Posts Tagged ‘Christmas cards’

Is It Over Yet?

December 7, 2018

Normally this would be a lament about the holidays and being overwhelmed with being cheery and bright.

But frankly I can’t wait for that shit.

No.

I’m on the “can this semester please be over yet?” tip.

I’m feeling pretty done.

I have to finish one book, which has been decent if not scintillating material, do one more big discussion post on that book, write a ten page paper, a twelve page paper, and do a creative piece (of my choosing, thank God) that encapsulates the material of one of my classes.

Meaning I have thee big things yet to do.

The book reading is just reading, it does involve effort, but hey, I can sit at the laundry mat on Sunday and kick it out.

The papers are where the big effort comes in.

I mean.

The things that I need to cover are deep and conceptual and complex.

I have to use language I’m just beginning to get the hang of and I have to write on concepts that are deep and multi-layered, plus, god damn, I have just read so much this semester I’m not sure exactly where to go for my references.

I have a lot of them.

I also feel like I’m going to have to go back in and re-read a bit, not heavily, I really don’t see that happening, but I will have to have a good sit down with my materials, articles, videos, books, and discussion posts and see what jumps out at me.

I am very grateful that I did my book review a week early and got it out-of-the-way.

I have already gotten quite a good amount of feedback from my TA in that class and my professor, who also noted that I had very satisfactorily submitted all the deliverables for the class.  I could probably send in a pretty picture and a poem for my final project and I would pass the class easily.

Of course.

I won’t do that.

I do want to do something that integrates my whole experience and I have a few thoughts and ideas to explore before I really have to knuckle down.

But as this project and the ten page paper are both due the 17th of the month I need to attend to one this weekend and then to the other next weekend.

I will use the time between at work for finishing reading and posting to my last, thank God, discussion thread for the semester.

I don’t really want to write the ten page paper this weekend, I really just want to chuck it all and go Christmas shopping.  I haven’t at all and I have just barely begun writing a few Christmas cards.

My mom sent me a message yesterday that both my birthday and Christmas presents are in the mail.

ARGH.

I have nothing in the mail.

Well, except for the three cards I have managed to write out in between supervision this morning and work, clients yesterday and work, therapy and being a therapist, and all the school work.

I am allowing myself a compromise as far as it all goes, since my Trauma training on Sunday was cancelled and I have five extra hours in my day that I wasn’t expecting to work on the paper.

Therefor I resolve to let myself go Christmas shopping on Saturday after clients and appointments.

I will try to do it all in one fell swoop.

I actually don’t have a ton of folks to buy for, so it shouldn’t be too hard, mostly I just like the idea of going out and buying some nice things for people I love and then maybe a little something for myself too.

I am on the fence about Sunday, as far as scheduling stuff goes.  Even with the Trauma training being cancelled I still have household duties to do and I’ll be meeting a lady in the afternoon to do the deal and my person in the evening and I really want to get my Christmas tree.

I am just wondering if I use it as a carrot or if I just get the tree early and then whatever time I have left in the day before I meet my person in the evening I will then devote to working on the paper.

Either way, it will get worked on.

I am not going to pressure myself to getting it all done, but I am going to take a really big swing at it and then give myself the week to let it stew and process and hopefully refine it as much as possible.

Considering that the paper is the only paper (well, I have written a lot in the discussion posts) example of my writing this professor is really going to get and he’s the guy that designed this PhD program, I kind of want to blow him out of the water.

Kind of.

Ha.

I really want it to be a good paper.

Which means I have to not do the whole thing in one fell swoop.

I can do that, in fact, I have done that for a number of the papers for my other classes this semester, but I usually have a plan and the papers tended to be towards creative things that I was able to crank them out.

This paper feels like it has to be a bit more thoughtful.

Anyway.

Enough with the school stuff.

I posted up another discussion before starting this blog, so I can say that with no compunctions.

I want to wrap up my day, I was up at 6a.m. for group supervision before work, and have some tea and watch some Peaky Blinders.

Yes.

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And I Will Be Driving

January 2, 2018

All week.

No scooter for me that I can see for the next six to seven days.

Rain.

Loads of rain in the forecast.

Tomorrow it looks like it went from forecasted rain to just overcast, but I think I will take my car anyway, just in case and because I really like driving it.

I reflected on that as I was helping my person run a little errand from his house, I got to spend a really lovely afternoon with him catching up, checking in, and doing the deal.

He’s doing really well, but gets tired fast.

We did a walk around the block after chatting for an hour and a half and then an errand to the bank, he was done in by the time I got him back to his house.

A very sweet little abode up in the upper part of Noe Valley at Caesar Chavez and I think 27th.

He’s been there for twenty years.

A gorgeous little one bedroom with the sweetest view.

I joked that I wanted it when he dies.

“Girleen, you’ll be with someone long before then and you and your man will want more space than I have here.”

He made a good point, it would be cramped for two people, but I have to say I had a little apartment envy considering it’s a little more than twice the size of my studio and he pays much less than I pay and he has windows, so many windows, hella jealous of the light, but super grateful he’s in a really good spot.

Anyway.

It was good to get face to face time.

We do a lot of phone check ins, I might call him every day, just leaving a message to touch base, and at least once a week we do a longer check in, and then we meet when my schedule allows, once his hip is fully healed there will be more regular face to face meetings.

I’m super grateful for him, he helps me so much with my perspective and my way of being in the world and he is a marvelous witness to my journey, he’s family really.

