Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

Packed!

August 21, 2017

I’m ready for Burning Man.

All I have to do is get through the week.

And what a week it’s going to be.

Oof.

I have supervision tomorrow morning in Hayes Valley.

Then work, nannying, up in Glen Park.

I might, depending on what is going on with my supervisor and some paperwork, have to spin by my school and drop off a practicum trainee review.

I have seen the review and tomorrow we will be discussing it.

I’m not super excited to tell you the truth.

It wasn’t as great a review as my other supervisor, but then again, this supervisor is tough and smart and I doubt he gives very high marks to anyone he supervises.

I did good.

Don’t get me wrong.

Although I didn’t like his additional comments about how my schedule, school full-time, working full time, the practicum hours at the internship, how I’m working six days a week and have to be careful to not get overloaded and to take time to recharge.

Sigh.

I did a lot of recharging today.

And.

I also did a lot of work.

Laundry, cooking–made a pot roast (god damn was that a great supper, I marinated it over night in olive oil, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, adobo, thyme; then roasted it super slow and low for almost three and a half hours, I also soaked it down with homemade chicken stock to keep it moist while it was cooking and surrounded it by baby potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and turnips.  I ate a nice juicy slice of it for dinner over some brown rice and put a pat of butter on it and some salt, because salt, and my fucking god, heaven), went to yoga, cleaned my house, and yeah.

Packed for Burning Man.

Four large bins, one medium bin, got my cooler ready to load up, but I won’t load it until the day I head out, which is next Sunday.

I’ll be keeping everything in the freezer until the very last moment.

My four man tent, a folding chair, and my parasol.

Ta da!

I’m pretty good at the packing for the desert trip, it’s just a matter of getting my bins sorted and having laundry done.

It used to be that my wardrobe was pretty small and basically I was wearing whatever I owned out on the playa.

A little time and a little bit of purchases here and there and I have slowly acquired a playa set of clothes, although a good bit of my wardrobe still does hop into a bin, it’s not my entire closet.

And there are some things that I absolutely won’t wear out there, which is relatively new in the last couple of years, I would just dump everything I had in my bins and empty my closet.

I do need to get a pair of sunglasses, some good aviators, I couldn’t find my sunglasses and then I realized, oh yeah, stupid, paid way too much for a set of Oliver Peeples prescription sunglasses and lost them at school last semester.

Ugh.

So.

Yeah, that’s about all I have to purchase for the trip, that and the things that will wait until I get out-of-town, like ice and water, that I’ll pick up in Reno at the 24 hour SafeWay.

My ride is coming to pick me up at 1 p.m. next Sunday.

The drive takes about 8-9 hours.

I figure we’ll land on playa around midnight–the stop in Reno and any other pit stops or gassing up that needs to be done.

My ticket and the vehicle pass are at Will Call.

I was gifted a low-income ticket from the organization, it’s still $198 and the vehicle pass is $80, but it’s cheaper than the regular ticket, and I got a ticket, there’s always so many people who can’t seem to get a ticket since the event started selling out years ago.

I remember very well the first time that happened, I was nannying for the head of Media Mecca and there was a great kind of awed hush that came over her when the announcement was made over the radio channel.

It was astounding to think they sold out.

Used to be you could just buy a ticket when you got there.

You could buy a ticket at Rainbow Grocery for fucks sake.

Now it’s a big deal, it’s a lotto, they’re more expensive, they are much harder to get.

But.

Well, I keep getting lucky, I keep getting to go.

I get to keep wearing big flowers in my hair and pretty dresses and my cowboy boots and crinolines.

I don’t show much skin out there per se, sure, my bra top will show, but I always wear a bra, I’m not a run around the desert naked kind of gal.

I like a tan, but not that much.

No.

I wear gingham dresses and crinolines, or fun tights and frilly panties and loose cotton tops.

At night I wear leggings and jean shorts, and layers, I have a cheetah print jacket with a pink silk lining that I only wear at Burning Man.

I have my goggles.

And I have my box of makeup.

Really.

What I like to do is wear lots of geegaws up in my hair and put on pretty makeup.

Throw in a crinoline and my cowboy boots and that’s it.

Oh, yeah, and a few bandanas, always, one around my wrist and sometimes one around my the top of my boot, it’s nice to have a spare for the dust that kicks up.

And like that.

My day is just about done.

I need to get the last of the laundry out of the dryer and wrap up a few loose ends here at the house.

Then my full week, supervision, work, clients, therapy, and let me not forget my first weekend of classes.

Whew.

It’s going to be busy.

But good.

I know my week will be very good and I will have my moments, my quiet, sweet moments in my little home by the sea to ponder how good I have it and how much I am loved.

Luckiest girl in the world.

And packed for Burning Man!

Fuck yeah.

Serendipitous

August 18, 2017

Cancellations.

Two.

I had two cancellations today.

I went into my internship after work, which I was allowed to scoot out from a little early, with the idea that I would pop over to Gus’s community market and pick up a few things for dinner and then I run into an old friend who I haven’t seen in seven months, maybe eight.

We talked about what I was doing, practicum with my internship, and that we both are located in the same building.

She is a licensed MFT with an office in the building, once a week I have walked past it thinking, one of these days I’m going to run into her.

Today was that day.

We both are going to Burning Man as well.

She was, in fact surprised to see me, “aren’t you supposed to already be up there?”

Common misconception amongst many of my friends, I have often been gone by this time, already landed and working the event.

But not this year.

This year will be my first year without a job to be tethered to.

I have some freedom that I’m not sure exactly how I will fill, but fill it I will, I’m sure.

