Posts Tagged ‘full time work’

Buried Alive

August 29, 2019

This is it folks.

You may not see or hear from me in weeks.

In fact.

I am already askance at myself for not throwing myself headlong into some reading, writing, researching, or the other.

Why, I’m writing my blog when there is a shit ton, a fuck ton, a whole lot of things to do this semester.

I knew that at my intensive, when just after two days of one class I realized that class alone was going to be a full time job.

Then.

Add in two more classes.

One is “light,” like I only have to read five books.

But the other is fairly substantial and I am thinking about using the work in progress project to write a potential publishable paper.

I get ahead of myself, but it was suggested that I might want to do that by a fellow who’s on the three year course track.

He listened to my project and was like, “you should publish that,” then told me how to do it, then approached my professor and told him what we had discussed and the professor liked it!

Holy fuck.

Anyway.

One day back from the intensive and I haven’t done a lot, although I have done plenty.

Since I have been back I have had supervision, seen 7 clients, worked a nanny shift, went grocery shopping, did laundry, and food prepped for the week.

That in and of itself is full time work.

Then, today at work, while the little guy napped (why oh why have his naps grown shorter!?) I plugged in all the due dates and assignments and readings that I needed to do over the semester into my Google calendar.

My calendar looks crazy.

It looks like every spare minute has been accounted for until mid December when the semester ends.

I sense the days are going to fly by because they will all be so very full with the work that I have to do.

I have a lot to do.

This is by far the heaviest work load.

And.

In a sense the most clear cut.

I figured out who I want to be my chair for my PhD dissertation committee and I also asked said person, or at least gave him the heads up.

It will still have to go through the channels and what not, but I know who I want and I believe he wants to work with me.

Plus.

I asked another person to be on my committee and she said yes.

So, that’s positive.

Granted, I can’t actually assign anyone to my committee without my chair’s approval.

So first the chair.

That will officially happen in November.

But I interviewed with three professors at the intensive and with each one I talk substantively about what I am doing and what my inquiry is and how I want to pursue the work.

Two of the professors I talked to for an hour.

One professor I only got to catch for ten minutes between classes, but she was ecstatic with my idea and really impressed with how I’m going about it.

She recommended that I sit in on a former TA’s dissertation defense, which I did and she was the person I asked to be my second committee member.

The professor also suggested I take her elective in Spring, which I had already written down to take!

So my courses are lined up.

I will get through this semester and I’m going to light it on fire.

I’m going to bring it.

The fact that I am going down two days of nannying a week for me is even a bigger deal now.

I need that time.

I also want to have incoming therapy clients fill up those spots, but every spare minute is going to be used.

I had clients cancel for this Friday, not all, but two, Labor Day weekend travel plans, and I immediately blocked the time off to do homework.

I will always, always, always, be carrying my laptop with me so that I can take whatever time I get whenever I get it, to be online, posting discussion posts.

I will always have one, if not two or even three books with me so that I have something I am consistently reading.

This is the semester to get my literature together.

For my Ecology of Ideas class I have to submit a literature journal with 250-300 pieces of literature–dissertations, studies, books, articles, etc.

I don’t have to read them through, but I will need to be consistently searching for materials as well as consistently skimming and scanning and adding them to my annotated bibliography and my journal.

There is so much to do.

It’s exciting too.

I’m not going to lie.

I can really see it coming together and I plan on submitting my proposal next fall instead of waiting for the fall semester to work on the proposal, I am going to do it over the summer.

I am going to dig in next summer and get it done, it will literally save me a year of tuition and waiting for approval.

A friend of mine who TA’s for some of the courses did that this intensive.

She did all her course work in two years, like I am in the middle of doing, took the summer to work on her proposal and the second day of the intensive, the first day of classes, she defended her proposal and got it approved.

Which means she moves right into her dissertation.

I’m all for it.

I made a pact with a friend of mine in the cohort and that’s what we’re going to do.

It will knock out time and a lot of tuition.

Fuck my student loans are big.

But you know.

I am so fucking worth it.

And so is my idea.

I can’t wait to show it to the world.

Until then though.

You will not see a lot of me this semester.

I literally am going to be buried under books.

I might come up for a breather around Thanksgiving.

But for now.

Well.

See ya.

I got shit to read.

So much.

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Waiting For

August 6, 2018

The offer letter.

It was supposed to come today.

I didn’t get it.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t get the position!

“I’m offering the position to you, it’s yours,” she said emphatically 3/4s of the way through the interview.

I was so thrilled.

Yesterday morning I got up super early and headed over to Alameda to interview for the Grateful Heart Therapy private practice internship.

And I was hired.

The director let me know that she would be writing up the offer and sending it to me to officially accept today.

But.

Well, she had some things come up and I will get the letter tomorrow.

I was going to hold off on writing about it until I had the official letter in my hot little hands, but I have been very excited about it.

I really am, eventually, going to get paid for the work I do as a psychotherapist!

This is very exciting.

There will be some big transitions, but I feel like they are going to all work out well.

I was also extremely pleased to find out that the group supervision which is required for the first six months of the internship, the supervision that only happens on Thursdays, might also actually work for me.

There are a number of groups that meet on Thursdays and the incoming fall cohort would typically all be together, forming a sort of support team for each other as we all learn the ropes about how to craft and create and sustain our own private practices.

However.

I was told, the director knew that I have a full-time nanny position, that there might be some flexibility there for me.

I was happily surprised.

