It was bound to happen, I guess. What goes up must come down.
I was on quite the high for a while, and understandably so. I had an exciting adventure to look forward to and prepare for, so the anticipation was great fun. Then the experience itself, and you all know how fabulous that was. And finally, all the after-fun of writing and sharing about it, the photos, the feedback, the warm fuzzies.
I don’t get out much, folks. I actually lead a very quiet life. So, episodes like this go a long way for me. But when they end, like a little kid after Christmas, I crash. People have referred to “post-party drop” and “sub-drop”; perhaps this is “shoot-drop.” (Even writing that makes me shake my head, because it sounds so silly.)
Nothing tragic happened. I’m not in Egypt, nor am I trapped beneath piles of ice and snow. No one died. It’s just… life. It went back to normal and it felt sucky.
My financial advisor called me and admonished me that I am spending down my retirement money. Tell me something I don’t know! He said I needed to stop taking annual distributions. And live on what? Does he have any clue as to how crappy the freelance market is right now? I am in competition with literally hundreds of other hungry proofreaders, and many of them have additional skills that give them an edge. My job has changed a great deal since I entered the field in 1981. It used to be that you could just be a proofreader, sit at a desk and read copy all day and be damn good at it. Nowadays, the profession is considered devalued because of Spell Check and proofreaders are hired to read plus do a lot of other job functions, and need to be savvy in several computer programs. Go back to school to learn some new things and advance my career? Again, with what money?
So yeah, I’m living on my nest egg for the most part. Me and a gazillion other people, those who even have savings. My health insurance alone is $870 a month. I know I should be thinking of the future, but I need to live now.
Of course, thinking about the future and aging makes me think about my mother, and you all know how @#$%ing depressing that is. I haven’t seen her in months, not since this whole thing with John began. I simply don’t have the energy to deal with it; it’s all been spent worrying about John. Who, incidentally, is back to working long hours again and is tired all the time. And when he’s home, sleep is a fleeting commodity, because he has a new neighbor in the house right behind his, and guess what? They have a barking dog, which is left outside a lot of the time. It’s so close, it sounds like it’s almost in the house with us. I swear, that man cannot catch a break with neighbors.
Then last evening, someone posted an anonymous and horrid comment on an older blog post, where I talked about my upcoming shoot. This person said I had no class, that my “giddy bragging” about all the nice things Paul was doing was “mercenary and money-grubbing in the disguise of gratitude” and that it was disrespectful to Paul, and he/she hoped I enjoyed every moment because it would never happen again.
I’m sure you can imagine the effect that had on me. I was so upset, I copied and forwarded it to Paul himself, asking if I had indeed come off this way and if so, I certainly hadn’t intended it. He was so kind… not only did he write me back immediately with reassurance, but he came on and posted a polite but firm rebuttal to the comment. His compliments to me made me cry.
What is wrong with some people? Do they really not know the power of their words? And why do I allow the erstwhile negative comment to disturb me so much, when I get so many positive ones? I suppose that is human nature, but damn, it’s tiresome.
I’ve been watching Six Feet Under on Netflix for the past few months, since I don’t get HBO and didn’t see it when it aired. What an incredibly brilliant show… but it could be very sad. Last night I watched the finale. Probably not a good idea to watch a show about death when you’re depressed. I was bawling practically through the whole thing. OK, enough of that. Time for some comedy.
Sorry to be so relentlessly bleccchhh. I will get over this; I always do. My sense of humor will return. And to end on an up note, I’m posting yet one more picture of the dogs. 🙂 Impossible to feel sad, looking at this.