She and I chatted, caught up, and I let her know what my schedule was at the internship and she asked how they, the institution I intern for, take referrals.

I explained it and she said, “great!  I have a referral specifically for you, I’ll make sure the client asks for you.”

Wow.

I was blown away.

It was such a nice complement.

Then.

I ran into a fellow in my community that I haven’t seen since I started my school program, and he’s got a new office three doors down from me!

It was great getting caught up and he showed me his space and we chatted.

He told me he was really glad to see me, that I have “such great energy, I’m glad I’m going to see you a couple of times a week!”

Again.

Wow.

Nice, really, so sweet to be thought of that way.

That I have great energy, that there are therapists who want to refer clients to me, that I get to do this work.

Granted I didn’t do much work tonight, at least not direct face to face time with clients, but fuck, I did a lot of work today.

Up early and working on scheduling issues with clients and getting a transfer from another intern at the institute, e-mailing my assistant director and director, sending out clarification e-mails to clients and working on getting another of my syllabi printed off and sorted out.

Yes.

Finally.

All my classes are published online and I have all my syllabi printed.

I have all my books ordered.

I have a reader yet to pick up but I won’t deal with that until next weekend.

A week from tomorrow is my first weekend of my third and final year of this Masters in Counseling Psychology program.

One more year baby.

I know I can do it.

I did a bunch of reading today too.

Ok.

Well, not a bunch, but I got through all the reading, 171 pages, five chapters, in the Jungian Dream work book I have for my class and I got started on a homework assignment for the class.

Yeah.

I fucking did homework tonight and my classes haven’t yet started.

This happened to me last semester too, that I had a reflection paper due for one of my classes the first class of the weekend.

It’s not an accelerated program per se, but the month of classes a day time student would take, gets crammed into three days one weekend a month, so the amount of reading is huge and almost every class I have had has a lot of papers due in between the once a month meet up.

It’s a lot.

But.

Hey.

I can hold down a job while going to school full-time and, fingers crossed, while also doing an internship, which, I have to do, it’s a requirement for the school.

I must have a certain amount of hours to graduate the program.

It’s not horrendous, 255 I think.

Personally, I want to have a lot more than that, and originally I was gunning for the maximum amount of hours that I could acquire while in school.

Then I realized, fuck no.

I want a tiny bit of a life.

I’ve got slivers of time that are super precious to me and I’m not willing to go full whole hog, I need those small spots and spaces to keep myself from losing it while undertaking this endeavor.

So far.

Well, I like I said I don’t have the amount of hours I had thought I was going to accrue over the summer, I still have enough.

More than enough, really.

I have 124.50 hours logged.

Which is great.

I’m half way to where I need to be to graduate the program.

And.

I have two full semesters to get those hours.

I’m going to be just fine.

Things fall together.

Time is spacious and luscious and I don’t have to be anxious about it.

Just like I’m not going to be freaked out by not having all the reading done by next weekend.

I just won’t.

Oh.

I will have enough, and I suspect I will be far ahead of the majority of folks in m cohort, which seems to have been the precedent I have set for myself before even knowing I was doing it.

“I haven’t even ordered my books yet,” a friend in the cohort told me on Sunday over coffee.

I don’t roll like that.

As each syllabi was published I ordered the books necessary for the class.

Because a couple of my classes were not published expeditiously I haven’t got all my textbooks.

But.

I have enough.

And I’m doing enough.

Getting to have an unexpected cancellation tonight gave me a nice little cushion–finished the reading and the first assignment for one of my classes and roasted a chicken, got caught up with some more calendar stuff, went over the fall school schedule with my boss at work, and had a great phone check in with my person.

I will take the gift.

Grateful.

Really grateful.

And holy shit.

Tomorrow is Friday.

Yay!

Friday!

I can’t fucking wait.

SERIOUSLY.

Bring it on.

Waiting

August 16, 2017

For more to be revealed.

I am waiting.

And.

Yes!

It’s happening.

Oh my God.

I have a ride to Burning Man.

Holy shit.

And the best part?

She’s a 74-year-old first time burner.

I want to have that much spunk when I’m in my 70s, let me tell you.

She and I were connected via some mutual friends who suggested to her that she contact me as someone who has experience going to Burning Man.

I said, sure, I’ll let her pick my brain, happy to share about food prep, how to get there, how to get back, how much water to bring, etc.

I had seen a post in a community forum for my camp that I will be staying with and it appeared that she was also looking for a ride to the event.

So.

Imagine my surprise when I get a message from her saying that she’s decided to not only drive to the event, but she wants to give me a ride.

What?!

I was not, in any way shape or form expecting to go to Burning Man with a 74-year-old woman virgin burner from Santa Cruz.

The playa hath provided.

Or.

God.

As the case may be.

I will not have to rent a car!

I will share drive cost, split the vehicle parking pass with her, and give her all the Burning Man tips she can possibly handle.

I can’t believe I have a ride!

I am so relieved.

And that she’s willing to go on my time frame, which allows me to go to class on Sunday.

The weekend the event opens, next weekend, holy shit, is the same weekend as my first weekend of school.

I have to go.

I’ll be in class Friday 9a.m.-4p.m.

Saturday 9a.m.-8p.m.

And.

Sunday 9a.m.-12p.m.

I’ll hop on my scooter, get home and throw myself together.

I will have to be packed and ready by 1p.m.

I’m sure there will be a little wiggle room, but the fact is we’ll want to get on the road as  soon as possible, it’s an 8-9 hour drive depending on the traffic.

Which on a Sunday really shouldn’t be too bad.

We will stop in Reno at the 24 hours SafeWay and buy ice, dry ice, water and anything that may have been forgotten in the melee to get out-of-town.

