Posts Tagged ‘chicken soup’

Whole Lotta Nothing

December 30, 2017

Not that it was bad.

No.

It was divine.

I only left the house today to go to yoga.

And.

I almost didn’t go.

My brain said, hey, you were sick yesterday really bad, you should lie in bed and make sure that you’re ok.

Even though I was pretty much back to my normal self by the time bed time rolled around last night, no nausea, no headache, so no reason for me to lay in the bed this morning.

I got up and got dressed and walked over to yoga.

And it was good.

I got nice and warm and sweaty and had a good work out and stretched and my back is slowly feeling better, between a couple of chiropractor visits and doing a little more yoga, I have a much happier back.

Sure, some poses still not great at and I couldn’t hold a few of them today, tough on the tender ankles, but I know that balancing is helpful for strengthening my ankles and I also did some foot exercises today that my chiropractor recommended to me for strengthening my ankles.

I went though and I am happy I did.

It was the only time I went outside today.

I ended up taking a huge hot shower, wrote many pages in my notebook, and then had my best friend over for hang out time.

Lots of talking, hanging out, getting caught up, and I made some yummy food.

I cooked up my version of a Cajun gumbo/jambalaya.

Sans the crayfish.

I used shrimp instead.

It wasn’t really a gumbo and it wasn’t really a jambalaya, but it was somewhere in between and it was tasty.

I am very happy I made it too, knocked out some food prep for the week, what wasn’t eaten was put up and frozen and I’ll probably run some over to my person too, who’s recuperating from a hip replacement surgery.

I got the best text message from him regarding one of my soups that I had given him.

I made him an Italian sausage with white bean soup and then my version of chicken soup with veggies, brown rice, and Andouille sausage.

He was very, very happy with them both, but I think the latter got the big applause.

I do like to cook, it’s a nice way to show someone who you care for that you love them.

Since I don’t eat sugar or flour I don’t make super intricate stuff for myself, but since I know how to cook and have cooked plenty with those ingredients, I know how to combine flavors.

Sometimes I have no idea where the stuff comes from, I’m just like, hmm, put that with this and see what happens.

It’s a nice skill to have and I’m always surprised that so many people can’t cook or don’t know how to do even basic stuff.

I’m not a great cook, but I’m good and I feel like I’m definitely better than the average bear.

My friend seemed quite happy to eat the food.

I don’t recall any complaints.

We hung out past sunset, which really isn’t that late since the sun goes down around 5p.m. and by the time my company had left and I washed up the dishes and put everything away I had absolutely no desire or urge to go outside.

It’s just too cozy in my little house and I’m happy to stay put.

It feels rather nice to not have clients tonight, to not have work either, which is why I was able to go to a 8:30 a.m. yoga class today, the family I nanny for went out-of-town for the weekend.

I’ll be going back into work on Tuesday.

Back to therapy, back to seeing clients, back to it all.

Fortunately the kids will be going back to school by that time as well, working early every day this past week, with the obvious exception of yesterday having called out sick, is a bit of a grind.

I don’t mind it horribly and I’m always glad I can be flexible for the family, but it will be nice to go back to my regular hours.

In the meantime I don’t have a lot planned for the weekend, and no plans at all for New Years.

I would just rather skip it.

I have my dance party on January 13th and that will be my dancing fun, I don’t need to go and be out amongst the hoi poi over the weekend, I’m more than happy to skip lines, drunks, amateurs, and Uber and Lyft crazy drivers from out-of-town.

Not sure what I’ll do, if anything, to celebrate.

More yoga.

The studio has classes on Monday, so technically I could do yoga tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday, making it a four-day run for me.

I think that’s the best idea.

And maybe I’ll take a little trip to Stinson or Muir in my car.

I got my FasTrak in the mail today, so I can pay tolls via that instead of cash and it’s a no brainer to get over the bridge.

I do have group supervision tomorrow, lest I forget, though it was a very, very quiet week for clients, only one client, I only have to attend group, which is nice, but I do have to attend.

My solo supervisor is still out on Monday, which is New Years Day, so I won’t start back up with him until the 9th of January.

A tiny bit more of a break.

School is back on the 19th, 20th, and 21st of the month, January that is.

I still have a few weeks before I have to start thinking about it, although I already have a tiny bit.

I just checked my grades, I’m still carrying a 4.0!

Huzzah.

That’s always nice to see.

I also need to start looking seriously into applying to the PhD program at my school if I’m going to do that.

I think I have to apply by February or March.

My supervisor at my practicum site already said he would write me a letter of recommendation.

I definitely want to have that!

Plenty to think about and do over the next few months, but for the rest of this weekend, I’m just going to chill out, do lots of yoga, cook some nice food, maybe I’ll even buy a book that’s not related to psychology.

Maybe.

 

What Are You Doing

November 5, 2017

For self-care?

My group supervisor asked me after I checked in around a client that I have to do a lot of outside resourcing for.

I blurted out, “baking!”

And it’s true.

Last night I made cookies for a dearest ones anniversary.

It was the first time that I have made cookies in my little home here by the sea.

You could say this person is extraordinarily important to me.

So.

Important.

And I knew that I wanted to make cookies for them.

Peanut butter chocolate chip.

Oversized.

Soft and warm.

Full of love.

I was fluffing the butter and creaming the sugar and adding all the super extraordinary rich smelling ingredients together in the bowl and reflecting upon how much I love this person.

I was thinking of Isabella Allende’s book “Like Water For Chocolate,” and how the main character cooks her emotions into her meals.

How the other characters in the book respond to the emotions in the book, bursting into flames with love and passion and feeling.

Cooking and baking for me are a kind of meditation and they are soothing and full of self-care.

Granted.

I didn’t eat any of the cookies.

I didn’t taste them.

