Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Attitude Needed Adjusting

For awhile I was feeling as if I had lost my sense of humor. Everything seemed to be piling in on me and I could only spew my anger onto these blank pages called Post Editors. I'm not given much to self pity. I don't have it harder than millions of others, yet I found myself wallowing in a mood so dark I was beginning to feel isolated in some way. The more I looked around me, the less I liked what I saw and the angrier I became.

It started with the quarterly sales tax preparation for the filing date in September, on my 62nd birthday. We owed half of what we normally owe for the third quarter. To say business has been bad is putting it mildly. I've lost count of the number of bad checks we've had to chase people down for. We received more bad checks in the third quarter of this year than we've received since buying this business in 1986. You can't begin to understand what it feels like to have these checks and try to work things out with people who have no shame about writing them. For the first time in our business life, we had people arrested.

The day I had to go to court with our first case, I sat outside the courthouse and cried. After the ruling in our favor, I left the courthouse and sat in my car and cried some more. Even knowing that we aren't to blame for the problems these people got themselves into, doesn't make me feel any better. One woman couldn't understand why the charges against her included misdemeanor larceny. She simply couldn't grasp that paying for a service with a check she knew was bad is theft of services. In addition to the septic pumping she had some pipes replaced. Total was $600. She wrote a check on a closed account.

With the financial setbacks we've endured, all my healthy food purchase plans went down the drain. I've purchased and preserved as much as I could afford, which hasn't been much at all. The stress took a toll on my blood pressure. The bottom number stayed down but the top one went off the chart again so, I am now on a beta blocker to protect my heart. Which, of course, made me feel like a failure somehow. Doctor says she's positive it will only be temporary since I have made "great strides" forward since I began the program. I resolved the issue of our financial situation by not purchasing the supplements I need. That allowed me to buy the locally grown produce that sits in my freezer. Wasn't the smartest thing I've done, but I did it and as the doctor says, I need to forget it and move on.

I really didn't start the forget and move on process until Scratch got a job. Something about his good news was a lifeline that I am using to pull myself out of the rut I dug for myself. I'm not out yet, but I can see the top of the pile. Nothing financially has changed, I just have knuckled down and started using the stress relieving tools that have been at my disposal all along. I lost sight of the forest because of the trees and needed to find my chainsaw to thin those trees out some.


  1. That took courage; to write, to admit to yourself, and greatest of all, to lay down the shovel that kept making the hole deeper.

    You are a survivor. Wear it with pride and dignity.

  2. Sherry, a couple of weeks ago I was ready to pull the plug on Squatlo Rant, after divorcing Facebook for the last time, and pretty much disgusted with everything around me. Not a complaint to think of other than the fact that my photography bidness has been ignored by all for the past months, and the ol' pension isn't covering all of our bills adequately.
    I went through an exceedingly dark period, and several fellow blobbers and friends convinced me to keep plugging, just write when it hits to write, and by god, they were right.
    The weather changed, orders started coming in for prints, the leaves are turning, and life's good again.
    Hang in there. You've got disciples who come over here whenever we get flagged you've written another post.
    This too shall pass.
    Or get worse.
    Either way you'll have something to write about later!!!

  3. If it's true that misery loves company... you've got plenty of friends. We're all in the same boat, and the damned thing is leaking. Oh well, time for a martini.

  4. Future,

    Thank you so much for your vote of confidence. Like anything else we face, it's a matter of taking two steps forward and one step back. At least I'm heading onward and upward.

  5. Squatlo,

    I spoke to my employer to see if they had any new cases I could take so I could take up the slack a bit. Not at the moment, but I have been placed on the list. It's not much, but it's a start.

    It took 62 years of bad habits to get to the high blood pressure problem. I suppose I need to allow that I'm expecting too much to get it fixed in 9 months. I'm supposed to concentrate on learnign patience. Yeah, suuuurrrreeee!

  6. Mr. Charleston.

    I admit to be getting kind of tired bailing the damn boat out.

    If I avoided doing something drastic while wallowing in the mood, it was because I know I'm not alone in this boat.

    I'd prefer a Manhattan, but not with this medication. Not a good idea at all.