Posts Tagged ‘research’

My Head is Full

April 23, 2019

Like so full.

So much stuff in there.

I have a touch of a headache.

This sometimes will happen when I have been trying to shove too much information into my brain and it just can’t take any more in.

Over the weekend I had to address a lot of homework and do a lot of research.

The research went well, the paper got written, eleven pages thank you very much, but I was still behind.

Not by a lot.

But by enough to make me a feel a touch chagrined with myself.

I had completely missed out a weeks discussion in one of my classes.

I figured out how today when I realized I had read all the chapters well in advance of the discussion and some part of my brain just thought I was totally ahead of the curve.

Plus.

I had met with the professor of the class last week and I just presumed to myself without checking into the actual syllabus that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

I think unconsciously I let myself do it.

I tend to post well thought out, referenced, worded well, well supported, thoughtful post.s

I am typically one of the first people in my classes to respond to a post prompting and I am pretty open and transparent with the work I do, how I am in the world and what is happening personally.

My cohort knows I went through a break up two months ago.

My cohort knows I had shingles.

My cohort knows I juggle a full-time PhD program with full time nannying and a roster of clients, I’m seeing ten this week.

I’m busy.

I dropped the ball in one of my classes.

I can also see that I had a stupendous busy week last week nannying.

The two older kids were on Spring Break and their grandmother has been visiting.

I did not have any time, none at all, to spend on my homework.

I really do rely on getting in at least a couple of hours of work done during the week, sometimes, like today, I can actually even get in two hours of homework a day.

Not always, but anything helps.

Not having a spare minute or moment to do classwork last week put me behind and I didn’t even realize it until I was sitting in a cafe on Divisadero before my Saturday commitment this past weekend.

I literally thought I was going to burst into tears.

I had totally missed the deadline and I didn’t have the book with me that I needed to reference to have posted a discussion.

I made damn sure that came with me today.

I also had to just let it go.

I had to do research for the paper I wrote yesterday and I had to also do a big post for my Creative Arts and Leadership class.

I had to acknowledge that I wasn’t actually going to be able to do the discussion until today.

On top of that.

I have another paper due on Wednesday of this week.

So.

I got lucky.

I got really lucky at work.

Not only were the kids back to school, they had after school activities, I was basically alone the whole day with the littlest guy.

He didn’t have the biggest nap, but he had a long enough one that I did a 1,300 word discussion post with six references to the book in it and I responded to a classmates work as well.

I started looking over the work that I needed to gather up to do the next paper, the one that is due Wednesday, and I could feel my head getting a bit spun.

So.

Lunch break.

Sat down.

Looked outside.

Watched the sky.

Ate a nice meal.

Made some tea.

Got back in it and then the little guy woke up with one of those cries that says I’m not quite awake and something woke me up and I want to sleep more but I will need cuddles to do so.

You don’t know that one?

I gathered him up, snuggled him into my arms and he slept in my lap for another half hour.

It was enough to let my brain simmer down a little bit, but the pot is still dangerously full of stuff.

I went to a cafe in between work and my commitment tonight and I tried to do some more work and I managed to eke out a bit, but really, fuck, my head just said no way, no more.

It is at times like these that I do question what the fuck I am doing.

I know it will pass and I already feel like I have committed myself to it to stop now, but stopping, whoa, it might feel really nice.

When I get stuck I do tell myself to just focus on what can be done today, just today, that’s all I have anyway.

Today.

I did well.

Really.

I did and I need to acknowledge that.

I got caught up and I did the work that needed to be done to prepare for the next paper.

I have my books and notebook packed already for tomorrow with high hopes that I will get another good few hours without interruption at nap time.

It’s a smaller paper, just six pages, but it’s on theoretical framing, so, um, yeah, hella dry.

If I get two hours tomorrow I should be sitting really well.

I also had a client cancel tomorrow night, so I just have one after work.

I’ll lean into it and I’ll get it done.

In the mean time.

Fuck me.

I am tired.

I am in need of tea and a good mindless few minutes of a video that has nothing at all academic about it.

