Saturday, December 15, 2012

...and the search continues...

On Tuesday the electronics company called at 11:30 in the morning to tell me that they had to cancel my 3:00 pm second interview because the owner was called away to bid an important job. The owner's  wife went on and on about how it was vital to the company that they try to get this large job and how they hoped I understood. She promised that they would call back on Wednesday to reschedule.

Of course, true to form, Wednesday came without a word from them. Finally, I called them on Friday, just to be told by the owner, quite rudely, that I should look for another job. He said that they'd already hired someone some time ago and then said that they have another girl who has given her notice and will be leaving after the first of the year. He suggested that I call back and reapply for that job when it is advertised in January.

I think not.  These bozos have led me on a merry chase since October. I'm gladly washing my hands of them.

Tuesday I also had an interview with a dermatology office.  Wow!  It was so impressive!  More like a dermatology hospital!

The interview went well and by the next day I was hearing from my references that they had been called and that their discussions with the dermatology office went well.

Friday morning they called and told me that they had decided to go with another candidate who had more straight medical dermatology experience.  She said that too much of my experience was diverted into things such as Botox, dermal fillers and other cosmetic procedures which their medical department never did.  She said she'd keep my resume on file, blah, blah, blah.  At least she had the courtesy to call me and let me know that they selected another applicant.

By noon on Friday, I received an email from an optical clinic right down the street from me.  The doctor had reviewed my resume and emailed me asking if we could conduct a phone interview today (Saturday) at 9:00 am.  Of course I said yes, and she called right on time this morning.

She's a lovely young lady, and this is her first practice.  That makes it a bit risky because she just opened her practice in July and is still trying to build up a practice.  I don't really care though.  If I should be offered a position and the place folds, as long as I work there long enough to get unemployment until I find a new job I won't feel anxious about it.

The phone interview went well and we had a nice chat.  She's interviewing a ton of people by phone though, and isn't even going to start arranging live interviews for another week or so and will not want anyone to start until after the first of the year.

At this point I've come to the conclusion that I'm out of work until the beginning of the year as a best case scenario.

I'm a bit disappointed and don't feel much one way or the other about the optical job.  The close proximity to home would be nice though.  We'll see if anything comes of it beyond a pleasant conversation.

My hubby and I have discussed it, and if I don't have a job lined up by the beginning of the year, I'm going to go back to school for a couple of months and get a few more medical certifications to increase my employment opportunities. The courses come with externships, which means I'll be able to work as a student in a local hospital and a local lab, and there is always a possibility of getting hired directly during externship.

Am I a bit blue about all of this?  Absolutely.  I feel over-the-hill and unwanted.  I don't mean to whine, but geez!  So much rejection!

I think I'm going to just take the attitude that I'm on holiday until the first of the year when I either begin a new job or new coursework.  I'm going to work on some art and crafting projects that I've been neglecting, get my office in shape so that I can transition it from an office to more of a studio, and take this time to enjoy the holidays.  I'm going to challenge myself to do SOMETHING on my art projects each day (beginning tomorrow - it's 12 am now).

I'm going to treat this as a fun and adventurous time for myself.

I'm also going to pamper myself a bit.  I'm going to start working out again, ask my niece over to help me go through my closet once more and help me put together some snappy outfits (I think I'm dating myself by the way I dress for interviews - too matronly).

I'm going to give myself a decent mani and pedi.  And a facial.  Lots of them.

I'm going to try styling my hair in different ways.

I'll go see The Hobbit.

I'm going to go to the little Christmas Village the local garden shop puts on each year.  It's utterly charming and used to be a tradition each year when my son was small.  I doubt he'll go with me (I'll ask, but I think it's a bit much to ask at his age, LOL).  I'll go myself, take some pictures, and drink in the holiday "magic".

I'm going to reattach the fairy door to the side of my favorite tree.  Somehow it came lose this autumn and is laying forlorn beside the tree.  I'll go out and reattach it and glue some ultra fine silver glitter to the base and to the trunk of the tree.  Then when we get some snow I'll go out and sprinkle a bit of ultra fine glitter at the base of each tree, splash a bit on the trunks, and shake some on the snow on the front walk.

I did this last year and it looked absolutely amazing!  It was quite subtle actually, but at different times during the day the sun would hit a spot of glitter and it would just shine like a star for a short while!  Always brought a smile to my face.  Even in the spring the bits of sparkle dust were well embedded into the cement on the sidewalk, and in the bright sunlight and during a full moon there was a dreamy, subtle shimmer to the walk.


Since I know I'm going to be off work for a while, I'm going to savor this time rather than spend it fretting.  I will miss these days off work once I'm back putting in 40 hours or more a week or am back hitting the books and doing clinicals.  I don't want to look back and regret that I didn't enjoy my time off.

Oh, I'll definitely continue applying for every job that opens, but I'm going to apply and then forget about it.  Fretting over each phone call or interview isn't going to get me anywhere.

Time for me to put on my big girl panties (is it okay if they have sequins?) and start loving and living each day for what it brings and trust God with my future!

It's off to bed with me now.  I'm going to snuggle under my blankets with my snoring sweetheart and read a romantic novel with my little book light so I don't wake him.  Church in the morning, then I'll begin work on a project of some kind.  I have many ideas, particularly a BIG idea for an art project that is way beyond my abilities and reach I think, but what the heck!  Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Time to stop pouting and start LIVING in capital letters!

Monday, December 10, 2012

On the Job Search Again (still)

In all honesty, trying out a job for a half day on Saturday did not exactly take me off the job market.  LOL.

After reviewing all that went on in 5 short hours on Saturday, and after waking up every 1  - 2 hours last night agonizing over it, I reached the decision this morning that I just could not work in that office.  As I mentioned before, I see that the doctor reached the same decision.

Saturday was quite difficult. Oh, the work itself was great!  But the staff...that was another kettle of fish.

Boiling it all down without getting into all the details, the other 2 women who work there despise me.  When I worked there in the past I told the truth to the doctor during my exit interview as to why I was leaving her employ.

One reason:   The doctor hit me all the time.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  Constant slugging in the arm.  Since I'm very tiny and about 5'3" and she's a large woman, about 5'9" and a Vet (Army), she packs quite a punch and I've had some darned good bruises.  She informed me that she intends to continue to hit me because she's a "touchy feely" person.!  What in heaven's name made me think that I should accept this?!!!

Second reason:  Negative fellow employees.  I mean negative to the point that the second the doctor walked out the door, all I heard was how much they hated her, were only there for the money, how much they hated the patients, and, when the other wasn't present, how much they hated each other!  They shared private information with me about the doctor, etc., etc.

Well, the doctor told the staff what I said.  Most unfortunate because exit interview information is supposed to be kept confidential.  I mean, that's the whole point.  You want your exiting employee to feel safe in telling you exactly what went wrong so that if there is a problem in the company/practice, it can be corrected.

Bottom turns out these women are OUT FOR ME!  The doctor had given me a key to the office Saturday morning, but by the end of the day she took it back (sign that she doubted I would work out ?  You bet!). She said that we had to work my hours around because she did not want me in the office alone with the other 2 women. (Say WHAT?!)  She said that they refused to even talk to me.  I was not allowed to go to the front office to review my charts for the next day.  I could not go to the front to get a chart for a patient who might call me on the phone, etc., etc.  They did not want to see me or speak to me and the doctor was going along with it!  She told me she was not going to cross them on this because she was afraid to lose them, and that eventually they would get over it.

I disagree.  I feel that eventually the tension would build to an ugly head, and who knows what would happen then?

