Posts Tagged ‘cohort’

Reading The Fine Print

January 9, 2018

I just went through the handbook for my Master’s program with a fine tooth comb.

The one thing that I have found challenging in my program is the apparent lack of information as well as the over abundance of information.

I feel like there is so much information that just is not applicable to my experience or the learning and then there’s information that I really need, but it’s buried on page 41 of the 50 page handbook.

I’m glad I found it though.

I have gotten a mixed bag of mis-information from fellows in my cohort as well as interns in my group supervision about how many hours I need to have accrued in practicum to graduate.

I need 225 to graduate.

Of those hours I must have 150 direct client hours–sessions with my clients, not phone sessions or e-mails or paperwork or progress work–face to face sessions.

I had thought that I needed 250 direct hours and I was beginning to get a little nervous.

I should not have any problems getting the hours.

Or so I thought.

I have eight clients that I see on a weekly basis.

But.

They cancel.

Or.

They no-show.

And it’s rare, I’m seeing quite clearly now as I just got home early because a client no-showed, that I actually see all eight clients during the week.

So when I was thinking I needed 250 direct face to face hours by May, I started to get concerned.

I won’t make it, it won’t happen, how is that possible?

How is it possible that I am heading into my third semester of practicum and don’t have enough hours?

How?

As of right now I have 240 hours.

But only 130 of them are direct face to face hours.

I felt flummoxed and upset and annoyed and then I begin to berate myself.

Why did I post that stupid thing about graduating in May and filling out my graduation application?

I’m not going to graduate!

Whoa.

Slow down there.

I don’t have enough information.

I realized that I cannot just go on the information drifting about through the hallways at school or in the office where I do my group supervision.

I have to take responsibility and find out that myself.

So I went to the academics page on the school’s website, signed into my account, found my program.

And.

Voila!

There on page 46 of the 49 page hand book:

Students must complete a minimum of 225 hours [at least 150 direct client contact hours plus 75 Client-Centered Advocacy (CCA) hours] while enrolled in practicum prior to graduation.

Sweet Jesus.

I am fucking fine.

I am only twenty hours shy of having the direct client contact hours.

As for client centered advocacy I don’t have nearly that much, I have six hours.

But I do know this much, it doesn’t matter if I don’t get all the client centered advocacy hours, if I have more direct client hours, I can count those towards graduation.

Ultimately it is the face to face sessions that mean the most and I have to acquire the majority of my hours there.

And I also recognize that I could be actively going after more CCA hours as well.

Client centered advocacy could be doing research on a client and their family lineage, it could be watching a movie about alcoholics, it could be reading a CAMFT (California Assoication of Marriage Family Therapists) magazine or a psychology magazine.

Today I actually had some down time at work, and while the baby napped I read a number of articles in a psychology magazine on workaholism and chuckled to myself, multi-tasking, working and also accruing hours, sounds like I’m the workaholic in this instance.

But I’m happy I did the reading as I had that no-show and I was able to mark down another hour.

I think that I will try to acquire two hours of CCA per week as I move forward, more if I can.

I can also read outside articles, books, and go to seminars and do trainings.

But just knowing that I actually have enough moving forward is a bit of a relief.

I was getting a little worried.

I also realize that I am probably going to have to let one client go with whom I have been doing pre-dominantly phone sessions.

I am not allowed to count Telemedicine through my school.

I can towards my license, but not towards my graduation needs.

I want to be safe and make sure that I’m not squandering my time.

I am excited and relieved to have reckoned all of that out and grateful for a really good talk with my solo supervisor today.

Who happened to be quite intrigued with my dissertation idea and to my surprise, completely supports me going for the PhD.

I told him I had actually had hesitation to even mention that I was going to apply for the PhD because I thought he might disapprove of my decision.

But he did not.

And it was amazing to sit and talk to him about my ideas and to also get some really interesting feedback from him and some areas where I will be honing in more.

I made a call to the Dean of the Transformative department after I got out of supervision.

I wasn’t able to talk to her, she was stuck in a budget meeting, but I left a message and I will follow-up tomorrow.

My advisor got back to me and said he would support my efforts and write me a letter of recommendation and we made an appointment to meet the first weekend of classes.

It’s all falling together.

Even when my brain tells me it’s not.

It really is.

So nice.

So.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Nice.

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Graduation Application

January 5, 2018

Holy fuck.

It’s happening.

I mean.

It’s been happening for years now, when I think about it, the getting to graduation bit.

