Archive for the ‘Nanny’ Category

Tired

June 23, 2017

And wide awake all at the same time.

There was a moment today when I just thought to myself, I am not going to make it through the day.

Not enough sleep.

Too many hours at work.

Client that needs to be seen after work.

Party for a friends studio opening.

And I was asked to come in earlier tomorrow to work.

I thought I was just going to pass out.

The little lady was close to taking a nap and I hazarded a distinct longing to put her down for a nap and cuddle with her and sneak in a nap myself.

But.

No such luck.

I also didn’t want to super caffeinate.

Although I came daringly close I did not succumb to the temptation and powered through the day.

My thoughts kept me company and I kept myself moving around the house a lot and kept telling myself that it was almost Friday.

It still was a long day.

But I made it through work and I got to my internship and I had a really good second session with a new client.

Two clients this week and I’ll be adding another client next week.

Slowly it builds.

I felt really good doing the session and decided that I could rally afterward and go sneak over to my friend’s open house studio opening.

I really wanted to have a grown up moment that was a social, even if it was just for a little snick of time.

I hadn’t any dinner so I knew that it would be short-lived and watching the fog roll in over Twin Peaks I was pretty assured that it would be a quick visit.

But it was good and I got to see an amazing work space and reconnect with Burning Man friends and talk a little about the event and when folks are going.

I haven’t found a ride yet and there was a moment when I thought, fuck it, wouldn’t it be nice to not stress and give up the ticket and spend the time here in the city with people I love and then I was like.

Um, no.

Hahahaha.

Sure, there are people who I want to see here, but the fact is if I don’t go to Burning Man I’d just be working anyhow, it’s not like vacation, although it completely is, but it’s outside of my time frame of paid vacation and I wouldn’t just take the week off without going.

Plus.

It’s the ten-year anniversary of my best friend’s death and he’s the reason why I went in the first place.

My heart, tender, feeling that loss, but not so achy as it’s been in the past, just tender, just there and I know there will be feelings that come up.

And there will be a conversation with him, somewhere in deep playa, out past the Temple where I am sure between the Temple and the mountain range my friend still resides, just a little part of him, I didn’t take all his ashes, but enough, enough to know he’s there and there are many places that I connect with the memory of him and also with the aliveness of him, the way I live my life a reflection of the gusto he went after life with.

I am sure he would be proud of me.

OH.

Hello.

There are the tears.

I knew you were around.

I watched the fog roll in over the top of Twin Peaks from the deck of my friends studio in the Mission and it was the same height and approximate distance from the hospital ICU, General, where my friend spent a week in a coma before the family pulled the plug and harvested his organs for donation.

There is always one strong memory for me, pressing my face against that window, my fevered brow, the hotness of my heart, the tears always on and off, more so off when I was at the hospital–it was only in the privacy of my own room in the dark as I prayed to God on my knees to get me through the experience that I would allow myself to cry–the coolness of the window and the dark, heaviness of the fog rolling in over Twin Peaks.

A blanket of sorrow and felted love thrown over the entirety of the city as though we all grieved the loss of my friend.

So.

Yeah.

I might be a little tired, but I’m not bailing on Burning Man.

Nope.

Sure.

I haven’t gotten a ride together yet, but that will happen and hopefully it won’t be as crazy as the ride up was last time.

I have gotten a couple of nibbles from my post on the ride share board, but nothing solid, it always comes together, I’m not too worried.

It’s more a matter, at this point, of getting a playa bike and finding time in between the comings and goings of my life to do some preparation.

I have people I am responsible to, my own recovery to attend to, and God damn it would be nice to get in a yoga class this weekend, but yeah,  a new playa bike and some sourcing of other items that are always nice to have and I’ll make some time, find some time, create some time, and do a little shopping when I can.

Side bar.

The mom just sent me a message about my work performance and told me that I really was “Mary Poppins sister!”

I’ll take it.

Anyway, this Mary Fucking Poppins, will be riding again under her parasol out on playa again this year and enjoying the hell out of not being a therapist in training, a student, or a nanny.

Just a girl.

Out on her bike.

Riding towards the painted calico mountains with secrets and love to share with an old friend.

“I finally was the ball, Shadrach, you’d be so fucking proud of me.”

Cherry Popped

June 14, 2017

I had my first client.

It went well.

That’s all I’m going to say.

That and holy shit.

I had my first client!

I did my first session of therapy with a client.

The client has rebooked for another session.

So it really begins.

As though it’s not been beginning for a very long time, all the time training and studying and reading and writing papers and working with my cohort.

All that.

Plus.

Years of other kinds of service, sitting and listening to another person check in, being honest, being accountable, showing up, doing the deal.

I mean.

Fuck.

I have been working hard for a god damn long time to get here.

I had my first client session.

I know I won’t ever forget it.

And I am grateful for it.

It was a good day.

A sunny day.

A lovely day.

I did a lot.

Showered and wrote and coffee and reading and making sure I had a back up outfit for work, just in case I get nannied in the line of duty.

Last week the baby spit up on both my arms.

Nothing says “let’s create a therapeutic alliance” more than smelling like regurgitated breast milk.

Ha.

So.

I have a back up outfit at work.

I actually have two.

I have one just for work, if I need to I can do a quick change out and being able to work the rest of whatever hours I have work and run my stuff through the wash.

And now.

I have a second outfit that is more appropriate to looking like a professional.

Oh.

I’m still pretty casual in my attire.

But.

I today I was was also softly polished.

Black leggings, long drop waist charcoal grey dress, baby blue cardigan, and my new Fluevogs.

