Posts Tagged ‘MUNI’

Not What I Wanted

December 23, 2017

And beyond generous.

I was disappointed, let me get it out-of-the-way, the sounding like an asshole, today when I got my Christmas present from my employers.

Gah.

I sound like such an ass.

I’m not disappointed any more, fyi, I got over it pretty fast, but for about an hour I was miffed and a little let down.

I had hoped for a bonus.

Ah.

Who the hell am I kidding?

I had expected a bonus.

I had expected a weeks pay.

That’s typically what I have gotten from my employers whom I have nannied for, with the exception of one set of families that gave me a half weeks salary.

I was rather counting on getting the money to make my first car payment on my car.

Not that I don’t have it to pay, my dear and sweet and generous friend who went with me to help me get the car told me don’t put too much down, rather, keep it in prudent reserve, a years worth of payments, just in case something happens.

That way I’m not screwed if something comes up and it felt really good to do that.

I still was hoping to get a nice bonus and throw a big payment on my first month of the car payment.

Not happening.

Of course, I’ll still make the payment, and it will be larger than what I need to, I have it, and I want to pay off a little extra every month.

I felt a bit chagrined to have gotten my hopes up so high.

I do know better, expectation leads to resentment and all that.

But I had gone ahead and had some expectation.

I think I surprised myself.

I think I thought I was maybe, just maybe going to get more than a week’s salary.

The huge gift of an Iphone 8 for my birthday.

Then, there’s that, the HUGE gift of the Iphone 8.

Which retails at $799.

And the family also did give me two other gifts tonight as I was wrapping up the week with them before the holiday–a set of AirPods, which retail at $159 and six paid sessions at my chiropractor, at $85 a pop that’s $510.

In toto this week the family has given me $1,468 worth of stuff.

I need to shut the fuck about not getting what I want.

Yes.

It’s true, I would not have spent the money on a new Iphone or the Airpods, not at all, last thing really I would have bought, nor would I have spent the money on the chiropractor, although, yes, eventually I would.

But I wonder, have been wondering for a few moments now, what if these are exactly the things that I need in my life.

My current phone is old and probably won’t last much longer.

I have been pondering buying a new one soon anyhow.

The Airpods will help with me taking client calls, I did a phone session tonight and I thought about half way through of the pods and, huh, they are going to come in handy.

Plus.

Going to the chiropractor is expensive and I know myself well enough that maybe I wouldn’t keep paying $85 a week to go to it.

Shit.

I pay $120 a week for therapy.

So maybe the gift certificate was exactly how I should be spending the money.

Really.

I got more than I was expecting.

It was just in a different form.

I also got to have some amazingly sweet time with the oldest boy today.

We had a solo day out.

We took the train downtown, went and visited the Christmas tree in Union Square, watched the ice skaters slipping all over the place on the temporary holiday ice rink that always goes up, went and looked at the Christmas windows in Macy’s and watched the kittens and puppies play, then off to the Metreon to watch Ferdinand the Bull, the new cartoon movie, quite sweet.

Afterward we went back to Macy’s as there was a food truck party happening and he and I got rotisserie chicken and brussels sprouts and sat on the astro turf and had a picnic lunch.

Then.

Yes, I can’t believe I let him talk me into it, we went into the Disney store, then to the Westfield Mall.

It was intense and probably not an experience I would enjoy on my own, but getting to see it through his eyes was super sweet and special.

I helped him pick out a Christmas present for his sister and I picked out a present for his sister to give to him.

So adorable.

He ate all sorts of the good junk food its super fun to have when you’re seven going on eight, popcorn and a slushy at the movie theater and Twizzlers, the chicken for lunch, eaten with his fingers, and, yes, unbelievable that he even had room for it, a pretzel hotdog from Annie’s Pretzels in the mall.

“What is that good smell!?” He asked as we came back from getting his toy.

Annie’s Pretzels.

He basically passed out in my lap on the MUNI train ride home.

Such a sugar pie.

When we got back to the house and settled in and all the parents and siblings were present I gave them the presents I had gotten them: the Dogman comic book for the oldest boy and another comic from the same author (he LOVED them); a rainbow unicorn pencil bag and unicorn dress pin for the little lady, and for the baby, one of my all time favorite children’s books, “I Am A Bunny.”

Too adorable.

It was good times.

And it was so nice to get all the appreciations from the family.

Even with not getting what I wanted.

I got so, so, so much.

The mom and dad and I also renewed my contract and did an evaluation.

The dad basically told me how they do it where he works and that they judge on three categories and each category is measured by: needs improvement, met expectations, exceeds expectations.

The dad said the I had exceed far away all of their expectations and as such they wanted to give me a bigger raise than the cost of living wage I was expecting.

See?

Hahahaha.

Expectations, bite me right in the ass, but this time in a really good way.

The cost of living raise is 3%.

The family gave me a 5% raise.

AND.

The father explained that I will receive as well, a 5% raise every year that I am with them.

It will be a 5% increase on each years salary, so each year the raise will be bigger.

I am down with that.

So fuck my expectations.

And Merry Christmas to me.

I’ve been given so very much this week.

I am so grateful for my life.

And all the love I get to have.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

 

What A Day

June 30, 2017

A good day.

But quite the day.

A full day.

