Monday, April 01, 2013

Paw Prints and the indelible ink of hope

Last night I went into my bedroom to find that someone had dismantled a blue pen on my bed. There were inky paw prints everywhere - on the bedding, the arm of the futon, a trail of them going over my desk. It didn't take long for me to catch the culprit. Lucky for the little blue pawed bastard, I love him more than any stupid old sheets, the futon was only there temporarily until I can get a new bed, and I have bigger problems than him staining the top of a cheap desk.

In some ways, it seemed the perfect goodbye to what turned out to be (save for a some brilliantly shining friends and family moments) a completely craptactular month. One last inky pain in the ass to say goodbye to the March. It was not a good month. My string of bad luck ranged from losing my job a week before my birthday and scheduled vacation to wrenching my back so badly I've barely been able to walk since Friday. Getting out of bed in the morning is now a whole process that involves many cycles of "scoot-scoot-grimace-rest", followed by "stand-giant grimace-moan of pain-tears". There has been a lot of worrying, a lot of stress eating of homemade baked goods (remind me to share my chocolate chip cookie and peanutbutter bar recipes), and, I am not ashamed to admit, some crying. If there was ever a time to put me on Prozac, March was it!

Then there was jury duty. Before the whole bankruptcy thing started, I had been summoned to go do my civic duty at the beginning of April. I had just talked to my boss about it, the day before I was let go. At the time, I was worried about the deadline driven nature of my job, but he told me to go ahead and go anyway. In retrospect, I understand his lack of concern, but I sent the little card back, saying I would be there.

Then, I found out last Wednesday that, if I want it, I can have my job back for a month (maybe more). I called the jury coordinator to see if I could defer my service. She was very sympathetic when I told her about the financial hardship of losing my job and how I'd just gotten it back. After two weeks with no pay, I really did not want to be starting my new temp job with two days off, so she agreed to make an exception. In exchange for sending a letter with 10 future dates within six month that I will be available to serve, I am excused for now.

Now, for a normal person, this would be awesome news. Being an anxious freak, I immediately started fretting over which dates and worrying that if I were still looking for a permanent job when the service came up again, it might get in the way. I got myself so worried about it that I almost decided to just go and complete the service now. But I pulled myself together and sent the letter anyway. While it meant (at least for now) losing the one perk of jury duty (my self-conferred title of Captain Justice), it was the right thing to do.

And, boy, did it turn out to be a good decision, because the next day, I wrenched my back and have been gimping around with pain and muscle spasms ever since. I wish I could say that I hurt myself in some cool way (repelling down a mountain, saving an orphans and their basket of kittens from a fire, etc.), but the truth is that I bent down to pick up a dogfood dish and twisted it. As sexy accidents that don't make me feel old go, this one leaves a lot to be desired.

While it also means that I did not work today as planned, there is also no way that I could handle taking the bus downtown, walking to the courthouse or sitting around in a hard chair all day waiting to be called or not to be called. At least this way, I can take heavy pain killers that make me sleepy and not worry about sentencing someone to life in prison, because I was crabby and in pain. And, I hear it rumored that my health benefits will be reinstated today or tomorrow, so I can even get actual medical attention instead of treating myself with leftover vicodin and homemade herbal concoctions.

So, while March went out with pain and ink, I am seeing little glimmers of better luck for April. Jobs are good, even if possibly only temporary. Health insurance is really good. I have an appointment with a chiropractor, the sun is shining, and I've stopped drawing the tower and other assorted ill dignified cards as my tarot card of the day.

Hey, it's a start right?

So now for me, for you, for anyone whose March was not so great, may April be everything the last month wasn't.

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