Category: A is for…


I always think of myself as a number, and that number is always nine. I am nine. Now, this is very simple, yet quite profound…
Take nine, add it to any other number, say 8… ok that’s seventeen… ok then add the two digits of 17 and you get… eight. Try it. Over and over, as often as you want. Anytime you add any other number to nine, the result will be that other number (I continue adding until I reach a single digit number). There’s a lot more to this, but we’re just going with this one little idea for now.

So, 9 + 5 is 14, 1 + 4, is 5.
9 + 1 is 10, 1 + 0 is 1.
2 + 9 is 11, 1 + 1 is 2.

What happens to 9? It is gone, it seems. But, in reality, it is not. It has co-mingled with the other number to, in essence, become one with it. Hence, 9 is better able to understand 1, or 4, 0r 8 because it can actually become that number, when the two are added together.

For the longest time, I didn’t realize what this meant to me in my life, specifically, in my relationships. No matter what type of relationship. Platonic. Intimate. Emotional. Associative. In every relationship I enter into, I must be strong and vigilant, or I can lose myself in that relationship. Instead of standing tall and proud and being me – 9, I can become anything the other soul in the relationship desires, up to and including, them.
So I am psychically sensitive. If I don’t take care, keep alert and be cautious, I can be overtaken by the power of just about any soul that chooses to exercise such control. Do you know how scary that is? Have you ever once, been afraid that you might lose your own identity, will, self such that you are no longer you?

And so many of my S/O (significant other) type relationships would fail, because, after a time, there were no longer 2 souls in the relationship, there was one. Because I didn’t know how to keep us separate and unique. I don’t think, when we think about it, that is what many of us really want. We already have a relationship with ourselves, hopefully one that is strong, full of respect and love and encouragement. Hopefully one that is kind, supportive, as eager and enthusiastic as I am to grow, to express, to be, to learn, to share. But, I didn’t always have that, because I was always in relationships, living, working, being, eating, feeling in the midst of others, and I had no idea how their mere existence affected me. So often, what I thought was me, my thoughts, my strengths, my desires were usually some of mine, but also some of anyone else who might be in the vicinity of me. No wonder I was confused.

I always wondered how can I know what is right (for me). Or, the best option (for me). Or, even, what I most wanted (for me). I could never understand how someone could know themselves so well, that while still in their teens, they KNEW what they wanted to do with their life. Or what they wanted to BE when they grew up. Because all along, it was them and only them who was exerting any influence on them, even if someone would externally try to convince or get them to feel anything but their own feelings, thoughts and stuff.

No wonder I was confused.

Now, I have to figure out what I’m going to do about it. I really don’t want to live the life of a hermit, though, for the most part, I am happy doing that. But I feel like I miss out on so much. So much joy and inspiration and all that other great stuff that comes from serendipitous interactions. I’m good, but I want more than me, dammit.

I do feel like it’s a big step, becoming aware of how this all works – at least I’m not at the mercy of every whim and urge that passes me by. And it has seemed to make a difference in how I seek knowledge. I am eager, voracious, in fact for information, opinions, perspectives and all sorts of stuff. On just about any subject, there are so many in which I have more than just a passing interest. Now that I have defined (finally) my own identity, boundaries, interests (for today, anyway) I just can’t get enough. Add to that how much joy I get out of looking on my own for info and knowledge that is way deeper than what I normally would be exposed to… well, let’s just say, I’m havin’ a ball!!!

Almost as important to me as the seeking, is the sharing of what tidbits or volumes I find that somehow fit into some little corner of my growth. Another thing I have learned along the way is the serenditpty of it all is just as valuable as the directed search or contact. What I mean by that is, I can’t tell you how often I have found just the gem of knowledge that clicks a gazillion things into place for me in my vast internal information banks. It could be just the subject that I haven’t quite been able to identify, or the very answer to a simple question that I’ve been dealing with for god knows how long. And all that happened because someone, somewhere, somewhen decided they wanted to share.

So I have my purposely placed goals, paths of inquiry, perhaps even some results I might be able to create out of all this intellectual (and emotional and whatever other curiosities I’m driven by) information and further resources for information.

So, I’m off to seek and find and seek and find and seek and find and share… until the next time I just have to ask…

What’s it all about, Alfie………….?

🙂

Angst’s set? Or mine?

Angst’s set? Or mine?