For sure.

Into work, lots of loving on the charges, family friend visit, lots of kids running around, and then quiet, a reprieve, unexpected in the middle of the day.

Snuggles and nap time with the baby and then the family and their friends went out to lunch and I had nearly an hour to myself.

It was so nice.

I haven’t had that since school has gotten out.

I ate a slow, relaxed lunch.

I looked at the skyline from the back porch, I made a few phone calls and connected with a girlfriend I haven’t seen since January, we made tentative plans to get together when the family I nanny for is on vacation.

So nice to reconnect.

I was to do the camp pick up for the middle child and I enjoyed the hell out of riding the MUNI, not having any charges, and then taking a nice quiet walk to BiRite, picking up snacks for my charge and a few things for the house.

Pick up at school was great.

My charge and I ate cherries and apricots and talked about sunshine and being nice, “I’m going to tell mom that I was kinda nice to you today,” she said and squeezed my hand tight.

I love her so much.

She is always the best.

Even when she is a handful of fierce fiery little girl.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

She has a voice and I really love how her parents let her have that voice.

I was shushed often.

There was a lot of don’t speak unless spoken to in my home.

I didn’t really know that children could engage and interact and have conversations with their parents.

It was sort of, get out-of-the-way and be quiet or go outside and leave me alone.

I’m ok with that.

I developed a big case of the curiosity at a very young age and a desire to explore, seek, find, and experience whatever I could.

I had, and still do have a great big imagination.

I don’t really escape into fantasy anymore, life is real and reality is so much more interesting, but for a while, when I was young, fantasy was my hard-core go to.

And I was, and am, dare I say it, creative.

I concocted lots of games, did relay races with kids in the neighborhood, made up my own version of Kick the Can, Ghost in the Graveyard, Ding Dong Ditch, and a plethora of other things.

The summer I watched the Iron Man triathlon on television and became absolutely mesmerized in the event.

I staged a mini Iron Man, I called, aptly, Iron Kids.

There was a run around the apartment complex, followed by a bicycle race.

I couldn’t do the swimming in the ocean part, seeing as how we were in Wisconsin and the nearest pool was miles away, but I am sure I improvised something.

It might have been running in and out of all the wading pools in the courtyard.

I found my voice in motion and then again in books and escaping to the library.

I was always reading.

Always.

I would hide under my blankets at night with a flashlight and read.

I got yelled at a lot to do that.

Now.

I wonder, would a parent yell at a kid for reading past bedtime?

Perhaps using their phone and texting or being active on social media, but reading?

I think, probably not.

Ooh.

I got a new book in the mail.

Such a gift.

To get a book.

That is not for school.

I look forward to reading it.

I don’t have much time now, but it is something that I can flip through and I will be able to enjoy it when I am off from the family in July.

I am still trying to suss out if I’m going to travel.

One of my clients who I see on Thursdays will be gone for vacation and his times overlap mine and the availability I have to travel.

Maybe there’s a long weekend in my near future.

I am open to all possibilities.

And I’m super psyched.

Tomorrow is Friday!

I have a client consult after work.

I will have a long day still.

I’m hoping I’ll be able to sneak in a little time with my fellows, if I get out of work fast enough, and then I’ll have a client at 7:30 p.m.

It’s a consult, so there’s the possibility it may only go a half hour.

So if I don’t get out of work in time I’ll see about doing the deal after seeing the consult.

Then the weekend.

Which is full, since I still have to go to my Group Supervision.

But.

I’ll have some pockets of time.

I’ll do yoga in the morning both Saturday and Sunday.

I desperately need a mani/pedi/eyebrow waxing session.

And I do need to do grocery shopping, cooking, and errands.

Plus meeting with a lady Sunday afternoon.

And still.

There will be time.

There will be time to stop and breathe and love.

And maybe.

Yes.

Read a little for pleasure.

Such a sexy thing.

Oh life.

It is so.

So.

So.

Good.

How Did I Do All That?

April 17, 2017

I mean.

I am not really sure, but man, it flowed, lovely and smooth from one experience to the next.

Until now.

Sitting here at my table doing my little evening routine, listening to some old school-house music, Tortured Soul, in my bunny slippers, it is Easter after all, with my belly full of warm homemade soup, I am rather astounded.

I am.

I got a lot done.

There is still so much more to do, I have so much paper writing yet to attack, but I know how I am going to handle two of my papers, which is a relief, sometimes just knowing what I am going to write about makes the process so much less stressful.

It’s still anxiety making.

I mean.

I have three papers due.

Yet.

I took a huge leap forward today.

It started slow and it started with not wanting to get out of my bed when the alarm went off, but I knew that danger, and I knew I wanted to go to the earlier yoga class this morning, I had to be up in the Castro to do some homework by a certain point and going to a later class wouldn’t have worked.

And.

I just knew I needed up and out.

The class was hard, but really good and I’m grateful I went.

I had a lovely breakfast here at the house (organic oatmeal with banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw cocoa, sea salt, and blueberries; a soft-boiled egg,  and an amazing toasted coconut/almond milk latte) and did some morning page writing.

I checked my syllabus, packed my books, got my notebook, my class folder, and put on some makeup, pulled my hair up in a bun, hopped into my rain boots and headed to the MUNI.

