Posts Tagged ‘dolores park cafe’

Kindness

March 10, 2017

I was blown away by a conversation I had with my boss today.

It started out as a bit of a joke around how I didn’t strike yesterday for International Hooha day yesterday.

That’s Women’s Day for you.

But you know what I mean.

I told her it just didn’t feel right to strike on my job when I work for a mom who runs her own business and has three children.

We joked a bit and the conversation turned to family and I found myself sharing things with her that I have not shared with previous employers.

I found myself sharing as though she were my friend.

Cautiously.

Yes.

I mean I needn’t go into gory details.

But.

I did tell her a bit more about my family.

Specifically my dad.

Which I found myself quietly feeling out the words to explain the relationship and also, and here I was really surprised by my openness, that I was thinking about going and seeing him this July when the family is traveling in Europe.

They will be gone for three weeks.

And.

I was just told tonight as I was leaving that they have the dates for their trip and also the dates for a work trip the dad will be taking at the end of this month.

I am going to help out while he is away for a week.

I’m not sure exactly what that will look like, but I will be helping out more.

I also suspect that I won’t mind at all.

She, the mom, is really becoming my friend and it’s a different relationship with a boss than I have had.

Granted.

I have had some amazing.

AMAZING.

Parents that I have gotten to work with.

Let me repeat that.

Amazing.

I am really lucky to call the majority of them my friends.

But I would also say that it was more after the fact than during the beginning of the work relationship.

I just find myself so at ease with her and I feel like I am a different person than the nanny I was when I first started.

I am also much more sure of myself and I am very aware of how good I am.

Which is not ego, but humility.

It would be false pride to belittle what I do or to downplay it.

“I could not do what you do,” my person told me last Saturday, “you really do astound me with how good you are, I still remember how you just pulled out a bag of snacks that one time I ran into you with the boys.”

She recounted a time years back when I was first began doing recovery work with her and I had a nanny gig at the time in Cole Valley.

I ran into her and some fellows and I had one of my charges with me and I had snacks and diapers and back up clothes and milk and wet wipes and god only knows what else, probably a teething ring or three and bags to put wet clothes in and hand disinfectant and the kitchen sink and…

She remembers, though and recounted it, not for the first time, with awe, and I don’t think anything of it, that’s just how I roll, prepared.

There used to be a time though when I was a lot more uncertain of myself and my worth.

I don’t think I was ever uncertain of my abilities, just not of my worth.

I  remember fondly an “intervention” some friends of mine did at Samovar Tea Lounge after I had just moved back from Paris.

It was a combination welcome home and you’re amazing and should be making more money at your job and we want to help you do that.

Eventually all that peer support sunk in and I got the picture.

I started to advocate more for myself and I started to get better jobs.

And now.

Well.

It may really be the best nanny gig I have.

Health insurance.

Paid vacation.

Sick leave.

Invitations to imbibe of their food, nice food, organic food, really nice procured stuff.

I drink nice tea and have all the coffee I could possibly want.

I get to be out and about with my charges.

I have a credit card in my name.

Of course, I can’t get cash with it and they are fully aware of what I use it for, but it’s so handy, I pick up dry cleaning, I use the card, I run to Whole Foods or Rainbow, ditto, I have it to put extra money on the Clipper card (the MUNI pass for the trains), or to take my charges to Dolores Park Cafe for mini pizza.

I have the dream nanny job.

And.

I LOVE my boss.

I feel appreciated, understood, and we talk.

Like we have conversations about the world, the state of the nation under the current administration, art, Paris, Burning Man, San Francisco, homelessness, the mayor, rent and rent control, health insurance, school stuff.

I mean.

I have shared a lot.

So today it was not new exactly, it was just sharing on a slightly deeper level and twice I found myself tearing up in empathy for her kindness and good heartedness and how she just looked at me with her big blue/green eyes and it seemed as though she got it.

She got me.

In fact.

I felt like I was in the field with her.

The field is a psychology term that I liken to be in a therapy session.

There is intuition there and connection and things are seen from both sides, the therapist and the client.

There is often a kind of subconscious connection and things pop up and out and it happened today.

I thought something as she handed me the baby and then she said exactly what I was thinking.

I have found things like that happen to me when I am in tune with another, but I don’t know that it has ever happened with an employer, although as soon as I write that I have curiosity about that statement.

Regardless

It happened.

We connected.

It was a moment of awe that I got to take in and I was just super grateful for her.

And for the little lady bug who tonight when I was making dinner stopped me, looked up, and said, “Carmen I love you, and Carmen,” she said and paused almost shyly, “Carmen, you’re beautiful.”

I stopped stirring the pot and looked at her, this little fairy elven woods creature with big saucer blue eyes and the fey downy blonde eyebrows on her face rose as her eyes widened, and she looked up at me, “you want to hug me now don’t you?”

