Archive for November, 2017

Oh, That Thing

November 30, 2017

I completely and totally forgot I had to send in a bio for the lecture series I’m participating in next Tuesday.

Jesus, like in six days.

Don’t I still have homework to do?

Oh my God.

I have so much going on, I’m so tired, I’m fucked, how is it all going to happen?

I mean.

I’m fine.

It’s just going to be a push, it will come together.

I only wish the people who are in my group project would chill the fuck out.

I don’t actually give a flying fuck about my final group project for Transpersonal, I have so many other things on my plate but one of the people in my group has been sending out these huge text messages about how we need to talk to each other and make it cohesive and blah, blah, blah.

I got the text and lost it.

Not on her.

Not in general.

Just kind of in a melting, I don’t have energy to even read this text kind of way, to coordinate a time to talk about the project when I am busy thinking about this other project and all the papers I still have to write and all the things.

My God, all the things.

But.

Sigh.

Breathe.

It’s ok.

It’s all working out.

I just have to do what ever the next thing in front of me is.

And.

You know.

Be gentle about it, be nice about it, be kind about it, not blow up on my friend in the group because she wants it to work smoothly.

I just already know how much energy I have to give to any certain thing and the energy it took to respond was about all I had to give.

I did get the bio done and I did send it off to the producers and I got a big thank you and that they quite liked how I had written it and then a nice thank you for participating and that they are really happy to have me as part of the project.

I am too.

Even though it means having a full schedule this week, I’m on board.

Here’s the event again if you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about:

People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.

It’s going to be a fun night and I’m grateful I get to do it.

I’m excited and a little nervous too.

I have been practicing and I started carrying the lecture with me, I did a little work on it today at work when I had five minutes of down time.

And it was seriously, the only five minutes of down time I had all day.

It was a full tilt boogie kind of day at work.

And even when I got home from work.

I did some food prep and then did a bunch of homework.

I finished half of the online assignments for the Psychopharmacology portion of my class.

The other part is a final paper on the Human Sexuality aspects of the class.

I should be able to finish the rest of the online stuff either tomorrow or Friday.

I was just too tired after coming back from my evening commitment and the business that had to be discussed after the meeting, end of the month stuff.

Sigh.

I really wanted to bounce, but was basically wrangled in and I’m grateful for that, there were things that I was able to help with, but I was so tuckered out that I considered not writing my blog.

Work really zapped me.

But.

It wasn’t horrible, just full.

The dad’s been away on business for two days and juggling three kids and her own private business has made the mom super busy and in turn me super busy.

And also, super validated.

Really sweetly validated.

The mom has just been nice as pie to me and it’s nice to be told that I’m doing a good job and that I am so appreciated.

And!

Oh my God.

I don’t know if it will work, but I had mentioned that my supervisor thinks I’m going to have to quit being a nanny at some point and devote a year of my life to working, probably unpaid, at a school to get my child hours and how that rather stressed me, I get anxious when my finances are threatened, and hey, privileged white guy, I’m super stoked that you were able to get all your hours in one year because you didn’t have to work a job to pay rent, that you had money from other sources.  Bully for you.

I don’t have money like that.

I don’t have a year to not work.

Unless somebody has some for me to take a year to work unpaid, um, it’s just not fucking happening

It’s like the dirty little secret of getting your MFT license, you have to accrue a lot of hours, 3,000 to be exact, and most of them are completely unpaid.  I’m basically volunteering 10-12 hours a week for no money.

So unless you have some outside income, family, spouse, etc, it’s hard to get those hours quickly.

It takes time to acquire them if you have to work a full-time job.

And I do.

I have to work a full-time job to support my continued living in San Francisco.

Frankly I don’t know where I would go anyway.

All my support systems are here.

There really is no where else for me to go.

Anyway.

I shared some of this with the mom and she said, “it’s too bad you can’t get hours for being a nanny.”

OHMYGOD.

The thing is.

I could.

It was suggested I check it out and I talked to my supervisor about it and he said, yeah, it’s possible, but most families won’t want to deal with the paper work, the supervision, etc.

I told the mom that and she said, “I don’t have a problem signing something.”

Holy shit.

Now.

This is not to say that it’s going to necessarily happen, but options, baby, options.

I’m going to research it further.

As though I don’t have enough to think about.

Anyway.

That’s it.

I’m done.

Good night.

I have to get up early and move the car and shower.

Sweet dreams lovelies.

Sweet dreams.

 

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And Just Like That

November 29, 2017

I have registered for my last semester of class!

I can hardly believe it.

It feels very surreal.

And.

Fucking amazing.

I will have three classes next semester.

Once a month I will be in class.

Five weekends.

I will be in class from 9 a.m. until 4p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

January.

February.

March.

April.

May.

I will graduate Saturday, May 19th.

Holy fuck.

It’s really happening.

I have to take Integrative Seminar, I really don’t know what that is, and Research Methods, which sounds boring as fuck and like a class that is a box to check off.

The other “class” is my practicum, or what I often refer to as my internship.

I’ll still be seeing the same amount of clients, but I may move some of them around, I’m not quite sure yet.

And that’s ok, that can be figured out later.

I was just looking over the piece of paper that I have been making little check marks on for the last three years.

Here’s a list of the classes I have taken and passed, passed pretty well, you could say, I’ve got a 4.0 thank you very much.

I have taken Group Dynamics.

Therapeutic Communication.

Human Development

Integral Philosophy

Psychodynamics I and II.

The Clinical Relationship.

Professional Ethics and Family Law I and II.

Multicultural Counseling and the Family.

Applied Spirituality.

Gestalt Therapy.

Family Dynamics and Therapy.

Psychopathology and Psychological Assessment.

Child Therapy.

Trauma.

Couple Counseling.

Community Mental Heal & The Recovery Model.

Special Topics in Psychotherapy.

Transpersonal Psychotherapy.

Alcohol & Chemical Dependency Counseling.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

Jungian Dream Work.

Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality.

Elder, Spousal, & Child Abuse.

And practicum which includes Individual Supervision and Group Supervision.