But.

Whoa.

It’s really happening now.

I got a notification from my cohort’s student representative with the program that the deadline for the application to graduate is February 1st.

I have two more weeks before I’m heading back into the first weekend of classes for my last semester and I have to be on this shit in a major way.

There are quite a few hoops to jump through,

I am a tiny bit surprised that there is so much paperwork that has to be done, and at the same time, not at all surprised, the school is small and there often times seems to be a lot of unnecessary hoop jumping on the part of the students.

This is not something new.

So good information to have as I navigate the next couple of weeks before the semester begins, because I will also have another application due in February.

The application to the PhD program through the Transformative Psychology program.

That application is due at the end of the month.

The application to graduate from my Masters in Counseling Psychology will be due the 1st of the month.

Nicely bookending my weekend of classes and all the other things that I need to take care of to get through the month.

Plus.

I am going on a trip in February to the East Coast.

Holy bats.

February is going to be a big fucking month.

And although it’s only January 4th I can feel that this month is going to fly by.

This week certainly has, I was like, wait, what, tomorrow’s Friday?

How the hell did that happen so quick?

Back to clients, back to work, holidays over, get yourself busy.

Gratefully this week really was an easing in.

I didn’t have my solo supervision, that revs back up on Monday, just my therapy this week, and I also did not carry my full load of clients.

I’ve had three this week so far, two of those session were tonight, and I will have a phone session tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.

My last client of the week cancelled.

So I will actually get out in time to do the deal.

Maybe I’ll pop over to Our Lady of Safeway and get right with God.

It’s been a hot second since I’ve been in that neck of the woods.

I’ve a full day Saturday, dentist appointment at 9 a.m., hoping to get out with just a quick cleaning and get back to my neighborhood in time to go to yoga, then a shower, some late breakfast, and getting over to group supervision in the afternoon from 2-4p.m.

I’ll have a lull in between, maybe time to get a manicure.

I’ll hit my spot at 7pm in the NOPA and call it a Saturday.

Sunday I do have a ladybug coming over to do some work and I’m looking forward to that for sure.

Of course, I’ll want to get in a yoga class, and perhaps another bike ride, I really enjoyed doing that.

If the weather holds.

It’s been raining a fuck of a lot the last couple days and it looks like there’s still some more in the upcoming days.

So grateful for my car.

Really, so much.

Especially coming home tonight when the sky just sort of opened up out of nowhere, to not be on my scooter in the rain, such a blessing.

Anyway.

Sunday may be the day to kick out the graduation application.

I do want to get it out-of-the-way fairly quickly.

I don’t want it looming over me during the school weekend, especially as I will be occupied getting into my class routine.

Plus.

I will want to have the rest of the time to work on my application for the PhD program.

Which reminds me.

I need to talk to my advisor, who just so happens to be the head of my department, about getting a letter of recommendation from him.

The PhD program requires that one of my letters come from my academic advisor.

I don’t believe it will be too hard to get a good letter from him, he was one of my first teachers in the program, I had him my first semester, he admires me, he has asked me to help advise others regarding writing academically and he’s asked after my experience with teachers in the program and some interesting internal conflicts my cohort has gone through.

I really like him and he likes me and he’s been a great advocate of mine.

I have to make an appointment to meet with him ASAP.

I’m going to be talking to the Dean from the Transformative Psychology department on Monday, I want to line up my advisor for the following week when I’ll be heading into my first weekend of the semester.

But.

First.

A little fun.

And.

Oh.

A tiny bit of pain too.

I have my anniversary in 9 days and a dance party to go to–the fun.

And.

Yes.

A thirteenth star tattoo to get–the pain.

I’ll be heading into see Danny Boy at Let it Bleed on Polk Street on the afternoon of my anniversary after I get out of my group supervision.

Danny Boy’s done the last three stars for me.

I’m planning a pink one this go around, a small’ish one, on the right side of my neck, above the big black star that I got, my 11th year, which also happened to fall right after David Bowie’s death–Bowie was sober and his last album was Black Star–seemed quite apropos.

I’m excited.

There’s some big stuff happening.

Anniversary, graduation application, PhD application, life, love, doing the deal, work, clients.

All the things.

All of them.

Really?

January 3, 2018

Already?

FUCK.

I just read over the syllabus for one of my classes.

Vomit.

Vomit.

Vomit.

I am not ready.

No.

No.

No.

Sigh.

