Posts Tagged ‘California’

Shorted

October 24, 2017

I totally shorted myself.

By a year!

I have been ruminating over the last week about how I’m just not going to get all my 3,000 hours to get my licensure by the time the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) in California changes its policies.

I must have the hours accrued by the end of December 2020.

I have been telling myself for the last week that I only had two years and there was no way, no fucking way, I was going to get those hours by the time the regulations changed.

Thus shorting me all my personal therapy hours, which count not as one hour but currently count as three.

In 2021 the BBS will no longer count personal therapy hours.

I need 52 hours of personal therapy to graduate my program, that alone is 156 hours toward my 3,000.

And at this point I will take what ever I fucking can.

I can accrue up to 300 hours of personal therapy.

Believe you me, my personal therapy work helps me so much.

I am at a new place in my life in my perception of who I am and of what I can do and of where I am going, the therapy is like Miracle Grow for me in my current stage of life, I feel like I am gaining so much getting to process what I am working on with my therapist and that helps me be a happier person and it most certainly happens to help me be a better therapist for my clients.

The other change is the BBS won’t count Couples as twice the hours, right now one hour of doing Couples Therapy allows you to accrue two hours towards your 3,000.

That’s a big deal.

Especially, I feel, since Couples Therapy is a lot harder than one on one therapy.

I mean.

Fuck.

There’s two people to deal with in the session, it should, I feel, absolutely be counted as double the hours.

Anyway.

I was navigating my feelings around this yesterday as I checked in with my person and I shared that I was just not willing to try to squeeze any more into my schedule.

That there are things and people and experiences that I need to make room for.

I don’t just want my life to be a constant grind of accruing hours.

Life is more than work.

I have this need to always be working, I have a fear that if I don’t I won’t be safe, that I have no one to lean on, that I am ultimately the only one who can take care of me.

I was a parentified child.

I was precocious, smart, attractive, fast to learn and fast to become the grown up, I lost a lot of child hood experiences because I was forced to deal with adult things way too fucking fast.

I didn’t have parents I could rely on.

I had to rely on myself.

I had to be a child doing an adults job with the skill set of a child.

Granted, as I said, a precocious child, but a child nonetheless.

This has left me at times in awkward and challenging situations where I feel there’s no one to trust, there’s no one I can rely on, that I am forever going to be failed and lost and left behind and abandoned and alone.

I have to make it on my own.

But.

Well.

That is unsustainable.

It negates my desperate need, a very human need, mind you, for connection and community.

I don’t want to isolate myself.

I don’t want my sole drive to be my career and getting there as fast as I can.

I want to enjoy my life as it’s happening.

I talked to her, my person, and really accepted that it wold be ok if I didn’t make my 3,000 hours by the time the licensure changes.

“It will just take you a little longer,” she said, “but you’ll do it, it will happen.”

And I gratefully surrendered and acknowledged that I do a fuck load of work and that it is enough.

That I am enough.

I will be ok.

Then today I’m writing my Morning Pages.

I’m reflecting on the conversation, I’m thinking, well, shoot what are my goals, what do I want?

I want my PhD in Psychology.

Yup.

I want to be a doctor.

And I want to have it by the time I’m 48.

Then.

I thought.

Well.

Then I’ll have my goal be private practice by 50.

And something seemed off.

I’m fast forwarding!

I’m not that old!

I’m 44.

I’ll be 45 when I graduate with my Masters.

The PhD is another two years of acadmic work.

Which means I’d be a doctor by 47 and I could start my private practice way before I’m 50 and then all the sudden I was like, what am I not seeing?

I’m missing something really fucking huge.

I looked at my writing.

Sometimes I’m not good with numbers, I tend towards dyscalculia, and then I suddenly realized

Fuck.

I’m turning 45 in 2017.

December of 2017.

I need to have all my hours by December of 2020.

That means I have three years!

THREE!

Not two.

I have three years to get my hours.

Well, fuck me.

I couldn’t believe it.

I’d basically spent a week being a bit anxious about how the hell I was going to manage to get all my hours and then coming to the conclusion I wasn’t and just accepted that it would be ok.

And then today.

In complete acceptance, writing about it, I realize I have an extra year!

Acceptance is the key to all my problems.

Holy fuck.

What a radical idea.

It was like magic.

I laughed out loud at myself.

It’s still a daunting task, but it feels navigable now.

It did not, not at all, feel that way all last week.

Super fucking grateful I got that figured out.

Fuck.

Hahahahahahahaha.

I am my own worst enemy.

Seriously.

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Committed Monogamous

October 4, 2017

Relationships are dangerous.

Oh holy fucking shit.

That’s it.

It only took 44 plus years.

And one scary, traumatizing, controlling partner to ruin me for traditional dating.

Not that I think that traditional dating is the answer.

There is no answer.

There is no right.

There is no wrong.

There is only the feeling of love and I don’t have a particular expectation around how I find that love or let myself have that love.

Oh.

I suppose I have definitely introjected the idea that I need to be married to be a whole person, to be enough, that I am somehow not lovable unless married.

And then.

There is the other, not so conscious thing that has been happening for me for over past eighteen years.

I say eighteen years because that is when I broke up with the one man I was in a significant long-term relationship.

We were together for five years.

We probably shouldn’t have been together for more than five minutes, but I’m not going to judge that young very lost, very sad, very fearful woman.

I didn’t know better and I got sucked in.

I got suckered in by my own naive ideas about what love was and how to be in a relationship.

What the fuck did I know about being in a relationship that had any kind of sustainability at the age of 21?

Especially when I look at where I had been the few years prior to the start of the relationship.

Homeless.

Helping out with my sister and her daughter and her first husband.

Helping out my mom, my dad, anyone who fucking asked because I only had this idea that if people needed me I had some sort of value.

That I might be enough, when I felt, although it was not acknowledged, I couldn’t acknowledge it to myself until I had two, almost three years sober, that I didn’t love myself.

That I had no idea how to do it because the love I had been shown was so deadly that I couldn’t escape it fast enough.

In fantasy, in sci-fi books, in chocolate bars, in music, in school, in the backyard of the house in Windsor, in crushing on “unattainable” boys who weren’t interested in me.

It was safer that way.

I found ways to fill that hole of loss of love.

Food became a big one.

Taking care of other people, that was great, focus on someone else and don’t think about myself, my needs, my wants, my desires.

I mean.