“Yes,” I do, F__________.”

“Ok.”

I put the wooden spoon down and gathered her up and hugged her.

“I love you too.”

And I do.

Very.

Very.

Very much.

I am such a lucky girl.

Luckiest girl in the world.

And.

I’m also a school girl.

Tomorrow is my first day back to school.

So.

Off to bed I go.

See you on the flip.

Sweet dreams my loves.

Sweet dreams.

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And Then There Was Hail

January 24, 2017

Holy shit was there hail today.

It hailed at least three, four times today.

Hard.

The first was this morning writing and drinking a nice coconut/almond milk latte and thinking about my week and trying to not freak out about school and practicum and stuff.

Trying being the operative word.

What if I sent in a fucked up resume?

Why would he want me?

I don’t want to deal with it anymore.

And I’ve only begun to deal with it.

Then the hail.

Rather jolted me from my place of anxiety.

Oh yeah.

There is only so much I can do today and the most important is to get to work on time and yes, I’ll be taking a car please and thank you.

I took a few deep breaths and yes, I know there is plenty to do, but in that moment, this morning, I had done all I could and it was time to leave.

Slip into the new rain boots.

And really I am astounded at myself for not getting them sooner.

“Your feet are big!” My employer exclaimed.

And I laughed.

Yes, they are big, especially in comparison to her tiny tootsies, but I wasn’t offended in the least, I think that’s a big part of why I never got rain boot before, they make my feet look astoundingly huge.

But who cares?

My God, they keep my feet warm and dry.

And they give me an excuse to pull out all of my tall socks that I normally don’t wear except when I’m in boots at Burning Man.

I have been happily pillaging my sock drawer for the last few days.

I am almost sad to see the rain go.

Almost.

I am hella happy that I will be back on my scooter tomorrow.

It just guts my commute time.

I am very ready for that.

Plus.

It’s cheaper.

I mean, even cheaper than MUNI.

I pay less in gas that lasts me days then for one ride on the trains.

Granted I am grateful for those trains.

I rode one home tonight after dinner with a friend who was celebrating a birthday.

It was a surprise being able to make it, but I am glad I did.

It was good to catch up and have company and talk and hang out.

I am trying my best to say yes when people want to spend time with me.

I went out to tea yesterday.

I went out to dinner today.

Not too shabby.

I did the deal and had a great time there too.

Sometimes everything that I hear is everything that I need to hear.

It was good.

So good.

Everything today was good.

Even getting caught outside with my two charges and getting caught in a horrendous down pour and hail drop.

Thank God we were huddle under a couple of the big palm trees by Mission Dolores High School, the trees gave a bit of shelter and we all were in rain boots and jackets and I had my umbrella, but there was nowhere to go, it was stay put, huddle up and keep the wee ones close.

The crazy hail stopped and we dashed to Dolores Park Café.

Animal crackers and mini pizza for them.

A big café au lait for me.

And a sweet message from the mom and dad, “where are you, we’re coming to pick you up.”

So nice.

We did some puddle stomping before we got picked up.

Nothing says good times like stomping puddles with little ones in rain boots.

Stupid fun.

We got back and played with robots and stuffed dogs and chatted and I am happy to say that I am super glad that I am working this job.

I feel appreciated and though the kids occasionally have a hard time, Monday’s are traditionally hard anyway, by the end of the day we were best pals again.

The dad and I took pictures off the back porch of the rainbow, double rainbows, that happened after one of the hails storms.

The mom and I rescued a hummingbird that had bashed into the sliding glass door of the patio.

The six and a half-year old gave me the “huggies” because he missed me.

The four and a half-year old vehemently defended me to her play time fancies when her brother tried to ensorcell me to the Legos.

It was a good day at work.

It was a good day for easy does it and letting me be enough.

I tried to explain to my friend how it was that it had taken 14 years of rainy season before I got rain boots and it really comes down to that, “I’m not enough, I’m not worthy, rain boots are an extravagance.”

And the truth is that nothing that brings me happiness and warmth is an extravagance.

I mean.

Maybe if I got like fur-lined rain boots, but no, the things that I deny myself sometimes because of that unconscious belief that I am just not allowed for not being enough.

It’s good to see it.

It’s even better to have accepted it.

It’s there, it’s a part of my make up.

And.

The best thing is that with that acceptance I was and am able to now take actions that help me see just how enough I actually am.

I am plenty enough.

There will be times when I forget this, but having accepted that it is a basic part of my make up I can take action to alleviate the symptoms of martyrdom when it trips me up.

Nobody is going to be affected by my lack of rain boots.

Except me.

I won’t be going without again.

It’s too lovely to have dry feet.

And I am allowed that.

Probably.

Most certainly.

A whole lot more.