I don’t eat sugar or flour so to make them was sort of a big deal.

It was the first time I had sugar in my pantry in four years.

I found it was fine.

I wasn’t tempted, I wasn’t at all.

Not even to lick my fingers.

And I sense that was the lynch pin for me, that I didn’t have a motive for the cookies except to show this person how much I love them.

Not.

Ooh.

“I’m being secret and baking cookies in my house and all the goodies are going to get eaten.”

There was purpose there and in the purpose, such pleasure.

In fact.

I forgot how much I enjoy baking.

I have been baking a lot at work too, a pear tart, an apple tart, banana bread, plus I make a ton of food, pastas mainly, for the family that I would never touch.

“You’re the best cooker ever!” And, “these are better than granny’s,” are compliments I have gotten from my charges.

I have to take their word for it.

I almost never taste the food I make for them.

But.

I can smell it and sense what works with what and I think about the woman who owns and runs Tartine Manufacturing and how she is known to make the most extraordinary bread.

And.

Oh, the Universe is sly and funny.

She doesn’t ever eat any of it.

She’s gluten intolerant.

But like, me, I presume, there is a great satisfaction in the baking.

I know I felt super happy baking my cookies last night.

Really good and sweet and loving and I planned it so the cookies would be warm when I handed them over.

I love little details like that.

I like giving.

I am remembering when I used to make sugar cookies at Christmas time and bring them into work.

Or candy.

I made a lot of Christmas candy, back in Wisconsin mainly, after I moved to San Francisco I still did a bit of baking but not the candy making and after a few years, 2009, I stopped baking, when I began to get abstinent around my food.

I occasionally made something for someone.

A pie here or there.

But it’s really been years since I have had all the ingredients in my home to bake.

Heck.

I had to buy a cookie sheet last week.

I didn’t mind though.

I had such a good time doing the baking.

And.

I also did a lot of cooking over the last two days.

I roasted a chicken too, yesterday.

I figured I would be using the oven and if I could get some food prep out-of-the-way it would be super helpful as next weekend I’m in classes and I like to have my meals made up before the weekend of class.

I just grab something out of the freeze and a piece of fruit and I’m set.

And today.

Well.

I was up late last night and decided I was going to let myself just sleep today.

Skip yoga, coddle myself, be sweet to myself and just sleep.

Of course.

I forgot I had set an alarm to go off so that I could go to yoga.

Haha.

Can’t sleep in even if I wanted to.

And it was good, I needed to connect with the outside world right away.

Although, I didn’t get out of bed to do so, just lay in bed talking on the phone for an hour.

Slight aside.

Talking on the phone is magic.

I am happy that I have people in my life that still like to talk.

There was luxuriating in the being in bed and not making myself go to yoga, don’t worry, I’ll be going tomorrow, there’s only so much “laziness” I can condone in myself, and being gentle and soft and slow and letting the morning have its way with me.

And it was extraordinary, I didn’t feel rushed and yet I did get all sorts of things done.

I wrote a lot this morning, always helps.

I got a hold of the dealership where I am interested in getting a car from and started some preliminary work, submitted an application and talked to the manager of the sales department and got some good insight.

I wrote my mom’s birthday card and got that in the post.

And.

I made chicken soup with spicy Andouille sausage.

Yup.

All before I left for my internship.

So when my group supervisor asked what I was doing for self-care, baking popped right out of my mouth and was followed up by, “making soup.”

Comfort.

And.

Love.

The best kind of self-care.

Showing up for myself.

And showing others how much they mean to me.

So much gratitude for my life.

So much love.

So, so, so much.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

It’s Got To Be

October 2, 2017

Good enough.

Because I am about done and my brain is tell me I could have done more, I should have done more.

But really.

Fuck off brain.

I got done what I needed to do and then some.

Yoga.

Meeting with a lady bug and working on inventory for an hour.

Three loads of laundry

Cleaned the house, scoured the bathroom, took all the trash out, swept, vacuumed, swiffer’ed.

I know, swiffer is not a verb, but you know what I mean.

I went grocery shopping.

I cooked two different meals.

I made a spicy andouille and chicken soup with vegetables and corn and brown rice.

I canned up three jars and I froze three other containers of it.

I’m starting to stockpile meals for the next school weekend, every time I can I will freeze a little something to have for my school weekend.

Inevitably I have a lunch out with a friend in the cohort, much more so this semester than any other, I suspect since I’m in my last year with my cohort and making an effort to be connecting with my friends.

So food’s been made.

And I also roasted a chicken while I was doing my CBT webinar class tonight.

Plus a pot of brown rice with peas and corn.

I’ve got food for the week and then some.

And yet, I didn’t get enough done?

What ever.

Read an article for my Jungian Dream Work class and realized that I was pretty much caught up with all the material except for one article, I should be able to knock that out pretty quick, I might, maybe, even go back and read it before I go to bed tonight.

The CBT webinar kind of took it out of me though and I had to recuperate after wrapping it up.

Which meant eating some of said roasted chicken and brown rice with peas and corn.

It was delicious.

Then I put on a mixed tape and got my fucking good time on.

I needed to get a release.

Ahem.

Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

Giggle.

Anyway.

I did do plenty today.

Made some phone calls.

Stayed connected with my people.

I did plenty.

Plus.

I mean.

It is my day off.

It’s ok to “slow down” a little.

And I’m feeling better.

Although this morning I was sorely wrong about takin my antibiotic when I did.

I’m supposed to take it four times a day, I still have one more to take tonight, around my meal times–breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack.

But.

I don’t like doing yoga with food in my belly.

And I still felt like I had some food from my little snack last night in my body, I thought, I should take it now, since I won’t actually have breakfast until 11a.m. or so, yoga and then a shower.

WRONG.