I wasn’t allowed to have needs, wants desires, so why even bother?

I would only be disappointed.

I came into my therapy session today talking about the weather, the turn of seasons into Fall, that I was being proactive, that I had purchased a light box to deal with the SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) that I have a history of experiencing.

I segued into a being proud of myself moment for acknowledging that yes, I could have gone to a 7 a.m. yoga class today, but then I would have been crazy pressured to make my therapy session, I would have gotten a quick fast shower, but no coffee, no breakfast, and just barely slapping some make up on and well, I like my makeup.

Not to mention my morning latte and bowl of oatmeal.

Plus I also knew that I wanted to be available for a phone call and if I went to yoga, I’d get less sleep, not eat, no coffee, and miss a phone call from a very important person.

I woke up this morning and reset my alarm, I knew I wasn’t going to yoga and I knew it was the thing to do.

I had my nice breakfast, I had my nice latte, I put on my makeup.

I do remember thinking to myself, heck, I could wear eyeliner today, but therapy.

I mean.

I do have a tendency to cry.

Then I thought, fuck, life is wonderful, what do I have to cry about?

But.

I trusted my gut.

Yeah, I still wore blue eye shadow, it was tasteful, I swear, but I didn’t give myself the winged black kohl liner look that would have put the vavoom on my makeup.

I restrained myself just in case I might cry.

Guess what?

I cried.

My therapist and I were talking about relationships, marriage, family and then I was talking about my ex.

I was talking about five years of living with an addict who was super controlling, although I had no idea at the time.

I talked about what it was like when I decided to break up with him and what happened.

I talked about how he hit me.

I talked about how he knew that I had been hit as a child and it was my boundary, and how he broke it.

I talked about being scared.

I talked about how he stalked me for two years before I could finally pull the trigger and call the cops.

I didn’t talk about the nightmares, but, ugh, they were awful.

I did talk about the police being called and that there were messages on my machine and how not even after listening to a half of the first one the police were ordering a restraining order on my ex.

We went to court after the initial one was filed.

My ex stood in court and asked for the longest one he could get

He knew himself.

He knew he would keep haunting me if he didn’t ask for the longest restraining order he could get.

It was for two years.

We saw each other about two weeks after it expired.

We had one last 24 hours of trying to make something work that was never meant to work.

I said my goodbye.

I was moving to California.

We spoke one last time when his grandmother died.

I had helped with her when she was becoming to senile to help herself.

I will never forget giving her a bath and her tiny frail little body and how she just sat in the tub and let me bathe her and wash her hair.

He thought I should know.

A lot of emotions came up as I talked to my therapist.

How I didn’t want to tell her about how he spit on me in front of my friends, in the face, because I was leaving him.

I will never forget the shocked look on my best friends husbands face, he was frozen in active disbelief of what was happening.

Another friends’ boyfriend intervened.

We drove back to my house with my ex tailing us like an insane man.

My friend’s husband managed to lose him and we took a circuitous way back to my house and, yes, I literally threw clothes into garbage bags and ran back to my friend’s car.

It was January.

It was cold.

I was heart-broken, lost, and in shock.

“Committed monogamous relationships are dangerous for you,” my therapist said with distinct clarity.

I had expressed that I hadn’t really been in a long-term relationship since I had left my ex.

And then she flipped the frame.

And then she gave me the most beautiful perspective.

She told me how it was something a lot of people did, they replicated the same relationships they grew up.

My father, alcoholic, violent.

My stepfather, misogynist, violent, I always remember the blood on the floor from the broken back window of the kitchen in Windsor when my mother had locked him out and he broke the window with his bare fist and turned the lock, the look of his hand, that image is frozen in my brain, bloodied grasping for the lock and turning it, how we ran out the front door and spent the night at my grandparents.

How we went back the next day.

The years of terror that followed that I wouldn’t let myself see as terrorizing.

Of course committed monogamous relationships are dangerous.

Jesus Fuck did you see what happened to my mom?

Did you see what happened to me the one time I get into a long-term relationship.

Not to mention the three-month crazy man I dated when I was 19 who introduced me to crack cocaine and threatened to kill me in a drug induced delusional state.

But who’s counting.

Then she gave me the gift.

She showed me that I had done the best I could to keep myself safe, that I had rules and bylaws  and ways of keeping myself so busy that I couldn’t date.

I spent the last fifteen years trying to figure it out and she went and did it in a session.

Oh.

Of course.

I did a lot of the work too, and she’s right, I did keep myself protected, but I also acknowledge that after a while it stopped working and I longed for a different experience.

And I’m having one and I’m amazed at my life and I’m ok with the fact that I spent so much time and effort taking care of that small little girl who kept being put in dangerous situations through efforts to maintain a “committed monogamous relationship.”

But.

Well.

I’ve grown up.

And emotional intimacy, though still a frightening area, is not the scary thing that I thought it was, it is sweet and sacred and amazing.

I had to go what I went through and I’m not sorry for it.

I am so grateful for getting out, that’s all, that I got out, that I grew, that I changed, it took years and so much work.

So much work.

But.

Fuck.

Worth it.

So worth all of it.

My therapist went over time with me today, it was the first time ever I had talked about the relationship in therapy and I touched into the terror and fear and pain that I was so busy keeping at bay, she brought me back.

She made sure I was back in the present.

She let me talk about the love in my life, the resources I have, my resiliency and that I wasn’t that person anymore, and that I had done an amazing job at taking care of myself.

She urged self-care and tender compassion for myself today.

I think I did ok.

I showed up at work and I showed up for my clients.

And I bought chocolate persimmons today at the market after I got out of my session.

I love persimmons.

I love myself.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

I am enough.

God damn.

Am I ever.

I fucking did it.

 

Date Night

April 24, 2017

Date Night* Written 4/20/17 WordPress site down

 

And Debussy.

I am listening to Clare de Lune and my heart feels full.

It is a good thing.

I just got back from a date and it was really quite lovely.

Lovely is not quite the right word, I am sure I will find the correct words, they elude in this moment.

But.

There is poetry here.

Sitting by the fire.

In a space full of recognition.

The doorway after the threshold.

The moment.

The moment when.

The moment, a monument of time, a granite faced creature to scale.

In that moment when.

I looked into the eyes of those across the table and did not feel shy about my history or my lineage or my drama, trauma and crazy, when I realized I had so many words, so much to say.

I could embarrass myself with a wealth of things to say, so many words.

