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FREE AT LAST!
6 June 2007
Thank Gawd almighty--I'm free at last!
I don't want to joke about something as serious as Martin Luther's King "Free at Last" speech, but I feel as if 10,000 lbs has just been lifted from my shoulders.
I finally had Word Perfect back where it was before the computer problems. Actually it was essentially back 3 days ago, but I had not yet finished a tape for the psychiatrist.
I. just. couldn't. do. it.
I have been looking at these tapes for weeks now and getting more depressed. Anybody who has not experienced depression doesn't realize how debilitating it is. Walt asked me recently how long it took me to transcribe a tape and pointed out that I should be able to catch up in no time and he didn't understand what was taking so long.
It's impossible to explain how I have felt for the past year, regarding all this work. I have been working for the psychiatrist since about 1975. Yes, that's 75. More than thirty years. Thirty years of the same stuff over and over again, day after day. I could do it like an automaton.
But at some point in the last year or so, something just snapped. I just couldn't bring myself to start. If I transcribed one note (which might be 1/4 of a page long) a day, that was a good day. A typical tape is about 10-15 notes.
It got worse when Walt retired. He was retired. Shouldn't I be able to retire?
It paralyzed me to do anything else. Each morning I would drag myself into the office and stare at the tapes. I would think of all sorts of projects I wanted to do around here, but didn't want to start them because I had all these TAPES to do. But then I wasn't getting the tapes done either.
I'd get so paralyzed that I'd get up and go eat. Then come back and stare at the tapes. Do some stuff on the Internet, or write something or anything to avoid listening to the psychiatrist speak in my ear again.
The tapes are piling up.
They were piling up before the computer problems and that gave me an excuse not to be working. When the computer came back, the excuse was that I needed Word Perfect, which I did, though I could have managed with Word if I really worked at it.
The thing about the psychiatrist is that he's such a wonderfully gentle guy that in 30+ years he's never been angry with me (at least not openly angry) about anything, even in times like this, when I am so far behind.
So when the psychiatrist showed up at the door yesterday afternoon and asked Walt is he could speak with "your lovely wife," I didn't realize that the moment of Decision had finally arrived.
In fact, I didn't realize it until we were well into the conversation, having already covered the pleasantries about the dogs and the health of Walt's mother and my mother. I also gave him the progress report that the computer was back and running now and I was working on his tapes.
He hemmed and hawed — which is the thing he does best, which is part of why I have come to dislike his dictation so much — and talked about my many responsibilities and that he knows how time consuming they are and that he was just wondering if I was tired of doing his tapes. My opening was there and I only hesitated for a moment before I said that yes, I really, really was tired of doing them.
He suggested I gather up the tapes I had left and he would check around and find someone to do them. I suggested that he leave them here and let me continue to work on them so that some got done while he was looking. We agreed that was a good idea.
I told him I'd be happy to continue doing his emergency reports that have to be turned around in the middle of the night. He agreed that he's not likely to find someone who would agree to take a tape at 11 p.m. and have it ready for him by 6 a.m.
He gave me a hug and left, without leaving behind another tape. I heaved a huge sigh of relief and floated back in the house.
His work hasn't brought in a lot of money to the family coffers, but it did add $200-$300 a month. If we are strapped for cash, I am eligible to collect Social Security, so I could always apply.
But most of all, I'm free! No more pile of tapes to paralyze me and make me feel guilty. I don't expect that I'm going to instantly get the house clean, but maybe I will finally do some of the projects that have been on the back burner for months and years.
....oh no! ...
We're going to have to buy our own turkey this Christmas!
Maybe I should rethink this.....
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Last weekend's picnic. Psychiatrist is 3rd from the
This is entry #2625