I have told him that should I get married he would be the person giving me away.

He’s the only man who I could fathom walking me down an aisle.

He sees me and for that I am graced.

I’ve been working with him now for about four years and he’s seen me through a lot.

I did not have much more on my plate today than seeing him.

I got up, after sleeping in, last time I’ll be sleeping in for a while, and went to yoga.

I didn’t have to bargain too hard with my brain to go and I had a good work out.

I really do want to get in more yoga classes, I realized today that going three days over the long weekend really made a difference, I could tell how different my body felt and some poses were much easier with just another day of practice thrown into the mix.

I could sneak into the 7 a.m. yoga class tomorrow, it would end by 8:15 a.m.

I’d have to fly home, shower, and dress lickety split and be on the road by 8:45/9 a.m.

I have therapy at 9:30 a.m. in Noe Valley before work.

Yes.

It all starts back up tomorrow.

Work, therapy, seeing clients.

It’s not a full week with clients, I still have a few that are out-of-town, so it will be a nice easing back into the week.

What will be nice is that the kids will be back in school, which means a little less frenzy at the house in the mornings and some solo work with just the baby.

Back to work tomorrow.

Back to therapy.

It will be good.

I feel like I have come through an interesting time with the holidays.

And I’m grateful for the experiences I got to have, I learned a lot about myself, my expectations, and what I need in my life and what love means to me and how to work on cultivating that in my life.

I am loved.

And I’m not unaware of it.

I am grace with it.

It is like a sun halo on my heart.

A field of eider-down puffs and late afternoon light strained through honey.

This love that catches at my heart like breezes through summer trees.

I am adorned with it.

I got to see it very clearly today in my chat with my person and I am once again awed by all that I have.

Gratitude in spades, gratitude for my life, my experiences, for getting to be the woman I am, for what I have.

It’s not conventional, my life, and fuck, you know, I’m grateful for that too.

I believe I live a more passionate and alive life than most and I wouldn’t trade it for some one else’s trumped-up ideas of stability.

I have so very much.

And I am so very alive.

I am also grateful that I took care of my house today and got myself ready for the week.

I took down the Christmas tree, wrapping up all the ornaments, rolling up the lights, taking down the Christmas cards, packing things away.

All done for another year.

It was the right time to do it and I’m glad I didn’t leave the tree up longer, although for a minute my heart was just not into dismantling it.

I have some very sweet memories of my time with said Christmas tree this year and wrapping up all the ornaments and putting them in my Christmas box really highlighted the holiday I got to have that was similar and completely dissimilar to any other Christmas I have had.

So many lovely memories.

Nestled into tissue paper and carefully tucked away in my precious box of ornaments.

And today is the first day of a new year.

So much is going to happen.

I can feel it.

A pricking in my fingers.

A tingling in my bones.

Electricity in my blood.

This year is going to blow the lid off.

Just you wait.

It’s going to be a hell of a year.

Watch me.

Almost

December 10, 2017

I am so close to being finished with this semester.

One more class tomorrow.

9a.m. to noon.

Then I am done.

I’ll be doing a sushi lunch with my best girlfriend in the cohort after class to celebrate.

I can’t decide if I’m going to come home and kick out the last paper or just collapse in a heap on my bed.

It does not help that the professor extended the due date until December 18th.

Not really what I wanted.

Because now I could technically procrastinate the paper until next weekend.

I won’t, but it’s a possibility, it’s a temptation.

But really what I want is to finish the fucking semester tomorrow, which means writing and turning in that last paper.

I have some ideas about what I want to write on so I just need to sit, review my notes, review the readings I have done and leap in.

I suspect I could have it written before the sun goes down.

And then I can run up to 45th and Judah to the Christmas tree lot and get myself a Christmas tree and celebrate that I am done with the semester and maybe even wrap a few presents or write a couple of cards.

I’m a little late to the cards, normally I would have already sent some out, but this semester has been my toughest by far with the amount of work and the load that I am carrying.

But I’m making it through.

I turned in my last hard copy paper today that I needed to do and I nailed my final project presentation.

All I have to do is show up and sit through the lecture tomorrow and the last group of presenters and that’s it.

It would be tempting to skip, I’ve turned in the final paper, done the final presentation, there’s really nothing else that I need to do for the class.

But.

It doesn’t feel right to not sit and bear witness to my classmates who haven’t had a chance yet to present as well as say thank you to the professor, especially since he came out to hear me do my lecture on Tuesday.

Something I was very flattered by.

Very.

So.

Yeah.

Show up tomorrow and just do the last bit of the class and then a nice sushi lunch with my friend.

I had thought about going and doing Open Studio’s in the Mission, my friend has a studio, Hold The Phone, and I wanted to pick up some art from her.

And my boss has an open studio too at Art Explosion studios which is right in the same neighborhood.

But I have been thinking it might feel a little too much like going into work and I’m not sure that I want to re-route to the Mission from Hayes Valley.

I suspect that the best use of my time is going to be getting on my scooter, get the fuck home, write the damn paper and get it done.

After that I will allow myself some fun.

Write the paper, write the paper, write the paper.

Finish the semester out and be done with it.

One month break.

From school anyway.

Work will be work and my internship will be happening.

But I’ve already had a lot of my clients tells me that they have holiday plans.

I will have some slow weeks there I feel and that’s ok.

I may have some clients transitioning out as well, I’m not sure yet, I’ll know more this week.

