Well, it's been a hard year at 52....work has been scarce, very scarce, especially in my Trade, and too many obstacles to try to obtain it. So in the Fall of 2012 I took a parttime job working for a Democratic candidate going door to door stumping for votes. I could do this because I was NOT asking for money. I drove other coworkers and we would each work our own blocks. I met folks from many different races and ethnicities, ages, and classes....I found the rich folks to be the most selfish, Democrats much easier to deal with than Republicans, and generally friendlier, the same with working class/poor folks vs those better off. Of course we were working for a Democratic candidate, but there's generally a huge correlation of class between more working class Democrats, vs more well off Republicans.
Sometimes the scariest neighborhoods were the friendliest...and people were concerned about my safety(I was too) but the richer neighborhoods were snooty and I got to the point that I never cared to see or hear from a dog again, dreading every door I walked up to that had one, or 3 in the case of smaller dogs....
Folks were worried about their livelihoods, had real fears about the economy and genuinely hoped the candidate could help them and address their issues. There was always at least one person I spent a good 15 minutes with hearing their story, before moving on...sometimes an elderly woman whose husband had recently died and she wondered how she was going to pay her bills, same with a gay man whose partner had died...an Indian family where the husband had a hard time getting work, and worried about the economy and if he'd be able to support his family, their shoes lined outside the door and I could smell the delicious Indian food.
Some of them worried about their healthcare or what Obamacare meant for them. Sometimes it was a young person who saw no point in voting and I told them they NEEDED their opinion represented, since they would inherit the world from us, and not to sit on the sidelines.
Then there was one unincorporated town with big huge houses far apart, which on the surface represents the rich, but underneath was thoroughly redneck and fairly Republican....these folks were often rude to me. I remember one block where someone shouted at me: "How do you like your Socialist President?" when I wore an Obama shirt that day. I also stumped for defeating an anti union bill, so I also represented the Union while working for this Candidate, and it was great connecting with all the Union households. It was a learning experience to connect with so many people from so many different backgrounds.
Since we worked around Halloween it was wonderful to see how all out some people went with their yards for Halloween, quite creatively!
Then I didn't have work for awhile till I worked for a big hardware retailer for 3 months in my field. I found myself educating customers to our products in my department but also answering questions with them about my trade. There were the professional customers who knew what they were doing, but some of the do it yourselfers were truly frightening. They really had very little knowledge of my profession, and yet they were going to do these projects around their homes with no or very little experience. I educated them to the best of my ability what to do, and which products to get for their projects, but if the questions got too intense, I suggested they hire a worker in the field who knew how to install them properly. Some of the men got real testy about that(too much testosterone of course) and said they could do it..and I had to finally let it go. If they want to destroy their homes because of improper installation and refusal to hire a professional because the project was beyond their level of experience or knowledge, then there was nothing I could do about it. The women were far more willing to be open to suggestion and I think they really enjoyed having a womon who knew about the field they could ask questions.
But the hours of the job constantly got rotated, from days to evenings, whichever I allowed in my schedule, and no schedule or days were set in stone...it changed from week to week. Hard to really schedule the rest of one's life around such an unstable schedule. And the number of hours were never permitted to be above 29, and often quite below that. Finally I'd had it when our numbers got reduced and I started feeling used. I never worked for such a big corporation before in my life. Very, very corporate, anti-union, even though catering and SELLING to union members in the trades, but not for the employees. And no employee discount with low pay. All the years in my trade, all the questions I answered and even customers who came back and ASKED for me because I knew my stuff! It did help me stay on my toes in my field and challenged me! No hope of ever getting on fulltime, and I was laid off shortly before the end of the 90 day probationary period. Frustrating....
My partner has had some serious health struggles this year, and I know I have some hidden ones too. The dizzy thing came back a week ago, I had it for 6 weeks a year ago, but fortunately this time it only lasted a day...
However on a good note, we have been looking at our diet(often breaking it) but trying to juice and generally eat much healthier. We mostly eat at home these days, partly because of money issues, partly for health. And we have been swimming 2-3 days a week since February.
For my birthday, when I worked recently in my field and made some good money I bought two new swimming suits I desperately needed since mine was falling apart, and also some beautiful neon green tennis shoes, VERY COMFORTABLE, some for her, an A's hat and A's shirt, same for her....and we went to an A's game. Also I bought myself a leather armband at Dore Alley Fair, and a beautiful leather pouch with crosstrap for her. It was nice having money, at least for two weeks, where we could enjoy ourselves. But that job took everything from me, and I was sad I got laid off after two weeks, as I was hoping the job would last longer, I could pay off more bills and save....
I had no energy left over, and came home in ALOT of pain. I could see my aging. My wrists really hurt from the repetitive motion, as well as my back and about everything else. Construction work is HEAVY WORK...compared to the other two jobs....where mostly what I had to endure was walking or standing on my feet.
I am hoping that this year ahead I figure out what I really want to do with my life workwise, and find the perfect situation where I'm paid decently, have good co workers and folks on the job who truly appreciate me, and I can use my mind and my skills. I bore easily. And I have a creative side I'd really like to bring to the rest of my life and my work.
I feel saddened that I chose NOT to go to my womyn's spirituality festival this year, but I had to deal with some dramarama from the steering committee as I called them on some issues and it was really a nasty piece of work. But truthfully, I really couldn't afford it, from the little work I've gotten(unless I didn't do that shop till you drop at Sports Authority!) and sad as I am that I don't get my Land time to renew, I had to take a break from the personalities....
NEXT YEAR MICHFEST!!! And maybe hopefully I'll get to celebrate my birthday on the Land at Michfest! Meanwhile I'd like to find a way to be as happy at home as I am on Land, and have all my Selves integrated: Sexual, Spiritual, Right Livelihood, Intellectual, and Psychic!
My brother sent me back the check I sent him for his 50th, which saved me some money, and $53 cash to represent my current birthday. He too has struggled as he was let go from his job, a big mess, but he just had an interview today on my birthday, and it sounded good.
Best I can do is turn it over to the Goddess, keep working out, keep swimming, keep loving my partner and kitties, and reaching out to my friends and likeminded Sisters on the internet! We are growing our DykeAmazon Movement all over again, for ALL Lesbians to be free, and connect with one another: Black, White, Red, Brown, all races, ages, ethnicities, Leather, non Leather, into Goddess worship, womyn's mysteries, Amazon Warriors, Witches, Wisewomyn, Lesbians who remember, Lesbians who missed out, Dykes who are Proud to be Female, Sister Butches, and all those who want womyn throughout the world to be powerful and free and to save this beautiful Planet Mother Earth from destruction and Her creatures.
-In DykeAmazon Sisterhood,