I got an e-mail from a friend of mine in the cohort, we take almost all of our classes together and I switched out a class to be in the this last class with her, tipping me off to a website builder that I could use for class.

I was like.

What?

Wait?

Is the syllabus already up?

And fuck me, yes, it is already up.

I read it over, I got a little tired reading it.

I think I just want to go back to reading my pleasure reading book and not look at a syllabus again for a day or five.

My next weekend of classes is January 19-21st.

It’s still a few weeks away, but it’s looming.

Fortunately the class that has the syllabus up has no readers or textbooks I will need to buy.

Unfortunately and I’m super annoyed by this, I do have to use readings, readers, and textbooks from my previous classes.

The class is Integrative Seminar, and it basically requires that I write a 22-29 page paper with a personal narrative of when and where I had revelations in my classwork and what those looked like and how I will bring those insights into my therapy sessions with future/current clients.  Plus a part of the paper has to be a clinical review of one of my current clients.

Ugh.

That’s a fucking pain in my ass.

Not that I can’t write that many pages, I won’t have a problem doing that so much, but um, I didn’t save my notebooks from my previous classes, I recycled most of them, I also don’t have the majority of my textbooks, I sold them back.

ARGH.

I do have one ace up my sleeve, I just now literally realized.

I have a program on my computer called Perrla.

It basically is a graduate student’s wet dream.

It helps format papers in APA (The American Psychological Association) and it builds your bibliography for you as you’re writing the papers.

I should have all my papers from all my classes, except for maybe the first couple I wrote, that are saved in my Perrla program.

I can reference those papers to write the bigger paper for this class.

That will be my saving grace.

So grateful I just remembered that.

Really no need for me to get all anxious about shit anyway, I’m a writer, I will write.

I have had some pretty transformative moments in school and I have grown so much in my personal life that I am sure I will be able to knock out a 30 page paper with ten references pretty damn quick.

Plus, thank God!

Thank fucking God, I keep really good notes from my supervision sessions with my solo supervisor.

And I am fairly certain I have all my notes from supervision and now that I know I’ll be presenting a case I can take more prodigious notes while in session with him.

I don’t know what I’m bitching about.

All things considered I will be writing more than 30 pages for a PhD dissertation.

God only knows how much writing that will entail.

I talked my therapist a lot about that today, amongst other things, like coming up on my 13th sobriety anniversary and what I will be doing to acknowledge that, and how I sent out an inquiry to the dean of the school I’m thinking about applying to.

My therapist is way behind me going for it.

It’s nice to have that support.

And she made a really good observation that by the time I will finish up my PhD I will also be close to accruing all my hours for licensure.

That sure would be swell.

My PhD and my license.

I’m so down for that.

I got a response to my inquiry late afternoon today while I was at work.

I probably had gotten it far earlier, but work was a busy one and I didn’t check my phone until nearly end of day.

And there it was, a message from the dean in response to my ask.

She told me two very valuable bits of information–the program only accepts students in the fall and the deadline for the upcoming fall semester is the end of February.

My timing couldn’t be better.

She asked that we make time to chat soon either in person or over the phone.

I asked for a phone interview to discuss the program after I get out of supervision next Monday morning.

I am going for it.

I can’t believe I writing that and at the same time it feels exactly like what I am supposed to be doing.

I am genuinely excited.

Sure.

It will be more work, but I’m used to it at this point, I’ve been doing the work now for over two and a half years, I know what needs to be done and the time it goes by so quick.

“How’s school?”  A friend asked me New Year’s Eve.

“I graduate in May!” I told her, I might have squealed, jumping up in down a tiny bit.

“Oh my god, didn’t you just start?”

Yeah.

That’s what it feels like, like I just started, and I also feel like I’ve been doing it for a really long time, the school bit has very much informed my last two and a half years, it has colored literally everything I have done.

And not done.

Oh the social stuff I have missed out on.

Then again.

I cannot fathom the growth that I would not have had if I not been in school.

The growth I have had is astounding.

Nothing says personal growth quite like going to school to be a counseling therapist.

Shit.

Let me process some stuff ok?

On top of getting back into therapy.

Thank God for therapy.

It’s been so good for me.

So I’m not mad at what I “missed” I have gained so very much.

And I’m just going to keep growing.

What a magnificent thing.

To be on a path where I am always learning and growing.

That is a gift.

Seriously.

Done!

December 11, 2017

I’m done!

I’m done!

I’m done!

I turned in my last paper.

I attended my last class!

THE SEMESTER IS FINISHED!

