Sunday, July 11, 2010

A New Post! At Long Last!

I guess it's been a few months, but here I am. Writing a post on the ole bloggereeno.

To say I've been busy is an understatement. Today, I've taken an actual day off. I wasn't going to, but yesterday's weather report had predicted a total poop-fest for today and I just wasn't up for working in the rain. Again. It's difficult for a number of reasons. (1) People don't shop in the rain. (2) Soap doesn't like rain. (3) My feet don't enjoy standing in puddles of water. Seriously, you work twice as hard and make half as much during rainy days. Lo and behold, though, it was a GLORIOUS day. Still, it was nice to have a leisurely brunch with the "weekend off" people, particularly my boyfriend, who I never seem to run out of fun conversation with.

Earlier in the year, for nearly 2 months, I took a contract with my old company. It was my slow time, so I needed a little gig before my outdoor season started back up. I asked not to do anything too involved. I just wanted some busy-type work, since I was still running my business, too, and didn't want to burn out. I went back to my old company with a fresh set of eyes. When you fund your entire operation, you are responsible for all of your expenses. From business cards to paper clips to product materials and everything in between. I used to walk around my old office not really thinking about how the copy paper got there or who paid for it. Suddenly, it came into my consciousness that someone was pounding the pavement to earn the business that was paying for all that stuff. Let alone salaries and benefits and utility bills. I just gained this whole new appreciation for everything.

Being a solopreneur is hard work, but I feel reeeeeeeeeaaaaaallly proud of the money in my bank account. Because I know where every single cent came from. Even though it isn't as much as my old salary, it gives me a lot of satisfaction.

My mother is hanging in. Her cancer is spreading, particularly in her lungs. I still take her for her treatments every week. She is on a new chemo now and taking low dosages of a steroid to help her breathing. She is relatively stable and the steroid keeps her appetite up which is good. But really, I just don't know. I am still holding onto my "one day at a time" philosophy, which seems to work. I hate that we've all just gotten so used to living with this horrible sadness. If I knew that she was somehow going to make a recovery, I don't think my body could handle the joy. My head would just explode. For now, I try keep the disease separate from the person and keep our conversations as normal as possible. Humor is a good weapon and we use it often to help defeat a lot of the tragedy of the situation.

Spending hours every week in a cancer clinic has been an interesting experience for me. I no longer fear death. When you are surrounded by people who live with cancer, killing them slowly, taking their dignity away, eroding them, you realize just how strong the human spirit is. Cancer can break you physically, but it can't take away your heart. Ever. Still, if I found out that I had terminal cancer, I doubt I would put myself through the agony of chemotherapy. A nice fall off the Brooklyn Bridge would be faster, cost less and be less taxing on everyone. I know, I say that now, but. But nothing. I don't have what it takes to go through what my mother deals with on a daily basis. Everyone is different.

I listen to NPR all day in my workshop. I process a lot of shitty national and world news. And I find myself getting all worked up and pissed off while I am soaping. There are several main issues that have gotten stuck in my craw and I am just mystified as to why our nation hasn't responded with rioting in the streets.

1. The bailing out of "no fail" banks and corporations that, through deregulation, have tanked our economy, put thousands and thousands of Americans out of work, created one of the worst real estate catastrophes in our nation's history - all while betting against the American people.

2. Healthcare providers forcing employers and individual policy owners to pay 40% more on their premiums, but continuing to pay their brass millions in annual salaries plus thousands in cash bonuses.

3. The military calling severe headaches and other cerebral symptoms of veterans of the Iraq war "pre-existing conditions," thus denying them healthcare benefits.

4. The devastation of the BP oil spill in the Gulf. How fucking long does it take to build a fucking cap and stop that shit from gushing?

5. Arizona. I agree that we desperately need immigration reform, but discrimination is not the way to go.

6. Afghanistan. I hate that we think everyone needs a democracy. It's a terrible use of our resources. Why must we impose our beliefs and politics everywhere? And what kind of example are we when we've got two parties that couldn't be more divided right now?

7. Gay Marriage. I still don't understand why this topic is even being debated! We have a Constitution. Let's use it. Marriage is good for the economy, for crying out loud. And so is divorce, for that matter.

I feel like each of these points should be followed by, "There Should Be Rioting in the Streets!"