This morning I told her I would not be in to spend a day of refresher training with the MA who retired 2 years ago (who has been filling in for her since she's been without an MA).  My hubby thought I should have gone in and worked the day today because I told her I would and then tell her it wasn't working out at the end of the day, but I didn't think that was the right thing to do.  The doctor would have had to pay two MAs for the job of one, I would have been receiving training that I had no intention of using, I would have gotten signed in with passwords at the various hospitals and the electronic prescription program, etc.  I felt it would have been leading the doctor on, making her believe I would accept the job.  I also feel, that since I know I can't accept a job where the doctor says flat out that she WILL hit me, and that I need to fear being alone with the other employees (can we say HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT?), it would have been the equivalent of stealing from the doctor if I had gone in today and just marked my time in "training", then quitting at the end of the day.  Bad form, I say.

Tomorrow I have my interview at the electronics place.  I hope it goes well.

I've come to a realization.

The past two jobs I've had were placed I had worked before.  I had left those places for very good reasons, yet I worried that I would not be able to find another job, so I got myself rehired.  Gee, any surprise that the same problems still existed in both places?

Wasn't it Einstein that said the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over again and expect a different result?   Hmmm....same people, same personalities, same problems = same outcome.  Both jobs caused me terrible panic attacks, low self esteem, etc.

I've also finally put my finger on the problem.  It's me of course, or rather, it's my apparent lack of faith.

I prayed for God to lead me to the perfect job that was just right for me.  Then I began to feel discouraged, old, worthless and desperate because that perfect job didn't appear exactly when I thought it should.  This resulted in me taking the reins from God and deciding to muck up the works and get involved myself by getting myself back in to work at places that were not good employers.  And I'm supposed to be surprised when the results are negative?

I felt that the electronics job was right for me from the minute I walked through their door.  They have not turned me down at all, but in fact, it's down to me and one other person.  I shall soon find out.  Can you imagine if I had stayed with the crazy doctor and had cancelled the interview with the electronics company scheduled for tomorrow?

What if that electronics company is the job God has picked out for me and I had missed out because I lacked faith and patience?

So I'm going to that interview tomorrow with bells on!  Prayers would be appreciated.

If it isn't the job God has picked out for me, I will continue sending in my resume to various companies until that "just right for me" job turns up.  In the meantime, I'm going to be patient and rest in the confidence that God is in control and knows what He is doing, and that His timing is perfect.

There's one thing I do know for sure, and that is that He does not want be to be hit or threatened on the job!

Hurray!  I don't have any more money than I did a week ago, but I think I just may be on my way to leaving Negative Nelly behind and becoming a Positive Polly!

It's time to go work on a couple of bracelets I want to list this week.


Friday, December 7, 2012

To be a Housewife

Hubby and I had a "discussion with volume".  I will be starting the job with the old doctor tomorrow.  If it doesn't work out, then it doesn't work out.  I did say I would take the job, so I should show some character and show up with the intention of giving it my all.  If they mistreat me, I will give my notice.

I am going to try to reschedule the interview with the electronics company for earlier in the day Tuesday (I start later on Tuesdays with the doctor, so that could work out.  I don't feel very positive about that position, because he's been stringing me along since HALLOWEEN!  He has made many promises about potential start dates, about times he would call me back, etc., and he has never, ever lived up to one of his promises.  Doesn't speak well of his character and I imagine he would be the same if I worked for him.  I've rather lost enthusiasm (and trust) regarding that job.

So I'm going to work for the person I call "Dr. Crazy", and I'm going to take it a day at a time.  Each day I'll just focus on getting through that day.  At the very least it will give us some Christmas money just in the nick of time, and if I can stick it out longer, it will help us to get back on our feet.  We owe my parents money, and if I can work there long enough to get that paid back plus put a one month's bills aside in case of emergency, then I'll have done well.  That's IF they aren't too abusive.

Hubby and I had quite a discussion today, and he finally told me to "just be a housewife and do NOTHING"!  Well, as you can imagine, I gave him an earful about how being a housewife does not mean doing nothing!  I asked him to think about who it is that has dinner on the table for him each night when he walks through the door, who cleans the house, takes care of the grocery shopping, banking, bill paying, washes his clothes, and even does the home maintenance as of late, and he hastily admitted that a housewife does not do "nothing".

He DID give me the green light to be a housewife if I want to though, which has been my greatest desire since I was little girl.  I wanted to be just like my mom, only even more.

If I were a "housewife", I would keep my home immaculately clean, have time to landscape (getting him to even cut the grass is like pulling teeth!), and I would pursue art and crafty things with a gusto!  I used to sell all sorts of handcrafted items in craft shows and it can be quite lucrative.  I'd like to get started with that again, rejoin the local art society and get back into the shows, and really get moving on my Etsy store.  I have several items that I'm working on for it right now and recently sold another bracelet.  Not exactly a rousing response, but still, I'm pleased.

If I were a "housewife", I would also likely pick up part time jobs now and again.  I would continue the housecleaning job I have for an elderly couple (I've done it for YEARS).  I would probably pick up part time retail or even part time clerical jobs or temp jobs here and there to fund special projects for the house, or toward purchasing a new appliance (right now our dishwasher, microwave and refrigerator are broken down).  Maybe to earn extra money to cover Christmas and birthday gifts, to help with bills, or may even toward a vacation some time in the future.

It's my dearest wish to be a housewife / creative hippy woman.

I'm glad that my husband brought it up today and gave his "permission" for me to do so.  Now, he wasn't exactly being pleasant about it, but he repeated it again and again.  Tonight, now that cooler heads prevail and we've made up, etc., I'm going to talk to him about it again.  I will tell him that being a housewife/craftswoman is my ultimate goal and that I will be working toward that goal.

Here's the plan I've come up with to get there:

1)  Work for Dr. Crazy right now for as long as I can, be it a day, a month or a year.  During this time I will do art/craft projects as time and energy allow.  Obviously not much can get done, but if I can complete and put 1 - 2 items up for sale in my Etsy shop per month it will be something to get me going, and it will probably help me therapeutically.

2)  After I can no longer work for Dr. Crazy, I will transition to a part time job and focus even more time into building my artsy/craftsy self, add craft shows and art shows onto doing the Etsy shop.

3)  When I feel it's time, I will then quit my part time job and focus full time on my artsy/craftsy life.  (I will still clean the one house, and will go to the plan of picking up seasonal retail jobs, temp jobs, etc.).

I think this is reasonable, provided I can build momentum in the artsy/craftsy world.  I like what I'm doing with old books right now, and I have tons of other ideas using old books that I can't wait to have the time to work on.  Some are much larger scale projects, but I'm quite excited at the prospects.

It is worrisome to me that I may be being selfish in my plan/desires.  But here's the some point in my life, I think I need to be the person that I really am inside.  I think it will be healthy for me, and healthy for my marriage (happy wives eventually create happy husbands ;)

What do you think?  Am I being selfish?

By my calculations, I will be at least 55 or 56 at the earliest (for the housewife transition).  Unless this job turns out to be wretched and I move to the part time phase sooner than expected, or it the Etsy sales improve faster than I anticipate.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Sort-Of Job Offer

The other day I noticed that a doctor I used to work for had a want ad in the paper for a medical assistant.

Now, the job was definitely flawed.  The two clerical workers up front were grumpy ladies, over 60, who hate their jobs but are just putting in their time until retirement.  Long hours, doctor a little nutty.  But I loved the patients, I loved the medical end of it and felt very confident about what I was doing clinically.  And the pay was great.

Sooo....since employers are not exactly beating down the doors to hire me, I contacted the doctor and told her I saw the ad and suggested myself for the position.  Today she took me to lunch and we discussed it.  We decided that I would come back and that I'd start this Saturday.