I will also have my sit down with the family I work with and sign a new contract.

I’m a little nervous about that, but there’s really nothing to be worried about, every time I work with the family I am told how much I am appreciated and how much I help and I know I do a good job.

It will just be a sit down and a chat and yeah, signing a new contract.

And for a month I’ll not have to write papers or read or attend classes.

It will be a nice break.

Plus I’ll have two three day weekends in a row–Christmas and New Year’s are both on a Monday, so I’ll get a three-day weekend with each holiday.

That will be really nice.

Maybe I’ll take my little car on a tiny road trip.

Go see some lighthouses.

Maybe go see the monarch migration in Santa Cruz.

Maybe go across the bridge and up north a little, get some oysters at Hog Island.

I don’t know.

I’ll have some time and I suspect that a little jaunt out of the city may be a good thing for me.

Or I could just go over the bridge and drive to Stinson beach.

I haven’t been to Stinson or Muir beach in a long time.

In fact.

I think the last time I was at Stinson was right before I moved to Paris five years ago.

Wow.

Yeah.

That can’t be right.

I’ve got something nudging my memory, but I can’t place it.

Oh, I know, I did a motorcycle ride there with an ex boyfriend three years ago.

Anyway.

My brains fried, it’s been a busy weekend with school and really, a busy last few weeks of constant working, reading, writing, and preparing for lectures, papers, presentations.

No wonder I can’t remember.

Time to wrap this up and make some tea.

My bed is calling to me in no uncertain terms.

Good night.

Almost There

December 7, 2017

I knocked out some more school work tonight after I got home from work.

Wednesday nights I don’t see clients and I had the wherewithal after work to not only get laundry done and make a batch of soup for the weekend, but actually to also do the final prep work for my group presentation that is my final project for my Transpersonal class on Saturday.

I got the e-mail announcing the last weekend of the school semester and a note about where my classes will be over the weekend.

I’m so close to being done.

I have a dream reflection paper to write-up yet, but that’s it.

At least for what’s do for the weekend.

One more paper will have to be written.

One more.

And then I can let myself have some holiday fun.

I really do want to get my Christmas tree this Sunday.

I keep seeing trees and holiday stuff and it doesn’t really connect with me yet, I have no time to think about it.

Or I haven’t.

Even though I have gotten a few things here and there and have Christmas cards and stamps and things to wrap and things to send.

I just can’t get to it until after I get my school work finished.

Once the semester wraps I will let myself unwind.

I’m not nearly as wound up as I was last weekend, thank God.

I could not have sustained that level of anxiety for long.

And now that the lecture has been done I have one less thing to think about on my plate.

It was a really sweet thing to get to be a part of and I received a very sweet e-mail from the producers who relayed that once the video is up they will let us know as well as asking that we all get together for a dinner together.

I think that would be very sweet.

Some of the other lecturer’s ducked out quite quickly and I didn’t get to say good night to everyone.

It would be nice to reconnect, have dinner, process the experience and well, just have a nice meal with people I have come to really like and respect.

Really glad I was able to pull it together and get to be a part of it.

I had such a nice response to my piece, all those nice words still are resonating.

Although, softly, and fading quickly as I move towards the weekend.

I have clients tomorrow to contend with so very happy with myself for doing the work on my final group project and getting my household stuff wrapped and taken care of.

I’ll probably do a few more things in the morning too before I go to work, but I’m not going to stress too hard.

I have all my papers in my folder, those that I didn’t already send in via e-mail, and my worksheets that I made as part of my presentation and all my food prepped for the weekend.

I’m basically ready.

Albeit a bit tired.

It’s been a big push to get here.

I am so nearly done.

I keep telling myself that I will be done by Sunday and then I can enjoy myself.

By going right back into work.

Hahahaaha.

Ugh.

That’s the bummer about the weekend of class work, it really means no time off.

I won’t have to go to work, so there’s at least a break in the kind of work I have to do, school work rather than work, work.

But I’ll still have clients.

One tomorrow night and I need to follow-up with that client and see if he wants my earlier slot, my first client tomorrow cancelled.

Friday I also only have one client.

So I’ll at least be done a little early, it was my late client who cancelled, so I’ll be out by a decent hour Friday night for which I’m very grateful for.

There.

I just sent my client a note notifying of the earlier availability.

It would really be nice to be home by 8p.m.

Really nice.

I’ll do client advocacy work if the client doesn’t pick it up, I always have something I can do, but yeah, fingers crossed I can get the earlier time slot filled.

I’d rather get the extra hour at home, at least this week.

Oof.

I am tired.

I totally lost my train of thought.

I may just wrap this up and wind down.

A quick cup of tea and a little snack and off to bed.

I think that is exactly what I will do.

Goodnight.

And.

Sweet dreams.

Really.

The absolute sweetest.

End Days

December 15, 2016

I had my last day with the family up in Noe Valley today.

My key ring is just a little bit lighter.

And my heart a little bit softer and sad.

But a sweet kind of sad.

A grateful kind of melting in my heart, all the brood wrapped up in a blanket on the couch, even the dog cuddled under my arm, the oldest boy reading his own book, the middle boy and I counting meerkats in the find the meerkat book, and the littlest girl on my lap intermittently reading Pete the Cat with me.

It was pretty awesome.

We even had a special bubble bath, heaps of bubbles and finger painting soap.

It was hilarious.

