Monday, April 1, 2019

Reassessing My Life, Taking a Totally New Direction

Like Cher sang in "Walking in Memphis,"
Yeah, I got a first class ticket
But I'm as blue as a girl can be
That's how I've been feeling lately. I have a nice apartment, sufficient income and the ability to make more, good medical care, decent health -- but something is missing. I can't put my finger on it, but my life just isn't right. It has no meaning to me.

To steal a phrase from Konmari, nothing in my life "sparks joy" anymore. I don't even enjoy my gardening, although I keep doing it because it's the only thing that gives me any sense of accomplishment.

I don't like the city I live in. I moved here because it had a great gardening community and I thought I could be a part of it, but that didn't work out. I've been here for 5 years and have yet to put together a group of friends, because I assumed I'd make them through the gardening community.

I've come to realize that without a car, I'm not going to be able to participate in much of anything, especially not in the summer. My sensitivity to heat is getting worse, so I'm literally trapped inside most of the summer.

So I'm terribly, terribly unhappy. It's not the town, the apartment, the people. It's me. I need more. I need something that is going to excite me. I need to do something impactful with the rest of my life, and I can't do it here. I feel trapped, by my possessions, by my financial situation, and I can see now way out except to risk something important to have something better.

A New Life Requires Sacrifices

One way I'm trapped is by my financial situation. I need to make money to institute the changes I want, and I'm stuck on the benefits cliff. If I make more than a couple of hundred dollars a month, I'll lose my Medicaid, which pays my Medicare premiums, co-pays and deductibles. I had no health care for so long that I'm terrified to let go of it now, especially since I'm getting older.

I have the capability to make good money, which would make my life so much better. In order to do that, I have to let go of what I have and go back to what I had. I can't NOT have Medicare, they don't allow that. If you let it go, you just can't ever get it back, so I've decided to go with an Advantage plan.

This will cost me somewhere between $35 and $100/month depending on what the benefits of the plan are. I'll be restricted as to what doctors I can see and I'll have a deductible and co-pay for doctor visits, but it will include eye and dental care. Starting tomorrow, I'm going to get more information about what plans are available and what the cost will be.

Since I can't afford to pay all the extra costs, I'm going to have to go back to mostly treating myself with alternative medicine, but I survived that way for many, many years, so that doesn't bother me. I'll just start back only going to the Dr. for yearly checkups and if I actually get sick. I've started on a new diet and exercise program to try to get as healthy as I can so I won't need doctors as much.

All of this has to wait until the open enrollment period from Oct. 15, 2019 to Dec. 7, 2019. I'll probably put that off until December, because I will need to save up some money before then to have as a cushion once my benefits start being cut.

Making More Money

Freeing myself from the restrictions of Medicaid will allow me to make as much money as I want. Yes, I'll lose my food stamps, but I've learned to eat pretty well on less than $200/month, so that won't be such a burden. I've developed very good frugal eating habits, and I'm on a calorie-restricted diet now, so I can survive.

I'll kick up my affiliate marketing and also do more freelance writing to hep pay the basic bills while I build the AM business. Feeling like I HAVE to make money to pay bills and survive will motivate me to work more, and the more I make and save, the more motivated I'll become.

First Things First

My first goal is to buy a car. I want a min-van, because I'd like to eventually turn it into a camper van and travel. That's the first HUGE change I'm going to make. In order to do that, I'll have to get rid of most of what I own, which will take time. More about that later.

I'm going to resign my lease in July for another year here at this apartment, and in the meantime, I'll be doing what I need to do to set off on my new life. 16 months sounds like a lot of time, but I have a lot to do, so it's not so long after all. If I'm going to make major changes in my life, I'm going to have to get started now so when time comes to leave here, I'll be ready to walk out the door with no regrets.

I can hardly wait to get started! This is my new purpose, and this time, I'm not going to let myself down. I have many good years left, and I'm going to live them to the fullest.

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