Not a fun yoga class, my tummy was super upset the entire time.

I got through the class though and the sweating was good and I’m glad I went, just note to self, take the antibiotics with food please.

I haven’t really had any sharp pain in my tooth today, so I’m hoping that between the ibuprofen I’ve been taking and taking the antibiotic that I’m doing ok.

Which is good as it will be a full week.

Supervision tomorrow, work, two clients.

Therapy Tuesday, work, two clients.

Wednesday is my short day, “just” work, and then seeing some fellows in the hood up at the Sunset Youth Services.

Thursday is work and two clients.

Friday is going into work an hour early to help my boss and two clients.

Saturday is group supervision.

And that’s my week.

I am sure wonderful things will happen during the week, it’s not always grinding and making things happen.

There are moments of sweetness and lightness, laughter, seeing the amazing beauty in my life, being grateful for all the love I have.

I have so much.

It astounds.

And.

It’s October!

How did that happen?

I noticed that the sunset was pretty early tonight.

I did something proactive for myself that I’ve been thinking about for over a year, ever since one of my professors mentioned that she had one.

I got a SAD lamp for my house.

I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder in my early twenties.

It wasn’t until my early thirties that I got the Adult Child of an Alcoholic, PTSD, Depression, and clinical Anxiety diagnoses.

Add Alcohol Use disorder.

And.

Cocaine Use Disorder.

Look ’em up, there in the DSM V.

Anyway.

It has been recommended by more than one trained professional that I get a light box.

They’re expensive.

But I said fuck it.

I got one today.

The Northern Light 10,000 Lux Boxlite.

I got it off Amazon, so it was a tiny bit cheaper than the one from the website, but yeah, I dropped a couple hundred.

I don’t get much natural light in my room and I noticed it a lot today since I was inside a lot doing work on the house and homework and meeting with the lady.

I had a bout of low-grade depression last winter, not much, certainly not enough for me to go back on antidepressants, and I almost didn’t realize it until it was just about past.

I also was having a very hard time resolving myself with leaving the boys that I had nannied for two and a half years and transitioning to starting a new job with a new family.

Compound that with some family of origin stress and I was definitely on the depressed end of things.

So.

I am going to be proactive and do good self-care.

If the dentist thing taught me anything I need to really be on my self-care.

It is important.

I am someone a lot of folks depend on and I want to be dependable and I want to be able to be present at work, for my clients, for the people I love in my life.

I’m worth the investment.

As they are.

Just trying to give myself more love so that I may love others as much as I possibly can.

So I choose to replenish myself and make sure I get enough “sunlight” this winter.

I will have more to give.

And there’s so much I want to give.

So much.

 

Unexpected Days Off

June 8, 2017

I had today off and as of an hour and a half ago, I will have tomorrow off too.

My employers are all very sick.

Sad face.

But.

I am super grateful, wildly grateful, that they told me not to come in.

Flu with severe vomiting is not my gig.

Although I had a friend joke that it would be a great way to work on my abs.

Nah, I’ll pass.

I went to yoga instead.

In fact, holy shit, I can go tomorrow too, I am going to go see about signing up for a morning class.

Hang on I’ll be right back.

Nice!

I got into a 10a.m. class.

I went to a 9:30 a.m. this morning.

The instructor spoke about setting an intention.

Mine was loving self-care.

I did pretty well.

I went to yoga, did my laundry, had a super hot shower, had a fantastic breakfast and a big latte, did lots of writing and then made some phone calls to folks and did some check ins.

I talked with a friend for an hour on the phone.

God damn that was good.

When was the last time I had the time to take an hour-long phone call in the middle of the day?

I cannot remember.

It was delicious.

I went grocery shopping and really loaded up.

I came home and cooked.

I made homemade chicken soup with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions, Andouille sausage and the remains of chicken I had made last weekend.  Mixed it up with some brown rice and froze the entire batch of it.

Meals for a week of work and then some.

I also roasted another chicken, because, well, it’s nice to have roast chicken on hand.

I made another pot of brown rice.

It’s the simplest meal to have and super tasty–brown rice with roasted salt and pepper encrusted chicken and tarragon butter.

Yummy.

Then I just stick everything in the fridge so when I get home from work or my internship or doing the deal I just take some olive oil, heat it up in the pan, add some garlic, slice up a few brown mushrooms, add a cup of brown rice and pull chicken off the roast chicken I made and literally in five minutes I have a hot, super tasty meal and I can kick back and write my blog.

I’m also starting to think about some meal prep for Burning Man, I have grabbed a couple of small things–green drink vitamin mix, a couple of containers of unsweetened chocolate almond milk, and I’m starting to stock pile my beverages.

There’s only so much I can get back on my scooter, so every time I go shopping I grab a bottle or two of sparkling beverages I like to have on playa and start sticking them away.

It’s fun to go grocery shopping.

I like food.

I like cooking.

I like making food for people I care about.

There is something so soothing about making a meal for someone you love.

I love cooking for my employers.

I miss cooking for friends like I used to back in Madison, I used to have some seriously ridiculous dinner parties.

Since I abstain from a lot of the foods I used to so gleefully cook, I don’t as often have dinner parties, but folks are often surprised by what I put together and that it tastes pretty damn good.

I don’t keep any sugar or flour in my house, so that may make having a dinner party a bit of a challenge, or that my space is so tiny, but there was once a friend who defaulted her birthday party to my house and I found myself serving up 6 ladies lunch.

Homemade soup, I think.

And cheese and fruit and I don’t recall a single person complaining, in fact, I ran out of food.

It was all eaten.

But.

When I do have access to other ingredients, like when I cook for my employers, I can have such fun.

Anyway.

There was cooking and shopping and I really enjoyed doing that.

Sometimes I can be very domestic.