This was by far my hardest semester, the most work, my heaviest load of work, the most classes I have carried, and the busiest time I have had in my personal life and work life.

I can’t believe I have made it through.

I was seriously thinking I was going to have a melt down.

Now I’m just a puddle of relief.

A slightly glittery puddle of relief.

I got my Christmas tree!

It was the carrot I used to get myself to come home after the last class wrapped up and do my final paper for Jungian Dream Work.

It took me a little while to get into it, the paper idea I had yesterday was just not being substantiated by the research I had outlined and the reading material I was utilizing.

So.

I wrote a completely different paper than I had thought I was going to write.

But who the hell cares?

I wrote the damn thing.

Seven pages.

2,310 words.

So happy that I got it done.

Especially since the professor had extended the due date by an extra three days so that if we wanted to work on it next weekend the cohort could.

This is a very kind thing that some of the professors will do, as my cohort only attends class on weekends and many of us work during the week.

Which means the majority of us do our homework on the weekends.

The paper was originally due this Friday, which meant, for me at least and a few others, that I would have to write it today, I have clients this week and my full-time job, plus supervision and therapy, no time really other than today to write it.

Then she extended the due date.

And part of me flirted with the idea.

Flirted pretty hard.

With the idea of not doing it until next weekend.

But in the end I knew that I really just wanted to be done.

And I cannot even begin to tell you the relief I felt when I sent that bad boy in.

It was huge.

HUGE.

I’m done.

It is such a big deal.

And it still feels a little surreal.

Five months of super hard work culminated today.

Now a month off.

Not from work, not from clients, but definitely from school.

And I will have a lot of extra down time with my clients, I had a cancellation for this Friday evening and as the days march closer to Christmas I am sure to have a few more folks not be able to make their sessions.

I’ll be taking my birthday evening off from clients, and I may see if I can sneak out a little early from my job too, as well as Christmas Day and New Years Day off.

A couple of three-day weekends, some time to recharge, some time to relax, some time to get to yoga.

It’s been too long.

I had a moment when I thought maybe today I might be able to sneak one in, but my lunch plans went a little longer than I had anticipated and I nixed the thought.

The only thing that matter was writing the paper.

And.

Yes.

Getting my Christmas tree.

Which is stupendous.

I am very, very, very happy with it.

I was like a giddy kid at the tree lot.

And I got a much bigger one than I had been thinking I was going to get, but I said, fuck it, I deserve a great big Christmas tree and I’m going to get it.

I came home and barely got it through the door to my studio.

Heh.

But its gorgeous and I’m so happy that I indulged myself.

I do like Christmas, but I’ve just been way too busy with school to even think much of it.

I got the tree situated, watered it, and strung the lights up.

I turned on some Christmas music, yes I did, I am a dork, shut up, and decorated my little heart out.

My mom had sent me a package of Christmas gifts and I tucked them under the tree and turned off the lights and just smiled.

Happy.

So happy.

I almost don’t mind that I have to get up early to go to supervision tomorrow before work.

Ha.

Almost.

Anyway.

It’s going to be a much less stressful week with the lecture done, God damn, that feels like weeks ago, but really, it was just last Tuesday, and with my classes all finished.

I got some really nice feedback from my last professor and connected with my cohort in a very sweet way today and I feel quite good about how I did.

I am going to predict another straight A semester.

Might be a little too early to say that, but it feels like it.

Oof.

What a semester.

So much going on.

I can barely believe it’s done.

I am going to sleep so well tonight.

I cannot even tell you how well I’m going to sleep.

So well.

Heh.

By the light of my beautiful Christmas tree.

Happy Holidays!

It’s Late

October 30, 2017

But not really.

It just feels like it is.

I had a half lazy day, half busy day, and a “I was half way out of it day,” at one point from going to bed so late last night.

2:30 a.m.

I cannot remember the last time I went to bed at that hour.

I had gone out dancing with a dear girlfriend.

We met up in the city at Brenda’s Meat and Three where I had wrapped up a delicious dinner with my person, cheese grits with shrimp, bacon and tomato.

My God.

It was so good, I could have licked the bowl.

The server laughed when I said that, and added, “I’ve seen it happen.”

I do not doubt it.

I once licked a plate at a meal out with friends, but I suspect I was a little tipsy when I did it.

The grits were just that good.

I will be having them again.

And I got a lot of compliments on my costume

I went as a sugar skull from Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

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It was my first time trying to do the makeup.