All the words.

Piled on the table like small crudities, rare and delicate and delicious.

A smorgasboard of words.

They tumbled from my mouth and I could tell stories.

Oh.

The stories.

There are so very many.

I don’t often have the luxury of expressing myself the way that I expressed myself tonight, and all the words lined up in my mouth, a minuet of dancing syllables and vowels that bowed and courtesy and waltzed out across the table, into the air, fragmenting into poetics and poesies.

Chains of daisies, a small girl, yellow sun dress, the kind with the little elastic ribbing and the shoulder ties in string bows, sitting cross-legged in a field.

Clover.

There.

That smell.

The one field on the drive into work.

The rich, verdant, lush, overbearing sweetness of it.

Almost, but not quite a velvet purple crocus of sweetness, but deeper, with an edge, just a tiny peppery edge, that alleviates the sweetness to make the smell palatable.

All those things.

In the cross hatch of the tablecloth.

The tea bag, white Moroccan mint.

I don’t even like mint tea.

But there I am ordering it, as my mind is not concerned with the tea.

No.

Just the company.

The stories.

The tall tales.

The tall man across the way.

A waiter takes our order.

He has blood trickling from his right nostril.

I point it out to him, he walks to the bar, wipes his nose on a napkin, returns, takes our order and brings me mint tea.

The shimmering line between strings, either ecstatic in the exuberance of the violin-cello.

Or.

Discordant, the chop of a credit card breaking piles of cut cocaine in the employee bathroom.

The whisper in the hallway of the deeds done and remembered, recalled, and integrated now, the fire in the hearth.

The echo down the history.

The pub.

Harold Pinter plays.

Shakespearean sonnets with turns in the quatrain and the final couplet sings to me of the music of the spheres and the lifting of eyes toward heavens as yet only alluded to.

“Do you ever get up early in the morning and go down to the beach and drink coffee and watch the sunrise?”

No.

I never have.

The sunrise on the beach.

The mermaids they sing each to each.

The shells in a paper sack, mussels, indigo violet, malevolent blues studded with dried seaweed, the remnants of drift wood fire.

The sunrise.

The drive up the coast.

The view of the ocean from the red checked table-cloth booth, a vinyl booth my little girl legs stick to as I wait for pancakes and syrup to be set in front of me.

The sun.

The sun in my mother’s hair, reddish fired tinge, a halo of gold in the brown, mirroring the flecks of gold in her green eyes.

Undone by the beauty of my mother I dragged my fork through the buttery stickiness and surreptitiously lick the tines to catch-all the maple sugar in my mouth.

I think kissing you would be.

So sweet.

Yes.

Down to the ocean.

To the beach.

Let us go then you and I.

I shall wear my trousers rolled.

Or at least my bib overalls, and watch the foam-flecked waves throw themselves at my feet as the sun comes up again over the promises of urchins, spiny, but broke open, buttery cream orange uni, the soul, just there.

Just there.

You will kiss me in the dunes.

And all the words will come undone.

Tossed into the sand.

Where they will stay.

Like.

Scattered dropped magnetic poetry.

On the old fridge down the hall in the artist loft.

Rearranged once in a while by the hand of a passerby.

Blue scar pretty jealous skin.

 

 

Swim Suits

April 3, 2017

And sun hats.

I pretty much lived in those two things all day.

And my sundress.

And some flip-flops.

Pretty nice weather.

Beach weather.

Building sand castle weather.

Wading in the waves with bright yellow plastic buckets to scoop cold salty water for building more sand castles.

I worked today and it did feel a little strange, but I rolled with it, to have my family come out to me.

The mom wanted a day at the beach and was super kind to suggest that we just meet in my neighborhood instead of having me commute in and then we could all head to Ocean Beach together.

Again my start today was later than the noon start we had talked about.

And that was fine.

I got some more homework done.

I couldn’t go to yoga.

I tried.

I signed up online.

I set my alarm.

But.

When it went off there was just no way, I was exhausted.

Exhausted.

I gave myself another hour of sleep on my alarm and rolled back over, I was out, there was no brain activity, no rumbling early morning ruminating, I was dead to the world.

Even an hour later I could have slept more.

I figured I was just tired from the long week, even though my days weren’t full days this weekend, it’s still work on the weekend and not much rest for the wicked.

Not that I’ve been wicked.

Maybe a tiny bit naughty.

In my thoughts, people, not in my actions.

I wouldn’t mind being a little naughty in my actions it just wasn’t on the menu today.

Fortunately I had enough time this morning to wake up slow, to enjoy my breakfast, to have a big creamy unsweetened vanilla almond milk latte and take some time to write my morning pages and sort out my day.

I did some homework, some grocery shopping, and a little food organization and prep before the family got to me.

We met at my house and I suggested where they could park, down on La Playa and Judah, and I walked down to Java Beach Cafe to meet with them and help them carry all the goodies to the beach.

It was very sweet to be with them.

We had a picnic in the dunes.

We dug holes, collected shells and sticks, and dashed in and out of the water.

I was super grateful for the straw fedora I had grabbed at Other Avenues when I had grabbed some groceries earlier in the day.

And the sunblock.

It was a sunblock kind of day at the beach.

It isn’t often that the weather at the beach cooperates.

There was a moment when a bit of fog and mist rolled in, but it didn’t stick and it was really a nice day for being at the beach, sunny, but not too hot.

I was with the family until about 5 p.m.

Then I came back here, roasted a chicken, made some soup, and decided I needed to get right with God.

Hopped on my scooter and took a ride up to Quintara and 20th and got some recovery on.

Back home, hot tea, my fedora hung up in the closet, grateful for the day and the service and yes, grateful that tomorrow is Monday, I made it through the work weekend.

My schedule will go back to its regular hours tomorrow and I’m good with that, I want to get back into my routine before school gets going next weekend.

Four days of work, three days of school.

Then two days off.

I’m going to hang out with a friend on Monday and I have a therapy session on Tuesday, but other than that, nothing.

I’ll get to yoga, make up for this weekend.

I just couldn’t do it, my body was really sore from yesterday’s class and I have a stress injury in my left shoulder that flared up, I’m going to not beat myself up for not getting in today, the fact that I went and did the deal is enough.

Fuck.

The fact that I worked is enough.

I did enough today.

The days are a bit of a blur, I will admit that, they keep rolling along into each other.

The sunrise.

The sunset.

