Life Changes and Downsizing

Wow, I cannot believe it has been 4 years since I last posted. I can believe it at the same time. I am so easy to distract and I forget things often. I had just decided to try to start writing my experiences, and ta dah, I already have a wordpress site. Not that my stories will be interesting to anyone else, but they define who I have become and who I am becoming, and I have a lot of them. I worked at my last job as a chemo nurse until Aug. 31, 2016. The office was purchase by a medical center and I had trouble finding a job. I decided to try things other than nursing. I worked at a friends dog grooming and kennel for about 2 months. I absolutely loved it and was improving, but thanks to carpal tunnel issues I couldn’t do it. That made me sad because I truly enjoyed working with the animals. So I decided to try my hand at retail. Compaired to nursing the pay is an unliveable low, but it has been so fun and stress free. At one nursing job I made in 1 month what I’ve made over six months in retail, but the mental break has been absolutely wonderful. I’m getting ready to look for a nursing job again, mainly due to money.

During this time of non-nursing, I have discovered that I’m quick to learn new skills. I have not been very sure of myself until recently. I was “stuck” in an oncology rut after working in that area for over 28 years of my 35 year career. This time has really shown me my flexibility. I think for a while I would like to try working with dual diagnosis recovery. I’ve been sober myself for 23 years and love my recovery life. I was ashamed of saying I was an alcoholic (even one in recovery) because of the “stigma” of alcoholism. Now I am fully aware I have far fewer problems and that I’m far less problematic to others. What is the shame in that? It’s not like I grew up thinking “I want to be an alcoholic”. Anyone that knows me for any length of time knows I’m in recovery. It has made me available for others to talk to about their issues or issues with loved ones. The longer I’m around the recovery community the more I’ve come to realize how fatal this disease is. The epidemic of addiction is getting worse and I’ve decided to #recoveroutloud. Even when things seem bad I’ve been given the emotional maturity to respond with a little more reason and not a kneejerk reaction based on fear. Most of my fears have been made worse by the way I used to think. I have very few fears today, financial or otherwise and it is so freeing to be able to take life as it comes, when it comes.

Now, getting to the downsizing thing. I wrote about downsizing 4 years ago and have been interested longer than that. My house is gone, along with about 90% of my stuff. I’ ve moved in with my oldest daughter and my possesions fit in my bedroom and on one set of shelves in the garage. I’ve discovered I really don’t need half the stuff I brought so I will be culling the excess again. I try to help with the kids when I can so she can do things. She has 3 children. I laugh every day living here. As I begin to look for a new nursing job, I have been considering which direction of tiny will be best for me. I thought about a mobile tiny house, but I’m reconsidering. I think I want to get an RV first or convert a bus. I have toyed with the idea of travel nursing and the thought of just being able to tote my house sounds great, but realistically it would be easier to just drive or pull a lightweight trailer. Then I can use that for short term living and for trips with the grandkids. Eventually I think I will be most comfortable in a house with 400-500 square feet. That’s all the space I want. That is small, but it would give me room for guests on occasion whereas tiny houses aren’t easily adaptable for guests. So I guess I’m still in the tiny frame of mind, but not so much super tiny. This is a debate with myself in progress still. No finalized decision, but I have connected with a couple of reputable tiny house builders for some information on costs and weight (for towing reasons).

It is time to reconnect to family members and friends I have lost touch with due to my thoughtlessness and fears. I am trying to head to a life where that is possible. Things are not important, people are. As I get rid of more things I am connecting far more deeply with the people around me and I love that. This is just a step in my life journey and I am embracing the journey with all the good and bad now like never before. Wary but not terrified of change – it is a process after all. I’ve actually gotten to the point that I look forward to a different future than the one I had envisioned and it energizes me just to think about it (on most days).

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New Job!!

Finally, I have an interview with a Doctor’s office administrator tomorrow, and if all goes well I’ll start on Monday!! I know the nurses I’ve met like me. I think I’ve finally become pretty well managed with therapy and meds. It’s crazy that while on Adderal I can sleep at night finally. Makes me a whole lot brighter during the day, I’m only like one sandwich short of a picnic rather than forgetting the sandwiches altogether. This time has been wonderful for time with my grand-children. Things have been tight, but I do believe I can stay in my house a little longer. I had my car repossessed, but it just really isn’t that important. I’ll buy a rollable clunker with air after I’ve worked for a while, then focus on paying off debt and getting things together to start my tiny house. (of course, my girls think I’m insane, but I’m aware of that, and they are aware I still want to do it) No real conflict there.