Whew.

That’s a lot of reading.

Just reading the list made me shake my head, I did all of those?

Really?

Amazing.

And I just have to do three more classes.

Sure.

I have to finish this semester first, but I will, I will.

OH, and although its a not a “class” I am also required by my program to attend 52 weeks of personal therapy with a licensed MFT.

Today marked 26 weeks.

Half way there.

I’m not actually worried about getting in all the therapy, which is one little thing that I don’t have to stress about, thankfully, my therapist went through my program and she told me that she would sign my paper even if I didn’t get the full 52 weeks.

I get the sense though that I will get the requisite amount of hours.

The therapy is good for me.

I have been getting to work through a lot of things that I never even knew I had to delve into, some of which I probably have been needing to address for years without even realizing I did.

I like my therapist a lot and she really has a good perspective on me and who I am and sometimes there is a lightness and a friendliness and almost a sense of talking to not just a contemporary, but a friend, a friend with a lot of perception.

A lot.

And a really helpful way of reframing my experience and also validating all the work I do.

I do a lot.

In some sense I’m a fucking therapists wet dream.

I do the work, I don’t make her work, I process the fuck out of my shit.

I do a lot of grieving, I let go of a lot and then I jump right back in.

Today’s session left me pretty wrung out and sad.

It was mainly expressed first through anger, which has always been a very dangerous emotion for me, I don’t think it was ever safe for me to express anger in my family and I didn’t often even realize I had it unless I was enraged and that feeling, rage, scared me to death.

Very dangerous and very rarely expressed.

Almost never.

I can remember a few times touching into it and frightened me badly.

I know better now, there isn’t really anything wrong with anger, it’s a sign, and it’s a primary emotion, it’s a top emotion, but there’s generally secondary emotions underneath it and that’s where I need to look, under the covers of anger and see what’s underneath.

Most often for me, it’s fear.

Fear of losing something I think I have or fear of not getting what I want.

I had a lot of fear come up today and it was hard to slog through, but I knew the anger I felt was about fear and eventually it all came out and I felt sick with it, on fire with it, I felt like I wanted to vomit it all out, retch it into the wastebasket, scream it into a pillow on the couch.

I just cried a lot and it moved.

It’s probably still moving.

Ah, all the things I get to work on, so very many.

I have discovered so much about myself from doing my course work and now, in the therapy, getting out the secrets and the sadness and the trauma and all the stuff I carry around like it’s a special knapsack full of rocks.

I just want to let them all go, put them back into the stream and let myself float away.

I have burdened myself for so long with false ideas.

“I failed,” I crumpled into my hands, I buried my face in my palms and just sobbed.

I won’t get into the specifics, they’re not relevant, but I can say in a general sense that I have been carrying around the idea that I failed at something and that I had not even realized I believed about myself, that I failed so badly at something that I ruined another’s life.

A.  Who am I to say I’m God?

I’m just not that powerful.

B. I was a child.

I was a child doing an adults job.

Granted.

A super precocious child who might have given off the impression that she knew what she was doing, but ultimately, at the end of the story, I was doing an adult’s job with the resources of a child.

A poverty-stricken, neglected, abused child.

Smart as fuck.

But a baby.

I was just a little girl trying to hold it all together and I couldn’t, I couldn’t make it work and I have been, for years, decades, even, carrying around this idea that I failed.

I was shocked when that popped out of my mouth.

My God.

Oh, sweet, sweet, baby girl.

You tried so hard, you didn’t fail, you did the best you could.

And you got out.

I could barely carry the burden of taking care of myself.

Jesus Christ.

I’m still in awe of my session today.

That so much got sorted out.

Really astounds me.

Therapy.

Wow.

It fucking works.

It so damn does.

Thank God.

Thank fucking God.

Taking the Damn Day Off

November 28, 2017

Well.

I’m not sure if I’m going to take the entire day off.

But.

I’m considering it.

My birthday is three weeks from today.

It’s a Monday, so it’s not a night I’d be out swinging a big stick and having a huge party.

But after some discussion with my solo supervisor today, I realized, which I had been feeling in the back of my head and in my heart, that I don’t want to see clients on my birthday.

In fact.

It sounds just atrocious.

Nothing sounds like a bigger bowl of self-pity to me.

I just don’t want to go there, self-pity it’s just not for dessert any more.

I told one of my clients tonight that I would be unavailable and she took it just fine, and I did not disclose it was my birthday, just simply stated I would be out of office.

No freaking big deal.

My other client cancelled tonight.

Because.

Hahahaha.

It’s her birthday.

So.

I will take her cue and not see clients on my special day either.

I’m tempted to take the whole day off, but I’ve not any vacation time left and I think it might actually be sweet to work with my charges that day, my little lady bug turned five yesterday and I got to have a sweet afternoon with her at school pick up and beyond and giving her the birthday present I had gotten her.

She loved it.

We had a tea party and wore princess crowns.

Although she looked at me when and said out of nowhere, “you’re not really a princess,” she cocked her head and paused, then added, “you’re really a queen.”

Oh my god little girl, make my heart just melt.

I must know how to carry a crown!

In fact, ha, I am remembering now what my best friend back in Wisconsin told me once, “You have a really regal way of carrying your face.”

Royalty.

I’ll take it.

Anyway.

I just know that it will better for me to not take clients that night and who knows, maybe take myself out to dinner and a movie or just dinner, it is a Monday night after all, or to the Imperial Day Spa or Kabuki.

Just not to my internship.

I have supervision in the morning, I can’t get out of that, work I’m 50/50 on taking off the day, but the night, damn straight, I’m going to do it.

Nothing about it feels wrong.

What, I realize, was feeling wrong was the idea of seeing clients on my birthday, I’m in an unpaid internship seeing 8 clients a week, it’s ok to take my fucking birthday off.

My clients will live.

And.

I won’t be pissy and sad and in self-pity and be upset with myself.

That might be the best birthday present I can give myself.

Although I could give myself a tattoo.

Heh.

I’m always angling for a little more ink it seems.