This is, as you may have guessed, a chapter in the angsty story whose exposition I’d presented in my post Angst. This is also (blush, little bow, giggle) my 20th post… so something of a milestone in MY world, any way… thenk you, thenk you vry much (my inner Elvis says)… so, moving right along…

Another small aside, regarding angst, It’s everywhere. Including in making decisions about exactly what do I really want to post in this blog. Should I stick to one type of writing, real life, fictional shorts, non-fiction essays, etc.? And I admit, I don’t want to exclude/discontinue the occasional media post, and I’m sure as heck keeping my FractalFridays intact. Idk, Idk, Idk. Angst – my friend, my doubter, my sidekick, my insecurity, my challenger, my purpose driver, my ever present self/devil’s advocate. So, since I’m keeping myself to one blog only, for the time being, I permit myself to post what I want, when I want. This is what I feel like posting today.

Point: me. 15-love.

The past couple weeks have been quite enlightening for me in several ways, perhaps even an epiphany or so (wait… was there.. but I… isn’t that… the 6th… perhaps a holy day…?), but, that’s not what today’s post is about…

Today I want to celebrate the road to a couple of small, albeit impactful, strategic successes…

You may recall that fiscally, I live very, not in any understated way do I mean very, close to the edge. Also, in the works is an arrangement between my friend, PC and myself. This arrangement, if successful would mean many benefits for each of us, and even if it would become impossible due to circumstances beyond either of our control, I was promised a minimal sweet benefit, something I needed but would not have been able to afford on my personal budget.

While that began to take shape, I decided to take care of a few loose ends myself, with a great need to focus on the fiscal bottom line, at whose edge I was very close.. This included picking up my monthly Rx batch, which is always a hefty part of the monthly budget (about 18% hefty), which I did, trying to keep it bright and positive as I spent such a chunk of my monthly funds on it. It helps that I have a friendly professional respect for all the Pharmacy personnel with whom I deal, and they seem to have the same for me. I should interject here, that due to discounts and other lovely saving options, my funds are spread into several (4 major and a couple minor) cups, shall we say. Hence, one of the biggest challenges of this day would be to keep balances straight, such that cups were taken from wisely, while not depleting any of these into the negative.

So, I proceeded, gathering supplies for the next couple weeks with the strongest staying power and the least fiscal damage, making sure to cover all nutritional and sundry needs, mine and the cats’. By the time I was at my last stop, it was necessary to really be on my toes, there being great juggling and dancing skills now required. So far, so good. I kept the cashier in the loop, explaining as we began, there were going to be 3 separate transactions (cups, to you and me) depending on how much could be taken from each cup allowing for the best use of discounts and such (really, it’s quite complicated, sometimes). Needless to say, the young cashier did not grasp any of the concepts of why, nor any of the parameters I’d clearly stated. I advised at the same time, that my processing speed might not quite match hers, asking for her patience. That part was totally missed. She just grabbed and scanned, grabbed and scanned, reaching out for whatever she could, not the least interested in any sort of plan, etc I had. While this was going on, there whooshed up next in line, a young man accompanied by a team member, throwing his items onto the counter close and directly behind what I’d put onto the counter, with many still in my cart to be carefully sorted, moved to another cup, etc. I mentioned to said young man and his team member friend, there to see the guest actually performed the payment ritual, rather than skipping out once the alert team member had left him on his own, that I would probably be a while, so they might want choose another, quicker exit route (hoping to quiet the deafening chatter, so I could perform with the mental agility I needed here). They remained where they were. As I (having kept an eye on the rising total as she robotically grabbed and scanned) stopped the cashier deciding this cup was done, so let’s put this transaction to bed she was really more interested in what the young man and his team member friend were discussing. She did, however, oh so innocently ask about the cat food still in my cart –“ you don’t want it then?” No, I reminded her, I would have 3 separate payments, this one was full. So then we got through the rest with me only having to relinquish a couple of OTC products that I talked myself into foregoing, in favor of cat food.

Then, as I was transferring all the lovely packages into my vehicle, it hit me. Slam. Prior to stopping at this favorite one-stop shop, I had stopped at the garage for the to-the-penny estimate required by PC for some work needed for the pending arrangement between the two of us. OK, I’d told myself, time to fill the tank. However, I selected the wrong cup for this, and forgotten that entirely, which meant that all my mental gymnastics, math and calm planning had been kicked out from under me – by MYSELF!!!  AAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!!!

What a disaster, I could face, NSF, unpaid/rejected debits… OMG what a mess…

So this tipped the score to 15 all.

So, the entire ride home, I’m not yet into full panic, but can see it looming large on the horizon.

OK, so home, rested and ready for mental/fiscal battle. Come what may, I knew that somehow I could rearrange funds, such that my damages would be minimal… here, I should remind of the time delay between some transactions and banks, depending on which cup is used, and such. I am aware that when it comes down to it, the transaction date is the bar, the column by which all other factors are sorted. I immediately went online, with all accounts visible and available for electronic manipulating. Unfortunately, there was no way, using these tools only, I would be able to rectify this, so I had to quickly search and find what other options I had access to.