I caught the N-Judah to the J-Church.

I read the entire time.

I finished two chapters in my Trauma reading.

As well as getting into a third on my ride back from the Castro.

I got off the train at the Castro Street Station and marveled with glee at the little rainbow lights lining the escalator.

How I do love you San Francisco.

I do so much.

I strolled through the main drag with my umbrella and my rain boots and smiled at all the fellas in their Easter finery.

I ran a couple of errands then went up to Firewood Cafe.

I met with my person and another friend for lunch then we adjourned to another friends apartment up on Noe and 19th.

God.

Rent control.

How I envy folks who have it.

The apartment is a huge one bedroom with front room, dining room, big bathroom, hard woods, fireplace, huge kitchen.

I was definitely having some apartment envy.

It was the perfect place though, the big couch in the front room, the table, the chair I put in front of the couch.

We all got settled and I started the recording on my phone.

And this time I got it!

I got a half hour session of a Couples Therapy dyad.

“You’re good!” They both exclaimed after we finished the session.

Thank you guys!

It felt really good.

I had a few moments when I was unsure which way to go or what to say, but I didn’t think to hard about it and I noticed my counter transference and actually noted to myself in the session, “hey!  That’s countertransference! Remember that!”

Of course, now, in this moment, I have no solid clue what it was or what it was in regards too, but I knew I had it and I used it in the session and I know that when I go back and listen to the recording again I’ll be able to hear it in the recording.

So happy I got that out-of-the-way.

And while I was on the train riding to the Castro to meet with my friends who were going to help with the project, I had an idea about what to write for my Trauma paper.

Very happy about that.

Part of my “stress” if you want to call it that, is that I need to listen to things again before I write the paper, I can’t just pick up a book or a class reader or an article or my notebook and get the information there.

I have to take an extra step for each paper and listen to a recording, break down what is happening in the recording and use it for the papers.

It is a lot more work than a normal paper for me.

That being said, I feel so much more competent about what I will be writing about and I feel a lot better about the state of my papers.

No.

I did not do any paper writing today.

Although I did write a lot.

I thought about it, but I also didn’t want to stress myself out about it.

If I got to it, great, but that I did so much footwork for the material that will go into the writing, for two different papers, is huge.

I actually accomplished a lot.

Plus.

I got to see two wonderful men in my life who mean so much to me and have a nice Sunday lunch and walk underneath the cherry trees in the Castro and be seen and be helped.

It was truly lovely.

I hopped back on the train and was heading back to the house and my smart feet actually hopped up when I hit Church Street Station.

It was ten of four.

Oh!

I could go check out a spot I used to go to way back in the day.

And I did.

And it was good.

I got to see some folks I haven’t seen in a long time and get grounded and then hop back on the train and come home.

Home.

Home to cook my soup.

I made homemade hot and sour soup today.

I took a large Mason jar of my chicken stock (made from last weeks roasting chicken), 1 bag of large wild caught shrimp, a container of organic tofu that was cubed, a small box of Hen of the Wood mushrooms, a small box of crimini mushrooms and tossed them in my soup pot.

I added a good heavy splash or five of Bragg’s Amino Acids, instead of soy sauce, loads of fresh ground white pepper, some rice vinegar, ground ginger, garlic and sliced in a fat organic carrot and some chopped Swiss Chard (I would have used bok choy, but the store was out and the chard actually worked really well).

I put it on the stove, set it to simmer and then realized it was going to be at least an hour before it was ready.

I could do more reading.

Or.

I could sneak in another yoga class.

Yoga won.

I slipped into the studio three minutes before it started.

It was not Vinyasa yoga, like I did this morning, but restorative.

I could not have done another Vinyasa class.

But restorative, lots of slow, soft, warm stretching, yes ma’am.

It was perfect.

I got back, tasted the soup, oooh, added a little more white ground pepper, lit some candles, put on my bunny slippers and had myself an amazing dinner.

The soup was so good.

Umami bomb.

I am astounded and I have a new favorite.

I am very happy how my Sunday went.

Not upset that I didn’t get the writing done I was thinking I might, but I got the things done that I needed to do and I did exquisite self-care.

Happy day.

I saw friends, chosen family, ate delicious food, did yoga, not once, but twice! Made tons of progress on my homework and walked underneath blooming cherry trees in one of the prettiest cities in the world.

Where I live does not suck.

Nope.

I am the luckiest girl.

I really am.

And now I’m ready for Monday.

Night all.

xoxoxoxo

 

 

Opt Out

April 16, 2017

I was going to go out tonight, not like crazy out, just out to dinner with the folks after doing the deal.

But.

I decided to come home, cook dinner here, and get the rest of my things organized.

I have a load of school work to handle in the next few weeks.

I was able to organize some friends of mine to help me re-do the Couples Therapy dyad that I did at school last weekend but somehow failed to get a proper recording.

I will be taking care of that tomorrow, making sure that the recording is doing just that, recording, and then I have a paper to write.

I will most likely do the Couples Therapy paper first.

It is the first that is due.

And, of course, rain is in the forecast for tomorrow, so no scooter.

I will need to MUNI or take a car to meet my people up at Firewood Cafe tomorrow, I don’t really care though, I am just so happy that I was able to get a couple of people to help me.

