Wednesday, September 20, 2017

You Scramble...And You Re-invent Yourself

     After the surgery and the new prosthesis...I was like.."What do I DO now?!?!"   At the time of my cancer diagnosis, my job of 10 years, at a computer firm, went belly-up. The company was proprietary with its mainframes and software when Microsoft came out with Windows and changed the world of computing...the company I was with was too slow to realize this. They couldn't adjust fast enough. They ended-up laying off nearly it's entire sales staff...all but 1 person!  They renamed it their Legacy Sales Dept...Legacy!..that's a good the legacy of the dinosaur!  Bye-Bye Job!  it was COBRA insurance time.  Not fun when you are diagnosed with a life-threatening disease!  THEN, the house I was renting went up for sale..and the owner had a run-in with my roomie wasn't letting prospective buyers in with advanced notice...and so the owner booted us out!  Fortunately my sister had a rental place in Dana Point where my cat, Babs, and I could stay for as long as needed (not a bad place/town to be staying in!).  So, I stayed at the condo in Dana Point...I needed a place to hang my hat and have a safe place for Babs. My friend Roger lived in Long Beach..I'd stay with him a lot leading up to and during the rhinectomy-recovery time...but it wasn't a permanent place to live. On the up-side..and this was a huge mother got a letter from a company in the LA area saying they had "found money" in MY name (!) but they couldn't locate me!  Not surprising due to my moves and not really having a permanent address for over a year!  But, this firm found my mother, saying they'd help me get my money for a % for their time effort. Ha! So,  I got onto the State Controller website..and sure enough, there was a bunch of money in my name!  A BUNCH! (Hint: go onto your State Controller's website and look for "Found Money"--this is, money that might be in your name, but for whatever reason the bank, or credit card company..or even the IRS couldn't locate you to give you money that is rightfully yours!. Go and check and see if they have money in your name!!).  So, I applied for the money through the Controller's the company that sent me the letter..thanks, guys...but I can fill out the form myself and save the 10% fee!! (This would have amounted to hundreds of dollars for this firm..I bet they weren't too happy not hearing back from me!). Nice try! It took a year to finally get the money but once I had the money I had a nice little amount to live on to get me through recovery as my unemployment money had run out..and for some reason, which I can't recall,  I couldn't apply for SSD or whatever.  Three months after surgery I found an apartment in Long Beach--a 2 bedroom (I needed the room for all the stuff I had from the 4-bedroom house!), 2 full baths plus parking! Oh..and inside laundry, too! I grabbed it. Okay, the area wasn't so's still a dicey area...Bohemian, if you will...but it's still home to me.  And the price was AMAZING considering it was 5 blocks from the ocean!  It's still a good deal as the landlord has been slow in raising the rents to match current market values..thank you, Landlord!
     "What do I do now?!?!"  Once I had a roof over my head I could concentrate on my health and figuring out what to do. I KNEW I had to work. I took a seasonal job the following year with Williams-Sonoma.  It was a fun Christmas. I was very self-conscious of my prosthesis..but no-one seemed to know..or if they!  W-S treated their employees well....a free Wusthof chef's knife as a present! Plus, every so often a bag of stuff was given to us as we'd end a shift.  This would be if there were products that were approaching their "use by" date and so was pretty cool! I did that for 1 season at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa then the next holiday season I transferred to the Palos Verde Peninsula store...brand-new...was very nice. By this time I was firmly entrenched studying for my real estate license.  Probably the hardest exam I ever took!   That's a whole other story.  I didn't like it,. ugh. not at all. I liked the Broker and owners and all at Sandpiper Properties in Long Beach were's a GREAT office. If you need to buy or sell property..or looking to rent in Southern Calif, contact Sandpiper Properties in Long Beach, CA! I just was never comfortable hustling for clients. But the real estate crash of 2008 pretty much did me I went back to working retail at a Wal-Mart until I had my major car accident.  That pretty much sealed-the-deal for me working. The SSI judge agreed. After a court-process and a surgery (neck fusion) and shoulder therapy and still-having-chronic pain (oh yeah..every day!)  I decided ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH.
     "What do I do now?!?!"  I went back to doing what I love and what fills me the most with joy....SINGING.   ACTING, too. But primarily singing.  Starving artist??? You know it!  But I love it. But the thing is, I'm singing more and more and taking steps to increase my performances. I want to start a Swing/Dixieland-type band...not wanting to limit the type of music I'd be singing..but everything from Gay '90's to Dixieland to Swing with a splattering of Broadway and Crooning thrown in. Again..ya can't label it! More on this whole area in my next Blog.
     I keep Rising Above (the title of my CD and one-man show!).  I keep rising up like the Phoenix.  As "A Course In Miracles" teaches, paraphrasing here:  "When things fall apart, things fall together."  I may keep falling apart....but I keep getting back together, unlike Humpty Dumpty!
     "What do YOU do now?!?!"  You meditate.  You find new passions if the old ones have faded away. You set new goals and you start taking steps...maybe tiny steps, at first. Take one step a day.  There were days...and there still are days..where I can only get ONE thing done on my To-Do list..due to my mental state or physical state that day. It's a journey...a process.  It hurts at times. T.O.S. Take One Step. Take one item a day. In one year....that is 365 STEPS! 365 things crossed off your To-Do List!  That is a LOT!!!! Just do one thing a day! You will feel better mentally and physically. When you look back..even in a week..a will be AMAZED at what you have done!   I know the power of vegging out and laying on that sofa and not doing a damn thing.  So, get up..and do ONE THING EACH DAY! Then build on it until you can do 2, 3 4...maybe the whole list in ONE day!  J.D.I! "Just do it!" Just do ONE thing a day to start!  You will be amazed!
     As I type this, tonight starts Rosh Hashana for my Jewish friends. Happy New Year!  To me, it's the start of the holiday season.....3 months...a full quarter of holiday-ing. Autumn starts this coming Friday, my favorite time of year!  I've already started thinking of holiday cooking.  I even made a batch of my Apple Butter that is in my cookbook "Cookin' In the Kitchen With The Bagby's" that everyone seems to love....I should sell it! (Something for my To-do List!). My decorations for Fall are still boxed but will be "outed" by the weekend. To Order the cookbook:

      Have a great week! Have a great first week of Fall!