I’ll definitely be getting one in January, another birthday, or more of anniversary you could say, I’ll be turning 13 (years sober), so definitely I’ll be adding another star to the entourage I have.

I’ve also been thinking that I would get it as a “Lucky 13” star.

A big star with “Lucky 13” written through it.

Not sure yet, and still plenty of time to figure that out.

But yeah, the birthday in three weeks.

“You’re going to be 45!” She said, to me as she sipped her tea, “I know that because you’re the same age as me except with a four in front of it.”

God I love this little girl.

She is something else.

I’m so lucky to work with this family.

I’ll be renegotiating my contract with them next month as well, signing up for another year with them.

I’m hoping that they will offer me a raise, I’m pretty sure they will, and if not, I’ll negotiate a cost of living wage, which is appropriate for living in San Francisco, that’s for sure.

They are great people to work for and really do appreciate me, I got the nicest text from the mom today after work when I was doing some client advocacy work at my internship.

It’s good to be appreciated.

I do like hearing.

I do not need the validation, I know I do a good job, but it’s still nice to hear, it’s always nice to hear.

It’s like when someone you know loves you says they love you, you know they do, but it feels special anyway, no matter how many times it’s been said before, it’s still sweet to hear.

Oof.

I just got hit witht the tired.

It was a good Monday, especially when I think about how nice it was to celebrate with my charge her birthday, and also to just make it through the beginning of the week.

It’s going to be a big one.

Therapy before work tomorrow, work, two clients in the evening.

Wednesday I just have work, but I’m hoping to get a good chunk  of homework done, I need to finish up the online portion of my Pharmacology and Human Sexuality class done.  I think I can get it done Wednesday between work and my evening commitment.

Thursday is work and two clients in the evening, Friday the same.

Saturday is maybe yoga if my ankle is feeling up to it, and group supervision and homework, I’ve got to start a paper if not get one completely finished.

Because Sunday I’m in dress rehearsal for People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.

The show is one week from tomorrow!

My goodness, it’s sneaking up fast.

Ack.

That reminds me!

I have to ask out of work an hour early next Tuesday so I can be at the show when the producers want us there.

I think I may have figured out what I’m going to wear.

Heh.

Although, damn it, I’m going to have to sneak in a manicure and some eyebrow waxing.

Yikes.

Maybe Sunday in between the dress rehearsal and my last CBT Webinar.

Sigh.

Oh for fuck’s sake, I have a lot to do, not going to think about it anymore tonight.

I did enough for today.

The biggest being the decision to take my birthday night off.

Self-care.

Self-advocacy.

Shit.

I even sound like a therapist.

Ha.

Taking Bribes

November 27, 2017

I’m serious.

I dangled a manicure in front of my face to get myself to sit the fuck down and write my Transpersonal Psychology final paper.

It took a minute.

Granted I started the day off wonky.

Fuck my life.

I was supposed to wake up to my best friends call this morning for breakfast and I remember as I rolled over thinking, “why haven’t I got a call yet?” as I went to check my phone, thinking maybe I had a few more minutes of…

Oof.

Fuck.

I had been called, and texted.

Shit.

Shit.

Shit.

I had the volume off.

I don’t know how that happened and I was so mad at myself, miserable with it, and I sent off a quick text hoping my friend was still in the neighborhood.

And.

Yes.

Though breakfast was off the table, only time for a quick coffee, but thank God.

I would have been devastated if I had missed seeing my person.

Dear God it would have been a much different day.

Suffice to say I got some sweetness, not enough, I’m going to miss my friend who is traveling now, but thankful, so much so, that I was able to get a little face time.

It meant the world.

And once I was up I got going.

Striped my bed, washed laundry, did some writing, drank more coffee, ate breakfast, tried not to think about the work I had to do today, but didn’t really succeed at that.

I get anxious before I have to write an academic piece.

My blog?

Pshaw.

I can’t hardly wait to write this, or my Morning Pages, but an academic paper where I have to cite sources and have an idea about what the fuck I’m going to write about.

Um.

Anxiety.

So cleaning, and cooking, did food prep for the week, although, really, there wasn’t much cleaning after yesterday.

And a cursory look over my calendar for the week.

My hopes for next weekend being a time that I will devote to my other three papers vanished as I looked it over.

Fuck my mother.

I have to do the dress rehearsal for People Who Usually Don’t Lecture, for four hours on Sunday and I have my last Webinar for CBT.

Ugh.

I might be able to get one paper written that day in between the dress rehearsal and the webinar, I’ll try.

I think I can do my Drug and Alcohol paper that day, it’s pretty straight forward, compare a 12 step recovery meeting with a Harm Reduction therapy model.

Which means attending a meeting and participating in the harm reduction group that we had in class last weekend.

No problems there.

I basically have it all written out in my head anyway.

I still have to do citations, but I won’t have to do that many, and it’s a smallish paper, five to seven pages.

I’ll knock it out in an hour and a half, two hours tops.

Today, when I finally settled down to write my paper, it took less than two hours.

I had to do everything else that had to be done in the house before I could start, like I said, sparkling clean house?

Must have a paper to write.

Heh.

I had done some cursory work, looking over notes, then I got serious, after I had met with my ladybug and did some other reading and get right with God stuff, and she’d gone back out into the rain, I dove in.

Not true.

I ate lunch.

Then I dove in.

Meh.

I lie.

I washed the lunch dishes.

Seriously, I was like an anxious bitty dashing around my house looking for anything to distract me.

Then I sat down and wrote my paper.

WAIT.

No.

I didn’t.

I wrapped my charge’s birthday present, she turned five today, I got some super sweet photos of her at the carousel with her family, for taking into work tomorrow.

A pink glitter notebook and a big packet of stickers.

Unicorn stickers.

Bunny Stickers.

Funny animals in hats.

Flowers.

All the fun stuff.

Then.

Aha.

I wrote my paper.

Wait, um, no, I hemmed and hawed and then suddenly.

Oh!

I had a sudden surprise idea.

I pulled out a deck of Tarot cards.

I know what that sounds like, shut up.