It has been a little stress that I can now put behind me, get the session recorded and then get on with the paper.

I did realize the day before yesterday too, that my Trauma class still has some reading due for the next weekend of classes.

So.

I may just use the MUNI train rides as an opportunity to be sitting still in one place and doing the reading.

I did manage to get a chapter read of the material in between my job and doing the deal on Friday, but I have some more to do.

I think I may actually be able to knock it out by the time I do all the MUNI train rides.

I may also say fuck that and just take a car share.

I’m not too anxious, but I have to focus on getting the work done, I have to.

I only have a few weeks to do it and I want to be staying on top of it.

I basically have to write a paper each weekend, starting tomorrow, one per weekend up until the last weekend of classes.

I was joking with a friend today that it makes absolutely no sense to me to go to the last weekend of classes, since all my papers will be due the first day of classes, what’s the point of doing the full three days?

I mean.

Seriously.

I already know I will go and participate, mostly because I just really love my cohort and I have gotten really close to a few of my friends there.

I get to have a slumber party with one of my girl friends who’s going to stay over night at my place the Thursday night before classes so we can spend time together.

It’s super nice to have that.

And.

Sometimes I also have to take me time.

I had a few other things I opted out of doing today and though I miss the people and the friends, I really needed to do some self-care.

I went to yoga this morning.

I met with a ladybug and did the deal.

I went grocery shopping and made plans for what I will cook tomorrow.

I mean, a paper calls for me to make soup.

I am going to try something new tomorrow–hot and sour soup with shrimp, bok choy, carrots, hen of the wood mushrooms, crimini mushrooms, and tofu.

I had a bowl of really good hot and sour soup last weekend at an anniversary dinner for a friend and I realized, I can make this!

And so, I’m going to try.

I am actually pretty damn pleased with the stuff in my pantry right now.

Healthy, clean, lots of veggies and fruit, top grade high-end espresso, unsweetened coconut milk, organic tea.

Yeah.

It’s looking good.

Once I busted out the shopping I also busted out the laundry and cleaned up my closet.

I got a bag of stuff to sell, which became a bag of stuff to donate.

I only sold two of the articles of clothing, which happens sometimes, but I ran the rest of the stuff over to Good Will and happily made a donation.

It felt good to clear some space and tidy up my stuff.

I also took a dress to get altered that I ordered a while back, but the bodice is wonky on it, everything else fits perfect, but the bodice was actually too big.

Which is hella unusual.

I wear a 38 D.

Anyway, super happy I took care of that errand.

And.

Yes.

Finally.

I got a god damn mani/pedi and my eyebrows waxed.

I can always tell how busy I am by the state of my nails.

I was just too busy the last three weeks to attend to them, I didn’t have a speck of time to deal with them, two year previous, when I wasn’t in school, I was pretty on point, every week a manicure, every three weeks a mani/pedi/eye brow wax.

Now.

I’m like, oh my god, what just happened to my eyebrows and what the fuck are my nails doing.

If I get in once a month it’s a big fucking deal.

Plus it’s a time suck.

I mean.

I love my girl time.

But to take two hours, sometimes two and a half, depending on how busy the salon is, is a huge amount of luxury time.

I missed seeing a friend who came into the city, but I really needed my self-care, I needed to do my things and I’m ok with it.

It’s finding a balance.

I don’t always do it well, but I try, I give it a persistent, concerted effort.

I talked to another friend on the phone and we’re going to try to get together sometime soon as well.

Ugh.

It’s hard.

Another reason for opting out tonight was the person I was supposed to meet up with at the 7p.m. deal, called and cancelled last-minute, a close friend had to go and put down her dog.

So.

I had not much pull to go to dinner, then I thought, well, this might be good, get home, get your alarm set for an early start, get your stuff organized, and go to bed early.

I mean.

Not super early.

But earlier than I would have had I gone out to dinner, fact is, I’d still be out right now, I’m grateful that I chose this, I will choose socializing again, I promise.

I will catch up with friends.

I will.

I won’t always opt out.

I opted out of a date for tomorrow night.

Oh.

Did you catch that.

Yes.

I opted out of a date because I have to write this paper.

But.

There is a date still happening.

Another night this week when I have a tiny bit of breathing space after doing work and speaking at the spot, so we’re going to go grab a bite Thursday.

Yeah.

Heh.

I got the phone call back.

And I was right.

There is a connection.

And there was a good reason why the return call took the time it did.

Not to get into details, but it made sense and I’m intrigued to see what happens.

But that’s neither here nor there, focusing on right now.

A brief respite and a cup of tea.

The final push for the semester starts very.

Very.

Very.

Soon.

Like in less than twelve hours.

Here we go.

See you on the other side.

Night y’all.

Sweet dreams and all that.

Sugar cube.

Jazz.

Balance

March 20, 2017

I don’t know how it actually happened.

But.

It actually happened.

I did yoga, visited a friend in the East Bay, hey y’all San Leandro is much cuter than I remember, read four chapters in my Trauma reading–officially finishing the reading for the next weekend of class, listened to a two-hour podcast for said Trauma class, roasted a chicken, and made homemade chicken soup.

What?

I didn’t drive myself crazy trying to do it either.

It all just sort of sweetly unfolded.