I wanted to look nice, warm, inviting.

I also liked dressing for the part.

I love dress up.

I love clothes and shoes and I have secretly waited to arrive at the day when I can start to be a little more polished and professional.

It was really nice to transition from my nanny clogs to my therapist shoes.

It felt like I was putting on my superhero cloak.

Nanny by day, psychotherapist by night.

I’ll be seeing all my clients in the evenings after I get done with work.

I was talking to my own therapist this morning, I see her on Tuesdays before work, so it’s like my day is completely bookended with therapy, about how lucky I am that I have the job that I do and how much it fills me up.

My therapist and I talked a lot about how strong I am and how I don’t always know how to let myself recognize that, that I do the work.

I can logically see it, but sometimes when I have felt like I have had no other option, no one else to rely on, just me doing it on my own, how devastatingly lonely that can be and how hard.

It has taken getting pretty beaten down by a few accidents during the last twelve and a half years to help me see that asking for help is a valuable experience for me and when I am more vulnerable.

Well.

I am stronger.

There is such strength in vulnerability.

The more I can allow myself to be seen, to be vulnerable, the more I learn and the more I am able to use my own inner resources without having to feel like I’m justing working hard to work hard.

I am so grateful that wall has dropped.

It goes back up at times, but I find the more I can let it down the happier I am and the fuller my life become.

I am incorrigible in my aliveness and lust for living.

Absolutely defiant with my need to feel more happiness and joy and see more and go further and have as many experiences and have as much growth as I can.

Yeah.

I know that might be courting some painful things too, but there is growth where there is pain.

I do hope to reach a point in my life when I can make changes before I have to experience pain, a place of simple humility about what I can and can’t do, rather than a forced feeding of excoriation because I am simply unwilling to let go of some characteristic of myself that I think still serves me.

Not acknowledging my strength today in my therapy session would have been akin to that.

I acknowledged it.

And.

I also had to hold the fact that there’s an inner critic who still holds a lot of sway and likes to smack talk me quite a bit.

Not enough.

Not smart enough.

Not pretty enough.

Not lovable.

Not good enough.

But.

Those things are simply not true and they taste older and more and more faded and dusty and the cloth binding is falling apart.

Let me drop it to the floor, sweep it out the door and find something fresh and new and lovely.

There is so much loveliness for me.

I am sure of it.

“Your capacity for love is enormous,” my therapist said, “you have the biggest heart.”

Hearing a basic stranger, I mean, we’ve had, like what, eight sessions, tell me that my capacity for love was not just big, but enormous, I was floored.

I was validated.

That is what I hope to do for my clients.

To see them.

Honest in who they are with whatever they bring.

I know that I can do it and I am honored that I got to do that today.

And yes.

Log my first freaking hour of individual therapy.

It feels amazing to be logging hours.

I have a long way to go.

But I am on the path and that is all I need to be present for.

I don’t have to know where it ends.

I just need to continue moving forward.

One baby step at a time.

 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step

–Lao Tzu

You Look Radiant!

June 13, 2017

My neighbor said to me as I was parking my scooter and securing her for the night.

He’d just open the door to the fenced gate and perhaps it was the sunlight hitting my face, or the big smile on it, but it was sweet to be acknowledged and I smiled harder.

I’m happy.

I feel really good.

Today was a good day.

Most days are, let me be honest, but I had just secured a new person to work with this evening after work and I feel like she and I are going to be a really great fit and I was relieved and happy and felt like I was being carried and taken care of.

“God has not brought me this far to be dropped,” I told myself this past weekend when I was still processing all that had happened, the what’s and whereof’s and why’s of being let go when you have been told that you’re the perfect, well fill in the blank.

When someone tells you you’re doing it perfectly and then let’s you go, it stings a little.

Be that as it may.

I am not perfect.

I fuck up all the time.

I’m human.

I am a spiritual being having a human experience.

And humans are messy and silly and stupid and hard-headed and stubborn and crazy, at least this human is.

I’m grateful for all the messy and the learning, especially learning how to communicate and not to take myself too seriously.

I heard something amazing today.

AMAZING.

From my supervisor while we were in session.

Slight sidebar.

Nothing says starting a busy week at work and internship better than getting up extra early to go to school to get that one piece of paper that the supervisor has to sign so that I can be registered for another class this fall semester.

And I went back to school after meeting with my supervisor to make sure it was filed correctly before I went into work and did my full shift.

Yeah.

Like that.

Anyway.

We were talking about communication and how a client communicates with us and my supervisor quoted Lacan to me.

It just about fell off the couch.

My supervisor quoted, “every time we speak we communicate less than we want and more than we know.”

Holy shit.

Story of my life.

I had never heard that before and it resonated with me on a very deep level.

I am communicating all the time and most of the time I’m not saying what I want.

I have spent years, decades probably, trying to say what I want and so often I am not getting it all out.

I am afraid to say what I want for fear of not getting it, so I’m not going to ask.

That, however, presumes that the person whom I’m engaged with can read my mind and well, that maybe magical thinking, but it’s certainly not logical thinking.

No one can read my mind.

And yet.

There are clues.

There are clues in my voice, in my body, in the way I respond to someone.

It’s pretty obvious if I don’t like you and I want to say it’s very obvious if I do.

There are grey areas and I have found that when I don’t like someone it often times has to do with seeing some characteristic in the person which reminds me of something I don’t like about myself.

Which, I just realized, makes me realize what I do like about myself when I think about people in my life whom I do like, they must represent parts of me that I like.

I have smart, capable, hard-working, brilliant, funny, loving friends.

