Posts Tagged ‘play’

Get Paid

January 5, 2019

It’s not going to be a lot.

But it’s going to be something.

Two things.

First I got a raise at the beginning of the year, 5%, which is lovely, and will go into effect my next paycheck.

The amount that will show up on my actual paycheck is pretty small.

Still, anything is helpful.

And.

I applied to become an employee with Grateful Heart last night.

Currently I am what is called a “volunteer.”

I don’t get paid anything.

My clients pay me and I deposit that money into a one way account.

Grateful Heart administration is the only entity that can withdraw anything from it.

I can’t touch it.

I recently turned in my hours, client hours, and how much I took in, to the administrative team, which keeps tabs on all the therapists in the community and double checks the accounts against the reporting that is being done.

I am scrupulous with the money coming in and I have documented everything correctly.

The fastest a new Associate Marriage Family Therapist can become an employee with Grateful Heart is three months.

January 1st marked three months for me with the agency.

I applied on January 3rd after reporting my client hours and income for the month of December.  I have to do it once a month and as I noted, it gets matched against the bank account.

Their policy is that once a $1,000 prudent reserve is met and three months of income have been established a volunteer can apply to become an employee.

I should get approved pretty quick.

Fingers crossed, we have had some administrative changes recently, new hires, etc, I can’t believe it would take a lot of effort to look over my accounts and verify that I have what it takes to become an employee.

I am not bringing in heaps of money.

But.

I am bringing it in.

In fact.

Applying for the position actually showed me how much I have been doing in regards to establishing myself as a new therapist in the community.

In my first month I brought in $700.

In my second month, $1700.

Last month, $2400.

My rent gets taken out and a hefty ($350) administrative fee, the rest is left in my account, which has begun to actually accrue some funds.

I have more than met the prudent reserve and I have money that I could actually be collecting.

For myself.

Like real income.

They have a formula to help you figure out what you can take out without dipping below the reserve and also that I have to be paid the minimum wage for the hours I claim.

Minimum wage in San Francisco is $15 an hour.

So basically I will get paid slightly less than half my nanny wage.

Ugh.

But.

I will be able to increase that fairly quickly, I believe, and I will, once I become an employee, be able to get compensated for office costs.

I will also get reimbursed for my own therapy.

And that money will not be taxed or charged the 12.5% fee that Grateful Heart will also start taking as soon as I become an employee.

So, rent, administrative costs, and 12.5% goes to them and I get the rest.

It is not enough to live on by any means.

However.

It is more coming in and since my rent is a $1,000 more a month than it used to be.

(ugh)

It really will help.

Especially getting the money back from my own personal therapy.

It made me sort of chuckle when I thought about it.

I’m doing therapy to get therapy.

Heh.

I was required by my Master’s program to work with a licensed MFT and I could have dropped her and the therapy once my program ended, I worked with her for a year.

But.

It’s been helpful and I sense that it’s better for me to stay with it for a while yet.

It’s been very supportive of my transition with school, the PhD program, moving, old childhood trauma, family of origin issues, etc.

So, I’ll keep doing it and getting some money back to pay for it will feel really nice.

I’m feeling a lot of relief knowing that some more income will be coming in and it’s also a nice way to see that all these years of work is actually beginning to pay off.

Not a lot of pay off.

Yet.

But it will happen.

I had set an intention on my birthday last month that this would be my last year as a nanny.

I will have 25 full fee, weekly, seriously committed, wonderful clients who I get to help and empower by the end of this upcoming year.

25 is the number of clients most therapists aim for.

One could do more, but you court burn out.

It’s a lot of work to show up and be present for people and listen and reflect and use theory and trainings and bear witness to trauma.

Horrible trauma.

And it’s a great gift too.

I am a good therapist.

I really am and I am proud of the work I have done to get where I am.

I’m excited to help more people.

I’m happy that I have a career.

Not that having been a nanny hasn’t been a beautiful career, it just has an end and I feel it coming close.

I’ve been doing it for 12 years.

Amongst some other things, but mostly nannying.

Which is its own kind of therapy, when it’s done well, I believe.

I have been out to the parks a lot lately and I’ve been finding myself really judgmental.

I draw kids to me like flies, I literally had my little girl charge today (alone most of the day, three parks, Souvla for lunch, two toy stores for stickers, balloons, ice cream from BiRite Creamery with rainbow sprinkles) up at Dolores Park and at one point found myself surrounded by five little monkeys demanding snacks.

Friends of hers from her private school.

It was adorable and also intense.

Good thing I had packed extra snacks.

Kids love me and I them, but sometimes it becomes quite obvious when  a child isn’t getting their needs filled–emotional, physical, intellectual–and like a heat seeking missile they will go to someone who does.

That was me a lot today.

I just wanted to shout out, put down your Iphones and pay attention to your children!

But.

I didn’t.

And I’m glad I didn’t, it would have looked rather untoward.

If I’m honest too, my current family hired me because the mom remembered seeing me at the playground with a former set of charges and something similar happened.

She told me later that she realized I was a treasure and that she had been ecstatic when she found out I was going to be available.

Anyway.

Here’s to drawing clients to me like I drew children to me today.

I also have to say, when I really let myself acknowledge it, children are honest and if they like you it says a lot and if they trust you it says a lot too.

I was trusted a lot today at the parks, I got to be surrounded by much happy love.

Which is beautiful and I hope that I will in turn pass that along to the clients I get to see tomorrow, and all my days thereafter.

 

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Almost Over

August 3, 2018

The jet lag.

I forget that it takes a bit longer for me to adjust on the way back.

I was sitting at the park watching one of my charges swing and suddenly I got whacked with the tired’s.

I looked at my phone and realized it was 1 a.m. Paris time.

Of course.

