Posts Tagged ‘daily grind’

Thank You!

February 24, 2018

Thank you Carmen!

The mom said, and pulled me into a hug.

I wasn’t expecting that.

It was so sweet and so endearing, I teared up.

She was thanking me for the week, one of the most challenging weeks I have had with the family I nanny for.

Two very sick kids.

Dad and the oldest were out-of-town all weekend visiting Grandma and relatives and friends out of the country, so it was just the mom and I.

And two of the sickest little monkeys one could imagine.

Today I carried the baby on me for nearly 8 hours.

I might have had a few moments, a run to the bathroom, a quick gulp of tea, where I wasn’t holding him, but he was pretty much glued to me the entire day.

The mom’s been handling the nights and I have been handling the days and she is sorely short on sleep.

I did my best to help out as much as possible.

Which really meant tending to the baby while the mom helped the little lady.

She is not a good sick kid.

Who is, really when it comes right down to it.

And she needed a lot of attention.

Mom would nurse the baby, then hand him to me, that was about my only reprieve, when he was nursing.

And let me say, it wasn’t the worst way in the world to spend my last day of the week, a hot little baby cradled against me all day, sleeping mostly.

He’s been running a fever and just has no desire to do much but sit and snuggle and doze.

Once in a while a big coughing fit would lead to some screaming.

There is nothing more disarming to my psyche than a child screaming in pain.

It was piercing the few times it happened to me today, but fortunately, he was fast to be soothed and I was able to get him comforted and back to sleep fast.

I spent many hours just holding him and rocking and humming.

I spent some time too with the both of them when the mom had to make a run out to do some errands.

At one point I had the baby on my chest sleeping and the little lady snuggled up under my left arm, a pile of stuffies, two blankets, and some children’s video playing on the tv and, yes, I nodded out.

All three of us sleeping in a pile on the couch.

It didn’t last long.

The mom came back and I woke quickly, I wasn’t really deeply asleep, just in that drowsy half state that happens right before true sleep.

I was really grateful that I could help the mom so much and I was happy to receive her thanks, if a tiny bit overwhelmed and surprised by it, I was also very, very touched.

I like her.

I like her a lot.

She’s quick becoming a friend and I feel very much a part of the family.

I was also grateful to leave tonight.

It was a long week.

I had a big trip the weekend prior and school the weekend before that.

So this is actually my first weekend at home in a couple of weeks were I’m not obligated to much.

To much.

Ha.

Fuck.

I make myself laugh.

I have plenty I need to do this weekend and plenty that I will attend to.

I do hope, though, that I will have some down time and some moments to relax.

I will definitely be going to yoga.

I have missed it for two weeks, the travel and school, and I’m sure I’m going to be rusty and sore after tomorrow’s class, but I need to get back in it.

And my best friend is going to come with me to class on Sunday, so there’s great impetus to get my butt to go to the studio.

We had breakfast today before work and I was very happy to meet, to spend time, to feel like a human being connecting with another human being, before I became a comfort pillow for the baby for 8 hours today.

Grateful for my friend and the time I got to spend and that I get to have company in my yoga class on Sunday, that will be awesome.

Although I know I will be self-conscious.

I’m usually a bit self-conscious any way, but I go, and I always feel better and I usually wish that I could go more often.

But I’m also never sure when the hell I’m supposed to be able to get to another class.

I may be able to squeeze in a third this week though, my therapist is out of office on Tuesday, I could make the morning yoga class happen before going into work.

Any time I can squeeze it in I am trying to do so.

Life is busy.

Yoga in the morning, shower, breakfast, writing.

PhD application preparations until I have to go to my internship.

Group supervision from 2-4p.m.

I might try to swing over to Hayes Valley and go to Optical Underground afterward, I have the prescription for new glasses to get filled.

I have gotten my last two pairs from them and I always find something I like there and they are cheaper than a lot of places.

I am still a bit miffed that the UCSF optical department doesn’t accept my insurance for glasses.

What was the point of going there?

I’m still so not pleased with my school’s health insurance but hey, I do have it, even if it doesn’t seem to have paid off any, at least I won’t get the ding when I go to do my taxes.

Which I also want to do very soon.

Indication of how busy I have been, I haven’t yet done them.

I can’t believe that it’s almost the end of February and I haven’t done them.

Very unusual for me.

But.

Hey.

Last year I didn’t have an internship or supervision, I wasn’t in therapy, I had a few spare minutes to attend to it.

I will, and soon, just need to get my PhD application done this weekend and then the taxes.

And then.

The carrot.

With my return I will be doing some traveling.

That’s always the reward for taxes getting filed.

A trip.

I’m still waiting to see if the family is going to take me a long for part of their vacation and what that will look like, but I do have it narrowed down to July.

