Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Post Number: 80
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily Points Left: 57 of 71 (Goal: 31)
     Weekly Points Left: 49 of 49 (Goal: 49)
     Pedometer Reading: 932 (paused)
     Meetings Attended: None Scheduled
     Exercise Completed: Missed Swimming Laps

As I start writing this entry, I have dueling on-hold muzak playing on my home phone and my cell phone as both are on speaker phone. My home phone is connected to the Healthcare Marketplace. My cell phone is attached to my future health care provider. I have the same question for both of them. How do I pay my first month's premium? I registered at the Health Care Marketplace after spending hours repeating the entry of information during three sessions. I then spent hours going through the process of comparing plans, reading reviews of the plans, learning what the terminology meant, downloading information, and discussing back and forth with MBWM about preferences and necessities. One of her necessities is a good Emergency Room coverage. Understandable since she has had emergency gall bladder, appendix, and back surgeries. One of her preferences was good chiropractic coverage. Since a chiropractor does her a world of good, also understandable. And so we finally picked a plan. In the end, it wasn't the first choice for either of us, but seemed the best mix of options in coverage. And while it is not the best of reasons to pick a plan, I decided that if we didn't like it, we could always change plans in a year or after a life change, which includes moving.

So those were the headaches leading into the selection of the plan. After enrolling in a plan, I was informed by the HealthCare.gov website I would have to pay for the first month's premium by December 23rd 2013 in order to activate our coverage on January 1st, 2014. Being a dutiful citizen, I clicked the bright green with white lettering button that read, "Pay Now." The button did absolutely nothing. So I left that part of the web site and went elsewhere. Then I couldn't find the "Pay Now" button. So I gave up for a couple days. But wait, my phone calendar reminds me. The payment is due today. So I race to the web site. At which point I hurry up and wait for my turn to get in. After getting in, I hunt and peck through the web site options and search diligently through the help pages. No success. One page refers me to the phone number. I call, my heart daunted by the fear of last day signs ups. Sure enough, at least 20 minutes to reach a human. I am referred to the web site.

In my frustration, it occurs to me that my actual provider might have the information I am seeking. Maybe my registration is already in their electronic hands. I am already on hold with the government. And I don't want to lose my place in line. Solution? Grab the cell phone and call the provider.

In the race to reach a human and the government having a 5 minute head start, I reached a representative at my health care provider after about 10 minutes on hold with both. And what was the first thing I learned after explaining my immediate predicament? That the premium payment deadline has been extended to January 10th, 2014 for a January 1st, 2014 activation of coverage.

Such is the comedy of errors in our modern day and age.

I wouldn't call it a comedy of errors when it comes to organizing the house. We worked on the family room. Asian Red Fox did the most work, by far. Iguana helped here and there. He became much more helpful once there was an Xbox pay off. I helped out here and there, but mostly did my part through supervising. But the Christmas tree box has been exhumed. Now we need to open the wooden box. Remove the pieces and parts and let MBWM assemble the tree. She had a good start. Hopefully she will finish today.

As for dieting and exercising yesterday, dieting went great until, you guessed it if you are paying attention, last evening. Granted, I didn't nibble much, 8 or 9 baking chips total between mint and chocolate ones that were available. And there was the bite of the pretzel rod. While none of these are particularly off program, it will be better for me this week on those days that I don't slip. That 2.6 pounds I want to lose is taunting, haunting, and daunting. Once I am through that 2.6 pounds, I will be a little more lenient. But I want to be out of the 400's and into the 300's this year. What a gift to my family and to me: To know that when the time to sprint came, I was able to pull it off.

But that also means the exercise part of my current efforts need attention. Unfortunately, my car was very nearly out of gas while I am very nearly out of money. MBWM van's was carrying her and some kids off to appointments. I didn't swim today. And I hope I can plan ahead better for tomorrow. I hope to combine my OA meeting, which is in Boise, with a trip to the Y downtown. And if I take the kids (not sure what to do with them during the OA meeting), I can swim laps and take the kids swimming. Not sure how to make it all work, but I need to put in the effort.

Now, if my muscles would just join in the program, life would be even better. They have been quite sore and easily exhausted. But that won't stop me from attempting to exercise. I just need to get there. This is more important given that the Y is closed on Christmas and I've already missed yesterday's assigned exercising.

And so, heading one step closer into Christmas, I find myself excited by the holiday and the prospect of an incredible new year.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Yours in the successes, painful won yet eagerly sought,


P.S.: I wrote this years ago to put on the back of my grade reports to my students in my chemistry class. And I have been saving it for this very post. Enjoy!

'Twas the night after finals, and all through the school.
Not a solution was stirring, not even the drool.
The textbooks were placed on the mantle with care.
In the hopes that St. Nicholas would leave them there.

When out on the lawn there arose such a noise
That I leaped from my chair with my usual poise
And what to my wondering eyes should appear?
Not Santa and sleigh and eight tiny reindeer

But ghosts of my grades past, present, and future
They scared me a lot, I tell you f'r sure.
So ducking the chance for a Dickens barrage
I grabbed up my coat, flew into the garage.

And I was heard to exclaim 'ere I drove to the lake
Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Break

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