My dogs are going to be feeling neglected after I’ve had so much time with them. They are such sweet girls. The journey continues – with much more serenity. I’m not a religious person, but spirituality is the thing I try to focus on. This time has really been good for learning real trust in the God I’ve come to sort of understand. (God = love, pretty simple)

I’m drawing tiny house plans on graph paper so I can measure things realistically, my biggest problem is that I would like a small soaking tub and it’s really hard to find one less than 40 inches in diameter. I’m going to ask permission to connect to some other great blogs soon so I can share the joy of simple living. I’ve sold lots of stuff, and I’m getting ready to donate quite a bit, and it feels liberating to get rid of all of this stuff. I’ve been in this house a long time, and I found things in the attic that went up there when we bought the house 23 years ago. I’m really lousy at managing money so I still owe a lot, and now that we’ve been annexed by Memphis most of us owe more on our houses than they are worth right now. That is one of the main reasons I want a tiny house, and I want to make it accessible for the vertically challenged as I’m not quite 5′ tall. Designing and building it myself would make that possible. Plus I’m not so much into “roughing” it so I am going to have to plan on stuff, and I want to do solar so I can be independent of the oh so expensive electric bills. I’ll try to do a better job as I’ve only posted twice in over one year.

Adventures in Change!

How much of myself do I share with the world. I’m not anyone special, except to my family and some of my former patients. Actually a lot of my former patients, and that’s about all I wanted in life in the long run was to make a difference for someone. I still want to do that! Menopause and ADHD have kicked my butt. My memory is shot, unless I get hyper-focused on something I’m really interested in, then I remember totally useless trivia. It’s really frustrating sometimes. I’ve been unemployed for 16 of the last 18 months. I’d never been fired in my life, haven’t had to look for a job for over 25 yrs. I worked at the same hospital for 23 yrs, I was agency and ended up hiring on.

Now I’ve been fired twice, exactly a year apart Oct 3 2011 and Oct 3 2012. I don’t have any concept of time and people were having to remind me to do stuff. I believe it’s getting better. I’ve had insomnia for about 5 years, which certainly doesn’t help. The weirdest thing is how calm I feel. The second job I lost, when I realized what day it was, it immediately became a God thing (honestly, not a dogma God, just love). Time for me to learn new lessons, and they will only be as hard as I make them. I’m not trying to control things I can’t and I don’t have to worry about my kids because they’re grown. It’s just me and my animals. I’ve thought about a lot of things, even when (if) I ever find a job, I want to completely reduce my space. I would love a tiny house, and have thought of RV living for a while.

For selfish reasons, more than green reasons, I want solar panels, so I can live off the grid. The lower environmental impact will just be a added benefit. I’m trying to discover my bliss and then follow it. I’m going to downsize and sell most of the things I have. I know what I want most is a small personal space and the ability to travel – a lot – which means wheels. I’ll find some other way to make a living. I’ve discovered I really don’t need much at all. I do have things I’m quite partial to, like my Cuisinart Keurig machine, and a lot of books. I have been trying to weed through the books, because I have quite a few in print, audio and e-book. (Kindle mostly) I’m a little bit overboard as a bibliophile!! I need to keep the digital audio and e-books, then do some extreme reduction in the amount of books I keep. I’ve got a small ladder bookcase that I’m going to try to hold all the books I keep, then get rid of what doesn’t fit.

So – first step is to simplify and sell everything, get a cheap car and get rid of that note. (no more MINI Coopers for a while, but I’ll live) I sure miss those babies, I was fortunate enough to drive a convertible for 6 years and a Countryman for 1 year (supercharge and turbo versions of course). I figure I got to have 2 versions of my dream car, which is more than a lot of people get. So generally, as my Dad used to say, I am loved and life is good! It’s time to reconnect with family and be what they need, not my absentminded, birthday/holiday card forgetting typical self. Here begins a new journey, or season in my life, and I’m going to try and share just in case I find more like minded people that I can help by sharing my future mistakes with. As a very dear friend of mine used to say on her answering machine – “Have a good day, unless you have other plans!” 😉