The routine of my days measured out in cups of tea, words scrawled into notebooks with black ink pens, the shift of my heart as I hear the birds sing in the morning and the spill of golden sunlight through the back door of my studio.

I felt like I was moving through honey soften time this afternoon when I got back.

Just to sit outside, shaded up under my fedora, the sun freckling through the straw brim when I tilted my head back, still in sun warmed air, ravens perched on chimney tops, silhouetted against the bluer than blue California sky, my feet up on the wrought iron chair, to be still, I got my break, I got my refresh and though I worked today I was able to have a measure of quiet in my own skin time too.

I need these breaks.

I need to sit still and watch the sky.

To feel the big heavy imprint of azure press itself into my heart, to be glossed in sun, it is glorious beyond my reckoning.

I’ll change out of my swim suit and sundress soon.

My fedora has been hung up for another day.

But.

I may give myself a few more moments in my garb to appreciate the beautiful place that I live, Outer Sunset, Ocean Beach, San Francisco, California.

My home sweet home.

Luckiest girl in the world.

So.

Damn.

Lucky.

Tired

March 23, 2017

But.

In a good way.

I got up at 6:30 a.m.

I didn’t get my full night’s sleep, but I got close, I had been up later than I wanted to the night previous, so I was ready for bed when it came last night, but my thoughts were busy being annoying, it took a little while to drop of.

But when I did.

Holy shit

I did.

Slept like a rock.

Grateful for that and that I don’t hesitate to getting out of bed when the alarm goes off, I don’t hit the snooze, I just get the fuck up.

I  read somewhere once that snooze actually back fires on you and it’s better to just get up and go, of course I could just be making that up, but that’s what I do.

I get the fuck up.

I got dressed.

I put on my interview shoes.

I peeped the weather.

Fuck yes!

The rain cleared and I was able to take the cover off my scooter and ride it down to my interview today with my new supervisor.

Yes.

That’s correct, my new supervisor.

I have another.

Score!

Very, very, very happy about that.

It’s a small piece, but I piece I needed to address and I’m so grateful to have it taken care of

And actually.

Scratch that.

It is a big deal and it was more than just a small piece, I put in some work to find this person, co-ordinate my schedule with him, ask questions, collaborate with the practicum placement office and do my homework.

And I showed up.

On time.

Early.

I found motorcycle parking by the Ritual Coffee house in Hayes Valley and I had a full punch card from when I was nannying by the Ritual in the Mission, so I scored a free latte and happily traipsed over to the office on the corner of Fell and Gough.

I let myself in using the code and went up the stairs.

I paced around the waiting room, paid the bathroom an unnecessary visit, just in case, and practiced breathing.

Then.

I met him.

My new supervisor.

We went into his office and talked for an hour.

I told him a little bit about me, how I came into the program, what I was planning on doing with the degree, first my MFT (Marriage & Family Therapist) license, then eventually my PhD in Psychology.

I told him about having taken one class as an undergraduate and then what happened when I was at Burning Man, yes that is where I decided to go to grad school, and how that experience unfolded and led to me applying to CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies), how I balance my recovery with my work, and where I will be doing my practicum hours at.

We had talked for about a half hour when, and I’m not sure exactly when the shift happened, but it happened, and there I was saying, “well I hope that I will be working with you,” and then.

Then.

Then he looked at me, almost surprised, “oh absolutely, the slot is yours.”

Thank you God.

I opened up my binder and handed over my paperwork that I needed him to sign and yes.

He signed them.

Thank God.

And handed them back to me, I felt like I was handling precious metals and jewels so carefully and reverentially I put back those papers, 3/4s filled out, I just need my school advisor and the head of the department to sign off.

He’s one and the same for me, so that should be pretty easy.

Actually.

I should e-mail him too, set up a time to make sure that I had them to him, he signs, then I walk over to the practicum office and hand them off.

God damn it will feel so good to have this all sorted.

It basically is.

And I like my new supervisor quite a bit.

He happened to intern with my favorite professor, which was a serendipitous conversation, he’s psychodynamically inclined, also a hot modality for me, and he went through the same program that I am going through, so he has experience with the school.

Although he admitted he’d not worked with any interns that were getting their hours through the site I’m at.

And we talked about that.

And we talked about my schedule and we set our first date to do the work.

I will begin with him on Monday, April 24th.

I will meet with him once a week for three semesters while I am in school.

Every Monday morning at 9 a.m. for one summer semester, one fall semester, and one spring semester.

Three total semesters of practicum must be compete for me to graduate.

I will graduate from the program in May 20018.

And I’ll get to walk with that graduating class complete in my practicum.

A lot of folks don’t start their practicum until next fall semester, the majority of my cohort, from what I can tell will be starting then,  and they’ll be able to walk, but not graduate officially until after finishing the summer of 2018 practicum.

I will circumnavigate that and be free to walk as a graduate.

I am so down with that I can barely breathe.

I mean.

It’s a hell of a lot of work.

But.

As it was suggested to me today.

“Take a minute and appreciate what you accomplished today,” she admonished me over the phone, “don’t just jump into the next thing to be anxious about.”

Gah.

I know, right?

Because I was so ready to go there, but there is no there there.

I am allowed to enjoy this moment, this work has been, well, work, and I deserve to acknowledge to myself that I have been showing up to it and meeting it and matching it.

And I have a phone interview in the morning before work to secure a therapist.

Fingers crossed that will be taken care of tomorrow and then.

Shit.

I can go back to just “worrying” about my homework.

Bwhaahahaha.

Sigh.

I did that too, today, I did homework on my lunch break.

Maybe I take myself out to do something sweet this weekend, really take a moment to let myself enjoy what I have done over the last week and a half.

It’s been a lot and it is an accomplishment.

Yes.

There is more work to do.

But.

For right now.

Let me just.

Take.

A fucking.

Moment.

You did good today kid, you really did.

Seriously.

Confirmed!

October 18, 2016

In no particular order.

Trip back to Wisconsin to see my best friend from back home and her three boys and husband and hang out in the snowy snow and the crisp air, the smell of wood fire burning on the over laid cloudy nights when the clouds press against the sky and insulate the light from the horizon into a kind of haze that glows all things Christmas.

I may be a little nostalgic.

I am a California girl.

I will probably always live here, unless I am abroad in Paris, but I still think I would keep a home here, but that is getting ahead of myself.

But.

