Posts Tagged ‘life on life’s terms’

Straight A’s

June 2, 2019

I got my grades back.

It’s official.

Straight A’s for the second semester.

Which means that I have a 4.0 for my first year of my PhD program.

I am pretty damn pleased.

Even if, in the grand scheme of things, nobody really gives a damn about my grades in a PhD program.

I don’t believe I have ever heard someone ask another person what their GPA was for a PhD.  Most folks just stop at, holy fuck, you got a PhD.

Holy fuck are my words.

I mean.

I certainly wouldn’t care what someone’s GPA is if they got a PhD, they got a PhD!

That’s some big work.



I am quite pleased.

Really pleased.

It was a hard semester.

I really thought life was going to fucking end when I got shingles.

On top of the wicked bad break up and just feeling overwhelmed with being in a PhD program, trying to grow my private practice and working full time as a nanny.

It was a big deal for me to get straight A’s.

I’m one of the few people in my cohort working full time.

My cohort also is getting smaller.

Two more people dropped out and another two decided to do the three year course track versus the two year.

I am not doing that.

I am staying put with the two year run on getting the required course work out of the way and I hope to do the rest of the work in two years.

I think I could even do it in a year and a half if I follow the example of one of my TA’s who really busted ass.

I’m not going to push myself too hard, it’s a lot of work no matter what.

I’m not so focused on it at the moment anyhow.

I’m studying for something else.

My Law & Ethics exam for the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) here in California.

An Associate MFT has to take the Law & Ethics exam to renew their license.

My license expires on June 30th.

I am set to take the test on Tuesday, June 18th at 9a.m.

I have to get 70% to pass the test.

It’s a tricky little thing and there’s a lot of picky details that have to be addressed.

I am using the Therapist Development Center’s test prep to study.

So far I’m about half way through the material, maybe a bit more.

I’ve studied a good bit so far, but haven’t hit the 70% yet on the test.

Today I took a practice exam and got 61%.


This is not to beat myself up.

The first time I took one of the practice tests I think I got 48%.

I didn’t study, you just take it and see where you are at then start studying.

So I have gotten better, but still need to improve.

I really am fairly confident though.

I have two more weeks of studying and the material builds on itself.

I also have taken the tests really fast.

You’re given 75 minutes to do the test.

My first prep test I did in 15 minutes.

The next I might have taken 18 minutes.

Today I took one and forced myself to slow down a bit.

I still finished it in 30 minutes, maybe 35.

I will be able to have more than ample time to go back and recheck questions that don’t make sense.

Some of them I just made stupid mistakes from reading a little too fast, some of it is just remembering to sort out all the weird numbers that you have to know.

When to report to Child Protective Services versus Adult Protective Services for instance, when there’s an abuse you make an immediate report but each service requires you to also turn in a written report and they’re different times.


What is the smallest font that you can use on a release form?


All the different ages around when a therapist has to report child abuse if a minor is having sex.

It makes sense once it’s digested, but it took me a few rounds of listening to the lectures to get it all sussed out in my head.

I really am not worried though.

I take tests well and I have plenty of time to make it through all the study materials and actually go through the lecture series a second time.

I’m really ready to give the studying a break though.

I am really ready for some time off from hitting the books.

I basically one weekend of “down time” between my last paper and having to start the studying for the exam.

Two more weeks.

Take the test.

Pass it.

And then get ready for my Havana, Cuba trip.

The family I nanny for will also leave for a summer trip and I will have some down time too.

I’ll have to stay local for the most part, but I think I might be able to sneak in a little road trip or maybe a couple of nights out of town, drive up the coast.

I see my clients on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

So a little road trip on a Sunday or a Monday seems like a thing.

Santa Cruz or maybe Monterey.

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

I could go to Point Reyes and get oysters or do a drive up Mt. Tam.

Lots of options.

Just some more studying to do before I can.

And a moment.

A sweet little moment to acknowledge that I showed the fuck up for this semester despite life challenges.

And I got all motherfucking A’s.

I’ll take it.



And More Will Be Revealed

May 1, 2015

And it was.

I learned that I could make it much longer than I thought without dinner.


I know that’s not revolutionary news to many.

But to me.

It’s a big deal.

I didn’t like the prospect of waiting until after I did the deal and covered my commitment at Our Lady of Safeway and then the bicycling home and the not having dinner until after eight this evening.

But as I sat there in that same chair I have been sitting in for years.

I realized something.

I wasn’t hungry.


I was a little annoyed.

I like having things my way.

But I learned by doing what I “thought” would be uncomfortable, that I could go through it and be just fine.