Seriously.

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Apple Cider Vinegar

March 27, 2018

For the win!

Who the fuck knew?

I didn’t.

I had no clue.

But.

I was up for trying anything and so last night after doing some more internet research on foods to not eat, I thought, hmm, what about foods I should eat.

And there it was.

A huge amount of information about things that are helpful, including, apple cider vinegar.

Having tried all sorts of over the counter meds and this prescription that I’ve been taking now for over three months, I thought, why not try it.

It was a fucking Christmas miracle.

I cannot even begin to describe the intense relief I got almost immediately.

Relief which lasted through the night, giving me one of the better nights of sleep I’ve had in weeks.

Although it wasn’t long enough, I had to be up early for supervision before work, it was restful and I didn’t lie there in agony trying to fall asleep.

I mean.

Sure.

My brain kept me busy for a while with travel plans and graduation plans and things that need to be done, but I wasn’t in pain.

Just marveling at that it took a minute or two to drift off.

But.

Oh.

When I did.

It was such nice, deep, restful sleep.

Hopefully I will have another night like that.

Especially as I just had some more of the apple cider vinegar.

The reflux began to kick in at the end of my first client and was in full riot gear by the time I was finished with my second client.

I chewed sugar-free bubble gum on the way home to take the bite off it, but I felt pretty sore and tired and a bit head achy from it.

The reflux simmered down immediately upon taking the vinegar.

I still have a touch of a headache, but I’m hoping that too shall pass.

Especially since I have had some dinner.

I notice the reflux too when I don’t have much food in my stomach.

Which is apparently the opposite of what usually happens, most folks get it on an over full stomach.

My stomach is not really full.

I usually eat dinner after I get home from my clients, which makes dinner fairly late, tonight is was around 9p.m.

You could say I’m practicing for being in Paris, where dinner is often quite late.

My friend messaged me this morning as I was getting ready to go to supervision about my trip over.

She relayed to me that she will have more time than she originally thought she would, although it does look like the family will be gone for a weekend to Hungary for a wedding.

“You could come, or you can stay in Paris.”

I opted for stay in Paris.

I’m not sure of the exact dates for their trip, but if it’s a weekend thing that would be the 20-22nd.

I think.

Which is fine.

I have plenty of experience being on my own in Paris.

I’ll have their home to be my base and I can spend time wandering around.

I’ll do much walking in the Marais, I am very sure of that, since that’s where they live, on Rue de Temple.

It’s nice to think about travel plans.

It’s nice to think about graduation plans.

Those will come first, since that’s the order of things.

Graduate.

New York.

Paris.

Start PhD program.

I feel like I am actually going to have a real summer vacation.

New York at the end of June and Paris in mid-July.

I am going to get to experience some warm weather, some sun dresses, some sandals, hair up off my neck, bare skin, warm nights.

Sigh.

I love summertime weather.

And I don’t get that much of it out here in the Outer Sunset.

It does happen though.

And when it does one fervently, or I should just say I, hope that no one in the other parts of the city know that it’s nice at the beach.

I have a friend who lives in the Mission and will literally text me to ask how the weather is out at the beach.

Just because it’s sunny in the Mission does not mean sunny in the Sunset.

But when it is, wow, it’s spectacular.

My life feels pretty spectacular when I take a step back, even now, even with the constant reflux stuff happening.

I’m soldiering through it and learning to do even more self-care.

God.

I am just constantly learning.

There is no end to it.

I am also.

Speaking of learning.

Thinking about starting a new blog.

Yes.

I did say that.

I happened to be thinking about it last night, amongst a few other tantalizing things in regards to my upcoming travel, about starting a blog specifically for my clients.

A way of giving back some of what I learn and practice.

Part of our Integrative Seminar at school is to have website, it’s an option instead of doing the 30 page paper, blogs were noted as a great tool to connect to clients.

And.

Well.

I like to blog.

I would have to tailor it to fit a different audience.

But I think I would like to try to since it won’t be so much about my own personal, daily process, and since it will be aimed out towards the public, I think I will go live with it on social media.