I grew up in Wisconsin, though my first memories are of California, born here, raised here until four years old, a lot of my formative years occurred in Wisconsin.

Amongst them, Christmas.

The smell, the snow, the Christmas lights.

I haven’t had a white Christmas in a while.

Although my friend joked, not the greatest joke, sort of sad comment, the state of the environment, that what with global warning there may not be snow.

I have faith.

There will be snow and walks in the night with  the sound of it crunching underfoot.

Speaking of feet.

I am so glad I never got rid of the boots I bought for my motorcycle safety course.

I have had them in my closet for years waiting for a trip back to Wisconsin during the winter.

I almost got rid of them a number of times, I bought them not realizing how warm they were, they’re lined, and most of the time, they are too warm for walking around SF and I would never wear them at Burning Man, I would die.

But I kept them.

I wore them one other time, two years ago, around November on a motorcycle ride up the coast with an ex-boyfriend.

“Nice boots!” He exclaimed when I came out of my house and slipped on to the saddle of the bike, a barely there queen’s seat that had me perched just above him and hanging on for dear life as we spun up the coast from Sausalito to the One and on down toward Stinson beach.

It’s one hell of a curvy road and it was not great weather.

I was grateful for those boots.

I will be happy to have them on my feet when I get to Wisconsin.

My flight out will be a red-eye from SFO following my last shift with my current family.

I have confirmed that my last day of work with them will be Friday December 23rd.

I today confirmed that my first day of work with my new family will be Monday January 2nd.

I will be in Wisconsin from the morning of the 24th through the afternoon of the 30th, then back to SF to get myself ready for what ever new adventures in nannying I am fated to have.

Today.

In all adventures nanny.

I sat a lot with a small sleeping child on my lap and three stuffed bunny rabbits.

She has four or five of them around the house.

She’s also been a little sick, not too bad, runny nose, little cough, but just enough that she was coughing herself awake and she lost it waking herself up after just being down for twenty minutes, inconsolable with the need to sleep and upset but not knowing where she was or what was going on.

Poor sweet baby.

I carried her around the house, up and down the stairs, I talked colors to her and sang her songs and snuggled and offered milk and checked her diaper and eventually she just collapsed on me and I sat down on the couch and just sat.

I looked at my stack of Psychology books that I was going to read and sighed.

That was not going to happen.

I sat still.

It’s not bad sitting still.

My brain had plenty to keep it busy.

Distractions galore.

Not meant for this page or your eyes, thank you very much.

I thought, there could be worse things.

I got asked out on a date, but it didn’t really feel like I was being asked out on a date, it felt like I was being asked to keep someone company, give them comfort,  I thought about it.

I said sure.

But.

I added, you can’t stay the night.

I have things to do.

Books to read.

Papers to write.

Yes.

I still have one paper left to do.

Fortunately, it’s only two to three pages and it’s a reflection paper.

I could even write it tonight.

But.

I won’t.

The no response response was a response.

I did get a text later.

But.

By then.

I had made other plans.

Took myself in hand.

Took care to get myself groceries for tomorrow.

Put my music on.

Let my hair down.

Buy your own damn flowers.

Make your own damn dinner.

Take care of your own damn self.

Confirmed that too.

Did all of the above, except the flowers, I didn’t like the ones they had at the market.

I’ll pick some up tomorrow.

I like flowers.

I like being taken out.

But I don’t like being taken for granted.

Nope.

No thanks.

I’m a woman.

Glorious in my being, happy, joyous, free.

I am.

Magic.

Sex.

Love.

Light.

Salt.

Roses.

All of it.

I am complete.

Well.

I still need to finish my homework.

But you get what I mean.

Ah.

Life.

You do make me laugh, you always surprise me, and startle me and thrill me.

You make me swoon.

You catch me breathless and abandoned, my head thrown back in ecstasy.

I am so lucky to be alive.

Luckiest girl in the world.

I really am.

 

 

Limbo Land

August 19, 2016

At least it has a pretty moon.

I stopped my car, my cute little VW rental in powder blue, on the down slope of the road.

Sonoma Mountain Road.

To pause, stop, appreciate the beauty of the big, full, pumpkin orange moon in the sky, peeping through the trees.

I took a photograph with my phone.

Perhaps not the best way to capture that glory, but a small remembrance of the moment, a stop, a pause, push the reset button and breathe.

I’m out of town.

I’m out of my element.

I’m in Glenn Ellen.

I’m doing the travel nanny gig in the hills replete with vineyards and blackberry brambles.

It is a pretty place.

I keep using that adjective, but it is apropos.

As I drove off the property headed to Sonoma proper, the town, not the mountain road, I caromed around the corners and marveled that this was my life.

I was a little sad, I’m not quite sure why, a sweet sad song on the radio perhaps, a hint of melancholia, a wish to be with someone, other than my lonesome, but I gently reminded myself that though lonely in the moment, I am really never alone.

The sun slanted ahead of me, as it was going down in the West and I was heading East, splashing a gold liquid shine onto the trees and the hills and the dry yellow grass.

It’s drought time up here.

Has been for a while.

But even with the absence of moisture, there was no absence of beauty.

I was also deeply reminded that I am a California native.

I was born here.

And though I was raised for a good part of my life away from it, it speaks to me in murmurs and memories, it has seared itself into my being and my first senses and experiences happened here in the Golden State.

The synchronicity of it did not escape me, the almost deja vu like experience of driving in a VW Bug down twisty roads in the golden highlighted moment of the day right before dusk falls and the sun sets.

My mom’s boyfriend when I was a young girl had a VW Bug.

I have many memories of being in that little car.

Which was not so little when I recall it.

I used to ride around in the back, lying on the shelf between the back seat and the window.

They didn’t give a fuck so much then about car seats and seat belts.

I would watch the sky overhead pass and the clouds too, would impress themselves upon me, layering me with all good things, all things California.

I took many naps in the back seat of that car.

The rental car handled beautifully and hugged the corners and seemed to almost drive itself.

It took me a minute to get used to craning all the way around to make sure I was backing up well and that there were different blindspots to the vehicle than in other cars I have driven.

But.

It has begun to feel like home.

Being in that car.

Transported from this house in Glenn Ellen and back out into the world.

I did not want to return.

There was a moment, unacknowledged while in it, but there nevertheless.

I can feel it in my heart.

When I thought, I just might keep on driving.

Take it for a spin down the coast, ramble about the state, fuck the job, don’t come back, see you later, alligator.