But for today I will be happy that my boots kept me dry in the crazy last gasp of this winter storm.

Tomorrow there is the sun.

I am ready for it.

And I’m sure my rain boots won’t mind a break.

Shit.

I live in San Francisco.

They will see action again.

Serious action.

I am sure of it.

 

Just a Matter of Logistics Now

August 7, 2013

I got the commissary passes today.

I got the ride up secure.

I got the ticket, the early arrival pass, I got the can’t fall asleep at night because I am thinking about what I am going to wear on playa.

Shaddup.

That’s where my head goes.

That and who am I going to hook up with.

But that is neither here nor there.

First is to get there, or rather to stay present with what is happening now.

I leave in ten days and I have started the conversation about work, on playa and leading up to playa, how to get my stuff to my family, I am going to need a ride into city, and what my schedule for that last week looks like as far as the nannying goes.

I picked up three more shifts this week!

That was a happy surprise.

One family got tickets to Outside Lands and asked me to cover this Friday and Saturday.  And one family has extra work to do at the Burning Man Head Quarters on Friday.

Friday is going to be an epic day.

I will be working in Cole Valley from 8:45a.m. to 5pm or thereabouts and then straight over to the Castro, up to 19th between Noe and Sanchez, until 10:30pm or so.

I am looking at a possible 13 hour day on Friday.

I am also looking to be financially secure for the week, so I am down for the deal.

Especially since I have the next two days off.

Which would explain why I was not too hesitant to drink a large cup of coffee this evening at Dolores Park cafe while I sat in the sun and waited for my friend Tami to come over and join me.

Of course when my brain is doing the tap dance of doom at 1a.m. and I am nowhere near falling asleep I may regret this action, but man, it was tasty in that kind of naughty you know better sort of way.

Yeah, that’s right, that’s how I get my transgressions on, I drink caffeine at 7 o’clock at night.

Watch out.

As the true weekend approaches I am sure that I will have a moment or two or fifteen when I think that I don’t have enough time to prep, but the fact is, pretty much what I told the mom today as we were discussing leave times, next Friday late afternoon, that I travel really light.

My playa bike is probably the biggest burden, and they already have it lined up in their garage, next to mom’s bike and the baby’s covered wagon.

Oh yes, I said covered wagon.

He has a Radio Flyer with an awning.

It is so posh.

I want to throw some pillows in it and have a cute boy pull me around while I sip iced coffees and, ok, even I know that is utter fantasy, but the wagon is beyond adorable, and I can see that it will be a handy little device for toting the boy.

Although I wonder if he’ll actually stay sitting in it for too long, completely beyond my concern at this point, but those are the weird little loop holes my brain will rabbit hole about.

How to secure the baby in the wagon that may or may not even go to the event depending on how much stuff they manage to get into their truck.

As long as I get into the truck with my few possessions it will all be fine.

Yes, that is totally self-centered of me, what of it?

I was asked to also work next Friday, to help with the baby while the parents pack and load.  I figure, may as well, make that money while the sun shines.   I then thought, how the hell am I going to get over to them on a Friday morning commute rush with my Burning Man togs?

Then I realized I could probably just pack it all up, catch a ride with a friend into the city on Thursday and on load into their garage, crash in the guest room and just be there, present, and ready to roll out when they are.

Logistics.

They are getting worked out.

I am uncertain what hours I am nannying next week, yet to hear from my Tahoe family, but they should be coming back into town and I do recall a brief conversation in regards to scheduling and I think I may actually work a full week before departing.

This is good.

It will keep me busy.

I will have tomorrow and Thursday of this week to finish any prep I have.

Not much there.

I realized I need to get either more batteries for my camera or get a recharger for US electrical outlets.  The battery recharger I have for my camera is European.

Other than that, I really cannot think of anything.

Oh, well, my bike basket hasn’t come in yet, but what ever, if it doesn’t it won’t be a huge inconvenience, I am sure I can pick up something easy and quick.

I really am pretty ready.

Feels good, exciting, a turning point again.

As of this Burning Man I will have lived outside of San Francisco for a year.

Last year I moved out of the creepy little room I had on Folsom Street, put the few things I did not get rid of into storage at a friend’s house, then went to Burning Man, taking all my worldly possessions onto playa.

Getting back I spent the next two months house sitting Graceland and commuting into the bike shop.

Then there was that six months in Paris.

And then back here to Graceland for the last three months.

That makes a year, one year out of the eleven since I made the big geographic from Wisconsin to California.

One amazing year of learning, crying, glitter, growing, moving.

Only to do it all over again.

Had I to know how many trains, buses, bicycle rides, airplanes, taxis, and cars I was to take in this past year, the Metro, the RER, the BART, the MUNI, the on foot, the tunnels, the EuroSTAR, the terminals, escalators, elevators, and stairs I would climb, the logistical nightmare of it all would have spun me out.