But.

I really decided that that’s what I was going to do.

Active Imagination.

It’s a form of Jungian Dream Work that helps the person to engage with the unconscious.

Jung developed it for people who couldn’t remember their dreams.

We had done it a few times in class and I thought, well, heck, this might be a way to launch into the paper.

So.

I sat with the deck.

I asked it a question about love.

And.

Wow.

Did I get an answer.

About strength and fire and love.

Sensuality, star shine, holding on.

About perseverance, about not giving up, about staying strong and in the light.

It was a beautiful moment and suddenly I was in, I was in the paper, I was finding all the citations, I was following this beautiful serendipitous thread through my notes, finding poetry that I had written in class, seeing connections, making leaps, and voila!

I did it!

Fucking wrote the paper in about an hour?

Maybe it took total an hour and a half with the citations, and the editing.

But once I got moving, I was in.

It was amazing.

It really always amazes me that I can kick out a paper that fast.

Grateful does not even begin to express how I felt.

And yes.

I did have time to get out and go to the nail salon and get my nails done.

I even popped into my spot on 7th and Irving and got right with God.

That was fabulous.

I drove home listening to my current favorite playlist, “Music for Slow Dancing,” and talked to my best friend until I found a spot to park my car.

Yes.

I found parking in my neighborhood, block away, not bad, considering everyone’s back from the holiday.

And it was a small spot, it wouldn’t have fit a bigger car, so happy I have a little gal and not something bigger, it’s really so much better in this city.

I double, triple checked that I wasn’t parking on a street cleaning side and then I walked home in the warm, dark night, thinking sweet thoughts to myself.

My life is pretty good.

Oh.

Sure.

There’s still more work to do.

But.

I will get to it.

For now.

I can take the rest of the night off and have some tea and watch a video and get ready for the week.

I’m back in it tomorrow, full-time work, clients, and getting ready for the lecture.

But it’s all good.

It really is.

I’m happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And.

Loved.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

So Fresh and So

November 26, 2017

Clean.

Clean.

My house looks pretty fucking good, let me tell you.

All the laundry done, all the trash and recycling out and swept, swiffered, vacuumed, scrub the bathroom down, tidy the fuck up.

Which means one thing.

Mama had a lot of homework to do today.

My God.

There is no fucking end to it.

Yet.

Me thinks I see a glimmer of a light at the end of the tunnel.

Oh.

The light is far off, but I can sense it getting closer.

I did so, so, so much work today.

My god.

My brain hurt.

Still does, not as much, and hurt might not be the right word, but I was worn out with the material, as I was warned that I might be, but I toughed it out.

I finished all of my Elder, Spousal, and Child Abuse class.

Huzzah!

But man, it took the stuffing out of me, and I don’t eat stuffing.

Haha.

It was a lot of reading, and a lot of watching some intense videos.

I wrote out responses to five of the sections, I got three out-of-the-way previously.

And I wrote a clinical mock-up of an elder abuse situation and what I would do, from mandatory reporting to clinical interventions and everything in between.

It was a lot of work.

But.

Fuck.

It’s done.

So happy I got all of that out-of-the-way, it really was the big monster in my block of classes.

I also finished all my reading for Transpersonal, which means, drumroll please…

I have no more reading to do for the semester!!

My God.

That feels fabulous.

I am not, however, out of the woods yet.

Tomorrow I have to write two papers.

One will be fairly short, two pages, on a dream I had, it will be my last dream to tun into my Jungian Dreamwork class.

The other will be a bit longer, but not too bad, five pages.

That one will, however, be a bit more formal and honestly despite having finished all the reading for the class I’m not exactly sure where I am going to go with the paper.

I was also in contact with my group today working on our final project presentation that I will be doing the last Saturday of classes.

I’m hoping to knock out both the papers and the group work tomorrow.

And also, if I can swing it, the Psychopharmacology online portion of my Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality class.

I have a paper in that class due at the end of the semester too and one for my Drugs and Alcohol Class.

Sigh.

That will be for next weekend.

I can get it done though, especially since the Elder, Spousal, and Child Abuse class is completed.

My God.

One more class done towards my degree.

Which reminds me, I have to register for classes in two days.

In two days I will register for my last semester!

I only have three classes.

It is going to feel miraculous after carrying six classes this semester.

I have only done four classes at once before, this semester was a stretch, and obviously, it’s not done.

OH.

And I still will have a final paper for Jungian DreamWork too, it’s just not due until after the last weekend of classes.

Which is always a conundrum.

Crush that bitch out of the park and get it done before my last weekend of classes, or finish that Sunday when I get out of classes.

Because the damn thing is due on the 15th of December and I’ll be working all that week and of course, seeing clients.

There’s no way I can do two big papers tomorrow and the small one and the online portion of my other class.

No.

I will be a wastrel of a person.

But.

Maybe I can do them next weekend.

Maybe.

If not, maybe I can get it started.

It would mean three papers next weekend.

Sigh.

I got invited out to the movies tonight.

I turned it down.

I got invited out to dinner.

I came home and made my own.

I am going to be over the moon when this semester is done, it will be nice to have a little more wiggle room for social outings and such.

Although I do have breakfast plans with my best friend in the morning.

Super excited for that, really happy to get to have some time before I get into the homework grind.

And if I’m good and grind hard and get a lot of it done, maybe I go to yoga.

Not the regular Vinyasa, nope.

My ankle is doing better, but not that much better, no, I was thinking maybe the Restorative yoga, my brain is going to need some restoring to normality by the time I crank out all the homework I have to do tomorrow.

Grateful I know how to write a paper and grateful for my ability to pull together my notes and book references and make it work.

I can do it.

I have my process and I’ve done the biggest work, which is the reading.

That’s the most important.

I’ll skim through my books, grab a stack of post-it notes and flip through my class notes, I will put together a skeleton of the paper in outline by looking through my materials and see what my common themes are.

Then.

I’ll write that bitch.

It’s five pages, so with prep time, reference time, write time, I am going to give it two and a half hours.

Actually.

That seems too long.