Of course.

I did no such thing.

Rather I zoom zipped over to Sonoma to the clubhouse there and got right with God.

Brief pit stop at the Whole Foods to pick up some hair conditioner since I have run out and a couple of late season white nectarines.

One more day.

Then I’ll be back to the city for the weekend.

I canceled on a date I had for this Sunday.

Not sure I can afford the time to hang out and also, oh man.

I have to pack for that thing in the desert.

All my friends be like packing maniacs right now and I am stuck, in limbo, in Glenn Ellen, mentally going over what I have to do.

I was hoping to do a dry run on my tent, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.

I’ve got bins to fill.

Clothes, gear, this and that, stuff and things.

I ordered a few more things on Amazon this past week to make sure I wouldn’t have to run around willy nilly in my last hours to gather supplies.

See I have to pack this weekend, there is no other time.

I’ll be back here, in Glenn Ellen, either Sunday evening or early Monday morning for one more work week before I go.

I’ll work up until 6p.m. on Friday, then speed on out of town, drop the rental car back at SFO, catch a hired car back home, pee, then pack my cooler and smash everything into my ride share to the playa, who’ll be picking me up at 8:30p.m.

We will be driving all night to end up on the playa Saturday morning.

I hope to get my tent and such set up before it gets too hot and then sleep through the worst of the heat.

I have evening plans.

Yeah, ahahahaha, plans at Burning Man.

But I do.

A girl friend is having a birthday party and I’m a going.

I can’t wait.

I will get dressed up.

In what?

Who the fuck knows, but dressed up I will.

And I get a head of myself.

Pull back.

Pause.

Breathe.

Because I am still here, in Glenn Ellen.

Still doing my homework and reading and keeping up with all things graduate school.

Because that’s happening too.

I have two papers to write before I leave for playa and a lot of reading to do.

Not as bad as last year, but enough.

All the things.

They will get done.

Or.

They won’t.

Either way.

I’m alright and the moon, like a quiet place to rest in the sky, my pillow of beauty to lay my cheek against, moves asunder and smooth through the night.

My heart a float.

Here and now.

Here and now.

Here.

And.

Now.

Black Friday?

November 28, 2015

Cold Friday.

Holy Jesus on a pogo stick.

It is cold out there.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I know.

But, you’re from Wisconsin.

Blah, blah, blah.

I left Wisconsin.

I haven’t lived there in 13 years.

I remember one night coming out from closing up the bar and it was way below zero and I was just wanting to get in my car and start it up and be on my merry way.

Except.

The doors were frozen shut.

There’s a trick to opening up a door when the doors are froze shut and that’s to bump against the door and break the ice down.

Except.

The asshat next to me had parked me in too close and was obviously not around as it was 3:30a.m. and freezing and he probably, or she, could’ve been a she, had taken a cab home.

My luck.

The only car in the parking lot except mine and it was parked so close to me that I couldn’t get much body slam technique going to break down the ice between the frame and the door.

I remember bouncing my body between the two cars and hollering out loud at one point, “this is why I am moving to California!”

Now.

I have adjusted.

I have also gotten older.

And.

I lost a lot of weight.

When you don’t have 80-90lbs of extra flesh on your body for insulation, well, you get cold faster.

Plus.

I hate to say it.

But there really is a difference between wet cold and dry cold.

San Francisco is wet cold.

At least it wasn’t raining or foggy today.

Now that would have been a nightmare.

I am just now getting warmed up and I may stop here and make another cup of tea to finish the defrosting of my body.

I rode my scooter around a lot today so that added to the cold ness, wind chill.

I felt so tight in my body riding home that I had to tell myself to breathe.

I am happy to be home.

It was a long, strange day.

Not a bad day.

Not by any stretch of the imagination.

Just different.

I got up and did the deal like I normally do and wrote a lot this morning, four pages, and showered, did laundry, put fresh sheets on the bed, did the compost and recycling, paid for December rent and utilities, balanced the check book, had breakfast, had coffee, dressed, did the make up and made a plan for the day.

I mean.

I had a plan.

Not that I stuck all that close to it.

But there were two things, people, that I was going to meet and I met them both.

One a new friend.

The other a lady to do some reading with.

The new friend is my artist/patron/architect extraordinaire.

We had plans to meet for lunch at Cafe de la Presse downtown today at 1p.m.

I was nervous.

Here’s a person I met once, at Burning Man, have a moment of playa magic, recite some poetry, he looks me up, I write some more poems for him, he sends check for $1,000.

Benefactor.

Patron.

Hero.

Helped me get over the hump to buy my new scooter and also enabled me to say yes to going to Paris.

Totally feel debt of gratitude and I am humbled that he wants to hear me recite the words to the poems.

And nervous.

I mean.

It’s a private poetry reading.

Plus.

It’s Black Friday and I am going to ride my scooter into the maw of the beast, downtown San Francisco Black Friday, ice rink opening in Union Square, tree lighting ceremony, Macy’s, Powell Street, everything.

But.

It was super easy and I intuitively rode there after looking at Google maps and saying, nah, there’s an easier way to do it than that.

I got from here to there in 30 minutes.

I had a lot of stuff with me.

In hindsight, that I did not need.

My laptop.

My Psychoanalytic reader and notebook.

I was planning on doing work on my Human Development final project after meeting and having lunch, but found out the SF Public Library was closed for the holiday, so I decided to bring my Psychoanalytic reader to get into some Post-Freudian theory instead.

Yeah.

That did not happen.

What did happen was a delightful lunch, great conversation, and a tiny peek into the creative genius of a great artist.

I was truly blown away to be talking with him.

We had a lovely two hour lunch then we walked over to his down town office and in the conference room I read the sonnets.

It was an amazing experience.

One that I won’t soon forget.

I remember my friend letting me in then excusing himself to use the facilities and when I looked around I was just struck.

Awe struck.

By how things work, by how things happen, by luck, and love, and chance, and art.

To be considered an artist by someone else is extraordinary.

To share my art with someone who is a visionary was something else and I can’t quite put my finger on all the feelings, but graced was certainly one of them.

I left with a gorgeous set of visual poems and architectural works that he has done gathered in a book of his work and my heart full of love and awe.

It was a pretty smashing afternoon.

Then a ride to the Castro, a trip to the hardware store, a couple of locks for the scooter, and yes, I got my ass to the nail salon, thank god, the hands were looking rough.