I was getting ready to tell my employer I wasn’t going to be able to work on Thursdays anymore and I was already trying to figure out how I would manage with the loss of one day of work a week until I am established with enough clients to pay my bills.

Which may take a few months.

But.

No.

The director told me that she knew of my dilemma and that though it was typical to start a new hire with other new hires, there was an opening in the earliest group of the day, Thursdays at 8:30a.m.

Granted.

Sigh.

This means getting up really early on Thursdays so that I can drive over to Alameda for group supervision until 10:30a.m and then driving back over the bridge to Glen Park for my nanny job, but fuck, it means I won’t lose out on income while I am making the transition.

I was super surprised that she made that offer.

Then I realized.

They really wanted me.

The director had already come up with a way to facilitate for my needs!

This was just moments before the position was offered to me, I felt this warm shift in the room and then, boom, she told me they wanted me and that she thought I was the perfect fit for the organization.

I could also tell that she was moved by my honesty and vulnerability in my interview.

Interviewing for a therapist position would be the place to be vulnerable, you might guess, and it paid off handsomely.

I am very pleased.

So today I reached out to my former professor and updated her on my situation, I will be renting office space from her and eventually she will be my solo supervisor.

For the first six months of the internship I will be with the group and I can continue to do so if I want, and/or implement supervision with my professor.

What Grateful Heart does is provide all the administrative support, overhead, insurance, and tax infrastructure that an AMFT (Associate Marriage Family Therapist) needs to be able to practice and get paid.

Effectively helping me to establish my own private practice.

So that by the time I have licensure I will already have a private practice up and running.

They will deal with my lease, they will pay my rent, they will pay my supervisor.

I will pay them $350 a month for the administrative work and to pay out my supervisor.

The money my clients pay will be directed to them, they take out fees, rent, supervision costs and then they will cut me a check out of what is left and it will be direct deposited  to my bank.

I will learn about how to get referrals, how to network, how to build up my own website.

Holy shit.

My own website.

I have been doing this blog for a long time, but I have never had my own website.

I have been thinking that I want to write a blog for my website, something therapeutically oriented, a sort of gift to clients or would be clients, a tool that can be used for their own self-care and as a way to promote my business.

I have to think about what I will call my practice.

I am nervous, but in a good way.

This is very exciting stuff.

I will leave my current internship at the Liberation Institute, where I was told rather sweetly by members in my group yesterday how much I will be missed, sometime in October.

Some of my clients will go with me.

Not all of them, however, I will be charging $80-$100 a session.

When I get licensed I will be charging $150-$200 a session.

And some of my current clients won’t be able to afford that, Liberation Institute is community mental health with an extraordinary sliding scale where no one is turned away for lack of funds.

But a few of my clients will be able to afford it and I suspect that a few may decide to stay with me as well, despite the raise in rates.

I am hopeful that I will get referrals from people I know in community as well as from my professor.

Even my own therapist said she would refer clients to me.

So it feels good.

Hopeful.

New.

Exciting.

I will share the letter with you tomorrow.

And whatever else happens as I move forward into this next phase of my developement.

Oh!

Before I forget.

I bought my books for my PhD program today too!

Things are really happening.

REALLY!

It’s Still Light Out!

June 20, 2018

Yes.

I know it’s Day Light Savings and we’re just a few days away from the longest day of the year, but that’s not it.

Both my clients cancelled tonight.

Both.

And then the boss let me go a half hour early.

Not only was I able to go hit up the spot and get my God on, I actually got home and have eaten dinner and it’s still light out!

I cannot remember the last time I have been home this early.

It’s nice.

It’s a little weird, but nice.

And since I do have to get up early tomorrow for another early start at work, I’m ok with it.

I briefly flirted with the idea of going to yoga class.

But it seemed better to have dinner earlier than to wait until 9p.m.

Which is what would have happened had I done the yoga.

And I knew who the teacher was today, I had checked the schedule and I noted the instructor, who isn’t bad, but also, well, isn’t good either.

Another instructor I might have decided to do it, but this guy, well, home and an early dinner and some relaxing sounded about right.

Grateful for a mellow week so far.

I’ve only had one client this week, when typically I would be in the middle of my fourth session of the week right now.

I have three clients left to see this week and no one tomorrow.

It feels like I got a little mini-break in the middle of my work week.

This makes me laugh.

Just working a full-time work week feels like an easy week.

I’ll also be putting in a little over time, but really, it does feel really quite relaxed.

Just thinking ahead to that mystical far off, well, maybe not so far off, but still a few years out, when I just get to be a therapist for work and don’t have to juggle full-time nannying along with my internship.

When that happens I will happily put some of the things in my life that I have not had much of back in.

More doing the deal.

More fellowshipping.

More yoga, or some sort of exercise.

But for right now, I am content.

I’m not upset that this is where my life’s at, I’ve been working really hard for the last three years to get to this point.

I still have two to three years before I’ll be fully licenced.

By which time I will have taken my boards, all the tests that I will have to take to get there, plus I will have finished my PhD program.

I haven’t any real clue how much work that is going to be, but I suspect it will be similar to what the load was when I was getting my Master’s degree.

There is a part of me that hopes that I can cut back on the nannying by June or July of next year.

There is a part of me that hopes I’ll be done with it completely, but I am not sure if that’s a for sure thing.

I would need to carry a lot of clients.

I will get there though.

And I do think that I could possibly get there before I am licensed.

I know  of people who have had full-time client loads as interns.

It’s doable.

I just have to make enough money.

I feel that what will happen is going to be gradual.