There was an office meeting today and she suggested I attend.  It was scheduled for late afternoon/early evening, so I went home after lunch, planning on being at the office at 4:30.  At 4:10 the doctor texted me, telling me NOT to come, that the two clerical workers were rebelling against the idea of me returning to the office and "didn't want to see my face".


I'm still scheduled to start work on Saturday, but I'm having many mixed feelings.

We desperately need the money.  We need it very, very badly.  If I could manage to stay there for at least a year it would really help out my resume.  And the money is desperately needed.  Oh, and did I mention how very badly we need the money?

But on the other hand, I dread the idea of once again being in an abusive work environment.

Doesn't everyone deserve more than that?  All I want is to be able to go to work and be treated like a professional.  I don't want to be screamed at because some coworker is having a bad day.  I don't want to be hit (slugged in the arm and shoulder) all day because someone is "a touchy-feely kind of person and just can't help it".

The hours are kinda rough; alternating back and forth between a 5 day and 6 day week every other week.  8-10 hours a day.

But the pay is high, and did I mention that we really need the money?

Not sure exactly what to do.  I've got a text into the doctor to find out if she thinks the situation with the other women will ever be rectified.  I suppose whether I go back to work there will depend upon her answer.

And on top of it all, I have an overwhelming feeling of anxiety.  I wish I could stay home and be a housewife.  I don't do stress very well anymore.  I think I need to live a gentler existence to feel my healthiest possible.

Too many decisions to make.  I'm not sure I want to/should jump back into that job again.  Except for the darn money!

To be continued...

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I feel so discouraged today.

I have not heard a word from the electronics company.  They had promised to call me Wednesday or Thursday of this week.  Well, it's later in the afternoon on Thursday and still no word.  I feel that they are stringing me along and that they will make me an offer if they can't find someone better.

I've decided that I'm done taking the initiative in following through with this company.  I've done all I can do while still maintaining a shred of dignity.  My interview with them was on HALLOWEEN!  If they wanted me they would have hired me by now.  It's time for me to face facts and stop letting them blow smoke up my you-know-what.

Tomorrow I will start running position wanted ads on Craigslist.  I don't see any other option.   I don't even know if it will result in any actual interest (other than from weirdos), but I think it is worth a try in case it would get me in contact with even one decent employer.

Not a good day today.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Still Grumping

I'm still grumping in my little corner of the world, hence no recent entries.

My elbow seemed to be on the mend, but we hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year which necessitated a very thorough cleaning (darn dogs!), after which I'm now finally beating back a severe flare up.

I do believe it is on the mend, but it will be a slow go, very similar to the slow healing of my rotator cuff injury a couple years back.  It's very frustrating because I can't do any art work.  I did a very small drawing two weeks ago that set me into a two day flare up.  Sigh.  It's so frustrating to be at home and have the time to devote to projects yet be physically unable.

My knee flared up yesterday and so that's hurting me too.  I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my right knee back when I was 38 years old.  Every now and again it gives me trouble.  Back on Glucosamine/MSM to see if that can help.   I can't take NSAIDs and hate taking too much Tylenol, so I'm just putting up with it right now.  If it hurts enough to interrupt my sleep again tonight I will take the Tylenol though.  Today I'm going to give myself a good soak in epsom salts and see if that helps at all.

Let's see...have I grumbled enough yet? LOL!

It appears that I'm not out of the running on one of the jobs I interviewed for!  I spoke with the wife of the owner of the electronics firm yesterday and she told me that they really liked me, that she particularly liked me, and that they had 2 people to interview this week and would call me Wednesday or Thursday of this week.  She said the whole hiring process came to a standstill because the owner decided to go off hunting for a while and dropped the ball.

I'm hoping that this pans out and I am eventually offered the job.  I don't have any other potential employers right now.  I've sent out gobs of resumes, but I'm not being called for interviews.  I'm starting to feel a bit panicky.  If I don't hear positive news from the electronics firm this week I am thinking of running a "position wanted" ad on Craigslist (no worries - I'll be very careful!).

I supposed I'm a bit depressed right now.   Particularly since the holidays are coming up and I'm unable to purchase any gifts, make any gifts, etc., etc.

My, I do throw a good pity party, don't I?!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I wish I had a more positive entry

Tomorrow I go to turn in my keys from the wacko practice I just quit working for.  They "think" my paycheck is being automatically deposited as they have no check for me.  All I can say is there better be a check in my account tomorrow morning or we're going to have a very, very tight time of it.  It will be tight even with the check, but it will help.

Weird feedback on 2 jobs that seemed promising, the chiropractic/wellness practice and the electronics company admin job.

I had yet another interview at the wellness center this week.  This was the oddest interview I ever had.  The questions were along the lines of a Barbara Walters interview, "If you could be any type of tree, what kind would you be?".  Actually, they asked me what kind of animal I would be and why.  Then what kind of animal I would NOT want to be.  I have no idea what this kind of nonsense has to do my clinical abilities or my treatment of patients.

At both interviews, both with the electronics company and the wellness center, they actually had the audacity to bring up my age!  I was flabbergasted, as it is illegal to discriminate due to age.

At the wellness center I was quizzed at length as to how I would handle it if my supervisor turned out to be younger than me.  Really?  Who cares!  As long as they know their stuff I could not care less how old they are.  I was told repeatedly that I was "considerably older" than the other staff members.  OK.  You are worried that I'm too old for your practice and won't fit in with all the younger people (including you).  I get it.

At the electronics company I was asked point blank how old I am!  How illegal is that?!  I was told I was obviously the oldest applicant (ok, way to make me feel old and suck away my confidence), and was asked when I planned on retiring.  I told them the truth -- that I doubted if I'd ever be able to retire.

I feel disillusioned and discouraged as I was obviously the victim of agism at both places.  Part of me still holds out some hope that one of the two places will make me an offer, but then my insecure self steps up and reminds me of all the comments about my age and I feel rather hopeless.

What a "Debby Downer" I am today!

In the meantime it looks like I'll be cleaning houses 3 days a week in order to keep some money coming in.  My old boss at the hippy store hooked me up with her best friend who runs a cleaning service.  I guess she's overwhelmed right now and desperately needs the help.  I'll clean for her Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week, then Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday the following week.

I'm thankful to at least have something to keep money coming in, but it would be disingenuous of me if I didn't admit that a big part of me is disappointed that is where I've landed.  I mean, I ran my own cleaning service about 10 years ago.  It is definitely discouraging to think that I've gone through years of school, spent lots of money, time and tears getting through the studies, clinicals and then the cruddy "starter" medical jobs, just to end up scrubbing toilets again, only this time for someone else.  Makes me think I should have just kept my own cleaning business.

Meh.  I know I'll end up with a decent job eventually, I just have to keep looking.  And I need to admit to myself that I'm no cute young thing anymore.  I'm old and I apparently look it.

I need to stop writing as I'm just discouraging myself further.  Surely I'll feel better about it after a good night's sleep preceded by reading in bed, snuggled with one of the dogs with my hubby snoring beside me, and a nice mug of tusi tea.

I promise my next entry will actually be about something. LOL!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My New Job: Interviewing

I never thought this blog would take such a work-oriented rabbit trail, but I suppose it's the path I'm on for the moment.

Going back to work for an ex-employer has imploded.  I should have known better.  There was a reason I left in the first place, and I should never have simply taking their word for it that "things are SOOO much better now"!

Long story short:  I was offered X amount of hours in exchange for X amount of dollars, doing X work.  Turns out I'm not doing any medical assisting, I'm nothing but a glorified receptionist ("glorified" because I wear scrubs) *rolls eyes*.  The medical assistant, who does not have the credentials and knowledge I do (not being arrogant, just truthful), has been made my immediate supervisor.  It turns out that I am expected to stay until all the work is done (including the MA's work - I'm supposed to pick up her slack).

