Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include:
1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes;
2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.
Our Fun Monday host for December, Jill over at Life is Not Bubble Wrapped , gives us a chance to vent this week with her assignment for Dec. 13th. She asks us to post our biggest gripe of the year--anything goes. When I read Jill's assignment I immediately thought of my favorite fictional and film character of this year, Lisbeth Salander from Swedish writer Stieg Larsson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Lisbeth Salander is this bizarre, goth-looking, anti-social young woman who is also a brilliant researcher and computer hacker. She was the victim of abuse by her father as a child and social services whose job it was to protect her while growing up. As an adult she is attacked from many fronts, accused of crimes she didn't commit, and forced to defend herself against powerful people in government.
Her weapons of choice include a taser gun, tattoo needle to brand her rapist, golf club, kick boxing and most importantly, a cool analytical mind. She does not gripe, pity herself or expect someone else to solve her problems. She defeats her enemies with the truth.
One of my favorite scenes in the third book of the trilogy, Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, was when she showed up for her trial for attempting to murder her father, in this t-shirt that proclaimed: "I AM ANNOYED". I would love to own a t-shirt with this slogan. Lis doesn't gripe about her horrible life. She just say "I am annoyed and you better watch out!"
Now about my biggest gripe of the year. I actually don't feel totally right in even bringing it up when I think of the predicament many people are in about this very issue, but it is what it is. In a nutshell I am annoyed because of a big jump in my health insurance premiums. Here's the deal. When I retired I had been with my company long enough for them to continue paying half of my monthly health insurance premiums. I felt very fortunate to have the excellent coverage provided by our company plan. In November I turned 65 so had to go on Medicare. I expected that my company premiums would go down because of being eligible for Medicare. Not so. My Anthem plan became my supplemental coverage, but the premiums won't go down. In fact, it will increase $30-40 monthly. On top of that, a healthy chunk of my monthly Social Security check is now going for Medicare.
So that's my major gripe of the year. When I think about what my health insurance costs and that it's coming from three different sources--my former employer, me and the government--it just boggles my mind at the mess our health care is in in this country. I'm grateful to be covered, but am wondering: how can I get the same excellent coverage as our esteemed members of Congress--at what they're paying?
(Image credit for "I Am Annoyed" icon: Community Live Journal blog)