I was a little remiss to discover that I had the full afternoon to myself and the baby and the boys were getting picked up by grandma to do cookie baking.

I had thought I would have all three the whole day.

I had plans.

Oh well.

But.

I still got to have some time alone with all of them and it was good.

I also kicked myself a little for not bringing my Psychopathology with me to work on, I could have knocked out another couple of hours.

But this morning I decided I wasn’t going to lug around all the books and notebooks, I have never had a Wednesday when I was able to get time alone to do homework.

Let alone breathe, most of the time juggling three is a new level of nannying for me.

It was good practice though and the experience will not be lost on me as I transition to the next family and their soon to be three children–mom is due on December 30th.

I start on January 2nd.

That’s not so far away and yet feels like years away.

So much in between here and there.

Just knocking them out day by day.

Doing yoga.

Got up again today and went.

It was hard.

Super fucking hard.

There are some poses that my body just can’t get to, I’m too tight, too stiff, have had too much damage done, bad ankles, bad knees.

I leaked tears.

I have a really hard time doing any of the squatting poses and I tried, I really did, but between the shoulder that’s been a pester and my ankles being awful (I mean I may have sustained that ankle injury two years ago, but that bitch flairs up all the time, ALL the time) I ended up seizing up.

My legs cramped.

I got a Charley horse.

And my foot began to cramp.

I fell out of the pose and tried to catch my breath in child’s pose while the rest of the class blithely went about doing it as if it were nothing.

I cried, but it was not an angry kind of cry.

It was sort of surrendering to the moment cry and the tears were yes because I was in pain, but also, there was some emotional baggage there that I just didn’t even realize until a little more time had pass and the class was winding down.

As I lay there on the mat, eyes closed, tears sliding down my face, I made an amends to myself.

Out of nowhere, this part of me just sobbed, inside, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”

And then.

I forgave myself.

I beat my body up.

I used my body as a shield.

I over ate to protect my too tender heat not realizing how harmful it was going to be later down the line.

I took relief and succor where I could find it.

It did not serve.

My brain perhaps, it alleviated the pain of being in my body, in this world, with all the suffering contingent therein.

I didn’t know any better.

And I did the best I could.

I wore shitty shoes and didn’t exercise and ate crap for decades.

Until I didn’t.

But it took awhile and instead of going to that place I do sometimes in my brain when I want to explain to everyone around me why I can’t do something, why my body, older by far than the whippet lithe bodies of twenty year olds around me, wasn’t capable of doing what everyone else could do, I stopped.

I don’t need to tell anyone my story, I don’t need to justify my experience, I don’t have to explain.

I don’t owe anyone an explanation.

All that matters is that I showed up.

And when I think about all the abuse I have been through and all the abuse I have heaped upon myself and all the things I put into my body, well, fuck, thank  God I still have a body to walk around in, to do yoga in, to make love in, to sleep in, to enjoy eating food in.

Because if life were fair.

I’d be dead.

Seriously.

So as I lay on that mat, softly tearing up, welling with emotions, I forgave myself, I forgave myself for it all and I made a promise, to my body, from my heart, I will do the best I can to take care of you, body, I will love you and nourish you and treat you kindly and exercise and keep showing up for yoga and it will be a life long amends.

I felt soothed and relieved and wiped out and it wasn’t even time to go to work yet.

A hot shower.

A hot cup of coffee.

Some oatmeal.

And work.

And love.

And yeah, so I didn’t get to that paper today, it would have been interrupted anyway, I did have a wonderful day with the baby and the boys and I took a long walk and I wrote the last of my Christmas cards and I sent out little reminders to friends about Sunday and brunch on my birthday.

My birthday feels so far away.

Until I finish the last paper, it all feels very far away.

Anyway.

Right here.

Right now.

I’m tired.

I’m going to make some more tea and snuggle into my cozy bed, watch my Christmas tree, revel in my body, grateful for all the places it has carried me today.

So grateful to be in this body.

Especially.

As I sit quietly waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in.

Seriously.

Let Go

December 14, 2016

Move the fuck on.

“Block his number,” my person said succinctly and to the point.

HOLY FUCK.

I had not thought of that.

Then I thought.

Shit.

That’s the right thing to do.

I just unfriended as well off social media and each small step was a little moving in the right direction.

There’s nothing wrong with the guy, fyi, in case you’re wondering.

What’s wrong or perhaps not quite right, or perhaps better yet, what wasn’t working for me, is that I was falling into the same stupid trap again.

Better to let go the person and move the fuck on.

I don’t do myself or anyone else a service when I’m up in fantasy land.

And it wasn’t that good, I remind myself.

No.

It wasn’t bad either, it just didn’t serve, it wasn’t good for me, it didn’t fulfill my heart, I was left wanting a lot more and wanting more from a person who is not capable of offering more is something that I do and I have often crumpled in the face of change, when oh, that rut is so comfy and I know it so well.

And.

Didn’t you see?

I just redecorated and got a new couch for the space.

Fuck me.

I expressed to my person today that I was actually relieved that the guy I was supposed to spend time with last night cancelled.

But in a twist I wasn’t expecting my person added, you deserve to be respected, block his number.

What?

You mean I deserve the time of day, the respect of my schedule, that my needs are important.

Stop the fucking presses.

Yes.

Of course.

And if I don’t step up to that it’s my own damn fault.

So rather than fall down that hole again, Alice decided to take the elevator up to the top of the hill and look around.

See what she can see.