Now, I already am working 8-9 hours straight with NO lunch break of any kind.  Not even 15 minutes.  That lasted for 2 days.  Then I was informed that when I'm done with my 8-9 hours in the front office, I'm to go back to the MA and ask her what she needs done and stay an additional couple of hours making calls for her, refilling prescriptions for her, etc.  Hmmmm....I used to have HER job.  Nobody helped me do those things.  And I have learned that she does not take all vitals for the patients!  She's copying the data from past visits in the name of speed.  (Yes, I am informing the doctor of this.)  And this gem is my boss!

Yesterday she told me that I have to stay after my 8-9 hours until the work is done.  That this is the job description (which I was never told before hired!).  I replied that I would not be doing that.  It was made clear that I HAD to or I should look for another job.  I told her I would look for another job.

Of course they want me to continue working until they find someone else, but WHY?  I've worked a total of 6 days!  Why would I continue to be trained for a position I already know I will not be accepting?  I think they believe I'll just fall into it and never get around to looking for another job and will end up staying (and working the long hours) by default.  No. Going. To. Happen.  The last time I worked there I used to come in at 7:30 like I do now, and stay until 9PM.  No.  Not again!  I started having chest pains, panic attacks, etc., the last time due to the hours and stress.  I already started with that this week.  I was fine from the day I quit last year until the week I returned.

Conclusion:  This job is completely unhealthy for me in many ways and the staff, especially the office manager, are not grounded in reality.

On the up side, I had 2 job interviews today!  One with a chiropractor that went VERY well.  The doctor told me that I should expect her to call me for a second interview with her partner soon.  While driving on the way home from the interview, I received a cell phone call from the partner.  I pulled over and we conducted the second interview over the phone right then!  It went extremely well and I feel 100% confident that they will offer me a position within the next week or two (the time frame they said that they would be making offers).  They have several MA positions open, so I feel confident that I will receive an offer.

The second interview was with an electronics firm.  Had a great interview with the owner and his wife. We got along famously, they loved my experience and resume, and my age was actually in my favor!  They are looking for an "older" woman.  LOL!  It was the first time I was asked in an interview if I planned on retiring soon.  I don't know whether to laugh or cry over that one.  What the heck.  Laughing is healthier.....LOL!  :-)   With this job I feel 90% confident that I will be made an offer.

BOTH jobs offer FULL benefits:  401K, 100% employer paid health insurance, PTO, paid vacations and holidays.

It's time I started valuing myself more.  I am coming to the conclusion that I've had crappy jobs and been treated poorly on the job because I had a "victim" air about me.  I never spoke up for myself.  Well, I do now. The invisible "kick me" sign is off my back, and I'm going after decent jobs now.  Why would I expect employers to treat me with dignity and respect and value me if my own body language and if the things I tolerate show that I don't have any respect for myself or see my own value.

Getting philosophical in my old age.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Work Woes

I feel like I'm one big complaint factory these days!

Last night and this morning I had such a high level of anxiety over going to the new/old job that I ended up calling in this morning.  I was unable to sleep, was hyperventilating, etc.  I just couldn't go in.

I'm glad I didn't!  When I spoke with the office manager to let her know I wasn't feeling well (which I obviously was not!), she started whining and literally crying about her personal life.  I just can NOT work in that environment!  She and the doctor obviously have some kind of understanding because he knows of her behavior and does nothing, even though he's received complaints from both employees and patients.  I just can't deal with being in such a mentally unhealthy environment all day.  I'm too sensitive for it.

Gee.  That makes me sound like some kind of fragile weakling!  I think it's simply that we each have our own unique emotional make up and I'm super sensitive to the feelings of others who are around me.  I'm sure that's what helps me empathize so well with patients, and also what makes it so hard for to remain detached and not worry so about the patient's!

I've come to a decision.  I think I need to remove myself from the Western medical field.  It just isn't "me".  Thanks to a good education the knowledge base is there, but the necessary emotional make up just isn't.

I have an interview on Wednesday for a chiropractic assistant.  I wouldn't mind that at all since it is considered natural and holistic medicine.  The only thing the doctor would have me do that is potentially unsafe is take x-rays, but as long as I'm wearing a dosimeter and the machine is properly serviced and we make sure patients haven't had too much radiation exposure in the current year, I've no problems with it.

Otherwise, I'm now restricting my job search to non-medical positions.  I also have an interview this week for an electronic company that produces and monitors security systems.  I think I'd enjoy that. :)

In the meantime, I spoke with the owner of the little health food hippy store I had worked at, and she will be calling me either tonight or tomorrow to let me know if she is able to work me back into the schedule.  She did replace me, but with the holidays coming, and with me needing no training, she thinks she may be able to use me.

To be honest, if I were good enough at writing and art I would love to work in the hippy store part time and spend the rest of my time working on my artsy/crafty things.  I don't know if we can afford for me to do that though, but at least I need a job that doesn't set me off into panic attacks just thinking about going into the office.

I've decided that it's time for me to stop trying to fit the square peg that I am into a round hole.

And I'm still not a doormat. ;-)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"New" Job Angst

So my new job really isn't so new.  I've gone back to work for a pulmonary critical care doctor that I worked for last year.  I'm not wild about being there because it ended so badly (for me) the last time, but they needed help, wanted me, and we REALLY need the money.

The last time I worked for them it was a super high stress environment, to the point that I started having crying jags nights and weekends, panic attacks, etc.

This time around I was promised that there were many changes in the office that would make it better, and there are some changes that improve things.  For example, there is now additional clerical help that comes in at 3:00 PM.  It allows me to turn all my paperwork over to her to complete after I leave.  The transition time from when she arrives until the time when I leave is supposed to be 1/2 to 1 hour.  It's been more like 1 1/2 hours because she is unable to refill prescriptions or do any clinical work, but it does help.  This time I get out after having put in an 8 1/2 hour day instead of 10-12 hours like last time. Of course I don't get a lunch break (or any sort of break at all), but it's more tolerable when working 8 - 8 1/2 hours straight than 12 hours.  (And no, my state does not have any law requiring any breaks at all no matter how long an employee works.  There are Federal laws, but in this instance, State law supersedes Federal, and my State says a worker over 18 years of age is not required to be given any breaks at all no matter how long the work day.)

On the negative side, after working one week there, I can see that the general state of dysfunction still exists in the office.  The office manager is the main source of the problem. She's utterly unstable, will sit at the front desk and just sob and pull on her hair right in the middle of seeing patients.  I mean she cries for an hour or so!  She was doing this type of thing when I worked there before.

She also has an incredible temper and an apparent need to surround herself with chaos.  If everything is going smoothly, she seems to be unable to stop herself from yelling at employees about fictional wrongdoing that occurred only in her mind.

The doctor is aware of all of this; he's been aware since last year.

The difference is that I'm going into this job with my eyes wide open.  If I get pushed too far I am OUTTA THERE!  I won't let it go as far as it did the last time.  I am going to speak up for myself and not be such a pushover.  And I need to remember that I'm only there for as long as I choose to be.  I move on whenever I'm ready.   To keep my own sanity, I am viewing this as a temporary position until I land something better (even though if it works out I intend to stay).

I make decent money there (but NO benefits at all).  Money good enough that a week at the office is equivalent to 2 1/2 weeks' pay when I worked at the store, so even if she goes off her nut and I need to walk out, I'm WAY ahead financially from where I normally would be.

I'm busy looking for another job.  I've still not heard back from the medical office near my home, but I don't expect to hear for another week.  The decision maker is on vacation until sometime this week and will be making her final decision at that time.  I've sent her a follow up letter and have done all that is acceptable to try to keep myself at the top of the pile of applicants, so now I just wait.  In the meantime, I'm putting in applications for medical assisting jobs, non-medical jobs too such as receptionist, secretarial and administrative assistant positions.

