Saturday, April 20, 2019

My biggest vice...

My biggest vice is my shopholism. Seriously, my name is Sif and I am a shopoholic.

I try not to be. I've locked myself out of shopping sites such as eBay and Aliexpress, but I end up just letting myself in again because I NEED something. The thing is, there is always something else that I need.

Recently, it has been clothes and shoes. When we first moved into this house it was furniture items. Just recently I bought a fold out bed for Erik because he was staying here a lot but you know, he never uses it, he just dosses down on the couch (which annoys me, by the way).

Internet shopping has really fuelled my shopping fervour. It is just so easy, it's like drive through and not having to leave the car - I don't even have to leave the house. I'm also addicted to getting packages. It's so exciting to have deliveries. Sometimes I can't even remember what I'm waiting on in the mail - then it's like a little surprise.

Being a minimalist just plays into it. I like to declutter. I LOVE getting a skip and filling it up, or sending Dave to op-shops with a boot full of donations. Of course, this then leaves space and an imagined need to buy more stuff. It's s vicious cycle.

I'm very nervous about having our household income reduced so severely now. Even though I'm losing about 2/5 of my annual income, it seems I'm working too many hours a week for Dave to qualify for getting his carer payment back. I need to be working 25 hours or less a week, and while I'm working 22.8, they also count travel time because it is time away when he is not caring for me. So, basically, his income is the $130 or so a fortnight he gets in carers allowance. The rest is the money I earn plus my pension and family allowance. We're not on the poverty line, we can pay our rent, our utilities, food, and petrol, but after that there is basically $50 a week left. So, we can't afford any kind of emergencies.

Obviously, I'll be looking for work to fill in the two days I've just lost. Obviously, I'm very grateful for having a job at all - so many people in our organisation have been given redundancies or have not had their contracts renewed. It is no reflection on their abilities, it is just that with the NDIS arriving the entire disabilities services sector is undergoing enormous change. It is affecting all organisations across the board and many jobs are being cut.

Less money means less money to spend on stuff we really don't need, which is on the face of it a good thing. The thing is this addiction to shopping is soothing some issue I'm avoiding and now I'll have to deal with it, I don't know what it is. I'm scared. I'm also scared because my other self-soothing activity is eating chips and lollies - something else I won't be able to afford.

Expect more blogging, writing is something that helps me a lot. You'll probably get to see a lot of the darker side of my world interpretation. My apologies in advance if you find it frightening.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Put together...

Having bought Bryn a new phone of his choice (within reason), I have managed to get my rather old, but trusty, Mac back. Getting use to the old commands has been... interesting. I'd completely forgotten how to set up accessibility on a Mac - it use to feel intuitive. I have to say though that a Mac system still dacks on a Microsoft system in regards to accessibility. There are no jaggies! I feel like my vision is so much clearer.

Anyway, that is not what this post is going to be about. I just get a bit distracted, you know, it's an ADHD thing.

What this post is about is my ongoing struggle to find just the right look for myself. I know this is fairly vain but actually it's quite important if you think about it. Being put together shows forethought. It shows attention to detail. Being put together shows an understanding of oneself. Basically, is about being stable, trustworthy, and centred.

Lately, I haven't been feeling particularly put together at all. I've felt messy, all over the place, and between styles, which I think rightly reflects my state of being at this stretch in time. I'm in a state of transition and flux where I'm trying to let go of the past and step into the future, or better still the present. I'm looking forward to reducing my working week to three days, although it will be a financial strain on the household budget especially because I'm determined not to move from this house in October - I really love this place.

I'm in the middle of a discussion about doing a little shadowing in an area where I'd like to see my career open up. It's exciting, but nothing concrete just yet.

I've also just gotten my second NDIS plan accepted. It's pretty much the same as the last one: I've still got personal training - YES! -, house cleaning, and gardening. This time I'm actually using the funds allocated for a physio and went to see one for the first time ever, yesterday. I'm also going to get a support person, specifically to go shopping with me. It will mean I can get the weekly shopping done myself and stop relying on Dave to do it. His legs are so bad now, he prefers to do single basket shopping two or three times a day. It is driving my batshit insane, and it's no good for the budget. What I'm planning is to get someone to go with me on a Monday or Friday once my schedule settles down. I'll do a weekly shop. I might also get someone in to help me do a big cook once a week so I can freeze some quick meals because I know that is something else Dave is struggling with.

Figuring out how to make the most of those two extra free week days is another area of transition for me, right now. There are a lot of things I'd like to do. Obviously, there are things I need to fit in. My second trainer was unable to work with me this past year because he's only available Monday-Wednesday, and I was working all of those days (all days during the week). Now though, I can fit him in - if he can fit me in. I like his approach, he uses a lot of body weight exercises, which I enjoy. With my usual PT I'll continue on with cardio mostly - more boxing would be great. The physio will be another to fit in. I'm seeing him twice this coming week. The physio shouldn't be ongoing though, just a few weeks and then whenever needed.

I'd really like to get another day's work - or even some gainful volunteering - happening. Something that would help me move towards the kind of work I really enjoy. It's not that I'm loathing working in recreation I like the people, but I'm very much more an advocacy leaning type of person. Whether it be through public speaking, writing, liaising with community and state, or even federal bodies. I like those sort of negotiations. And these are the sorts of things my studies have skilled me for.

Take for example an upcoming opportunity I've created for myself. I'm going to a day long seminar/course type of thing on working with people from migrant and refugee communities. My manager then wants me to teach our team what I learn on the day. This is exactly the sort of thing I've studied for. Teaching, I can do that!

So, back to the clothes. I've wasted money and time trying to put myself together. Today, I think I've started moving in a direction which will work for me. It helps that current styles are leaning towards late 80s fashion - Lord help me, I nearly bought a jeans jacket today... Anyway, I have options I can work with and a sillhouette which suits me. I have high hopes of feeling more put together soon, and with that more settled.

Now, where did I put my phone? Maybe Bryn will know...

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Part time...


As of the 18th of April (it's the 30th but effectively the 18th because of Easter and Anzac Day holidays), I be working part time. It's been a long time coming, but the cardiac arrest has really put things into perspective. Money will be tight again, but I feel like it's worth it. I'll be working Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, which is perfect. As I'm in the process of advertising and starting up new groups (subject to numbers), I may need to work more days, but we'll see.

Working full time has been great, it really has, the money is pretty good, especially when you've been living under the poverty line for a couple of decades. The down side is that there is no time to do office hours kinds of things, medical appointments (which there seem to be more of now), training appointments, that kind of thing - ever notice how when you want to list stuff you suddenly can't remember the long list you had in your head.

I want to do more writing - well, actually any writing would be good. There is a mentoring program I want to do to get that next book out. I haven't even had time to promote the last book.

Anyway, there it is. Part time work. For now, anyway.