Then a quick bite of dinner and meeting with a ladybug to do some reading and discuss defects of character.

I have a few.

But I also have assets.

And I saw those today.

Willing to take risks.

Wearing my heart on my sleeve.

Taking on new adventures.

Being open and alive to the poetry of my life.

Allowing myself to have new experiences and meet new people.

Lovingness.

Perseverance.

Strength.

Positivity.

I don’t know how I got to be that woman in that conference room sharing my own personal poetry with a new influence in my life, but there I was.

Being seen for who I am and encouraged to continue engaging in my art.

I am an artist.

How lovely it is to name that, claim it, honor it.

I am humbled.

And awed.

And grateful.

So very grateful.

It really wasn’t a cold, black Friday at all.

No.

Rather light and loving and winning.

Warm and heartfelt.

Just as it should be this weekend of thanks.

For you I give thanks.

And for all that you give me.

I give thanks.

For this life.

This love.

This art.

For.

All.

Of.

This magnificent poetry.

Thank you.

 

Got My Cable Car On

January 5, 2015

“We want to do the trolley.”

My friend from college is visiting with his company on business.

“And the Painted Ladies, you know that place where they filmed Full House.”

Ugh, yes I do know.

“And the Golden Gate Bridge.”

Oh sweet jesus.

I just thought we were going to grab a cup of coffee and catch up on the past few years that we haven’t seen each other.

And how the fuck did he turn 40? Or for that matter, how am I 42?

I also don’t remember him being taller than me, but that could be because the guy I am dating is shorter than I am and I am automatically thinking that all men are shorter than me.

My friend is also losing his hair.

Mortality.

I gave him a little grief about the hair, I had to poke some fun, but I get it, he’s got a 13 month old baby boy, I’m sure the hair loss happened shortly after realizing that he wasn’t going to get any sleep for the first 8 months of his child’s life.

He always hollers “hola” at me because of my name and despite many years of persuading him that I do not, in fact, speak spanish, despite my spanish sounding name, the “hola” has continued.

It is like my family calling me Bubba.

Which is not a bad nickname when I acknowledge it, and I may have inadvertently gotten a new nickname from my boyfriend.

“Hey lip gloss,” he said to me the other night as I re-applied some lip balm.

“I just brushed my teeth,” I warded him off, “I need to re-up.”

Poor man.

He got more than he bargained for with this sparkle pony.

I joke that I am not going to prank him by mowing off an eyebrow while he sleeps or shaving some silly design on the side of his head; no, I’ll just dump loose glitter on his motorcycle jacket.

Or spray him down with aerosol adhesive and then dump loose glitter on him.

I have red, purple, and sky blue.

I bought them years ago for Burning Man and then never used them.

But he’s right, I do have a fondness for the lip gloss.

I like my mouth to feel a certain way and I hate dry lips.

I digress.

I basically played tourist today.

I took my friend and his boss on a little sightseeing of San Francisco.

I didn’t mind, although, truth be told, I was surprised at the number of things we crammed into a short amount of time.

They picked me up around 2:45 p.m. and dropped me off just before 6 p.m. having to give themselves enough time to get the rental car back to the airport and pick up another person from SFO for the rest of the business trip.

In that time we drove Great Highway, went up to Lands End, parked, walked around Seal Rock, Lands End, and took photographs of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Then we hopped back into the car and I navigate us to the NOPA neighborhood so that we could do a quick spin around Alamo Square Park and see the Painted Ladies.

Which actually looked really lovely in the late afternoon light.

Plus the scaffolding that has been up on one of the girls finally has been pulled down.

I’m not always the biggest fan of the Painted Ladies, I think there are far prettier houses, but the view is gorgeous and my friend and his co-hort got to snap some photographs.

Before heading to the cable car.

At least I know my cable car lines.

I did not direct us to either the downtown turn around on Powell or the one at the end of Fisherman’s Wharf.

Nope.

We hopped on the California Van Ness line at California and Polk Street.

I pointed out things like a good host guide–“there’s the Masonic Temple, in case you wanted to see any Mason’s,” I chuckled when we passed the venue.

“On the left side of the car is Grace Cathedral, there’s Huntington Square Park, here’s the Fairmont Hotel with the Tonga Room, and on the other side is the Top of The Mark, where Vertigo was filmed.”

I told them about how the cable cars run and the difference between a cable car and a trolley.

I got to see some San Francisco I don’t normally see.

Then we hopped off at the end of the line in the Financial District and walked over to the Ferry Building.

They joked about hipsters and gluten-free diets and hippies and vegan donuts and I used the bathroom.

We grabbed a Boccalone sampler of salted pig parts and walked back to the Financial District and for the first time in so long I can’t remember when this actually happened, we went to a bar and watched the end of the Dallas Detroit Game.

My friend was determined to find a place to watch the last few minutes, and his compatriot seemed just as eager, I think they were on the spread (what does that mean anyway?).

So, that’s how it happened to be that at 4:30 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon I find myself in the hotel bar of the Hyatt Regency downtown sipping a Pellegrino and sending texts to my boyfriend who is away on business in Santa Clara while my friend drinks a pint and watches the football game.

I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone.

Twice in one weekend I find myself in social settings with bars.

I’m not interested in drinking, if anything it really grosses me out, the smell of it especially, I find myself more and more sensitive to it, but I did not like that I had ended up in a bar on my day off.

I was glad to see my friend.

But I was ready to go home.

We took an Uber from the hotel bar to the rental car after the game finished and I thought, my life, it really is so different from the everyday hustle bustle of the rest of the world.

Not just because I live and work in San Francisco, but also because I practice an actively spiritual way of life that does not include drinking.

I have been reminded at New Years and again today, how the rest of the world works and plays, oh, yeah, this is what “normal” people do.

I have to say.

Thanks, but no thanks.

I don’t mind playing tourist once in a while.

But that’s not a part of town I need to revisit again.

Literally and figuratively.

That being said, it was a gift to see my friend, it is nice to see people from Madison, from UW, from that part of my life.

If only to smash home how radically different a person I have become.

“Your place looks entirely Carmen,” my friend said as he used the bathroom and I gave him the “grand tour” of my in-law.

Although not exactly the person I was when I went to school back at UW Madison, I am apparently not too different either.

Just a bit more clear-eyed.

And present.

And now back to my regular programming.

My “normal.”

