Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tired, but Earnest in my Efforts…

Work was slow today which was very odd for our Wal-Mart.  It is usually a very bustling, busy place with cars and people constantly coming and going.  Keeping the carts corralled was an overly easy job today for which was probably a good thing as I didn’t get any good sleep again last night. I got maybe two hours of sleep before work and my eyes were burning from the lack of it.  I listened to Coast to Coast AM again all night until about 5am.  I slept from 5am till 7am and got up and took a shower and readied myself for work. The screech of my alarm clock was a rude awakening. I haven’t slept on a regular schedule or basis in years.  I would just always sleep whenever I grew tired and sleepy no matter what time of the day or night it was.  No long late afternoon naps today as I usually do as I attempt to get on a nocturnal sleeping regimen.  I am just going to have to make myself stay up all day today despite the extreme discomfort it will cause with the hopes that I will sleep through the night tonight.  A good night’s rest before work is so much more important and crucial than Coast to Coast AM to me at this point any day.  I need the rest for my mental health as well. I felt a little shaky today with my old nemesis anxiety trying to crop up despite taking a Klonopin at nine.

There was an old milk crate sitting inside where the shopping carts are kept near where the greeter stands and I brought it outside the store to sit upon as a surveyed my proving grounds and drank bottle after bottle of cold water from my cooler this morning. I was waiting for more carts to gather, but they were only slowly piling up.  I had grown tired of just standing around and pacing endlessly in agitation at having nothing to do.  I so wanted to stay busy today to stay alert and awake. It felt nice to sit down, though, but I found myself nodding off. I was so very sleepy this morning after my late night. 

I had spent about fifteen minutes out of boredom on my break in the electronics department salivating over all the future purchases I wanted to make – especially keen on the iPod Touch.  It looked so svelte and enticing sitting in it’s display case. I had visions of being able to keep up with the weather, blog comments, and Twitter during my slow moments and breaks at work hoping to use our store’s Wi-Fi if it reaches outside.  Why does Apple make such overly enticing gadgets for us electronics geeks?  $275 dollars is a lot of yards to mow at $15 dollars for each lawn!  I also want an iPad for blog browsing, but that is $500 and I will have to save carefully for it over many months.  It is definitely a luxury purchase. That’s what dad has told me he is going to get me for Christmas,, but I don’t think I can wait that long.

I also picked out the printer I am going to buy when I get my first paycheck in a few days.  It was only $39.95 much to my surprise.  I has been years since I bought a computer printer and my, have the prices dropped! I remember paying about $200 dollars for a printer about a decade ago when I was married. I didn’t need anything special, though.  Just something for which to print out blog posts to mail to George.  George is just going to be thrilled at getting these posts.  Mail is one of the biggest joys when you are in jail.  I have been lax in writing him lately finding pen and paper tedious and he keeps pleading for letters and news in what he writes me almost every day. 

“Slow day?” my supervisor asked as she stepped outside to check on me at one point.  She’s such a pretty lady.  I have found myself enamored with her and look up to her very much.  She has been so kind to me and very accommodating.

“I was hoping it would be busy,” I said in my defense feeling uncomfortable at having been caught sitting down.  I was definitely caught with my pants down today. I pray she didn’t think ill of me.  I certainly don’t want to come across as lazy. 

“You can go ahead and clock out and head home if you want to,” she told me. “I hate you don’t have anything to do today.  It’s got to be very hot sitting out here in the sun.”

I looked at my watch and it was only 10:30am.  I didn’t want to go home just yet.

“Can I stay?” I asked with almost a pleading air to my voice.  “I really need the money and the work.”

My supervisor smiled very broadly at my enthusiasm and said I could stay if we could find something for me to do.  She stood there for a few moments deep in thought. 

“Go out and pick up trash in the parking lot,” she finally told me giving me busy work. “I will go inside and get you a trash bag.”

So I spent my last hour and half picking up cigarette butts and trash occasionally bringing a few carts inside.  I was astounded at what people will just throw out of their cars.  People will just empty their ashtrays from their cars directly into the parking lot. I also picked up a lot of fast food bags and marveled at the little sparrows in the parking lot feasting on errant French fries and scraps escaped from the bags. True little scavengers.  I had never paid much attention to it before in my many journeys through the parking lot to get my shopping carts.  I also found a quarter and a handful of odd change with which I bought a cold Sam’s Choice cola after work.  It was icing on the cake.  You know how much I love sodas.  I haven’t been able to just buy a soda own my own in so many years and I savored the moment as I stood at the machine.

