2016 was not a good year

In fact I will contend that it was in the top 5 worst years of my whole life. And when you compare it with the year my parents got divorced and the year I found out (with three small children) that my husband of 15 years was addicted to heroin that’s some pretty stiff competition.

I’m not sure if i mentioned how it started – although technically it was the last week of 2015 it set the whole year off with a bang…or should I say squeak.

My then boyfriend, roommate, potential soulmate left for Christmas to visit his family on the east coast-totally fine, his parents are getting old and he wants to spend time with them. What wasn’t fine is that we had seen a few mice before he left and with his usual carefree, nothing will go wrong attitude he said he would wait til he got back to call an exterminator.

I’m all for taking responsibility and in this case I failed to express my very deep disgust for mice.

So we both have our nice respective Christmases except the day after he is still with his family but I am alone in his apartment. So, feeling a little lonely I take a nap and then go to run a bath. As I glance at the sink, I see this:img_0771

Now I don’t have great vision these days but I know something is up so I get closer to see what this is and of course what it is is a mouse-in the bathroom sink!

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I text this photo to boyfriend and this is where his supreme lack of concern takes on epic proportions-he replies “How cute!”

By the time he realizes that was probably not the best choice of responses I have my bags packed waiting for my sons to pick up my stuff.

This becomes the 2016 “mouse incident”. It becomes my go to example of how little regard he has for me.

At this time we are co-owners of a medical cannabis associated business which is having lots of issues and everything becomes more complicated and strained since we don’t talk to each other for most of January and February.

He periodically takes sides against me in the business and resorts to screaming at me and criticizing my lack of business knowledge-I’m just a “government worker”–I don’t have any management skills…even though I was only supposed to be an investor and have a full time job already.

By April, we kind of make up and I have surgery looming so he mans up and says he will take care of me afterward especially since I wasn’t able to drive for 6 weeks. The surgery went as well as could be expected but hey, surgery is not pleasant under any circumstances.

The undercurrent throughout this whole period is of course the presidential campaign and for whatever crazy reason my hippie peace loving boyfriend was enamoured and sucked in to the Trump bullshit. I really just ignored most of it thinking that he was either A) trying to get a rise out of me or B) just wanting attention by posting Trump shit on facebook. Either way, I tried to ignore it and honestly I don’t care who people voted for but I draw the line at listening to fake news at breakfast. Some of the insane items he tried to force down my throat were 1) Hilary had a neurological condition 2) Michelle Obama was a man 3)Michelle Obama never gave birth 4) of course Barack Obama was not born in the US 5) climate change is not real…

I give him credit for taking some good photos of my incision, img_1094picked me up promptly from work~~~~but I still did an awful lot for myself and for him during that time.

The other shoe dropped on July 15, 2016. the day of the attempted coup d’etat in Turkey. we were with his son at Chipoltle and still taking in the whole situation. Again keeping in mind that I lived in Turkey for one year, I have friends there and I just visited in 2015 and he knows that. He went on to tell his son that everyone who had been killed in the coup were Muslims and nobody should be surprised because the Koran tells Muslims to “kill”. WTF??? what the bloody fucking hell??

On the way home when I expressed my displeasure at his total disregard for facts and disputed his broad sweeping generalizations…he screamed at me me that I was “naive” and not as informed as him.

Again, I packed my belongings and left while he laid on the sofa playing with his phone. no apology. Later his excuse was that he’s Italian, he shouts, get over it.

in addition to this drama, my daughter got a divorce and my brother was undergoing chemo and all that associated palova.

The year has ended-the business has closed and I am single. i recently told my ex that I used to put up with bullshit in relationships, I have been trapped in unhappy relationships because of financial/legal constraints but no more. I have a home, a home he refused to live in and rarely even visited.

2017 is off to a good start. I got a bonus at work based on an excellent performance review, got a big fat tax refund, recovered some of the money I lost on the business and enjoying my grandson. I have a few vacation plans swirling around in my head~~

  • California drive vs fly. obviuosly driving makes it a cross country trek
  • England-canal boat
  • European vacation-fly to England, Eurostar to Paris, rent a car and drive to Italy. Stay in a quiet place in Italy and reverse.

