I so don’t know what I am doing, but I am enjoying being alone. I have such a deficit of alone time that I don’t know if one lifetime is enough to catch up.
It has occurred to me that, if I wanted to, I could pay off my lease and leave Michigan–this minute. No kidding. No forwarding address.
I am only looking for certain kinds of experience. I would prefer to get paid, but I am okay not getting paid at the moment. I don’t need benefits because I have insurance from the UAW/GM retirees trust. I have a pension–for the rest of my life. That means I can work part-time and be fine with a job that does not provide benefits.
I have been getting some experience with the American Cancer Society. I love volunteering there. The people are really nice. But I can tell they have issues. People are quitting right and left, and I’m not talking peons. Big wigs. Someone there is not happy. But that has created opportunities that no volunteer should probably have. I have been handling checks and inputting data into their system, for example. They have no idea how lucky they are to have me as a volunteer. I am ridiculously over-educated, require no accommodations, and am extremely honest. Not many volunteers have already run a church bookstore, I’m sure. I can help them while preparing to move to another state.
Most people would probably think I am lonely. Not yet. Small things make me cry. I will miss Barry forever. But being man-free suits me just fine.
I’ve been attracting really good things. Mostly money so far.
I got a notice from Social Security that Barry was still owed money. To collect, all I had to do was bring a certified copy of our wedding certificate. So I went to Charlotte (pronounced shar-LOT, not SHAR-lit, because I live in Michigan, not North Carolina) and got three copies for about $30. For a couple bucks in gas and the $30, I will get about $2000. Wow.
Then I got a phone call from the mortgage company. Keep in mind that we haven’t owned a house in a year-and-a-half. The call was because they tried to send us a check for overpaid taxes to the old address. All I had to do was to email them with my new address. I just got a check for over $600.
And I even got a check for over $400 from the long-term care insurance people for over $400. These are the people I had to pretty much threaten them with legal action to do any part of their job whatsoever.
All totaled, this is almost a half year of rent.
So now I am working on having a clue and getting a part-time job. I know the economy is doing well (thank you Barack Obama; Trump gets zero credit for Obama’s economic recovery) because the reason I am struggling to get a part-time job is because everyone wants full-time employees. That is one high-class problem in my book. I don’t have to work and can be picky.
Something I am doing is working.
I am getting back into the swing of things, sort of. The old swing of things is gone forever, but I am developing some new habits and getting a fair bit done.
Last night, I tutored and went to a small political gathering. I helped my student with working with tables in Excel. That went fine. She even has recommended me to someone else.
Then I went to the political gathering. It was very interesting. Democrats are organizing. The meeting was filled with people of different ages, nationalities, and income levels. This is America’s future. What a striking contrast to visiting my parents’ trailer park in Florida, where everyone is white, middle-to-upper class, and 60+. I spent time talking to a district representative who was probably in his thirties.
I am making connections. I am doing things I am good at. This is what I have been waiting for.
I came back to Michigan. My apartment is fine, but there was standing water everywhere. This was created by three factors: 1) almost two feet of snow sitting on the ground when I left, 2) more than twice the normal amount of precipitation for February in the space of a week, and 3) the ground is still frozen. Numbers one and three are perfectly normal. Snow and frozen earth in Michigan in February. I shrug my shoulders at the thought. It’s the three inches of rain in February that makes me say, “WTF?!” The Grand River flooded near Potter Park Zoo, of course. And the Red Cedar flooded on MSU’s campus big time. I’ve never seen that and I am 50. The frozen ground ensured that the water had nowhere to go and so it could do is to stand around waiting for the sun and/or wind to evaporate it away.
So I arrive home and the focus is on the weather. Hard to avoid. And it was still so warm that the larger piles of snow (from plowing the two feet) were still melting, which is the equivalent of it continuing to rain.
Eventually, the wind comes along and evaporates some of the water. Now, people can think about something, anything, else. And I want to be obsessive. I don’t want silence. I don’t want to be alone and have to function. I want to watch TV or listen to radio.
I am no longer numb from Barry’s death and functioning just feels too hard at times. I don’t know what I want. How much do I want to work? What do I want to do?
It’s weird to do some things without him. I went to get our taxes done. I actually filed jointly alone. How wrong is that? After all, we had always filed jointly and we were married all of 2017. I cried at the H&R Block. Barry and I had always gone together and he was always very compliant. We would make an outing of it and go to Barnes and Noble afterwards.
Last night, I threw out some of the queen size bedding I had still been using. That was hard, even though I have stacked the twin mattresses and the bedding had become unruly. I just didn’t want to be wrapped up in our sheets while I sleep alone. I felt the awareness that all objects contain energy and that I need to be careful what I keep around me.
I don’t know what I want. The numbness is gone and now the feelings are chasing me around without clarity.