I am still surprised that my body doesn’t adjust as fast as I think it will.

But I only had to take a look at the baby this morning as he fell asleep with his head down on the table, to see how powerful it is when we mess with our time clocks.

He was so sweet and out hard.

He didn’t wake up, although he fussed a little, when I removed him from the high chair and got him snuggled down for his nap.

I had a moment of wishing to just hold him and let him sleep against me, but the other two monkeys are with me full-time this week, school’s not yet back in for them, and it would have been too much to juggle a sleeping baby on me and two high energy kids on top of it.

As the case was, the little lady decided to help mom with chores and the eldest and I played Monopoly.

He’s really quite good for an 8-year-old, but he had a hard time with losing.

I didn’t rig it, I won, yes, I am that person, I am the person that will beat a kid at a game.

And not because I’m an asshole.

My mom was an asshole to me the first time I learned how to play Monopoly and was extremely competitive, she and her friends would have Monopoly parties that went on for hours and hours and days at a time.

They would leave the board set up in the kitchen and keep playing until there was a winner.

I was quite fascinated by it and at some point I learned how to play.

I learned how to be cut throat.

It wasn’t much fun.

Although the competitiveness of it was a kind of excitement that I had not experienced before that ramped me way up.

No.

I wasn’t trying to be an asshole, but I was trying to show him what it felt like to lose.

He’d rather win.

What kid wouldn’t?

But he’s also smart enough to know if I was throwing a game.

I have been tempted to before, he likes a couple of card games and he’ll get super upset if I win, but he also notices if I’m not playing with my all, so I just stay honest and play like I mean it.

Which is how I played the Monopoly today.

And he was good, not great, but good, and I could see that he was super into getting the money and collecting the properties and building the little houses and hotels up.

He was also expecting to win and a bit flabbergasted when he didn’t.

I told him how proud I was of him for figuring out big words, and for doing math problems and for playing as long as he did.

I also gently pointed out that there were things that he did super well, that he had ideas about how to make investments on his properties and figured out that he should put more houses on the properties that were landed on most often.

He was picking up strategy.

He didn’t much want to hear it, but I told him anyway, and when he realized that the person with all the money was the winner he went quite socialist on me and it was so sweet.

He decided to make up his own game where all the hotels became public housing and there were gardens and places people could go and get soup and be fed and it was so endearing to watch him draw it out on pieces of paper and talk about how having all the money wasn’t the most important thing.

I don’t know that he’s going to remember our game of Monopoly down the line, but it felt like a little victory, a win even though he’d lost, that he figured out that money wasn’t the most important thing.

It was probably pancakes.

He adores pancakes and I obliged this morning and made him breakfast (and lunch and dinner).

It was a lot of cooking today, but I don’t mind, I do like cooking for them and often I will make things I don’t myself eat, which is fine, I’m not tempted, it’s actually rather nice.

I used to love to bake before I got abstinent from sugar and flour, so it’s rather soothing and fun for me to cook for the family, I get the joy of making things that others enjoy and pancakes were definitely on that list.

So too, apple pie.

Which I will be making two of tomorrow.

I wasn’t expecting that, but dad’s got company coming over and a big request was made for my apple pie.

I don’t mind really, it’s nice, like I said to bake, and truth be told it does make my day go faster.

It will definitely eat up some time.

Which I’m all about on Fridays.

So despite the bit of jet lag, I am making it through.

One more day of work and then a very busy weekend.

I have an early interview on Saturday for a private practice internship, then a dentist appointment, then group supervision, a nail salon date for myself, a get together to do the deal, and then a late dinner with my person.

And Sunday will be full too.

But I’m not there yet.

One more day to go.

Thank God it’s almost Friday.

A Tire Swing

June 2, 2018

Floating in the air over the dense thick grass of a lawn between a thicket of trees and a few farm sheds and cabins.

A hammock in the background that is almost as tempting, an invitation to loaf, snooze, to fall upwards while laying back, high into the blue skies and the clots of cream fluff clouds drifting lazily by.

2018-06-01 13.37.08-2

I adore a good tire swing.

This was one of the better ones I have seen.

If not the best.

The swing was rigged from a line of rope strung between two trees, not from a tree specifically, so it drifted back and forth on this kind of clothes line, swinging in loopy circles and ovals.

I did not go for a ride on the swing.

Though I was sorely tempted.

I could feel it in my body, the desire to climb in, push myself up into the air and drift through the warm breezes ruffling through the trees.

It was such a pretty day.

Sunny and warm.

Not typical San Francisco weather.

Then again.

I wasn’t in San Francisco.

I was outside of a small town to the south of Half Moon Bay called San Gregorio.

San Gregorio is tiny.

Population 214.

There’s a general store and a post office.

And then just beautiful rolling mountains.

It’s close to the coast so the drive in was gorgeous and breathtaking.

I am always so stunned when I get to drive down the One, it’s just such a tremendous gift to live next to such beauty.

I am in awe of the Pacific ocean, the sunlight, the green mountains, the twisty curving roads.

The family I work for have friends staying in San Gregorio and they were moving back to Finland, so there was a drive to meet them for lunch at the Air BnB they were staying at.

On a goat farm.

Yes.

I got to go hang out with some kids, not just the ones I work for.

It was precious and sweet, and the sound of the baby laughing in my arms as the goats crowded around me melted my heart.

I love animals.

And I am good with them.

I am not afraid of them or of getting messy, though for a minute I was like, damn it man, had I known we were going to a goat farm I would have dressed differently.

Especially knowing that where we were going was warmer.

Ha.

I was all in black, black leggings, black therapy dress, black, black, black, and the dress is long-sleeved.