A part of me is hoping for a non-medical position.  Sometimes I think the stress of it is too much for me.  I want to do things so perfectly that I get myself in a lather (internally of course), worrying that I will make a mistake that could harm someone's health.   I think I'd rather be concerned that any errors would potentially cost a company a client or some money as opposed to health/life, etc.

Yes, I know I'm worrying excessively.  I think I may take some Holy Basil tonight in hopes of stemming the anxiety I've been feeling.

I think what I really need to do is to take a deep breath and remember that my husband is behind me in the plan that if the job ever becomes too much, I walk away from it immediately and not try to hang on like I did last time, which was quite detrimental to my emotional health.

This time I refuse to be a doormat.  I will not allow the disturbed office manager to walk all over me.  I will not be swept up in the chaos.  I will make sure I take care of myself in the situation and remember that I'm there for the patients and the money, not the nutzo coworkers.  And I will remember at all times that I am not a doormat. . .

I am not a doormat. . .

I am not a doormat. . .

Friday, October 19, 2012

Kate Crackernuts

As my blog is still in its infancy, I thought it might be a good idea to share the story of Kate Crackernuts.  You see, I am a great lover of fairy stories since my youth, a genre I believe I shall always love.

The older I get the more I love fairy stories.  It puts me in mind of the dedication to Lucy that C.S. Lewis made at the beginning of The Chronicles of Narnia:

"Dedication: To Lucy Barfield
My Dear Lucy,

I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand, a word you say, but I shall still be
your affectionate Godfather,
C.S. Lewis"

I feel a bit like Kate sometimes; not the prettiest girl at the party, but while not a genius, fairly clever.  And I did get to marry my very handsome prince too. :)

Below is the 1890 version of Kate Crackernuts by Joseph Jacobs.  (I must make myself an apron one of these day. ;)

I hope you enjoy...

English Fairy Tales
By Joseph Jacobs

Kate Crackernuts

Once upon a time there was a king and a queen, as in many lands have been.
 The king had a daughter, Anne, and the queen had one named Kate, but Anne
 was far bonnier than the queen’s daughter, though they loved one another
 like real sisters. The queen was jealous of the king’s daughter being bonnier
 than her own, and cast about to spoil her beauty. So she took counsel of the
 henwife, who told her to send the lassie to her next morning fasting.

So next morning early, the queen said to Anne, “Go, my dear, to the
 henwife in the glen, and ask her for some eggs.” So Anne set out, but as
 she passed through the kitchen she saw a crust, and she took and munched
 it as she went along.

When she came to the henwife’s she asked for eggs, as she had been told
 to do; the henwife said to her, “Lift the lid off that pot there and see.”
The lassie did so, but nothing happened. “Go home to your minnie and tell
 her to keep her larder door better locked,” said the henwife. So she went
 home to the queen and told her what the henwife had said. The queen knew
 from this that the lassie had had something to eat, so watched the next
 morning and sent her away fasting; but the princess saw some country-folk
 picking peas by the roadside, and being very kind she spoke to them and
 took a handful of the peas, which she ate by the way.

When she came to the henwife’s, she said, “Lift the lid off the pot and
you’ll see.” So Anne lifted the lid but nothing happened. Then the henwife
 was rare angry and said to Anne, “Tell your minnie the pot won’t boil if the
 fire’s away.” So Anne went home and told the queen.

The third day the queen goes along with the girl herself to the henwife. Now
, this time, when Anne lifted the lid off the pot, off falls her own pretty head,
 and on jumps a sheep’s head.

So the queen was now quite satisfied, and went back home.
Her own daughter, Kate, however, took a fine linen cloth and wrapped it
 round her sister’s head and took her by the hand and they both went out
 to seek their fortune. They went on, and they went on, and they went on,
 till they came to a castle. Kate knocked at the door and asked for a night’s
 lodging for herself and a sick sister. They went in and found it was a king’s
castle, who had two sons, and one of them was sickening away to death
 and no one could find out what ailed him. And the curious thing was that
 whoever watched him at night was never seen any more. So the king had
 offered a peck of silver to anyone who would stop up with him. Now Katie
 was a very brave girl, so she offered to sit up with him.

Till midnight all goes well. As twelve o clock rings, however, the sick
 prince rises, dresses himself, and slips downstairs. Kate followed, but
 he didn’t seem to notice her. The prince went to the stable, saddled his
 horse, called his hound, jumped into the saddle, and Kate leapt lightly
 up behind him. Away rode the prince and Kate through the greenwood,
 Kate, as they pass, plucking nuts from the trees and filling her apron with
 them. They rode on and on till they came to a green hill. The prince here
 drew bridle and spoke, “Open, open, green hill, and let the young prince
 in with his horse and his hound,” and Kate added, “and his lady him behind.”

Immediately the green hill opened and they passed in.
The prince entered a magnificent hall, brightly lighted up,
and many beautiful fairies surrounded
 the prince and led him off to the dance. Meanwhile, Kate, without being
 noticed, hid herself behind the door. There she sees the prince dancing,
 and dancing, and dancing, till he could dance no longer and fell upon a
 couch. Then the fairies would fan him till he could rise again and go on

At last the cock crew, and the prince made all haste to get on horseback;
 Kate jumped up behind, and home they rode. When the morning sun rose
 they came in and found Kate sitting down by the fire and cracking her nuts.
 Kate said the prince had a good night; but she would not sit up another
 night unless she was to get a peck of gold.

 The second night passed as the first had done. The prince got up at
 midnight and rode away to the green hill and the fairy ball, and Kate
 went with him, gathering nuts as they rode through the forest.
This time she did not   watch the prince, for she knew
 he would dance and dance, and dance. But she sees a fairy baby playing
with a wand, and overhears one of the fairies say: “Three strokes of that
 wand would make Kate’s sick sister as bonnie as ever she was.”

So Kate rolled nuts to the fairy baby, and rolled nuts till the baby
 toddled after the nuts and let fall the wand, and Kate took it up and
put it in her apron.

And at cockcrow they rode home as before, and the moment Kate got home to
 her room she rushed and touched Anne three times with the wand, and the
 nasty sheep’s head fell off and she was her own pretty self again.

The third night Kate consented to watch, only if she should marry the sick prince.
All went on as on the first two nights. This time the fairy baby was playing
 with a birdie; Kate heard one of the fairies say: “Three bites of that birdie
 would make the sick prince as well as ever he was.” Kate rolled all the nuts
 she had to the fairy baby till the birdie was dropped, and Kate put it in her apron.

At cockcrow they set off again, but instead of cracking her nuts as she used
 to do, this time Kate plucked the feathers off and cooked the birdie. Soon there
 arose a very savoury smell. “Oh!” said the sick prince, “I wish I had
 a bite of that birdie,” so Kate gave him a bite of the birdie, and he rose up on his elbow.

By-and-by he cried out again: “Oh, if I had another bite of that birdie!”
so Kate gave him another bite, and he sat up on his bed.

Then he said again: “Oh! if I only had a third bite of that birdie!” So Kate
gave him a third bite, and he rose quite well, dressed himself, and sat
down by the fire, and when the folk came in next morning they found
Kate and the young prince cracking nuts together.

Meanwhile his brother had seen Annie and had fallen in love with her,
as everybody did who saw her sweet pretty face. So the sick son married
the well sister, and the well son married the sick sister, and they
all lived happy and died happy, and never drank out of a dry cappy.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Gripe Session

I'm still plugging along with one handed typing for now.