Paris in July will be hot.

But it will be Paris.

Anyway.

That’s a wrap on today.

I’m ready to chill out.

Have some tea.

Watch some Peaky Blinders and go to bed.

I have a lot to do tomorrow.

A lot.

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Gold From Dross

January 8, 2018

I keep hearing my person talking to me about my life and what’s been happening over the last few months and school, and work, and relationships and how she managed to give me the most amazing compliment and also an admonition all at the same time.

She said that of all the people who she’s met in her life I am the best person at making gold come out of a poor situation.

She was giving me a really big compliment.

And.

She was also pointing out that I am used to not getting to work with much, so I manage to make the best out of whatever situation that I am in.

That I also, it was noted, have a tendency to take whatever I can get and spin it into something beautiful because I was never really allowed to have wants or needs.

And as it turns out, those wants and needs are not being met.

In a way.

My needs are being met and wants are desires that have a pretty name attached to them.

I have everything I need and then some.

But she had an interesting point, that just because I have the ability to make due with less does not mean that I must have less, that I’m allowed more, and that I can acknowledge those wants even if they are not met.

It’s a poverty thing, growing up so poor, take what you can get and be happy that you got anything.

It’s a kind of scarcity thinking that I have to often work around.

Like yesterday when I was getting the crown for my cracked tooth and there was a part of me that was loud and vehement, go with the cheaper option!

Fortunately.

I have done so much work that I knew that what I needed to do was go for what was best for me and my health and have complete faith that I was being taken care of.

And I was.

I paid for it, it’s done.

Today was actually quite nice, no pain whatsoever.

Well, once, once I bit down on my dinner a little too hard and there was a snatch of pain, but other than that, nothing worth noting.

I’ll be gentle with my teeth for the next couple of weeks and head back in on the 20th to have my permanent crown put in.

What has stuck with me about the comment was partially what I did yesterday and also acknowledging that there are parts of me that I just don’t let out, I don’t acknowledge that I have wants and desires that are very human and pretty typical.

Again.

She noted in the sweetest, kindest ways, nothing judgmental about me, or my situation or my life, just that she wanted me to see the parts of myself that I was perhaps pushing away as I made gold from my situation.

It struck me deeply.

And when I got off the phone with her I hopped onto the website for my yoga studio and signed up for the 4:30 p.m. class.

I was going to skip it today having been plenty active this morning and then going back to bed and sleeping until 10 a.m.

Which is the last time I will be sleeping in for a while.

Supervision starts back up tomorrow morning.

I will be up at 6:30 a.m.

I’ll be taking my car, rain in the forecast, and I will need to leave home earlier than normal to get to my supervision in Hayes Valley, during morning rush commuting hours.

Blech.

But.

Hey.

Not riding my scooter in the rain!

Supervision for an hour, then a phone call with the dean of the Transformative Psychology PhD program, then work, then two clients, then home.

It’s a long day.

So yeah, letting myself have that kiss of extra sleep was nice, plus I went to bed late last night, I was restless and had a head full of thoughts, dreamy thoughts, but thoughts that kept me up a little later than I would have wanted.

I don’t think I fell asleep until 1 a.m.

So morning yoga was out.

I flirted with the idea of doing either the 4:30 p.m. class or the 6:15 pm restorative yoga class.

But after my phone call, I knew, I had to get into my body and exercise.

It was super good.

So good.

Great instructor and I got super sweaty and just worked.

My head was quiet, except at the very end right before the final pose and it got a little too chatty, but it was emotional chatter that needed an outlet, and I was able to cry a little and let it go.

Sweat, tears, all the same thing, pain leaving the body.

I floated home and when I got there a message came in from a woman in my neighborhood about what I was doing this evening and where I might be going and did I want to head over to Quintara and 20th?

Um.

Yes, please!

Super good, caught up with my fellows, did the deal, got right with God, connected and feel really positive about moving forward into this week.

As I come up on my sober anniversary and see all the amazing insights that I get to have and all the growth that I have gotten to do this past year, it blows my freaking mind.

Like.

Just for instance.

Right before my friend picked me up to go do the deal I sent off my graduation application to my school program.

I paid the $90 fee and I filled out the four pages.

I noted my 4.0 grade point.

I expressed what name I want on my diploma, my full name, middle and all, thank you very much.

It asked if I wanted to speak at my commencement and I said I would be honored if so chosen.

I said I was going to attend the commencement and that I would walk in the procession and yes.

Yes.

Yes.

I said I wanted to pick up my diploma in person.

I want that baby in my hands as I cross the stage.

My god.

What a day.

Started with love and gratitude.

Ended with love and gratitude.

So much love.

So much gratitude.

