Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Stepping up...

Dear Lord, it's Thursday! How can it be that I keep losing track of the days?

Well, okay, this week I shamefully have to admit that I lost track of a few days because I didn't eat on Saturday night. Not eating in and of itself is not a terrible thing - I mean for one night, not eating at all is bound to do damage in the not-so-long-run, though. However, on Saturday night I really should have eaten, you see I had a few drinks. Not more than I usually do - I have inherited something of a tolerance for alcohol which is good in that I don't tend to develop hangovers even after an amount that would send others reeling, but bad in that it is often also associated with a predilection for alcoholism. I had a few, and they were mixed spirits and most importantly, I didn't eat.

So, Sunday was a write off. I have not had a hangover like the one I had on Sunday since the very early 90s and that $4.50 bottle of port. Let me tell you something about $4.50 bottles of port - they are pure evil!

While I was no longer engaging Huey in conversation on the porcelain phone on Monday, I was still trying to find my land legs.

Tuesday - for some reason I don't actually remember Tuesday.

Yesterday, I went for a day trip to Vision Australia with the smallest boy and the Grumpy Old Man, and by dinner time I was propping my eyelids open with match sticks (incidentally, the eyelid propping was not the reason for the VA visit, but the result of a busy day - in case that wasn't clear).

Does it take a week to recover from a big night of not eating when you're 40? I don't know, but I'm not testing that ever theory again!

Anyway, I digress.

On Saturday, before I'd had anything to drink, I had a tarot reading at my lovely friend Jayne's 40th birthday party. Every year for the past five or six years, she's employed a tarot reader or psychic at her birthday parties, and having readings is always a lot of fun. Some people take it all more seriously than others. I follow my instincts and view it all as a form of counselling which allows me to become aware of what is going on in my head...

This year, the biggest message I took from the reading was about having previously stepped up to a door and knocked, but then backed away from it before an answer came. The cards were saying it was time to step up and knock and wait for the answer this time.

Straight away, I thought of work, of me working... I want to work and have tried to become employed in the past with mixed results. Sometimes I've received an outright, 'Sorry, we don't think you're suited for this position.' Other times it's been, 'You've been here on trial for a few weeks, but we're not sure you're suited for this position.' It always, always comes down to my low vision status and employers being nervous about my 'inabilities' or about accommodating my 'special needs'.

In the past few years we've struggled financially. The Grumpy Old Man has been unemployed and when seeking employment has come up against similar concerns from employers about his abilities now that he is over fifty.

Employers are a very nervous bunch of folk, I have to say.

I have considered trying to get work and have done some casual work, of sorts, to earn small amounts of money here and there, but have not sought regular employment.

So, I immediately thought the employment door was the one I've been running away from.

In the intervening days I've come to realise I have also been running away from 'assistance' door. The door I have to knock on to receive assistance for issues relating to my low vision. I have actively avoided interacting with bodies who might be able to assist me with adaptive technologies such a monoculars and magnifiers, or voice over programs or mobility assistance.

This is why I sucked up my pride and my fear and took myself off to Vision Australia yesterday and bought a monocular...


It looks exactly like this, and I look like this when I use it (on the other eye) though not quite as 'pretty'. I have not wanted to use one since I was about ten because they are rather conspicuous and I feel like a pirate. However, better to be a pirate than stay at home because I can't read signs, can't see my kids when they stand up in front of assembly, can't read overhead menus at caf├ęs.

I've decided monoculars are very steampunk!

And, you know, I might even get myself an eye patch for my non-functioning left eye...

I guess if [I] love me - as Baby said to her dad in Dirty Dancing - I've got to love all the things about me. Even my need for assistive technologies.

Besides seeking work and employing assistive technologies, I realised I've been running away from connecting with people so I can get started on my doctorate. I've wanted to do it without actually needing to contact real people 'out there' because I'm shy and insecure about my ideas and I'm afraid of embarrassing myself by sounding like a fool.

I had actually knocked on that door on Friday - so, before the reading - and had had a slightly discouraging response when I heard back that there was a shortage of staff at my preferred University, so they were turning applicants away. I'd been advised to start looking at other Unis. For me this was a bit of a blow because it had taken a lot for me to email the staff at this Uni to ask for advice on a possible supervisor.

After the reading though, I felt I had to keep making contact, so on Monday morning I tweeted another institute to find out who to contact. Then that after I received an email from the person I'd contacted the previous friday at the first Uni suggesting I make contact with another staff member at that Uni who might be interested in my thesis concept.

I bit the bullet and emailed this other academic immediately with my idea - even though I hadn't set it out on paper before - and she replied to my email yesterday saying she loved my topic and would be happy to support my application and supervise me if my application was successful!

So - and finally, I'm going to get to those Thankfuls...

I'm thankful;

~ That hangovers are temporary, and I know what to do to avoid one next time (there will NEVER be a next time, I swear!).

~ For tarot card readers who help me to reflect on my own fears and confront them.

~ For assistive technologies that do exist to make life easier for people who live with a disability.

~ For academic staff who are as excited about my thesis topic as I am!

Also, this afternoon, I received a call from Vision Australia updating their file on me and offering me an assessment appointment at the end of August and one of the things they said they could offer me was employment services. I'm thankful even just for the hope of getting a job one day.

I'm linking up with Kate Says Stuff for Thankful Thursday - what are you thankful for?


Anonymous said...

Ooh tarot card readers are a bit of fun aren't they? Great news that you found a potential supervisor, good luck! And lol at the hangover- they do seem to get harder and longer with age!

Rhianna said...

I had a similar experience on Sunday with the drinking thing. Terrible stuff. Thankfully mine wasn't that bad but certainly worse than I thought it should have been.

I think it is great that you are trying to accept a bit of help here and there. Independence is great but only a fool wouldn't do something to make life easier/better


Good Job!