Two hours.

I’ll kick out the dream paper in twenty minutes, I don’t have to write it up with references, it’s just me doing what I do anyway, write what I see in my head, so two pages will be twenty minutes, thirty tops.

So maybe I’ll have all the writing done with in that time.

And that should give me enough room and time to finish the rest of the online material I need, I suspect that will take an hour to two and also writing out an outline and making a worksheet for my final project for Transpersonal.

That will take forty-five minutes.

So.

What am I looking at?

Five hours?

I think I can do that.

Breakfast shenanigans are early so I’ll be in the mix by 10 a.m. like I was today, today I finished at 6 p.m. working pretty much straight through, yes, even when I was cleaning I was doing homework.

I had to watch a few videos, but I will admit, I was listening to some of them while I was cleaning, the material at times was graphic and I found it easier to integrate when I was cleaning and sweeping and washing.

So if all goes as planned I’ll be done by five or so.

I have an hour break at 1p.m. to do some work with a lovely lady and get right with God, a break after that for lunch, and then back in it.

It will get done.

It will.

I can do it.

I can.

Go team go!

Heh.

Honky Tonk Heart Break

November 25, 2017

I have nothing to complain about.

Especially when I listen to the music from this Spotify playlist.

Honky tonk heart-break is a for real thing.

Bottom of the whiskey bottle, bottom of the bear glass, the lonesome sound of the woman you love walking out the door.

Yeouch.

I mean.

What do I have to complain about?

My massage was kind of weak.

Oh.

It wasn’t bad, but I was surprised, in fact, at one point I thought to myself, deep tissue, my ass, this isn’t deep tissue at all.

It was pleasant, I suppose, but not what I was hoping for.

In fact, the spa really wasn’t as posh as I thought it would be.

It was still nice, I’m not bitching, but I was a bit surprised, it was smaller, and the back patio was covered with leaves and the reclining chairs didn’t have cushions.

So much for sitting outside on a lounge and getting some sun.

The fireplace wasn’t on either.

That bummed me out.

It, was, however, when I left, I thought that was funny.

The massage was nice though, and the sauna was good and it was nice to drive my car to a new spot in town and to find parking that wasn’t a meter in the area was pretty sweet.

I also made a little pilgrimage to Nest and got a sweet little Christmas ornament.

Last year I actually was pining pretty bad for Christmas.

I think it was mostly the fact that I was so fucking lonely last year, since I was under quarantine with the lice, I let myself get a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving.

I saw social media post of people who have already got up their tree and I was like, whoa!

I’m not feeling it quite like that this year.

Although, granted I am very much looking forward to getting a Christmas tree.

It’s an expensive bit of self-care.

I get a live tree and they’re expensive, but the smell, oof, so good.

I just love having that smell and the magic of Christmas lights and the sweetness of having presents wrapped under the tree.

So, yeah, it was fun to get an ornament today on Fillmore Street.

And I thought about doing a little Black Friday shopping, but once I got back to my car, I would have to move it and re-park it and it just didn’t seem worthwhile.

I hit the road Jack instead.

I did actually, inadvertently do a little shopping anyhow.

I swung into Laurel Village on my way home to deposit a check into my bank and there was an Ace Hardware store there that I got a bunch of little things there.

A replacement light bulb for my salt lamp my friend gave me for Christmas last year.

A set of blue Christmas tree lights, I have some from last year, but I think I needed to replace a strand.

I always do blue lights, I like to have an Elvis Blue Christmas theme for the tree.

I got a pack of printer paper, I got a pack of papers I need to write-up before the semester wraps up.

I also got a phone charger for my car!

That was cool and I got a car mount kit so that I can mount my phone to the dashboard.

Quite happy with that as well.

And can I just say, Bluetooth is revolutionary.

So nice to have my Spotify go straight to my radio.

So nice to have phone calls I can answer via touching a little button on my steering wheel.

Amazing.

My mom was my first call I took in the car.

Heh.

Also, lovely, really, to have navigation, I love plugging in the address and having the directions told to me.

Remember maps?

I fucking do.

Fuckers.

I had a stash of them and somehow never quite used them all that well.

I mean.

I made it across country driving my little two door Honda Accord, but really I am still amazed I made it.

All the places I used to have to look up in an Atlas, remember having the AAA Atlas in your car?

Maps for every state.

I think that’s what I used to drive cross-country.

Now all I have to do is type in the address on my phone and my car literally syncs up with my phone and the directions come out of the speakers.

It’s fucking magic.

I know.

Maybe it’s not magic for you, you’re used to this, but remember, I haven’t owned a car in fifteen years.

It’s really nice.

I have to say, I really like it.

I’m so grateful to have gotten it.

I am so grateful for all the help I got getting it, meant the world, it really did.

There is such a comfort in driving.

It feels right.

It’s really interesting.

It feels right to be in a car.

I must be an American.

And one from the Midwest for sure.

It was out of the question for me to not have a car when I was in Wisconsin.

It wasn’t for over a decade here.

Plenty of transit options, shit, more so now then when I moved here if you count Lyft and Uber and Get Around and car share services and what all.

But.

Really.

Having my own car is something special.

It feels really natural.

I am almost surprised by how natural it feels.

And occasionally, I will admit, a tiny bit smug that it’s a stick shift.

Not sure if smug is quite the right word.

Perhaps.

Self-satisfied.

There is something about being able to drive a stick shift that seems really cool and a bit anachronistic and well, just a tiny bit out of the ordinary.

All things I rather like about myself.

The manual feels right and of course, that makes sense to me since all I owned previously were manuals.

It’s rather like coming home.

And being surprised that it’s been patiently waiting for me all along.

It’s not honky-tonk at all.

Nope.

Not one bit.

But I can play honky-tonk in my car if I want to.

Ha.

Hobbled

November 24, 2017

I did not do much today.

I did not go very far.

I stayed at home most of the day with a brief three and a half hour outing mid day.

My ankle really was tender this morning.

It took a while to get going and I was really gentle on myself.

I have had it elevated most of the day and I’ve iced it three times already.