Luckiest girl in the world.

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.

 

Serendipitous

August 18, 2017

Cancellations.

Two.

I had two cancellations today.

I went into my internship after work, which I was allowed to scoot out from a little early, with the idea that I would pop over to Gus’s community market and pick up a few things for dinner and then I run into an old friend who I haven’t seen in seven months, maybe eight.

We talked about what I was doing, practicum with my internship, and that we both are located in the same building.

She is a licensed MFT with an office in the building, once a week I have walked past it thinking, one of these days I’m going to run into her.

Today was that day.

We both are going to Burning Man as well.

She was, in fact surprised to see me, “aren’t you supposed to already be up there?”

Common misconception amongst many of my friends, I have often been gone by this time, already landed and working the event.

But not this year.

This year will be my first year without a job to be tethered to.

I have some freedom that I’m not sure exactly how I will fill, but fill it I will, I’m sure.

She and I chatted, caught up, and I let her know what my schedule was at the internship and she asked how they, the institution I intern for, take referrals.

I explained it and she said, “great!  I have a referral specifically for you, I’ll make sure the client asks for you.”

Wow.

I was blown away.

It was such a nice complement.

Then.

I ran into a fellow in my community that I haven’t seen since I started my school program, and he’s got a new office three doors down from me!

It was great getting caught up and he showed me his space and we chatted.

He told me he was really glad to see me, that I have “such great energy, I’m glad I’m going to see you a couple of times a week!”

Again.

Wow.

Nice, really, so sweet to be thought of that way.

That I have great energy, that there are therapists who want to refer clients to me, that I get to do this work.

Granted I didn’t do much work tonight, at least not direct face to face time with clients, but fuck, I did a lot of work today.

Up early and working on scheduling issues with clients and getting a transfer from another intern at the institute, e-mailing my assistant director and director, sending out clarification e-mails to clients and working on getting another of my syllabi printed off and sorted out.

Yes.

Finally.

All my classes are published online and I have all my syllabi printed.

I have all my books ordered.

I have a reader yet to pick up but I won’t deal with that until next weekend.

A week from tomorrow is my first weekend of my third and final year of this Masters in Counseling Psychology program.

One more year baby.

I know I can do it.

I did a bunch of reading today too.

Ok.

Well, not a bunch, but I got through all the reading, 171 pages, five chapters, in the Jungian Dream work book I have for my class and I got started on a homework assignment for the class.

Yeah.

I fucking did homework tonight and my classes haven’t yet started.

This happened to me last semester too, that I had a reflection paper due for one of my classes the first class of the weekend.

It’s not an accelerated program per se, but the month of classes a day time student would take, gets crammed into three days one weekend a month, so the amount of reading is huge and almost every class I have had has a lot of papers due in between the once a month meet up.

It’s a lot.

But.

Hey.

I can hold down a job while going to school full-time and, fingers crossed, while also doing an internship, which, I have to do, it’s a requirement for the school.

I must have a certain amount of hours to graduate the program.

It’s not horrendous, 255 I think.

Personally, I want to have a lot more than that, and originally I was gunning for the maximum amount of hours that I could acquire while in school.

Then I realized, fuck no.

I want a tiny bit of a life.

I’ve got slivers of time that are super precious to me and I’m not willing to go full whole hog, I need those small spots and spaces to keep myself from losing it while undertaking this endeavor.

So far.

Well, I like I said I don’t have the amount of hours I had thought I was going to accrue over the summer, I still have enough.

More than enough, really.

I have 124.50 hours logged.

Which is great.

I’m half way to where I need to be to graduate the program.

And.

I have two full semesters to get those hours.

I’m going to be just fine.

Things fall together.

Time is spacious and luscious and I don’t have to be anxious about it.

Just like I’m not going to be freaked out by not having all the reading done by next weekend.

I just won’t.

Oh.

I will have enough, and I suspect I will be far ahead of the majority of folks in m cohort, which seems to have been the precedent I have set for myself before even knowing I was doing it.

“I haven’t even ordered my books yet,” a friend in the cohort told me on Sunday over coffee.

I don’t roll like that.

As each syllabi was published I ordered the books necessary for the class.

Because a couple of my classes were not published expeditiously I haven’t got all my textbooks.

But.

I have enough.

And I’m doing enough.

Getting to have an unexpected cancellation tonight gave me a nice little cushion–finished the reading and the first assignment for one of my classes and roasted a chicken, got caught up with some more calendar stuff, went over the fall school schedule with my boss at work, and had a great phone check in with my person.

I will take the gift.

Grateful.

Really grateful.

And holy shit.

Tomorrow is Friday.

Yay!

Friday!

I can’t fucking wait.

SERIOUSLY.

