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Days 11 & 12: Funk continues...Traffic Summons & Broken Toe

Monday, June 25, 2012


Drove down to my brother's wedding celebration...and came home with a whole bunch of angst about my financial a traffic summons and a broken toe.

The traffic summons was for turning onto a street that had a "no-turning sign" posted on the main road (although no one-way sign or do-not-enter sign). I missed the sign, obviously, and for my troubles was issued a $75 summons. Ugh.

Then -- and I must confess this -- on mission to get a piece of chocolate in the kitchen, I slammed my foot into the wooden garbage bin in a narrow kitchen. Result: Broken toe.

Of course, the toe problem hobbles (literally) my fitness routine.

Trying to decide whether to spring for the expense of an X-ray (undoubtedly my insurance will not cover it) since the toe is at angle.

And: I went down there with angst over my financial behaviors and came away with even more, after hearing about money struggles in my mother's generation.

I think: Am I an idiot to think I can earn enough money independently in little Vermont thta will assure me some degree of financial security and allow me to retire some day? People very close to my age are retiring NOW and I am nowhere close. No husband. No expectation of inheritance. Not even an ex-husband whose SS benefits I could use...because -- stupid me! -- I did not marry the man I spent 20 years with.

Part of me wants to give up on doing what I enjoy doing (teaching) because the system is set up such that it is absolutely not possible to earn a living and get benefits. Vermont uses a 100% adjunct system in its community college system.

We also have a subsidized health care system in Vermont, which on the face of it sounds great. However, it's tied to one's income and I spend a great deal of time filling out paperwork and getting changed from one system to another when one term ends and then again when the term begins (income fluctuations).

(I also get a real view of what it's like to be poor and to be told that my "case" is being reviewed when I call to ask about whether I'm on one plan or another. Do people who pay into a health care system through an employer have a "case"? No, they have "accounts." Okay, end of rant about system. )

Financially, I am not earning enough money to live on if I teach two classes. However, if I teach three classes -- guess what? -- I am kicked completely *out* of eligibility for the subsidized health care and must pay in premiums what I am earning for teaching the third class. Which means, there is no point in trying to earn additional money.

To top it off, I am not *allowed* by the state college system to teach 4 classes (you can teach only 11 credits per term) which might have allowed me to keep the money for that fourth class.

Quite a system, eh?

The one potential solution is to find a job as a "regular" faculty member in one of the four-year schols in the state college system....which is not entirely likely since I don't have a Ph.D. However, my master's degree might possibly be considered a terminal degree in my field since no doctoral programs exist in my field...

Oh...the food part of the weekend?

Well, I aimed to do some "crowding out" of poor food choices by going for more veggies and fruits, but I suspect that it was probably a wash (at least I am hoping so) because I also ate party food.

Next steps for diet and exercise:

* Get back to healthy eating.
* Figure out a way to go swimming to get cardio in. Not sure where the closest pond is where I don't have to pay to go in...and where there is minimal walking to access the water.
* Figure out if it's possible to bicycle without reinjuring the toe.

Next steps for money?

* Not sure. One thing is to get caught up with a research project I need to have done by the end of the summer...and then see about getting my website set up so I can earn money in other ways.


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Take care.
    2492 days ago
    I know so many women in your situation ... seems like most everyone I know at one level or another ... my thoughts are with you as you ponder next steps.
    2493 days ago
    Oh wow, there are days like that aren't there. I can't retire. I wiped my retirement accounts to buy my house before the bubble burst. My housing situation is a story for another day. Can I say that I called a realtor yesterday and got quoted 100,000 less. As to the broken toe, tape it and go.
    Health insurance? I hate to tell you what it costs and people come and look at me when I go in because of the copay. I have friends in NYS with same problem, you earn enough to barely live and it kicks you off the insurance. And does anyone take into account what this stress does to our health? No wonder whey we need to hit the chocolate!
    2493 days ago
    Friends of friends, indeed! Thanks for letting me know you visited my page. I admire your intention to blog, especially since it's proved to be more than I can maintain. I also admire your spunk! Keep it up. Pulling for you...


    ps Ecuador with Maha?? Wouldn't that be amazing?!
    2494 days ago
    Lots to ponder. Interesting concerns in this uber wealthy country (do you hear a note of sarcasm in my intonation of "interesting"?) You are bright and talented and resourceful. I have no doubt that you will find your way!

    Learn Spanish and come with me to Ecuador! We'll open a wellness center which offers dance among the other options!
    2494 days ago
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