I must have some of those qualities myself or I wouldn’t be involved with such high-caliber people.

I just wouldn’t.

Like attracts like.

So I was happy, so happy, to get to hear this woman tonight who has what I want and is smart and busy and educated, grateful and full of solution.

I’ll take some of that please.

And then happily pass it on.

That’s what I do best.

Share my experience, strength and hope with another person so that they may do the same and the learning deepens and the love grows and my life expands and grows and it is extraordinary.

I have extraordinary people in my life.

I also have an awesome job.

It was so good to see the family I work for today, I missed them and was grateful that everyone was feeling much better.

I got lots and lots and lots of hugs and I got lots of compliments on the food I cooked and loads of snuggles and it just filled me right up.

So much love.

I am loved.

And I get to love right back.

It’s a pretty amazing job.

So.

Yeah.

Radiant.

Full of light.

Oft times full of bullshit too and perhaps a touch of crazy, but for the most part, I really do feel the grace rather than the drama.

Grace over drama is one of my favorite acronyms for God.

Great out doors is another.

And.

Good orderly direction.

There’s a few more, but those are my tops.

I feel grace.

I feel full of grace.

I feel graced.

And am.

I’ve not been dropped.

I have just been carried somewhere unexpected.

It’s so lovely I don’t always know what to do with it.

But.

I am happy.

And that, in the end, is all that matters.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Happy Thanksgiving!

June 1, 2017

Yes.

I am aware that tomorrow is June 1st and not November.

It has been one hell of a month.

So much happening.

Amazing things truly.

I love my life, I’m lucky, I’m graced, I’m blessed.

And.

I might just being going to Hawaii for Thanksgiving!

Yup.

It will be my first time, unless something unusual pops up and I find myself in the islands, which I am not opposed to, but to tell you the truth, I hadn’t expected to hear the news today that I might be in the islands for the holiday.

My family I work for brought it up today.

I will have off that weekend from school and work, well, since it is work, will let me have the time.

It’s not a real vacation for me, I’ll be working, but, oh, the location does not suck.

Not at all.

And like I said, I’ve never been to Hawaii.

I really should go, I am part Polynesian after all.

Puerto Rican and Polynesian on my father’s side.

German and Scot on my mom’s side.

I had someone tell me once that I was a Polynesian princess mixed with white trash.

Heh.

I might have a little trashy in me.

I definitely have some princess in me, that’s for sure.

Nevertheless, I am thrilled at the idea.

I love that the family really wants me to be included in their lives and I really love working for them.

Tomorrow marks five months of work and it’s been such a great job for me and the parents really appreciate me and the kids love me.

I love my charges.

LOVE.

Both of the older kids were under the weather today and one of them stayed home from school.

Work was huge amounts of snuggling, singing every song I know from my years of being a nanny, and an almost endless repetition of a lullaby that I usually sing to the baby, and all the babies I have ever worked with and a lot of my toddlers too, to the oldest boy while rubbing his back and petting him and just sitting and crooning to him.

He is the sweetest boy and super smart and vulnerable and the request to keep repeating the lullaby and stroking his soft blonde hair, oh, my heart, I just wanted to curl him up in my arms and kiss away the fever.

He got lots of love and I got to be the Queen of Snuggles.

I also got to do some cooking while he was watching a movie, sick days get movies, and I revelled in the cooking.

It feels good to cook, I miss it sometimes, cooking for a partner or my family.

I used to cook all the big holiday meals for my family and oh, the baking, and the stews, the jams and cheesecakes and pies, the cookies and pork chops.

Midwestern much.

Aside.

I said “bubbler” today and the woman looked at me like I was an alien.

Bubbler is water fountain in Wisconsineese.

I made up that last word, rhymes with cheese, bubbler is a total Wisconsin word, there are a few more, but that one slips once in a while into the conversation, or “pop” instead of “soda.”

Once and a while my roots show.

I am, however, not so connected to my Hawaiian and Puerto Rican roots.

My father wasn’t much around growing up and though I always kept in touch with my grandmother, I didn’t have much idea about Hawaii.

I had things from Hawaii that my grandmother would send and I remember boxes of chocolate covered macadamia nuts and once a grass skirt, coming in the mail from my grandmother.

I think we had placemats too and a few books about the islands and where the family was from.

It wasn’t until I moved back to California as an adult that I met my father’s side of the family in a more concrete way.

I remember meeting some cousins for the first time and being blown away by how much I looked like them, how they looked like my sister, and how I was actually lighter skinned than the majority of the family.

“They look like me!”

It was a relief and in a way an almost instantaneous connection that I had not always felt with my mothers Germanic roots and Scottish ancestry.

I was neither pale skin nor blue-eyed, or green-eyed as my mother.

I did not have blond hair.

Nope.

I got tan.

I didn’t really burn.

Well, once in a while, after long ass days detassling corn in the fields around Waunakee during the summers when I was working the crews, I might get a shoulder burn or a heavy crop dusting of freckles.

My mom though, my God, she could burn so easily, such creamy white fair skin.

Yeah.

So coming to California and starting to get those connections to my father’s family was a revelation.

I’m still not as close as I suppose I can be, social media does most of the work for me and there’s still stuff with my father that I have reservations broaching my family about.

I ceded his care when I was in Alaska in the hospital to the head of the administrative at the hospital.

I love my father.

I have exquisite and amazing child hood memories of him.

I also have some pretty awful ones too.

But.

He wasn’t around and when he had the accident that lead to the coma that led me to Anchorage, I went almost more to settle my own heart, then for anything else.

