My Year: 2011 in Review

When 2011 began, who knew it would end up the way it has? There are always twists and turns to anyone’s life but mine took major ones. Rather than rehash the past week’s happenings (that have been momentous, yeah right) I decided I would recap the past year. It isn’t often a year ends on the night that I update my personal life on my blog. As a matter of fact, the last time it happened was 2005 and I’d been blogging for a whole six months. I was updating the happenings of my personal life daily at that time. I didn’t go on a weekly schedule for a long time after that.

Let’s see…Back in January, we were having some really rough weather. First, there was freezing rain with snow on top of that. I hadn’t known one Sabbath that services had been canceled so I ventured out to go to church and that’s when I saw a car sliding down the mountain road sideways. Next, it snowed more and kept me from going to work.

A Honda marshmallow

The weather turned bitterly cold and the water pipe coming to the house froze. I carried snow in and thawed it on the stove so I could at least wash my hands. That was on a Thursday. I hadn’t been to work all that week but I had to gear up and go in on Friday so I could take a shower. By mid-afternoon the next day the water thawed. My cousin/neighbor was in Florida working on a renovation and she took me to task for not going to her house to shower, get water, etc. I didn’t want to disturb her husband but I promised I’d swallow my pride and go if it happened again.

February saw two people, both younger than me, retiring from the hospital. It was a low blow—especially since one was from my department. That meant I would have to start interviewing for a replacement. I talked it over with the rest of the staff and they preferred getting someone to fill in rather than a person to actually take her place. That meant they would get their 37.5 hours vs 32. I played “Let’s Make a Deal” with those above me and the plan was approved. I would still have to interview candidates and that was something I dearly despised to do.

March came along and I finally found someone qualified who was willing to take the PRN position. It was also in March that I had to revamp my routine so I could wake up, have my devotions, eat breakfast, exercise with the Wii, shower and dress before I went to work. That required my getting up at 4:30 every morning.

“They” say you can make some of the people happy all the time and all of the people happy some of the time but, in my case, neither one was true. Try as I might, I couldn’t make anyone happy any time it seemed. I started praying in earnest that I would be able to retire. I couldn’t believe it was possible and expressed that during Sabbath School class one week. One of the ladies declared my not going ahead and doing it showed a lack of faith on my part. I thought, “She doesn’t have a clue what it would take” but her statement stuck with me.

I’d hired someone in March but, with all the red tape of getting a new person oriented and tested, it was April before she could actually start in the office. Even though she was more or less “eased” into the position, it was overwhelming and many a day, she was fighting the tears when she’d go home. She often wondered if she would have the courage to come back. She lost sleep and I had to spend a lot of time assuring her she was doing a good job. The last person I’d hired before her lasted for a whole three days.

Stress was taking its toll on everyone. I was still having severe headaches and when I’d close my eyes, I would often feel like I was going to fall forward. No one in the office was happy to have me as a boss and I wasn’t happy being one. My job was a mystery to them and they felt I should do my work and theirs, too. That went on all summer and my dissatisfaction with my job grew proportionately. There were a couple of people in the office that I felt were “on my side” but when twice that many aren’t, digs are hard to ignore.

There were a couple of meltdowns that resulted in conferences with the Powers That Be. I hated every minute of it. The job I used to enjoy had become a burden. It was a way to keep a roof over Twinkle’s and my heads and food on the table. Nothing more. Drudgery from the time I got there until the time I left. The only times I enjoyed were the times I would be called out of the office to work on someone’s computer. That I could do and it made people happy.

Summer came and I half-heartedly planted a few things. I wasn’t inspired to do much of anything. My days were divided up into two sections—not wanting to be at work and not wanting to go to work. Even the weekends were spent dreading Mondays. There were a few bright spots but they were always overshadowed by the specter of the hospital. One of the girls told me later she could tell I was being beaten down by the almost constant conflict. I couldn’t resolve it and I couldn’t avoid it.

In June, DD came to visit. She was here for a whole glorious week. I’d taken off time before and time after and it was as if I were a bird out of a cage. It was over much too soon and I had to Go Back.

July, plans were being made to go see my friend I’d learned back in May was, in fact, not dead but in federal prison. It wasn’t until August they materialized. I believe it was also in July that an inservice was first mentioned at work that would involve all the employees. I remember thinking, “Ain’t gonna do it.”

Years ago, merm had set up a budget spreadsheet for me. I searched and searched until I found it in my gmail (LOVE gmail!). I started fiddling with it and tweaking it. When I’d get home from work, I would pull it up and play with the numbers. At first, it looked as if there were no way I could retire but I kept at it. I “prayed without ceasing.”

I requested my pension amount from Human Resources and it didn’t come. Time after time, I emailed and finally, my message was forwarded to someone else to handle. Seems the floodgates had been opened and many people were retiring from the system.

My headaches were getting worse. The nurse practitioner I had seen in November 2009 had hazarded a guess that I could have a brain tumor. I had to know. I’d had a new PCP since June and he didn’t hesitate when I asked him for an order to have a CT scan. The “new” scanner was great—when I was positioned on the table, it zoomed up and down and the test was over in almost no time. I went out to where the tech and the trainer were both examining my films. They pointed out my eyes (two of them) and the absence of anything other than my brain and “it isn’t guaranteed to work.”

So…if I didn’t have a brain tumor, it had to be stress causing my headaches and balance problems. My stress was coming from work. I had to retire.

Several days later, an envelope came from Human Resources. It was marked “Personal and Confidential”. It was the calculation for my pension. The number stated on it was close to what I’d prayed it would be. Praise the Lord, I could retire.

I waited until September 2 to turn in my notice. I had to give four weeks and the 30th would be my last day. My replacement was hired in a few days (many people felt it had been in the works for a while and maybe it was) and I was down to marking time. I cleaned out the desk and organized it while she did a semblance of what was supposed to be done. I wasn’t concerned. It would be her baby when I was gone and I was all but gone then.

After my retirement party and sendoff, I was gone like a bat out of you-know-where. I haven’t been back. I’ve been to the nursing home to see Genese and I’m Facebook friends with a few of the employees but I’m still reluctant to set foot in the hospital. I’m sure I will someday but that time hasn’t come yet. I’ve heard from a couple of people but it’s like “out of sight, out of mind”.

The rest of the year has been spent recuperating. Years of stress have taken their toll and I feel like I’ve aged far more than my 67 years. My energy level is better some days than others but I guess that’s true of anyone. One thing is sure, I’m so thankful not to have to look forward to zooming down the mountain on Monday. Or Tuesday. Or Wednesday (except for prayer meeting).

Now, I only have to zoom around the house and post online. The site I’ve set up for G&D Construction is an ongoing project. Check it out and leave your comments! I would have thought I’d have more things squared away before this so maybe I should make that New Year’s resolution after all…

And now, on to 2012!!

2 Responses to My Year: 2011 in Review

  1. Lila December 31, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    Tommie I hope this will be a better year for you in every way.

    • Tommie December 31, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

      I’m away from the constant stress of the hospital so I’m sure it will be.

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