I am pretty seasoned at going, like I said, this is year eleven, and I pretty much have all my stuff ready, it’s just not all in the same spot.

And considering that I don’t live in a big space it won’t take me real long to compile everything and have it ready to go.

Really.

The packing shouldn’t take me more than an hour.

I figure I’ll suss that out this Saturday.

Get all my bins out, shake off the dust, so to speak, the dust never seems to quite go away, and get it all organized in one spot in the garage.

Depending on how much room she has in the car, which doesn’t sound like a ton, I may only take my one big cooler.

I have a large cooler and a medium size cooler.

The large one is the one I invested in for this year, it’s on wheels and holds a lot more than my medium size one, plus, it’s a much better insulated cooler than the one I’ve taken the last few years.

I have a ride!!

I am over the moon.

Aside from the fact that I get to be of service, I mean, she is an elder states(wo)man and it’s an honor and a privilege, I believe, to take someone who means a great deal to her community, to her first Burning Man.

At the age of 74.

How freaking radical is that?!

I love it.

I get to be of service and she’s really happy to have the company.

I think it is a total win/win scenario.

I also feel like she’s not going to have any issue leaving a little early from the event, I’m pretty much hoping to leave as early as possible Sunday morning and get out an on the road.

I want as much time Monday to recuperate and take 18 different super hot showers and time to wash all my clothes and get the dust out of my hair.

Wow.

I am over the moon.

I have a ride.

Such a relief.

And yes, the thought of driving my own car was a lovely thought, but not the possibility of losing a big deposit on a rental from Burning Man dust.

One day.

Perhaps sooner than later.

I will have my own car.

And I will offer someone else a ride out to that thing in the desert.

Until then.

I am happy as a clam.

A dusty one, mind you.

To have this opportunity.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Or at Burning Man.

Seriously!

Sneaky Work

August 15, 2017

It’s Monday.

The alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m.

I bounce out of bed, turn on the lights, run to the loo.

Brush teeth, wash face, wander naked to the kitchen, I sleep in the nude, yes, indeed the first ten minutes of my morning are bare ass, drink a glass of water, take three vitamin supplements–iron, glucosamine chondrotin, Flax seed oil, then I go make my bed.

After that I get dressed, put on my shoes, watch, and pull out the layers I plan on wearing.

Hello.

It’s August in San Francisco.

Best to have at least three layers.

Cardigan, sweatshirt, scooter riding jacket.

I lay them out on the bed and then go do my morning reading and say some prayers and ask for some direction and then.

Breakfast!

Today was oatmeal with banana and figs, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw cocoa and unsweetened coconut/almond milk; 1 hard-boiled egg and an unsweetened almond milk latte.

While said food items are busy boiling, cooking, and frothing, I pack my lunch for work and whatever homework and internship paperwork, texts, and syllabi I need for the day.

Today it was solo supervision, so definitely needed my pink glitter notebook.

Who says grad school has to be all seriousness.

Glitter makes it better.

Trust me.

I also packed my Jungian dream book, even though my brain said, what’s the point?

There’s not a spare minute to do reading today.

But, from experience, this is not true.

Times when I think I am going to have hours of reading, I don’t and days when I think, I couldn’t possibly spare thirty seconds to look at a paragraph, I suddenly have unexpected time.

Life happens.

All the time.

That’s what life does.

But.

I find these weird, sweet, odd pockets of time and that’s when I use Stephen King’s advice.

And if you don’t think reading Stephen King is a highly psychological endeavor you’re not reading his works very well.

Anyway.

He wrote this awesome little book a while back, non-fiction, called “On Writing” and it gives his basic formula for what he does and his routine.

First.

He reads.

A lot.

And not his stuff, but everyone else.

His biggest suggestion and one that I took very much to heart, especially after starting grad school, is, carry a book with you at all times.

You never know when you may get stuck in a line or your appointment gets pushed back, or you’re riding the train or the bus or the subway.

I notice most folks these days are looking at their phones.

I read my homework for school if I have down time.

And like I said, I often have a snatch of it when I least expect it.

Today it happened at supervision.

My supervisor lost his keys and had to run home to get the replacement set.

So, my session was cut a little short but, hey!

I have my Jungian Dream Work class text-book.

Whip it out!

I knocked out another couple of pages.

And very glad for it.

I got another text-book in the mail today and I have it already packed in my travel bag for tomorrow, along with the Jungian book, I doubt very much I’ll actually have time to read the two chapters for the class I still need to kick through and have time to get into the next text I have assigned myself.

But.

Well.

You never know.

I just don’t anyway.

Another thing King recommends is that you write everyday.

Yup.

I do that too.

Before I head out.

And when I get home in the evening.

Sometimes I am still not sure how that all happens.

I do the morning writing in one of my Claire Fontaine notebooks from Paris, or whatever notebook I have handy.  I of course have a preference, but I will write on anything.

Although I hate recycled notebooks, the quality of the paper is ass.

I write three pages long hand.

I write about what I’m doing, the things that happened the day before that I don’t write about in my blog

Oh.

Haha.

There’s a few things that I do not write about here.

That all gets covered and rehashed and processed in the morning writing.

The evening, this, my blog, I am also pretty damn consistent.

I used to be super anal about it and I couldn’t not write every day.

That’s eased up a little in recent years.

Years, I say, I have been writing this blog for so long.

Seven, eight years.

I have over 2,200 blogs posted.

And that’s after two different scrubbing sessions where I probably deleted a couple hundred blogs just to make sure I wasn’t leaving a thumbprint or, yes, I had said something unkind about someone in my life.

Typically a boss.