I got up and went to yoga and it was good and I stayed pretty present in the class, only running out the door in my brain a few times trying to figure out schedules and such, but mostly I was just there in the studio doing the yoga and breathing.

I did not want to go this morning and I almost talked myself out of it, but in the end, my body won and walked me over to the studio.

My brain was mollified by the rest it got from worrying and I felt good being in my body.

Which my brain tells me will never happen as I don’t have a 22-year-old yoga body, but I do have a 44-year-old body and there was a woman in her 60s today doing yoga, that’s what I love about it, anyone can do it, although, yes, there does seem to be a proclivity for a certain type of person to be doing yoga, I do see a lot of different ages and abilities.

Yesterday there was a woman next to me who was obviously pretty new to yoga and it reminded me how awkward and uncomfortable I was in my first weeks of classes, and it also demonstrated to me that even a woman with what I would in my twisted brains says has a “better body” than me, wasn’t able to keep up with the class and I did.

This is not a judgement, it was just good noticing on my part and it helped me see that even though I am just getting in two classes  week, I’m staying in it and I can see that I have gotten better, even when I think I never will, I have.

And that we all have different bodies, some more flexible, some less flexible, some more balanced, some less balance, and that all of us, at least in that class, are doing the best we can and we showed up.

I am grateful for showing up.

I am also grateful for going over to the East Bay and catching up with my friend.

I miss her.

It’s hard when friends move and the number of folks that I have said goodbye to who have moved out of San Francisco is challenging.

And it’s hard to stay in connection with folks, even if they are just a train ride away.

Living in the Outer Sunset makes it challenging.

I was going to ride my scooter to a BART station and park it and go over, but after yoga, I was jut too tired, and sort of loose in my brain and I thought, screw it, just grab the N-Judah train downtown and take BART from the Embarcadero.

Yes.

It did take longer than had I been on my scooter.

But.

The upside?

I had time to read!

I finished the reading for my Trauma class and was very happy to get off the train in San Leandro and see my sweet friends smiling face from her car as she drove up to pick me up.

God damn it was good to see her.

I got to see her new digs and go for a scenic drive around the hills and have yummy lunch and catch the fuck up.

She understands my conundrum quite well having gone through nursing school.

Grad school is a hard, lonely, hard, lonely, time-consuming, expensive, did I say lonely, road to trudge.

Add work into that mix and it feels like that is all I do.

Work.

Whether it is school work or work work, it feels like work.

Then I realize, maintaining relationships is work too.

And that all this work, it does pay off.

My friends’ a nurse.

I have friends who are doctors and lawyers, lots of nurses too, I know PhD’s in history, I know teachers and filmmakers, I know landscape horticulturists and creative writing professionals, I know someone at Oxford for fuck’s sake.

We have all done this to get somewhere.

The work is work and it is a joy too.

Although, I have to say I appreciate it more, this work, when I make room for the work that it takes to make sure that I am staying connected to my friends and fellows.

That might actually be the most important work there is, might, ha, it really is, these relationships are what gets me through, I couldn’t do this on my own.

I just could not.

Oh.

Sure.

Sometimes I do wish I could, but I can’t and for that I am grateful.

When I tried to do it on my own, well, I fell pretty flat.

When I began to work in concert with others in relation.

Well.

I started getting somewhere.

I want to keep connecting and reconnecting.

I want to keep that balance.

I am not sure what that looks like and for today, well, I don’t have to, I did have it, I did see my friend, I did do yoga, and homework, a lot of it, and I did meal prep, which is always important to me, I did all the things.

And they were nice.

They really.

Really.

Were.

 

 

Carmen

March 5, 2017

That is an unusual name.

My driver said to me before dropping me off.

“Yes,” I replied, “I am lucky to have it.”

I am too.

I love my name and there are days I feel like I live up to it and there are days when it takes on its own persona, its own life and I’m a little like, hey, who the hell are you?

Sort of like my blog.

I am not all here, no, I’m not.

There are things I don’t write about and there are things I do write about.

Which is just how it is.

I have learned over the years of writing to keep the focus on me and I have a strong tendency to want to wrap up whatever I’m writing with something pithy, with some solution, with some sort of aha moment.

I had a sort of aha moment today where I just wanted to scoop my brain out of my head and throw it out into the rain.

I was struggling in yoga.

I just wasn’t feeling it, it was a substitute teacher and she had a different way of doing things, and different isn’t bad, though my head may try to tell me that it is, it’s just different, that’s all, and I can struggle getting someone else’s routine down.

I wasn’t doing a lot of compare and despair but I was a little and I felt sort of janky and jangly and out of my element and as I was lying in the final pose, corpse pose, yeah, that was definitely me after class today, dead, but alive, my brain hadn’t rested much, churning out the good time music and the chaos, I began to obsess about how I wasn’t doing enough yoga and that I had to figure out how to do more yoga.

All this while doing yoga.

BRAIN.

Please.

Can you stop.

Please.

You’re killing me smalls.

Seriously.

At least I was able to find the humor in it.

It was funny and so typical of what my head does, I had to laugh.

Especially when I shared it later today with my person.

We met at Tart to Tart, did some reading, I got a good check in, some suggestions and felt a lot better about my kookoo brain than I had before I walked in.

Then I met with another lady and felt better after that.

