet again. I have to admit, the Chevron station is a bit anachronistic. They do repairs, and pumps are both self- and full-serve, and I don't think there's a difference in price. Nothing but gas...no fancy snack bar, etc., but friendly, old-fashioned. And I have to admit, I may not be Christian, but I respect Christians who own businesses and close them for their Sabbath (although having non-Christian employees is also a possibility).
  • I ran in to someone from the Guild I hadn't seen in many years. Peggy was always one of my favourite people. I never cared for the guy she was with, but she was a great person who, I think, needed an IV of self-confidence. She looks great (although we're all a lot older, and that's a little scary...it makes you realise it when you see someone after about a decade). She has a little girl that she is absolutely devoted to. She seems to have found someone else much like the other guy, but she seems aware of his faults, and that's a first step...I don't think she's got him on a pedestal. I wish her well, and I double-checked, she kept her name, so I may track her down again.
  • A friend treated me to sesame tofu from the Great Wall, my favourite Chinese restaurant here in town. I like my tofu extra firm, and they have the best in town.
  • My fortune cookie fortune said: 'All the effort you are making will ultimately pay off.'

Bad news:

  • I had a panic attack today during my lesson, but fortunately was walked through some breathing exercises to bring everything back under control. Doing anything academic seems to trigger a sort of 'test anxiety' in me these days--there's a reason I haven't been pushing to finish the graduate degree in history, even though all I have to do is finish the dissertation (the easy part) and defend it (!!!), and it gets very difficult for me to concentrate on anything, with every noise, sensation, light, etc. seeming to just amplify. It happens occasionally, with an aura almost like a migraine, but it took me a long time to realise they were panic attacks. Today, my teacher actually realised it before me and helped guide me through it.
  • I didn't get my medical spending reimbursement today, so...I can't make a payment on my grandmother's ring, which is due later today. I had hoped to retrieve it by now, but instead I've made 3 payments--$75 to keep it renewed. I don't have that for tomorrow; things are so bad I'm borrowing toilet paper. The money I got for the ring was really necessary during the move, and only a small amount compared to its value, since I tried to limit how much I borrowed so it would be easier to pay it off. Sigh. The other night, I prayed to my Patroness, accepting responsibility for the unwise choices I've made in the past, and hoping that I'll evenutally have the wherewithall to pay off debts and do better. So much in my life is going well, but with the layoff and difficulty finding another job, my finances are basically a huge black sucking hole, which make me feel like a total failure. (And for those prospective employers who may be reading, I hope you don't think I'm an idiot when it comes to managing a budget. I do fine at work, but then I'm not trying to choose between rent, electric, food, and medicine at work. I'm trying to make decisions to get back out as if I won't find another job anytime soon, but it's the best thing that could happen. Whilst praying, I decided in my attempt to 'do without' rather than panic and mismanage what does come my way, I could see my grandmother's ring being a sacrifice as punishment for those bad decisions. Maybe Christians don't see things that way. But I know we sometimes have to go through loss before going through joy, and I have faith that things will get better. And certainly, during the eviction in May, I was ready to sell the ring and go on. I do have a few other sentimental items from my grandmother, not valuable, just a remembrance, and I can't wear the ring, of course, but it was something she wore every day, whether at work as a nurse or feeding the sheep on the farm, or climbing the roof with just a rope in her 70s or whatever hair-brained scheme she might have been up to. So, even though I thought I would not really miss it that much, I realise now that I will, terribly. I didn't realise how much it would hurt, but today, just talking about it, it was almost like losing my grandmother all over again. I know that sounds melodramatic, but it's true. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do about it now. But really, a ring in the wider scheme of things is really nothing. Other people lose children, loved ones, independence...there's a lot worse things to experience.
  • I know it's a small thing, but I'm out of toilet paper and a friend was going to let me have some, and I was so sleepy when I left that I forgot it. So, I may be holding for a long time. :) Still, I got home fine despite being very sleepy and that was the important thing, right?

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