I made good progress over the weekend by resting the arm completely, but yesterday at work my boss made me work on bulk foods (not normally a task I would be assigned), and despite my protests because of my arm, she still insisted.  She had me doing it ALL DAY!  It was not until the end of my 10 hour shift when I literally cried out in pain (it slipped out before I could stop it) that she took me seriously and told me to stop--and sweep the floors!  By the time I got home I was almost in tears from the pain.  My hubby actually begged me to take pain pills during the night because I was apparently moaning in pain while I slept and kept waking him.

Needless to say I then had to call off work this morning since I woke up with a numb hand again and in pain.  I have my hand in a brace today and my arm in a sling to try to keep it immobilized. I must say that it really does help!

My boss called me later this morning and chewed me out for taking the day off.     She said that she realizes I have a legitimate reason but that my kind of injury takes a long time to heal and she "just can't have that".  Then she threatened to cut my hours by at least one day per week as a punishment for calling in today.  I think she then realized how illegal her threats were as she then changed her tone to one that dripped honey as she started suggesting a bunch of natural remedies.

What amazes me is that this woman really thinks I would push it and work lifting heavy items with an injury that causes nerve compression when inflamed, especially when my regular position does not call for that.  My job is to keep track of stock, expirations, sign making, create displays and fill in on register.  For the past 2 weeks - since my arm flared - she's been pulling me off my regular work to do harder more physical work.

Does she think I am really so foolish as to risk permanent nerve damage to earn a mere 75 cents over minimum wage?  I can't imagine intentionally running the risk of losing the ability to paint, play music, write, type, perform medical or clerical functions with any skill for mere crumbs from her table.

Meanwhile, I sent out 9 MA resumes today.  None of the positions seemed like the perfect fit, but it's really impossible to tell simply by a want ad. (I say things like this when I feel insecure and am afraid none of the potential employers will call me,  you see.)

I wish the other MA job had worked out, but the salary vs. the gasoline cost just didn't balance out.  I did speak with a doctor I used to work for in the past and he has a new MA but isn't sure she's going to work out.  He's going to call me for the first opening he gets.  He has a pretty high turn over rate (it's hard to work with terminal patients), so I honestly expect a call from him before the new year.

Well, I'm definitely a bit of a crabby old putz today!  I guess it just floors me that my current employer wants quite a bit from me while offering very little in return.

Crabby old goat signing out.  ;-)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bits & Pieces

Another short entry today I'm afraid, and my entry will be just little updates and bits of news.

My elbow/arm is still acting up something ferocious.  Just when I think it's on the mend and I'm turning the corner I have to do something at work that aggravates it (like using a pricing gun for hours, etc.).  Ak!  Unfortunately spending much time on the computer seems to be one of the aggravating forces.

I suppose if I want to write (which I do but getting started is soooo hard!), I will need to finally learn to use the Dragon Dictate program my hubby bought me for Christmas a year or two ago.  It should be quite handy to simply be able to talk and have the text type out for me on its own, but it's not quite as simple as that since I need to take the time to train the program to recognize my voice and learn the way I pronounce words.  Gosh!  Guessing by what the program types compared to what I actually said, my voice must sound like I have a mouth full of marbles!

As far as the work situation goes, I was indeed offered the MA position I applied for but I declined the offer.  It was for too few hours and too little money.  I would have made less than I do right now because it was a 40 mile round trip and gas is so pricey these days.  I did talk to the office manager of a doctor's office that I worked for last year and she indicated that they may have an opening very soon and that they would love to have me back.  They paid well and I liked my co-workers, so I am hopeful that this one will pan out.  It would be nice to have a full time income at a decent wage again.

I'm quite excited because I sold my first item on Etsy this week!  The Lord of the Rings bracelet sold (actually I'm awaiting payment to clear before I ship), so I'm pretty encouraged.  I think I will make more things along the same theme, perhaps focusing on The Hobbit since the movie will be coming out soon, Christmas is coming up, so hopefully there will be some Hobbit fans searching for a reasonably priced gift.

Well, I'd better scoot.  This much typing is causing my elbow and forearm to throb.   Time to immobilize it again and apply an ice pack.

Bah!  This getting old stuff is for the birds, but as my dad says, "Getting old sure beats the alternative kid!".


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Quick Typing Skills Put to Use

I'm putting my quick typing skills to use today to make a quick update.  The power supply for my computer is broken and I am currently running on reserve power from my battery.  : /   Needless to say, I'm anxiously awaiting the delivery of my new power cord, which is supposed to come some time today (why don't I feel confident in that?).

I've also been fighting some kind of tendon issue in my elbow which makes it pretty painful to type or really, do much of anything that takes precise movement of my fingers.  Gah!  It could be worse of course so I'll shut my yap and stop complaining.

Found out that dying the grey sweater is not going to work.  According to the dye company, the color will not take on fabrics that have been bleached.  Oh well.  It was worth the try.  Still going through closets, Etsy, etc., trying to come up with ways to refashion my old wardrobe.

Power is now in the red and ready to fritz out on me, so I'd better close this entry.  More fascinating (LOL) bits to come when I get my new power supply.

Be well and happy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Fashion Maven is Born!

With the current abysmal global economy, not to mention the state of my personal economy, creativity and lots of imagination are in order to keep my wardrobe looking half way decent.

This year I am getting a pair of boots and one sweater for the fall/winter/spring season (all are pretty chilly or cold here).  Typically I would get a couple of new sweaters, maybe a pair or two of pants, fashion boots, etc.  Not this year!

Much of what I have in my closet is many years old or well worn, but I've spent the better part of the past two days looking things over and coming up with solutions to wardrobe problems.

My plan is a bit ambitious I must admit, but if I work on one item per week I should get things in order fairly quickly:

  • Red Cardigan:  Has an oily stain on the front that I can't get out.  It's colorless, but the sweater always looks wet in that spot. I was going to toss it in the Salvation Army bin, but then I saw a very cute idea on Pinterest that I've decided to try.  I'm going to find a doily, hopefully something in Battenburg lace, and shape them a bit, then sew them onto the sweater as pockets.  Sounds weird maybe, but I've seen it done and it's quite pretty looking.
  • Grey Cardigan:  I love this sweater because it's super comfy, extra warm and wraps around with a tie belt.  It's a bit on the longer side, meaning it covers the caboose nicely.  The problem is, bleach was spilled on it a few years ago so I've just worn it while coloring my hair, etc.  It's a really great sweater and I hate to toss it because it truly does look awful.  I've decided to dye it black!  It will go with just about everything (and I do wear a lot of black), and it will feel like I have a new sweater.
  • Loooong Purple Cardigan/Ratty Old Purple Blazer:  The cardigan is one that I wear around the house all the time.  It's a great heather purple color, buttons up the front, has a tie belt, pockets and comes down almost to my knees (well, okay, more like mini skirt length).  It's gotten quite a bit of pilling on it, but I am going to shave the pilling off.  It looks in good shape otherwise except the elbows are almost see-through. This is where the ratty old purple blazer comes in.  I'm going to cut elbow patches from the blazer (which just happens to be the right shade for the cardigan - I couldn't find any fabric the right color at JoAnn's).  I'm not sure what shape I'll cut yet.  I think maybe hearts.  Cardigan saved!
  • As I mentioned, I wear a lot of black and I noticed that some of my black winter clothing is no longer truly black.  They are fading, etc.  Well, I figure while I'm dying the grey cardigan I might as well dye some of the nicer pieces of black clothing that are fading.
  • Purple Dress:  I have a gauzy purple dress that I wore to my son's high school graduation.  Yeah, from the 1990s (LOL!).  I have been sentimental about the dress, but it's pretty ratty, especially the bodice.  I took a good look at it today and since it was a tea length dress with the waist band under the bust, I think I should be able to simply cut the bodice off, fashion an elastic waistband and have a comfy lavender skirt ready for when the nice weather returns.  I'm thinking of doing something decorative around the hem.  Perhaps some embroidery, but maybe something with bleach painting.  Have to put my thinking cap on with that one.
  • Then there are the its and bits of various articles of clothing that need new buttons to jazz them up a bit, etc.  And some shoes that I'm tempted to take up a couple of notches by painting some kind of design on them.  
  • And for the old jeans that are getting a bit tattered, well it seems that distressed (ripped) jeans are "in" again, so I thought I'd create a distressed area or two, patch the hole from the inside with a bit of lace and wear the jeans with a white blouse or sweater.   
You know, while I'd love to be able to go shopping for some new clothes this year, I'm actually finding myself rather excited at the idea of getting creative and personalizing some of my old clothes and breathing new life and new style into them.  I'm sure there will be some misses, but I'm hoping for a few hits as well.