I’m actually thinking maybe I should ice it again while I blog.

Hang on.

This may take a minute.

Ok.

Frozen bag of peas going on.

It’s a party.

Actually the party was up on Portola from whence I have just come.

I spent the late afternoon and evening with six of the most fabulous gay men.

God.

I am so lucky to have the fellowship and community I have.

I got propped up in a big comfy lounge chair, got an ice pack and had constant refills on my sparkling water.

Plus loads of chat.

I am a little out of the loop with some of the cultural stuff the guys were talking about, I don’t get out to as much of the social stuff as they do, really my head’s been so far up my ass with school I’m surprised I even knew what day of the week it was.

I did a good bunch of homework today.

Yeah.

I know.

It’s a holiday, but it really made the best sense of my time.

Especially since I was reminded by a member of my cohort that the paper for Transpersonal is not due the last weekend of classes.

No.

It’s due next Friday.

Fuck me.

I sort of remembered that, but as I had been thinking in terms of my online classes have the components that needed to be done by the weekend, not really my in person classes.

This is also a class I have a final project presentation for.

Which frankly is a little fucked.

To have a final paper and a final group project really feels like too much work for this class.

Sigh.

Anyway.

When that came to my notice and my need to be slow and gentle today, all else sort of drifted off.

I did do a lot of writing this morning.

And I did laundry.

But then.

I did homework.

I got a webinar out-of-the-way that was an hour-long and wrote a response paper to that.

Then.

Yes.

I did.

I completely finished my take home exam for CBT.

I don’t have to do anything more for that class but attend the last webinar on December 3rd at 7p.m.

Done and done.

Super happy to have that take home exam done and turned in.

When I finished I gave my mom a call and wished her a Happy Thanksgiving and then I hobbled out to my car and drove up to the highest part, or just about of Portola.

The view was so pretty.

There were few cars on the road.

I listened to music and found good parking.

And then I spend three hours with some of the sweetest guys ever.

I was loath to go but I also needed to come home and have dinner.

There really wasn’t anything there for me to eat and I knew that going in, so I had a late lunch and wasn’t really hungry anyway.

But as it got close to seven p.m. I could feel that I would be soon and it was a good idea to go, get home, get my foot elevated again and put on the cold peas.

Meaning.

I’m chilling out.

Literally.

And it’s early and I could do more homework, but this is where I will say, hey, it’s ok to not do more homework tonight, it is a holiday, albeit an almost done holiday, and I don’t have to push myself further.

I got done a lot today and I really don’t want to watch any child or elder abuse videos right now, I’ll save that for tomorrow.

I get to go get my massage tomorrow.

Looking forward to that.

I won’t do any yoga tomorrow and probably not either on Saturday.

But.

I do think I’ll try for the restorative yoga class on Sunday, I think that will be helpful.

And I’ll keep taking it slow.

Aside from a grocery shopping run and the massage I don’t have other plans.

I may go do the deal in the Inner Sunset.

That’s probably the best idea for me.

And I’ll keep chipping away at the work and I’ll get my papers written.

And I’ll get my final group project sussed out.

I will.

Things come together, they always do.

Just taking it nice and easy and slow.

One day at a time.

And real fucking mellow.

Like.

Easy does it.

Mellow.

Thanksgiving

November 23, 2017

Is just a few hours a way and I keep forgetting its Thanksgiving.

It’s a holiday so all about the food.

And.

Well.

I’m not really in that place anymore.

For me Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what I’m thankful for.

I have so, so, so much.

Love.

A home.

A bed.

A closet full of clothes.

I have food in the refrigerator.

I have a laptop.

An Iphone.

Recovery.

Sobriety.

Abstinence.

Shit.

I have THREE vehicles.

I ran into a neighborhood friend out walking his dog this afternoon as I was headed into a job in the Mission and he saw me getting on my scooter, “not taking the car?!”

And I told him that since I was going to the Mission for a five-hour job and it’s only two-hour parking it was easier and cheaper to ride my scooter.

Five hours of metered parking for a scooter in the Mission is $1.55.

I don’t know what five hours of parking at a meter in the Mission would be, but I know it’s triple if not quadruple that.

Fuck.

Probably more.

“Nice to have choices!”  My neighbor said and strolled off with his dog and a “happy holiday!” over his shoulder.

Damn.

He’s right.

It is nice to have choices.

I used to not have any choice but my feet.

I was so broke for so long, especially in the early part of my recovery, even taking a bus sometimes was out of the question.

It took me a long time to get financially stable.

A fucking real long time.

It feels surreal to know that I have a car on the street, add that to the list of things to be thankful for, I own a fucking car.

I really never expected that to happen this early into my therapy career path, I figured it was in the hazy future, not like, this past Monday!

I have choices.

I have a bicycle.

I have a scooter.

I repeat, but, it still is amazing to me.

That.

I have a car!

Wow.

Yeah.

I have a lot to be thankful for.

I have a job.

I am in graduate school.

I have wonderful friends.

I have better relationships with my family than I have ever had.

I have perspective.

I have faith for the future and a deep abiding belief that I am being taken care of.

I don’t have great big plans for the holiday.

Like I said, the food part paled for me many, many, many years ago.

Tomorrow I will be with my person and some other friends in the Upper Castro/Twin Peaks area, I think I still am waiting on the address and details, for “pizza and Netflix.”

I obviously won’t be eating the pizza.

But I will be enjoying the company, that is a given.

And that’s all I really need to do.

I will sleep in and rise without an alarm.

No yoga at the studio.

I got a good work out today and frankly my body could use a rest.

Not sure how, but I once again sprained my fucking right ankle.

I am currently icing it.

Same ankle that I sprained right before I left for Paris in May.

Not as bad as that sprain, but still it’s gotten tight and swollen, so I took some ibuprofen and I have it elevated and I’ve got a bag of frozen peas on it.

I’m sure it will be fine after a couple of days of chilling out.

God’s way of saying, slow down.

I’ll do homework.

I might even knock out a bit tomorrow, depending.

