Roller coaster Year

turtle climbing out of the pond scum off the roller coaster

climbing out of the pond scum off the roller coaster

I’ve got the front row seat on my life’s roller coaster.

Losing my job last year was like riding a roller coaster, even though some of it was more like hiding under pond scum. Now I’m ready to bask in my life. This has been a most interesting year…as in the Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” My life is pretty good, all things considered, though.

A year ago yesterday, I lost my full-time job, rather unexpectedly, going from $70k in 2014, to $48k in 2015 to about $28k this year. Of course this took away my health insurance, and any chance of paying for insurance even with ACA. I’ve done without before, and that eliminated my doctor’s visits and medications, which I don’t seem to need anyway.

I went back to teaching fourth grade grammar to college freshmen face-to-face, so that I am still “falling back on” the degree I earned in English 40 years ago. I made a little less teaching than I did on unemployment, but then it was only 10 hours a week. Thank goodness for U of Phoenix, where I have taught online for some 13 years.

Two weeks ago, I spent six minutes in a bankruptcy hearing, so that my plans to pay off my credit cards (but not student loans) came to fruition, although not in the way I envisioned. I’d planned to work 2-3 more years at my top earnings, getting a better deal on Social Security, and actually paying off the credit. Still, it’s working out. No credit. No hassle.

I am retired…at least, I’m getting Social Security…and still working part time. The chronic health issues with my legs seem to be clearing up, another year long battle. Like Janis, I’m  “just like a turtle, hiding underneath my horny shell.”

With all this “free” time, I thought I would be writing a lot, but that’s not the case, as my WIP is languishing in revision as I rethink where I want it to go. I’ve taken up painting again, just for fun, but mostly I’m watching a lot of Netflix, to the point where Netflix added a new category to my feed: Bingeworthy. Watching a series front to back in the space of a couple of weeks certainly gives one an understanding not only of episode arc, but character arc, season arc, and series arc. I’d like to think that  I’m researching story, but what I have been doing is hiding.

Now it’s time to climb up out of the pond scum, get off the roller coaster, and decide where I’m going to put my creative energies. If I can claim that I have just been tired, I think nap time is over (not that I won’t take a nap now and then) . It’s time to get a new perspective and to let the scum dry and flake off my life.  The pond is always there, but I don’t have to get back on the roller coaster.

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