Shh.

Don’t tell.

I also did some more work cleaning out my social media.

I deleted a bunch more folks off Facebook and I dropped a couple of groups and deleted a blog or two.

I started going over my Facebook page with a fine tooth comb and removed a few things here and there and I have made it through posts up until 2013.

I still have a bit to weed through and this will be my last publicly posted blog.

And I have a little trepidation about even posting this to social media.

I was assigned two more clients.

One of whom I will start with next week, already talked on the phone and set up our initial session.

Tomorrow is my first session with my first client.

I am going to pull all blogs off social media starting around lunch time I think.

I’m going to go to yoga in the morning and do my morning routine and write and check in with my people about a few things and keep my fingers crossed that the rain doesn’t last too long.

Stupid rain.

Oh well.

At least I won’t have to scooter to work in it.

And hopefully it will pass by the time I have to leave to meet with my client.

I will be giving myself loads of time to get there and get myself situated and feel settled in.

I’m excited.

I’m happy that my time has come that the work is going to be used that I get to do this.

I really do feel so honored and grateful.

I feel really happy that I got to do yoga today and that I get to go tomorrow, that I did so much grocery shopping and cooking and just loving on myself.

I need to take good care of myself so that I may in turn, do the same for others.

And.

Be a model for what that looks like.

Oh.

I know.

I won’t always succeed.

But today.

Well, today I did good.

Yes.

I fucking did.

 

God Damn

April 28, 2017

I got a lot of shit done today.

I am, in fact, still getting shit done.

I am cooking a pot of chicken soup as I blog.

I am trying to do some peremptory food preparation for the next weekend of school so that this Saturday and Sunday I can give my full attention to the papers that I have to write.

Speaking of writing papers.

I got a lot of my Trauma paper mapped out.

I have four pages of notes and references from four different sources all set up and notated.

In fact.

I laughed at myself when I was finished listening to the podcast for the second time (in full, a couple of the segments I listened to three or four times) and I had all my paper notes and references complied.

Fuck.

I have a 10 page paper with all the work I complied today.

The paper is 5-7 pages.

I will have more than enough material to cut a fine suit from.

I am actually excited about writing the paper, I have such a clear idea of what needs to be done, I thought about writing it tonight, however, I wanted to wait until I had a clear swath of time.

And I like to have my down time when I get home.

Of course that down time tonight includes a couple of loads of laundry and making homemade chicken soup with veggies and brown rice, but it’s not writing and focusing in a scholarly way.

I am awful proud of taking the time to do the work that needed to get done though for the paper, I spent a great deal of my breaks this week working on the Trauma material.

I will be ready to pop out that paper Saturday and then turn my full attention to the Community Mental Health project that I need to do on Sunday.

I will work on that all day Sunday, nothing else planned, on the books or off, for that matter.

Tomorrow at work during my break I will go over my Community Mental Health notes and the half hour interview I did with the program that I am writing on.

I will basically do the same thing that I did for my Trauma paper, map it out, make notes, post-it note my notes, and go back over the reading material that I am going to utilize for my paper.

I’ll provide my frame-work for the paper and then be able to sit down on Sunday and write it.

That one is 8-10 pages.

I feel like it should be the other way around, my Trauma paper has so much richness to it and so much to explore, it should be the bigger paper, but I don’t make the rules, things might be different if I did.

Ha.

I’m super grateful that it’s coming together.

As I get closer and closer to my Paris trip.

Today to incentivize myself I wore my Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick that my dear French friend gave me as a birthday present.

Nothing like getting a gift bag of Chanel makeup for a birthday.

It was such a lovely gift.

Part of me, a very large part of me, is so thrilled that I will be wearing Chanel makeup on my trip, I know it’s silly, but Chanel products are above my paygrade, so when I got them, I felt like the proverbial kid in a candy shop.

The first time I went to Paris I discovered Sephora.

Oh my god.

I wasn’t able to get myself much, I was there on the slimmest of budgets.

I remember I actually got my sister a lipstick, as they had a brand that was the same as her name, although slightly different spelling, and I got myself a set of red barrettes.

I loved those barrettes so much.

Today, when I put on the red lipstick it reminded me of those hair clips and I realized, yes, that’s definitely a souvenir I will let myself get when I am in Paris, hair clips.

Maybe some red ones like the ones I got my first time there.

It seems surreal that I will be going back.

I remember when the woman I was working with in Paris told me that it was going to be ok that I moved back home to San Francisco, that Paris would always be there, that I could come back and make another go of it.

I’m so grateful that I had my time living there and I can contrast it with the life that I built and then re-built here.

I have it really good.

Oh.

Sure.

I make half the median income that the city recommends to get by and I am taking out student loans for therapy, hahaha, but ultimately, my life is really rich.

REALLY.

Abundant.

It’s gorgeous.

I have so much.

I have an amazing job.

I have a great therapist.

I have an internship.

I get to go to graduate school in San Francisco.

I get to live in San Francisco.

I get to write every day.

What writer doesn’t long for that?

Every day.

I get to live a recovered, full, useful life.

I get to travel.

I get to go to Burning Man.

I get to ride a scooter to work.

I get free parking when I’m there.

I have laundry in the garage, I get to wash my clothes for free.

I have chicken soup cooking on the stove and hot sheets in the dryer.

I am listening to amazing music on my Macbook Air.

I have a lot.

I have happiness.

I have self-esteem.

I do estimable acts, that helps.

I have red lipstick.

I have pretty perfume.

I have love.

I have friends, family, chosen and of origin, I have my cohort.

I have Ocean Beach a hop, skip, and jump away.

I have beautiful tattoos.

I have poetry.

I have abundance, joy, happiness, freedom.

I have.

All the things.

All the things.

 

Forgive

April 9, 2017

Forgive.