I'm even going to have to ask my mom to teach me how to darn socks!  I remember seeing her darn my father's socks when I was a girl, but she never passed the knowledge on to me.  It's become a lost art I'm afraid, but I'd rather darn my socks right now than have to throw them out and spend the money on new ones.

Off to bed with me in my pajamas with the bottoms that fall down if I don't hold them up. I think I need to add putting new elastic in their waistband to me list. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Life on factory default settings

A computer set to factory default settings is perfectly serviceable, as reliable as anything can be that is made of parts that eventually wear out, gets those letters typed, resumes prepared, internet surfed.

A computer with well thought out customized settings is much more enjoyable to use.  Personalized settings and background photos can make the computer easier to use, but more than that, can make the entire experience exciting.  Vivid colors and stimulating music to greet you when booting up - or something a bit more soothing and relaxing if that's more your style.  Fun, personalized with customized features and shortcuts just for you!

I've been thinking of my life a bit in these same terms today, and have come to the realization that I've somehow ended up restoring the computer that is my life to "factory default settings".  :(  

I realize that too many times in my life I have followed the path that someone else has steered (or even pushed) me toward, rather than taking a deep look inside and choosing my own path and following it with determination.

The result of this course of action (or should I say inaction?) is that I am not living the life I want to live.  I continually feel a void - something missing.  I've searched and searched to find what was wrong and have finally come to the realization that what is missing in my life is ME!

I've tried the medical field twice, corporate life and retail.  Of the three, I enjoy learning medical things, but retail would probably be my favorite, likely because it allowed the opportunity to express myself creatively through making merchandise displays, murals, etc.  

I'm tired of living on that default setting - just letting life and the influence of others leading me randomly down the road.  It would be a terrible thing to look back at my life and see that I never did what I truly desired.

So a decision has finally been reached!  I'm going to continue working part time (whether at the store or as a medical assistant, whichever pans out), and I'm going to structure my days off in such a way that I have at least one day each week that is completely set aside to write, draw, paint - do whatever I feel creatively.  It's a place to begin.  

First I'm going to clean the house from top to bottom though so I don't have that weighing on my mind. Nothing kills creativity faster than a house full of clutter!

Now to get busy and start customizing my settings! :0)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

School Daze!

What a glorious find for a perpetual student!

Perhaps everyone else already knows all about this, but it's new information to me.   It seems that major universities such as Duke, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, University of Michigan, University of Edinburgh, University of California Berkeley, Stanford, Rice, and so on, are offering FREE online courses!

Now, they don't offer any credit hours, but the courses look interesting and varied.  They are offering everything from medical courses to science, humanities, and philosophy.  There is a poetry course starting this Monday from the University of Pennsylvania.  I think I just may sign up.  There are other courses that interest me as well, and since I want to be able to absorb as much as possible, I want to choose wisely and not take too many at a time.

If you have an interest, here's the link to FREE SCHOOL:

Monday, September 3, 2012

Midlife Crisis?

A wee bit of depression tonight as I had been expecting to start nursing school tomorrow morning.  I know I made the right decision by not attending a school with limited accreditation, but still the disappointment is there.

I have ambivalent feelings about the whole idea of nursing school now.  There is another program I can get into and begin this winter, and yet another school that I can start next September, but now I'm not 100% sure.  I wanted to do this quite badly, but now I'm feeling...well...old.

I suppose I'm having more than just a little bit of a midlife crisis right now.  This whole issue of nursing school has really hammered home to me the fact that I'm getting old; perhaps too old to pursue certain things in life.

I still feel that I'm in pretty good shape, I lift weights and work out regularly, eat organic foods, supplement where necessary, etc., but no matter how relatively youthful I may be for 53thiscloseto54, employers don't necessarily view me the way I do.  I have communicated with many nurses in the past month, almost all of whom have told me that most facilities squeeze out "older" nurses, which means nurses in their 50s and 60s.  The idea of being hired for my very first nursing position with my age hovering near 60 by the time I finish school is not very realistic of me, or so I've been told.  Oh, there will be a job for me somewhere, but likely in a doctor's office or urgent care facility for around $16 per hour.  Well, I already qualify for that job as a medical assistant, so why bother becoming a nurse?

Perhaps I need to learn to set aside some dreams.  After all, every youthful dream can't be realized.  The garbage we were fed in the '70s and '80s (and continue to feed our children I fear) that one can "have it all" is just that...garbage.   As a man I know who is a wonderful counselor once told me, life is a series of trade offs.  We can't have it all.  We need to make choices and decide where our priorities and greatest passions are, then act accordingly.  At least that's the direction my philosophy is leading me tonight as I write this entry.  Who knew blogging would be such wonderful therapy!

As I write this the correct decision for me has become quite clear.  I am going to work at my happy-hippy job at the health food/supplement store for now, continue looking for a medical assisting position, and line up some shorter medical programs to take where I can earn additional certifications to make me more valuable (and higher paid) as a medical assistant.

I'm also going to pursue my writing and art in earnest once I get settled (until then I'll continue dabbling).  These are dreams that I've had all my life too, definitely a stronger desire than nursing.  Unfortunately I don't have the talents and abilities in these areas as I do in medicine, which I seem to have a natural knack for.

Fortunately, writing and art know no age limit!  Since the old proverb says that practice makes perfect, I have a perfect excuse to practice, practice, practice in pursuit of perfection!

While we're speaking of art (oh, what an awful segue!), I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of some wooden bracelets I've been working on.  They're not particularly good (it's a strange sensation to work on a bowed surface instead of flat), but they were great fun and if art isn't fun, then why bother?

I don't really feel I can call these "art", perhaps they belong in the category of "crafts".  For what it's worth, here they are.

The first is Dragonfly Dreams, done in acrylics with a bit of metallics and a dusting of pixie dust (okay, it's really microfine glitter) for a touch of whimsy.  Sealed over with numerous coats of glossy acrylic.

The next is called Faerie Flower.  It's kind of hard to see by the photo, but the background is a lavender/periwinkle ombre with rose-toned flowers, vines and buds, little silver-toned faeries near a few blossoms sprinkling a bit of magic dust, metallic silver lining the inside of the bracelet with microfine glitter and glossy acrylic.  All paint is acrylic.

And finally I  have one that's not painted at all and definitely belongs in the "craft" category.  An old copy of The Two Towers by JRR Tolkien was literally falling apart, and rather than throwing it out (since The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of my favorite books of all time), I decided to repurpose some of the pages and make a bracelet of them.  I took this from the chapter "Treebeard" and selected some of my favorite phrases from the chapter.

At the ends of the cuff I placed the chapter name on one side and the author's name and book title on the other side.

I'm just learning how to add pictures, etc., so I hope you'll be tolerant if the pictures turn out too big or sideways, etc.