I sat by that hospital bed in the ICU for four night and five days.

He was in a coma the entire time I was there.

I held his hand and talked to him.

I forgave him.

And.

I asked for him to forgive me.

I made friends in Anchorage and the fellowship there carried me when I wanted to collapse into the snowbanks and the cold air and just cry my heart out.

I managed to not get stuck in any snowbanks but I won’t ever forget the dark night sky outside the window of the room the hospital hospitality house put me up in, for families of critical care patients at the facility, and the roughness of the sheets on the bed and how alone I was.

No.

That’s not true.

I wasn’t alone, I had God, I was carried, but I was by myself.

I was grateful, beyond grateful, to be there for my family and to relay messages out to the world and to let my grandmother be in contact with me and my uncle and my cousins and the love seed that was planted there.

I have never talked to any of them about letting go of my father’s care, but I did visit my grandmother that next summer and it meant everything to me to say “I love you,” and in that moment, as I was leaving to get on a plane from San Diego, in my grandmothers arms, I could feel how much she loved me too.

I will always have that moment.

And I look forward to getting to go to Hawaii.

Even if it’s not with my employers, which is sounds like it might actually be, I will go.

I have some more healing to do in that corner of my heart history.

I will swim in the ocean and walk on the beaches and turn my face to the sun.

I will go home again.

Although it has never left me.

Impressed as it is on the cheekbones in my face, the wide plush smile on my face, the curls in my hair, the freckles on the crest of my nose, the wilderness of my hips, the sway in my walk.

I have not forgotten.

I always have had the islands in me.

Always.

Wanted Woman

May 27, 2017

It’s nice to be wanted.

It really is.

It’s nice to be pursued.

It’s nice to be courted.

But.

To a point.

Today I was asked to nanny by four different people.

Four.

Three separate families apart from the one I work for, and all from the same spot.

I was a little overwhelmed by it, I was also very tentative about saying anything about my availability.

What availability?

I mean.

Yikes.

One mom who asked has asked before and it has always felt a little like I was getting manipulated into doing something even though I was fairly closed mouth about being able to do anything, I also feel like I must be circumspect and respect that the families are all after one thing, that which will work well for them and their children.

And I know from over a decade of being a nanny that it’s hard to find a good fit for your child, I am asked for referrals all the time.

All the time.

It takes a lot of showing up to be good.

And.

I have a lot to give, but let’s be honest.

There is only so much Carmen-nanny to go around.

Word has gotten out that my family will be gone for a few weeks in July and that I might be helping out my previous family.

And it’s true.

My current family will be leaving for a few weeks, but my internship won’t be going anywhere.

And yes.

I did tell my previous family I would love to help them out with a date night, I miss the boys and it would be sweet to have a night with them.

But.

I am in no place to suddenly pick up a lot of hours.

I will say, though, it is flattering.

I also got to see the another family I briefly worked for end of last year and get a lot of hugs and how are you’s and catch up.

Part of me wants to say yes, of course I will help, I love your kids, I like you.

But.

I love me to.

And Carmen has needs.

I want to make sure my needs are getting met before I go off and make promises to help when I will just get resentful.

No.

I don’t want my summer to be a resentful making time.

I would rather do a lot of yoga, hang out with friends, go on dates, get some extra hours in at my internship and maybe take a long weekend somewhere.

Maybe not even all that far away.

Somewhere by the sea.

Somewhere closer by then Paris.

Somewhere I just lay around in a big hotel bed for a weekend.

I still have my flight voucher for $480 to use before October.

And.

I just had a moment today, not a big one, but a kind of soft warning bell, oh hey, don’t forget, you’re also going to Burning Man and I haven’t done any prep around that.

I still need to replace my playa bike.

I need to find a ride there and back as well.

I have some supplies that I need to replace, a battery charged air pump for my blow up mattress, and of course since I’m not working at all this event I will need to probably procure another cooler for a longer run on my food and figure out a shade structure.

I didn’t have a shade structure last year, I figured, four days in and out, I’ll deal, but this year I’ll be there for the full event and I want to be in a nice space for myself.

Also.

Since school starts for me the weekend prior to Burning Man starting, literally my fall school semester will start and I will leave class and head straight to the playa.

That night.

If not that afternoon.

Depending on who I ride with.

Anyone want to give me a ride to Burning Man this year?

Yeah, seriously, hit me up.

I suppose I will put my name on the ride share board again and see if that pans anything out.

I don’t have to know all the details yet, but there’s planning that needs to be done for that and May is almost over, June will be really rolling into being at my internship and taking clients and July, the family is gone for three weeks.

That three weeks feels like the golden times.

I could not work at all.

I am getting paid for the time the family is away.

I could just do my internship and hide from all forms of nannying.

I don’t want to let myself get bogged down in helping out too many people.

Even if all I do is yoga and take long walks on the beach, just some good solid self-care.

Ah.

I am done with the worrying.

Tomorrow has a lot going on and I want to get up early and go to yoga, stretch out as much as possible and get in my body, meeting with my person at Tart to Tart, grocery shopping–the cupboards are pretty bare, and a dentist appointment to deal with before I try to figure out what July looks like.

I have today.

I got through the week, the jet lag seems to have faded off.

I got to see some friends and fellows tonight.

I had a great day at work.

I was pursued and though I couldn’t respond in the manner that was being asked after, I gave no promises as to my availability, only confirmed that the family will be out for a few weeks in July, I could thank those that asked after me.

And.

I can appreciate that I am appreciated.

That people want me to work for them.

That I am wanted is a gift.