Come January, when my contract is up with the family I may say, hey, let me cut down to four days a week or three, then pick up clients full-time on those days.

I have discussed it a little with the mom, but not in detail.

Fact is.

I don’t know how it’s going to look, I can only speculate.

I do know that I have a date to meet with my new supervisor on July 11th and fingers crossed I will have my AMFT # by that point.

I have started to watch the mail.

I’ve been watching the mail for a minute now, actually.

I haven’t gotten my SF Tenant’s Union hand book yet and I’m wondering where it’s at.

I need to write my landlady that letter and it would be helpful to have the handbook.

I probably don’t need it to do the letter, but there’s a part of me that wants to have the extra support as I’m writing the letter to make sure that I have the pertinent details listed.

My therapist and I talked about it a bunch today.

It’s good to have that support.

I won’t see her for a couple of weeks what with my upcoming trip to New York about to happen.

That letter will be sent before I fly out.

I’m sure I will have  much to cover in our next session.

I reflected on that today.

Life keeps showing up.

Things keep happening.

My therapist and I had briefly discussed what it would be like for me moving forward and how she could support me and whether or not I go down to therapy every other week.

But fuck.

Things happen.

Graduation.

My mom’s visit.

Travel.

Relationships.

Work.

The 90 day move out bomb.

I don’t think that now is the time to cut back on the therapy.

It’s super helpful.

Super helpful.

And, well, I like having the resource too for other aspects of my life.

There are things that I don’t talk about with the majority of other people in my life that my therapist gets to hear and it’s such a gift to have that outlet.

It’s nice to, that I get to also give that gift to another.

Even if it’s a light week for me.

I am still showing up for my clients.

Partially just by living my life to its utmost fullest.

With love.

And boundless gratitude.

No matter how life shows up.

It’s life.

I’m alive.

It’s all good.

You’re A Natural!

November 19, 2017

He said.

And his wife added, “have you done this before?  Even my kids were riveted, they didn’t even look on their phones!”

I will take that, especially since it was coming from local rap legend Big Rich.

He’s going to be one of the people sharing a lecture at “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.”

I met him today and another of the speakers.

We did a rehearsal at Project Level, which is a place for kids in the Fillmore to make music, it’s Big Rich’s personal project.

He’ll be the finale of the show and he’ll be doing a freestyle version of his famous ode to San Francisco.

There will also be the Design Principle at Form4 Architecture, John Marx, my patron, and friend, who will be speaking on his experience with kindness.

There will be a woman talking about her eating disorder and how she dealt with it.

There will be a secular Muslim woman who decided to go back to her roots and start to wear the hijab again and what that experience is like for her in todays political climate.

Another man who is deaf will share his experience being normalized by his family and forced to act like he could hear growing up.  He’s now big in tech.

There will be a man in a wheelchair who is paralyzed from the neck down.  He experienced a car accident at the age of 19 that paralyzed him.  He’s now finishing a Master’s degree in Engineering at Berkeley and he designs machines and technology to help people who need assisted living mechanisms.

And me.

Little old me.

I’ll be speaking about my running away to San Francisco, finding myself in the party scene, losing it all and getting it back and how it happened.

Or something to that effect.

I was super happy to do the rehearsal today, albeit a bit nervous, to perform in a small group in front of people I really don’t know, but I went to the bathroom and did a little praying and got right with myself and asked to carry the message, to be a conduit and, well to not fuck it up.

And I did pretty damn good.

If I do say so myself.

I did forget one part of the lecture, but remembered it half-way through and was able to join it into the material without too much distraction.  No one noticed but me and one of the producers who had seen the narrative and I had practiced three times in front of her the lecture this past Monday.

Otherwise it was seamless.

And both the producers had tears on their face when I finished.

That felt good to see, that emotional connection was made and I was able to do the entire lecture in the time permitted.

I feel really positive about it.

I was linked to the page today and sent invites out to folks.

Come by if you’re in town!

It’s going to be interesting as well as the venue will be hosting a private Christmas party for the owner of Uber, who will be having Kaskade play.

I mean.

Fuck.

Kaskade’s playing Bill Graham at the end of December which is a gigantic show, the capaacity there is 8,500.  And. He’s going to be at the same event I’m going to be at?

Um.

Ok.

That’s going to be a party.

Seriously.

I just checked The Chapel’s website and so far nothing’s been posted about that date, but the tickets for the lecture series are available through EventBrite.

What the hell am I going to wear?

Good grief.

I’m really excited to get to be a part of this experience and super grateful that I get to show up in front of friends and community and just really tell my story, some of the dramatic parts of it, anyway.

And getting to share it with not just people in my recovery community, but friends from Burning Man, former employers, school mates and even one of my professors is going to come!

It means a lot.

And in other news.

I decided to not freak out and not try to cram all my 3,000 hours into the next three years.

After a really insightful group supervision today at my internship I got a lot of super good information about the process of tracking my hours and to take the damn pressure off myself.

Instead of trying to cram every single hour I can into my week, I’m going to relax, to let things happen, to accept that I could, although I probably won’t, take the full 6 years the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) allows one to take after graduation.

I would rather be a little slower, slow down, enjoy my life, enjoy the process, to the best of my ability while I’m still working full-time, and just let the hours accrue without having to be anxious about getting them all in the next three years.

I just switched over to the “new” BBS standards on track my hours.

And yes, I “lost” some hours, but ultimately, I believe, I gave myself some breathing space and some allowance to have a life.

Getting all 3,000 hours in the next three years would mean doubling, at the very least, my current client load.

Going from 8 to 16 a week.