And I ended up skipping on getting my nails done and just headed home on the train.

Which was nice, facilitated having a phone call with a dear friend of mine that I have been out of touch with.

Which led to making plans to see said friend.

Super grateful for that.

And a slow day here at the house thereafter.

I did a tiny bit of grocery shopping at the co-op and did some preliminary scouting work on my mid-term paper that I have to write tomorrow for my Couples Therapy class.

But.

I was just not in a mood or place to do any homework.

I now what I have to do tomorrow and I’m going to get it done, but today, I just couldn’t muster the energy to do it.

My friend and I had talked about how lonely school can be and how hard it is to balance full-time work with full time school and full time recovery.

And it is.

It is a lot.

And I miss my friend.

And I miss socializing.

So when we talked I could see my calendar in my head and I double checked, and yes, there, a day where we can meet and hang out and catch up.

I also let myself off the hook to do anything super productive today, just to let myself have a chill day, especially after the trauma of going to the dentist last Saturday.

So.

I bought myself some flowers at the store and I did some art.

Just messed around with my colored pencils for a while, but it was nice, listening to jazz, John Coltrane, listening to the rain all outside, listening to the scratch of the pencil on the paper.

Soothing.

And when the time was time I ordered a car and headed out to 1100 Divisadero and hung out with an hour in a room with some fellows.

Then.

Yes.

I did it.

I fellowshipped.

I was uncomfortable, I always am at the beginning of it, then I got into it and I felt more connected and it was nice, I don’t always know how to act in social gatherings and I can still be really awkward, but I am working it out and better awkward with friends, burgeoning friends, than cozy and alone.

Not that there’s anything wrong with being alone.

But I can get alone too often.

And I need to be social, I am a social creature, I am a human with needs for connection.

I can just get in my way sometimes and get too caught up in trying to figure out when I can get to do more yoga.

Which is me trying to figure it out, trying to manipulate, trying to control and manage my life, which I have proven over and over and over to myself that I am not the best management team for myself.

Yet.

I still try.

My brain is a pushy little beast.

I have some great respect for that tenacity, but sometimes the tenaciousness of it is wearing.

And like I said, when I’m doing yoga while trying to figure out how to do more yoga I know that it is too meta for me and not in a good way.

I am in my will and when I’m there, well, I’m watching the horror show.

I got to practice changing the channel today and it was pretty damn good.

Reality.

It really is the best show in town.

Seriously.

 

Stars in My Hair

March 2, 2017

And smiles on my face.

Yes.

I got a few more replacement hair geegaws in the mail yesterday.

So yes, that was me with a sequined star in my hair today.

I had a nice hair day, actually, I had a hella good hair day, happens now and again and it was nice to be out and about with it.

I had a special solo date with one of my charges today.

We took buses and trains.

We walked up and down hills.

And we had ice cream.

Well.

She had ice cream, I watched and smiled at her absolute delight in the ice-cream.

We saw dinosaur skeletons and penguins and giraffes and sharks and butterflies.

We went to the California Academy of Sciences today.

We also visited Claude, the albino alligator and we had lunch at the cafe.

It was just the sweetest day and it was with much pleasure that I recalled all the other times I have gotten to go to the Academy and visit it with my charges.

Today was a stellar day especially since it wasn’t a typical day to be at the Academy, there was no school holiday, there were no class field trips, there weren’t even that many tourists.

A few.

But mostly.

Nannies and charges, grandma and grandpa and a stray dad or two.

It was the emptiest I think I have ever seen the facility.

I have been there on a few days when it is horrendous.

Like.

Oh.

The day after Thanksgiving.

Fuck me.

That was intolerable.

Wall to wall.

Lines like no ones business, even the member’s only line was crazy.

My charge was so overwhelmed I think we stayed for all of a half hour.

I think I ended up taking him to a play ground in China Town that was near where I lived at the time in Nob Hill.

Anyway.

Today was smashing as far as there not being a lot of people and it was special to just be with the one little girl.

She and I get a long rather fantastically at this point and she trusts me and that feels good and sometimes I get the angry monkey, but mostly, I get the “I love you Carmen,” lady who will say it out of the blue, when I am least expecting and shine bright my whole entire day.

I also was just feeling beautiful today, light, clear, clean, lightened and getting to hang out with my little girl charge and her giraffe socks, literally, she was wearing yellow giraffe socks with brown spots and little knobby heads, was such a gift.

Today almost felt easy.

I know it won’t all the time, there are challenges, but I just felt good, at ease with myself and I know that has to do with changing how I am little bit by little bit and seeing what I need to see and letting go of what I can.

Tomorrow is another sunny day.

And another after that.

Then the rain again.

But.

I am feeling ok with it all.

The rain will help me get my paper done.

I have a mid-term that I have to write this weekend.

But I realized that I have a bit more free time than I thought and basically have an entire day open on Sunday.

Oh.

I’ll go to yoga, that’s my weekend warrior (pose) deal as of now with not being able to get to yoga during the week, but aside from that I have an empty Sunday.

I’ll crack out the paper and then be done for this next weekend of classes.

I think that is also why I have been feeling good, oh aside from having done all that inventory and moving on from a situation that was not going to be healthy for me to engage in, breaking an old engrained habit, that, I have done so much reading and homework already for the next weekend that I don’t have any reading to do at all this week.