A gift that I do not take lightly.

So with much gratitude.

I bid adieu to Friday and hello to my three-day weekend!

I am so ready for it.

Seriously.

No, Not Yet

May 25, 2017

I’m not ready.

And.

It doesn’t matter.

Because.

Tomorrow I start my internship.

Fuck me.

I am still jet lagged, I still keep waking up too early and then rolling around in bed in a half dream state, fantasies and revery keeping me company, but not compelling rest.

So, I got up, sprung up, got ready to go, cleaned my house, striped the bed, washed everything, sheets, pillowcases, duvet cover, swept the floors, swiffered the fuck out of everything, dusted, tidied, wrote, had coffee and still had time before heading to work.

When I got to work I had a full tilt boogie sort of day and I utterly forgot that I had agreed to stay an hour later.

Ugh.

Four o’clock the jet lag hit, would be 1 a.m. in Paris, makes total sense, and I have another coffee and rally and do the nanny dance and I am helpful, but my God, tired.

I had so hoped to be out of it at this point.

I am making myself stay up a little later tonight, even though I am tired, to balance myself back out.

I wasn’t incompacitated, I was just softly out of it.

I got home later than I wanted threw a half assed dinner together as I didn’t have enough time to really heat up the dinner I had planned, and ran back out the door to my Wednesday night commitment.

In between all the coming and going and work and doing the deal I checked my e-mail, maybe mid to late afternoon, I had my phone all day, but not much access to it, I had the baby a lot today at work and the mom worked from home today, then the 7-year-old and the four-year old and the cooking dinner (brown butter poached chicken breasts with tarragon and herbe de Provence, pan sauteed asparagus and zucchini with roasted garlic, quinoa fusili with parmesan and olive oil, baby spinach and strawberry salad with red wine balsamic and crushed almonds) and helping put the kids to bed and nighttime routine and story time and toothbrushing and snuggles and hugs and wait, didn’t I have a big important e-mail to look at?

I did.

And I just can’t even process the e-mail.

I have to be at work early tomorrow.

ARGH.

I can’t hate on it though, the mom gave me Monday off to recuperate and I just get to suck it up and show up and it will be ok.

I just start my internship tomorrow and that was what the e-mail was about.

My key codes, my telephone extension, my keys, my e-mail address.

Holy shit.

People.

I have an office, a key card, key codes, keys, e-mail address.

I am going to be seeing clients.

In my own office.

Starting tomorrow.

Ok.

That’s not true, tomorrow I start, but I won’t have a client, I will have a training and a sit down and a schedule that will be mapped out.

I glanced at the e-mail, I couldn’t give it my full attention at work, there was too much to do, and I didn’t have time to look at it in between getting home from work, throwing some food in my mouth and hustling back out the door.

I just know the gist of it, a new e-mail for clients to get a hold of me, a phone number and extension to my office, that I will get a set of keys and a key card to get into the building.

I will sit down with my supervisor a half hour after I get done with work and hash out my training schedule and when I will start seeing clients.

I know that next Saturday, not this Saturday, I have it off, thank God, I will start my group supervision training although I don’t know exactly what it will entail.

Originally my supervisor broke it down like this: M, TU, 6:30-9p.m. Thurs, Frid, 6:30-9pm. Saturday 2pm-7pm.  I am hoping, however, to get out of Saturdays a little earlier than 7p.m.  Either that or start a little earlier.

I will be switching up my work hours soon too, the kids will be finishing up school in two weeks.

I will start going in earlier and I will work an extra hour, so I will be fully 40 hours instead of the 35 I am now.

And.

Breathe.

And focus on this moment.

I am listening to The Orb.

I am drinking hot Bengal Spice tea.

My house is clean and I get to crawl into fresh sheets.

There is nothing like getting completely naked and slipping into clean, soft, cotton sheets.

Exquisite.

Fresh sheets always make my gratitude list.

I have my candles lit.

There is just this moment, this now, there is nothing wrong, nowhere to go.

Well.

In the next hour I will be going to bed.

But.

I have done all that I possibly could today and I won’t beat myself up for not being able to look at all the details in the three big welcome abroad e-mails I got from my internship.

I will review them in the morning when I have my breakfast and coffee.

After I good full night sleep.

I feel easier for just having written all this out and for knowing that I made it through today and that as long as I take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, one moment at a time, doing the best I can in each moment, then I am taken care of.

I always have been.

God has not brought me this far to be dropped on my ass now.

Suit up.

Show up.

And it will all be fine.

And I have a nice weekend planned.

I’ll do the deal, meet with my people, hang with friends, go to yoga, go to the DeYoung on Sunday and catch the Summer of Love exhibit.

And now.

A spot more tea.

A bit more music.

A winding down.

Brush my teeth, wash my face, tell myself a sweet bedtime story about love and wrap my arms above my head, close my eyes, face in the soft pillow, head turned towards where the moon will set in the morning.

Good night.

Sweetest dreams my friends.

Sweetest dreams.

It’s Awful Nice

May 24, 2017

To be missed.

It was obvious that I was missed.

I got so much love at my job today, it really was something else.

From the appreciations I got from the mom for the work I do, to the little ladybug running to meet me when I picked her up at school, to the oldest boy leaning his head against me and just hugging me, and letting me kiss him.

The little girl couldn’t stop kissing me and telling me how much she missed me and that she wasn’t ever going to be mean to me and that she loved me, very much, very, very, very much.

Nothing like having a warm, soft paw in your hand all day and soft sweet kisses–when we walked home from school she insisted on holding my hand the entire time and would kiss it constantly.

