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Archive for August, 2011

Transition Time

August 30th, 2011 at 04:02 pm

I see that I haven't written an entry here since New Years, so here's the quick update of my year to date:

January: Spent a lot of time with a close friend whose grandson died on the 24th.

February-April: Busy season; worked two jobs, 30-35 hours each--loved one job, hated the other. But neither morphed into anything more after tax-season; I still work occasionally and part-time at the job I love, but the firm is too small for that job to become more than it is. I get good experience, learn a lot, and can say that I am employed, plus earn a little money--all good. On the sad side, I lost my cat, Phoebe, the one I'd had since kittenhood, to kidney disease.

May: Went out to Los Angeles for two weeks to visit my mom; she was able to leave the house (in wheelchair) for excursions to places like the Farmer's Market; we videotaped a 3-hour oral history with her. When I returned from the trip, one of my clients had died and I was hired by his son to assist him with his executor duties. (Poor guy--he lost his mother in the middle of May and his father two weeks later.)

June: The first half I was busy helping my client with the executor work, plus arranging for my sidewalk to be replaced (it had been torn up in September with a sewer pipe replacement). I had a talk with my Mom on June 15, the day they were starting the work, and she seemed fine. The next morning, though, I get frantic text messages from my sister that my mom is in the ER. She is hospitalized for 8 days--I monitor the situation from afar. She is released on Friday the 24th and calls me on Sunday the 26th to ask me to fly out--she needs extra assistance now that she is home, hopefully for just a couple of weeks. I fly out on Monday. She improves for the first week I am there.

July: My mom continues to improve through July 3--a day during which she spent much of her time sitting in the wheelchair at the computer making stock transactions. July 4 she is tired and spends most of the day in bed. July 5 she is extremely week and we end up having to call the paramedics again. She lands in Intensive Care for five days and then back on the regular floor for five days. I was able to be with her 14 or so hours a day. During this time, after the treatment options that she was willing to try failed, my mom made the decision to go home on hospice. She was transfusion-dependent and this meant turning off the transfusions. She came home on Friday the 15th and died on Tuesday the 19th. I spent 3 more weeks in L.A. dealing with her executor stuff and being there as a support for my sister.

August: I returned home. I still had executor work to do for my client for the first week, and then two of the staff in my office were on vacation, so there was work for me the second week. But I haven't worked since last Monday. My birthday was last week so I took a day off with a friend to drive down the river; then Hurricane Irene was distracting with preparations for a few days. I was fortunate to escape damage-free, but my friend had water in the basement and a big tree fall on her garage. I am giving myself a couple of days to clean up and organize and then hit the ground running in terms of job hunting after Labor Day.

It's been two years of transitioning--two years since I left full-time employment in my previous career, two years since my wonderful Henry Hound was diagnosed with cancer, two years since my mom's diagnosis. The part-time employment has been wonderful in affording me flexibility as well as experience during this time, but now I desperately need a full-time job with benefits. I was so good for over 15 years about avoiding unnecessary debt; now I have over 10K on credit cards to pay off so I can get my financial house back in order.

I'll be back here more as my attention focuses more on that goal.