I see yoga in my future.

Signed up for a class tomorrow.

Went today.

Hella stiff and sore and snaggle toothed and old, man I just felt stupid and old.

Then, as I relaxed a little, I did think to myself, lady pants you sat in a desk chair at school for 29 hours, of course your body is out of whack, and you didn’t get more than five or six, max, and I do mean max, hours of sleep for the last four nights.

Give yourself a break and be happy you showed up to the mat.

Expectations always do take me down.

They just lead to resentment.

And a life lived on resentment is not one I wish to have.

Nope.

This lady is all about happy and fun.

Let me repeat that.

Happy.

And.

Fun.

Fun does not need to be roller coasters.

Fun can be writing Christmas cards or sending packages in the mail.

I got my oldest niece her gift today, I saw it last week at Rainbow and was quite taken with it, granted it was more expensive than I had planned on spending, art supplies, but, fuck, I just knew it when I saw it, had her name written all over it.

So.

I got it.

And then I mailed her card and my mom’s Christmas package and my sister’s too, which included a few things for my youngest niece.

It really felt so sweet and good to put their packages in the mail.

I feel blessed that I can send them gifts.

It wasn’t always that way and there were years and lapses in time that I didn’t send my family gifts.

It feels right to make up for that now and to continue fostering connections.

Even if it’s just a card in the mail.

It means I love you.

I do you know.

So much.

Breaks my heart.

I’m ok with that, heart break, I’ve had my share, I’ll probably have more before my days here on this plane are done.

And that’s ok too.

It means I’m alive.

What a fucking gift, this, to be alive, to be in this skin.

It’s not perfect, but it’s mine and I’m ever so grateful for it.

Yup.

A beautiful gift that I get to treat well and respect and care for and love.

I’m getting better at that all the time.

And I do deserve respect.

It felt good to remind myself of that this afternoon.

I had made the phone call check in to my person this afternoon while I was at the beginning of my work shift, although certainly not the beginning of my day–that had started hours and hours before I even got to work.

But I did not block the phone number until late in the afternoon.

When.

Ha.

I was wondering vaguely in the back of my head if he was going to text me today and what would I say and.

What the fuck, Martines?!

Ugh.

Block the number now.

It’s like a dangerous default, I don’t even know my brain is going there.

This is why I work with people, this is why I make myself accountable to others, their perspectives are so fucking important.

I walk around with god damn blinders on.

“He’s totally interested in you,” my girlfriend said to me years and years ago.

“No he’s not, he’s gay,” I told my friend.

“Gay?  Are you out of your mind, he’s literally beating your face with his penis, Carmen, he’s so not gay,” my friend said with incredulity, then dipped her french fry into the pool of ranch dressing on her plate.  “Seriously, he has a great big boner for you and it’s a not a gay boner.”

Turns out.

He wasn’t gay.

Once in a while.

I think.

Oh, look, a new perspective, I’ve taken off  the blinders.

But.

You know.

I’m always in my way.

I’m the one thing in my way.

So, pray to God, I’m serious, get the fuck out of your own way.

Go have fun.

Go play pinball.

Go to yoga.

Let go.

Move on.

And don’t worry.

You’re on a collision course with what is supposed to happen.

You just can’t see around the corner.

You’re not blind.

But you’re not a mind reader either.

Just saying.

You Mean Your 33rd

December 12, 2016

There is no way you’re in your 40s!

Thanks darling.

That was nice to hear.

I was texting with a friend in regard to my birthday brunch next Sunday at Zazie’s in Cole Valley.

One week left of 43.

Not that I’m counting.

I’m grateful for my age, my authenticity, my life, my person, this body of experiences of heart aches and belly laughs, or sorrow and pain and vast oceans of gratitude, love, and happiness.

I get to encompass so much.

For that I am grateful.

I am also grateful for more affirmations of myself, my abilities, and my work, I received some amazing feed back from my Psychopathology professor today.

I got back my mid-term paper from her.

I was actually a bit nervous, she’s the professor I asked for a letter of recommendation from and I want to impress her (hell fire, I want to impress everyone, truth be told) and she’s the professor that’s got the biggest paper yet to do ahead for me to have the semester of work completed.

I got an “A.”

I was blown away.

Especially as she was explaining her grading scale yesterday in class to a student she hasn’t had before in class; who was asking with the same anxiety that I remember having so well when I first started taking classes with this professor (I will also have her next semester for Trauma), how she graded her papers and assigned grades for the class.

The professor explained and basically expressed that a good grade was an A-.

The a decent grade was a B+.

You don’t want to get less than a B in grad school, FYI.

A B- or a C+ you might as well be failing the class.

That an exemplary, you went above and beyond was what it took to warrant an “A” for her class.

That I got an “A” on my mid-term paper boggles my mind.

After her explanation, which I just summarized, there’s a little more behind how she grades, I was sitting in class thinking I definitely had gotten a B+ for the paper and if I was lucky, perhaps an A-.

I got an “A!”

Fuck yes!

And fuck me.

Now the pressure is more on than before to produce a good final last paper for her.

Especially after the end note she left on my paper: “Carmen, this is by far the most heartfelt, touching, and comprehensive psychopathology paper ever!  You show a deep integration between your personal experience and conceptual understanding.  I appreciate the seamless ways in which you wove in the material from McWilliams (one of the text books I referenced in conjunction with the DSM V)–I can see how much you have made this material your own.  Impressive!”