Forgive.

That’s what the message said.

I forgive you.

I hope you had joy while you ate my chicken soup.

I roasted that chicken last Sunday then used the bones to create a stock, it has garlic, onions, corn, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots, and brown rice.

I hope it fed you.

I hope it nourished you.

I wish you well.

I forgive you for taking my soup.

I forgive you for taking my gift, the one I was going to give to my friend in the cohort who is getting married.

I hope it brings you love and light and joy.

I do.

I forgive you.

And more than that.

I forgive myself.

I was not to blame, I didn’t do anything wrong.

I will, however, remember the feeling of what it was like to mystify myself.

Because I didn’t believe you could do this to me.

Take from me.

Take my things.

Take my little piece of home in a Mason jar.

My warmth and succor after a long day of class.

I was not expecting to have that happen in a space where I practice so much vulnerability.

Please God.

Have me see what you want me to see and help me to let go of what I can.

I forgive you because I have to forgive me.

Some things are valuable.

And some things are ,well, just things.

“It’s just stuff,” he said and looked into my eyes and held my gaze, “you get to grieve the loss of it, don’t shove off the feelings, but don’t hold onto it, let it go, they’re just things, and as crazy as this sounds, the Universe has something better for you.”

I did not think that sounded crazy at all.

I believed every word of it.

I also took what he said to heart and let myself feel the sorrow of the loss.

I cried my tears.

I also know that the soup and the gift were symbols of other things that I had taken away from me, a sense of safety, a sense that the world is not a scary place, an inner equilibrium, home.

So.

I find solace and safety within myself.

That I am enough and that I can take care of myself.

I was able to source another gift for my friend.

I was able to go to The Market and get dinner with one of my favorite people.

I was able to accept hugs and shoulders to lean into and validation that what I was feeling was appropriate.

I took some action too.

I reported it to the school, if someone is rifling through the student lounge and stealing it should be shared with the students at the campus.

Food is a sacred thing.

We all need to eat.

So.

I forgive you.

I hope my soup warmed you, fed you, nourished you, gives you sustenance.

For that is what it has done for me.

I am proud of myself for taking care of myself, for having the good cry, for letting my T.A. approach me in the cafe and actually have a conversation about it that was both sweet and intimate, but affirming of me and my abilities.

“You are amazing, you have so much light,” he said and gave me such a hug.

I felt seen, validated, and empathized with.

I am grateful for that.

It was an unexpected gift in the wake of the loss.

He was right too.

It’s just stuff.

I have unshakeable faith that God took something from me that needed to be elsewhere, those things, all things really, are for God to appropriate, I had them for a little while, they are needed elsewhere.

I now have open hands to accept the things that God wants for me.

One of the biggest gifts were all the interactions I had with my cohort, my friends, and my T.A.

I was smitten with the love and affection that I was showered with.

I still am.

I had some wounds open.

Sure.

It felt that I my home dumped out and stolen.

It felt like Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

I could almost see the person searching through the refrigerator and going, “Ooh, this looks yummy, and then seeing the gift and thinking, “Ooh, I must have that.”

I understand.

There is a thrill in theft.

I have stolen.

I know.

It has been a long time, but I have.

There is entitlement in stealing.

There is adrenalin.

It can be addicting to swipe something.

To gain vicarious thrill from a source that is unwitting.

But this is just a story.

There is a narrative, an arc of action.

Perhaps there is guilt and shame.

I don’t know the persons story.

I do wish for them the ability to get what it is they need.

That is unconditional love.

I do not like what happened, I don’t care, not one fucking bit, but I do hope there is relief for the person, I wish them the best.

Because you can’t steal what I have in my heart.

In my strength of person.

You only took some stuff.

Stuff does not make the world go round.

You can’t take my sense of value, self-worth, or safety.

You can’t take away my experiences, pains, joys, loves, laughter, growth or healing.

Those things are nonnegotiable.

They are mine and you are not going to ever take that from me.

No one puts Baby in a corner.

I am my own woman and I am grateful for this, already, I grow stronger.

Something got moved around today, an opening was made for some unexpected healing, perception, awareness, and growth.

Actually.

I should be thanking you, Soup Thief, you unwittingly gave me an absolute firm sense of my core and my abilities.

I learned how to use my resources and how to accept help.

I learned it is ok to grieve for something, whether a thing, or a concept.

I softened and I grew.

Pretty amazing day when it all comes down to it.

I will say, I am freaking tired though, it was a draining afternoon to evening.

So.

Another cup of tea.

My apple and some blueberries.

A comfy pillow behind my back.

Half an episode of Billions.

And a good nights rest.

Conflict.

Resolved.

Balance

March 20, 2017

I don’t know how it actually happened.

But.

It actually happened.

I did yoga, visited a friend in the East Bay, hey y’all San Leandro is much cuter than I remember, read four chapters in my Trauma reading–officially finishing the reading for the next weekend of class, listened to a two-hour podcast for said Trauma class, roasted a chicken, and made homemade chicken soup.

What?

I didn’t drive myself crazy trying to do it either.

It all just sort of sweetly unfolded.

I got up and went to yoga and it was good and I stayed pretty present in the class, only running out the door in my brain a few times trying to figure out schedules and such, but mostly I was just there in the studio doing the yoga and breathing.

I did not want to go this morning and I almost talked myself out of it, but in the end, my body won and walked me over to the studio.

My brain was mollified by the rest it got from worrying and I felt good being in my body.

Which my brain tells me will never happen as I don’t have a 22-year-old yoga body, but I do have a 44-year-old body and there was a woman in her 60s today doing yoga, that’s what I love about it, anyone can do it, although, yes, there does seem to be a proclivity for a certain type of person to be doing yoga, I do see a lot of different ages and abilities.