I don’t know that I have a had semester with this much being done.

I have been far more proactive with my reading and papers.

I also, I realized today, haven’t had any male attention distracting me.

I haven’t had a boyfriend or been dating anyone all that much.

Oh.

I have my eye on someone, almost said something tonight, but his friend was so obviously ready to bounce and he wasn’t alone, it was just too awkward.

Hoping I’ll see him Friday and I think I am just going to say something, at least kill the fantasy and clear the path.

Meaning.

Find out if there is something there, I think there is, I’m certainly flirting enough, and if there’s not, if it’s just friends, then to clarify that.

Less to preoccupy my mind.

And hey.

If there is something there.

Well.

Heh.

That would be cool to find out.

Not that I feel any sort of urgency, which is a good thing, it’s just there when I see him.

There’s a little jazz in the air between us.

I like jazz.

Ha.

Life is nice.

You know what, it really is.

Super grateful for it all.

Sunshine.

Stars in my hair.

Little girls in giraffe socks.

Penguins in the water.

Blue morpho butterflies in the air.

Ice cream cones and naps on the train.

A smile on my face.

And a little kiss of music in my heart.

Thanks San Francisco.

It was a super sweet day.

Seriously.

 

Growing Up

February 8, 2017

Moving on.

Letting go of the things that don’t serve me.

Letting go of ways and means of being that I have been.

Shedding.

Fuck.

It feels really good.

I had to have a little hand holding tonight as I took some suggestions regarding my personal life and relationships.

“No body treats you like that,” he said to me, “and I will not stand here and let you be treated like that, now unfriend.”

BAM.

I sent a message and let go of the results.

I changed.

Like that.

It has taken years to get to this point and to let go, of this old idea that I somehow need to give you more than me, that I am not enough, that I have to buy your love, respect, or that I need to give you something for you to be my friend, lover, partner.

Nope.

I am enough and I deserve to be treated well.

I stood up for myself.

Not by myself, though, I had to have some hand holding.

I had gotten the suggestion this evening and it matched up with how I was feeling, even though I was afraid to take the action required, I knew, deep within me, that it was the thing to do.

And.

I realized that I can’t do it alone.

I needed his help.

“Wait, can I just do this now, with you here, I don’t know if I can do it when I get home,” I said.  I mean.  I knew I would, but I knew it would be easier for me to do it with my person there sitting across the table, warm, supporting, holding me through the process of letting go and moving on.

There is no there there.

“I expect to get blow back from this,” I said as I sent out the message and then took the next suggestion and cleaned some house.

“Doesn’t matter, you did your part, you cleaned your side of the street, how the other person responds doesn’t matter,” he said.

He took my hands and held them as I shed a few tears, took a deep breath and did the next action in front of me.

The relief of standing up for myself, asking for what I want, and really I do not have any expectations that the want will be met at all, none, nada, in fact, and that somehow made it easier and harder at the same time.

But let go I did.

And I realized I just made a huge amount of room for what will work in my life, for friendships, relationships, jobs, school, for letting in the love and going where the love is and being happier in my person and with myself.

Such stunning relief.

Let go.

Move on.

With love.

With unconditional regard for others and what they need to do to grow and be.

It’s not my business.

 

My business.

Is.

Me.

 

What works best, how will I grow, how may I serve, what does that look like.

I left my person with such deep gratitude and love.

I have grown so much since working with him and I have such respect for the work.

It awes me.

And I change.

It is good.

It is so good.

I am so excited for what this year is going to bring.

The travel I get to do.

I’m planning a trip to Puerto Rico.

Another to Anchorage.

One to Portland.

And.

Of course.

Burning Man.

Yes.

I know.

I am working full-time and going to school full time and I will be interning.

How the hell am I going to pull it off?

I don’t know.

But get pulled off it will.

I am thinking that I may camp somewhere new this year, my dear friend from my first camp that split off and started his own invited me to camp with them this year.

Go where the love is.

Go where I am wanted and appreciated.

And.

Don’t go to work.

I have worked every year.

I have paid my dues.

Maybe.

Just maybe go this year and don’t work, oh, I know, I’ll help out, wherever I am camped, that is what I do, but on my terms and not tied to anyone, not tied to a scheduled, not leashed to a job.

Just a camp.

Just a spot to put up my tent and be.

Just me.

Just the playa.

Just Burning Man.

That’s such a lovely thought.

A goal.

My year is already so littered with love and goodness, travel, art, school, friends, getting to be in San Francisco, getting my practicum placement, getting to be an intern, getting to start helping clients and accruing the hours toward my license.

And it’s just the beginning of February.

And.

It is just the beginning.

This thirteenth year of being in recovery is going to blow the top off.

I can feel it.

I am expanding.

My heart growing.

I am shedding old skin and stepping out new.

It feels extraordinary and freeing and magical.

Alive.

And let me not forget.

I am also going to Paris in May.

I mean.

My life is extraordinary.

I am so grateful I keep showing up, suiting up, doing the damn deal, living by spiritual principles.

I’m not a saint.

I’m going to fuck up.

But that too is a gift and an opportunity to grow more.

All this growth.

I am graced to get to do it.

It can be a struggle.