It’s a super comfy, but professional little jersey dress I got from the Gap last year when I started seeing clients, it works for nannying and with a simple switch out from my nanny shoes to my “therapy shoes” I feel like I can be very professionally attired to see my clients in the evenings after I finish my nanny shift.

Though perhaps a great outfit for in the city, not necessarily the best for a goat farm.

Three times I had to take the hem out of the mouth of a goat.

It made me laugh though.

And after the week I have had up in my head about the whole 90 days to move thing it was a relief.

Sidebar.

Phone call message from the Tenant’s Union confirmed that my landlady does not have just cause to ask me to move out.  I got the message while I was in transition from nannying to my internship, so I missed the call, but the woman left me a lengthy message addressing all the points I had brought up and she confirmed that legally my landlady does not have the right to ask me to move out.

She encouraged me to get my copy of the Tenant’s Union handbook when I go into my drop in session tomorrow, and that I was protected despite not being on a lease and living in an illegal unit.

That was a relief to hear and also a bit like, ok, here we go, this is really happening, what do I need to do next.

I spent some time talking out loud in the car on my way home, how would I say it, would I write it down, would I ask another person to be there with me, what would happen, I could tell I was getting scared, I don’t like conflict, but also that really I just need to take the emotional bit out of it and be business like.

I have rights, here they are, make counter offer.

Done.

And of course, more will be revealed tomorrow when I sit down with the counselor and see exactly what my rights are.

No need to have the conversation before I have all the information.

Anyway.

Like I said.

A relief to be outside, in the fresh air, in the sun, getting to play with the children and push my oldest charge on the tire swing.

He had trepidations at first, but I had a feeling that once he had a ride he would fall in love with it like I did when I was his age.

And he did.

It was the sweetest thing to watch the simple pleasure on his face as he floated through the air up high, against the bright green of the trees.

Such joy.

It filled me up.

There was a house in Wisconsin that we lived at briefly in all our transitions from here to there (I told my therapist how hard it was to separate this thing happening with the notice to move out with the shame and fear and running away in the middle of the night my mom did on more than one occasion to avoid getting evicted by the police for not paying rent.  I am not my mother, I have paid and I’m not doing anything wrong, but that voice inside that insisted, you’ve been bad and now you’re being punished, took a whole lot of talk to calm down) when my mother had moved us cross-country from California to Wisconsin where she had grown up, in Lodi, a small town 30 ish miles to the North of Madison in Columbia County.

I don’t remember the house very well, we were only there for a brief time, I think she was crashing with friends on the couch until we moved into a small apartment in Baraboo, but I do remember the tire swing.

It was my savior.

This succor from the trauma of running away in the middle of the night, the constant moving, the constant uprooting, the wondering where I was going to sleep next, if it would be safe, was there anywhere that was safe?

The tire swing.

It was safe.

Although it was exciting to go high, really, I just like being held secure in the middle of the tire, arms wrapped around it, swaying back and forth in slow swoops and circles, staring up into the leaves of the old oak tree that it hung from.

I was in that swing every day until we moved.

I can still feel the rope in my hands and smell the faint rubber smell of the tire and see the smooth patch around the rope where many small hands had worn the treads smooth.

My childhood was not one I would wish upon another, but it was mine and to say that there never was joy in it would be a lie.

I was a happy kid when I was allowed to be happy.

I was happy in that swing.

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And I was happy pushing my sweet little boy charge in the tire at the goat farm for his first time ever, quiet and sure that he would be as safely held as I was.

The light dappled down over me and the warm smell of hay arose in my nose and I let my eyes close for a moment as I pushed his small weight towards the sky, remembering again and again that I am loved, safe, and perfectly held.

Now.

And.

Always.

 

Back In It

December 27, 2017

Although the rest of the city was still pretty out of it.

Hence the parking just about everywhere and the fast commute to work this morning.

And my yoga teacher not showing up at class this morning.

I knew it was too good to be true that the day after Christmas my yoga studio would have the 7 a.m. class.

But it was on the schedule and I signed up, I went to bed early, got a good nights sleep and popped up and got into gear and walked the cold ass block, yeah, I know, a block, to the studio to see folks milling about waiting for the studio to open.

Not a good sign.

I waited until five after and just went back home.

I did unroll my mat and do some stretches and a tiny big of a flow.

Then I just said fuck it and got dressed in my clothes and did laundry.

A phone call with my best friend and some making plans for the end of the week and loads of writing.

Loads.

I think I wrote five or six pages this morning.

Helps shake the shit out of my head.

And then off to work.

I was met at the door by my little lady charge who announced we were going to go see Claude the crocodile at the Academy of Sciences.

Now.

Technically Claude is an alligator, but it really doesn’t matter to a five-year old, Claude the crocodile it is and it stays.

The fun thing about going was that after tense negotiations about taking the stroller, I’ve expressed to her that when she turned five we, meaning I, was going to retire the stroller.

It fucking kills my back, I’m too tall for it and she’s fine, but let’s be frank, who doesn’t want someone to push them around all day long whilst being fed snacks and cuddling stuffed toy dogs?

I mean.

It sounds fantastic to me.

But her mom actually tossed out a different idea, how about taking my car?

I was totally down.

Not having to take MUNI with a collapsible stroller is just fine with me.

I got our stuff together, threw a safety chair in the back seat, buckled her up and we were off to the Academy.

Which was, of course, slammed.

Out of town visitors, in town folks with kids who were out of school, but in the end, it was fine, we had a blast, they had the snow machine going and that was super sweet to get snowed on, my charge has never seen snow, we hung out by Claude and she ate Mr. Cheese O’s and asked about what Claude likes to eat, we meandered around, avoiding the crowds and finding little spots where we hadn’t explored before, the upstairs, the Living Roof, the archival area on the third floor, we drew sketches, and ate sushi in the cafeteria.