It would be a lot for me to carry 16 clients a week and work full-time.

A fucking lot.

And that’s what I was entertaining in my head without really looking at it.

I brought it up in group supervision and got some very sound advice and suggestions from the group, especially from the two interns who went through the same program I am in at CIIS (California Institute for Integral Studies), so yup, I changed over and I have to say, I feel really positive about it.

It’s like taking an unnecessary pressure off myself that I didn’t even realize I was laboring under.

I want to get my hours as fast as I can, don’t get me wrong, but I also, at least currently, have to work full-time to support myself living in San Francisco.

Unless that changes, I don’t need to kill myself trying to get the hours.

I don’t want the next three years to be a miserable grind.

Especially as I’m also considering applying to one of the PhD programs at the school.

I do like how Dr.  would sound after my name.

Oh yes.

But.

I also have discovered that I am really good at academia and I have had a tremendous amount of growth, personal growth, by being in the masters program, I think that I would enjoy getting my PhD and really letting myself go for it all.

I mean.

Why not?

It’s just a few more student loans.

Ha.

Homework

September 17, 2017

What homework?

Fuck me.

I am not ready for it yet, but I know I have to get my good girl study habits into action.

Especially since I ran into one of my professors today at my internship.

At least she could sympathize with me about my “plight.”

Full time work, full-time grad school, practicum 10-15 hours a week.

But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t expect my paper to not be on time.

I got a message from her about it and also, thank God, a question from one of my fellows in the cohort asking about a test that I had not registered in my brain that um, I have to take tomorrow.

FUCK.

Doesn’t my school know I have a life?

I mean.

Seriously.

Ugh.

And I do have a plan, of course I do and I will get my homework done and I’m not so worried about it.

I always get it done and I am very aware of how efficiently I am able to read and write.

Thank God, again and again and again, for my daily writing practice.

I have two papers to write tomorrow and the test to take for my CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) class.

Plus.

A fuck ton of reading.

I had thought I might get to some of my reading today, but between just some general housekeeping that I really needed to do, laundry and letting myself take it relatively easy this morning, relatively is a relative statement, I did a 80 minute yoga class, took a shower, made breakfast, wrote for thirty minutes, put fresh sheets on the bed, did two loads of laundry, took out trash and recycling, e-mailed clients, paid bills, juggled schedules, I didn’t have quite as much time this morning to attend to reading and I didn’t really want to push it.

I threw my reading in my bag along with lunch and hit up my internship.

Two hours of group supervision and then a couples consult and then I had nothing left in me.

I didn’t want to do homework, I just wanted to get the fuck out of Dodge.

I thought I might have stayed an hour or so at my office and just knock out some reading, but I decided that what I really needed was a little personal down time and I went and got a manicure.

It was perfect.

A phone call with my best friend.

A flip through a trashy magazine.

And some electric blue fingernails.

And well.

Now.

Now I feel ready to tackle the homework.

But.

Not tonight.

Nope.

I am going to continue to let myself enjoy my evening and have a relaxing night.

No homework, no anxiety.

A little care taking of me.

A little slowing down.

I have plenty to do tomorrow.

It’s true.

I’ll go to yoga and do breakfast and write here at the house.

I have a lady coming over at 1pm to do some work and doing of the deal.

Then a coffee date with a friend.

Then the homework.

And I bet I will get my CBT homework done between my breakfast and meeting with my first person at 1 p.m.

I also have to do a little grocery shopping and I will need to do food prep.

I am also banking on having some extra time at work to do the reading that I need to do.

The mom is out-of-town with the baby, I won’t have my normal morning routine with my youngest charge.

Oh.

There will still be plenty to do and in some instances some extra work, but I won’t have active charges until 2:15p.m. every day.

I’ll be at the house and make wicked fast work of whatever household things I need to deal with and then give myself at least an hour if not two of reading.

I’ll get it done.

I always do.

I know how full my life can get and it may seem untenable and challenging and too much, but it won’t be like this always.

And I have winnowed out some things, for instance I was unregistered over the weekend for the ALC ride, my bicycle rep still tried to talk me into doing it, but I gracefully turned it down and that’s one less thing on my plate.

I am going to acknowledge that yes, my calendar is still hella full, but I know time will coalesce and things will happen that allow me to have fun and not take myself or my situation so damn serious.

A client will cancel, I’ll get out of work early, some circumstance will arise and I will have a surprise gift of time.

It always happens.

I’m super grateful for that too.

I’ll get through this year.

I’ll get my Masters degree.

I’ve always wanted one.

I’ll have achieved one more step toward my career goal.

I don’t have to do it all tomorrow.

Or tonight for that matter.

I did enough today.

I am enough.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

I affirm myself.

I am capable and strong and I have such lovely people in my life.

I do.

I do.

I am blessed beyond words.

So very blessed.

 

A Little Here

August 23, 2017

A little there.

I got some more reading done today for school, which I find funny as it was the opening salvo in my therapy session this morning.

I’m behind on my reading, and school hasn’t started yet, and for the first time in the history of my grad school career I don’t give any of the fucks.

I mean.

A little.

Sort of.

But mostly.

Fuck no.

I have spent so much time now seeing clients and getting into the mix and showing up to be a therapist that school stuff seems to have lost a lot of its luster.

Oh sure.

I know I have so much to learn, there is always going to be learning, I will and have years of it to go.

Getting done with my third year of my Masters program is sort of the tip on the iceberg, I will still have to intern for years before I have enough hours accrued to get licensed.

That being said.