Occasionally a bad date.

Ooh, man I had some bad date blogs.

Which I stopped doing when a blind date stumbled on a blog I wrote, I’m thinking he probably stalked me a bit, let’s be real, and sent me a text which said, “I read your blog.”

Ack.

I had to delete it and make an amends.

I swallowed that pride, deleted the blog, called him, he answered, and apologized.

That was an uncomfortable conversation.

But.

Better than the alternative.

It still was an awful date, but I had said some pretty not so nice things.

I learned my lesson, words can cut deep and it’s not my business to malign.

I stopped writing anything about other people and really tried from that point forward to keep the focus on myself.

I have plenty of flaws I can poke fun at, I don’t need to point out anyone else’s.

So.

That’s the writing routine for the day.

The rest of today looked like work, cooking for the family, doing the baby’s laundry, lots of bouncing around with the baby–he’s teething horribly–playing race cars with the oldest boy and letting the little lady watch Frozen, since she wasn’t feeling well.

I was supposed to go to my internship today and see a client.

But.

She cancelled.

So.

After work I zoomed to the grocery store and picked up some staples and then zipped over the hill to 7th and Irving and hit up the spot, got right with God and got home.

Garbage, recycling, compost out to the curb as a favor to the landlady who is traveling, check the mail, another text-book from school!

I know, it’s exciting, right?

Reviewed my calendar, personal, work, and internship, printed off some forms–I have a new client consult at the internship tomorrow, and ate some dinner.

Checked e-mails, popped over to my “Track My Hours” my BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) approved MFT hours tracker, and added in my hour of supervision from the morning.

And um.

That’s the day.

Not exactly exciting.

But really full.

Hell I even snuck in a trip to the bank and the post office to return a package in between supervision and work, and a run to Walgreens for some more school supplies–two packs of my favorite pens and a new pink folder.

Because.

Pink.

It’s a lot.

But.

It’s a gift.

This life, my life, getting to be this person who is busy and of service, getting to learn how to be a better therapist, advocating for my self-care, taking time to do my own writing, eating well, being kind, just living.

Life is going to happen and I can choose to look at it as a grind.

Or.

Fuck.

I can say, look at my amazing life!

I live in San Francisco for fuck sake.

I have such a bounty of gratitude for what I have.

It awes me every day.

I am.

Yes.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Really.

I am.

Hello Friday

August 12, 2017

My God.

You smell amazing.

There is nothing.

I mean.

NOTHING.

Like coming home to a package from Chanel.

Oh.

God damn.

And even thought I knew what it was, I still unboxed it like it was a surprise.

I was so giddy.

So happy.

The biggest smiles.

And.

The most delicious of smells.

Yes.

That’s right.

I am back to my scent.

I have adored wearing Rose Flash, it’s been a nice little thing to have and I get sweet compliments on it.

But.

It is not Chanel.

It is not my scent.

My signature scent for decades has been Chanel Egoiste.

Pour Homme.

That’s for Man.

Yeah.

I wear a men’s cologne.

I never set out to wear a men’s cologne, it was a complete accident.

There are no mistakes in God’s world.

It was meant to be, but I didn’t know it at the time.

I found it at a discount store in the mall, one of those stores that specializes in products that have been discontinued.

It wasn’t in a box.

It must have been a sample from the big department store that was closing across the way.

I don’t know.

I had only been in the big department store once, I can’t even remember what the name of it was it wasn’t one that I was familiar with, then again it was in a land I was also unfamiliar with.

Iowa.

Yeah.

For a very strange year when I was 20 years old, I lived and worked in Newton, Iowa.

The short version of the story was that I was there to help my sister raise her child while her husband waited to get out of prison.

Actually they weren’t married yet, that happened at the prison a few months after I moved there with her to help her with my niece.

I swear.

This is the short version.

The long version is the book I wrote, the second in my memoir trilogy (yes I wrote a trilogy, no, it’s not published), called The Iowa Waltz.

Anyway.

We had moved there, my sister and I, as her fiancée was caught breaking bail in Wisconsin and was extradited to Iowa to serve out his sentence at the minimum security prison outside of Newton.

I got a job waitressing at Palma’s, this crazy Greek restaurant where the owner insisted that all the “girls” wear heels when working.

And dresses.

I might have gone to that department store to buy a dress, I think, in fact, that was why I was in the mall at all.

I certainly did not have a lot of extra money to spare, my sister was getting food stamps and WIC.

And I lied my ass off to get the bartending job.

My first shift the woman training me rolled her eyes, “you have got to be kidding me, you don’t know how to make a margarita?!”

It was a margarita night.

It was on special.

And.

It was strawberry.

I learned really fast.

And within a few weeks I was zipping around, tottering really, god how my feet hurt, the other bartenders and making pretty decent tips.

For Iowa, anyway.

The wife of the owner was the “bar manager” and she was a notorious Sambuca drinker and what is that Italian wine, god she drank it by the bottle and it was red and always chilled, Lambrusco?

And.

Fuck.

She smoked.

I mean.

I smoked, probably a pack a day at the time, but she smoked rings around me.

We were allowed to, oh the good old days when you could smoke while you worked.

Gagging.

Voula!  That was her name.

Shit, that just popped right up in my brain, I have not thought about that crazy bitch in a while.

Voula smoked three packs a day, easy.

It wasn’t that she necessarily smoked that much, but she always, I mean, always, had a cigarette burning in an ashtray.

And not just one, but five, sometimes six or seven.

“Do not put out any of her cigarettes, do not dump them, don’t do it, doesn’t matter if the ashtray is full to overfull, do not dump it, you will get the wrath of Voula,” my trainer told me.

