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gotitsowhat

Goodbye Old Gold

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gotitsowhat

That's what I call my '93 gold colored Camry, the car that has broken down, in the midst of freeway rush hour traffic, FOUR TIMES IN THREE WEEKS! This has occurred while I was fighting the cold from hell and trying to continue working every day while sick (had to be present on the job due to an important inspection). This summer has been a very tough summer for me.

So... OId Gold is dead. He died yesterday, just went kaput on the freeway. I'll miss him. Right now I am driving my mechanic's loaner car, a car that looks so bad I fear being arrested just for driving something that ugly. And it has no air conditioning and a bad air vent so all I can do is drive this rolling sauna bath one hour each way to and from work with the window open (the one window that DOES open!), hoping I can figure out what to do.

I'm feeling kinda down about this whole mess. I've driven a lot of cars in my life and I know when it's time to junk a clunker that won't run and move on. Unfortunately, I declared bankruptcy several years ago and it's still on my record so I do not have enough credit to get a new car. Not so sure I'd want a new car anyway.

So my mechanic is going to sell me a car that was left with him for repairs (which he did) but the guy who left the car lost his job and now cannot pay the mechanic. So my mechanic is going to fix the car some more and sell it to me; he will let me make payments. It will take me about 10 months to a year to get out of debt for the car. It's a good car, though, and I do trust my mechanic, whom I've known for almost 10 years and who is very competent and honest.

The thing that sends me sinking into the Bog is this:

I want, more than anything, to self-publish one of the books I wrote. I saved the thousands of dollars necessary for a self-publication project...and then 14(FOURTEEN!) of my teeth suddenly needed dental work. I am just at the point of paying off the dentist who did 7 of these procedures. When I make my last payment to him next month, I can begin the next 7 dental procedures. These dental procedures have used up ALL of the money I had so carefully saved over a year and a half.

So, all I had to do was to start saving money again, right? WRONG. Right after my dental procedure(s), my boss, Arnold the Governator, cut my salary by the exact amount I had been saving ($500 a month).

So it did require some rather severe re-budgeting in order to start saving money again. I've become a vegetarian on the way to being a vegan, hoping to save money and my health (seems to be working out OK). I now shop in thrift shops. I do not read magazines or go to movies. I cancelled my (badly needed) summer vacation. And, after all of these severe changes, I started to save money once again.

In fact, it actually looked like I was starting to make progress again. I was proud that I had managed to start saving money again under these difficult circumstances. And I had saved about a quarter of what I need to self-publish. I was starting to feel there was hope.

Now I will have to spend everything I saved on a down payment for the "new" car I need so badly. I live a long way from my job (it's an hour commute) and the bus system in so Cal is a joke. And I like to drive, love to drive. I may move closer to my job although I do like my neighborhood and neighbors and have lived there for 17 years.

So all of my money is wiped out once again. And my dream, which, frankly, is one of the main things that keeps me going every day, keeps me hanging in on a stressful job, is once again as dead as my car.

I feel like I just can't win. At this rate, I will never be able to retire and will never be able to do anything I want to do except just exist and go to and from a job. I will be far in debt for months now and will not even begin to try and save money for a long time. In spite of all of my best efforts, my dream just keeps receding into the distance.

I really did need a vacation this summer. I am trying to accept this philosophically because, after all, there is really nothing at all that I can do about it. I just have to survive these next months hoping that somehow, someday, I can either get my salary back (unlikely with the gov around) or can find some way to make some more money. I barely have the energy for what I do already but am trying to psych myself into getting a second job at some point--who knows if I can manage it, maybe just a temporary second job.

All of this has hit me pretty hard. I find myself feeling shame over this, shame that is probably just as ridiculous as the shame people feel for contracting hsv. But I feel bad that I have, somehow, allowed this humiliating circumstance to hit me at the age of 64. I am a teacher so my pay is not that high to begin with--the last thing I needed was a damn pay cut! It all seems so unfair and wrong. I work with a population few teachers will work with (mentally ill, criminally insane), a population considered dangerous. It would be hard to get someone to take my job (the previous woman who worked on this job, back during the Reagan Administration, was killed on the job by her students on her first day of work). I have 4 college degrees (or five if you count an AA degree from an arts and crafts college). I have a teaching credential. I work my tail off. Sometimes, often, I put in free overtime at school on Saturdays just so I won't get scolded for being late on the impossible amount of paper work they throw at us.