School seems to hold less gravitas for me.

I am excited to see my cohort, I have had a lot of them reach out to me in the last few days and it feels good to be getting reconnected.

Third year!

I am a third year.

This is the big push.

One more year of this program and then.

Well.

Probably more school.

Although I’m not 100% sure.

I have, at least it seems very likely, unless I win the lottery which would allow me to not work, about two and a half years of work to do before I have all my hours.

Give or take.

I might as well go for my PhD.

I will still have to work full time or damn close.

Although.

I’ll be dropping down my hours when I get back from Burning Man.

38 hours a week from 41.

This doesn’t count my supervision, therapy, or client hours.

Just plain work hours will go down three hours a week.

Which doesn’t seem like much, but will be a great big help.

I can get a lot read in three hours.

I can.

I ended up getting in four chapters of reading this evening, as a matter of fact, at the internship when my first client cancelled.

If only they would’ve coordinated!

My clients that is, so that I didn’t have to sit for an hour in the office waiting for my end of day client, but hey, I read for school and that was great.

I finished the reading for another one of my classes.

I don’t know that I have much more time to get anything else read.

Especially since most of it is online material and I’m loathe to bring my laptop with me to work to read.

On the off-chance that I might have some down time.

It’s generally not worth the risk of me taking it.

I’ll still bring one of my textbooks with me, get a little further ahead in the reading as the case may be, if there’s time.

Like I said, at this point in the game, there’s not much and my life priorities being what they are, I am completely fine with this.

“I’m sure you have much more read than most of your cohort,” my therapist said to me as I explained my school stuff, “I suspect, you have always been a bit more prepared than most of your cohort,” she concluded.

And.

Well.

Yes.

She’s right.

I am a horrid perfectionist.

But that has eased as I have gotten used to the program and having seen the few times when I wasn’t completely caught up with my reading that I still held my own.

I am smart, I know how to listen, and I know how to contribute.

The one class that I haven’t really touched into yet for the reading was the last class to post its syllabus.

But.

Heh.

Um.

It’s a Transpersonal Psychology class.

So.

Spirituality and spiritual practices.

Yeah.

I think I might have that one bagged.

We have to keep a journal.

Pardon me while I laugh into my sleeve.

That shouldn’t be hard.

Ahem.

And talk about our spiritual experiences.

That will be interesting.

Like.

I put a prayer in my God box today.

God box?

Yes.

I have this hot pink, magenta really, pylon bunny rabbit from Paris that is a piggy bank, and I use it as a “God Box” a sort of repository for “problems” or things that I need to let go of and that I want God to have, I write down what I need to give to God, on a post it note, this one was pink, and then I fold it up, and say a few prayers.

I believe in prayer.

And I have a God of my understanding.

It doesn’t much matter to me what you think of me writing that God notes to help alleviate my issues, whatever they may be.

It’s the action that counts.

I don’t have to know the end results, in fact, it’s generally better if I don’t, I just have to take actions and something happens.

The writing it down and giving it up is an action of humility.

I don’t know how to deal with this, I am not God, I need help, I asking for guidance.

I can’t really do anything alone or in isolation.

I am not built like that.

Oh.

Fuck.

I have so tried.

I so want to figure it out on my own, I don’t want help, or so I say, I want to be strong and mighty and fierce and get it done without your help.

But.

Then.

When I don’t ask for help or I eschew what is being offered out of a false sense of pride, I ultimately lose.

I isolate.

I am alone.

And lonely.

That is never a good place for me to be.

So, yeah.

Just taking the time to write a little note and pop it in the God box, it does wonders.

I suppose my practice may seem strange or funny and I don’t really care.

I also pray in the morning, on my knees, another act of humility, a supplication, please help me, help me be of service, help me be kind, compassionate, tolerant, loving and forgiving.

Help me forgive myself, love myself, be the best possible version of me I can be.

Which I am not always.

I can get caught up in all sorts of scattered thinking or being maudlin, or distracted.

But.

To circle back.

I can forgive myself.

I haven’t finished the reading.

I won’t finish it.

It’s ok.

All I really have to do is show up on time.

Participate.

And be myself.

The rest will follow.

It always.

Always.

Always.

Does.

Serenity Now!

February 16, 2017

I couldn’t figure out why I was in such a mood this morning.

Not a horrible mood.

But just a bit flat.

I’ve been doing a lot of Trauma reading for class and I wondered, am I getting into it, the reading, too deeply, am I dissociating?

Then.

Ha.

I realized.

Oh.

Hello.

You haven’t had a day off in ten days.

You’re not dissociating.

You’re just fucking tired.

Heh.

And the tired went its way once I got moving.

I am grateful that I let myself take it real slow though, on my way to work I saw a motorcycle accident.

The rider was being attended to on the ground and his cycle was broken, I mean broken and in bits all over Lincoln Avenue.

There was a cop taking a statement from the person I am assuming was the person driving the car, he looked shaken up and it was pretty obvious what had happened.

He didn’t see the motorcycle and he accelerated into the turn and hit him.

Lincoln is a two lane road in both directions, but heading in from the outer avenues always feels a little tense, as there are a lot of cars that are pulling into the right hand lane and there are also cars parked on the right hand side of the road, the visibility is low and I learned very fast to stay in the left hand lane on my scooter as much as possible.

It was a bit spooky and I rode the rest of the way into work at a slow, measured, calm pace, no lane splitting, just cool and relaxed.

Having done the commute enough times now on my scooter I have a better idea of how to gauge the timing on it and I knew that I was fine to take it at a more mellow clip.