I’m staying the fuck off of Twitter.

Fuck you Twitter.

I’m not really out there with my politics, but fuck you, I won’t ever use your platform again.

Anyway.

Not that facecrack is much better, but I can put it out there and see if there’s a decent response or feedback as well as hooking to my Instagram.

I may also start a second Instagram account that is client focused and centered, rather than on me and my selfies.

Thoughts.

Things to explore.

And grateful to get to explore them with a modicum of relief from the reflux.

Go apple cider vinegar go!

Do A Little Shimmy

November 12, 2016

In front of the mirror.

Um.

Yes.

But before that I have a lot of moving and shaking to do.

Holy shit do I have a lot of stuff to do.

I preempted it by doing some of the work today.

I mean I got busy already.

I brought reading in with me to work and for the second day I was able to do reading while the boys were on their quiet time I kicked out some reading.

I also just finished doing another hour of reading.

That’s right.

Because this is how I have to roll to get it all in.

Actually.

I did an hour of reading then I took another twenty minutes or so and organized the material that I will be using for my big Psychopathology paper.

It has to be 12-15 pages long, in APA style and it will be an in-depth analysis of two different diagnosis with emphasis on using the DSM V and as well as a psychoanalytic approach.

I will be addressing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

And.

Alcohol Use Disorder.

Ahem.

I may have a little experience with the two.

Hahahaha.

Fuck I amuse myself.

But.

Hey when writing I have found that the best things to write about are things that I have experience with.

I have experience with both in spades.

Thank you very much.

So after I did another two chapters of reading for my Family Therapy class (this is after working a full day at work, and yes, it was full, though lovely, so lovely especially, getting out to the park in the sunshine) after I got back from doing the deal tonight, I sat down and organized the reading and the materials.

I did not start the writing.

But I have started the thinking.

It sits and stews a little up there in my head.

I don’t know exactly how that works, but I do know from a great deal of experience that it does.

I have done the reading, which is a huge part of the battle.

I have the beginnings of where I need to go in my mind.

I have reviewed the directions for the paper a number of times.

I have started sticking post it notes in the places I need to go back to and integrate into the paper.

I will devote seven pages to each diagnosis.

I will break them down, do an assessment, how it presents in the client, what the diagnosis looks like in the DSM V, what it could be, and how to address it psychodynamically.

I have FIVE books I am working with.

One of them is the full size DSM V and the other is the desk reference.

One book on psychodynamic psychiatry and another on psychoanalytic case formulation.

Plus one book of personal experiences.

I actually won’t be using that one so much, I have, ahem, plenty of my own first person accounts to draw from.

I really won’t have any problem sketching out what the presenting problem looks like in the client.

Anyway.

So yeah.

That.

That will be taking up a big part of my weekend.

But it won’t be all my weekend.

I meet with my person tomorrow.

I plan on getting up and doing yoga, I need some exercise, before I meet her as well.

I need a mani/pedi and some eyebrow waxing and I need to do grocery shopping and cooking for the next work week.

I will also do the deal tomorrow.

And I will meet with two ladies on Sunday.

I plan on doing the bulk of the writing tomorrow after I get back from doing my errands in the Inner Sunset.

I am not sure how long this paper is going to take, it’s a big fucking paper, but having started to delve into it and having organized my materials is a big step forward.

I estimate three to four hours.

That sounds like not that much, but for me three hours of straight writing is a fuck of a lot.

I wrote my Family Therapy paper last weekend in two hours, but that was not with as much referencing and was seven pages.

This paper will be double that.

So I figure four hours of writing.

My hope is to get the majority of it written tomorrow before I head out to my 7 p.m. commitment.

And I will work on it more after ward.

I had originally planned on doing the bulk of the writing on Sunday.

But.

Um.

Ha.

Something came up.

I have a date.

What?

Totally out of the blue.

Once it was all set up I messaged my friend, what do I wear?

I laughed to myself, the quintessential question.

Not whether I can appropriately show differential diagnosis in a co-morbid presenting psychological disease, but what dress to wear, and heels, should I wear heels?

