Updates: “Grievance” counselling and finding work

First some updates from my recent posts: I did have that appointment with my new Gastroenterologist. I have an appointment in late August for my Colonoscopy. Oh, joy! of joys. They had my records of ‘poor prep’ and gave me a new regime of a few extra steps to start a few days earlier than usual to clean myself out.

The doctor said there are two difficult conversations he hates to have with patients: First is “You have cancer.”
The second is “You weren’t prepped well enough.” 
He said people can almost deal with cancer better than going through the prep again. He said if I start early, it will go fine this time.

“Grievance” Counselling. I did go talk to the bereavement counselor at Mercy Hospice about joining the group. It was the first time I had gone there. The hospice nurses and doctors always came to Kathy, so I had no need to go there. She was really nice and explained the general makeup of the group. The topics vary from week to week. Like the other support groups, the participants go around the room and explain where they are and what they are going through. Sometimes it is loneliness. Or when is it good to start dating again. I talked about the issues I had been having: occasional anger at Kathy for some of her Huntington’s tirades early on. She wanted to make sure I was a good fit for the group and that I would benefit from the group.

I’m still thinking about it. I’m not sure how much I need it right now. I am going to two groups already: the Huntington’s Disease Caregivers Group at UConn and the Dementia Caregivers group that meets at the Wilbraham Library). I don’t necessarily want to give up those. And the new group would be two nights a month. An added issue is that it meets on Wednesdays, one of my main music nights. And as I’ve said music is my therapy. A few days earlier at the dementia caregivers group, we went around the room to tell our stories and update on “How we are doing.”

I mentioned that I was going to Mercy to talk with “The Grievance Counselor.” And one of the members asked, “They have a grievance counselor?!  I need that!” Once I explained that I meant to say “Grief counselor”, they started laughing. It started a discussion about how frustrated and angry most of the caregiving spouses are. And how they were all pretty much worn out from caregiving. And then feeling guilty for complaining about different things their spouses do: from having to change Depends, to saying inappropriate things. Some of the stories were pretty funny. That afternoon I emailed the other members a link to my song, Don’t Be Discouraged.

The “Looking for Work” post

I’ve tried to do a little bit of email marketing every day. My goal was to send an email to one music venue and one potential graphic design client a day. I’m not getting very far with either but marketing music is more fun than the graphics.This week I started to get really busy. Finally. I have a few projects from Butler Hospital, my oldest client. And I did a quick little job for someone here in Hampden. I am also doing an interesting logo project for a small agency nearby. When I emailed them I found out some of the staff there live in Hampden also. Once I had an appointment to come in to talk I got into panic mode: What should I wear? What work should I show? Should I get a new business card?

Operators are standing by. Since they had my website with hundreds of samples, I wasn’t too worried about the portfolio. I went to Boutique de S.A. (the Salvation Army) and tried to find some tan pants but ended up just buying a nice newer pair of jeans. I decided to stop kidding myself and buy the next waist size up. I didn’t want to look like a balloon ready to pop. I had worked on a new business card, so I sent that to the printer.

The old yellow card from the late 1990s with Kathy’s name and other numbers that are out of date. The grayish purple card is my nameless card.

The old yellow business card was completely out of date even though I liked it for nostalgic reasons. We had one card with both of our names on it. Kathy’s name is still on it. Although you do get automatically redirected to Lehndorff.com the card has the old web address of Lehndorff.info. (I grabbed the Lehndorff.com address later when it became available.) It has our old land line phone number and a long abandoned fax number. And it doesn’t resemble the look and branding of the new website which is purple. Our old logo was an incandescent light bulb that was supposed to indicate great ideas. It did in the last century.

The new business card came out kind of drab to my eyes but it did the job. The meeting went well although it took a few months for the first trial project for me to work on. The wheels of commerce move slowly at my age. It turned out I wasn’t finished with the business card, yet.

At an open mic a week or two after the meeting, I gave my card to one of the musicians. I had shot some video with my phone and I thought she might like it. She asked me my name before I sat down which I thought was odd since I had just given her my card. I pulled out a card to look at it. My own name wasn’t on my business card. (drumroll…. Faceplant).

I redesigned the card the next day with more information on it — like my name. I started to think how I could put a spin on it if it ever came up: A contact card? Introvert card? After all, I am the sole employee. And if you call or email our call center will connect you to the correct department. On the new one, I also put my mailing address. I debated whether to put it on there since I don’t get a lot of visitors. On the back, I printed the website addresses for my online empire: Lehndorff Design; this music site and Rocking Horse Graphics, my greeting card and gift junk site that is getting reworked when I have the time.

While I am at it, I can’t figure out why “Operators are Standing by!” If you call Lehndorff central I will be sitting down. Just saying…


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