I love that my charge like sushi.

I do too.

After we had explored all there was to explore she asked if we could just go to the park.

The very nice thing about being a local is that I knew the perfect park to go to and I didn’t have to get in my car and drive anywhere.

There’s a little secluded park on the other side of the DeYoung Museum that you can’t really see from the road and that is basically accessible from that side via a tunnel.

You can kind of catch of glimpse of the park, if you know where to look, on the Fulton side, but it’s pretty much secluded and sweet and just enough off the tourist beat that it was just local neighborhood kids.

It was perfect and she was thrilled to play at a park she hadn’t been to before.

Then back to the car, over the hills and through the valleys back to Glen Park.

I made dinner for the family and was greeted with much happiness that I was cooking again in the kitchen.

I just got to say that it does me good that after three days of take out food and Christmas treats the family was super eager to eat my food.

It’s a very nice complement and I really enjoy doing the cooking.

Win/win.

I agreed to come in a little early tomorrow, not too early though, I’ve got a chiropractor appointment first at 8am., and help out with the baby so that the mom and dad can have a day out together, like a day date.

They have a weekend nanny/babysitter who helps them a lot and she’ll come in and take one of the older kids to the Creativity Museum, leaving me with the baby and one other charge to hang out with out the house.

I’m down with that.

I was hoping that I would just have the baby, but it didn’t seem like that was the way the discussion was going as I was leaving.

Doesn’t matter, either way, I show up, I do my job, and I do it well.

Then, after work, dinner with a friend from school who is visiting San Francisco with her family, and my evening commitment.

It looks like it’s going to be a nice day and I’m sure it will go by fast.

Tomorrow I’ll be on my scooter too, I just remembered that, too many places I need to be on a rather tight schedule.

But I think I’ll take my car again on Thursday, I’m becoming so fond of driving it, let me just say, that climbing into a car and going home from my internship, oh yeah, I had a client tonight, almost forgot about that, with heat on and music, is like the nicest thing.

So grateful for my little car.

So grateful for my life.

So grateful for everything.

All the things.

All of them.

Smashed With Love

September 15, 2017

I had a reunion today with one of my favorite charges.

I have been on the look out for him since school started.

The family I used to work for and the family I work for now have their children in the same school.

I do school pick up for my charges four to five days a week.

And.

I ran into one of the boys I used to work with today.

Or.

I should say.

He ran into me.

Literally.

Full tilt gallop from across the playground.

I was nearly bowled over.

I had no idea he was coming.

I was looking for my charge and then heard my name being called out, and it took a moment for me to realize that the voice calling my name was not the voice of my current charge, but a past charge.

And then.

He leapt into my arms.

He knew I would be there to catch him and I was.

My whole body responded before my brain had a chance to even register what had happened.

All I knew was that my arms were full of this sweet little boy.

“I miss you! I miss you! I miss you!” He cried and hugged me so hard.

I told him how much I have missed him and how much I love him and it was such a sweet reunion.

I nearly burst into tears.

This situation, being at the same school, with two different families, is a new one for me.

The first few times my former charge saw me were so achingly painful I dreaded going to do school pick up.

Part of me yearned to see them, my boys, such sweet, sweet boys.

And.

Part of me couldn’t bear it.

I missed them so badly and they didn’t understand why I wasn’t with them any longer and was with my new family and when was I coming back?

Now.

8 months later.

They seem to have gotten it.

And there’s some distance from the hurt and the loss and the grieving I did when I said good-bye to them.

Now it seems tender, but it doesn’t have the same sting, and though I thought I might cry, I did not, yes, oh yes, I gave him many fierce hugs and told him multiple times how much I loved him, but I didn’t lose it.

He ran off with my little girl charge and they went to the monkey bars and it did my heart something good to watch the two of them play.

It did my heart real good.

My charges were all about the love today.

There was much holding hands, there were many hugs, there were no tantrums.

It was magic.

I even had a little time before the mom came in this morning to make a few check in phone calls and get myself oriented for the week.

And get my clients sussed out for the next few weeks.

I have been given another client.

And with that.

I now have eight.

Which is where I will stay, at least for the semester.

I will pick up consults on Saturdays that I am not in class, but aside from that, I have my eight clients.

I am a therapist.

I mean.

I really am doing this.

“What’s a therapist?” My oldest charge asked me today, “is that what you’re in school for, and how come you’re still in school, is it like a career thing?”

He’s very astute for seven.

“Yes,” I told him, ruffling his hair.

He and I were solo at this point in the day, mom and little sister had a dance class to go to and he and I were headed home on MUNI.

“A therapist is someone who helps you communicate with your emotions, sometimes they help you communicate with other people too,” I told him.

“A therapist helps you with your feelings,” I continued.

“Oh yeah, I remember,” he said and reached for my hand, “and you’re a therapist!”

“Yes,” I smiled, “yes, I am.”

“But you’re still my nanny, right?” He asked, a tiny note of concern in his voice.

“Yes, I’m still you’re nanny,” I replied, slowing down a little as he thought it through.

“But you won’t be forever, you’ll graduate from school and you’ll be a therapist all the time?” He asked, then stopped walking and added, “but that’s not for a while yet, right?  You’re still many nanny for a while.”

“Yes, it will be a while before I have a practice all my own and we’ll have lots of time together before that happens,” I assured him.

“And then you can be my therapist!” He concluded and grabbed my hand happy to have figured out a way to keep me permanently in his life.

Oh my heart.

It just was squashed with his love.

I hope you never, ever, ever, need a therapist darling boy.

Although, I know how helpful it is, it’s super helpful.

Just to have someone listen to you, to attend to you, to help you navigate through emotional states and processes.

Even if there’s not a trauma to work through.