I just about fell out of my chair.

And.

Yes.

I did indeed tear up.

It just feels so god damn good to be on the right track, to finally, after so many years of soul searching, have a way forward, a goal, an identity (although certainly only a small facet of who I am, but one in which I get to use all that I am), a career path, and that I get to use all those things, all that soul suffering that I went through, to gain access to that path.

Such a gift.

All the pain was not for naught.

All the experience I have and all the resilience.

I’m just stupid grateful.

Which is good, tis the season after all.

My heart full and warm as I pause and look at my Christmas tree, at the neat stack of Christmas cards I just addressed prior to getting started on this blog, on the soft candle light in my home, the hot tea in my body, I feel replete.

Not quite relieved.

No.

Like I said, there is still another paper to go.

But.

I am inspired, alight, and yes, a little nervous.

One of my friends from Wisconsin whom I am shortly to be visiting, sent me a weather update about the cold, the snow and the negative temperatures and asked if I was still coming.

I had to laugh, the cold is scary, but not enough to scare me off from my trip.

And.

I am so looking forward to seeing my friends, their sweet boys, the snow, the Christmas lights in the snow, the smell of firewood burning in the cold night air–one of my favorite smells of all time, wood fire smoke on a cold night (only to be super ceded by wood fire smoke from a beach bonfire).

I messaged him back that I was indeed still coming and that I was in fact finishing up my final classes of my last weekend of the semester.

He pinged back that he would send me something to read.

I said, NOOOOO.

Not yet.

Nope.

I have to write this paper and now I have this additional problem of having some big expectations for myself around writing a stellar paper.

I loved his response: “what a good problem!”

He’s right.

If I am going to have “problems” in my life, this is certainly one of the better ones to have.

Heh.

Goodness.

I just realized that two weeks from now I’ll be there, in the snow, cozy in their home, my best friend, her husband, their three boys, and it will be Christmas.

I am such a lucky girl.

Friends.

Travel.

Snow at Christmas.

Wrapping up gift boxes to send to my mom and my sister.

Christmas cards addressed and stamped.

Meaning and purpose and a design to take all the soul suffering and transmute it into the language of love.

How many people get to do that?

I am blessed.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And.

Loved.

Yes.

Very much so.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

December 7, 2016

I know.

I know.

I live in San Francisco.

But when it drops below 50 degrees here, it really feels cold.

Add to that a long ride home up and down Diamond Heights and out to the Outer Sunset, to the outer edge of the world, on my scooter late at night.

And.

Yeah.

I am a cold nugget.

Fortunately for an electric tea kettle, boil damn it, I need some hot tea, I should stay alive to make it through the night.

Ha.

I am going to die when I get to Wisconsin.

“You’ll be fine!” A friend of mine said.  “It’s totally different, you’ll be indoors most of the time, there’s heat and insulation galore.”

True that.

It is different living somewhere where there is loads of cold weather infrastructure.

Not so much here in the city by the Bay.

Not much insulation, not much for the heater, but I have a little electric guy in my in-law and it puts it out nicely.

I am very grateful for it.

I have lived in many a cold, drafty, Victorian house without one in my room before.

And that was fucking cold.

I got home.

Turned on the heater, lit up the Christmas tree, and put the water on to boil.

I also wrapped a few more Christmas presents.

I am almost done.

I  picked up the boys their Christmas gifts today, the boys I’m nannying for, the boys I will only get to be taking care of for a couple more weeks.

The parents are taking advantage of me working nights for them and have been going out to a lot of dinners.

Which is nice.

I get the boys to myself.

We turn on the music and eat dinner.

They had three options today, the mom’s having me make extra food and they are freezing it in preparation for my school weekend–beef stew, broccoli soup, or beef stroganoff.

Yeah.

I cook a lot for the family.

But I appreciate doing it and it’s a nice way to show my love for my charges.

Then we had some stories and after wards built four different train tracks.

I cleaned the kitchen, did the boys laundry, and ran them a bubble bath.

We had a very sweet night.

So it was fun to come home from my evening’s speaking engagement up in Diamond Heights and pull out the Christmas presents I had gotten them today and wrap them up.

I had gotten up early, went to yoga, showered, had breakfast and coffee, did some writing, and had some time before work to go shopping.

I knew where I wanted to go and what I wanted to get so I zoomed over to Rainbow Co-op and picked up the last few things I wanted to get for one of my nieces and there they were, the boys Christmas presents.

I knew immediately.

It’s always so sweet when it just happens and it felt so good to pick them up and hold them and softly touch them and put them in my basket.

I got the boys Jelly Cat stuffies.

One large floppy cat, for my little guy who loves his stuffed cat, Meow Meow.

And.

One large floppy bunny, for my older boy, who is my sweet bunny.

My heart got big and I thought about them and all the good cuddles I have gotten to have with them.

I hope that they snuggle their stuffies once in a while and think about me.

I know I will often think about them.

Fact is.

I think about my charges often, they are a great big part of the joy of living that I practice in my life, they are all a part of my journey, and the amount of love I have gotten from the kids I have worked with over the last decade blows me away.

It really does.

OMG.

Hot tea.

I am in heaven.

And I am finally warming up.

So good.

All the things.

I even got to write out a few more Christmas cards today.

I do so love dropping them in the mailbox.

I am a fucking dork.

I don’t care.

I love gifting.

It makes me happy.

It brings me joy.