I was utterly charmed.

It was a long day, but I mustered through and probably drank a lot more coffee than I should, but I made it and actually don’t feel too jet lagged at this point.

I still woke up too early, and found myself so sacked out last night that I could barely check in with the folks I needed to check in with, but I did get a good night’s sleep.

And a good hot shower in the morning, lots of writing, big mug of coffee and getting myself organized before heading out to work helped a lot.

I also got a few errands run before I headed into work, including mailing my mom a package–I hadn’t been able to send out her Mother’s Day gift before I left for Paris.

I got to get lots of face to face time with the mom at work and we talked about summer schedule, the kids schedule, work, travel, and my internship, which starts on Thursday.

I will have a busy week, but I also will have Monday off next week, it’s a holiday, and I’m super happy for that.

I know that I am busy, that life will be busy, that life is full, but there are moments of reprieve, idyllic hours when the unexpected and sweet happens, the hand in mine, the press of lips against my skin, a kiss bestowed upon me, a sowing of love.

“Carmen, you need to sleep over soon!” She said to me, tugging my hand again and again, “and bring me more stickers.”

I laughed.

I also made them dinner and the kids got their favorites, alphabet pasta with cheese and butter for the oldest boy and alphabet pasta soup with carrots in chicken broth for the little lady, I bounced about while the mom ate–slightly fancier stuff for the parent dinner–sautéed asparagus in olive oil and garlic, bechamel sauce over grass-fed seared beef, quinoa pasta with butter and parmesan, mixed greens salad–with the baby, who’s bright happy smile met mine many times today, I felt he recognized me and it was wonderful to get his big smiles.

It’s nice to be appreciated and I felt that in spades today.

When I went to leave the little lady jumped up from her chair at the dinner table and hollered “NO!”

But I told her I would be back soon and that we would have more adventures tomorrow and she can’t wait, “cuz I have a dentist appointment tomorrow!”

Dentists are a lot more fun then they were in my day.

I have a dentist appointment on Saturday, I am not nearly as excited as my charge, not by far, of course I’ll be getting novocaine shot into my gum line instead of a big red balloon, so that may be why.

And while my little charge was chatting excitedly, her older brother said, soft and under his breath, but audible to me, “but I get you when she’s at the dentist, we get to be all by ourselves, I get you for me.”

Aw!

Love buttons.

I felt adored today.

Not just appreciated, but adored and that is a damn fine way to feel, especially at work.

I am grateful for the family and all that I get to do for them.

It’s so much easier to be present and available when I am appreciated and then I just want to do an even better job.

That’s how I am.

It makes having to work full-time while I am doing school and my internship and all the other things, so much easier.

It really does.

It’s work, don’t get me wrong, I do a lot for the family, but it is also a joy and I am beyond grateful for them.

And for my life.

It is rich and varied and so full of unexpected happiness I am constantly surprised and joyful in my person.

In my tired, still slightly jet lagged but yes, very happy, person.

I think I’ll have the jet lagged licked by tomorrow, Thursday at the latest.

I have an appreciation for it though, everything seems dreamy and surreal, the fog, the soft coolness on my skin, the music I have been listening to, the hot showers and the warmth of my bed when I crawl into it at night.

Dreamy and swaddled in.

Softened and bending.

Surrendered to the woozy and the swoon.

The drowsed light and the refracted love notes of jazz.

Cocooning me in succor.

Baby, sweet baby.

Slumber drifting on the swell of moon rising in the night.

Ghostships of desire.

Latent and laden.

Tipsy in the cusp of dawn.

The cashmere softness of pre-sunrise and smoked grey of early morning.

Plush with promise.

And.

Smocked velvet kisses.

Hello Jet Lag

May 23, 2017

Sigh.

I knew it would happen and so it has.

Hopefully it will wear off by the time I start my internship on Thursday.

Today I had the day “off” so to speak.

But I was still up at 6 a.m.

I had to go and meet with my off site supervisor this morning and do all the things to get that going and though it was a good meeting, it was surreal.

Everything has felt a bit surreal.

Which is generally how it is for a few days until I can re-adjust to my time zone.

I didn’t do a whole lot else today, to tell the truth, I needed to have the down time and it was a great pleasure to not have any obligations other than to go to the market and get some groceries.

The cupboard was bare.

I didn’t have it in me to make a big run to Safeway, so just to the corner co-op and lots of fruit and some coffee, almond milk, sparkling water.

Just enough to get me going and sustain me for a few days.

I have plenty of food prepped for my work week so I didn’t have to cook today, nor did I have any inclination to do anything but stay in bed most the day.

I even had delivery.

I cannot remember the last time that I had delivery.

I mean.

It’s been years.

But I didn’t want to leave my cozy little nest and so I didn’t.

And it was good.

I did get laundry done and I did get some basic scheduling stuff taken care of.

I did also get out this early evening, I knew I needed to go and do the deal and get that in under my belt and I am so glad I did, ran into some folks I haven’t seen in a while.

I ate left over delivery for dinner, did a few e-mails related to my internship and now, some Debussy to listen to and a little blogging.

Tomorrow I go back to work and I am actually looking forward to it.

I have missed the family.

I am also excited to give my charges their gifts.

I sent them postcards from Paris, but I also wanted to get them something.

The oldest I got a sweet book on how to draw from the Musee D’Orsay gift shop and library.

The younger girl I got a night-light from one of my favorite stores in the Marais, Fleux.

But not just a night-light, a unicorn night light.

She has a thing for magic unicorns and who doesn’t want a unicorn nightlight?

I mean.

I do.