I took advice from a friend and finally did something with the Etsy store I opened years ago but never did I thing with.  I've listed these items.  Who knows.  Maybe I'll sell one some day. LOL!  If not, at least I'm having a good time with it, and that's what counts, yes?

Wishing every reader a blessed day!

P.S.  Etsy store is:

Friday, August 31, 2012

The die is cast

In the nick of time I've cancelled my enrollment in nursing school, returned my books and supplies and owe them nothing.

Whew!  I feel so much relief and peace with this decision.

Yes, there is a touch of sadness as well; a dream not realized, but I recognize that paying $34,000, sacrificing my personal life for a year in an accelerated program, only to come out at the end without a properly accredited education would make me even sadder in the long run.

Next step?  Who knows.

Happily, my employer has welcomed me back to work with open arms, I interviewed for a medical assistant position this week (not particularly hopeful that I'll be offered the position and not too sure I want it as I wasn't too impressed with either the doctor or the facility), and I am investigating other education options.  This time I'll make absolutely sure I do all my homework before signing on the dotted line.  I think I just got carried away with my dreams of being a nurse that I had my head in the clouds instead of keeping my feet on the ground and researching the school thoroughly.  Lesson learned (who said old dogs can't learn new tricks?! ;)

The holiday weekend stretches before us with an exciting start under a blue moon tonight.  We've been stepping outside to view it all evening.  Such a beautiful, warm night with the crickets chirping (do they chirp?), the frogs croaking in the wetlands behind our property, and various little critters scurrying about.  It was hot today (95F), but the weather promises to cool into the 80s for the remainder of the weekend which will be just right.

My sweetie asked me for a date tomorrow night!  We're going out to dinner but haven't decided where yet.  He was given a gift card that is good at about a half dozen local restaurants as a thank you from his boss for giving an informational presentation to his fellow employees this week.  Being able to go out is a rare treat for us in this economy, so we're going to make a night of it.  Maybe go for a romantic walk through the village.  Maybe even a little smooching in the car.  Never too old for a little flirting with each other.

Hopefully this weekend I'll have time to post a few pictures of some of the wooden bracelets I've been painting.  I've decided I want to start on a different project this weekend too, so lots of plans for the holiday!

Happy Labor day all!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

And this is where the cracking up part starts...

Yikes!  One week and one day until nursing school starts and I'm back on the fence about it.  I'm not entirely certain I'm making the right decision.

You see, the program I applied to is an LPN program.  I have now discovered that the world has changed greatly over the years and LPNs are not in demand.  They have been phased out of hospitals and have been replaced by lower paid techs.  Today an LPN program is a great entry into the field of nursing.  It's merely a stepping stone rather than a destination, and that is not what I was looking for.

It seems that unless I want to be restricted to working in nursing homes, home health care or prisons (yes, prisons), I will need to take what is called a "bridge" program to RN (Associates Degree), while working part time as an LPN.  Then it would be in my best interest to either take courses and become certified in specialty or continue on to get my BSN.  *sigh*  I LOVE school (I could honestly become a full time student as a profession if I could get paid to do it rather than having to pay for it!).  The thing is, I really do not want to be in some form of nursing school for the next 4-6 years, which is what this all means.  The idea of waiting until I'm about 60 years old to get finished and get going on the nursing career I want exhausts me just to think about it.

I have to make a decision this week as to what I'm going to do.  I can still easily pull out of the program without the student loans going through, therefore the only thing I will have to pay for is the 2 text books I've used.  No big deal.  And that would mean I'd make one of the alternates who have been waiting to get into the program very happy indeed.

I've thought about this long and hard.  If I do pull out of the program, I am going to go back to school, but only for a few months to finish earning a few additional certifications to add onto my medical assisting creds.  Since I'll soon be back on the job market if I don't go to nursing school, that can only help open more doors (and hopefully doors that pay a bit higher too).

I've not totally decided against nursing school though.  I could go through the LPN program,  be a nurse a year from now, and work in a nursing home the remainder of my work career.  LPNs are pretty much in charge at the nursing homes, I could work two to three 12 hour shifts a week and bring home great pay.  This would also leave me with about 4 days a week to pursue my biggest interests in life.  Sounds ideal, but the problem is that in this economy the LPNs are not budging from the nursing homes and even though the population is aging and more nursing homes will open, etc., schools are churning out LPNs en masse after making promises of great jobs due to a nursing shortage that doesn't really exist.

Oh, and did I mention that the school I am scheduled to attend is only accredited by my state's Board of  Nursing and is not regionally accredited?  This means that while it's a legitimate school and I would indeed be a bonafide LPN after finishing and passing my state boards, the credits that I earn there will not be transferrable into other colleges.  Given the exorbitant tuition they are charging (5 figures!), I find it unacceptable that my credits would be useless.   If I knew that I wanted to simply become an LPN and stay one forever it would be fine.  But since I was looking at RN and a specialty, this definitely puts a huge damper on the whole thing.

I have to make another confession while I'm discussing this whole conundrum, and that is that I am unable to see myself being able to work in a nursing home for the next 15 years.  I just don't know if I have the right stuff for it.  I fear it would become too depressing and I would grow to dislike it.

Tomorrow I'm going to call the 2 schools I've been checking out for my additional certifications to add to my certification as a medical assistant and see if I can drop by this week and check things out so I can make a final informed decision.

You see...Cate's cracking up!  Apt change to the title of my blog I think!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Seminal First Blog Entry

As I sit before my trusty laptop trying to determine what to say to open my blog, I realize that this must be how all bloggers feel when they first begin.  It feels like such a momentous occasion this first blog entry, that somehow I feel I need to make it Important (yes, with a capital "i").

In reality, this first entry is simply an introduction.  I have no readers and no readers know me yet (oh how I do hope that changes!).

So, let me introduce myself dear reader.  My name is Cathy, I'm 53 years young, passionate about art, writing, reading, nature and God.  I love the gentle and beautiful things in life.  They both feed and excite yet also soothe my soul all at the same time.

On the flip-side, I have a bit of a science geek about me as well.  I'm passionate about medicine.  I am a nationally certified medical assistant, hold a certificate in phlebotomy, am a board certified holistic health practitioner, and am currently enrolled in nursing school (an accelerated program - I must be out of my mind!) which begins in just a few weeks now. I am especially passionate about the combination of allopathic medicine with holistic remedies and preventative measures that have solid scientific studies to back them up.

I'm thrilled to fulfill a life long ambition to become a nurse, even though some may think I'm a bit long in the tooth to begin such a pursuit.  Honestly, I do tire a little easier than I did when I was 25, but I try to take good care of myself, eat organically, have begun working out with weights (I need to be able to lift those patients), etc.  Although I feel like I'm still in the process of growing up, I do think I'm much wiser than I was at 25, and hope this translates into me being a better nurse than I would have been when I was younger.

I sat down last night and worked out a time management plan that I will implement once nursing school begins.  I've got a lovely block of time carved out on Saturday mornings that I intend to use solely to draw and paint or work on my unfinished novel or begin one of the many that are floating around in my  noggin.

I will be posting photos of some of my art work as amateurish as it may be.  I love to work in watercolors, but lately have been fascinated with painting with acrylic on wood.  Wooden bracelets, an odd scrap of wood...anything!

It's time I turn in and get some sleep.  Tomorrow promises to be a busy day filled with reading medical textbooks since we received numerous reading assignments during orientation that are to be completed by the first day of school.

So welcome to my humble blog home, such as it is.  I have yet to finish completing my profile, but wanted to get started.  I did write a little blurb about myself in the right hand column if you're interested.

Have a blessed night and thanks for stopping by.  Please let me know you've been here and I'll pop in and visit your blog too.