Friday, August 24, 2007

A new beginning...

I'm still adjusting to not having to get up at 4:30 AM every day. Wednesday night, I stayed up until midnight. Completely unheard of for the past 4 years. It was wonderful! And I got to sleep in until 7 AM the next day. Bliss! I did wake up at 4 AM and realized I didn't have to get up, so just went right on back to sleep. I do feel more rested than I have felt in a long while, but I'm not back to normal yet. I figure it will take a week or so to feel like myself again. And I'm wondering how long until the dark circles and bags under my eyes disappear for good...

Good thing I haven't been figuring DH's bonus next month into our finances...he found out yesterday that it won't be as big as last year's (which wasn't much) and he's NOT happy about it. Can't say that I blame him. But on the other hand, it's a bonus, and it's not guaranteed, and something is better than nothing. I'm trying to be optimistic about it, but I hate it for him. He works so hard, and he and his coworkers count on this - every time they have to work 60 hour weeks, they tell themselves, hey, the bonus will be worth it. And now it won't be...

I found out yesterday that our health insurance plan at work is not what it used to be. When I started four years ago, I knew exactly how much I'd have to pay out of pocket should I have surgery, and it was a very reasonable $1300, including my deductible. Yesterday I emailed someone in HR to confirm that, since surgery is 3 weeks from today, and found out that heck no, it's not anymore. Try $7000. Yep, $7000. HOW does an insurance plan change that much over four years, and no one bothers to tell us?? Granted, I could look it up on our ministry website, but who sits around looking up this information every year?

So now I'm back to crunching numbers again, trying to figure out how much I'm going to pay for this surgery. Generally, it will be 10% of the total cost, but I have no idea what that total cost is going to be. I have an HR person looking into it. The catch is that we are changing insurance plans in January, and I've been asking for a couple of months about what the specifics are on the new plan, so I can make an informed decision as to wait, or go ahead with surgery (which physically needs to be done yesterday). No one would tell me anything. So I did what I try not to do - I went over everyone's head and went to a guy in our president's office (where I work). He has connections and gets where I'm coming from, so he put me in touch with the right people and I've got some answers.
Our deductible will go up, and our out of pocket maximums will go down, and the percentage cost wise that the new health plan will cover will be better. But I've already met my deductible this year, so that has to be taken into account. Plus I don't want to wait! I already know that the cost of the surgery is just going to have to be paid out over time 'cause we don't have the cash to just pay for it, so I'll probably wind up going ahead with it. But all of this secrecy and confusion, combined with a pretty pitiful health plan, and the fact that I asked six months ago for a title change since I'm working two jobs and still nothing has been done about it...not to mention the gas prices I pay to drive to work here....are all making me wonder if its worth it to stay. And I hate that. I really love my job, like most of the people I work with. But I have to do what's best for me, and I'm not seeing much benefit to staying here right now.

Something else to pray about...

Knitting has been going on as much as possible - and lots more knitting time is had with no route! My Imogen pattern arrived Wednesday, so I've already cast on for that. I'm being pretty consistent with just Imogen and the Dolman pullover right now and letting everything else wait - I'd like to have the Dolman finished before surgery if possible so I have something to just hang around the house in. I'm using Araucania Nature Wool for Imogen and Cotton Ease for the Dolman. LOVE that I'll be able to just toss it in the washer when needed. I'm envisioning a nice sweatshirt type sweater...I hope I'm right.

The best knitting news I have really is that I'm now knitting continental for both of these projects. It's finally starting to click and I'm feeling more comfortable with it. I have to say it is much faster than English, at least for me, and I think I was a pretty fast knitter the other way. If I'd just finish more projects, I'd have something to prove my knitting speed. :-)


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