Yesterday there was a woman next to me who was obviously pretty new to yoga and it reminded me how awkward and uncomfortable I was in my first weeks of classes, and it also demonstrated to me that even a woman with what I would in my twisted brains says has a “better body” than me, wasn’t able to keep up with the class and I did.

This is not a judgement, it was just good noticing on my part and it helped me see that even though I am just getting in two classes  week, I’m staying in it and I can see that I have gotten better, even when I think I never will, I have.

And that we all have different bodies, some more flexible, some less flexible, some more balanced, some less balance, and that all of us, at least in that class, are doing the best we can and we showed up.

I am grateful for showing up.

I am also grateful for going over to the East Bay and catching up with my friend.

I miss her.

It’s hard when friends move and the number of folks that I have said goodbye to who have moved out of San Francisco is challenging.

And it’s hard to stay in connection with folks, even if they are just a train ride away.

Living in the Outer Sunset makes it challenging.

I was going to ride my scooter to a BART station and park it and go over, but after yoga, I was jut too tired, and sort of loose in my brain and I thought, screw it, just grab the N-Judah train downtown and take BART from the Embarcadero.

Yes.

It did take longer than had I been on my scooter.

But.

The upside?

I had time to read!

I finished the reading for my Trauma class and was very happy to get off the train in San Leandro and see my sweet friends smiling face from her car as she drove up to pick me up.

God damn it was good to see her.

I got to see her new digs and go for a scenic drive around the hills and have yummy lunch and catch the fuck up.

She understands my conundrum quite well having gone through nursing school.

Grad school is a hard, lonely, hard, lonely, time-consuming, expensive, did I say lonely, road to trudge.

Add work into that mix and it feels like that is all I do.

Work.

Whether it is school work or work work, it feels like work.

Then I realize, maintaining relationships is work too.

And that all this work, it does pay off.

My friends’ a nurse.

I have friends who are doctors and lawyers, lots of nurses too, I know PhD’s in history, I know teachers and filmmakers, I know landscape horticulturists and creative writing professionals, I know someone at Oxford for fuck’s sake.

We have all done this to get somewhere.

The work is work and it is a joy too.

Although, I have to say I appreciate it more, this work, when I make room for the work that it takes to make sure that I am staying connected to my friends and fellows.

That might actually be the most important work there is, might, ha, it really is, these relationships are what gets me through, I couldn’t do this on my own.

I just could not.

Oh.

Sure.

Sometimes I do wish I could, but I can’t and for that I am grateful.

When I tried to do it on my own, well, I fell pretty flat.

When I began to work in concert with others in relation.

Well.

I started getting somewhere.

I want to keep connecting and reconnecting.

I want to keep that balance.

I am not sure what that looks like and for today, well, I don’t have to, I did have it, I did see my friend, I did do yoga, and homework, a lot of it, and I did meal prep, which is always important to me, I did all the things.

And they were nice.

They really.

Really.

Were.

 

 

Hello Monday

February 28, 2017

Let’s be friends.

Today was not a bad day to start the week.

It was sunny.

Hello.

No rain.

So grateful to ride my scooter to and from work, such a gift.

I heard someone complaining, “yeah, it’s sunny, but it’s freezing.”

Shut the fuck up bitch.

It’s NOT raining.

I will take sunny and cold over rain any damn day.

Grateful the drought is finally over, but I think we are amply replenished and the weather can just give it a rest for a minute.

Plus.

I had a really nice leisurely morning with no homework.

I got it done this past weekend, the reading, so my normal go to reading time I spent on doing some extra personal writing and yes, I cleaned the house before I left for work, clean bathroom, clean kitchen, swept the floors.

It was super nice to come home to.

I came home to some nice roast chicken dinner too.

Very glad I had done the food prep this weekend, it was super easy to come home, peel a couple of carrots to nosh on and heat up my turmeric and garlic brown rice and a roast chicken breast and have a hot, homemade dinner.

I love self-care.

I’ve gotten better and better at it.

From going to the dentist and paying for it all up front.

To paying my rent and utilities early for March.

To going to yoga.

To having extra boxes of my favorite tea in the house.

To lighting up the candles when I get home.

It really helps me to be able to navigate the world with kindness and love when I have first taken care of myself.

And I needed that good self-care today.

Both my charges were home.

I had expected that they would be in school, ski week vacation is over and school is back in.

But.

It was grandma’s last day before flying back home so both of the older kids stayed home to see her off.

We had a very sweet day.

Built a Lego model, colored, watched a Cat in The Hat video, and read a lot of books.

I also cooked lunch and dinner for them.

I love cooking.

It is such a nice thing that it is part of my job.

Tonight for dinner I made sautéed ground chicken with onions and garlic in a rosemary infused bechamel sauce and served it over penne pasta.   I made a side of regular mac and cheese, albeit the fancy kind for the kids, as well as maple and soy glazed Julienne carrots and zucchini.

“Carmen!  You are the best cooker ever!” My little lady charge told me, “it is so yummy!”

She likes to sit with me when I have my lunch and nibble whatever I’m having as well as her own meals.

It’s rather endearing.

“More of the corn,” she told me today with these big saucer blue eyes full of merriment and mischievousness.

I was eating a bowl of homemade chicken soup with brown rice and vegetables.

“I’ll have a carrot now,” she said next, pointing to the one in the bowl she wanted.

I just laughed and spooned it into her mouth.

When I got home tonight after work and doing the deal over at 7th and Irving, I had a very kind text message from the dad too, saying basically how grateful he was to come home from a hard day at work to a really nice dinner.

That too makes my day.

I don’t need to be validated, but damn, it is nice to get it, especially from new employers.

I really am quite happy to be with them and so grateful to be in an environment where I feel like I’m totally being of service and also that I am really appreciated for my skills and the job I do.