I think I did pretty good, all things considered.

The place that I stop at, Ulta Beauty over by the Nordstrom Rack and Trader Joes shopping area, was out of Halloween face paint.

I was like.

Seriously?

You guys are a freaking makeup store!

It’s three days before Halloween and you’re already sold out?

What the heck!

But.

I’m a clever girl.

First I asked what the lightest foundation that they had in the store was.

I’m brown-skinned enough that a very light foundation is going to look close to white on my skin.

Then I got a finishing powder that was tinted with green to pull any redness from my face and then another that was a translucent white powder.

Then I pillage the NYX cheap makeup.

Big white eyeliner, big black eyeliner, a pink one, a turquoise one, and a liquid eyeliner in lilac with glitter.

And I found a really cool blue lip gloss that was matte and had glitter in it.

I have no idea when I’m ever going to use this make up again.

But the end result, though not professional caliber, well, I thought, was pretty damn good.

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I actually got a lot of compliments last night, both at Brenda’s and at the dance.

My friend also had a great costume, she was a Hip Hop Zombie.

Which was apropos as we were going to the Time Travelers Ball in Oakland.

Great music, lots of old hip hop, lots of funk, so early electronic, old 80s and late 70s movies playing on the wall, great light system, a small fire in the courtyard, in a portable fire pit.

I ran into a few folks, from, yes, of all places, Burning Man.

I didn’t recognize the woman at all who came up and squealed at me, and how she recognized me with all that makeup on, I have no idea, but she did.

It was a good time.

And.

Heh.

Although I did not make the top three prizes in the costume contest, I did win an honorable mention and was given back my entrance fee and an open bar tab.

Which for me was hilarious to contemplate.

I had a La Croix.

It was tasty.

Heh.

And.

I had fun and I danced a lot, so much so that I was afraid I was going to break a sweat and my make up was going to slide off my face.

It stuck though.

It stuck really well, it took a lot of make up removing wipes and washing my face to get it off, in fact, I didn’t get all the white eyeliner off, man I tried, but I gave up the ghost at some point.

I was also up late as it was 9 hours a head in Paris and my best girl friend from school sent me a message on What’s App about having a Face Time session and I just said, fuck it, it is super hard for us to co-ordinate our time, so screw it, yes, I had a Face Time session this morning around 1:45 a.m.

It was so good to see her face and hear her voice.

Oh, how I miss her.

We got caught up and talked about all the things and made some tentative plans to see each other in the new year.

She may be coming back for a training and I’m pretty sure I’ll be in Europe in July and I’m going to make sure I go up to Paris and spend time with her.

I was in tears when I got off the call, it was super hard to hang up.

But man, it was late.

And I had lunch date that I wanted to be ready for.

I was going to sleep 8 hours, I was.

I set my alarm for 10:30 a.m., which is unheard of for me, but I figured, I can skip yoga, I got a workout dancing, and I want a full nights sleep.

of course.

I was up at 8:30 a.m.

Which is why it feels late right now when it’s not really.

I’m glad for it though, I did a ton of writing and I had a leisurely breakfast and a quick phone call with my best friend and plans to connect later.

Which was sweet.

So sweet.

And then off across town to Mario’s on Columbus and Union.

I hadn’t been there before, but it was classic, pure North Beach Italian Cafe and bar.

It was so good to see my friend and we chatted about all things art and kindness and words and poetry and talked about Burning Man, since that’s where we met three years ago, and projects, and life.

I am enthralled with that aspect of my life, that sometimes, out of nowhere, because I am moved to connect with someone, a new relationship happens.

It startles me every time.

It was like that with my best girl in Paris, we were sitting next to each other, an empty seat between us, at the first year retreat for our school.

And we turned to each other and we’ve never turned away.

The loveliness of it still astounds.

The people in my life who I love, who I consider my family, my loves, my friends, I am so, so lucky to know.

Beyond lucky.

Graced.

I am graced.

And tired.

Just saying.

I got a lot of other stuff done today too, grocery shopping, lots of cooking, lots of homework.

But really.

It was the connecting with my friends, with my people, with my loves, that made the most impact on my today.

An hour-long phone conversation sitting on a bench in the sunlight (the only sunlight that I got to see, man was it cold and foggy today) at Washington Square Park.

The confirmation of love.

The power of poetry.

The great gifts of kindness.

The art of being human.

It gets me every time.

Every time.

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.

 

All The Beautiful

June 26, 2017

Babies.

Well.