Bring it on.

Rainy Day

February 18, 2017

Mood music.

It rained.

It rained a lot.

I have listened to scads of French music today.

San Francisco in the rain reminds me of Paris.

I love that I can listen to music at work.

I was home, at the home of my employers, again, all day.

The little lady was sick again.

And much sicker than earlier in the week.

She had such little energy.

Most of the time was sat and snuggled on the couch.

I got her lunch, which was actually my lunch, and she wrestled a promise out of me that I would make spaghetti for dinner.

That did not happen and she was mad, oh lordy was she mad, when she realized I was leaving for the night and there was no spaghetti dinner.

Her parents had ordered pizza since she had missed her pizza party at school.

She was not so easily mollified.

She had fallen asleep on me at one point this afternoon and had fever dreams and big coughing fits.

I just spent most of the day on the couch rubbing her back and brushing the hair off her hot forehead while she slept, and drooled a bit, on my lap.

Such a sweet little lady.

Although she wakes up really hard and was a screaming crying mess.

I have never seen a child wake so hard.

She does not like waking up.

But before that I had hours and hours of contemplating the rain falling and listening to the Amelie soundtrack by Yann Tiersen, which really is such perfect rainy day music.

I had taken care of my household duties and really the only thing was to sit and be still and let the little girl rest against me.

I know that though she woke up hard and wanted her mother, that I had been a calming, loving, kind presence for her, she totally cuddles with me now and it’s become a very sweet relationship.

I am very glad for it.

I never felt restless, but I was ready for the day to wrap and excited for my first day off in two weeks.

The alarm is set.

Yeah.

Like that.

I’m not sleeping in.

I’m going to yoga, which will do me more good than trying to squeeze in some extra sleep.

And if I need a nap in the afternoon, I can take it.

Not that I will.

I’ll probably roast a chicken.

Yoga.

Shower, breakfast, hope for a break in the rain so that I can scooter up to 7th and Irving and go to Tart to Tart and do some work with my person.

A mani/pedi after.

Then home.

That’s sort of the plan, cook, sort through homework and reading.

Then go see some fellows and do the deal in the evening.

Sunday will be another round of yoga, I’m only getting into the studio on the weekends, but I’m trying to stay with it and not drop back out of it, it’s too easy to let it slide, even when I feel like what’s the point, I do inevitably feel better, and my brain is much quieter when I do it.

Tattoo touch up on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

No other plans.

A few tentative feelers out there from friends, but no solid plans.

I told on myself today in a phone message about trying to leave some room open on the weekends so that I socialize and see people and don’t completely isolate into homework land.

Fingers crossed that can be achieved.

It will be.

And maybe some clothes shopping, but I’ll probably leave that until next weekend, I have a big coupon to redeem at Gap from when I bought my “casual interview” clothes, and it needs to get used by next weekend.

Maybe I play some pinball this weekend.

I have had this urge to make things happen all day, I realize, as I was just looking at a text from a friend who was wondering what I’m up to.

I want to know.

I want to be solid.

I wanted to text back and say, book time with me, or don’t, but let me know.

I have three people in that boat with me at the moment.

What are you doing this weekend?

Let’s get together.

I’ll text.

Part of me wants to throw a temper tantrum, I want to know definitively so I can prepare myself, it’s a protection thing, I recognize that, and I can let it go.

I have faith that even if every person who said let’s meet wasn’t able to, that my weekend will be just fine anyway.

I mean it’s begun, I’m not working tomorrow and I signed up for a yoga class and I have a coffee date with my person to do some work, I can lightly hold what happens the rest of the day and see what makes me the happiest to do.

A friend suggested I get a mani/pedi and a massage.

Mani/pedi is definitely on the list.

Massage sounds good too, but I don’t think that it would work tomorrow.

I’ll keep that in my back pocket.

I don’t often get massages, they are nice, but I am not often compelled to get one.

I always feel like my money is better spent elsewhere.

But a mani/pedi I can totally get behind.

Not that my toes will be seeing the light of day any time soon, more rain in the forecast, but it is a delicious splurge and I always appreciate my toes when they are done up.

Anyway.

I ramble.

Rainy day French music soundtrack lends me to a meander with my words.

Bon nuit mes amies.

A demain.

 

Camera Time

December 27, 2016

And that’s what days off are for.

Spending a lot of time on the phone with a tech guy figuring out what is the issue and how to fix it.

The issue for me has been that when I got my new camera, the same guy I used to have, just a newer version, my computer would only get halfway through the process of uploading my pictures.

It was really frustrating.

I had a friend look at it recently and he said take it to the Genius Bar.

But.

I did not want to be in an Apple store the day after Christmas, fuck no, so I looked up an appointments for calls on-line and set it up so that I could get tech support when I got back from my yoga class.

