Monday, July 20, 2015

Making it Work

This post really speaks to the 1950s in me. In our family, Sara works as the bread winner as I deal my everyday fight with epilepsy. Disability is not fun, it's not a vacation, or any sort of fun free time that many of you wish you could have just as a break from your work life. To put it best... It sucks. I wake up everyday with a pretty clear docket, and go to bed on good days knowing that the only thing I did was not have a seizure. 

Of course, these days are tough, but not as tough as days, which are many, where I actually do experience a seizure. On "seizure days" I walk around the apartment in a fog. The next day I don't remember what I did. I don't remember what I ate, what I said, the list goes on. Basically, it's a lost day... Lost time in my life that I'll never get back. If Sara was home to witness the seizure I ask her questions about what we did that day. Simple things. Things most people take for granted. 

I've been trying to get myself back to work slowly. I've taken on a few small design projects, etc., but now I have to take more than double the time it used to take me to complete a project. That's probably the number one reason I'm on disability. A designer can't miss deadlines, and that's all I seem to be able to do. The projects I eventually finish are a far cry in quality from just a few years ago. I've forgotten a lot about the computer programs that I have to use to design. It's very frustrating and demoralizing.

There is a bit of good news. If you know me, you know that I like music, and that one of my hobbies is listening to vinyl records. I've found reissues of classic albums and go to yard sales and troll eBay for good deals on used records. I have a small collection now. A collection where I'm able to listen to some of my favorite bands from when I was younger, and newer bands that I'm just discovering.

Just a couple weeks ago I noticed that a record shop popped up across the street from my apartment. I worked up the courage to stop in and talk to the owner. It's an online record shop, so he sells on eBay and Amazon. He says that he wants to open a real record shop soon, but for now he's sticking to the online stuff. I told him that I'd like to help out somehow, even if it was just to get me out of the house for a couple hours a week. He thought that was a good idea, and called me a few days later with a loose plan to have me come in and help him grade records. Basically, that's just looking at a used records and defining the condition based on a scale of good to excellent. It seems kind of simple, but like I said before, maybe it will get me out of the house for a bit. My four walls have gotten pretty boring the last couple of years.

There's really no pay. He said that I could walk away with a free record every now and then, and that seems ok to me. I'm basically just testing the waters to see if my brain will cooperate enough for me to hold a job. He's doing me more of a favor, it seems. Plus, I'll be surrounded by vinyl records, which sounds pretty cool.

I need to be able to say that I bring in some financial support for Sara and I, and this seems like a smart first step. He knows about my epilepsy, though I still need to give him the run-down of what to do should I have a seizure. I'm sure he'll be fine with that.

It runs deep in me to be able to support a family, to work. Like I said before, not working has been hell. I know it's necessary for me to concentrate on getting healthy, but my quality of life is pretty low right now. Even doing design projects means I just have to move to the kitchen table to do work on the laptop. Some would call this the greatest commute ever, but I'd really like to be able to say someday that I go to an office everyday and work around people. Don't get me wrong, the cats are great, but human contact is something I need greatly right now. Hopefully by just walking across the street and grading a few records could lift my spirits enough to come back home and go to bed at night knowing I did something with my day.

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