Therapy is some super helpful stuff.

And really, if I’m honest about it, in a way, I am this child’s therapist.

We do a lot of play therapy and a lot of narrative therapy.

Of course.

I don’t tell him that.

For him, it is just play, that’s how children process emotions, they play.

So he and I play a lot, we color, we tell stories, well, he tells me stories, all the time, and I get to listen and ask questions.

He’s very excited, for instance, about the new Iphone.

“Are you going to get one?” He asked me.

“Nope, I don’t have a $1,000 to spend on a phone,” I told him.

He was not pleased with this answer, he’s very pro Apple products.

“Don’t you have something you can sell?” He asked, “you know, to get money to buy the phone?”

I laughed out loud.

I love how he thinks.

He’s very solution oriented.

I love my charges.

Past.

And present.

I’m so grateful for them, for all the sweet love I have gotten to have, for the laughter, for the naps, for the snuggles and hugs and the joy of them.

Children astound me.

The bright faces of God shining with love.

How lucky, graced really, I am to get to do this work.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

I Have A Question For You

April 19, 2017

Why are you single?

You’re gorgeous.

Wow.

Thanks darling.

That was super nice to hear, especially in my nanny regalia, which granted is cute, but not sexy.

I also got the sexy compliment.

Which coming from a FIREFIGHTER made my day.

Did I just turn down sex on a first date with a firefighter?

FIREFIGHTER!

Fuck.

I did.

Damn it.

First off.

I’m going to TMI y’all right now.

First day of a my period is not my sexy time.

It can be, I can and have had great fucking times on my period, but for my first time with someone, my first hang out, yikes, not so much.

And.

I didn’t shave today.

So.

No.

I’m not sleeping with the firefighter.

Right now.

Ooooheee.

God damn.

Smokin’.

And nice.

He was very nice.

We “met” on Tinder.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, like last summer, I think, when I was still using the app, but we never quite connected.

We’re not friends on facecrack but he does follow me on Instagram and, yes, that’s right, I had my first time getting asked out on Instagram.

That was a new one for me.

Kind of fun.

The crazy thing is, we live in the same neighborhood.

Like.

A fucking block away from each other.

Shit.

If it weren’t my first day on my period I would throw myself in the shower, shave them stems and um, heh, go make a new friend.

Ahem.

FIREFIGHTER.

Ok.

I’ll stop now.

firefighter.

Heh.

I feel like Samantha in Sex in the City when she goes to the firehouse.

Of course, in the episode, I think she got stranded naked in the station when the alarm goes off and her date has to leave to go put out a fire.

Not really the outcome I want to have.

Anyway.

Said gentleman, liked one of my posts on Insta and sent me a message.

The timing was pretty spot on, I had just gotten in and I was registering for fall classes.

And I was messaging with some of my classmates about classes and things and I get the message let’s get a coffee.

And of course.

I’m intrigued.

He’s gorgeous.

And well.

I’m trying to be spontaneous.

And we live in the same neighborhood.

I asked, “let’s get coffee sometime or tonight?”

“Tonight.”

Well then.

I suggested tea since it was late and we met and hung out and marveled that we’d never run into each other before, I mean, he literally lives a block away on the same fucking street, but nope, never seen each other in the hood at all.

We flirted.

There was flirting.

There was a lot of flirting.

And I let it stay there.

I am actually rather amazed that I did.

Of course when I got home I got a few more messages.

This time on my phone, I figured we’d gotten to know each other enough that I could give him my number.

When he texted me and asked me why were texting and not making out I just about fell out of my chair.

I told him I had homework.

I told him I was writing.

I got flustered and broke and dropped the TMI bomb.

“That has nothing to do with us making out.”

Oh damn.

I’m not flustered at all, at all, at all.

Ok.

Well.

Maybe a little bit.

I did, before we parted, give him a little information, as he asked the why am I single question twice, I think he may have also been implying that he might want to try out for the position, or perhaps just positioning himself to be, I got to stop, I can’t even go there.

Um.

Where was I?

Oh yeah.

I did tell him I was seeing people, that I had, in fact a date on Thursday, but that I wasn’t exclusive with anyone, not that I would be, the date Thursday is a first date, but all in all, I have to say, um, super fucking validating and fun experience.

I liked his confidence and I liked that I felt confident too.

Even in my nanny togs.

If a man thinks I’m sexy in a long sleeve black dress with black leggings and Converse, well, that bodes well for when I am actually in a put together outfit.

I don’t look slovenly, there’s that, I won’t lie, if I thought I wasn’t looking pretty I wouldn’t have left the house in my work clothes.

But.

I also didn’t feel like trying really hard on a Tuesday night to get all made up and glammed up, especially to grab a cup of tea at Java Beach.

There will be time.

I told him that was very tempted by the make out, but, I decided, for me, that it would be better to go on another date, before leaping into the make out.

So.

I asked for a rain check.

Who is this person?

And.

He said, absolutely.

And we text flirted a little more and now I’m up past my bed time, but, so what, that was fun.

I haven’t had that kind of forward as fuck attention in a while, super fun, super validating, sexy as fuck flirting.

I think the Universe did that one up on purpose.

Thanks God.

I needed that.

And.

Um.

I’ll take hot make out with a firefighter for $200 once I get my get out of Jail free card from my body.

Anticipation is also not a bad thing.

Not a bad thing at all.

Giggles to self.

Ok.

Going to stop this silliness now.

Night.

Sweet dreams.

Or

Incindiary.

Same/same.

Heh.

 

Home

February 12, 2017

Sweet home.

I’m not there yet.

Even though I am home.

That’s not the home I am talking about.

“Welcome home,” he shouted into the dusty air, “ring the bell.”

I rang the bell.