Heh.

I already have a bunny night-light, also from Fleux that I got myself years ago on another Paris vacation I took.

It was a lot of fun to tell my supervisor today about my Paris trip, he asked me what the highlights were.

I had to run down the experience of seeing the amazing Japanese painting that caught my heart in the Orangerie, also, the sweet woman who sold me my cashmere wrap the last night I was there, all the fellows I got to see from when I was living there, and writing my morning pages on the deck of the houseboat.

I like my supervisor a lot and although I did not want to get up so early to go and meet with him, I found myself surprised when our hour was up, there was so much to talk about, not just about Paris, but about psychology and seeing clients and the ways of getting my child/family hours that I hadn’t thought about.

Not for right now.

But eventually I will have to address that, there are many different kinds of therapy interactions and iterations that I will have to accrue hours for, some solo therapy hours, supervision hours, group supervision, Couple therapy, Family therapy, child therapy.

All of it will come together, I am sure, one small step at a time and as I have described to a number of friends, this next year of the experience is going to be tough, a grind, so to speak, a juggling act of making sure I can get my internship hours covered, work attended to, recovery done, and who knows, once in a while do something social.

Things are very much on the cusp of big change.

But all I have to do is show up for this moment, just this one, and do the best I can in this moment to be gentle with myself and anyone else that I may interact with.

Today was a good day.

Wonderful really.

And though I am absolutely jet lagged.

I will get through this.

Another early bed time for me and a cup of tea.

Fingers crossed it will be worked out by mid to end week.

As for now.

Good night friends.

Sweetest of sweet dreams.

Financial Aid

April 26, 2017

Fucking hates me.

But.

I don’t care.

I have gotten a lot more assertive in asking for help from the financial aid office at school, especially since I have had to jump through hoops that I didn’t even know were there to get what I need to get.

After innumerable e-mails I think I am almost there.

Of course there was one thing on the application that made no sense to me, not an iota and I probably filled the damn form out wrong and they won’t give me the money.

GIVE ME THE MONEY.

I need it for therapy.

That sounds a little desperate, I know.

What could be so bad that the lady has to have, HAS TO HAVE, being the operative word, therapy?

Oh, you know, sexual abuse trauma, incest, neglect, physical abuse, history of alcohol and drug abuse, poverty, racism, eating disorder.

Nothing at all that indicates needing therapy.

Ha.

I am being a little flippant.

I have addressed a lot of these issues and I have done an extraordinary amount of work on them over the years and I have done therapy before, but.

My school program requires it as a part of my degree.

And really, it does make fantastic sense, I need to have my shit taken care of so I can show up and help others take care of their shit.

It’s the classic put your oxygen mask on before helping others on the plummeting airplane.

And.

And.

AND.

I found out from my therapist today that my hours with her do actually count towards my 3,000 hours that I need to accrue to get my MFT license.

It’s going to change though, the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) is going to phase that out.

By 2021 you won’t be able to count personal therapy hours toward your 3,000.

And the thing is, I want those hours to count very much, because as it turns out each hour or personal therapy is counted as three.

THREE HOURS.

Holy shit.

So.

It turns out that tonight I went into my Track My Hours app and I made sure that I was using the Pre 2021 dashboard  and I entered in my hours as my therapist suggested I do and voila!

15 more hours.

I have had, after today, five sessions with her.

Multiply that by three and I now have 16 hours.

There is was in black and white.

Valid hours: 16.

Total hours to accrue: 2,984.

Fuck yeah.

I will take that.

This is going to be huge and such a help to be able to acquire the hours.

My therapist went through the same program that I am doing and we talked a lot about the process and I was so freaking grateful to be seen and have my experience validated, especially in regards to the financial aid stuff and when she said, oh yeah, these hours count, you’ll have your 3,000 by 2021, you’ll be able to use your personal therapy and all you need is for me to sign a piece of paper with my MFT license on it.

Such a huge gift to find this out.

And.

She also suggested that I actually do talk to my offsite supervisor about my work as a nanny, considering how much time I have spent in the heart of so many families, that I actually may be able to get some of my child and family hours covered.

I would never have thought of it, I had a teacher who told me she thought nannies should get hours accredited to them, considering how nannies tend to be involved in a lot of family dynamics and bear witness to children and how they grow and learn, that it would make sense to grant nannies some hours.

I mean.

Fuck.

I’m going to at least check it out with my supervisor.

It’s probably unlikely, but hey, I do have over a decade of work with children and families, that kind of work experience should count for something.

And it does.

My therapist validated that today too, that I have been doing this work for a very long time, that I have, in essence been learning how to be a therapist for years.

She’s right.

It’s nice to let someone be right.

It was nice to be seen too, we have a good connection and I am so grateful for the sessions.

I already can tell that things are working themselves out and it’s an unexpected and lovely support of my experience with school and the anxiety that comes up for me when I am dealing with all things school.

I feel a lot more open with what’s happening and so grateful that I am doing the internship this summer, especially now that I know if I can all my hours by the end of 2020 I can count my therapy hours too.

Such a gift.

Just have to repeat that since I want to pinch myself and gleefully clap my hands.

Who knew?

Therapy doesn’t have to be a vale of tears.

Although.

It is also that.

A vale of tears.

I was sharing about a very sweet interaction I had with a previous charge and a gift that he had given me, a painting of my house, where I live, and this beautiful watercolor of a rainbow, “Carmen!  This is where you live!”

In a house under a rainbow, full of color and light and love.

“You had a lot of emotion come up for you when you shared that,” she said.

Understatement, pass the kleenex box please.