Two of the beautiful babies.

I got to spend time with a very dear friend today and her 6 week old twins.

Oof.

Such goodness.

Beauties.

There was hours of catching up, I haven’t seen her in seven weeks, eight maybe?

We saw each other right before I left for Paris and had the twins while I was there.

I have missed her and it was so good to reconnect.

We talked and talked and it was wondrous to see her with her babies.

And.

Oh.

Yes.

I got to hold them too, one of them for a super long time, hours, literally, of having a small warm baby on my chest, snuggled in and cozy.

I brought her some homemade frittata I had made this morning–prosciutto and asparagus with parmesan and some nice chocolate and some flowers and the twins some gifts.

My standards–Jellycat bunny rabbits and my favorite children’s book–“I Am A Bunny” by Richard Scarry.

It was a gorgeous day and I managed to avoid most of the traffic for Pride.

I’m so grateful there are events like Pride, but I have to tell you, I don’t have much band width for those kinds of crowds anymore.

I was more than happy to be ensconced with my friend in her apartment catching up on all things life and school and love.

We had such a nice time together.

I will be spending more time with her in July when the family I nanny for is on vacation.

I will be surrounded by babies.

Even though I won’t be nannying for the three weeks the family is away.

I will also be picking up consultations at the internship, so even though I won’t necessarily be adding in clients at that time, I will be able to do consults, which is basically an initial assessment and counts towards my hours.

Which I am more than happy to pick some of that up when and where I can.

My friend though was quite happy to hear that I’ll have some time in July and she’ll be ready to get out of the house a bit more at that point and we can stroll around North Beach and be together and have coffee and cafe time and baby time.

“You can still have one!” She said to me, “look at you!”

Yes.

Every time I hold a baby, especially a newborn I do have a flashing moment of what would it be like, but I’m 44 I don’t expect that’s coming down the pipeline.

I have plenty on my plate as it is.

And I have gotten to have so many babies in my life, I am grateful, so grateful, for all the little ones I have gotten to take care of.

I laughed and smelled the little one in my arm and told her I was happy exactly as I am.

I am happy.

“You look amazing, so beautiful,” she said, and her husband concurred.

I have been given some really nice compliments lately.

It’s been nice.

It’s nice to have people see me and my happiness.

I am very happy.

Astounded with it at times and beyond grateful.

I really like who I am.

I like the shoes I wear, literally and figuratively, I got a new pair of “I’m a therapist” shoes to throw into the repertoire, Fluevog had a big huge sale and I couldn’t help it, I picked up one more pair.

They are investment shoes though, seriously, I will have them for years and years and years.

And some of my basic therapy clothes and wardrobe is starting to trickle in.

I just did a little bit of online ordering from GAP to fill out my therapist wardrobe.

I feel pretty damn grown up.

And loved and seen and happy and yeah, I don’t have complaints.

Sometimes I feel like there’s not enough time, but I have been squeezing in the time to be social and do my recovery and make work and take on clients and I have full days.

Super full.

They go fast and here it is the end of the weekend and it starts all over again.

I was invited to stay for dinner at my friend’s house, but I knew I needed to get back home, again managing to avoid the Pride traffic and super grateful for my scooter to zip through the avenues, I needed to take care of some things here and get myself ready for tomorrow and my supervision meeting before work and work and then being prepped for a new client tomorrow night after work.

I needed to get myself sorted.

I only have Sundays off now and so far it’s working, I do manage to be ultra creative about getting stuff done.

Finding pockets of time here and there.

Sometimes they are not big enough but I manage to sneak things in, a little grocery shopping here, an errand there, some time researching for clients, sometime writing for myself, cooking, laundry, you know, all the things.

The only thing suffering is my manicure.

I could use another two and a half hour block of time somewhere in my week.

It’s not going to happen until next weekend though.

And I also am in need of picking up my framed prints from Cheap Pete’s.

I thought I would do that today, but the twins were so dreamy, I stayed later than I had thought and it was super nice to help out my friends.

I will miss them so much when they move back to France.

Good thing I like going to France.

I know there will be visits.

Anyway.

I get far, far ahead of myself.

Right now.

Well.

It’s been a really good weekend and I am happy to wrap up the writing, tie up the loose ends and get ready for the week.

It’s sure to be busy.

It always is.

Ha.

Hello Again

May 8, 2017

I have been remiss my friends.

I have not been keeping up with the blogging.

I did post last night.

A poem.

But I had no energy after the emotionally exhausting day of classes.