I like to think about the things that I am giving someone and hopefully the happiness they will get when the receive it.

I spend time thinking and figuring it out.

I rarely, if ever, give gift cards or gift certificates.

They are nice to receive, don’t get me wrong, but I like to make my presents personal.

I like to be tender-hearted, let’s be frank, I am a big old softie.

I get so much from the giving, that really, it’s almost more for me than it is for the person I am giving to.

I want it to be special.

I delighted in writing out my Christmas cards.

I discovered that the cards I bought in Paris at the little gift shop at the end of the Tuileries are vintage postcards!

They are so sweet and adorable.

There weren’t a lot of them, and um, haha, I had to send myself one, I just couldn’t take it, they were so darling.

I usually, actually, send myself a Christmas card too.

I like to hang a spool of green twine, yes there are brown paper packages tied up with string underneath my Christmas tree, and then I have tiny clothes pins that I attach the cards to on the twine.

I drape them down the wall and look at them happily.

I don’t know where exactly I got all the Christmas cheer.

I usually will have a bout of the Christmas time blues too, but so far I have been to busy living life to have that happen.

And.

Well, should the holiday blues come knocking, I’ll be ok with that too, they typically pass pretty quick.

I will gently remind myself that feelings are not facts and that life is good.

It might be cold outside.

But my heart.

Well.

My heart is a bonfire of joy.

Seriously.

 

When It Rains

December 6, 2016

It pours.

I just was offered another nanny gig.

Thanks.

But no thanks.

I just finished and sent off my corrected contract to my newest set of employers.

Two small minor things that needed changing and I will be ready to sign and go onto the next family that I have been given the gift to get to work for.

I have a gift.

I don’t know exactly how it came to be and I don’t often question it, at least I don’t anymore, and I have had it told to me too many times that I do a great job, an amazing job, that I am good with kids.

Oh.

I have had my moments.

Things happen.

I am not perfect.

But.

I am good.

And it would be false humility to not acknowledge that.

And, well, it’s nice to be wanted.

I realized that today as well.

I am not chasing shit.

I am the ball.

I am not chasing.

Not men.

Not relationships.

Not friendships.

Not jobs.

I am done chasing.

I want to have fun.

I want to live my life.

I have a full, busy, awesome life.

I don’t have time for bullshit.

Fuck.

I frankly don’t have time for dating.

And yet.

Ha.

I have two lined up in the next couple of weeks.

One I will sneak in next Monday night because I can and I know what will happen and we have a good time together and there’s nothing that will come of it except a fun night and some bed head.

Ahem.

Like I said.

I am just having fun.

But I am not chasing the fun.

The fun can just come to me, because otherwise, I don’t have the time for it.

I’m too busy.

I have this last weekend of school to deal with, I have one last paper to write.

The second date I lined up is for dinner at Thai Cottage.

AFTER my last paper is due.

We’ll be going out to dinner the day after my last paper is turned in.

He reached out today and we made it happen.

Both of us have been ridiculously busy, he travels a lot for work and well, fuck, the way that I write, blog, and do recovery, besides work and school, hell, it’s like I have two full-time jobs and two part-time ones.

It’s a fucking wonder I get any sleep.

We’ve gone out twice before, this is the third date.

It’s not going anywhere, he lives out-of-town too far, but hey, some fun will be had and I am just saying yes to what is being presented to me.

Again.

Not chasing.

Keeping focused on what is in front of me and how I can best serve this part of my life.

I miss my friends.

I miss my social life.

I miss going out and doing social type things.

But I have a goal.

I have a trajectory and I am so proud of myself for sticking to it and doing the work.

Fuck.

I do a lot of work.

Today I at work the baby took a long nap and I was able to start the process of writing my final paper for Psychopathology.

I went through all my notes.

I reviewed a bunch of the readings.

I broke out the post-it notes.

I saw the arc of the paper, it’s going to be a doozy.

But.

I know I can write it and I know where I need to go next.

I’m probably going to do an outline of it and organize my notes around that outline, index all my references and sit down with that outline and write from point to point to point.

I think the actual writing is going to take about four, possibly five hours.

Which could potentially be done in one day.

It’s feasible people.

I can write that much in a day, absolutely, fuck I wrote 4,000 + words yesterday, but that paper I wrote was only 7 pages, this one will be 18-20 (that paper was also not 4,000 words, it was closer to 2,000, I was also counting the blog and the morning pages I wrote), but I can write that much in a day when it’s like this blog–stream of conscious.

Fuck.

I could write like this all day long, don’t tempt me.

I probably should try it one day just to see what kind of idiocy climbs out of my brain.

There are so many times that I have no idea what is going to come up in the blog and it really is a fantastic witnessing of how my brain works.

I also know how my brain works best when writing my papers now.

I have to do certain things in a certain way, and my brain is busy cooking on the back burners, even now, as I blog, things are shuffling around back there.

I figured out what the diagnosis was for the client.

Now I have to outline my assessment, what the symptoms are that are being presented, how I came to the decision, what other possible diagnoses it could be, an in-depth psycho-analytic underpinning of how the symptoms are presenting, what’s going on in the mind, basically, the defenses employed, why they are being employed and how, and how that speaks to the clients history, life, and current presentations, and then how would I treat it.

Yeah.

That’s some fucking work.

It shouldn’t actually be hard to come up with the 18-20 pages.

What it is, is a task of organizing and laying out in a neat way all the steps that I took to get where I am going.

