Wednesday, October 2, 2013

That's Life.

Still trying to get back into a routine with my blogging so I apologize for the few and far between posts right now.  Not to mention that life has been a bit crazy...

Mr. Helen was part of the sequestration this summer - which meant he had to take 1 unpaid day off every week.  Since he works 5 days per week, that's the equivalent of losing 20% of pay.  We knew it was coming so we made some adjustments to retirement plans and cut back on discretionary spending and managed to make it through that.

We were so blessed to have been given our great Grand Canyon Adventure by Little Helen and that ended up being our vacation this year.  We live in a great coastal area and literally have a beach 4 miles from our house, so we bought season passes and still had a really nice summer, even with the aggravation of the sequester.

The Saturday before he was going to start back to work full time, he was running on the treadmill and his right knee started aching and pulling a bit.  Instead of paying attention to that, he kept running because he wanted to run 5 miles (he was at 3.5).  At 4.75 miles he heard a sound in his knee and he literally had to grab the rails to not fall off the treadmill.  I was in the house and heard him yell so I ran downstairs to find him sitting on our back step holding the knee and rocking back and forth.  Long story short:  an extremely bad and large meniscus tear.

So, he stumbled through what was to be his first full week back at work and then he had surgery.  The doctor told him to take off 3 full weeks, which he did.  October 1st was to be his first post surgery week at work.  On September 27th at 4:00 in the afternoon, he received a call at our home saying that if Congress did not put a budget into place, he was to report to work on October 1, but then would be immediately furloughed until there was a budget.

That is where we are today - Mr. Helen is laid off from his job until further notice.  He is able to file for unemployment. which will help us not to completely go under water.  All in all though, it has been a frustrating year.  All of this unemployment and sequestration reverberates much further than just partial paychecks.  It affects his retirement plan, health insurance and of course, his mood.

For me, due to the politics involved in the government shutdown, it is affecting some friendships.  Or maybe I should say acquaintances. I never mind a well thought out opinion about something - even if I don't agree with you.  What I do mind is the endless, thoughtless posting and reposting  (especially on Facebook) of out and out lies in the form of photo memes.  I finally decided that if someone I was "friends" with was doing that to the point that I was offended by it, they probably weren't a real friend at all.    I have ended up unfriending some people on Facebook because of it.

All this got me to thinking that maybe we need some "Political Harassment" training in the same way they give us sexual harassment training at work.  Just like you'd never assume it's OK to go ahead and tell a risque joke, perhaps people should consider before they post certain things on social media.

Or maybe that's just me who feels that way.

In the meantime, I'm trying to keep a positive attitude.  I'm thankful for all our true friends who are concerned about Mr. Helen and me (regardless of their political affiliation).  Hopefully this will be over sooner than later. And on the first day of furlough, we're setting warmth records here - going to be over 80 degrees today - so Mr. Helen went fishing.

That's life.  Sing it Michael.





19 comments:

  1. I am so sorry so hear about that, but SO happy that he's able to get unemployment. Tony's been out of work since July, no unemployment, and turns out people don't want to hire a server who's last paid gig was in 2008, even though I've had 15 years of restaurant experience.

    But, I am trying my best not to eat my way out of this, which is a miracle in and of itself, and every morning before I leave the house, I tell myself one thing I am grateful for and that sets a positive mood to the day.

    Hugs!!

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    1. VERY sorry to hear of Tony's unemployment situation Biz. :(

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  2. So sorry that you are having to readjust AGAIN to the government financial issues. It's no fun!!! Y'all are in my thoughts as you work through all the issues that this shut down brings!!! I'm lucky in that it only affects me in that my running paths and routes are closed....I'm extremely lucky in that regard and I know it!!!

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    1. Still, to have your regular running paths affected is annoying! I don't even know what I'd do if Mr. Helen was laid off AND I couldn't run...

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  3. Hugs to you guys. I will sometimes poke fun on FB about politics, but it is pretty rare because it just depresses me too much. One of my big peeves is when people race on full bore with posts that are just not true. Sometimes I have to point it out because it is just so wrong. Always done politely, but the response back is usually anything but. I hate to think that because I say nothing, people assume I agree.

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    1. And sorry that was all about me...

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    2. Don't be sorry Lori! I love to hear other bloggers' ideas and experiences. You've actually made me rethink not saying anything as I do not want my silence to seem complicit!

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  4. Sorry about the finances. Here's hoping everything gets better soon.

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  5. I avoid all politics and the ramblings from both sides on fb. I go there to keep up with what family and friends are doing. I don't like to see political posturing and huffing and puffing. Those people should have a blog I don't read:)

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    1. A blog you don't read!! I love that Marc!!

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  6. I agree with the need for political harassment training; FB has gotten ridiculous and I've unfriended some acquaintances because of the blowhard posturing.

    What a crazy year for Mr. Helen - here's hoping this mess is over soon and he can get back to a normal work schedule. And you can get back to not having to stress over this!

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  7. I'm so sorry this happened to Mr. Helen and you. I was amazed that this really happened when I heard it. Something like this never happens here, they don't shut down complete services because they didn't reach an agreement. Usually the government has to go and we get new elections. I hope everything sorts out soon and mr. Helen will be back at work soon. For now hang in there sweety.

    People should always think about what they post on social media, no matter what the subject is. I read things that I don't need/want to know. My sister is very good at it, I can't say how many times I have thought about unfriending her. But she likes attention and all the other stupid followers she has comment on it :)

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    1. Very hard to deal with social media stuff when family is involved. Good luck with that!

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  8. I am SO with you re FB posts. I've hidden MANY from my newsfeed because it just comes across as pure uninformed hatred and who needs that? And it's funny because there are times when I will even agree with someone (on either "side") about something but their delivery turns me off. Every once in a while I try to share what I think is a mild or thoughtful opinion and it inevitably attracts an argument so I end up deleting it. It's just not worth it.

    Here's to Mr. Helen getting back to work ASAP!

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  9. I'm delighted to see you posting again Helen - I'.ve missed your blog!

    So sorry to read about Mr Helens injury, surgery and furlough. Prayers for you both that he will continue to heal and be back at works ASAP.

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  10. Yikes, you and Mr Helen have been going through a lot. Hanging through a spate of unemployment is no fun at all -- we had 5 months of my husband being out this year, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Hope he is back and healthy soon!

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