It was a big school weekend.

A lot of deep work.

So much.

And it’s all great stuff.

But.

Fuck.

A girl could stand a break once in a while.

I did get to see my friends a bit more than I have in the past school weekends.

I had a girlfriend dinner with two of my favorite ladies in the cohort on Thursday.

We met at Mazzat, a Lebanese restaurant in Hayes Valley after I got out of work and had scootered home to let in my friend who was hanging in the Outer Sunset waiting for me to get back from work.

She needed to drop off her overnight stuff.

We were having a slumber party.

Hence no blog Thursday night.

It is just not a nice thing to do, I have a small place and I wanted to be a good host and although my friend did encourage me to write, I didn’t feel that it was necessary.

All my delicious catching up and being with her and our other French friend in the cohort at dinner had filled me up, made me happy, completed my experience for that day and it was more important to crawl into bed with my friend and whisper and chat and talk girl stuff.

God.

It’s nice to have girlfriends.

She is like a sister to me and we have pretty much connected to each other since the first week of retreat our first year.

God damn.

I am done.

DONE!

With my last weekend of classes.

I am officially now a third year student.

Holy shit.

And.

Oh, thank you sweet Jesus.

I went to the financial aid office this weekend and sorted out my aid and my package and the lady in the office was super kind and accommodating and it was all done in five minutes.

Such a help.

And I am so grateful to have that settled.

I should be getting enough that I can pay for the tuition for my summer school practicum and for the supervisor and have a bit left over, about $1400, which should cover my costs for out-of-pocket therapy for the summer.

That’s the plan.

It felt so good to get that taken care of.

In other housekeeping stuff.

I e-mailed the bookstore when I got home from class today and listed the books I’d like to sell back, some of which the awesome manager at the bookstore had told me when I was selling back in the fall, to hold off until spring, that I would get a better price.

So.

Fingers crossed.

A few bucks in my pocket this week.

Always handy when a lady is getting ready to travel.

OH.

MY.

GOD.

I leave for Paris in four days.

Four!

I am so excited.

It is finally here.

I have three days at work.

I have to go tomorrow and meet with my supervisor before work and I am hoping that I will be able to run a few quick errands before heading to work.

I need to pick up a few travel toiletries.

I went grocery shopping today after class to pick up some essentials to have in the house for the next few days, as well as to have some things for myself in the freezer when I get back from France.

I bought a new neck pillow for the flight as well at the co-op in my neighborhood.

It felt super fun to tuck it on top of my roll on suitcase.

This trip to Paris will make it number three for this particular suitcase.

It has also taken me to London once, Rome once, New Orleans, Anchorage, Minneapolis, Madison, New York twice, Orlando, and Los Angeles.

It’s a damn good piece of luggage.

It may need to get replaced soon, one of the wheels is getting a little wonky, but having had it for seven years, I think, that’s not bad, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a trip or three that it has taken that I didn’t list above.

No.

I have not taken it to Burning Man.

Ha.

That is the one place it does not go.

Soon it shall come out of the closet and get filled with clothes and shoes and stuff and things and I will be heading out the door to SFO to London to Paris.

The only small fly in the ointment is that I got a slightly changed flight out of London to Paris, and now I have a bit of a layover in London, so I won’t get into Paris until 5p.m. on Friday, May 12th.

I was supposed to get in around 10:30am’ish.

Oh well.

I will probably save myself some travel hassle from Charles de Gaulle and just take a cab to my hotel.

Mama Shelter.

There is a music venue across the street that my Parisian friend told me about today, Fleche d’Or.

I may go check it out after I get checked in and settled.

Could be a fun, spontaneous first night in Paris sort of deal.

I was thinking I would get myself to the hotel, check in, unpack a few things, hit the shower and go out into the city.

I will grab dinner, somewhere in the neighborhood,  Les Desnoyez or perhaps Le Baratin.

I mean.

I sort of want my first night in Paris to be special.

A lovely hotel with a rooftop terrace.

Music at the club.

Dinner in a French bistro.

A walk past Pere LaChaise in the evening.

Oh.

The things I am going to do.

I am excited.

And as the weekend is wrapping up and I just turn around and head into the work week I know it will go fast and before one can say “croissant” I will be leaving on a jet plane.

I am so ready for it.

Seriously.

 

 

I’m Done!

May 1, 2017

I’m done!

I’m done!

I am done.