Yes.

Back in it after a weird week off with the work and the holiday and the cold.

I still have the cold, but it doesn’t seem as tenacious as it was the last few days.

It maybe all the sleep I let myself have.

I slept nine hours.

I never sleep nine hours any more.

I used to, a long time ago, sleep nine hours and even once in a while I would get a big fat ten hours a night.

No longer.

Thank you grad school and full-time work.

Anyway.

I had a nice yoga class.

A hot shower.

A delicious breakfast.

The persimmons are just about gone and I’m jolly well enjoying them to the last juicy bite.

Then some writing and laundry and the phone call.

It took about twenty-five minutes and then I had to reboot and restart the computer.

I went to the co-op up the street and grabbed a few things.

Came back, unpack my goodies, signaled the computer it was ok to restart, plugged in all the passwords and such and then still had to wait another bit of time while it updated.

But.

I used said time well and took out the left over pork roast from yesterday and made some pork fried rice for lunch.

YUM.

By the time I had folded my laundry and did my dishes, the upgrade had finished and my computer was back up and running with a bunch of slightly different little icons on the dock.

I opened up my Iphoto and hooked up the USB cable from my camera to my computer.

And.

YES!

It took.

Yay.

My photographs all downloaded.

And I discovered a whole batch of photographs that hadn’t been moved over to my hard drive.

Old photos from Paris, a bunch of Burning Man photos, nanny photos and just general out and about in the world, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles.

It was pretty cool to see them, I hadn’t realized they were there.

Another project for this week.

The getting my camera to sync with my computer was a big one.

I need to attend to some school stuff, renew my FAFSA for next year’s round of financial aid, update my Linkedin profile, which I haven’t touched in years but was strongly advised that I want to have a good profile up for school and practicum interviews.

Who knew?

I’m also going to peep my syllabi and buy any text books that need buying.

I want to run over to Optical Underground and see if I can get the lenses taken out of an old set of frames and into a new set.

I have had the frames forever, really like them, but they are old and just not holding their shape, the lenses, however, are fairly recent (I had my optometrist re-lense my current prescription into them).

I’ll probably do that Wednesday since I had a date to the MOMA with two of my favorite men in the universe.

We’ll be meeting at the MOMA at 10 a.m. for a good wander and then out to lunch.

I’m super excited to spend time with both of them, so near and dear to my heart.

Tomorrow I’m signed up for an early yoga class but I’m not sure what the rest of the day will look like.

Definitely more out and about with my camera.

Having downloaded the photographs I was eager to take more.

I posted to my other blog.

Which is exclusively photographs.

I hadn’t put fresh photographs on that site in about two years.

It was high time.

And then I decided I wanted to get out and take more.

It was pretty close to sunset and I speculated that I might be able to make Twin Peaks.

But.

It would be really close.

I hopped on my scooter, went to the gas station, topped off the tank–all of a $1.26–and headed out.

The light was fading fast and as I zoomed up Lincoln Ave I caught a glimpse of Grand View Park.

And I thought, there, that’s where I need to go, I’ve been to Twin Peaks, but I have never climbed up Grand View.

And it’s a climb, there’s no driving all the way to the top.

Although I took my scooter as far as I could, parking it at 14th and Moraga.

Then I scooped my camera and began climbing the flights of stairs to the top.

Which was helpful to warm me up a little.

My God it was cold and windy.

But.

It was worth it.

The views were out of this world.

I am so happy I did it.

My fingers could barely move as I took photos and I bumbled around a bit with my glasses and my feet and trying to line up shots with a steady hand that wasn’t shaking from the cold.

I got a few good ones.

Go check them out.

I hope to continue getting a few good ones.

I can’t promise how often I will post.

The editing takes time and then getting them up to the other blog, although there is not much writing, there is a lot of editing and it takes awhile to put together.

That being said.

I really enjoy doing it.

So I will as much as I can.

Especially this week when I have some free time to indulge in my little amateur hobby.

I love photography.

It makes me happy.

And as far as I’m concerned.

There is always room for more happy in my life.

Always.

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.

It Was A Long Day

November 15, 2016

And now it’s done.

Thank God.

I was up at 6 a.m.

At work at 8 a.m.

Worked 9.5 hours.

Held screaming baby for 2.5 too many hours.

Then screaming baby fell asleep on me for too many hours.

And I got no homework done.

But.

I had warm, snuggling baby on my heart and that makes for happiness.

Then after work a long scooter ride over the city and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go.

Wait.

What?

Sorry.

I know this is going to sound crazy.

But.

Yes.

I was signing Christmas carols earlier.

Shhh.

Not because I’m in some jolly good spirit or something.