“Can you tell me about that?” She asked.

He saw me, this little boy saw me, and I represented love and color and joy to him, that my home, where I live is in a house full of rainbows, and if you have seen my home, well, there might be some truth to that.

What she said next I’m not sure that I could express how it landed, nor exactly what she said, but I can tell you how it felt, it felt like love, that the love in me was being reciprocated by the love in that little boy, that he saw me for who I am and he shared with me what that love looked like for him.

That we saw each other’s essence and what a gift for me to give that to him.

I had never looked at it like that and it felt.

Well it felt.

True.

It was a really lovely way to wrap up the session and I left having felt something big shift.

I don’t have to analyze it or reason it out.

I can just feel that I was seen, I was, and that I am a big fucking rainbow of love.

I’ll take it.

Thanks therapy.

I’ll take the hours too.

Only 2,984 to go.

No big deal.

Heh.

I Need A Carmen

April 14, 2017

Don’t we all lady.

I mean.

On one hand.

I was flattered, it was a compliment, and she quickly followed up with, “not that everyone can do what you do, or that you aren’t valuable and have your own skill set, not that you’re replaceable….”

She trailed off.

I smiled.

I than quietly got to witness an entire business transaction that I was not at all at part of, an assumption that if I was available I would work for the woman.

As though I don’t have my own life, my own plans, my own things happening.

Graduate school.

Interning.

My own fucking life.

Maybe my own time off.

She asked when the family I work for was going on their summer vacation, the family was having a play date at the home where I work and I know them from play dates with the family I work prior to my current situation.

They are nice people.

The kids are great, a bit untethered and rambunctious, but I think that happens a lot with play dates, the kids get wound up and kooky and into things and it can me melee.

Nonetheless I was rather stunned to stand in front of the woman while I was holding my bosses baby and listen to her logic of how I would be great for them, but too bad their summer plans were not coinciding with my family’s plan, that since there was no over lap that I would not be available to her as a nanny.

I stood there and smiled and jogged the baby on my hip and did not say a word about school or my internship or my plans for summer or any of it.

It wasn’t her business and by the time she got to her realization that the timing was off I didn’t have to inform her of my own personal stuff was more important that a temporary nanny gig to help out another family.

I don’t even know if she realized what an assumption it was, how it felt demeaning, that I am just open to be swapped around family to family, to not even be asked if it was something I would want to do or be available to do.

I mean.

I have any down time those weeks the family is away I will be helping my friend who is about to have twins.

I made the mom’s tea and snacks and corralled the littles and the play date was good and I know the mom meant no harm, it’s just a privileged assumption that I am going to jump at the chance to work for them.

I had another mother at the school recently praise me for “getting in good with ____________, “you’ll always have employment!”

Wow lady.

Fuck you very much.

As though my life aspiration is to be the private nanny to successions of children through their private school.

Although, I have thought that I might work with the families of the school, it did not occur to me to be in the context of being a nanny, but as a psychotherapist for families at the school.

Ahem.

It’s a kind of unconscious privilege that I have not always seen as privilege.

Or.

I will say instead, I had always felt uncomfortable with assumptions such as these, but did not understand they came from a state of privilege.

I’m able to name it better and understand how it feels and the way it lands.

I read this super intriguing article in my Multi Cultural class a year ago in regards to how “the help” is often more in the know because they straddle to very different worlds.

The people who come in to clean your house or cook your food or take care of your children may actually be more worldly and sophisticated because they have a broader spectrum of experience.

And I also am a cultured person, well read, traveled, studious, intelligent.

I got the connection and the correlation very fast.

Grateful that I also have a strong spiritual program, that I let it wash over me and past me and that it, in the end, didn’t matter, water off a duck’s back, I didn’t need to show my indignation, I don’t have to share my opinion.

It was not asked for.

Nothing worse than someone who wants to give advice or their opinions when they weren’t asked for.

I didn’t need to be a teaching moment.

I am just very happy that my employers have consistently modeled to me how valuable and important to them that I am.

I had a great day with the oldest boy today and a lot of solo time with him that felt really special and sweet.

We made a music video of him singing to the Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun.”

I made him grilled cheese for lunch.

We sat and read from his amazing Smithsonian encyclopedia.

We played games, drew, and snuggled.

We played goofy imaginary games and built satellite models.

I even sang him a lullaby.

It was the best bonding moment and I just felt his little vulnerable self melt and I got to have a connection with him that doesn’t always occur as his siblings are needing attention too.

I think that all couples therapist should nanny a couple of siblings.

The things we all could learn from our interactions with the closest people we love.

The inability of language to express what we need or want from a partner writ large in the negotiations of playing children.

Reasoning with an upset child who’s sibling won’t give them space because they love the other so much that they have to kick over the model or hide the stuffed dog, or hit the other on the head with a toy, can’t you see how much I want to be with you, thunk, then tears.

I have actually used a few Couples Therapy interventions with the siblings to navigate fights that happen.

And space apart.

They both got that today.

And they will tomorrow too.

Field trip!

I feel a carousel might be happening.

Or the Children’s Creativity Museum.

The little girl was sobbing on her mom as her brother had said something mean, which translated to I need space, and her mom was consoling her and telling her that she, the little lady, and I, the nanny, were going to get to go on our own solo field trip tomorrow.

She stopped crying.

Looked up at me.

Smiled.

And asked.

“Will there be snacks?”

Oh my God.

Of course.

Yes, darling.

There will be snacks.

I promise.

Hell.

It’s Friday.

You might even get an ice cream cone.

With sprinkles.

 


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