How long has it been since my last post with substance? By any measure it’s been a while, so I thought I’d bring you up to speed on my life (a melodramatic adventure sure to keep you reclined in your seat).
If you want to skip the whining, I don’t blame you. Skip down to where it says: “The Good Stuff.”
Relative to my life, there’s a lot of change going on these days. They’re the kind of changes you see coming months down the road, so there isn’t any shock involved. I don’t consider myself afraid of change, but I am saddened by some of them.
Seeing it comimg, I’ve spent the last several months feeling a little melancholy.
Nothing is changing as much as work. Just about everything is changing except the person signing my checks. No, work isn’t my whole life, but I do spend a lot of my life at work. I’ve worked with my team for almost seventeen years.
Dear Lord, seventeen years. In many ways I don’t feel far removed from being seventeen. Working for a single employer this long seems unheard of, let alone within the same organizational unit. Maybe change is overdue.
We’ve changed some in that time. No organization goes completely unchanged for that long. I’ve been promoted, we’ve changed locations, and our team’s responsibilities have evolved. But this week we’re essentially blowing the whole thing up and starting over. (Looking at the big picture, this will be a good thing for the people we serve). Me and most of my coworkers (some for the entire 17 years) will scatter to the winds.
These folks have been my friends, counselors, mentors – my family – for a long time. I’ll miss them all terribly.
Speaking of work, our health insurance is changing, though not to the extend things are at the office. This is (hopefully) a tweak to our coverage – another move by state leaders to balance the budget on the backs of those with little political pull. It appears nothing of consequence is changing, but healthcare is one place I DO fear change.
Speaking of insurance, we were dropped by our homeowner’s insurance provider – like many of our fellow Floridians. We’ve never made a claim, our property has never been damaged by storms (from the time our house was built), we’re not in a flood zone, and we’re at a relatively high elevation for living on the world’s largest populated sandbar. (Note: I don’t know if that’s in any way true.) Gosh darn it, we’re good people too!
Like many Floridians, this leaves us at the mercy of the insurer of last resort: a semi-public organization that until recently was forbidden by state law to charge less than the private competition. (I think there are still some restrictions, but until now I’ve had little reason to pay close attention.) Heaven forbid! That’s right: even if all the private insurance companies in Florida didn’t want our business, the state is forbidden to do it cheaper – even if it could.
It gets better. State leaders, under the guise of “doing something about rising insurance rates,” did what good Republicans do best: they made it easier for big business to fuck us. Insurance companies are no longer required to provide sink hole coverage as part of a standard homeowner’s policy. Of course they can write separate policies for sink hole coverage at rates dictated by “The Free Market (R).” The best part of this is we’ll be paying twenty-five percent more for coverage without the sink hole coverage.
Three cheers for the Florida Legislature!
Some of you may be wondering, “why should folks be forced to buy sink hole coverage?” Some of you may wonder why we’re required to carry auto insurance if we drive. Some of you may wonder why it “only takes one time” to have a child.
OK, that wasn’t fair. Even many Floridians don’t know why we have sink holes in Florida. Google “karst topography” and/or the Florida Aquifer. You’ll find a much better explanation than I could give. For now, just take it on faith – we get a lot of sink holes in Florida. Not having sink hole coverage is like not having collision insurance for the left side of your car.
Actually, that’s probably not fair to auto insurance. Claims involving sink holes are the most common among all claims on homeowner’s policies in Florida. (In the interest of full disclosure I’m not sure that’s true.) I’ll bet cars are stolen or rear-ended way more often than they take a driver’s side T-Bone.
Anyway, that’s all I have in the way of self-pity for now. That wasn’t too bad was it?
The good news is the depression has been mostly under control for a while now. I’ve had little tastes here and there, but it’s been short term stuff – not the weeks/months of hopelessness that have consumed me in the past. I don’t like drugs, but I like depression a LOT less.
The leukemia remains in the shadows. It’s not in remission, but it hasn’t been for two years now. We’re still waiting for the symptoms to be worse than the cure, and we’re still not close.
Now THAT’S chronic baby!
Beth is continuing her tear through high school. She brought home yet another semester of straight A’s this month. It’s getting to the point I can’t remember when she last got something other than an A. In fact, she was exempted from mid-terms for her efforts, so she got extra time tacked onto Christmas Break.
This is where Cheryl tells you I can’t remember this morning, so don’t be too impressed.
If Beth is on a tear, Adam’s using a wrecking ball. I think I’ve signed (maybe) two tests where he missed one question since he started first grade in August. Part of me worries it’s too easy – that what he’s primarily learning is he doesn’t have to try.
Leave it to me to worry after only a few months of first grade – because his grades are TOO good.
Cheryl and I started doing things without the kids again, thanks to
slave labor Beth’s increasing maturity and responsibility. It’s been a long time since we did things together on a regular basis – too long. We’re fixing that now.
It’s my favorite time of year in Florida. We can go outside without a gallon of fresh water for every hour we’re out. It’s not as cool as I’d like, but it is still Florida. We’ve been skating, hiking, walking, and generally enjoying outdoor life.
Where ever you are, I hope you’re getting plenty of chances to enjoy life too.
Sink hole? I thought you meant stink hole.
Srsly, I’m a cartographer who knows his karst. You can mention that to people if you want: “Steve knows his karst.”
Anyway, I came to love Florida while visiting on business for years and years. I love everything about the state, except the politics and the stink holes.
It took a while for me to appreciate Florida. As a kid coming from New England, it was hot, flat, and boring.
Ironically, it became home when I left home. Bicycling across north-central Florida while I was in school in Gainesville opened my eyes. It was more than beaches and over-development.
It’s still a bit uncomfortable in summer though. And politics? At the state level? Steve, it hurts. Please, make it stop.
Loved this post, John. I’ll never think of Florida again without thinking of cars only being wrecked on the left side and houses being swallowed up by the Earth.
I don’t know why we fool around with oranges on our license plates. Many of our orange trees were destroyed by weather or disease years ago – especially if you live in north or central Florida.
Methinks a sink hole would be a more appropriate representation of the state – that or a strip-mall.
I suppose oranges and beaches are better marketing though.
I was thinking many things when I settled on a title, but that wasn’t one of them – thank goodness. I wasn’t thinking at all about how others might interpret it either. That happens pretty often, actually.
Although there’s nothing in the post to suggest it, the title is actually mocking myself. “Life Changes?” What does sheltered little me know about big life changes?
But it’s also reassuring myself. Life changes… it changes for everyone. The little changes I face are the changes others face all the time.
A blog post with a two word title, which I don’t explain and doesn’t exactly match the tone of the post it leads.
Yep – that’s how I roll :-)
whew, you scared me. so many people are getting divorces seemingly out of the blue lately, that was my first thought when I saw your headline.
I have been undergoing changes too.I changed jobs completely last week, and so far I love it and feel 100% better mentally already, with more goodness to come, i hope.