No.

There’s a story book the baby likes, she’s not really a baby, she’s 20 months, but she likes it and it’s about seasons and in the winter season there is a picture of a group of old-fashioned carolers.

And one day a few weeks ago she said, “sing,” and pointed at the picture and I have no idea why, but I just started in on Deck The Halls and one thing led to another and there I am weeks before Halloween and I’m singing “Jingle Bells” and “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” and “White Christmas” and god only knows what else.

I know more Christmas carols than I knew.

Good gravy man.

So.

Yes, I sang some carols to get her to go back down to sleep.

She, the baby has been sick.

Me, the other baby, has been sick too.

Not so much that I needed to call off anything.

Not so much that I needed to cancel anything.

But I tell ya.

Riding over cross town to Amherst Street to hang out in a recreational room with a bunch of strangers and do the deal was not what I wanted to be doing after a long ass day with a sick tired baby, my brain, and another sick tired baby, my charge.

However.

That’s pretty much what happened.

And.

I have to say.

Grateful.

It was good.

I connected.

There was solution and I told parts of my story that I don’t always tell since it was a women’s only facility.

Good times.

And.

I saw the moon rise!

It was glorious.

I was way up in the Hills, Goat Rock Park, and turning towards Twin Peaks and I saw it through the trees and gasped.

I had to pull over.

I smacked myself on the head.

Why hadn’t I brought my new camera to work!?

Ugh.

But my new case is not here yet and I didn’t want it bouncing around in my scooter basket and oh well, but I took a picture with my heart.

It was big and orange like a persimmon.

It glowed like only the moon can and it rose slow, majestic, golden blood orange pumpkin ice cream, sherbert frosting sweet over the bay.

It took my breath away.

I was not the only person who had pulled over.

There was a little crowd of us on the edge of the sidewalk and the traffic leaving was a little kooky, but it was so worth the stop.

When I look at my life and what it could have been, where it was going, and then the sharp, amazing detour that it took, I am blessed beyond belief.

I will admit to being a bit grumpy.

A bit cranky.

A bit put out.

I really just wanted to come home after work, or go to my 6:30pm. doing the deal in the Inner Sunset, but that moon, that perspective, and then the gratitude I felt getting to leave the residential treatment on Amherst.

Fuck.

That was a good feeling.

I didn’t do rehab.

I didn’t do sober living.

I didn’t go to a hospital.

I detoxed in a church basement on Dolores and 19th.

I ate the cookies.

I bummed the cigarettes.

I drank a lot, A LOT, of really not so good coffee.

I was taken care of, I still am.

How could I not be grateful to do the service I did tonight?

Rehabs and treatment centers and homes freak me out a little, I have to say, they scare me, and I think I’m really freaking lucky that I got in the way I did and got to circumnavigate that experience.

And I know how much they help people.

I just can’t imagine having to do it.

I don’t know that I could have and I’m grateful I didn’t have to.

And yeah.

Life is good.

So I have a cold.

But I’m still going to go to yoga in the morning.

8:30 a.m. class.

I work at 1 pm-7pm so I’m hoping in between the shower and breakfast and coffee and morning pages writing after yoga I’ll be able to sneak in a little reading for work.

I’ll hie over to 7th and Geary after work and sit in another church basement tomorrow night.

I have a thing for church basements.

Heh.

I’ve got a full week.

I have a Covered California appointment downtown Thursday morning to fill out the application for health insurance through them, fingers crossed that all goes well.

Plus all the work this week, all the commitments.

And then school on Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

A speaking engagement Sunday night.

And right back to work at 8 a.m. on Monday.

Just like today.

Whew.

But.

Oh and this is a big but.

Get your mind out of the gutter.

I will only have a two-day work week next week!!

It’s Thanksgiving and my darling friend invited me to Nevada to hang out with her family and her sweet dogs and I’m gong to have a five-day weekend!

I am over the moon and I will be so ready for a break by that point.

I also have been saving my ducats so that the days off from work will be covered.

I’ll get paid for the holiday off but not for the other days.

It’s not going to matter.

I’m totally cool.

I worked extra last week and I’ve been frugal with my money this month.

I might be wanting to bring a few bucks with me for some holiday shopping with my friend or just splurging on coffees out and what not.

Oh.

I’m so excited.

Life.

So big.

So full.

So damn gorgeous.

Just like that splendid moon rise this evening.

I am.

Luckiest girl in the world!

I Had A Brilliant

October 31, 2016

Blog ready to go.

I mean I really did.

And usually all I need to get to that blog is a line, sometimes just a word, or an image.

I was messaging with a friend, cooking my Sunday afternoon roast chicken, and I commented on something and it triggered a thought and I was like!