She also told me under no circumstances to flirt with Voula’s husband.

Ew.

Yuck.

Why the fuck would I?

He was gross.

Balding, smoked just as much as she did, except he smoked cigars, and he had a big paunch and swinging jowls, I mean, not attractive.

“She will fire you if she thinks you’re flirting with him,” the head bartender told me, “she’s fired four girls in the last month.”

Fuck.

I won’t flirt, like I said, gross.

But.

I had drawn his attention.

And he made it clear.

I don’t remember what he said or how but it translated to I needed to buy another dress for work, and there was no mention of a clothing allowance or a uniform stipend, the money had to come out of my own pocket.

So.

The mall.

I must have found a dress.

And somehow I wandered into this strange little store next to the big department store, cheap trinkets, discounted stuff, old holiday decorations, odd toiletries and make up, junk basically.

But.

There.

On the shelf in the back right hand corner of the shop.

The bottle of Egoiste.

I do not know what compelled me to smell it.

I must have been registering it before I opened the lid and inhaled.

Oh.

Holy Mother of God.

It was the most amazing thing I had ever smelled.

Warm and spicy, musky.

Sexy.

Vanilla, coriander, sandalwood, rosewood, subtle cinnamon.

Not that I could have told you that then.

Fuck.

I was nineteen.

It just smelled amazing.

It blew my mind.

It was $19.99.

I had twenty-five dollars in my wallet.

I did not hesitate.

I bought it.

One of the best decisions ever.

I got fired two nights later when the boss lady’s husband decided to keep the bar open late and play poker with his buddies and he wanted a personal bartender.

Yup.

You guessed right.

Me.

I never once did a thing.

Nothing.

Didn’t matter.

I was fired when I came into work the next day.

“Get out of my bar,” she screamed at me, “you’re fired you fucking whore.”

Yeah.

And goodbye.

Funny thing.

I actually got my next bartending job because of her.

“Wait, what?  You worked for Voula for two months?” The woman interviewing me said, she was the owner of Boots and Spurs, why yes, I did work at Iowa’s largest country western night club, how did you guess?

I nodded, abashed, I had indeed gotten fired.

“You’re hired!” She exclaimed, nobody makes it two weeks with Voula, let alone two months.”

She laughed out loud, “hell, I only made it four days, she was one of my first employers, years and years ago now.”

“You must be amazing, when can you start?”

And so began my illustrious career in a country western nightclub.

But that’s a blog for another day.

Or you know, just read the book when I finally get it published, there’s plenty of stories there, believe you me.

Anyway.

I was hooked.

I fell in love in Iowa with a men’s cologne from Paris.

So many, many years ago.

And I got a bottle today in the mail.

Such an amazing gift.

I opened it and smiled and laughed and giggled and hopped up and down a little.

And then I opened it.

Oh.

That smell.

So good.

So, very, very good.

And just for a moment.

I was transported back to that small town mall in Newton, Iowa (home of Maytag Washing Machines!) and my 19-year-old self.

My god.

How far I have come.

How very fucking far.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Best smelling one too.

Heh.

 

 

 

We Were Talking

August 10, 2017

About you tonight.

Oh you were?

“Yeah, we were saying that you’re doing too much,” my friend said and gave me a hug.

Well.

Of course I’m doing too fucking much.

And I’m ok with it.

I am a busy woman.

But pockets of time present themselves to me and I get stuff done.

I managed to sneak in making a pot of soup in between a phone call, work, and covering my Wednesday night commitment.

I am good like that.

I also, wait for it, dropped off my paperwork to the school practicum office!

Killed two birds with one stone.

I had the mom ask me to take the oldest boy out on a solo adventure with me.

We went to the Exploratorium today down on the Embarcadero at Pier 15.

On the way, we swung into my school campus, rode, “the slowest elevator in the world,” according to my 7-year-old companion, and dropped off my evaluation to the woman who runs the practicum office.

We chatted a bit and it was nice to down load a little about my experiences and how it feels to be running with clients.

I have seven now.

My charge was as patient as a 7-year-old could be and after three minutes of chat I corralled him and we made our merry way to the FMarket trolley.

We also stopped in at the Peets Coffee across the street from my campus and I got a large nonfat latte and he got a steamed milk with whipped cream.

He was so cute.

It was adorable hanging out with him all afternoon.

When it’s just he and we have the best times.

We played all over the Exploratorium, the museum of science, art and human perception and had marvelous experiments and adventure and looked at all the things and played with all sorts of miraculous contraptions.

It really was great.

We ate lunch there and he ate most of my lunch because it was tastier and I happily shared and he cuddled with me hard and fell into a bit of a food coma and collapsed on my lap and hugged me and said, “scratch my back,” and I did and it was fabulous.

There’s nothing like a seven-year old boy snuggling on my lap to make me happy, he just loves me so much and it makes my heart super full.

He can be a total handful when he’s around his siblings, but one on one, oh my god, melt my heart.

He literally sat in my lap the entire way back.

We took the FMarket all the way into the Castro then hopped on the 24 bus and rode it to Church and 30th.

He’s a big fan of the Beatles and walking up the hill we sang Beatles songs and held hands.

Mostly “I Say Hello and You Say Goodbye,” over and over again.

I’m not much of a vocalist, I mean, I can sing, everyone can sing, but my little guy can really sing.

I was happy to hold my own and actually harmonize a bit with him.

And when I couldn’t hit the high notes, well, he did.

I feel pretty in love with the little guy and it was so nice to have the day with him.

We got back to the house a tiny bit before mom and his siblings and I got dinner going while he played Legos.