How the hell did I wind up in such a loser's position at my age? How can my dreams be crushed when I am putting up such a fight to make them happen? How can hard work, persistance and pathetically careful budgeting lead me to being broke and in debt? I will be living the next year just trying to pay off my car (and the dentist when I go back for Round Two of the dental procedures)....running fast while staying in one place, like a rodent on an exercise treadmill. I guess that's why they call it a rat race. I just hate being the rat, that's all.

I know, I know, life is not fair. I acknowledge that. But I don't have to like it.

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Guest Seatortuga

Someone should grab the governator and shake him :( With all of the work you do and all you contribute to your student's lives, you deserve more. I call shenanigans!!

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GntiNh

Life sucks. I can't think of anything to say that will make it better, so I'm sending you a massive hug. Take care

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SpaceGoat

*a moment of silence please*

Dearly Beloved, we have come together to say goodbye to Old Gold. You've been a good friend and dependable ride, but sadly your life was cut short. Goodbye, Old Gold. Rust in Pieces. *bows head*

(If that made you smile, my work here is done.)

I'm sorry it's been so rough for you lately *hugs* That was not to make light of your situation. I am truly sorry things have went south.

If I ever see your Governor, I shall swiftly kick him in the shin for screwing you and everyone else over and run away like a little girl (at least until the body guards taze and beat me bloody) before stuffing me in a cop car.

(smiling yet?)

Okay, nix the kicking him in the shin thing... I shall at least stick my tongue out or give him the finger. I'll decide later. We'll play it by ear. ;)

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Shayna
*a moment of silence please*

Dearly Beloved, we have come together to say goodbye to Old Gold. You've been a good friend and dependable ride, but sadly your life was cut short. Goodbye, Old Gold. Rust in Pieces. *bows head*

(If that made you smile, my work here is done.)

I'm sorry it's been so rough for you lately *hugs* That was not to make light of your situation. I am truly sorry things have went south.

If I ever see your Governor, I shall swiftly kick him in the shin for screwing you and everyone else over and run away like a little girl (at least until the body guards taze and beat me bloody) before stuffing me in a cop car.

(smiling yet?)

Okay, nix the kicking him in the shin thing... I shall at least stick my tongue out or give him the finger. I'll decide later. We'll play it by ear. ;)

Oh Lord, that was knee slappin' funny!!!

BB...I hope it brought a smile to you (I'm sure it did ;) )!!

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gotitsowhat

Thanks for the laugh....

I'm sure that helped my immune system. Just what my old car needed, a funeral....

*a moment of silence please*

Dearly Beloved, we have come together to say goodbye to Old Gold. You've been a good friend and dependable ride, but sadly your life was cut short. Goodbye, Old Gold. Rust in Pieces. *bows head*

(If that made you smile, my work here is done.)

I'm sorry it's been so rough for you lately *hugs* That was not to make light of your situation. I am truly sorry things have went south.

If I ever see your Governor, I shall swiftly kick him in the shin for screwing you and everyone else over and run away like a little girl (at least until the body guards taze and beat me bloody) before stuffing me in a cop car.

(smiling yet?)

Okay, nix the kicking him in the shin thing... I shall at least stick my tongue out or give him the finger. I'll decide later. We'll play it by ear. ;)

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catiesmom

Just an idea - is it possible for you to get investors in your book? Maybe grants or something?

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vegan1

I have a friend who was able to publish her own novels at very low cost and she lives on a very fixed income with little to no savings..Im going to send you her contact info and tell her to give you some tips. im not sure how she did it so quickly but she is very resourceful...

As you already know, my car did the exact same thing this past June, which caused a devastating chain of events including my breakup and move to NYC. Unfortunately, there wasnt a mechanic nice enough to sell me a working car and accept payments while I use it. That would have been a blessing and probably would have saved the job I loved so dearly!

I wouldnt get a new car even if i had the money. Id get a used car that is certified by a reputable mechanic.

And teeth are really really really important to have. LOL!! I dont have medical insurance or the money to get my wisdom teef removed. I have to chew on the back right side of my mouf so the rest of them dont cause me pain!

hang in there, you are a very strong person and this too shall pass...

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