You know when you hear about someone quitting their job, packing up and just leaving? Did u ever wonder how successful that person was in their attempts to leave all that they uprooted?   Do people really just pack it in, pack it up and leave? Do they really leave it all behind for short term? long term?  and never look back?

When u look at all the technology out there from the beginning of their creation to its current status, u’ll note that most technology started out large and clutsy looking and eventually the product was reduced in size BUT improved in its functioning purposes .  For example, Look at computers, headphones, cellphones, xerox machines, fax machines, TTY’s, even televisions and radios.   They all went from large to small and improved.

 Now, lets look at the hearing aid.  Hearing aids started out as horns, something looking like the Shofa used on the Jewish holidays.  The first real hearing aid  by Sonotone with a transistor was put on the market in 1952 for $229.   In fact, AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph……remember them?)  gave out free transistor licenses in honor of Alexander Graham Bell.

 Without losing a beat, companies began producing their own aids and competing. Acousticon put an aid out soon after for $74.50.  The hearing aids were powered by batteries worn around the waist.  Could u imagine if the competition continued with prices like these to this day?   Anyway, my point is that hearing aids have always been small, but they never quite improved and never got cheaper the way other technology has.  In fact, the hearing aid price is so varied and so steep and so difficult to shop around for, that most buyers will not price them the way we do when buying a car.

Sure, we have the directional microphones and the programming of the aids for different environments and background noise reductions.  We have the options of digital, digital programming and analog.  All promising maximum speech understanding.  Did u ever wonder whether it was all a gimmick?  I mean, after all, hearing aids don’t provide 20/20 hearing, so why make promises u can’t keep?

All I know is that when I cut the background noise out on my hearing aid, with that advantage comes the downside of the voice i’m listening to being lower as well.  Or when there are two speakers, one behind me and one in front of me, my directional mics seem to get a little ditsy and neurotic. 

Point being that for some reason, the hearing aid industry has changed asthetically but not really technically.  They have their new state of the art micro style differences, the ergonomic designs made especially for the boomer generation who has become so vain and forgotten their roots.  And I just love when a company states, u won’t even know you’re wearing them……duh! never in a million years.   I am constantly reminded that I’m wearing my aid.  Whether from someone’s dumb question of “are u wearing your aid today” to “is your aid working.”

Naturally, I’ve accepted that hearing aids are not the perfect solution but they give me the best situation for my hearing loss.  I would have preferred the aids have been more miraculously improved without convincing us they are so dynamically tuned for our specific hearing loss and that our ability to hear will be a miracle.   And whats with the tiny battery? How do they expect the largest population of hearing impaired people to put that little battery into that little thingie compartment?  And don’t forget about what happens when dropping that little battery on the floor.  It’s amazing to watch a group of seniors on hands and knees looking for that stinker.  It’s also amazing to see how far that little battery can travel when its not even on.

I never lead anyone to believe that hearing aids are the all or nothing solution.  Its just a temporary solution to a problem that can’t seem to be fixed by medical science thru other means, yet.  In the meantime, all I want is a hearing aid that works and works to my benefit.  I couldn’t care less about all these ergodynamic state of the art designs.  After all, I don’t expect anyone to say, ay Pearl, cool hearing aid you got there in your ear!

Today is my birthday and I’m actually very excited. Not about being another year older but that my good friends are taking me out for the whole day and my husband will take Friday off to take me to a special place as well. 

My friends and I decided to go to this new Korean spa in town that has had rave reviews since they opened over a year ago.  I’m getting a massage and going into all seven saunas.  

We plan to have a korean lunch and just relax.  I can’t stress the importance of a woman having girlfriends outside of your main relationships.  Your girlfriends always know the right things to say, they don’t make u feel old, in fact, they make me feel young. 

I’ve always loved birthdays and I never need an excuse to celebrate.  I’ll celebrate anything.  I may not be where I had hoped I would be at this point in my life, but I have very special friends who just make me happy.

Happy Birthday to me!

Its hard to believe that I am now in June and have approximately 12 weeks left before returning to work.  Yea, I know, 12 weeks is alot.  But not as much as 12 months were…lol.

I’ve continued with my silver jewelry making classes though the five week course is not as good as the 13 week course.  Too condensed, too fast paced and the majority of the people in the class, are extremely talented and creative.   Thats not to say, its not fun.  Its alot of fun just very hard work.

I’ve started on my summer credits and its interesting though I am so uncertain whether I should even be doing it.  I will however, complete the six credits (in six weeks) and finish the certificate program in the Fall with my doing an externship while I return to work full time as well.

I have so much going through my mind about life, work and me.  I feel in limbo with everything these days.  I want to just get on a plane and go away.  I’m feeling on the verge.  I’m feeling everything around me either makes too much sense or no sense. What do u do when you’re in limbo?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not tormented or feeling suicidal, just feeling that I’m not where I want to be at this point in my life and questioning whether I’ll ever have what I want or be where I want to be at this point in my life.

 I just heard of an online friend (young, meaning my age) had passed away last night.  Knowing people who die suddenly just takes the wind out of me and it just seems ever since I entered my 50’s, life and death have come together and are only separated by a very fine line.