Dinner was pretty simple, I made his favorite dish, organic ground beef pan sautéed in good olive oil with garlic and onion, sea salt, rosemary, black pepper, and a bechamel sauce that I make right as the beef has browned up and then I put it over brown rice fusilli or whatever non-gluten pasta I wrangle up out of the pantry.

The boy loves it.

It’s amazing to watch him inhale it.

I love cooking.

It’s a nice perk to my job.

I know some nannies who would be horrified to have to cook, but I do really like it.

I love my family and I love making them dinner.

In fact, the mom told me that they, the kids, were excited to come back from their big trip and eat my food.

That was nice to hear.

The mom let me go a few minutes early and since I had dropped off the paperwork to my school I was able to slip home, do some practical stuff, eat a quick dinner, make a pot of soup and take a phone call before heading back out the door to my next gig.

I know I am busy and it was sweet to hear my friend and I looked at him and said, I get it, I do, I am busy and it’s a lot and yeah, I’m probably doing too much, but I don’t feel like I have much of a choice.

Although, that’s not necessarily true.

I could quit school and have oodles of free time.

But.

I would just be a nanny.

And I want more.

I am too smart and too driven to just stop here.

I want this.

I have been groomed for it, or so it feels.

And yeah.

This last year of school is probably going to be full tilt boogie.

But.

I know.

I know without any doubt.

That I will get through it.

I haven’t felt anxious at all about my schedule and the things I need to do.

It feels like it’s all falling right into place.

I can’t fuck it up.

I can’t manipulate it into happening.

If it’s supposed to happen it will.

I just get to show up today in the best way I know how and do whatever work is in front of me.

And yes.

When I can.

Well, yes, a girl will like to play.

And I shall.

No worries.

It’s all happening.

All the things.

All the.

Wonderful.

Amazing.

Awesome.

Things.

Oh, yes, they are.

Thank God.

 

Turn It Around

August 9, 2017

It took almost all day.

But.

My day was completely and totally turned around.

I didn’t have a bad day per se, just a tender and emotional one.

It started off with a phone call that I took this morning, one I almost let ring through to voicemail, but a soft little voice said pick up the phone and check in, get accountable.

Get recovery.

Do it.

So.

Of course, I picked up.

And I hashed out somethings that have been on my mind and in my heart and I got some really good suggestions about those things.

I also was read a mild riot act about not taking on more in my schedule.

Last Friday I said yes to working with a woman who deeply touched me with what she was going through and it resonated so much with me that I said I could work with her.

And.

Of course.

That is in direct opposition to what I had been told to do, no more working with others.

I have two women I work with and I have two people who work me and I have two commitments twice a week that get me involved and maintained in my recovery.

The rest is work and internship and so very soon.

School.

It was foolhardy to take her on, so after a mild dressing down I agreed completely and immediately felt some relief.

The rest of the check in had to do with setting boundaries, and dealing with my anxiety around school.

Which.

Oh therapeutic irony, as soon as I had decided to set that boundary I started to feel less anxious around school.

I got off the phone having already had a good cry and it wasn’t even 9 a.m.

I washed my breakfast dishes, brushed my teeth, put on some makeup and hopped on my scooter, heading over to Noe Valley in a thick, cold fog.

A fog that never lifted, not all day, not in the Mission, not in Glen Park, nowhere, it was cold, foggy, dreary, all day long.

I got to Noe, my helmet awash in moisture, I might as well have been riding in rain, and made the phone call to the woman I said I would work with.

I explained why I couldn’t, I apologized, and I wished her the very best and if she needed support she could reach out.

Then.

Phew.

I felt a lot better.

One more little bit of time for me.

One less thing to schedule.

Ha.

In fact, I just toggled over to my calendar and took her off.

That felt good as well.

And.

Therapy was great, I missed my therapist last week, she was out-of-town on vacation and it felt really good to see her and get into the work.

Of course.

It takes a minute to get there, but I leapt in with the anxiety, the recognition of how it relates to school.

And how it relates to my relationship with my mother and my desire to be above and beyond, to be perfect, to excel, and the level of pressure and stress I put on myself to be the good school girl and what will happen if I don’t and the annihilation of all things good should I not perform.

There are reasons for this, and I’ll let you read between the lines.

I have written about them before, I don’t need to rehash it all right now.

Suffice to say.

I got a lot of crying in today.

It was a relief too, let me be clear, to finally connect a few dots and to see where things were messy and still needed untangling.

And where I needed to set boundaries in my life and what those looked like and how to walk through the school anxiety, and it was just really good to hash it all out.

I had a fantastic session.

Granted I had to go to work right thereafter, so there was a bit of tenderness and sensitivity in my body all day long.

But no.

Wait for it.

No.

Anxiety.

Hallelujah.

Well.

Almost none.

I got tossed a client at the last-minute, a consult add-on and I teared up, I had thought I was going to get away with only seeing one client tonight and then zipping over to school, dropping off my paperwork and getting home “early.”

Nope.

I didn’t burst into tears.

I just sort of melted into them.

Then.

I had a little chat with myself, you normally see two clients on Tuesday, this is just how it is, you’re going to be ok.

I also called the practicum office and found out that I can drop my paperwork after hours to the head of the office and she gave me a very specific spot to put the paperwork and I can go do that tomorrow.

I’m fine.

Everything is fine.

And.

Holy Toledo!

My sessions!

My clients!

Wow.

Two whole fucking hours of actively listening to someone else, not a thought in my head of my own crap, just showing up in the room, in the field, being there, being empathetic, being of service.

Mind blowing.

I left my internship walking on air.

Or fog as the case may be.

But really.