Usefulness makes for happiness.

I am happy.

I am happy too that I spent some time before work crunching my numbers and saw quite clearly that despite the unexpected out go of the money for the dental stuff, I will be quite fine this upcoming month.

My costs will be covered and I shouldn’t have any problems with making ends meet.

It helps that I have some cash in savings, so I don’t feel stressed out.

I put 3/4s of my tax return straight into savings.

So even though it feels like I don’t have any money, I in fact, do.

I just don’t want to touch it.

I have one savings account that is for travel and I have one that is the meager beginnings of a prudent reserve.

Plus.

The month of March, five weeks.

So I’ll get a little extra there and although I’m not big on working extra hours past 40, I will one week in March as the dad will be on a business trip and I’m going to help out the family more that week.

I’m not quite sure what that looks like, but I said I would help and I am happy to do so.

A lot of that comes from feeling on top of my school work and my next action steps around my practicum placement and my internship.

I have a workshop that I will be attending the next weekend of school to acquire all the paperwork and take the next steps and then that following week I’ll be going to my supervisor with the paperwork and starting the next phase of the practicum.

So exciting.

There are lots of things happening.

But I don’t feel overwhelmed and I’m not trying to figure anything out.

I just keep showing up day-to-day.

Taking whatever next action is in front of me and letting go of the results.

Because the results are not mine anyway.

They never have been.

I can’t control the outcome of anything.

I can just take some simple actions and love myself for trying.

That’s it.

Pretty damn simple.

It is.

Seriously.

 

I’m Not Dead Yet

December 5, 2016

Although I just got hit with the tired stick.

I mean.

It’s been a day.

A good day.

But a full one.

I am actually really fucking impressed with myself, if I do say so myself.

As I sit here and listen to the kettle boil and the jazz horn play, nothing says unwinding on a Sunday evening like listening to jazz, and smell the delicious chicken soup simmering on the stove I am replete and pleased with myself.

Grandly pleased.

Greatly pleased.

Happily pleased.

Extravagantly pleased.

I think you catch my drift.

I got it all done.

Well, ok, not it all done, I still have some stuff to do, but I got done what I needed to get done today.

I wrote my Family Therapy paper!

Seven pages.

1,883 words.

References and bibliography.

Even a nice little title page.

Done and done and done.

Good bye Family Therapy.

I’m done with you!

I mean.

Yes, of course I’ll be showing up for class this weekend, but I don’t have to do any more reading or writing for this class.

It is finished.

Show up, turn in the paper, be present and finish out the class.

Yes.

I also have my presentation prepared, mentally, for Child Therapy class.

We don’t have to have a paper to turn in with it, and I already wrote the reflection paper that is due for the class last week.

However, I was thinking I may write-up a quick family vignette just to have a little back story to give to the class so that when I do the presentation there is some information for the class to have so the intervention that I plan on doing in the dyad will come across.

I know what I’m going to do and it’s only a ten minute presentation and I’m going to bring in colored pencils and paper and work with a partner in my group who will be playacting a child in therapy.  I will be doing a creative arts intervention.  I am excited and pleased with the concept I came up with.

All I have to do is contact the person in my group with whom I want to do the dyad work with and lay out a few things for her to play act.

I actually don’t want her to do much prep since I want it to come across as natural.

So.

A quick sketch of a vignette to hand off to her and my classmates, a ten minute presentation, some colored pencils and white paper, and I’ll be done with Child Therapy.

I won’t be making the final class of the semester as I will be leaving early on Saturday to go to my friend’s wedding.

Again.

So very pleased that I was able to find shoes that will work with my dress, pretty shows, fancy shoes, but not too sexy shoes.

Speaking of sexy.

I love the new jeans I bought.

They might be one of the best fitted pairs of jeans I have scored in sometime.

And score is the proper verbiage here.

The original cost of the jeans?

$251.

Who the fuck pays that much money for jeans?

I don’t.

But.

I will pay $44 for them!

Heh.

So happy.

My ass looks great.

I say with no great conceit or humility.

Ha.

Anyway.

Yeah.

Happy with my new wardrobe additions.

And happy with all the things I did get to today besides writing my Family Therapy paper.

I did laundry and put fresh sheets on the bed, because nothing is sexier than fresh washed sheets, well, except maybe a very hot shower.

Which I had this morning after going to yoga.

Yes.

I made time for the yoga.

And so glad I did.

I’m sore.

But tomorrow since I have an early start at work, I won’t be going to yoga, I figure it will be ok, my shoulders will rest up and get a little reprieve.

Not too much of a reprieve though, I want to make sure that I continue with the habit of going to the studio, it feels really good.

The best part might be the floating walk home from the studio to the house.

It really is a divine little walk.

And though it was chilly today, the sun was out and I felt happy to be alive and ready to face the day.

One step at a time.

One moment at a time.

One unsweetened vanilla almond milk cafe au lait, at a time.

A nice breakfast, the aforementioned coffee, and a lot of morning writing.

One of my ladies no showed this afternoon and I had an extra hour.

But one of my ladies did and that was great, to catch up, to do some reading, to talk about the holidays and our plans for travel.

I also started wrapping up some Christmas presents.

Yeah.

Like that.

Because it makes me happy to give gifts and because it makes me happy to see them nestled up underneath the Christmas tree.

They won’t be there for very long, most of them will get sent off to my sister and nieces and to my mom.

A couple of small ones for friends in my cohort and the rest are for my best friend and her family back in Wisconsin.

I still need to get my boys, the boys I take care of, something, I usually do, I just haven’t figured it out yet.

I did find them very sweet cards though, I want my last Christmas present to them to be reflective of our time together and the cards are quite fitting.

One is a “I love you to the moon and back,” for the four-year old.