I wrote my last paper for the semester today and I got it done faster than I thought I would, my friend in the cohort told me it was going to be a much easier paper to write than Trauma, that it would, in effect, write itself.

That was exactly my experience.

Almost spooky how it wrote itself.

Nine pages, 2,832 words.

It took about two hours to write, maybe two and a half.

I was shocked how quickly it happened and I had absolutely no problems or sticky spots, it just flowed out of my fingers and I was able to finish and have a really nice late lunch out on the back patio.

I did my typical Sunday gig and roasted a chicken and made a pot of brown rice while I was doing the writing.

I was rewarded with a yummy lunch eaten al fresco under the warm sun.

I was stunned, actually, I still am a little.

It all happened.

It all got done.

I even, shhh, read a little today after my meal and it was pleasure reading!

Holy shit.

I haven’t done that in a while.

I don’t have to read anything for school for the next weekend of classes, I’m done with the reading, I’m done with the papers.

I sent in my Couples Therapy paper last Sunday and did my Trauma paper yesterday and my Community Mental Health paper today, the Trauma and CMH paper I will be handing in hard copies of.

I will do a small presentation of my paper to my Trauma class but I don’t actually know that we are going to be doing a whole lot of work in my other classes.

I feel like I’ll just be floating through next weekend, just showing up and turning in the papers and making attendance for my classes.

I won’t have to be doing any catch up work or reading, I won’t have any papers or projects due after the final weekend.

All I have to do is show up and turn in the papers.

I can take it easy the rest of the weekend.

I won’t skip out on the classes, mostly because I want to see my friends and since I am paying for the experience, I’m going to go and have some experiences.

I am off to my second hour of supervision tomorrow morning before work and that’s really about my only school obligation for a few weeks until I start the internship.

I made it through!

God it feels good.

I did yoga today too, even though I am not a fan of the teacher that was the substitute, I showed up and got some stretching in and put in my time, it’s a practice I need to keep practicing.

I am breathing and being in my body and it helps to do that before I write my papers, takes the edge off, gets the anxiety out of my body and frees up my mind to do the work.

I am grateful for the little yoga studio in my hood.

I am grateful for my hood.

Seeing people I know, being seen.

Going to the coop, having dinner tonight at Thai Cottage.

I had a date as well.

We went to Thai Cottage.

There was kissing, but I did not invite him in.

I am actually quite proud of myself for that.

And I can’t actually tell if I want to pursue it or not.

I liked him, he’s attractive, smart, tattoos, sober.

But I went in and out of being interested.

The kissing was nice.

But it wasn’t the key to unlock the door to my studio.

I’ll have to go on another date.

I’m not usually this ambivalent.

It’s usually a yes or a no.

This guy is a maybe.

I’m not worried about it, no, not right now, I do have a lot happening this upcoming week, supervision tomorrow, therapy Tuesday, doing the deal, connecting with ladies to read books over tea, work, then school over the weekend.

Thursday one of my girl friends from the cohort will spend the night with me and we’ll head off to class together Friday.

And next week.

Paris.

Oh my God.

I can actually see getting on a plane now that I finished up all the final papers for class.

It’s not so surreal.

It’s happening.

I am so very excited.

It’s going to be so nice to have ten days off.

I ran into a friend in the fellowship yesterday and told him about my Paris trip, he’s a big Francophile and a photographer and his photos are on the walls of the cafe I was at, most of them alleyways in Paris, and it was with much excitement that I shared I was going.

He asked me to send Paris a kiss from him.

We talked about the museum pass and he said, “you got to get the three-day for sure.”

I’m actually thinking about getting the four-day, I’m going to be there for ten days, well eight when you take out the travel time, but still I can definitely do four full days of museums.

The other four days, Sacre Couer, The cemetary in the Montmartre, Pere LaChaise Cemetery, the markets, the broquantes, some clothes shopping, a tattoo from Abraxas, getting lost and then found in the Marais, walks along the Seine, the Luxembourg gardens, the Tuilleries, maybe a pop into Le Chat Noir and do the Paris open mic scene for old times sake.

There will be plenty for me to do.

And I get to do it without worry about school or internships or work, it’s all lined up.

I have a great job, a good internship, I’m wrapping up my second year of my Master’s degree, it’s all happening.

It feels so good to have these papers put to rest.

No stress for the rest of the week.

Just showing up for my responsibilities and recovery.

For friends.

And fun.

Definitely can squeeze a little more fun in there for sure.

I got my papers done!!

So.

Over the moon.

Seriously.


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