Grateful for that.

I would rather be a little late than dead.

And I wasn’t late either.

Work was busy.

One of my charges was home sick from school.

That always makes for a little extra work.

But.

I felt very of service and I was able to rally her spirits enough with a promise of using the stroller to get her out for a little while when it seemed she had high energy.

We made it to the Upper Noe Valley Recreational Center and on the way I ran into a classmate from my cohort!

It was super nice to see her and give her a great big hug and then off to the swings and some hanging out in the sand box.

We didn’t stay long, my little charge ran out of juice pretty quick, but timing wise it was perfect.

By the time we got back I was able to have a quick bite, then turn around and hop on the train to pick up the other sibling from school.

He and I went to Dolores Park after pick up and ran around and played hide and seek and tag.

We were at the park for about an hour, then headed back to the house, grandma was on her way.

Yes.

Grandma visit for the next week or so.

The timing is nice for the family, next week is “ski week” at the school and all the kids are off, it’s sort of like an early Spring Break.

The family I work for will be staying in town.

I am not sure if my hours will be less or more than what they are now, I worked a little late for them today, but I’m pretty much guaranteed off by 6:30 p.m.

I also talked to the mom about Burning Man today.

She didn’t give the complete all the thumbs up in the air, she has to check out her calendar, but she said they would try to make it work!

She asked me to send her the specific dates and she would look into it.

So when I came home tonight.

Yes.

Yes I did.

I updated my Burner Profile on the Burning Man site and applied for the low-income ticket.

I had to write a little essay about what the event means to me, how I have experienced it, what I will bring to the event.

As well as show economic need.

The graduate school tuition bill will help establish that.

Heh.

I also sent them my W-2 and a copy of my paycheck stub.

All electronically.

It took me a minute to figure all that out, but I am amazed, I got it done.

I got a confirmation e-mail back and now I just wait and see.

The organization promises to respond within ten weeks of the application.

The Burning Man organization is allotting 4,000 low-income tickets this year.

They’re still expensive, $190.

But considering the current ticket cost is $425, it’s a bargain.

Of course, as always, I don’t want to pay anything.

However.

This year, for the first time ever, I am planning on going to Burning Man.

Not.

“Working Man.”

I have worked every single event I have gone to.

Ten of them.

And considering that I am in school and working full-time I just decided that it was about time for me to just go.

I can afford to camp and provide for my own needs.

I don’t have to work to get my costs covered.

I got a tax return.

There are funds that I can earmark towards infrastructure needs and getting to and from the event and you know, maybe some hair flowers and glitter.

Heh.

So.

Fingers crossed I get the time off and the low-income ticket.

If I don’t get either.

Than so be it.

I am happy to have just taken the actions.

I can let go of the results.

The results are not mine anyhow.

They never have been.

That’s up to God.

And.

Well.

God seems to like me out at Burning Man.

We have a good time hanging out together on playa.

So.

I don’t expect to get dropped this year.

Burning Man 2017.

Let’s do it!

You’ve Lost Weight!

December 16, 2016

The counter woman at the postal office said to me today as I dropped off the last Christmas package that needed to go in the mail.

“Thanks, yes, I thought it was starting to show a little,” I smiled.

“You look great!”

That was a nice way to start my day.

Especially since I haven’t really lost weight.

Although, I am looking smaller, I’ve been doing so much yoga, signed up for a class tomorrow morning, because I still can before my schedule at work completely up ends and I have to figure out how I will make time with the new job, I haven’t, in fact, lost weight.

I’m just tighter, stronger, and my posture is a lot better.

I can feel it when I walk and I do feel lighter in my body, even though the scale said otherwise.

I don’t like using a scale, it’s a number that has a lot of connotations attached to it that aren’t mine and they don’t serve me.

But looking in the mirror, I do, in fact, see a slightly smaller body and I definitely feel stronger in my person.

And that’s nice.

“Have a good night kiddo,” the Uber driver said to me as he dropped me off tonight.

So much rain, I was not taking my scooter out in it today, so a ride to work, a ride to meet my person at Firewood Cafe in the Castro after work and a  ride home, good thing I’m selling back some books tomorrow!

I leaned back into the car, “thanks for saying that, I turn 44 on Sunday! Have a great night!”

My driver waited while I got into the front gate of my house, then leaned out the window, “you look amazing, you do not look 44!  You’re still a kiddo.”

Thanks man.

Hey, I’m single too.

hehe.

Anyway.

The yoga, it shows.

And I am grateful to be doing it especially as the holidays, though jolly, can at times be a little melancholic for me.

I don’t think I’m alone in that.

That being said, I am super happy to have the family and fellowship and friendships that I have and I am realizing where I need to cultivate them, those relationships, and where I need to let them go.

“You are like me,” my person said tonight, “one act of kindness and forever in the other person’s debt.”

Oh.

Damn.

So true.

Things are changing internally and some relationship changes are occurring and have been occurring and I realized that I could be grateful for the time I have had with people, with relationships, and not have to hold onto them or force them to work.

The only relationship I really need to cultivate is one with myself.

And others will follow.

Being respectful to myself, loving myself, taking care of myself, it shows and it’s nice to give it back to the world.

“We’re going to miss you around here,” the girl at the register said to me today as I picked up a few extra supplies for the dinner I made the family tonight–lobster, corn, sushi rice, and teryaki roast salmon.

Yeah.

Like that.

“Do you like lobster,” my employer asked me today when I was going down the list of things to do and cook and make.

Um.

