To say that my 2018 was not great is a bit of an understatement. At the end of 2017, I got a sinus infections, which lasted three months and took several courses of increasingly strong antibiotics to clear up. And after it was gone, I was still left with constant sinus pressure and the usual problems I’ve had my whole adult life. With my typical 4-5 sinus infections I get every year on top of the one that lasted 3 months, I spent more than ⅓ of 2018 with a sinus infection. I even got a sinus infection while I was in Hawaii for a week thanks to getting sea water up my nose!
As a mostly-self-employed knitting pattern designer, I have to pay for my own health insurance, and it’s been getting more and more expensive. Between 2017 and 2018, not only did my several-hundred-dollars-a-month premiums go up, but my deductible went up from $2,500 to $7,500. Yeah. You read that correctly. A $5,000 increase. At that point, on paper I was a perfectly healthy young adult, and that’s what it cost me to be insured.
When it was decided that I’d need sinus surgery, I looked at my deductible and thought, “Nope!” I’m not what you’d call a starving artist, but I don’t have that much money sitting around to be spent on fixing the misshapen bones of my nose. What I did have was a part-time job where I got glowing reviews every year and hints that all I’d need to do is ask if I wanted to become a full-time employee. A job where the benefits are incredibly good and my health insurance premium and deductibles would be literally 1/10 of what they were in 2018.
So, starting on January 2nd, designing won’t be my primary job anymore. I’ll be working full-time administering pension benefits at the company where I’ve worked part-time for the last 4 years. I won’t pretend to be super delighted by this turn of events, but I’m also not going to pretend like I’m not lucky to have this as an option. I’ll be working in an office full of friends, where I know I’m appreciated and valued, so that makes the change much easier.
When it comes to designing, I’d like to keep things up as much as I can without burning out. Designing has been my primary job for the last five and a half years, and prior to that, when I worked full-time at the cake decorating magazine for a year, I only designed casually, so this will be a new experience! But running the now-defunct Stranded Magazine and then being ill for a lot of this year has made me much more efficient at designing and helped me see where the best places are to put in the most effort, so I’m optimistic about keeping up my design work on the side. I’ve already got three new sweater patterns in the works and some OAL plans started. There are many things I want to do that I still haven’t, like hitting 100 patterns, so I’m not giving up on designing just yet, even though I suspect that I won’t be going back to doing it full-time again. The beginning of 2019 will be very different for me, but who knows what the year will bring!