I haven’t had a blog since 2013, when I stopped working on the Wheatland Ferry. If you’ve never seen that blog, feel free to check it out. For two and a half years, I operated a ferry that crossed the Willamette River. I had lost my job as a land use planner due to the recession, and managed to hang onto my benefits and longevity at the County by running a ferry. It was quite an adventure, both wonderful and terrible, often in the same day. I’m glad I’m done with that part of my life though.
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in early 2014. Fibromyalgia is a neurological disorder that causes widespread muscle and joint pain, extreme fatigue, and a confusion that’s often called “brain fog.” This condition has seriously affected my last three planning jobs.
I lost my most recent job the week of Thanksgiving, 2016. I loved that job. I was working as a planner for a local County, working mostly rural planning, with a good helping of code compliance, which is the enforcement of land use and zoning regulations. It was a really great job, however the fatigue and brain fog meant that I just wasn’t working to their expectations. I couldn’t meet deadlines, I would come to work and just stare at the computer screen, unable to get my brain to engage in my work.
Since I lost my job, the big question is, What’s Next? I don’t think I’m going to look for a full-time job. I think it’s just too stressful for my body. I have started driving for Uber and Lyft, which is quite fun. I’ve met some hilarious people, which I know I’ll be writing about. I picked up passengers in the middle of a snowstorm, I drove on New Year’s Eve, I’ve driven strippers home while they count all of their one dollar bills. It is a job that is ripe with storytelling opportunities.
Lately, I’ve been looking into freelance land use planning and freelance writing/editing jobs. I feel like I’m a decent writer, I try to write as if I’m talking to someone right in front of me. At the same time, as a government employee, I have taught myself to write in the dry monotonous government-speak, the stuff required for planning documents. Things such as, “The applicant states the building will be located more than ten feet from the north (side) property line. This criterion has been met.” I swear I’ve written almost that exact sentence at least 20 times in my career.
Knowing me, you’ll also read me when I gossip on about my knitting escapades. I’m a voracious knitter. I knit like I read–swallowing whole books at a time, skeins of yarn turning into sweaters, socks and shawls in a heartbeat. Right now, I’m working on bright purple socks for my fiance, Dave, and a new sweater for me. I try to knit at least one sweater per winter, and it’s already February, so I better hurry up!
So welcome to my new blog! My chronic illness, knitting, job hunting, uber-driving blog.