 

England….again?

After living in England for 8 years, working as a nurse for 7 years and 180 days and having a small house over there… I maintain a precarious immigration status called ILR-Indefinite Leave to Remain.

It’s more than a work permit but less than citizenship. In the event that I eventually want to exercise my right to apply for British citizenship I will have to show:

  • Indefinite leave to remain or “equivalent” for this purpose must have been held for 12 months
  • the applicant must intend to continue to live in the UK or work overseas for the UK government or a British corporation or association
  • the same “good character” standards apply as for those married to British citizens
  • the same language and knowledge of life in the UK standards apply as for those married to British citizens

There is a caveat to ILR in that “intend to live in the UK”  is generally interpreted as no more than 2 years without a visit. So I have visited my friends and house/tenants 3 times in the past 6 years for the all important passport stamp in my second/expired passport that holds my ILR.

Once again in January, I traveled to England like I was just sporting off to the other side of town. Seriously, I have made this trip so many times it’s like second nature. On this trip I really thought about how this is the only place, of the many I have visited, that I have returned to again and again.

I have lots of emotional connections to this particular part of England and there are several friends I love to see

Maybe someday I’ll move back there…

WordPress has moved on without me

I have had this blog for a long time…and this is actually my second one. I think I started in 2007 ish? I was just reading some old posts here and they were from 2009-8 years ago!!

I was looking for a new template last night and noticed all the new fancy wordpress templates-made me wish I had more of a theme but alas I just blog in fits and starts with no particular focus.

So, once again I’m forging ahead but I would encourage anyone who’s still reading to check out my old posts. It’s always important to occasionally remember where we came from to know where we are going.

Dear Maria

Last Saturday I participated in the Women’s March in Chicago. It was kind of a spontaneous outing for me. On Wednesday or Thursday my daughter asked me if I wanted to go for a walk on the nature trail but I said I wanted to go to the march. On Friday at work we were preparing for an event this Monday which coincidently included posters. That’s where I got the motivation to make a poster for the march. My first attempts were:

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I have a long simmering hatred of Trump. I feel he is an opportunistic, self serving liar. You may feel different but as you see I am much more concerned with him taking payments from foreign governments while he is president AKA conflict of interest.

My next posters were a little more personal:

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My second problem with Trump is his racist comments-Mexicans, Muslims…illegals.

Let me explain my last poster-

#1 I am a woman, mother, grandmother-I have a daughter, daughter in law, sister, nieces. I do not want them to ever experience that uncomfortable feeling, as I have, of being not quite good enough because they are female. At times I feel like young women have gone too far in the “girl power” arena but then I think back on all the small slights I have suffered. For example, I was laid off from a good paying US government contract job which utilized my Air Force skills when I was 5 months pregnant. About 6 weeks later a head hunter called me raving about my skills and promising me big money–when could I come in for the interview?? I said great but there’s just one “thing”…I’m 7 months pregnant. His words and I quote because they still burn 32 years later were…”Who is going to hire you like that?!?”

I have been a victim of sexual assault or in my case I was beaten up because I had my period-this happened in the basement of a house-while my girlfriend was having sex with her boyfriend in the next room and his family watched TV upstairs.

#2 I am a veteran. Okay, I served under Jimmy Carter but then under Ronald Regan. Things changed and got very serious, very quickly. I understand what it means to be an airman, your body is literally owned by the government. I served in a remote location in Turkey and gave birth to my daughter by emergency c-section in a trailer hospital. I experienced a Turkish military coup d’etat and lived under Turkish military rule for my 12 month deployment. I was placed on a rapid deployment team and had several “practices” in my last year. I signed a paper giving my babysitter custody of my daughter on a moments notice and transfer that custody to a family member for up to 6 months.