Just show up and be present, I tell myself, it always works its way out.

Always.

 

Tuesday, It’s a Good Day

July 3, 2013

For a panic attack.

I shit you not, I had my first panic attack in about oh, six years.

Man that was not fun.

In tears, on the floor, trying to desperately regulate my breathing.

All because I am powerless over BART and my life is fucking unmanageable.

Fortunately it was a baby panic attack, probably more of an anxiety attack than anything, but the lead up to it was hella sexy.

Not.

I was trying to juggle too many people and too many schedules.

Attempting to figure out how I was going to make it back to East Oakland tonight so that I could bicycle commute to North Oakland in the morning for a nanny gig.

Throw in I had a 6pm meet up at Dolores Park Cafe, followed by a 7:30pm commitment at the Women’s Building.

Add to the crazy I was leaving the house sitting gig, so like a good hermit crab I was going to have to pack up all my belongings and trundle them along with me to the East Bay.

Oh, yeah, and I was attempting to figure out how to pick up the keys to the house sitting gig I am doing starting Thursday, here in SF.

Then, the final cherry on the top, I am nannying on Thursday and Friday here in SF.

Holy mother of God.

No wonder I was freaking out.

All I could do was make a cup of tea and sit down and be grateful that the baby was sleeping.

I posted something to facecrack, then got a few responses but nothing that quite seemed to make the proper connection, in fact, it all seemed to get bigger and more blown out and more complicated the more I looked at it.

Then the mom in North Oakland shoots me a text saying, we’re still on for tomorrow, right?  And I’m in the city until 8pm if you need a ride back to the East Bay.

I do, but I have a bicycle that won’t fit into your car along with the timing on picking up the keys and I suppose I could leave the bike here, but then how do I get from Graceland to North Oakland–it’s seven miles and um, yeah, the BART is not going that away either.

I mean I suppose I could take the bus?

Cue the unset of panic, the baby is waking up, the texts are whistling in, and I just about blew a gasket.

I stopped, turned off the phone, well, I turned it to silent.

Then I realized I could probably ask for some help and guidance and I didn’t need to figure it out on my own, even though I was still trying to figure it out on my own.

I knew in my heart I was going to have to cancel one thing.

Either the pet sit.

Or the nanny in Oakland.

I was going to have to be on one side of the bay or the other.

The back and forth was just not an option.

I wanted to crawl into a five gallon bucket of mint chocolate chip ice cream and cry.

Instead I ate half a bag of baby carrots and some organic humus and I started making the phone calls.

The first three I was in such a panic explaining what was happening that I think I actually did not leave a cohesive message.

I called John Ater first and said the breathing is not working, I can’t catch my breath, but I could hear him in my head, “just breathe, just breathe, take another deep breath.”

I left my inchoate message on his voice mail, tears rolling down my face, talking to myself out loud to breathe and called the next person on the list.

I called four people, left four messages, and on the fifth hit the jackpot.

I got a live person.

Honey.

Oof.

She just listened and made some suggestions and asked me what I could do and next thing you know I am telling her all I really care about is meeting this person at 6pm at Dolores Park Cafe and then going to the Women’s Building, that I know everything else will fall into place, the keys, the transportation, where I am going to stay, how it will work.

I don’t know how, but just focusing on that, just getting from 5 o’clock to the baby is getting picked up and then get on bike and go to the cafe.

Just that.

Oh, yes, and take care of the baby.

Which I managed to do and was most likely the reason why I did not go into full-blown attack, I had a responsibility, a little life, a person completely reliant on me.

I knew that he was my only true concern at the moment and that it all was going to suss its way out.

I listened to my friend’s suggestions, made eyes with the baby, flirting with a boy always helps, then took the next action in front of me.

I called the people I nanny for and was house sitting for in Cole Valley and asked if I could stay two more evenings (I work as a nanny here Thursday and Friday).  Dad is back and there is no need for me to be here.

Mom said yes, just clear it with dad.

I text dad.

Dad said it’s a go.

I have a place to stay.

Check.

I called the person who had offered to give me a lift if I needed it and said thank you, but I am going to pass, I’m staying put.

Which meant calling the family in the East Bay and saying those words I so dread, “I have to cancel, I am sorry, but I am staying in the city.”

Of course the mom was entirely sympathetic and we worked it out that she is actually going to bring her daughter here.

So I won’t lose a gig, I won’t lose my mind, I won’t be hurting myself trying to shuttle all my stuff to the East Bay and then back to the city and I won’t be having any more panic attacks today.

Thank fucking God.

Just like that, just ask for help, just stop figuring it out.

Figure it out ain’t a god damn slogan.

The show’s officially in town all week, pull up a chair.


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