In My Head


February 1, 2011 by Leah

I haven’t updated in a while because I spent January working on a business plan and website for a web-based editing and proofreading business. I am really pleased that I set deadlines, met those deadlines, and was indeed ready to launch just before 10 this morning. Then my phone rang.

In Long Beach, anyone opening any kind of business needs a business license from the city. I applied for mine on Friday, and while I was anticipating some problems with our home address also being the address of the local VA Hospital, no problems arose during the in-person application process, so I thought I was home free. (Indeed, I was told that I was effectively “open for business” as soon as I paid $196.63 to the city.)

This morning’s phone call was from an employee of the Long Beach Business License Office. She informed me that the address I was using to register my business was already registered as the local VA Hospital. I explained that we rent a house from the VA hospital. She said she was on their website and couldn’t see anything about housing. I offered to send a copy of our rental agreement and the contact information of the VA Hospital employee who oversaw the creation of that agreement. The lady blustered a lot and then told me The City didn’t think the VA has the right to play the landlord and that while I was welcome to send whatever I wanted, she would be contacting the VA herself about this matter.

What, does she think I’m squatting in an abandoned shack near the hospital?  Camping under a tree?  Both would be excellent places for home-based businesses, I’m sure. Also, charging nominal rates to edit other people’s documents is clearly a very serious business endeavor that needs maximum governmental oversight.

Sigh. I’m pretty sure this is all going to blow over. Three people have already suggested I just register the business at my parents’ house in Alaska since it’s location-independent. Still, the confrontational aspect of the entire conversation really upset me and I’ve been feeling frazzled ever since.

All I can do at this point is wait, but in the meantime I decided to make a list of some of the things that are cluttering up my head at the moment. So far I have:

  • What if no one likes my business website?
  • What if I don’t get any clients?
  • Have I gone over the wireless internet bandwidth limit for this month?
  • Where’s the copy of Microsoft Office Professional we ordered?
  • What operating system is my computer running, anyway?
  • How many calories have I eaten today?
  • Have I lost any weight in the last two hours?
  • Do we have food in the house?
  • Is that food as whole, unprocessed, humanely-raised, wildly-caught, and/or locally-grown as I can find?
  • Can I really justify spending $15 on a chicken?
  • Am I really going to be able to lose 30 pounds?
  • Will this aggressive treatment with Acyclovir clear up the shingle-like blisters I’ve had for eight months?
  • Why have I had shingles for eight months?  What if it’s a sign of something more sinister?
  • Are the sheets clean?
  • Where did our tiny stuffed moose disappear to?
  • Has husband been fed?
  • Has dog been fed?
  • Do I pay enough attention to dog?
  • Do I pay enough attention to husband?
  • Where are we going to live in six months?
  • Why is it so hard to cancel memberships with Bally Total Fitness?
  • Why haven’t I done that yet?
  • Is that clean or dirty laundry in that basket?
  • Do I have the slowest-growing garden known to mankind?
  • Are we going to get kicked out of our house because I applied for a business license?
  • Why was that lady from the Business License Office so mean about my house sharing an address with a hospital, anyway?
  • Why is the dog’s skin tag growing?
  • Is Aaron ever going to go to grad school like he wants to?
  • Why did I bother with grad school when I’m unemployable?
  • Are we ever going to live overseas like we want to?
  • Will we ever have a baby?
  • What if all the good baby names are taken by the time that happens?
  • Are we ever going to end our dependence on fossil fuels?
  • Why are politicians seemingly incapable of thinking long-term?
  • How can two people possibly generate so many dirty dishes?
  • Am I really unemployable?
  • When are we going to sit down and make a budget again?
  • What if we screw up our taxes this year?
  • Should we celebrate Valentine’s Day or is it just more highly-visible consumerism?
  • Why does my head hurt?
  • I think everyone is staring at my giant zit.

7 thoughts on “In My Head

  1. Carol Koford says:

    Ok, Leah, count to 10, breath in slowly, exhale slowly. All will be well because you are a great and wonderful person. Good things will happen just because you want it that way. Keep breathing in slowly, exhaling slowly.

    Kristina’s mom

  2. Nancy King says:

    Leah, You have way tooooo much time on your hands. As soon as you obtain some clients about 90 percent of those worries will go away including your shingle-like blisters.

    Can write press releases that get published?? Do you have the ability to teach someone/me how to write press releases that get published?

    Nancy in Anchorage

  3. dad in lae says:

    January is over!!!!! All better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. gia says:

    Seriously laughing out loud!!! So funny. And this is why I journal, I write this kind of stuff all the time. Living with someone would definetely multiply my worries! I’m not good at taking a deep breath, and getting perspective, but hopefully your venting helped, it usually does for me. Also- “what’s the worst that can happen?”- that’s a good one.

  5. David G says:

    “What if all the good baby names are taken by the time that happens?”

    This made me laugh, thanks.

  6. lahancock says:

    I enjoyed this post, mainly because I have a time or two written down all the worries that are going on in my head. As for baby names, there will always be someone out there that has the name that you wanted to use, so when you get to that point, use whatever name you want to, even if four of your friends just named their kid the same thing.

    With the shingle thing….I’m reading a book about gluten intolerances. Would it be related to your issue?

    • leahkathlyn says:

      Funnily enough, maybe. My PA had a hunch and ran some tests and I don’t have shingles but I have elevated autoimmune markers in my blood. I’m meeting a rheumatologist in two weeks, but I’ve already heard stories of how going gluten-free can help autoimmune issues. (Even if the very idea fills me with horror.)

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