Or it can be a surrender.

Today.

It was melting surrender, a washing away, a saying goodbye, a letting go, with the rain sluicing down the gutters and the fog prowling on soft cat feet, as I listened to Bon Entendeur streaming from my headphones as the N-Judah barreled its way down towards Ocean Beach, I looked at my reflection across the way in the mirrored window of the train.

I smiled.

So much joy.

Such simple shifts.

And boom.

A giant leap forward in my life and in my recovery.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Seriously.

It’s going to be fucking amazing.

AMAZING.

Happiness

February 4, 2017

Is  a fucking rare ass steak.

Holy moly.

That was good.

I had a little celebratory dinner out and yes, I got my steak and ate it too.

So divine.

Then I get home and there are flowers.

Seriously feeling special.

So nice to celebrate and take a moment to appreciate the hard work that I have put into being where I am at.

I still have so much more to go, to do, to learn, to be, but how exciting is that?

That I can create and do and be more, that there is more room to grow, that there is more to come, in fact, the best is yet to come.

I firmly believe that.

And.

I can still have today, this moment, this nice time to reflect and let it sink in.

Really let it sink in.

I feel like I took a giant leap forward, but really, it was just doing the same things I have been taught to do for such a long time now.

Show up.

Be kind.

Be yourself.

Be honest.

Be open.

Be humble.

And listen.

And be.

It’s just not nearly as complicated as my brain wants to make it out to be.

It is not.

It is lovely and simple and sweet and that how I feel right now, loved and full of sweetness.

Daisies and roses.

Steak in my belly.

Hot tea in a mug.

Candles lit in my studio in-law.

Music in my heart.

A little Regina Spektor.

And it’s Friday.

And the school sent me my tax documents so I can finish my taxes this weekend.

I am busy, but busy in a manageable way.

Although when I spell it out, it does sound a little crazy.

Yoga in the morning, then a lady will be coming over and we’ll do some work, then I’ll have lunch, I’ll cook up a bunch of food for the week, I’m in class next weekend, a necessary evil to make an extra big batch of food, then write my paper for Trauma class.

After that a ride on the train to the BART.

BART to Oakland 19th street station.

A friend is picking me up from BART around 8 p.m. and we’re going to have dinner and catch up, I haven’t seen him since Burning Man.

Then off to a late night speaking engagement at 10p.m.

Back home via BART and the MUNI.

Sunday, more yoga, then I will be heading to see my tattoo artist at 1:30p.m. to get my star tattoo touched up.

After that I’ll have some opening in my schedule, I’ll probably do some reading for school, take my laptop with me and hit Maxfield’s in the Mission and hang out there until 6p.m.

Do the deal.

And then a double anniversary dinner with friends at Pakwan in the Mission.

There it is.

My weekend.

I’ll get my taxes done in there as well.

That actually won’t take too long as I already did  the majority of them, I just was waiting on one form and since that came in the mail I will be able to finish them within twenty minutes, half hour tops.

I could do that between yoga and meeting with my lady.

Yeah.

I know.

Busy town.

But.

Good busy.

Fulfilled busy.

Happy busy.

Useful busy.

I wont’ be taking my scooter anywhere though, rain all weekend long.

The rain boots will be out and I’ll be doing public transit.

And there will be down time.

Time to watch the rain fall from the streets and the wind ripple through the palm trees on Dolores street while I watch from the big plate-glass windows of Maxfield’s House of Caffeine.

Time to sit with friends and catch up.

Time.

There is more of it then I think or know.

The streets wet and slick, the foyer of a pretty building in the West Portal district.

The soft laughter of shared knowing and the openness of my heart tonight as I spoke out into the dark room, a string of Christmas lights glowing in front of me as I faced the people and shared my self, my story, my strength and the fact that I don’t do it alone.

I can’t do it alone.

I have you.

I have us.

I have fellowship and friends and family and loads of laughter.

So much laughter.

Today at work.

The six-year-old, soon to be seven, so soon, like the day after tomorrow, laughing and chasing me around the four-year old hugging me and dancing around in her tights and balancing on the toes of my nanny clogs as we pirouetted around the living room.

The rainbow sprinkles.

OH.

The rainbow sprinkles.

BiRite Ice Creamery on a Friday afternoon after school has let out.

Strawberry ice cream in a sugar cone with rainbow sprinkles.

How lovely to be a child, hazed out in the glory of ice cream and candied sprinkles.

We sat smooshed next to tables full of people blissed out on sugar and the reprieve from a sudden downpour of rain showers.

The train ride back to the house, the fat bottom clouds scudding across the sky threatening rain, but never quite delivering again.

There will be plenty tomorrow.

And the next day and the next and the next.

Lots of rain in the next week.

But that’s ok.

That’s life.

Stomping puddles in rain boots.

Joyfully popping open my umbrella tonight as we stepped from the restaurant, giddy and full, to walk the slippery shined streets and head home to the Outer Sunset.

Hugs and words to hang again soon.

Such a good life I have.

And I walk in and I can smell the flowers in my house.

So wonderful.

So loved.

So grateful.

Thank you all.

May I mirror back even a glimpse of the happiness I have for you.

The joy, happiness and freedom that I wish for you.

All the things.

All the things.

I wish them for you.

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.

 


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