I don’t think that I am frightened by death as much as I am frightened by not living my life to its fullest, not having yet accomplished the goals I set out for myself and not having the guts to take action yet, on matters I dwell on in life.

Being confronted by the death of friends, friends parents and all that I read about in the newspapers on tragedies which take lives, has made me realize we should not, I should not, believe that I have time on my side to contemplate, vegetate, procrastinate all that I want to accomplish in my life. 

Now I’m not being negative here, though I’m sure some would argue that I am being downright pessimistic.  In fact, I feel this has all caused me to rethink the way I look at life and death.  My loss of hearing, though sad and complicated, is not life threatening. My desire to lose weight can be life threatening if I fail to take care of my health.  My religious beliefs or lack of them is not life threatening.

Time is on our side? I think it is and it isn’t.

I’m feeling down this weekend as I become keenly aware that my return to work is going to happen, like it or not.   Its not that I don’t like work, I do.  Its that I actually like the idea of retiring and unfortunately am seven years away from that point in my life.

I guess some people would say, don’t rush it but I so enjoy being home, learning and doing new things. My son is home for the summer and its wonderful having him here.  He wants to grow up so badly and I want to remain young forever. There are so many things I want in life, not material things necessarily but people things.  I want to go places with my friends and loved one.  I want to enjoy everything around me.

Over the past two weeks, my speech discrimination feels as though it has deteriorated.  It probably hasnt but thats how it feels.  My allergies are destroying my scenses and I’ll been living on sudafed, advil and ambien.  

All in a day!

It’s over! My coursework requirements for my sabbatical is officially over and I do not feel elated.  I feel somewhat sad that the end result means I have to return to the workplace.  However, I’ve gained so much from this year in school and am now continuing with completing the advance certificate program which I was accepted to.  Its pretty exciting.

I’m actually looking forward to attending summer school for six weeks, two in the classroom and one at home online.  I am also continuing with my jewelry making classes and am now working on earrings.  Have no idea how I’m going to adjust to returning to work but I hope this year doesn’t become a distant memory.

I am so in awe with having made and completed two rings in class today.  I just cannot believe I did it.  I’m not the creative type nor am I the most sensibly fashionable woman u will ever meet.  I guess that’s why I stick to basic colors like black and heather gray.  They’re easy to match things up with and go together well or individually…lol.  

We had our last class today and I just can’t stop admiring the ring I made with a beveled stone.  I now have an appreciation for all the handcrafted hard work that goes into making jewelry although, we probably made the easiest of what could be made or what one could learn.  

I was so proud when the teacher used my completed work to show the class how low to cut the bezel for the zone setting.  I couldn’t help but gloat……okay, okay, I didn’t gloat, I was qvelting……I was in awe that I had done it right.  I even managed to make one more ring (without a stone) with a design and tinted the ring.  Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to give up my job one day and spend weeks just taking jewelry classes in the city……………………………………….

With less than two weeks left to the end of the college school year, its hard to believe that I have attended college for two semesters.  In some ways, it flew by so fast that I can’t remember the first semester.  In other ways, I’ve grown to enjoy watching the seasons change on campus, it was so noticeable.

My silver making jewelry 1 class is also coming to an end next week and I’ve so enjoyed it all.  I’ve decided to take Jewelry II for the month of June and also plan to continue with the certificate program at the College as well.   I really enjoy going to school and learning.  Its so different from when we’re in our 20’s. 

Now I can’t say that I’m happy about the thought of returning to work the last week of August.  In fact, I wish I could hit a lottery, big time.   The thought of returning to people who have no appreciation for the work u do, is very depressing.  I hate to think that what I will have to do, is go to work, do what I have to do and come home. Repeating this for the next seven years!

I love working with the population I work with but I don’t like working for the people I work for.  There is so little appreciation shown for fear that we may skip a beat. 

My summer schedule is going to be very hectic.  College three nights a week, jewelry class one day a week with the possibility of an additional course.   How will I ever give this up?

After five years of watching my mother descend into the belly of dementia, I cannot get use to the behaviors that appear before me.  Her descend has been slow but always noticible, at least to me.

I’ve witnessed her threats, her cursing my life, her paranoia, her screams, her nightmares, her stripping naked, her cries for help and her calling for the police. But none have the effect or rattle me as her calling out for her mother.   She lost her mother well over 65 years ago, but her mind cries out for her mother to help her and comfort her as if her mother were in the next room.

Usually we medicate her to calm her, but she’s in the hospital suffering with pneumonia and cogestive heart failure and they feel she is overmedicated with what we give her at home.  So here I sit, listening to the hell that she lives in, wondering, is this what it all comes to?  Is this going to be my destination at some point in time.  What a cruel and unusual punishment to have handed down to my mother.  Had she not suffered enough before, during and after the camps?  

I’m angry and I don’t know who to be angry with.  I want to kick, spit, scream and cry out to give my mother her sanity back.  I was never very close to her but she is my mother and I would never turn my back on my responsibility as her child.  Afterall, she brought me into this world and for that, I am grateful. 

If my mother can’t be “sane” and enjoy her life, then all I want for her, is to be at peace.  Dementia is eating away at her like vultures and she’s dying a slow death in quicksand.