********************If you stopped by today looking for a light-hearted, cheerful post then you might want to pass this one by because I can tell you before I even finish the first sentence that this is not going to be one. Should you choose to stay and read then at least I can say that you were warned ahead of time and yet chose to take your chances anyway!
Before I start bitching and whining about things (ah-ha, so that's what this post is going to be like, eh?) let me just chalk my current mood up to a few things like the nasty weather that we get in New England this time of year, the lousy quality of sleep I get most nights, and a job where I just want to beat my head against the dispatch console sometimes.
Don't get me wrong, I love my job and I would like to think that I am good at it; as many years as I've been dispatching, I hope I'm good at it but that doesn't necessarily prove true in all cases! However, there are days like today - days when there are already so many scheduled calls on the spreadsheet that you have no idea where you are going to put any more but you have to because the phones keep ringing and the schedulers need to give the facility that's calling some sort of time remotely close to the one that they're asking for. Never mind the emergencies that you have to factor in, too - sometimes it just seems impossible. Then add on people going home sick or injured and you're basically up the proverbial creek sans any sort of paddle. If you've ever played Tetris and get to the part where the tiles are falling faster and faster and you're finding it harder and harder to find a spot where they will fit in then you know exactly what I'm talking about!
Today was one of those days so naturally I came home a little stressed around the edges and probably needing a drink or two but I don't really drink - not very often anyway! Good thing, too, as I can see where my job might eventually lead one to becoming a raging alcoholic but I've always believed that getting drunk doesn't really help as once you're sober not only are all the problems you were drinking to get away from still there but now you've got a hang-over to boot! Plus there's the fact that I can't afford to drink.
My finances are an even bigger source of stress for me then not having enough ambulances or wheelchair vans to go around. As I have said in the past, most unfortunately I did not inherit my mother's flair for finances. When it comes to managing my money, I truly stink on ice. Truly!
A few years back I was actually starting to make some headway and not only keeping my head above water but having enough extra to maybe go to a movie or out to eat once in awhile or other little things that we all like to do to enjoy life. There was nothing extravagant - no cruises, no trips to Disney, nothing like that but I could scrape up enough money to go visit my friends in California or take a train trip down to New York City with my bud Paula, things like that but now ... forget it.
I was looking at the calendar this morning and counting the days until I need to take Jamie to the airport and it was depressing as hell. She leaves in just a little over a week and we haven't been able to do much of anything this summer because I've barely been able to keep the lights turned on and some sort of food in the kitchen. We've been to one movie and went on our trip to Hartford (which was mostly free stuff) and that's been it. Amanda has really been wanting to go see the new Harry Potter movie but even that has been out of my reach financially.
There are times when I feel like a failure. I am almost fifty years old and I have no savings to speak of. If I lost my job tomorrow I'd be living under the railroad bridge with the other homeless probably within a month as it would take about that long for my landlord to kick me out (nice guy that he may be, he needs to pay the mortgage on this place). I wouldn't be able to live in my car either as no doubt that would be repossessed shortly after I got booted out of the house!
Of course, there would be some advantages to living under the bridge - I would no longer have to worry about the ridiculously high utility bills that stress me out every month, there would be no messy house with the girls' stuff tossed all over it to rankle me, I could qualify for Medicaid and have all my health benefits paid 100%, and Norwich has a really nice Soup Kitchen downtown so I wouldn't have to worry about food. Amanda probably wouldn't like the accommodations but she could always go live in Florida with her Dad and sister. I'm sure he'd continue to bug me for child support but as you know, you can't get blood from a stone or a turnip plus he'd have to find me first!
There are days when I wake up in the morning and while trying to talk myself into getting up and going to work I ask myself "Is this it? Is this what the rest of my life is going to be like?" It's a rather depressing thought overall. I get up (eventually) - I go to work - I come home - I attempt to feed the girls something - I do my blogging - I read a bit - I go to bed - I toss and turn most of the night - and then I get up in the morning and it all starts over again. There appears to be something missing.
Barring all the whining though, I'm not unhappy - really I'm not! I guess I'm just tired of being under all this single-parent stress - financially, emotionally, and even physically to a certain extent. This is my second go-round with being a single parent as I raised my son on my own from age 6 months to 11 years and I can remember feeling this way then, too, but I was a lot younger and I think it was easier to deal with. Right now I just feel sort of overwhelmed at times.