Then Friday I’ve got the massage in Pacific Heights and I’ll do a tiny bit of Christmas shopping.

I’m not really a Black Friday kind of gal, but there are a couple of stores on Fillmore Street that I want to pop into, mainly Nest, I got a very sweet Christmas ornament there last year.

And the rest of Friday and I suspect all day Saturday, will be homework.

I’ll finish up a CBT assignment, do all of my Child an Elder Abuse homework assignments and finish up the readings for my other classes.

If there’s motivation to do so Sunday, I may write a paper, or work on my final project presentation for my Transpersonal Psychology class.

All the things.

They will get done.

The big push towards the end of the semester.

One more weekend of classes!

Whatever I don’t get done this weekend will be attended to next weekend, then, yes, one more weekend of class!

Very excited for that.

And I’m going to call it a night.

My ankle feels pretty numbed out.

Time for some tea and some rest.

Happy Thanksgiving!

May it bring you many blessings.

And.

Much.

Much joy.

 

Slow It Down

November 22, 2017

I left my therapists office very, very, very aware that I was not going near my brand new car.

No way.

No how.

I needed to just take a walk for a moment, slow down, get regulated, be in my body.

Then when I felt like I was not going to crash into anyone I walked back to my car, drove it a few blocks and got right back out.

I was up in Noe Valley and I wanted to take a moment and let myself have a little self-care and to sit down and grab a coffee and enjoy the fact that I wasn’t going into work.

Usually after I get out of therapy I make a quick run to Whole Foods on 24th and then skeedadle to work.

Today I wanted to go grocery shopping, but I also wanted to window shop a little and really just to slow down and appreciate that I had some time off.

Oh.

There was a little bit of a niggling voice that reminded me, hey lady, don’t get too comfortable, you’ve got a fuck ton of homework.

Nothing brings that home more than getting an e-mail from a professor reminding me that all assignments for that class need to be turned in by December 9th and um, I haven’t turned in any of those assignments yet.

I have been waiting for this week off to get all caught up with that class.

I had started the readings, but really not gotten too far.

This time off, fyi, is going super fast, I can’t believe tomorrow’s Wednesday already.

And I have been doing homework diligently every day, every damn day, reading, getting caught up, getting ahead, or finishing the reading.

I’m done with all my readings for Jungian Dream Work and all my reading for Drugs and Alcohol.  I’m 3/4s of the way done with Transpersonal and about the same amount done for Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality.

So not bad, but all those classes also have a final paper, one of them has a final project as well.

I need to get as much work in as I can this week.

And.

Oops.

Fuck.

I’m working tomorrow.

I sort of want to kick myself over it, I should never had said I was available and not think that the mom wouldn’t take me completely up on it.

Not my current family, they are on vacation.

No.

The family I used to work for.

I got a huge mournful face of longing on the last day of school pick up from my former charge and a deep sweet ask for a play date, “when are you going to come over?” He asked with such sweetness and desire I just couldn’t say no and when I bumped into his mom I mentioned I would have down time.

I thought maybe an hour or two, a playdate, something fun and easy.

I got asked to work five hours.

Ugh.

Of course I said yes, the mom had already told the boys I was going to see them and I didn’t want to disappoint them.

I also think I knew, at least in the back of my head, that though I like and respect the parents, I have a much more enjoyable time when I am, or have been, alone with the boys.

So I have a hunch the parents are going to take an afternoon day date and go see a movie or go out to lunch and I will have my two sweet guys to myself.

And maybe the dog, she’s a sweetheart, it will be good to see her too.

It’s not a bad thing the work, it’s just a little like come on kid, you’re busy, even though you’re not working, you’ve got a lot of reading and homework that needs attending to.

But.

Ugh.

Sometimes I have a hard time saying no.

Not always.

And I have said no to this family before when some requests were made, so it feels like a sort of concession, as well as, yes, an opportunity to make a little cash and to get some boy snuggles from my little guys.

I have gotten to do a play date with the youngest and one of my charges that was super fun and sweet, but I haven’t had any alone time with the older boy and I think he may need to see me.

I just got the sense.

And I can often times say no to a parent, especially if I’m busy, but wow, it’s super hard to say no to a child that needs you.

So with a tiny touch of chagrin, yes, I’ll be working tomorrow.

But.

I won’t go in until 1p.m.

So.

Yoga in the morning.

I haven’t been in over a week, or just over a week?

My back’s been sore and I’ve been busy, even though the work hasn’t been happening, oh man has the homework, so tomorrow will be good to get back into it.

I had thought originally with the time off I would be at the studio a lot, but I let myself get some sleep this past weekend and when my back was feeling super tender it felt better to rest than to push it.

I don’t express pain a lot, but I was definitely in some pain, still am, but it seems to be easing up a bit.

I’ve made a doctor’s appointment and I’ve been taking ibuprofen, but the appointment is not for a few weeks.  I’m going to try to be gentle and fingers crossed another few days of not carrying the baby around in the carrier will be good to my back.

And.

I was super nice to myself today, and I got a load of work done.

I re-parked my car in Noe Valley and went to Bernie’s Cafe and got a cafe au lait and sat on a bench and let the sun hit my face.

I got into being in my body and letting go of the material I worked on in therapy.

Suffice to say my therapist is recommending more therapy.

Ugh.

EMDR.

Just check the link, I don’t feel like describing it 100% however, I will say that it is a trauma treatment that is often used for PTSD.

I did it in a session once ten years ago with a therapist and I will say it worked, but it was close to the end of my time with that therapist and I didn’t have more follow-up.

I am ready to do it again.

Although I am loath to go and get more therapy, once a week at $120 a pop is enough.

Then again.

I want to work it out, get it out, process it, I want it out of my body, I want my body to be free, my heart to be free, my soul to move about the world and not go into traumatic reliving.

I need to be in the light.

And I know that means more work.

Fine.

I’m ready.

I told my therapist today that I feel like I can do it now, when I couldn’t before, I could barely touch into the trauma without falling completely apart.

I am much, much, much stronger now.

Internally, externally, emotionally, spiritually.