I suspect I will learn a lot more about myself and my way of thinking and how I am as a clinician, which is not necessarily my goal, but will be an interesting by-product of the work.

I already have learned more than I think I know just spelling out the paper here.

I have miles to go and I don’t know when I will next get a chance to work on it, it may not happen until after I get through the school weekend and the wedding and the rest of the work week.

But.

It will get done.

And in between here and there.

A little fun.

A few more Christmas cards to write out.

A few more yoga classes to get to.

Life.

Full.

Amazing.

Happening all the time.

Right here.

Right fucking now.

Good times.

 

Feeling Back To Normal

November 28, 2016

Even if my Internet is slow and wonky.

I’m feeling much better.

Today may be my first official “normal” day since the whole “she’s got lice” fabulousness went down.

So relieved to be back into my own regular schedule and getting out and about in the world.

Even if all the out and about was scootering from one hard ware store to the next.

I went to six, SIX, different hard ware stores trying to get the blue ceramic Christmas tree lights I wanted.

No one had them.

Sad face.

Cole Fox Hardware in Cole Valley.

Nope.

Ace Hardware in the Outer Sunset on Noriega.

Nope.

Ace Hardware in the Castro.

Nope.

The hard ware store on Haight, which I forget what the name is.

The hard ware store in the Inner Sunset on Irving.

Nope.

And more nope.

I even went to Sloat Garden Center.

Nada.

I know, it’s a garden center, but I thought, well, they sell Christmas trees, maybe they’ll sell Christmas lights too.

The one place I for sure thought I would be able to get them, Ace Hardware in the Castro, were out, and the check out person was sad too, “shoot! Those were the ones I was going to get too.”

Ah well.

Next year.

I did find some blue LED lights that will work, they’re going to have to, as they’re currently on the tree.

Yes.

I got my tree.

I just figured what with the lonely Thanksgiving I deserved some cheer.

I even did a tiny bit of Christmas shopping.

A little thing for my mom.

A little something for my friend in Wisconsin.

And my sister’s Christmas present.

I do like getting Christmas presents, cheers me right the fuck up.

I like wrapping presents and sending cards.

I’m a bit old-fashioned.

The running around to find the lights led me to the other shopping and I was grateful for that.

I stocked up on some lip balm that I can only seem to find at one or two places and never quite seem to be in the right neighborhood to procure it.

Today being in Cole Valley I popped over to the Upper Haight, ostensibly to check the hardware store on Haight, but being in the hood, I dropped into Loved to Death and picked up my current favorite lip balm.

My favorite they don’t make any more.

I still so wish they did.

But.

The one that I get is pretty dreamy and delicious—from Tokyo Milk.

I got one pot of Salted Carmel, one of Cherry Bourbon, and one Dark Cocoa.

Oh my, so very good.

Yes.

I taste good when you kiss me.

Heh.

Not that there’s any kissing on the menu, I’ve been so isolated these past few days I haven’t had a chance to get out there, plus, well, it’s not really sexy to go on a date and like possibly have lice.

I mean.

I needed to make sure I was not lousing up any one’s day.

Pun intended.

If you know what I mean.

Anyway.

So I got those and I picked up a couple of lovely little things for my mom and sister and best girlfriend in Wisconsin when I was in Cole Valley, at Pharmica.

Lovely little store I used to go into all the time when I worked in Cole Valley.

OH!

Shoot.

I know where I should have gone.

Cliff’s Variety on 18th and Castro.

They would have had them.

Oh well.

Like I said, next year.

I did rather enjoy zooming around the city on my scooter though, ha, add another hardwared store to the list,  I also checked the hardware store on Divisadero and Fell, I really was all over the place, looking for the magical, mystical, fairy blue lights.

I did finally cave and I bought some regular LED blue lights, unfortunately they are a bit brighter than the other two strings of little blue Christmas lights I have, they are a tiny bit overwhelming.

Ah, nothing’s ever perfect.

It’s good enough though.

It really is.

And my tree is lovely.

It has a nice shape and isn’t too tall or too big for my little studio space, but it is bigger than the one I had last year, which was a gift from the man I was hanging out with at the time.

Irony?

He never saw the tree in my house.

That whole month we were pretty estranged, even with the plans to go to Paris.

I was emptying out my Facebook messages yesterday and discovered a cache of messages between the two of us.

Fuck.

That needs to get deleted.

Don’t read them.

Don’t read.

Don’t.

I , um, I started to read a few, then noticed something.

He had finally taken down the photograph I took of him on Christmas Day in front of the Temple Metro station stop in Paris that he was using for his profile picture.

So.

Yes.

Ugh.

I trolled his Facebook page for a moment.

Then.

I went back and deleted every message.

And I did not read them all, no, just the first couple, it was enough and I didn’t need to be feeling anguished, but what I did find, which was good and soft and tender and a tiny bit vulnerable, was that I hoped only for the best for him, that I wished him love and joy and that I was ok.

The reality is I learned a lot from the relationship, even if it some of that learning was painful, I grew like gangbusters.

Pain.

Great fertilizer for spiritual growth.

I mean, like Miracle Gro on steroids.

So.

Happy to be taking care of myself and be out in the world and though it didn’t go how I had hoped, when does it ever? I did have a good day, I got to a yoga class, met with a lady and did the deal, and I got my Christmas tree.

That’s a damn fine Sunday.

I’ll take it.

Please.

And.

Thank you.

 


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