A magical life affirming moment happened after work.  My hard work is paying off in so many ways.  I haven’t been able to walk into a restaurant to sit down, eat, and pay in years and years as well.  I sat in the little Mexican restaurant up the road eating beef enchiladas and reading a newspaper this afternoon drinking copious amounts of sweet tea that they kept bringing me as if there was an endless supply.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I felt like I had arrived on the scene!  I was like country come to town.  I smiled vigorously as I pulled out my wallet and paid the eight dollars for my meal.  It felt so damned good!  I even left a two dollar tip for my server feeling extremely generous today at my good fortune.

I left the Mexican restaurant to head to the lawn mower repair shop which is near my father’s pharmacy.  I had hoped to buy a new muffler, but the clerk said they had to special order it and I would have to pay in advance.  It was surprisingly more expensive than I expected.  I left disappointed determined to get up the money to buy it.  My mower is so loud and I worry it is going to affect my hearing if I cut grass every day.  I am going to have to buy some of those noise reducing earphones for the time being.  They were expensive as well at that shop. I am hoping work will have them at a much cheaper price.

I then quickly drove down to Opelika to report my return to work to Social Security.  Amazingly, I didn’t have to wait long until my number was called.  Sometimes, you have to wait for what seems like hours in the lobby. The lady calculated my estimated hours and pay and told me that I was safely within the limit, but if I went over, it would put me in a nine month trial work period.  She warned me saying I only got one trial work  period and then I would have to return to work full time losing my benefits.  She was very nice and helpful which usually belies what you get with government employees.  I thanked her for her help and she printed me out a receipt as proof that I had duly reported my earnings and that I had returned to work. 

Well, I am off to try the West side of my neighborhood mowing lawns this afternoon.  I haven’t tried it yet because the homes over there are nicer and the yards more manicured, but I am going to try it anyway.  I am determined I am going to charge $20 dollars per yard for my efforts today.  My gas usage is proving to be expensive.  My riding lawn mower is not very frugal with gasoline with it’s big 20hp v-twin engine.   


Sophie said...

Three days at work,and staying when you had an option to leave - I am just beaming with pride for you! And best of all - being able to treat yourself to a good lunch, just as the rest of us do from time to time. This is wonderful! I hope you do well with mowing today and are able to get some good sleep tonite so you don't get too worn down physically or mentally. Anxious to hear how it went with your Dad last night. I am so hoping he will give you a chance to prove that you can do this responsibly. I like your plans to save for items you want - that's great motivation!

This IS The Fun Part! said...

Is it possible that the anxiety / nerves came from the lack of rest and will improve with time? Sure hope so!

If the big ear protectors are too expensive right now, go for the disposable foam ear plugs. They don't keep out quite as much of the noise, but are better than no protection at all.

You're doing SO well . . . keep up all that great decision making and thinking before acting - it's paying off in a big way for you!


kristi said...

Our mower is kind of loud that is why I wear my MP3 and I got some awesome headphones for around $20 at Walmart.

Syd said...

What a mess how people throw out their trash. I'm glad that you had some work to do for much of the day. Glad the job is going well.

Tee said...

Check in the sporting goods department at Wal-Mart for those cheap foam ear plugs. They will help protect your ears. That's what they use at the airport for the employees working on the ramp.

Also, do some research on the printers before you make your purchase. The initial purchase might be cheap, but you are going to pay through the nose when you start buying the ink cartridges. You might want to spend a little more for a printer and the ink be cheaper for future use.

I bet when you start sleeping at night you will feel much better during the day. Don't allow yourself to nap during the day so your mind and body will be ready to snooze when your head hits that pillow at night. :-)

Happyone :-) said...

You sound happy and motivated and I'm happy for you. :-) Good for you!!

justLacey said...

I love that you so enjoy the little things in life. You are doing so well.

PipeTobacco said...


An excellent post. Two items I would like to suggest you consider:

1. Like Fun Part said above... the disposable foam ear plugs may be very beneficial at least in the short term. They will reduce the dB level by at least 30.

2. When you are calculating your earning capacity to stay under the SSDI limit... you need to at least consider counting the lawn care monies as well in your total... just for safety's sake. To be really safe, I think it might be wise to determine what 90% or 95% of the maximum you can earn safely is... and taking both your income sources... never go above that mark.

It is nice to see you feeling so positive about things!


pattycakes said...

good going sounds like a great day for you , must be nice to eat out alone and pay for it yourself . i can see you are much happier doing that . keep up the good work and dont worry if you fail, we all do , thats what makes us humans :)