Trump apparently has plans to privatize the VA, my current employer. In some instances, say for a hip replacement or prostatectomy that may be perfectly acceptable but the VA provides a wide range of mental health services which focuses on PTSD and other veteran specific conditions. I admire our social work service for their sensitivity and expertise dealing with veterans who struggle to describe the horror of being in combat.. I do not support sending young (or old) vets to a local hospital for the multitude of veteran issues-they will be lost. Simply, the VA offers a camaraderie and acceptance that is not achievable in the private sector.

#3 I am a nurse. RN. For the last 30 years I have worked mostly in ICU, both in the US and England. iI someone asked what I do I would proudly say-“I save lives”.

Trump and the republicans are hell bent on dismantling the ACA. I vehemently disagree with this. I know how much work has gone into transitioning people to ACA. I believe in getting as many people as possible some form of health insurance. I have seen what happens when people do not have health insurance and do not participate in preventive medicine.

If there are issues with the ACA then address those issues but don’t just wipe out a whole system because it reminds you of a previous president.

Back to my title for this post

I have a very dear friend who is pro-life. I totally respect her view because I feel that she lives it and never wavers.

I just want to say

Dear Maria,

Please don’t let this march come between us. This march turned out to be a great moment of hope for me as I have been suffering extreme anxiety and worry since the election. It was not a single issue march and I think it was a bad decision to exclude pro-life groups.

Many people had many different views. The most empowering part was seeing 250,000 women (and men!) from infants to wheelchair bound –all graciously acknowledging each other on a warm. sunny Saturday in January 2017.

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Cancer and Dentistry part 2

My brother was scheduled to come to the hospital where I work for a second opinion regarding his dental problem-basically his teeth are so bad that the only option is to pull one tooth and risk the whole delicate mess to collapse.

He was given the same recommendation that the tooth is “unsalvageable” so he will “allow” them to remove that one tooth.

He was at my work on Friday afternoon so when I saw him Saturday I asked how his “patient experience” was….big mistake. He started off saying that…it’s your choice…but if I had an option to work there or anywhere else I would quit that job and go anywhere else!

Alrighty then…please don’t hold back…I know its got its problems but I was planning to stay there another 10 years or so until I can retire but really, do tell me why my place of employment is the worst place in the world to work?

He went on to describe how the employees were all just standing around talking about their social lives, they didn’t acknowledge him and barely made an effort to answer his questions. I don’t in any way dispute his depiction, I witness this all the time but in a public health care setting I hardly believe that it makes it worse than, say…. a hospital in Zimbabwe?

After the tirade ended, I told him that we have a new medical director and he is asking for feedback-perhaps he would like to provide his personal and in depth feedback directly to him? He didn’t take that up but he did apologize later for getting “huffy” and thanked me for my generosity.

I think he was just tired, cranky, not in his usual medical environment and did not get the answer he wanted from the dentist.

At the cinema with the Inner Fire #1

As you may or may not have noticed-I made a news years non-resolution to see a movie and to clarify this excludes netflix, you tube or an airplane. I resolved to go to a real life moving picture house, buy a ticket and plop myself in one of those comfy seats…popcorn optional.

My first choice, not my choice really but my daughter wanted to see LaLa Land. Predictable, yes but we have been working on the logistics for a few weeks and it only happened on the day of coincidentally, hours before the Golden Globe awards at which it pretty much swiped all the categories across the board.

Saying all that, I’m not sure that I would say it was the greatest movie ever but I did enjoy it. The adjectives I’d use are: unique, quirky, good special effects and cinematographic techniques, bright, mostly positive, great dancing numbers. I’d rate it 8/10, 4 out 5 thumbs up, definitely recommend…to most people.

The whole experience was relatively pain free considering we went at 10:45am on a Sunday. Tickets were $6 each which I tend to feel enhances the experience because I don’t feel totally ripped off if its not that good.

I feel pretty chuffed with myself for actually accomplishing 1/12 of my goal. Last year I planned to make all three sessions of bootcamp and failed miserably…

On to February!!