So I applied for a two day a week job in state government. Report writing, research, ministerial liaison. All the stuff I've done for years, in every job bar my current one of freelancer.
Wasn't even worth an interview.
MyCareer, Seek, Careerone, Vic Gov and Public Service job websites are all scanned intently every day: nothing going unless I'm prepared to do telephone sales or 'be bubbly, hands-on and willing to go that extra mile in our fast-paced environment.' That and adult photography for large women with broader minds or office cleaners (but only applicants with experience please).
I sent in a story for the Queensland short story compilation hoping to be one of the hundred they selected.
A long list of three hundred were released, mine not among them.
Got into power walking while my achilles tendon takes over three months (this time) to heal. Boring, much-more time-consuming but important to stay active.
Lasted no longer than a week before it too started to adversely affect the injury.
Noticed this morning that Milly has a lump on her back leg. She doesn't want me to touch it and it wasn't there three days ago. A quick growing tumour isn't a good thing, the vet told me this afternoon. We need to have her in tomorrow at 7:30am, get whatever it is cut out immediately and sent off for testing.
"We'll let you know how much it'll all cost when our head vet returns tomorrow." I soon found out - two weeks of my work.
Today is the last day of Year of the Tiger. Year of Kath the Monkey disguised as a Pig so that my fortunes weren't soured or ruined. An annoying gold pig charm on a necklace that jingled and drove me nuts for twelve months. Fat lot of good it did me.
"Oh I don't know about that," Mum said on the phone. "You weren't flooded out and you didn't get cancer."
Early this morning I hobbled around the oval picking up beer bottles and brown burger bags as Sapphire went running - long legs carrying her further and faster than she's ever been before. She was enjoying it and was discovering just what her own body and determination could do. My own body and patience is being sorely tested but I'll make damned sure that my achilles is right enough so that I can run alongside her.
We walked back home - she, red-faced and puffing from the effort and me, unruffled. On the outside. She grabbed my hand. "Sorry I'm so sweaty Mum, but I've had a great time with you."
I smiled and hugged her; sweat and all, breathing it in as we embraced, loving every moment. Let's see what Year of the Rabbit brings for this old monkey.