I skipped the rolling around in the dust though.

Fuck that shit.

It’s dusty enough up in this mess.

Yup.

I’m planning my return trip to the playa.

It’s a little early, I suppose, but I am going to get my little early ducks in a row.

I’ve decided that I am not working this year.

I am going to go and just have fun.

I am going to stay with a different camp than I have before, I’ve been a member of the camp since it’s inception and have spent time there, and have friends there, and one of them mentioned to me that it was time to come out and camp with them this year and not work and really enjoy the festival.

The art.

The joy.

The get about and the get around.

I found out my when my first weekend of classes will be for the fall semester.

Last year they fell on the same weekend of the event and I was not able to go for the full amount of time.

I went up early and left early.

I was only there four days.

It was lovely and I’m super glad I went, but it was not enough and I didn’t get to see any of the burns because I left Wednesday morning of the event.

By plane.

There is that.

It was one hell of an amazing experience to fly out of Burning Man.

I don’t know if that is necessarily happening, but I’m going to let it all fall together.

I decided in my heart to go last Sunday and then I did some research and discovered that the low-income ticket application will open in a few days.

I need to update my profile and the minute it opens, February 15th, I will be applying for it.

One of the big reasons that have always worked the event is to get into the event.

But.

I don’t want to work it this year.

I want to actually go and not be tied down and when I researched a little I discovered I could definitely afford the low-income ticket and I will apply to it.

Then yesterday I discovered that the first weekend of the fall semester for my cohort will be the weekend before the event.

Thank God.

I can go!

Well.

I won’t quite say that yet.

I still have to clear it with work.

I will ask on Monday if it’s a possibility.

I already have a lot of my vacation time tied up to my trip to Paris in May, but I do have some days that are not accounted for and I want to use them for the event.

I may have to do some negotiation with the family in regards to it, but I think that they will be amenable to me going.

I sure do hope so.

It was me doing a happy dance today when I told my friend before class that I found out the weekend dates for the fall and that there was not a conflict with school, it set my day, I was super pumped.

Granted that feeling dissipated, class work was challenging and showing up for it and being present for the material made me completely forget about the event, about travel times and dates and plans and things and stuff and more things.

But.

When I got home and said “hello house,” I smiled, my eyes drawn to the print on the wall, a photo shot from above, from an airplane above the event and I remembered quickly.

Home.

And it will be the ten-year anniversary of my best friends passing and me taking his ashes out to the Temple.

It will be my 11th burn in a row.

It is a part and parcel of me.

There are experiences that I have had there that I cannot rationalize or explain.

Love and light and dirt and dust and spiritual transmogrification.

So many times.

Not just once, but time and time and time again.

Dancing the tango with a beautiful 24-year-old man from Norway who was tall and blonde and yes, heh, Nordic, with a gorgeous sweet accent and the bliss of being kissed under the stars, bent backward and kissed as though every song of the stars above depended upon the breath in and out of our bodies as we melted into the dust.

Riding out to the trash fence at sunrise on the art car “A Horse With No Name” and seeing the shots of fire thrown out against the playa, piercing and bright and bathing the dust with golden smote, softening the blue smoke bathed mountains with flames of light.

Running into a friend unexpectedly in a church pew by an organ and telling him a fairy tale in the mid afternoon heat and swelter.

Reciting poetry underneath the upraised arms of the Man and the face of the man when I looked into his eyes.

“Do you know how easy it is to fall in love with you when you recite poetry,” he said.

Why do you think I recite poetry?

I want you to love me.

And somehow.

I don’t know how.

I don’t need to know how.

I find myself easier in my person, able to let that love in, to be scaffold with it, to allow myself to be exactly who I am, hair bedecked with flowers, standing tall in cowboy boots with polka dot socks and my crinoline blowing in the breeze, my umbrella of poesy flowers opened to shelter me from the sun, face bedecked with smiles.

I am somehow more me and entirely at peace with who I am and how I am and it’s not so weird, it’s just me, and I’m not that unique, I mean, did you see what she was wearing?

Or not wearing.

Of course I want to go home.

It’s home.

Anchored in between the Black Rock Mountains and the Calico’s, underneath the rising moon and the setting sun, the howl of love that whisper whips across the playa until we are all crying out of our aloneness a coming together, a community, an expression of magic, yes.

That.

Magic.

May I always be a part of that kind of love and mystery.

And.

Yeah.

Fingers crossed.

I’ve cleared the first hurdle, school conflict, now to ask off from work for event.

Then.

I’ll get a ticket after that.

And.

Soon.

I’ll see you in the dust.

I’ll be there to welcome you home.

I promise.

 

Grad School Death Bed

December 9, 2016

A friend asked me how I was doing today and I rattled off all the things school and all the books and all the papers and all the presentations.

And.

Fuck me.

I’m so done.

But.

I’m not done yet.

Nope the death rattle on this semester has yet to start shaking.

I have papers galore to turn in tomorrow and yes, my Child Therapy presentation to do, but the big puppy, the big paper, the Moby fucking Dick final for Psychopathology is not done.

Nor shall it be for a while.

I won’t be able to touch it over the weekend.

I’ll have my three days of classes to attend.

And.

Yes.

A wedding in the middle of it.

At least I’ll look cute for it, I am hella stoked for my dress and pretty new blue shoes.

I’ll take some pictures, don’t worry.

I don’t believe I will actually be able to write the paper until next Saturday.

Sigh.

I’ll, fingers crossed, work on it while the baby naps, please God, on Monday, but I don’t see having it done on Monday.

And that’s ok.

Or Tuesday.

And that’s ok too.

It will get done.

And it will get done by the end of day Saturday.

I refuse to have that thing hanging over my head on my birthday.

I can’t believe it’s next Sunday.