Work is work is work.

That’s why they call it work.

And the work that I put into my job is considerable.


I do have breaks and I do have down time and I made myself sit for a nice long leisurely, late lunch.

It was perfect.

I was anxious about what the day would bring.

I always am when it comes to my food stuff.

You can name 1800 different reasons why and none of them would really matter, I have a disease of perception and more is always the answer.

More donuts.

More sex.

More ice cream.

More vodka.

More blow.

More cigarettes.

More attention.

More drama.


More, more, more.

So I don’t have to sit in myself and feel uncomfortable.

Anything to not feel uncomfortable.

Hate to break it to you disease.

Life is uncomfortable.


There are times when it is not, but we all have problems, life happens to everyone, it’s not like I’ve been singled out.

Some things in my life have been harder to walk through and some experiences I would not wish on a person I don’t like, but I have gotten through all of them and there is so much that is wonderful and amazing and awesome about my life.

That too can be uncomfortable.

For completely different reasons.

I didn’t have the greatest day at work, I was a bit in dread of the late afternoon family swim, but it actually went off without a hitch.

Of course I also realized some things.

And that is I’m around the parents all the time.

I forget that now and then.

And I don’t have to act different or be different.

I’ll put on a happy face or a bright face and muddle through.

I did put on a bit of a tolerating the entire scene attitude, but it was more of a, I’m being quiet to reserve my energy and see how I cope with another change-up to my schedule.

I’m a creature of comfort and routine.

When my routine gets thrown, so do I.

But it doesn’t mean I need to freak out.

I freaked out a little yesterday and admittedly, I was tired and Wednesday’s well, they can be the hardest day of the week, the weekend in either direction is too far away and I felt dangerously low on my reserves.

A good night of sleep.

A good breakfast.

A lot of coffee.


Oh so much sunshine.

And I was ok.

Not great.

But ok.

I felt pretty emotionally hung over all day and it did lift, but it took a while and a lot of reaching for tools and taking extra time this morning to get right with God and do all the things.

Of course.

I now have a full tummy and a good dinner under my belt, so I feel expansive and uplifted as well.

Good food will do that.

The other nice thing that I realized.

This has been the only dinner I have had this week where I wasn’t admonishing a child to sit his bottom down and face the front or to not feed the dog, or stop spitting milk at your brother, or how did you get humus on your feet?

The only dinner in a month of Thursdays when I didn’t feel rushed eating my own meal to accommodate the families schedule and the boys bath time.

I usually have a scramble on Thursdays to feed myself, and the boys and there have been too many times where I am sitting next to the bathtub eating an apple that sits resting on the sink top while I help facilitate toothbrushing, hair washing, not throwing the 17 toys out of the bathtub, not telling one boy to stop saying “penis, penis, penis, look at his penis.”


It’s the same penis as yesterday’s bath time.

Let’s move on.


Rather I rode my bicycle home, enjoying the late dusk and glow of the sunset, the ocean as I turned onto Lincoln Avenue from Chain of Lakes felt like an Impressionist painting.

It really did, like I was riding right into the heart of one, the light shimmering on the water and the smoked clouds and smudge of the fog out on the horizon.

So beautiful.

When I got home.

I sat down and wrote my rent check for May while my dinner was heating up and popped open some sparkling water and had a really nice, quiet, slow, enjoyable meal.


That’s what I learned today.

I can be flexible.

I can fall into a rut, get in a certain scheduling groove, finding the comfort of routine, despite knowing that change is always happening, I clutch onto that modicum of comfort and get rattled far too easily when it is shifted.

I can’t say what tomorrow will bring.

It’s tomorrow and I really would rather stay in today.


I don’t believe I will be emotionally hung over.

I dare say I may be quite happy.

It is Friday after all.

Another day.

Where more will be revealed.

I am certain of it.

You’ve Had Quite The Year

January 6, 2015


I mean, it’s only five days in.

It’s been alright.


You mean, this past year?

Yeah, I sort of forgot about the six months of ankle recovery, the flying down to Florida last year to see my sister for the first time in seven or eight years, the seeing my father for the first time in twelve years, the hoo ha that happened at Burning Man, getting a scooter, deciding to go to graduate school, actively pursuing dating, getting into a relationship, navigation of said relationship through the holidays, turning 42, writing, blogging, doing the deal, being open and honest as much as possible, going to Northern Wisconsin to see my best friend and her brood in July, riding my bicycle all over San Francisco, taking the motorcycle safety course and getting my motorcycle licence, interviewing all over the place for months and then when I least expected it, getting a new job in September right after getting back from Burning Man.