Lifted, elevated, and completely turned around.

Ah.

Therapy you devilish thing.

So good to know you.

Grateful that my day ended on such a high note.

Relieved really.

And having some nice clarity around what I need for myself and how to get it.

That helps too.

Getting through the week.

And grateful so grateful that I am on the path I am on.

I feel graced with so many gifts, its astounding when I stop and enumerated them.

My life is full of this grace and joy and beauty.

Strength and resilience.

Hope.

And.

The most amazing.

Bountiful.

Infinite.

And

Ever expanding.

Love.

Evaluation

August 8, 2017

Of Trainee.

That would be me.

Psychotherapist in training.

I picked up my evaluation from my supervisor today from the office at my internship.

I zipped up to the office before seeing my client at 6:30p.m.

I have two new client folders that I needed to look at, but not too long, I needed mostly to grab my evaluation and scoot on out.

I almost didn’t want to read it before I saw my client.

But.

Ha.

Well.

Of course I did.

Oh my gosh you guys.

It was really nice.

I mean.

Really good.

I got the best marks.

I mean seriously.

Of the four pages of the evaluation I scored the top score in all categories.

I got fives and fives and more fives.

  1. Serious difficulty with performance
  2.  Needs improvement
  3. Performs as expected
  4. Performs above expectations
  5. Performs far above expectations

Holy cats.

I got fives on everything but for three categories, and for those I still got 4s.

I am blown away.

Feels pretty motherfucking good, I have to say.

And the written comments, swoon, wowzers, you can say I’m pretty happy having read them:

“_________________ is an exceptional trainee, performing far above expectations for a first semester as a trainee.  Her level of enthusiasm, and compassion combine with a natural intuitive therapeutic ability give her a positive edge in helping her clients.  ____________ will continue to grow as a therapist as she gets more experience.”

Exceptional.

God damn that is so nice to see in print.

I need to remember that when I get bogged down in the details and the scheduling and the figuring it out.

You should have heard me as I was putting on my therapy shoes before I left work today to go to my internship, “pick up files and paperwork in room 533, meet with __________  in room 352.”

I must have repeated that five times like a little mantra before I had my shoes on, my scooter jacket zipped up and my purse and scooter basket bag in my hands.

Every day that I go into my internship–five days a week, thank you very much, I am in a different room.

I have it just about down as to where I am going to be on any given day, but I have to say I end up repeating them or double checking or looking at my calendar.

Where am I today?

Speaking of.

I need some tech support.

There has to be a way for me to access my Google calendar from my Iphone.

I haven’t figured it out yet.

I keep looking at my Gmail and trying to find where the calendar is hiding.

I mean.

I have a calendar on the phone, but I also have a personal calendar through my own Gmail account and another through my internship.

I got assigned another client today and I knew what spot to offer her and when I got the confirmation e-mail that she wanted the spot I sent my assistant director, who is in charge of the calendar, a message, but I really want to be able to access my calendar immediately.

I am at my house in the morning on my laptop and in the evening, but I am out all day long for great swaths of time, there has to be a way for me to access the calendar on my Iphone.

Add to list of things to figure out.

Like, oh, getting my paperwork to school by Friday.

I mean.

Ugh.

Either I get up early and go before therapy tomorrow or I go before work Wednesday or Thursday.

Hmm.

I wonder.

I bet I could just go after my client tomorrow or after work on Wednesday.

Oh.

That works.

I usually have something going on right away after work on Wednesdays, but not this week.  I’ll get done with work Wednesday and zoom over to school and drop of the evaluation to the practicum office team.

I also got some things ironed out with my practicum schedule and group supervision and my school schedule.

Once a month, for five months, August-December, I am in school for three days, Friday 9a.m.-8p.m. Saturday 9a.m.-4p.m. and Sunday 9a.m.-12p.m.

I have group supervision on Saturdays from 2p.m.-4p.m.

Obviously there is a conflict.

And I can’t simply get away with not having supervision for that week.

I now have five clients this week.

I will have six clients next week.

And seven the week following.

For every five client hours I have I have to have one hour of supervision.

Having more than five clients I have to go to supervision twice a week.

And.

Now.

I have openings starting in September for Saturdays.

Yes.

I will be taking clients on Saturdays after I get back from Burning Man.

I will see clients from 4:30-6:30p.m.

That leaves me a half hour afterward to zip over to my commitment on Divasadero and Eddy by 7p.m.

I will have group supervision first from 2-4p.m. then clients until 6:30p.m.

If it’s a school weekend I’ll have school until 4p.m. and then zip over to my internship and see clients.

Of course.

Nothing is booked yet, but for the fall semester they want me to run with 10 clients.

So.

Yeah.

Saturdays.

By Spring semester I am supposed to have 13.

Ugh.

I don’t know how that’s going to happen and I don’t need to figure it out right now.

Spring semester will also be much lighter.

I will be taking five classes this semester.

In spring it will be three.

So there will be more space and less homework.

I get so way far ahead of myself.

I keep reminding myself.

Pull back ladybug.

My worst fears about my internship and not being able to handle it have all been conflagrated beyond any sort of reality.  I can look back and see I was anxious for absolutely no good reason.  I was able to handle what was handed to me.

So.

I will be fine and my classes will be good, my work will be good, life will be good.

It already is.

And.

My boss agreed to let me go an hour early on Wednesdays once a month to offset my group supervision and was very sweet about it.

So grateful for my job.

And my life and love and all of it.

Life is full.

Busy.

Yes.

All the things.

But ultimately, I am alive for it all, exquisite and sometimes painful, but so bright and moving and wonderful.

I have no complaints.