YES.

My boss had picked up three and it was a lobster boil tonight.

I haven’t had it in a little while.

I even clarified the butter.

Damn Gina.

It was good.

I had to dash out in the rain to the corner market and get some extra ingredients and had a sweet chat with the woman who works the register and wished her happy holidays and told her about leaving my current job and moving over to the Glen Park neighborhood.

The aforementioned complement and a request that I not forget them and come in for a visit once in a while.

I loved that.

It feels so nice to be appreciated, to be seen, to be acknowledged.

Although I don’t act nice for the acknowledgment of it, or for accolades, it just feels better to be thoughtful and kind.

Heck.

I even got a hug from my yoga instructor today.

He’s become a favorite of mine during the week and I won’t be able to take his classes anymore since my job schedule is changing.

Today was my last Thursday morning class.

He commiserated with me about my schedule and school and said he was really going to miss having me in class and he hoped that I would stick with the yoga.

I am sticking.

I just don’t know what it will look like.

Story of my life.

I don’t know what anything is going to look like anymore.

Which, really, if I admit it, is rather a relief.

I like surprises.

I just know that I am going tomorrow and after that I will take a shower, make coffee, eat breakfast, and go sell back my books.

Then work.

Then the big paper on Saturday.

That is sort of all my focus at the moment.

Get through work.

Get through this paper.

There will always be something to work on, to do, to be, to become, so I also wish to just stop and acknowledge that it was a hard day, work had some challenges I didn’t really feel like writing about, and I’m grateful for every moment, because I keep learning about what I want and don’t want, in relationships, in employment, in school, in life.

It’s good stuff really, even the challenging stuff I can be grateful for and when I look back over the arc of the day I could complain about the difficulties, but really, when I was treated so warmly, so kind, with sweetness and compliments, and well, love, why the fuck would I bother to focus on the negative?

No thanks.

Today was a good day.

And I’ll end on that note.

Because.

Well.

lt was.

 

 

Full Time Work

October 17, 2013

Just landed.

I got out onto the street just now over at Ulloa Street and 41st Avenue to see that one of my families had sent me a voice mail.

My first thought, I shit you not, I did something wrong.

I went to the bathroom in the church, that is also a parochial school, the toilets a little low, the sinks gigantic troughs for washing up, and used one of the back stalls.

Stop it.

Stop thinking about what the message is and just check it.

More work!

Mom called to say that dad got more work and they need me on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Yes.

The very same two days that I am needing hours filled.

Thursdays are now officially covered with my new charge over in the NOPA neighborhood.  We hung out this afternoon for a few hours, went to the park at Alamo Square, and had a gorgeous late afternoon walk past the painted ladies circling the park.

I start my regular hours with her tomorrow: 9-5.

What with the needs of the other two families I will now be covered full-time for the next two months.  After that will continue to take care of itself.

I also picked up an extra shift to cover one that was dropped this week, for Saturday evening, with, drumroll please…

Reno!

Oh my gosh.

I get to hang out with the first original boy monkey mine.

Super excited.

It’s going to be a long day Saturday, two separate shifts, one in the morning to early afternoon in the Castro, then a meet up at Philz on 18th and Noe, a long five hours of whatever the hell I want to do, probably wander around the Mission and drink coffee, then a 8p.m. to 2a.m. shift with Reno over in Potrero Hill.

Then that’s it.

I won’t need to pick up any more weekend shifts.

I will work Monday through Friday.

Monday-Wednesday in  Cole Valley: 8:45.m.-5:30p.m.

Thursday in NOPA: 9 a.m.-5p.m.

Friday in the Castro: 9:30a.m.-5:30p.m.

And voila!

I have full-time work.

And am thus one more step closer to not only paying off the Paris ticket to Barnaby, but also to getting myself a wet suit.

I am debating not spending any of my clothing allowance for the next two months to cover it, but then again, I think I can just bite the bullet and get it.

I still want a new dress.

I am secretly hoping for a date with my Joanie to go do some dress shopping in the next week or two.  She has a special event that we are going to be celebrating with some friends and I want to get dressed up for it.

Plus, it’s Halloween.

Not that I have plans, but I am sure there are a number of things going on and unless I plan on dressing up like a Burner, which I already did last weekend, I may want to get a little something or the other.

I am tempted to just go meander through the prom dresses at the GoodWill in the Haight and do something like zombie prom queen or I don’t know.

I can come up with a million ideas for other people to be on Halloween, but I always fall a little short for myself.

I could go as a pin-up girl, I just need to have help with the hair and I would need a vintage dress, throw on a push up bra, toss my crinoline underneath my dress and wear some platforms.

Ah.

I digress.

It’s just nice to know that the work is coming in.

I also spoke with the mom in Cole Valley tonight about her hours and needs and mine as well.  We’ve decided that she is going to put me on salary, that I will get a set amount regardless of hours (I won’t be working longer hours, rather the inverse) worked.

So if she comes home early, which happened twice this week, I won’t have my hours docked.  I will get a set amount.  She wants to assure my services through the winter to when her contract with Burning Man comes back up–she’s seasonal with them–that’s right there are Burning Man seasons.

Ha.

Her contract ended this week and will re-new in March.

So, she’ll be home a lot more.

But she doesn’t want me to go and get work with another family, she wants to guarantee that I will be available to work with the family, and go to Burning Man again next year, so on a salary I will go.

I will still be at the house three days a week, she’ll just be around more.

If I work more, I will be compensated for it, should that come up, which I know it will on occasion, but if I work less, I will be covered.  I need to make a certain amount, which we tentatively discussed today.