Yes!

That!

That’s what I’m going to write about.

Then.

Well.

Fuck.

It doesn’t usually happen, I mean, it really does not, I completely forgot.

It was a “b” word, I remember that.

It was something that sounded like or reminded me of the word bear, but it’s not that and even if it was that, what the fuck am I doing writing a blog about a bear?

“Listen if you bring in the bear and you give it that much weight, that much suspense, you have to do something with the bear, otherwise, kill that chapter,” Alan Kaufman said.

Yeah, Alan.

I worked with him in a class for about nine months or so.

I was on a hot streak, I was writing like gang busters, I had put out a first draft manuscript for one book and was in the middle of writing the follow-up piece.

And there was a chapter in the book about a “camping trip.”

I put it in parenthesis as I was told when I got sober that was a cute way for me to label being homeless.

Which is basically what it was.

It’s not camping if you don’t have a home to return to after your trip is up.

But there had been a bear scare near where we were located and I wrote about that for the chapter I was presenting in class that week and Alan was not having it.

In fact.

Nobody was.

“I mean, Carmen, it’s really well written, you had me, I was right there, but then you didn’t do anything with it and why bother putting that much emphasis on something and then leaving your reader hang,” he concluded.

And although I liked the chapter.

Yes.

I did indeed scrap it.

I wrote another piece after that as well.

As well you know if you’ve been following my blogs, I have written manuscripts, but not done much with them and at this point, in life, in school, where I am.

I am just not going to make that much of a deal out of it.

If I wasn’t blogging.

Maybe it would be different.

But the blog provides me with something that is ineffable and I love to do it.

So why would I change?

It’s all really ego, after all, I want to say that I am a published author with a large body of works and a following, of course I would like to also make money from what I write, but I obviously haven’t pursued doing that.

And that’s like a total line of omission.

Yeesh.

What the fuck was Paris but a six month daily write-a-thon where I did finish another draft of the book and I did submit it to over 50 agencies and editors, where I did actually get published, with one short story in one magazine and a poem in another.

I have tried.

I tried really fucking hard.

But not much lately.

So.

This is just my little blog and I like it the way it is and I’m not seeking representation when I’m writing it, I’m not seeking fame, I’m not even seeking your attention, though, yes, granted, it is dreamy when I get it.

No.

This really is all for me.

And.

Sure.

I do get curious, I do want to have an affect, I do want to be seen as a good writer, but am I trying to get published right now?

No.

I will, most likely, I do believe, get published at some point.

There are just too many words in my head, too many stories, too many images to write about to not keep writing and with the constant practice I do hope to become a better writer, it’s not just about doing the writing though, it’s about doing the reading as well.

Not that I did much reading at all this weekend.

I ended up being really gentle to myself and slept a lot and hung out with friends.

Today I had an amazing lunch at PPQ Vietnamese over on Clement Street at 25th.

It had rained a bunch earlier and though it had cleared out by the time I went to meet my friend for lunch, it was still one of those dreary days when a good bowl of hot and sour soup is really in order.

We shared a pot of tea.

A large bowl, and it was large, of Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp and some shrimp fried rice.

We sat for hours and talked and caught up.

I was so grateful to spend time with him and talk about life, work, school, dating.

I’ve known him for over ten years.

It’s good to have friends that I can open up to, tell all to, not have to worry about judgements, confide in.

I have more of those than most I suspect.

And for that I am inexhaustibly grateful.

I do spend a lot of time on my own, I’m a tiny bit, a lot, of a lone wolf, but I have learned that doing it my way or on my own doesn’t always work out.

Heh.

Usually the results, well, let’s just say, not so good.

So.

I can’t remember what I was going to blog about, but there they are, all those lovely, delicious words.

I can tell you that I did good self-care today.

Roasted a chicken.

Made a perfect pot of rice.

Did my laundry.

Took a hot shower and washed my hair.

I even decided to let it air dry.

Hopefully it will be by the time I go to work tomorrow.

Heh.

It takes a while.

Oh.

But when I do.

How soft it is.

And tomorrow is Halloween and I don’t have a care in the world about it.

I do know my charges will be excited and that will be sweet to witness.

I do know that it has been a hoot seeing people out and about in their costumes all weekend.

I have always, will always, love San Francisco for embracing Halloween and all things dress up.

I do like a good costume.

The holidays are sneaking up and I have much reading to do, papers to write, and work to juggle, but just for today I let myself just be.

I read but a little.

I got tech help with a computer issue.

My tech guy was AMAZING.

And now I’m going to slowly wind it down as tomorrow is an early work day for me.

It was a slow, soft, sweet Sunday.

Thank you universe.

I needed that.

What Do You Write About?

September 19, 2016

Myself.