I am ready to do the work, and I suspect that I will finally get to resolve some things that have been burdening me for decades.

Let them go.

Embrace my life.

Help others.

It was good for me to take the moment today to sit on that bench, to get sun on my face, to slow down, I did some window shopping, I got some groceries, I came home and ate a nice lunch, I sat outside on the back patio.

Then.

I jumped back into the homework.

I kicked out three more hours of reading and I did two of the eight assignments.

Sigh.

There’s a lot to do, but I’ll get it done.

Even with working tomorrow.

It will all fall together and I have absolutely no regrets about being easy with myself at the beginning of the day.

I’m a fucking therapist.

I have got to practice what I preach.

Let me reframe that.

I get to.

 

 

 

And Then She Went

November 21, 2017

And got a car.

Holy shit.

I did it.

Not without a bit of hand holding.

Thank fucking god for my friend who came with me.

Just having another person there was super helpful and I didn’t feel quite as overwhelmed as I think I might have had I gone alone.

And.

Well.

It was hella nice that I had a female sales person.

The person who I had been working with to set up the deal ended up being out sick and I got another sales associate, and she was super sweet, very accommodating, and really helpful.

I had really already done the majority of the work, so it was just signing the papers, coordinating with my insurance company and doing the test drive.

I was nervous about driving the car, I won’t lie, I haven’t driven a stick shift in a while.

But it was just like riding a bike.

I had no problems using the stick.

Yeah!

That’s right bitches, I got a manual transmission.

Which is one of the reasons the car was on sale and that was fine with me, I know most folks like an automatic, but this lady learned on a stick and I love the control I have in the car versus driving an automatic.

I learned on a Ford Diesel station wagon how to drive stick.

My mom taught me.

It was horrendous.

Let me make no bones about it.

She was not the right person to teach me and getting screamed at while stalling out the car at the four-way stop intersection in Windsor Wisconsin is a trauma I may well never forget, she did, however, eventually teach me how to do it.

Or she at least installed the fundamentals.

I actually feel like it was my Uncle Jeff who taught me how to drive.

My mom was bitching about my inability to get the mechanics of it at a Thanksgiving dinner with family and my uncle piped up and said, “I’ll teach her.”

And like that we were getting bundled up in coats and out the door.

I remember there was snow on the roads, and they were a little slippery, but we were not anywhere close to any other cars, and it was Thanksgiving, most folks were not getting in their cars to go anywhere, most folks were still digesting their food and watching the Packers play Detroit and wondering if they might be able to sneak a sliver more of pumpkin pie in their bellies without exploding.

I remember the truck cab was really cold and the  stick was huge, he had an old Ford.

He told me my mom was too worried about me ruining her car to relax, he didn’t give a fuck if I hit something or killed it, it was an old truck, he was fine with me beating on it.

And in that moment I felt a huge burden fall off my shoulders and I could breathe again.

He also explained a bit better to me the feeling of what the clutch did underneath my left foot when the truck wanted to shift into another gear and I could feel it much better underneath the big clutch on his car and the much smaller one on my mom’s.

I started it, popped it into first, shifted into second, got it up to speed in third, managed to not slip on any ice or snow and we drove around for a while.

I had a great big grin on my face.

I got it!

It made sense, I could feel it and sure enough, the next time I took out my mom’s car I was able to do it and I’ve been successfully driving a stick ever since.

My first car I bought on my own, with money from detassling corn four summers in a row at Kaltenberg Seed Farms–I had gotten a bonus for perfect attendance, was a Honda Civic, stick shift.

Then after that car died, it really went quick and I didn’t have the money to fix it, I got my first car in a relationship in my early twenties.

We went in halfsies on an old Jetta that was a stick.

I really loved that car.

It died soon after my boyfriend and I broke up, but for three years it was a great little car and I think we only paid $500 for it.

And when the Jetta died my boss at the Angelic Brewing Company sold me his car, a two door Honda Accord that I had for three years, also a stick shift, when he upgraded to an SUV, which were just beginning to get a lot of attention.

All the cars I have owned have been manual!

But this.

THIS.

Is my first brand new car!

I have never spent more money on a car.

The Honda Civic in high school was $500 used, the Jetta $500, the Honda Accord my boss sold me I think I paid $1200 for.

This time my car cost $12,000.

But seriously.

A new car for $12,000 is fantastic.

I, of course, did not pay the full sticker price, no way I could have.

I put $2,000 down and my car payments are going to be $186 a month.

l also pre-paid for six months of car insurance.

I just felt better doing that and I’m going to have to pay it and then I left myself room with my money, I didn’t spend the entire $5,000 I pulled from savings, nope, I gave myself a year’s worth of back up payments with that money, in case anything happens, I’ve got a year of payments stacked.

I don’t have to make my initial payment after this until January and when I do I will pay more than the $186.

I do want to pay it off faster than the loan terms, which would stretch out for six years.

But I also don’t want to hurt myself by throwing all my liquid cash at the car.

Which was nice.

I had some left over to take my darling friend out to lunch on Shattuck Avenue.

And where we parked made all the hairs on my head tingle.

We were directly across from the hotel that I stayed at when I first traveled to Berkeley to meet up with a friend and get myself reappointed with the Bay Area.

It’s not a hotel anymore, but I recognized the building and it felt so amazing and synchronic and auspicious.

Lucky, you know?

I could never have imagined the life that I created out here in San Francisco when I was sitting in that hotel room on the phone with my friend from Wisconsin trying to tell her that I had found where I wanted to be and that I was going to move to San Francisco, in fact, I was seriously considering not coming home and just leaving my entire life in Madison to die.

My friend convinced me to come home, to finish my degree, to give it another year, um, especially since we had just signed a lease on a 2 bedroom apartment, and I said I would, but I was moving to San Francisco as soon as I graduated.

And 15 years after I donated my car, my little two door Honda Accord, to the Goodwill on South Van Ness I got to drive my brand new Fiat Pop 500 home to my little studio by the sea.

Pretty fucking amazing.

And!

I found parking.

Hahahahahaha.

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