I still have a few days left of 43.

I’m so not really focused on it, it’s dim and hard to see, these next few days are really all I have on my mind.

I am ready for them.

All I have to do is show up.

My books are packed, my notebooks too, my files and folders and pens.

My lunch and dinner.

My coffee and tea.

Yeah.

I roll like that.

I bring all the things.

All of them.

And I’m happier for it.

The day after tomorrow, Saturday, when I will be leaving early to head to a dear friends wedding, I won’t roll with anything.

Not even my school books.

Nope.

I’m just going to come to class, check into Family Therapy, have lunch with a friend, sit through the first half of Psychopathology and then bounce at the break.

I will be taking the gift for the wedding and me.

That’s all.

I don’t feel like hauling shit all over the city.

Especially since it calls for rain for the next few days.

And yes.

I did ride my scooter today.

The rain was not as bad and the weather report showed that there would be no rain at all, so I chanced it.

Of course.

There was rain.

But it was not as bad as last night and it wasn’t as cold.

I took it slow and gentle and got home safe and sound.

Granted, a bit damp, but home safe.

I won’t bother taking it in tomorrow, I don’t want to worry about morning rush commute.

I always have to deal with it on Friday mornings when I go to class, the rest of the time I manage to avoid rush hour, and I just can’t fathom lane splitting to get to class.

I’m just going to take the train, N-Judah style, all the way in.

It picks up one block from my house and I’ll get off one and a half blocks from school.

I already have my fare set aside on the table.

Like I said.

I’m ready.

I’m totally ready.

I even snuck in one last yoga class today.

And holy fuck.

It was just what I needed.

It might have been one of the best classes I have ever taken.

It felt so good and I felt the anxiety of school melt off the back of my shoulders and I was actually bummed when I realized that I won’t be able to get to another class until Tuesday morning since I have an early start Monday and a long day.

And a date after work.

Yes.

Like that.

I make some wiggle room for fun when it comes knocking.

I have to.

Just like I need to do the yoga.

I need to do the fun too.

It’s no fun when I don’t make an effort to have some injected into my life.

No matter how busy with the work and the school.

It’s important.

So.

Yes.

Lunch with a friend from school Saturday, the wedding–there will be dancing, and a date on Monday after work and doing the deal.

Then yoga Tuesday morning.

The yoga, though, damn it was good, and I am hella grateful that I let myself go.

I had momentarily thought about not going and doing some prep and running some errands before work today, but I realized that I’d rather be a little sore and get that last day in at the studio.

Very grateful.

Funny how sometimes it takes me a minute, or a month or three, to do those things that are so good for me.

The yoga is fantastic for me and yet I had those three months I just balked at doing it.

And no regrets, it was the experience I needed to have and I am pretty sure that with all the things I was processing emotionally I just needed a break and I took it and I got the emotional and mental rest I needed.

I didn’t drop into a depression.

But it was damn close and I’m super grateful that I got back into the yoga before it could develop.

I tend towards it, having had major clinical depression diagnosed back in 2007 and clinical anxiety and PTSD, it can be easy for me to fall into the hole.

Exercise helps a lot.

And what with the not so much on my bicycle and the lapse in the yoga and the emotional pot that was stirred early in the semester, I was certainly flirting with it.

Thank God I glided through.

Although, I am contemplating get myself a sun lamp since I do have seasonal depression as well, that was the first depression that I was diagnosed with in Wisconsin.

Fuck.

Who doesn’t have seasonal depression in Wisconsin?

Ha.

But.

It’s looking like a wet winter and darker than it’s been, so maybe some pre-emptive sunshine is on order.

Anyway.

I get a head of myself.

Just here.

Just now.

Just going to wrap it up and get ready for bed and have a little more tea and get ready for school.

Last weekend of the semester.

Let’s do this!

It’s December

December 2, 2016

How the fuck did that happen?

I mean, seriously?

The days so full they just float on past.

I got a lot done today and at the same time had many moments of not having enough time to do it all.

NOT ENOUGH TIME.

Papers to write.

Practicum to figure out.

Doing the deal every damn day.

Not that I hate on that, it’s just one of the things in my schedule, a constant and a source of pleasure, but additional time that I always have to account for.

Even though I was not in contact with any of the usual suspects today, I couldn’t have used my phone to save my life, there was always something happening.

The day just whipped past, as so many of them do, unless they don’t and that’s always an interesting experience, but not one that I have often.

I got up early and did some writing and made breakfast.

But.

I did not eat it.

No, I just prepared it and packed up my lunch for work and did my Spending Plan for the month of December and balanced my numbers from November.

It’s the first of the month, got to represent.

I drank a small, for me, cup of coffee.

And went to yoga.

Because yoga.

And I’m getting back into a groove and routine with it and I like that.

Even though it feels like less time, it’s important, imperative really, to exercise and move and I haven’t had enough of that recently, so back in it with a vengeance.

Which is why I prepared breakfast, but did not eat it.

I do not like doing yoga with food in my tummy, it feels awful.

I had a great class and felt really strong in my body and then came home, threw laundry in the wash, myself in the shower, got dressed, did my hair, makeup, made more coffee, and ate my breakfast.

Then.

Hopped on the scooter and zoomed off to work.

And there was no down time.

It was all on, full tilt boogie.

Extra cooking.

Extra laundry.

Extra big feels from the boys.

Which I’m getting used to.

But it doesn’t change the tenor of my job and it certainly does not make it easier.

Today I was greeted by one little monkey who said, “Carmen!  I missed you!”

I got great big hugs and snuggles.

The older boy ignored me and then said, out of the blue, “you know, Carmen, you’re sort of chubby.”

Wow.

Um, thanks kid.

HA.

But who needs to be right when they can be happy?