All the time.

Me.

I’m thinking about the Carmen show and what’s on the channel, and hey, what’s she going to do next?

I could also just take a moment, a fucking minute, a second, and appreciate what I did do today before moving on to the next yoga class, the next day at work, the next doing the deal, going after my PhD, the next date, what’s up with this thing, that thing, the other thing, hey where did all my time go?

Today.

I did a lot.

A LOT.

I cleaned like a house a fire.

Because.

Hey, don’t you know, grad school papers being due will light that fire under your ass and suddenly, wow, look how clean my toilet is!

Who knew I wanted to scour the bathroom today?

I mean.

Seriously.

I washed three loads of laundry.

Put fresh sheets on the bed.

Cleaned, tidied, swept, vacuumed, Swiffer’ed the floors, yeah I know it’s not a noun, shut up.

I also met with a lady for an hour and did the deal.

I just got back from sitting in a church on a folding chair too.

And.

I cooked like a person who is going to be hella busy all week.

A person who will be heading into her second weekend of grad school intensive madness this upcoming weekend.

The thing with the weekend program is that I have to work doubly hard the weekend before.

Not just catching up on all the reading.

ALL THE READING!

FUCK ME.

There is so much reading, especially for my Psychopathology and Psychological Assessment class, an absurd amount of reading.

I read so much yesterday I thought my eyes were going to fall out of my head.

I definitely felt my brain getting squashed trying to retain the information.

Anyway.

There is so much to do the weekend before too as it’s my prep for the work week and make food for school and make sure I have all my necessities in the house because I sure as shit won’t be making any stops after an eleven hour day in class.

The usual pit stop is my bed.

With maybe a blog in there to offset the school.

Granted.

I am looking forward to going to class because I miss my friends.

One of my girl friends and I texted a ton today and thank god for girlfriends, I got to get in a good check in, have a good cry, get it out of my system, and then suddenly see that I am taking things to damn seriously, that it’s not that big a deal and I have my big girl pants on and fuck me, it’s a gorgeous day out.

And.

My house is sparkling.

And.

Yes.

I did all the cooking.

I mean.

All of it.

I roasted a chicken yesterday.

I made salt and pepper encrusted roast chicken with tarragon butter; brown butter brussels sprouts with crimini mushrooms, and applewood smoked bacon; and huge pot of brown rice with turmeric and garlic.

I had an amazing dinner on the back patio and saved the chicken and rice for cooking today.

I made two things.

One of them I’ll be eating at work and the other I will take with me to classes over the weekend.

The first thing I did was strip the meat off the chicken I roasted last night and I tossed the bones and carcass along with a yellow onion into some water and let is simmer down for soup stock.

Then I took the nicer bits of the chicken and sautéed them with onions and garlic and added shredded brussels sprouts and brown mushrooms to the mix.

I mixed in some turmeric garlic brown rice and froze up three double containers of it.

One for each day I’m in class.

Then.

I made chicken soup.

I shredded the chicken meat off the bones, after they had cooled off a bit, added a bunch of veggies and herbs and let it all sit and simmer while I got on with my grad school self.

I wrote two papers today.

Booya!

They were actually a tiny bit more challenging than I thought, but mostly from the standpoint of having to be succinct and clear in two to three pages.

Sometimes a short paper is harder to write because I have a lot to say.

A lot.

And then I have to go back and tailor it and edit it down.

Which I did.

Then when the papers were done I had a nice bowl of homemade chicken soup and a slice of sharp cheddar cheese and sat on the back patio and caught the last of the warm sunny day.

I was not remiss to miss the day.

It’s going to happen.

I’m in graduate school.

There’s a lot I am going to miss out on while I do the work to be in the program.

I’m grateful that I get to go to graduate school.

Not that many people do.

Despite my skewered position and perspective, I know how extraordinary it is to be getting a higher education in this world, my griping about student loans not withstanding.

So when I ran into a woman tonight and we were talking school and writing she wanted to pick my brain and ask all sorts of questions about writing and how do you do it.

 

You want to be a writer/you don’t know how or when/find a quiet corner/use a humble pen.

That’s it.

Sit down and write.

Show up to the page without expectation of what is going to come out.

Practice, just well, just fucking do it.

There is no becoming a writer or a therapist or a doctor or a pro-athlete without putting in the time and effort.

If I had waited until I had a good idea about what to write, well, I wouldn’t be writing now.

I just show up.

That’s the magic.

That’s it.

I swear.

Sit down.

Show up.

The magic always happens.

Granted it doesn’t always look like what I think it should look like.

It’s often better.

Now.

You’ll have to excuse me.

I have some more reading to do.

Happy Sunday y’all.

Make it a great fucking week.

 


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