Almost immediately, it came to mind to return to pharmacy, ask that some credits be posted back to first & most dire cup, then recharging, as necessary. This would do quite well, I ascertained, knowing in the back of my mind that in the electronic age, weekends and overnight are not the friends they used to be in fiscal management, but still hold court. Here is where I must take a moment to acknowledge and express gratitude to those same pharmacy personnel I earlier mentioned. I instantly knew (from decades of managing in that industry myself) the most direct path to quick and painless resolution to my dilemma would be through the pharmacy, directly. Not just “the pharmacy”, but the top dog, ruler of the domain, she/he who must be obeyed, the head pharmacist. No service desk for me, with hours of repeating situation/problem/suggested resolution going up the food chain until I would be totally exhausted and frustrated and lectured beyond even my deep patience, again, having been there, done that. So my first call to ID Top Dog (3 top dogs in total, all with whom I have intelligent, respectful, friendly, balanced relationships) got me to this weekend’s top dog, NM. I barely needed to provide basic info, she was all, don’t worry about a thing, we can take care of you, bring what you mentioned (paperwork wise) and we’ll take care of you. And they did. Though NM was herself too busy to make time for it, she asked me (!!!) if I minded that she delegate the process to AA, a sweet, intelligent member of the team whom I hadn’t seen a lot of lately, but trusted 100% to understand and take the appropriate actions. So, with about a sentence of background given to her by NM, AA proceeded to do what needed doing, in fact – she was not already mired in confusion, as was I, and was way ahead of me as we finished up. I’d bought a Starbuck’s GC for NM, and will also bring one in for AA to express my deep gratitude at their cheerful willingness to work with me, not against me, in resolution of, admittedly, my problem.

Nice. Point – me; 30 – 15.

So, just to keep up, I reviewed cup account online and found, to my deepest dismay, I had forgotten to take into account the “my bad” fees I would suffer for my transgressions, so the math was STILL off.  So, now, it’s just me and the cup providers. They, as well, usually provide service levels of reason and integrity, and even, on occasion, proactive in nature so my hopes were high. The bottom line resolution I hoped for was one we could arrive at over the phone, rather than one that left me required to drive across town and provide an actual signature.

So I get A1 on the line. I immediately clarified my intent not to request credit for the “my bad”  fees, even then she then expressed sadness that since I’d already had the annual courtesy waiver, she could not provide that for me. It usually keeps things moving more smoothly if the opportunity to read between the lines, that which may not even be between the lines is removed. A couple options were suggested by me, things which I’d thought to be able to perform myself online, but could not. The possibility of more “my bads” was still looming. The disposition of the recent “my bads” (ie “too bad”) would greatly escalate my situation and angst. A1 was able to take the “too bads”  off the table, fixed, while we were still on the phone. Her remaining option seemed to be the last I would need, but was subject to the approval of a “top dog” somewhere, whom she would contact, requesting such approval. All I could do, at that point, was wait to hear what was decided. Because the day was getting away from me and I had yet to hear, I called back, this time getting A2. She was, in fact, sad, like A1, about the fees, and did not know what earlier request status was. So she offered yet another, even better resolution, which she would then send up the food chain, as was the first one already, and I expressed angst over the passing time, which directly affected me getting to their location for that “live” signature, if that should become necessary. A2 truly got that and promised to get right on it.

In the meantime, A1’s top dog did call me back, with positive response, in that our original request was approved, and did not require my presence, my signature. Shortly after that, A2 herself called me back advising her best yet option was in fact approved, and again, did not require my presence or my signature.

So, my relief was complete.

New score: Angst 15, me 40. Not bad.

One last checkup is in order. All resolutions have been applied at bank, “too bads” turned back into “OK’s” and one more little manipulation by me. Just have to wait until tomorrow, hopefully before but mayhaps after close of business to confirm, but I’m pretty certain the point will be mine.

And Set. But, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Namaste all.

