2013 and this time of year

Writer’s note: I’m a little depressed, hence the mood at the beginning here… But please read all the way through, as the mood will change…  🙂

Happy Christmas Eve dear readers… Well, maybe not…   I’ve grown to dislike this time of year… Combine that with the year I’ve had, and it’s hard to keep the depression at bay… I’ll be so glad when the holidays are over, to be honest… Being single during the holidays sucks… Everyone talks about being with friends and family, feeling loved, and everyone being so much nicer than other times of the year… I fail to see it… And it’s not that I don’t try to see it: I do try… But I’ve not been invited to a holiday party since I was still married, ironically enough… (That’s 9 years ago, folks)  I’ve not been invited to share the holiday with anyone, in at least 3 years… And being the only single person in my circle of friends, it drives the point home even more at this time of year…

I try to avoid the usual holiday claptraps, but no matter where you go, it’s there… Just yesterday I had to run some errands in town… One of them was to run to Walgreens for a prescription… (An errand that seems never-ending these days…)  I love Walgreens because it’s like a toy store for adults!  There’s always something in there that I’ve never seen before!  As I drove there, I thought to myself “You know, you have an extra $10 in your account, let’s look for something new and special to buy to cheer us up…”  Excited by that thought, I sat a little taller in the driver’s seat… But as  I got closer to the store, my brain started processing what all I needed to purchase to make it to the next paycheck… As I went through my bank account in my head, I realized that every dollar I had needed to go to either prescriptions, probiotics, utility bills, or food to last through to the next paycheck….  Hear that whooshing sound?  That was the sound of good cheer flying right out the driver’s side window…  And again, the depression threatened to take over… I did allow myself to walk through the store and browse, looking for interesting items, but the thought never left me that I needed to do what I came there for, and then leave…

OH and let’s not even TALK about the guy in the red Mustang that came within INCHES of hitting me!!!  He/She pulled out to turn right on red without stopping OR looking, I clearly had a green light and if there’d been anyone in the lane to my left, we all would have found ourselves meeting a cop and a claims adjuster…. Whew!!  But I’m betting he/she did some damage to their tires or alignment as they drove up and over a curb to avoid hitting me once they heard my horn and saw my big black grill coming at them!!  Talk about jump starting your heart!  But I digress…

As I think back over the last 12 months, I think about what has gone on, the amount of money spent on my medical items, and the difference between where I was a year ago and where I am now…  Financially, I’m lost… My health insurance premiums will be going up $103 a month, starting in a week… Because of this, I’ve had to shut down all of my “fun” services like Netflix, Audible.com, etc… I also had to shut down my “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” 911 service… I’m also selling my motorcycle, but having a hard time with that one… (Wrong time of the year for it, to be honest…)  And if I total up all of the money I’ve spent this year for prescriptions, it breaks my heart…  I’ll be totaling it all up as I prepare to do my taxes in a few weeks… And to that end, I started putting all of my receipts together, writing down all of the appointments I had so I can figure out the mileage to each, and getting my payments together so I can hopefully use the medical tax break this year… Doing those simple deeds, however, brings home how much money and time was spent being ill this year… I’m hoping that now that trend will be finally on the positive side for the new year, but my hope is tenuous…

It’s getting harder to find joy in the things that I used to… I used to enjoy food a great deal… But now, with all of the restrictions and things I have to look out for, that joy is gone for me… Watching TV can be quite a pain too… Here’s an experiment for you… Watch one hour of prime time TV and count the number of commercials you see for food and/or restaurants… And of course many of the places that are advertising are places that I wouldn’t be able to go, even if I had the money… I can’t enjoy my online movies, because those cost money, hence they’ve been discontinued for me… I can’t travel, gas is too expensive… Even reading is getting harder for me… Because of my condition and the meds that I’m on, my vision isn’t as good as it used to be, and I can’t afford new glasses…

I rely heavily on my old laptop, and I pray that it lasts for a while longer… It’s over 7 years old and there’s no way I can afford a new one… So I clean it, defrag it and just talk to it nicely in the hopes that it’ll hang on… I have three Cats, one of whom is currently under the care of the local Vet… Her care this year has just reached the $1,000 mark… My truck insurance just went up thanks to the State of South Carolina changing some laws and forcing the companies to charge us more…  Also found out last week that two of my regular medications will be going up… Granted, not much, but total that up with everything else and you can begin to understand where I’m at financially and mentally…

So, Stormy, why not get a 2nd job?  Because with my health, it’s hard to know when I’ll be able to work and when I won’t… Why not apply for a new job?  Did that and got turned down… My job is very focused and specific and there aren’t many of those jobs out there to begin with… But I am looking…

Now before anyone gets the idea that I’m ready to walk off a bridge somewhere, it’s not all bad here at the abode… I have friends… Some amazing friends…  They’re going through some tough times too, hence the reason I’m trying not to bug them right now… But I know they’re there, and they show me their Angel’s wings from time to time and remind me of what I DO have… I also have some amazing parents… And even though I can’t afford to go see them, they too remind me of their love for me… These two groups humble me more than they can ever know…

I also have a roof over my head, there’s food in the pantry, gas in my truck’s tank, lights coming from my lamps, and water through my pipes… My heater is so old that I give up a small “thanks” every time I hear it come on… But it’s on, and I’m heated decently… (I keep the heat at 63 in order to keep that electric bill down, but by gosh, I’ve got heat!  LOL)  I’m employed and have good health insurance… I’m not wholly unhappy about the things I’ve had to lose this year, because it means that I at least HAD them to lose!  Many others don’t… I try to donate when and where I can, because again there are too many others out there who have significantly less than I do…

So as this lousy year ends next week, I won’t be sad to see it go… I will welcome 2014 with a smile and a hopeful thought that it’ll be so much better than it’s dying sibling… Here’s to the new year… To better health… To lower bills…  To brighter days… To new friendships… And who knows?  Maybe even a new love?  Well, one can dream…  *smile*  I wish you and yours a nice holiday and bright new year!!