Hey, y'all. I clicked "I am going through a crisis" here but actually, I'm happy to report it just ended today. I never seem to click it much, so I figured I'd do so now even if I'm half a day late in doing so.
It's been great to be back on DS after my IT issue logging on from here in Mexico was resolved. But I did have a surprise anxiety episode down here Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. 9 years ago, after 10 years as a hospital chaplain, I agreed to make less in salary going back to teaching at the community college level rather than the university level at which I taught in my first career as an instructor. I did that because in my first career I'd been strictly a Spanish professor, whereas after my hospital clinicals, residency, and work experience I wanted to teach the pscych courses to nursing students as I do now. You'd think being more experienced and more qualified would mean more pay, but then that would mean you haven't experienced the full extent of illogic in higher education. Ha!
I mention that to say that when I was a university professor making more money, I never taught summer school. However, since relinquishing 15% of my earning power to teach community college, I have needed to. My decision not to this summer was based on two things. First of all, he last time I did it, last summer, that mid-summer I wore myself out so badly that I collapsed in the classroom from exhaustion and had to be rushed by ambulance to the hospital for a 4 day stay. I found out the hard way that "where there's a will, there's a way" ain't always so."
Second of all, I decided I'd make up the summer school income I'd give up by writing more of the speeches I've given at churches and the League of Women Voters and at other venues around my area. They pay me a fee, so it's extra income. The fact that worry abut income's been on my mind now explains why the post on a thread here about growing up in a boom and bust household as a kid with mentally ill parents who couldn't keep a job while I was growing up.
As soon as I got down here to Mexico June 2nd, I went to work. Those who hire me as guest speaker leave the topic open to me, so I usually base it on a book I read or on a trip I've taken. The first week I was here I read a new book that, fortunately, inspired me yet again, and so I wrote that speech fast. The guy who books my speeches for me emailed me down here, and we set the date for me to give the speech back in the States in August, so I locked in having that speaker's fee earned. That right there paid for half of my US-Mexico round trip ticket. My plan for the summer was working. Easy, right?
Nope. As they say, humans plan and God laughs. After a couple of days rest, I sat down this past Saturday to write my second presentation. Crickets. Nothing. I was locked up in my room all afternoon and half the night, and still nothing. Sunday afternoon evening the same. By yesterday, Monday, when the writer's block continued I began to have PTSD symptoms over it from stressing out.
I am not in debt because to live with my salary decision I don't date, I live alone renting a tiny 1 bedroom apartment, I drive a 2009 subcompact car, and I don't use my credit cards any more than I can pay off every month. It's great not to be in debt after working my way back from bankruptcy after my divorce, but I don't have any savings, though, either. The concern there is that I've got some dental work on crowns and such coming up that are going to require for me to pay a good amount above and beyond the coverage from my work's dental insurance. As I mentioned in my last thread, I'm saving money there, too, getting the dental work done here whenever possible, but it's still extra.
Then this morning when I went to the local taco restaurant for my huenos rancheros. I was chatting with my waiter Osvaldo about things I've seen around town, boom, it hit me. The Lacandones would be a great topic for a presentation back in the States. I'd seen a group of them on the plaza in town just yesterday.
I don't know how I didn't think of it before, but talking with Osvaldo did the trick. The Lacandones are the most interesting of all of half million indigenous people around this town because they were almost driven to extinction by similar forces that affected Native Americans and their land in the US. They got down to having a total of 300 people left, even though their history goes back most closely of all indigenous people to the Maya civilization that was here for a thousand years before Columbus. They survived and have multiplied to several times more than 300 now because of a great leader who stepped up and inspired them to keep to their language, their religion, and their ancient ways. He has since died, and when he did he was so respected that The New York Times printed his obituary and in 2015 National Geographic did a spread on his people.
So bingo! My writer's block left and my PTSD symptoms receded as the stress resolved when I locked myself in my hotel room again all afternoon today Tuesday and I got that presentation written from start to fnish, with the footnotes required, everything. And I liked what I wrote, too. That matters to me because after writing it I it's not over. I have to turn around read it out loud to the groups that hire me, too, and I can't stand being bored by the sound of my own voice any more than the next person.
On Friday I fly back to the States for a few days midsummer to check on my apartment and pay my month's bills. My June flight here and August flight back were already paid for by a refund from my travel insurance when I couldn't come down to Mexico last December because my surgery came up. This flight Friday was half paid for by that first presentation I wrote about that book after I got here. The problem writer's block left me with was: what about the second half of the flight? How was I going to pay that off without being able to teach summer school if I couldn't get past writer's block and write that second presentation?
But now I did. Thank goodness. Folks from here at DS PTSD used private messages to encourage me through my PTSD panic attacks triggered by this stress over this past Saturday, Sunday, and yesterday Monday. I'm writing here to thank you. Y'all are simply the best. Gracias.
So I left work early today. I needed some time off and I pulled chocks early. When I got home, I put on a pair of my "crazy pants" and lounged like a tree-less sloth. When I went into the hospital last time, I had a few days to ready myself as the insurance was being worked out. Also, I was rather closely watched by PDoc and TDoc. So back to pants, I was going to live in sweats while...
Hi Everyone! I wanted to join this group to see if it would be beneficial for me.