And the other is “you are my sunshine,” for the six-year-old.

Both with lots of glitter and sparkles, as they are both partial to all things shiny.

Speaking of cards.

I even sent out my first batch of Christmas cards.

I got seven cards off in the mail today.

I roasted a fucking chicken people and then made soup.

I’m impressing myself all over the place.

But.

I will say.

l am knackered and just about ready for bed.

Which is still a little ways off, but closer than my typical night since I’ll be up at 6 a.m. tomorrow for the start of my very, very, very long week.

Four days of work followed by three days of school followed by five days of work.

I won’t have another day off until December 17th.

Sigh.

The day before my birthday.

And I might be spending that entire day working on my Psychopathology paper since it has to be sent in by the 19th and fuck if I’m going to be writing a paper on my birthday.

I had to take a final on it once and that blew.

I would rather have the day free and clear.

Ah.

I get a head of myself.

There is time and there is time.

There always is.

 

 

Time for you and time for me,

And time yet for a hundred indecisions,

And for a hundred visions and revisionsm

Before the taking of toast and tea.

 

Write It Out

November 7, 2016

To work it out.

I’m so grateful for my little old blog.

It does help me with the practice, with the writing, with the working it out so that I can work it out on paper too.

I just wrapped up another paper for school.

One more down.

One more step down the long, winding road toward becoming a therapist.

I wrote a nice paper, it was good, I liked it, I’m actually quite happy with it and I don’t have to worry about it over the upcoming week.

Next weekend I have another I have to do.

It’s twice the length and will need to be a lot more focused and detailed.

I started in on some of the reading that I will need to do for it today as well.

I had a full day, but it was good and I am very happy to say that I wasn’t nearly as anxious writing this paper as I have been before.

I did clean and cook like a house a fire.

There is something about having to write a paper that really does motivate me to have a sparkling clean house, fresh sheets on my bed, laundry folded and put away, groceries in the fridge and dinner cooking on the stove.

Plus I met with a lady and did some doing the deal and some reading and that really helps too.

I love that my house is so clean and tidy and smells delicious.

I actually made two different things today, a little extra food prep the weekends before I have a big paper due helps me out.

So.

I made chicken soup with the leftover roasted chicken I had.

And.

I made something new today that I had a hankering to try–coconut curry chicken with cauliflower, green pepper, onions, and carrots.

I don’t often make curry dishes, but I made something similar for the family on Friday and wanted to try it with my own little twist and I rather like it.

It could use a little tweaking, but really, I did pretty good for only having cooked a curry once before this.

It feels nice to have yummy food in my fridge and freezer, soup in Mason jars, clean sheets  on my bed, washed rugs in the bathroom, and that paper done.

That is really a good feeling.

I do have lots to read this week and it’s going to be a long week.

I’ll be doing a full 40 hours this week.

The boys are out of school on Thursday and Friday.

I’m ok with it, though it means less time for me to study, it does mean more money in my pocket and that will partially make up for the time I am taking off around Thanksgiving to go visit my school friend in Nevada.

I’m super happy to go hang out with her and amazed, freaking amazed that it’s November.

How does the time go by so quickly?

I suppose it helps that my days are full and busy.

Full and busy.

Next thing you know it will be Christmas.

The days they do fly by.

I was sharing with the lady I met with today that the time it does speed up, it does go faster, and there are so many things that I want to do.

I mean.

I could have done fifteen other things in addition to what I did do this weekend.

But.

I don’t have the time for it all.

I am however, grateful that I have been letting myself do a little more socially, a little bit more fellowship, a little more out in the world.

It’s a balance.

I’m not sure how that balance is going to look for next weekend.

I’m not certain I can squeeze in a date or an outing around needing to work on the paper.

I don’t have plans.

I’m going to allow myself a little fellowship either Friday night or Saturday night, but mainly it’s going to look a lot like staying home and doing the paper.

Oh, the papers.

I do feel that I’m getting better at organizing them and knowing what I need to address.

I actually wrote an outline of the one I did today.

I reviewed the readings, stuck some post it notes to the parts I wanted to cover, reviewed the directions in the syllabus and then I sat back and did the thing that helps me to push through.

One.

I prayed.

Yeah, I know, sounds hokey, but alleviates the stress of having to be perfect, I just remind myself that I need to show up and the words will come.

Two.

I finished cooking dinner and washed the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen.

I knew if I was going to write I needed to have it all done and put away or the dishes in the sink would be having a conversation with me while I wrote.

Three.

I took a picture of the notes and books and post it notes and I put it up on social media.

It’s a kind of accountability that I have found works surprisingly well.

Four.

I turned off the volume on my phone and flipped it face down so I would not see incoming messages, texts, or social media updates.

No distractions.

I also turned off the jazz, although I do love me some Sunday afternoon jazz listening, the music distracts.

Then I wrote.

I wrote the 1,956 words in one hour.

Don’t hate.

That’s why I love my blog so.

I have the practice of doing it consistently and the typing just flies out and so when I’m getting ready to write a paper, I remind myself of that.

And that it is a gift.

And an accomplishment.

I have been putting in the work, the practice, the blogging for years.

It is the culmination of that practice that I am grateful for, that helps me so when I have to do the writing.

Now.

Just to slog through the rest of the week with work and do as much reading as I can before next weekend.

I’m sure I’ll find some fun along the way.

Fingers crossed.

But if I don’t I’m ok with getting these papers addressed.

It’s a gigantic gift to get to be in graduate school.

Huge.

And now.

It’s a gift to wrap this up and watch a little video before bed.

I’ve got an early start tomorrow.

But it will feel very good knowing I have another paper behind me finished.

Yippee!

Here’s to starting off the week on the upswing.

Seriously.

 

 

 


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