Friday, January 05, 2007

And so how is the new year treating you?

It has been an interesting new year so far.

A little background for you. I start out in December each year trying to get things done so I am in the groove for the New Year. I don't make resolutions to start the New Year as I have already made decisions in December to have most things done before January gets here. I even choose to stay at home on New Year's eve so that I start the year off rested and not sleeping the first day away.

I choose six to eight things that I want to accomplish in December so I don't have to worry about them or I am already in the habit of doing them so they are easy to do without thinking of them as a chore after January 1.

I begin my new daily exercise regimen no later than Dec. 15.

I make a plan for my creative time for the new year and begin adjusting it so I get my work done to make money and also have time for just me and wherever my creative time takes me.

I try to do one housework chore a day that I am behind on. I organize a lot so all is in good form for the new year.

I try to get a week of auctions scheduled on eBay and ready to start on January 1.

I pay off all my credit card bills before Jan. 1 or at least have a plan to pay off the month of January.

I pre-pay my first month's regular bills like a car payment. Get the picture?

This year I spent my New Year's Eve listing on eBay the auctions to start on New Year's Day. I was congratulating myself on actually getting every single thing done on my list. January 2 arrives and I get an email from eBay that they have cancelled dozens of my listings. It seems that it is now against their policies for sellers to say that they will accept cash. I had in the listing that I take cash (which is forbidden), money orders, personal checks and PayPal. I can't imagine why they should care if one takes cash since I alone am responsible for my eBay income. In seven years, I have received less than $100 in cash! I cannot retrieve the listings and correct them---they are gone along with a day's productivity! And of course, eBay, the insulated corporation that it is, is not available for any customer service to help me retrieve any listings. I have sent four emails to eBay associates and no one has answered a one of them. (Note to self: eBay is not a company to specialize in serving it's customers. It is only interested in itself.)Then Wednesday, I get an email that eBay has raised their fees. Now if I want to take the time to re-list, the fee will be .05 more each! I have figured the no cash requirement out. eBay does not want to miss a single fee that they can help as they want to be certain that people use one of their other services-PayPal. Oh, if I were wealthy, I would give eBay some real competition. So if anyone reading this has so much money, you don't know what to do with it---keep me in mind.

Then I went to get my driver's license renewed. I was stuck in the line for over four hours! So much for trying to make the best use of time to start the New Year.

I took the truck for an oil change---We got a call that the truck had a brake line that had rusted through and it would cost $400 to repair!

We had our annual furnace inspection ($180) and found out the reason for the noise was the fan had rusted and the whole motor (that pulls all the bad air from under the house) now has to be replaced. The other motor is drawing high amps than it should and is on its way to an early death. The system is 19 years old so we can replace the motors for about $1,000 or replace the furnace! As I write this, we are having a new furnace installed at a cost of $2500.

I could go on and on----but you get the message. I rarely complain, but I was a little short in an email to a friend. I had not even mentioned all of the things above--just the eBay problem. She sent me back a horoscope yesterday that was just too creepy for words. It detailed all of the things that had just happened and how I am the kind of person who wants to have a jump on the new year, how I like to be in control of my life, how I need to let things roll as they may for now as things will start looking up tomorrow.

Even my husband noticed my unhappiness with all of the "bad stuff" that I could not do anything about.

He reminded me that:
1) I have been growing unhappy with eBay for a long time. Oh, not the buyers! I love selling on eBay and getting treasures that I find to those who want and need them. I am just very disatisfied with a company that does not consider me a customer to be satisfied when I pay them money and lots of it.

2) We could have been driving our truck down a hill when the brakes went out and even if only we were involved, it could have been disastrous. As it was, as soon as it was put up on the lift, they noticed a fluid coming out and when it was checked, the braking power was gone.

3) I had been contemplating applying for a job with the state. There are many openings for driver's license examiners. After being in a crowded room with people coughing, talking on cellphones, 18 year olds swooning over some guy and talking about their sororities for almost four hours and looking at a filfthy carpet, dirty, greasy walls, I realize that I don't need a job like that. I had rather clean toilets for a living! Honestly. No wonder there are so many openings. Who wants to work in an environment where one has to feel like they are working in a warehouse? I am still wondering what on earth I had to sign about child molesters, pornography or something like that before they would give me my license. Note to self for the New Year: Even if I am in a hurry and worn out, don't sign a thing if I have a gut feeling that it has nothing to do with what I am attempting to do. Why does this have anything to do with getting a driver's license? I shall return next week and ask for the form to see what I signed. I also plan on refusing to sign any doctor's form that is two pages long. I will write out that they can only contact my insurance company and any doctors or people that I specify individually.

4) The company that we have our air/heat maintenance service agreement called the morning that the furnace was making a clanking noise. It had made the noise before, but always stop after a few minutes. When the maintenance man came, it just happened to be making the noise and luckily for us, they could hear exactly what it was. The weather is beautiful today and so to have a new furnace installed is not a problem and because business is slow right now, we can get a 10% discount. As I sit typing this, it is 70 degrees inside and the heat has been off since early morning. I should be thankful---it could be 25 degrees outside and 45 degrees in here!

5) As far as the exercise regime, paying bills, making my own creative time, etc. are in my complete control. I should be thankful that I am healthy, happy and have enough money to pay bills, enjoy some things that are not absolute necessities, have so many ideas that I will never run out of things to make and I have friends. Even those who send me horoscopes.

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