🙂

Angst…

Namaste…

Please bear with me… I am a new blogger and hope to entertain or inform or other cool things… I certainly don’t want to bore anyone, but if I do… oh well, boredom happens…

Ok, so let’s say we start with “A”… angst, good a place as any… we all know angst… it’s like the literary or adult version of anxiety…

lots of things cause me angst, eg I’m currently reading (on my newish Kindle) a Dean Koontz book,  which I knew would be angst riddled, in fact, it’s is an angst sandwich – before I reopen it, I’m in angst because I know something really terrible is going to happen (because he keeps saying it is)… then while  reading, I don’t want to put it down, cause I’d like to get the really scary part soon and get it over with…. Then after putting it away, unfinished, of course, I’m in angst knowing I’ll be worrying about whether I’ll have bad dreams and what if what he’s alludes to as bad is really going to happen and is so much worse than I imagine… that isn’t exactly what I meant by literary reference, but it is still a current angst for me…

There are lots of other things that cause me angst… like how I’m going to survive on $400 less/month fixed income when I’m barely making it now on $2200/month…  and that’s still nowhere near the “poverty level” – I’m on SS Disability, so even if there were any to be had, getting a job is not really an option… except maybe a work from home option offered by an authorized Employment Network (EN), which look promising (don’t all work from home schemes?!?!?)… problem is the EN wants me to be in the hands of an authorized Vocational Rehab (VR) Counselor (state) program, so the (federal) EN gets paid… their instructions say to contact SS dept to get a “Ticket to Work” mailed to me, but SS Dept says they don’t mail them out anymore, so I don’t need one…  I’m still in the pre-pre-preparing stage of this process, as I still need to purchase some hardware (phones that work, headsets w/mics attached), which I can’t afford until next payday, which is my second to last one before the big income reduction… lots of angst over that… feels like I may have to choose between eating or getting my Rx’s… what a choice…

Then there was the really emotional angst I had to get through when I went on Medicare (my retirement insurance no longer would cover me because after a certain amount of time, being on disability)… I became eligible for Medicare… when I was young, I used to think Medicare was cool… boy oh boy, was I wrong… I did my due diligence, found out I pay a monthly premium for Medicare, then realized I needed supplemental insurance (NOT cheap) as well as something to cover prescriptions, which at the time counted about 20 per month… then, like a punch to the gut, I find about about the doughnut hole, which it feels like they really try to keep you from finding out about until you’re in the middle of it… not there’s anything I can do to avoid it… everyone should know about the Doughnut hole… it works like this… you pay for full Rx prices until deductible has been paid, then Part D (Rx plan) kicks in and if you can get the generic of everything you need, it’s not that bad, but there are some things not covered, like Proventil, asthma  inhaler, and Advair maintenance asthma product that has no generic, so copay is kinda high… anyway… this keeps up until approx. $2900 has been paid (by both the plan and me) toward my Rx’s… then doooooowwwwnnnnn I go into the Doughnut hole, which really sucks… in the Doughnut Hole until  total of about $4900  has been paid (by me and plan) I pay for most everything, with little if any copays…. Slam… what I paid $40 for last month, now costs me $200 and that’s just one of my Rx’s… so in all the angst of it I had to reassess all my Rx’s, decided what was more important, breathing (asthma) or cholesterol, depression or tremors, etc… somehow I managed to reduce my Rx list to about ½ of what it started out as, but I know that I should be taking lots of other things, and more of some that I’ve cut back for the long term, but I have to make decisions in the short term like reducing and repairing the inflammation from RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) or barely keeping it at bay as well as the pain of it, because I can’t afford the $90 copay of the repairing drug (that’s before the doughnut hole) or barely afford the drug that manages to keep it somewhat at bay, but that  also causes cysts and nodules to grow, like on my fingers… and of course, once in the doughnut hole (happened in July this year) through the rest of the year I’ll never get out of it, because I have to pay until something like the next  $4900 has been paid (all by myself)… so there you have it… LOTS of angst… and then, on their commercials, all these drugs tell you “if you can’t afford to pay, call…” which means they MIGHT pay the cost of your FIRST copay (up to a specific limit), but after that you’re on your own…

My angst is not always about me… I have a friend who has Parkinsons and since he’s been healthy all his life, this has thrown him way off balance… I worry that he’s becoming really depressed and doesn’t even realize it… this really affects his judgment and decision making abilities… and he was always the one who enlightened others… he has a pretty good caregiver for the time being, but as his symptoms increase, so does his fear of an unknown future…

So I try not to let angst be my main focus, because I certainly can’t afford more anti-depressants to deal with that negativity, and I don’t want my life to descend into low to no quality for those kinds of reasons… besides, I’m usually an optimist, sometimes to the point that it pisses me off…

And now, I must admit, since I know someone might be reading this, I wanted to start talking about real stuff, not just rambling… not too successful, I’d say, at least on the rambling part… but I’ll be working on that… so that’s it for today… I believe my next planned posting will be titled  “Bobo” – bet you can’t wait…

Have a great day… and now I’m off to read the very interesting posts of everybody else…

PS in the interest of full disclosure, my icon is really me, but many decades ago…  just so you know…

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