the story i am about to tell you is true.
i have been unable to sleep peacefully for several weeks and haven't slept at all for the past two nights. i have had a playful migraine since Thanksgiving. i spent the last eight hours laying in bed, pining about what to do, who to call, where to go. only creating an incredibly "real" feeling of contemplating the contemplation of alternatives. so that was a waste of at least six hours.
after compulsively checking my email and eating two king-sized Butterfingers in the darkness, i decided perhaps a good purging may start the flow of some 2014 binging.
once upon a time during November, upon returning from a trip to Boston, i stopped working. i haven't worked a day since mid-November. at least not for money. why? a single parent of two with exorbitant lifestyle choices ... whiskey tango foxtrot!
you see, just over a year ago i signed a 2-year non-compete agreement. we all do, right? unfortunately i resigned from the company in May and decided to go back to consulting and freelance writing. my particular non-compete has been interpreted to be inclusive of the consulting i was doing, where i was doing it, etc etc intelligo nare. in summation, my previous employer decided to possibly maybe enforce my non-compete contract, and attorneys met and were spoken to and of, and names were named, calls were made, avenues explored, and my source of income was suddenly halted. like a car coming to a screeching halt. like teenagers getting busted by Mom during a makeout sesh in the backseat. like a heart attack. like, f*ck. that just really happened?
of course i wasn't prepared financially. however, if you can ever be incredibly unprepared, i can check a big fat HELLLLLYES! in that box on the bucket list of life events. the week before Thanksgiving? fourth quarter? holidays? probably the worst time to be looking for a job. financially, i had just spent my savings on the aforementioned trip to Boston, bought The Teenager a brand new car, planned a trip to Las Vegas for The Teenager's December birthday, and was settling in for a rockin' Christmas followed by sweet Jameson to ring in 2014. so there was that.
the trip was canceled, there was some pretty rockin' Christmas Fireball to burn holes in the lining of my stomach, and Cooks was just fine as i rolled over to my side of the bed and into a new year.
fast forward to today. rent has not been paid. two car payments are now late. car insurance is not going to go through. the checking account is overdrawn threatening legitimate closure of my account. and here i sit drinking a cup of coffee made by a $200 Keurig® Platinum Plus Brewing System (to be fair, it was a Christmas gift) and admire my Christmas decorations (tree included) that are still up.
i am horrified about the call i have to put in to my landlord and praying to God that this city bill is somehow a practical joke for the holidays:
did you know peptic ulcers cause muscle spasms in your belly? they do. it's the closest thing to contractions during child birth i have ever felt. soda pop causes them sometimes. if you have IBS or Crohns', i think they are deadly.
it was just last night i discovered The Teenager's magnification mirror. sweet mary mother of jehovah! in the process of carving a small hole in my cheek to remove what appeared to be a ginormous whitehead (and yet invisible to the naked eye), i discovered that all those hits to the jaw i have been taking did indeed crack a tooth.
to be precise: "you sheared the distal cusp right off and could lose the tooth if you don't get it checked real soon. why have you been hit in the jaw so much?"
i am terrified of the dentist. i don't have insurance. did i mention the incredible fear i have of going to the dentist? muscle spasms starting ... now. my teeth are all i have left! and even though i still ate those damn Butterfingers with a shattering distal cusp, the teeth are the final straw. like the hand of God ripping me out of bed and shoving me out the door into the cold streets, i have got to find a source of income. today. or a loan. or a free dentist. it's about to get real in here. i am going to start by selling our family's third car, Beatrice, the minivan. i am ashamed of myself for being such a taker. i've read "Ishmael." 125,000 gallons of water? what in the hell is wrong with us? and what have i given?
that's right. the hero's dramatic conclusion is such:
1. i baked. i only bake when i am unemployed. i made real homemade sugar cookies from scratch, delicious homemade rolls, butterscotch cookies from scratch, and homemade alfredo. for other people, too.
2. i cleaned the downstairs office so that the house was more livable. friendly. warm.
3. i have been able to watch some amazing football. college football at its finest. getting caught up on all my sports. laying in bed watching game after game. smelling march madness. thus supporting a big segment of the future of tomorrow: student athletes.
4. i have spent hours with the girls. hours and hours. and i adore them and will never wish i didn't have that. oh! we finally had family pictures taken.
5. the kitchen is really organized and i can make any cup of coffee i want in 30 seconds.
i already started taking halfway through the list. to be honest, i almost forgot how small my problems are. i have options. any complaints are ugly truths you should quickly disbelieve. i am off to find things to do while i am in the belly of this whale.
from my glorious horoscope this week by the brilliant Rob Brezsny, my goal this week is to take advice from Dan Albergotti's poetry: "Organize your calendar. Dream of the beach. Review each of your life's ten million choices. Find the evience of those before you. Listen for the sound of your heart. Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope, where you can rest and wait."
and breathe. it has been tragically magical to not be on any type of retainer or regimen, but it's time to move on.