NONE AT ALL.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Never doubt it.

Hello My Old Friend

August 7, 2017

So nice to get re-acquainted.

Not.

Fuck me man.

I got anxious today.

Now.

That should go without saying, having been diagnosed with clinical anxiety and clinical depression about a decade ago, that I would have anxiety now and then in my life.

But.

Shit.

I’d sort of forgotten.

Good grief.

It snuck up on me today.

Perhaps because I had suddenly some unexpected down time and that can make me a little tight in my chest, a little thread of something is wrong running down my spine, unscheduled down time, what the fuck will I do?

And I had plenty to do, I always have something going on.

I did loads of writing.

I did loads of laundry.

So happy the landlady replaced the washing machine, the gift of not having to go to the laundry mat next to the 7-11 on the corner of Judah and 46th is no joke.

I did yoga.

I had lots of lovely phone conversations today.

I went grocery shopping.

I cooked food for dinner.

I had a scrumptious salad for lunch on the back porch during the half hour of sun that came out in the Outer Sunset.

Man.

It has been foggy.

I’m about ready for that to be over weather wise.

I went and got right with God.

I did some meditation.

Life is great!

And.

I ordered books for school and looked over another syllabus that got published for my fall semester.

That’s when I noticed it, the corroding of my nerves, the odd feeling in my body, the small shivers of panic.

Oh.

Hello.

I had forgotten you.

And.

Oh.

Hello.

Fuck off.

I don’t need you around.

I mean.

I really don’t.

Anxiety pulls me out of the moment, catapults me into the future, where there is not god, there is nothing, there is only fear and terror and pain.

And it’s always a bad future.

It’s not a sweet, kind, gentle, loving future.

Nope.

It’s a.

YOU’RE GOING TO FUCKING FAIL SO YOU BETTER MOVE YOUR ASS NOW.

Kind of future.

And I still might fail.

And that’s ok.

I mean.

It is at least familiar.

I know this feeling, I have had it before, and I can live through it.

And I didn’t have a panic attack.

I had the scattering of one at the beginning of the last semester when I was super uptight about practicum and getting my internship nailed down.

Fortunately I was having a work day where the mom and baby were at her office and I was going to pick up the monkeys from school.

I had some down time at work to do cleaning and fold laundry and prep stuff for dinner and I got an e-mail regarding some financial aid thing and then another about registering for practicum and something in me just popped.

I got super wound up and it felt like a cement bucket of fear was riding on my chest and creeping up my throat.

Yay!

Anxiety.

For two and a half years I took antidepressants to deal with the depression and anxiety.

I stopped right around my five years of sobriety.

I came off them real easy.

I had been on the lowest dosage anyway.

But.

I felt like I didn’t need them anymore and I was riding my bicycle a lot and nannying some pretty energetic kids and I was doing ok.

I was also began eating a diet abstinent from processed flour and all sugars (except those occurring naturally in fruit, bring on the apples!) and that was a big thing too.

My diet got really clean, I got daily biking exercise, and I was out in the sun a lot pushing a stroller to and from multiple playgrounds.

The anxiety dissipated.

And.

The depression fell away.

I lost lots of weight.

I got happy.

Sure.

Shit happened.

Life happened.

When it was a dark and rainy winter the depression would slide back in a little, but for the most part.

Nothing.

Until.

I started grad school.

Anxiety nightmares.

Stress dreams.

Mild depression each winter semester.

Nothing that I couldn’t titrate with a touch more sleep or with a little more exercise and then I added some flax oil into my diet and rode it out.

The anxiety was easily the worst my first semester of school.

Now.

Today.

Not so much.

But.

It was there.

And truth be told.

It annoyed me.

It pissed me off.

I was like.

No.

NO.

I am not doing this again.

I know what this looks like and I know how to handle it and.

AND.

It never has been that bad.

It never has been the nightmare of not having enough time to do all the things and read all the things and write all the papers that my over active imagination likes to tell me it’s going to be.

Not once.

Not.

Never.

I never stopped blogging, which I told myself I would drop if it got bad.

I never stopped doing morning pages, ditto, I’ll stop if I can’t handle the writing load.

Oh.

Sure.

There were days here and there when I didn’t.

But I was pretty steady through it all.

I also know from experience, this for me is the most basic form of faith, that I always get things done.

And that there really is no need to be anxious about things.

I sent out a few messages, got some sweet responses.

Made a phone call to my person.

Wrote out a gratitude list.

And went about my day.

There are things I am going to have to do and my fall semester this year will look different from my last two as I am in practicum and I am seeing clients and I’m basically a practicing psychotherapist.

Not a psycho.

Haha.

Sorry.

Gallows humor is probably not the most attractive thing in a therapist.

Or is it?

Anyway.

I reached out to my supervisor about my schedule and I saw some openings and some things that I may have to adjust to and change-up.

But.

Overall.

I got this.

I got my books ordered.

I am still waiting for the release of one more syllabus though, I may still have to purchase a few books, but that’s fine.

I got my first text-book in the mail and I started reading it yesterday and yes, it will start traveling with me as I go about my week.

I worked through the anxiety.

I had a nice quiet talk with myself, assuaged my worries, gave myself the you can do it pep talk and basically really breathed into it.

All in all.

I can handle this and I was told that this would be a challenging year.

Haven’t they all been?

But.

That I have seen others walk through it and I know if they can do it so can I.

Plus.

I have a pretty amazing support system, fellowship and community.

I’m going to be just fine.

Because.

I already am.

Today.

Right now.

In this beautiful moment.

There is nothing wrong, and my life.

Well.

Let me just say.

It’s fucking fabulous.

Amazing really.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.


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