She is going to take the weekend and come up with a number and I know her to be fair and I am certain all shall work out just fine, without me having any anxiety about it.

Nope.

Not interested.

Being taken care of.

Now just show up and be of service.

And bug my friend about my book.

Bug friend.

I was thinking, oh, look, she’s been thinking, about nannying and had those old stupid thoughts pop through my mind about career and this that and the other, and for a moment, ok, for a few hours, I was playing the “I should go to med school, I would make a great pediatrician.”

I actually got online and started doing research.

If I spend a quarter of the time on my writing projects and books as it would take to get through med school, I am certain I would be widely published and well paid.

And I won’t have two hundred thousand in student loans to pay off.

Whenever my head decides to research a career I need to look around and realize I don’t have to be anything different from what I am and when I am supposed to change, it will be made really evident.

See the Paris Experiment.

Surrendering to the complete care of getting full-time work and being a fabulous nanny who is learning how to surf and writes a lot.

I mean, come on, look at my amazing life.

Down by the sea, with my bicycle and the waves crashing, the sound a consistent underpinning of my words as I write.

Life.

Well, life is good.

Really, really good.

I Got The Job

October 1, 2013

Honestly, I figured I would, but it was a matter of am I going to take something that is lower paying than what I want.

Then I thought, I really like this little girl, her folks did their graduate work at UW Madison, know where the Essen Haus is and went to the Angelic, why, they’re almost family.

Plus, I can always accept other work.

It seems silly to turn down a position with nothing behind it.

I have full-time work this week and I have an overnight in the upcoming weeks that will help pay the bills.  The new gig is just going to start off as one day a week, on Thursdays, it will help with the overhead, which is being taken care of.

Bills they be getting paid.

Paid my rent on the 28th for October.

I like to roll like that.

I know what I want from the nannying, I put it out to the Universe, and I was pretty damn clear.

The only thing I forgot–paid holidays.

That is a nice thing.

When I had PTO (paid time off) with a couple sets of employers I also got the standard, American, holidays off and paid–Christmas, New Years Day, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day (not usually Labor Day–as I am usually out in the desert Labor Day weekend), and Fourth of July.

So, yeah, let me add that to what I want.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but if I am going to nanny until then, then yeah, I do know what I want.

(I want to get my book published, have it get optioned for screen play work, then have all the fucking time I want to work on the follow-up pieces as well as enough money to own my home in, wait for it, I am dreaming big, San Francisco).

Yeah, you and I both know what I want to be when I grow up.

A writer.

Wait!

I am.

Ok, more specifically, I want to be a highly paid, sought after, credited, writer.

Published.

I want to see my words in book form.

I want to see my ideas translated to film.

I would love that.

I think in a cinematic way, anyhow.

I like to think that I write that way, when it’s good, that the words are no longer words, but a movie in your head.

Because when I am writing, not the blog, the blog is like opening my head and shaking out the contents into a sieve, some of it worth reporting, the Mister is working ALL week again, some of it not, who should I date instead? What time do I need to set my alarm for tomorrow, who am I seeing, do I want to pick up carrots at the store?

Et cetera.

But when I write, I am watching a movie in my head and transcribing it.

That’s the best way to describe it.

And speaking of which, I just had a thought.

Maybe I want no more than 40 hours a week and maybe I want to work slightly less, or, better, I want to work four days a week instead of five.

I want that fifth day for my writing projects.

I have an idea for a short story that has been pinging around my brain since Burning Man and I have not taken the time to write it down.

Need to get on that.

Also need to pester my friend who has my book.

I want my hands on his edits and comments and thoughts.

Give them up.

I want to work the last of the kinks out of the book and get it fucking published.

That is my end goal.

Get this god damn book out there.

It can and will happen.

And I can and will happily work the work that is in front of me.

I love my charges.

My boys.

So sweet today.

I love that I get the big flirty eyes from the 8 month old and the 16 month old’s sense of humor is so coming out, along with scads of words and he loves me to read him stories.

Not all kids have the patience to sit in your lap and have stories read to you.

He surprised the hell out of me today, in a good way, when he said the title to one of the Sandra Boyton books we read together.

It sounded like this: “moooballalalalalalalala” giggles.

Oh my God.

The book is called “Moo, Ba, La, La, La” (A cow says “moo”, a sheep says “ba” three pigs in a row say “La La La” NO!  You say, pigs they say oink….”)

First, he’s a boy.

Boys don’t always have a verbal aptitude that well advanced at his age, second, he’s 16 months!  Ok, maybe 16 1/2 months, but that still quite shy from 2 years, and he’s still using the signs I have taught him.

My favorite, aside from please, everybody loves a good please, is apple.

He does it really well and says apple while doing the sign.

Pretty cool.

So, yeah, I can hang with being down with the nanny thing.

I know what I want for pay and I am willing to allow abundance into my life, I want to make more money, I want, well, I want a scooter.

And yoga class.

My friend has a scooter that he once was going to sell me, he has two and a car (he also has a garage at his place so he can) an old Vespa, I know he still rides it but not that much and I remember what he offered it to me for back before I was moving to Paris.

My thoughts are keep working at the savings, pay back Barnaby the plane ticket, then start saving for a Motorcycle Class and a scooter.

I would like to get that for my birthday.

A motorcycle license and a scooter.

That might be pushing it, my birthday’s in December, but hey, you know, according to some really amazing women I know, if you know what you want and you put it out there, you will get it.

I am putting it out there.


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