Oh and going to New York for the first time, let me not forget that either–the Empire State Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, walking around Union Square, wandering around Chelsea, going to the piers, eating oysters on the half shell with friends, walking the High Line, sitting in Tavern on The Green and watching the world go by, one fat horse-drawn buggy after another, splashing about the fountain in Washington Square Park, eating fat steak at Peter Luger’s.

I have indeed, had a year.

Who knows what’s going to happen in this one.

I cannot predict it, nor, really do I want to.

I am no good at mind reading, predicting the future, or knowing what’s best for you, despite often times wanting to pretend that I do.

I know this much, when I have expectations I get bummed out.

When I show up expecting nothing, things happen.

Wild things.

Unexpected things.

I find love in interesting places.

I meet new people.

I have found tender new reserves within me that I knew not and have grieved relationships that I did not even know needed to be grieved.

Real and imaginary.

I have had numerous children say sweetly from the bottoms of their adorable hearts, “Carmen, I love you.”

I have had long walks on the beach and quiet long meditations in the sand dunes at Ocean Beach, listening to the Universe, asking God what he wants from me, looking out to the sea and letting go to the moment.

I have written a lot.

According to WordPress I have had over 10,000 views on my blog this past year.

In 2014 I wrote 316 blogs.

I actually wrote a few more than that, but some needed to be deleted for privacy reasons.

Every once in a while a girl has got to scrub her blog.

I had a total of 10, 516 views.

I had, I love this stat, 5, 422 visitors.

Over five thousand people visited my site.

I know that’s small peanuts in the general scheme of things, but 5,000 people found my blog and liked it enough to read it.

I currently have 263 followers.

That means that 263 of you subscribe to have my blog delivered to your in box every time I publish a blog.

Again, not screaming numbers in the over all scope of writing and writers, but then again, come on, 263 people want to read my stuff.

I am beyond flattered by that.

Most of the people who read my blog are in the United States, but I have a number of folks in France and Great Britain that read it.  I have been read by folks in Costa Rica, Canada, Germany, Australia, Italy, India, Denmark.

I am pretty happy with that.

I was looking back and it turns out the 2012 was my best year for visits and views, but let’s be honest, it was also the same year that I was in Paris and I was posting one or more blogs a day.

In fact, that year I not only posted every day, I posted an additional 27 posts.

That didn’t happen with this year, a new boyfriend happened and that dropped my numbers down.

I also stopped writing about dating, and shocker, when my audience was not as titillated by the content, the numbers dropped too.

However, I try to not write for the audience, I try to write by just sitting down and writing.

I have to say, I want at times to write about my relationship, all the things that I am learning about myself, about how to show up for romantic love, what that entails doing, being, feeling.

Let me say.

I have a lot of feelings.


There’s another person involved and I am not interested in writing anything about that person.

I have learned to keep certain secret rooms of my heart a little more secluded.


The door pops open once in a while and the heart I wear on my sleeve tries to do a little polka dance out onto the stage, but I push it back and suck it up and then write in my morning pages.

I have been writing a lot of those.

I took it up a little over the last two months that I have been dating my fella.

The times that I was not blogging I was making sure that I was writing more long hand and that’s where the relationship has played out, where I suss and sort my feelings, where I ask for guidance, where I pray for unselfish action, and how to be of service to the relationship.

I learned one thing that I am willing to share.

Being in a romantic relationship makes all my relationships better.

The more I communicate, the more I learn, the more I am able to bring that learned knowledge into my relationships with friends, my employers, the women I work with on a daily basis, the children I care for.

The more contact I have and the more I strive to find equilibrium and serenity in my daily life in this romantic relationship, the more I grow.

“Romantic relationships are Miracle Grow for defects of character,” she told me with a knowing laugh.



Yes, that has indeed been my experience.

And I am astounded, awed, and amazed that I have so much more to learn.

I mean.

I just keep learning, about myself, about what I need, what I think I need, and how I am most certainly a proponent of wanting to be happy versus right.

Right it does me no good and certainly does not give me that warm fuzzy feeling when I concede the higher ground on principle.


I have had a year.

I wasn’t intending to write a prospectus on my past year, but hey, I don’t always get to choose my topic, it often chooses me.

I still got the words.

And I still have the commitment.

And I will still keep showing up here to share with you my experience, strength, hope, love, joy, grief, journey, dreams, and desires.

It’s the least I can do.

You’ve really been there for me.

It has been a year.

But I couldn’t have done it without you.

I love you.

And wish you your best year yet.

Happy New Years!

Five days in.


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