Happy was my principle today and for the most part I was able to have that.

Not all day long, not all the time, but for a good part of the day I was really happy.

Just happy to be alive, in my skin, with a job, a scooter, a home to come home to, a Christmas tree with blue lights, sunflowers in a Mason jar on my kitchen table, a laptop, an Iphone, all the stuff, all the things.

“You’re right ___________ I am chubby,” I said without skipping a beat.

His mother, however, was aghast and took him aside and told him some stuff and I got an apology, but he was actually quite confused and later when we were out at the park having our own little play date (his brother had a doctor’s appointment) I told him what I thought and how I felt about what he had said.

“You know, honey, you’re were right, I am chubby, and I’m ok with that, and it’s astute of you to notice and you used a new word, which is cool, but you know, your mom was right too, some people might have their feelings hurt if you said that to them,” I explained as the light faded from the sky and the early winter evening sank over the Mission.

“I didn’t mean anything by it,” he said, his eyes open really wide, which he does when he’s trying to express his sincerest sincere self.

“I know pudding, it’s ok, I am chubby, full, happy, replete, and that just means there’s more of me to love on you,” and I gave him a hug.

What’s the fucking point getting upset with a child?

I am soft.

I am curvy.

I am also strong as fuck, and there is a six-pack underneath the extra skin on my tummy, you just can’t see it.

I also come from big, strong, strapping people.

I am not, nor will I ever be a waif.

I could starve myself all day long.

And I have restricted during a period of my early abstinence when I went a little over board, but I was always thinking about food and that drove me just as bats as the bit of extra weight.

I like who I am.

I like how I look.

I am beautiful.

I am happy.

I am vivacious.

I am succulent.

I am divine.

I have absolutely no humility either, but that’s a character attribute I will probably be striving for all my life.

I am a voluptuous woman.

And I am alright with that.

I got a message from an old lover.

He didn’t seem to mind my chubbiness.

Not at all.

Not one fucking bit.

Nope.

Anyway.

I don’t care about it enough to make a fuss about it and I didn’t want my charge to be shamed because he was observant.

It is what it is.

Although, I do have to say I have had the idea pop into my head a bunch of times though in regards to trying cool sculpting or liposuction.

Or a surgery to remove some of the excess skin from my weight loss off my arms and tummy.

But then I think.

Whatever.

This is my perfect body, imperfectly perfect, and God-given and if it was supposed to be different.

Well.

It’d be different.

Maybe if I had the money to spare.

But for now.

The spending plan for December does not include cosmetic procedures.

Ha.

It was fun to do, though, I like putting in my Christmas categories and getting a few things squared away for the holiday and my traveling.

I’m happy.

It was a good day.

Busy yes.

But so good.

So good to be alive.

And hey!

Fingers crossed.

Completely louse free.

I have my last appointment tomorrow at 11 a.m.

I am ready to be done with it.

Seriously.

And it’s Friday.

Yippee!

Bring it on.

I’m ready for a little fun.

I really am.

 

Just Whiling Away

September 21, 2016

The time.

The time it goes by so quick.

I’m getting ready for my next weekend of school intensive and I do not feel prepared.

And that’s to say that I have done the two papers that are due and have done a substantial amount of the reading.

However.

I have not done it all and it’s a letting go and a surrendering to what is happening that I am just going to be ok with it.

And.

I’m fucking going to yoga tomorrow.

Not that I really want to, my brain says, oh no you don’t, you got reading to do.

But.

I need to get the crap out of my system and stretch and move.

I won’t be all weekend.

The most exercise I manage is walking from class to the student kitchen to get my meals.

Occasionally up and down the stairs if I’m on separate floors for different classes.

So, yes, yoga.

And gently forgiving myself for not having all the reading done.

Life happens and I’ve been busy, well living.

I know that’s hella vague, but that’s what I got to report at this moment.

That and asking to be directed to the next job that I will be working.

I’m pretty set on leaving my current situation by the end of December.

Although I have not spoken to the parents about it, I will be.

They seem to be of the realization that I will be taking my skills elsewhere.

Yes.

I have some trepidation about finding new work and I super dislike the having to get out the resume and polishing it up and updating my references and all that, but it’s what I have to do.

I may not get into it too deeply until after I make it through this weekend at school.

I will be starting my new Monday gig this upcoming Monday.

I’ll be heading over to the house in Eureka Valley after I get out of class on Sunday so that I have an idea of the lay of the land and the house and the family needs, etc.

I think I may take my laptop in with me and while the baby naps, oh baby naps!  I will spend time updating all my stuff.

I should probably do homework too and spend some time catching up on the reading, although I do hope to have more done, I don’t believe I will get it all finished before this Friday’s class start.

Which reminds me.

I need to make a meeting happen with my advisor.

I e-mailed him a while back about a time, but I am just realizing now that he’s not gotten back to me.

He’s also the head of the department, so I’m sure my little e-mail may have gotten lost in the shuffle, always a good idea to get back and check in.

I have not yet met with my advisor and it’s definitely time.

Oh.

All the things to do.

And the best I really can do, ever, is just what ever is right in front of me.

At the moment, this blog, which I am stubborn to relinquish to the demands of grad school.

Although, heh, it often does fall prey to the demands of dating.

I will lapse if I have a date, have you figured that out yet?

Ah, I digress.

As though you didn’t know that.

Anyway.

I may have to leave you shortly, is my rather vague way of hinting that I may have other things happening in my life that are not just work concerns.

That being said, all work and no play makes Carmen a very dull girl.

And no one wants Carmen to be a dull girl, now, do they?

I do feel a little dulled down after reading the text books that I have been delving into.

Again.

Oops.

Got to get.

Maybe I’ll pick this thread up in a moment.


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