Living my own little slice of San Francisco.

Away, way, way, down by the sea.

In my little bungalow that looks like me.

 

Wash the Dishes

December 26, 2013

Wrap it up.

Bid adieu to Christmas.

Well, not quite, it’s still here, it’s still happening, the day has not quite ended, but I am back at the house sitting gig, my hands slightly softened from washing the dinner dishes at my friend’s house, the cat fed, the garbage taken out and another Christmas for me, put almost to bed.

A day of reflection and gratitude and sunshine.

Warm sunshine.

I took a walk this afternoon after doing my routine, that’s the nice thing about a routine, no matter what day of the year, I do it.

I don’t break away from it for my birthday or Christmas, or any other special occasion, I used to think that I could not afford to, but now I know that I do not want to.

My life, in great part, evolves because of the time I take in the morning to write, read, sit and be still, eat a good breakfast, and be settled in myself before going out into any day, any situation.

Christmas, then, being no exception.

Well, excepting I slept in a little.

The cat did wake me up to feed her, but I went back to bed after I did and that was luxurious and the nice hot shower after I woke up was lovely and the nice leisurely breakfast and writing and meditation.

Actually, said cat disrupted said meditation.

I was sitting in the big stuffed chair by the window in the back room, one of the only places the house gets any direct light, and there is a cat tree next to the chair.

About five, six minutes into my nice warm silent get right with God, the cat started washing it’s paws.

Yick.

Have you ever heard a cat clean it’s paws?

RASP, slurp, click, click, click (chewing it’s toenails), slurp, RASP.

Oh my god.

I stopped meditating right then and there.

But I received what I needed and I needed to get outside for a while, so I strolled up and down Dolores Street, enjoying the sunshine, the palm trees, the lack of traffic, the plethora of parking, and the occasional greeting being shouted out by other folks on their way to or from their holiday gatherings.

“Merry Christmas!”

He shouted, weaving around the sidewalk, “Merry, Merry, Merry!”

I crossed over to the other side of the street, definitely not engaging.

Although, I did find myself relaying a brisk, cheerful and bright “Merry Christmas” to a couple underneath the highway overpass who were torching up some rock.

It just sort of popped out.

And it was a better interaction than I had feared.

Which, all in all, most of my interactions are, even when awkward.

I think they are going to be awful, but they end up being fine, or good, or even great.

I don’t like taking CA Bike Route 25 because of that underpass, but it’s the only way to navigate Bayshore and it was the only way to go unless I wanted to go more than a mile or two out of my way and up and over Bernal Hill, and I still would have had to be on part of the wonky anyhow.

Made my hyper grateful that I was just there “visiting” that I did not have to take that kind of bicycle commute again.

I knew the underpass from years ago when I briefly worked in the Bay View wholesale vegetable and fruit markets doing some real basic data entry at wholesale market that a room-mate worked at.

I disliked the commute then, and I didn’t fare so well this time, but I got back and forth in one piece and the middle was lovely.

The house was warm and smelled amazing, in fact, it might just be the best meal I have had at the holidays in the last nine years.  The host had made the majority of the food to all the dietary restrictions of her guests–sugar and gluten-free–for all the mains and side dishes.

I had an amazing, beautifully cooked, home cooked, abstinent meal.

Now that is a Christmas miracle.

Of course there was amazing dessert for all, but I partook of  an adorable little raw fruit plate my darling host set down at my side without even asking.

I felt sweetly spoiled and taken care of.

That’s what the holidays for me are about and what, in my opinion, I miss about them from an earlier time.  Christmas was holy, special, a day were things weren’t open and places were shut down, where Christmas Eve was about the grandparents house and you had to make plans.

That it was not instant, effort was made, and when the effort wasn’t made it was really obvious.

The effort was made tonight and I felt really honored.

I also felt like I needed to show my gratitude and help where I could.

Which meant before the meal basically lighting candles, and having catch up conversation with old friends who had moved over to the East Bay.

But after the meal, meant washing the dishes.

And I don’t know what it was and I don’t know why I had my Christmas moment there, but that’s where I had it.

Normally, I have my Christmas moment in front of my Christmas tree at night watching it with the lights off, I get swept with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and rightness coupled with sweet nostalgia for all past Christmas trees.

This time it was over the dish pan.

Maybe it was the little kids, three of them, two boys and a girl all around three years old, being coaxed to say “Merry Christmas,” for the camera.

Maybe it was the pattern of flowers on the eggshell china.

Maybe it was the smell of the meal being wrapped up and put away for delicious left overs or the wife of a friend saying, “let me get a dish towel, I’ll dry.”

But suddenly, I was in the kitchen at my grandparents house in Lodi washing dishes over the sink, looking out the back window at the golden light falling onto the snow from the bay window in dinning area, listening to my aunts gently gossip, my hands plunged in the water, washing a plate, being quietly swept up into the adult dramas as the younger cousins sat huddled impatiently around the Christmas tree waiting to unwrap presents.

Dinner dishes always were done before the presents on Christmas Eve were opened.

And I was there, in Lodi, in Wisconsin, smelling the turkey and ham, hearing the fire crackle, listening to my uncles talk gruffly with my grandfather and wishing I hadn’t had the sticky popcorn ball my grandfather had made–dyed either bright red or bright green, wrapped in clear cellophane, made with thick, gooey heavy corn syrup, heated up, then mixed up with the popcorn that my grandfather grew–and yet, I can still taste it and am grateful to it.

Rituals.

Traditions.

Routines.

They bind me to who I am and where I came from.

I can never decide if I am more Californian, having been born here, raised my first formative years here, having spent nearly the last eleven years in here.

Or Wisconsin, having moved there at the age of 5 and staying, with a few detours, for almost 25 years.

I suppose I am a mix of both and I can be grateful for that too.

As I navigated the pee smelling streets and passed the crack couple having their holiday hits, I realized that I can perhaps make a hybrid of the two parts of me here, that I started by allowing myself a Christmas tree this year.

Maybe next year I make some traditions for me.

Or I visit Hudson, Wisconsin.

If I want a taste of that Midwestern thing.

That’s something to think about next year.

For tonight, a cup of tea, a cuddle with the cat, Downton Abbey’s Christmas Special, and I say thank you Father Christmas, it’s been a wonderful day.

Thank you, too to my friends who made sure I was included all the day long.

I feel loved and that, any day, Christmas, or otherwise, is a gift.

 

 


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