I’ve had two full weeks at my new job, and been paid my first pay check. Having some overtime pay on this check helped to buffer the shock. I sat down and did some in-depth analysis of my month-to-month income and expenses. Thank god for my financial advisor and that his services come free from my bank. I feel like I can finally breathe again. I’ll know more once I am able to sit down with him and discuss the long term impact on my finances however from first appearances, this part-time job will provide what I need.
Physically I am able to handle the work better than I had anticipated. At first an eight hour shift on my feet took a lot out of me. It still does but it is getting better. My daughter helps on those days by cooking dinner if we have something she knows how to cook.
I expected within the first month to end up sick because I was in the public a lot more and not so isolated in my home. That prediction came true, however, not from the source I had thought it would. My daughter and I went shopping for her to pick out some much needed undergarments and a couple days later, she came down with a major cold. A week later and I started showing signs of getting it. The timing was good for something of this sort to happen. I am hoping to only miss two shifts at work. It hit me on my two days off. I had two days scheduled to work with another day off following it, so by only missing two days of work, I had five days to work on getting well enough to perform my shifts this weekend. So far, I feel as though I am on the mend. My check at the end of the month will be a bit lower than expected but I will be okay.
My last post was filled with a lot of emotions as a result of my situation. I read over it before starting to write this post and I still feel very strongly about what I had written. I work as a cashier and without someone performing that job retail businesses would not be in business. Yes, I know they have automated tills but even with those, someone has to oversee them because they aren’t perfect and there can be issues with product packaging that makes it difficult to scan them. Plus the amount of behind the scenes work that goes on for changes in product pricing due to specials and discounts means the system isn’t perfect. Knowledgeable customers catch these imperfections in the system.
I am surprised how much I enjoy the job. I meet a lot of really good people every single day. It has helped bolster my flagging perception of people.
I don’t really have much else to say in this post other than to say we’ll be fine. Unless I have missed something significant in my calculations, this part-time job is all I need to make ends meet. With it being part-time, I will also have time for my artwork and helping my daughter acclimate to her new school which is as close to homeschooling as one can get and still be under the Ministry of Education.
I’m more at ease these days. The anxiety is mostly gone, although I have moments it flares up, I’m not sure what triggers it. I’ve had moments while I’ve been sick of having flashes of anxiety that goes as quickly as it comes. I am wondering if there is such a thing as post-traumatic disorder from being laid off. The anxiety goes away as soon as I remind myself that I have a job and it is enough even with missing two shifts at work this week, the pay will be enough to fill in the gaps that my retirement income has within it. I don’t know how all of this will play out when it comes to filing taxes, it is a learning curve for me in a completely new situation. The good thing is, even though this job is part-time, I get benefits. I’m still learning just what those benefits cover.
I feel like I can breathe again. However, each breath taken is done so cautiously. It is difficult to feel safe given what I have gone through over the past three years and actually longer. I have learned when looking over my past, that things do indeed happen in threes. Maybe it is just how we look at it that makes them look like they belong together in such a grouping but whether it is or isn’t, it has left me with a lot to ponder.
I have had three, what I consider HUGE life changing events. In 2005, I began my journey as a single parent which took me down a path of making some major decisions to improve our lives. This involved a move across country, taking us further away from family and friends but something that needed to be done in order to give us a place we could call home and put down roots. Single parenthood was and is a huge life change for both my daughter and me. I believe that relationship and the subsequent issues for a year following its breakup were toxic to me and resulted in the cancer that developed in my body which became the second life altering event. At the time, I believed facing the challenge of having cancer was the hardest thing I ever had to do. At least until a year later when I was laid off of work and I was faced with the third major life changing event.
I sat and thought about all of these things Tuesday as I waited to see if the radiologist wanted any more pictures taken for my mammogram on my one remaining breast. It is difficult to believe one is now safe from harm. I wasn’t feeling well, the cold I had contracted from my daughter was gaining its foothold and becoming worse, and I was afraid. Not of the cold but having to face yet another tough obstacle if the pictures didn’t come out clean. As it turned out, they did want more pictures due to an anomaly on the ones that were taken. The radiologist thought maybe I had powder or residue on my skin causing an issue when the pictures were taken. I had no such thing. Ever since having cancer I don’t use products other than soap to wash with and deodorant and I had not put on any deodorant because I knew they don’t want you to wear any when having a mammogram. Either they hadn’t cleaned the machine well after the previous person or they didn’t take the pictures very well. Another technician took the second set of pictures and when she came back she reassured me that the anomaly wasn’t on the new set.
It won’t matter whether my exams are clear of cancer for the next twenty years. Every day of my life I will wonder if there is cancer in my body just looking for a place to grab onto and grow. Cancer is a horrid thing to deal with but what is worse is the treatments they continue to use. I won’t go into that.
What I do want to say is how difficult it is to compare and judge life altering events in our lives. Today, when I look back, what I experienced more recently in the job lay off feels as though it was the hardest thing I have ever had to face, while I also know when facing cancer I felt the same way.
Cancer made me face the reality of my mortal existence and that I won’t live forever. The emotional and mental turmoil I went through this past year made me realize the fragility of the mind. I came very close to losing my mind and not being able to cope. To face your own limitations is difficult. To face them alone is even harder. To face them in front of an 11 year old who grew to be 14 years old during this time, and having her witness my fragility was shattering. She expects to have a mother who can handle anything. I think she still sees me as strong but she now knows I have limitations. We are learning to function with those limitations.
I’m afraid to say I’m out of that long dark tunnel now. I’m afraid to look around and see that we aren’t, that there may still be more to come. I’m afraid to celebrate that we have finally emerged from three major life changing events before I’m really sure they are over. What we will do is celebrate this new job and that we have come through what was for me a very dark period of unknowns. If I read the signs correctly, we have a whole new life ahead of us which has an ever expanding range of possibilities. The main thing I have learned from these major events in our lives is to not give up hope, to not close doors on possibilities but also, and I think this is the most important one of all, that just because something looks like it is the best path to take, it might not be the right path to take.