I mean he is 6’4″.

6’4″!

Yes.

Thank you God.

And doesn’t drink.

Yes.

Lives in Oakland.

And happens to be a friend of a friend.

This was not the message I was expecting to get today as I was reading my text books at work while the boys were down in their rooms.

A message pops up.

A friend doing some match making!

OMG.

Blush.

Flattered.

So, so unexpected.

Would I be interested in?

Check out…

And yes?

Ok?

What’s your schedule look like?

How about these days?

And this time.

And.

BOOM.

Date with guy set up for this Sunday at Samovar Tea Lounge.

Holy shit.

I mean.

My friend did all the leg work, said to both parties, hey go check out so and so on my page and if you like I arrange.

She did it all.

Professional like.

Damn Gina.

I feel hella looked out for.

By the time guy had checked me out and I had checked guy out she’d verified times and dates for both of us and had gone ahead and made a freaking reservation for us!

Holy Toledo.

And like that.

I have a date for a cuppa tea and a new friend on Sunday.

So.

Yeah.

Um.

Writing that fucking paper tomorrow like a house a fire.

Heh.

Oh.

And side note.

I GOT THE ASK FOR MY NEW JOB!

I got it.

I got the money I asked for.

They responded today and said, absolutely, totally reasonable, no problem, we can do that and we can’t wait to start working with you.

Quote, “can’t wait’ end quote.

Fuck yes.

I was so freaking busy after lunch with the boys, then doing the deal, then homework that I totally forget to check my e-mail.

The response had sat for seven hours in my box.

Hahahahaha.

“I’m sure you’re going to be taken care of,” a friend of mine told me when I bumped into her after my get right with God.

“I always am,” I said, “I’m sure they’re just figuring out the contract.”

And they were.

The family will have the contract to me by next week to sign.

Huge sigh of relief.

So what am I wearing to my date on Sunday?

When I jokingly asked my friend.

She was like, girl you don’t have to worry about that!

And I liked her rule of thumb.

Wear whatever makes you stand in front of the mirror and do a little shimmy.

Yes.

I know exactly what to wear.

Hello weekend.

Let’s get cracking.

I got places to go and things to do.

So.

I get to get my shimmy on.

Shimmy, shimmy.

Coco pop.

Shimmy, shimmy.

Pow!

Oh.

Yes.

Yes, please.

Carmen, You Are A

February 25, 2015

Rockstar.

Why thank you.

It did take some rock star maneuvering to get through today, but I made it through.

The mom paid me the compliment.

The grandmother told me I was amazing.

The almost, in three days, five-year old told me he loved me.

The dog kissed my face.

The two and a half-year old had his Meow Meow hug me, his little white cat that is now grey from dirt and love.

Validation.

So nice to meet you.

It is lovely to be so appreciated at work and it’s nice to be busy.

Not too busy, I could use a little more down time then this week has afforded me, but the grandparents leave tomorrow and I have a half day on Thursday, so I can interview for the graduate school program, and things will roll right along.

The upside to being busy is that I don’t have time to be bored.

I am almost always doing something.

“Can I help?”  The grandmother asked as I started unpacking the bags from the market and getting the things for dinner arranged.

“No, but thank you,” I said.

Not because I probably couldn’t use the help, but because it actually, often times ends up being a hinderance to the preparation.

I don’t think in a linear manner.

I try, but often get distracted, and often find short cuts, and often have fifteen things happening at one time.

In the span of an hour and a half I prepped snacks for pre-school pick up for the oldest boy–thermos of milk, strawberries, hulled and sliced, clementines, peeled and sectioned, two small Fuji apples, cored, sliced, sprinkled with cinnamon, box of whole wheat crackers in a little container.

The kid likes having options.

Then I roasted cauliflower for dinner, made a marinade for salmon I had bought at BiRite (two pounds wild Alaskan salmon marinated in olive oil, Meyer lemon juice and zest, one lime, sea salt, fresh chopped flat head parsley, garlic, fresh pepper, thyme, and a little basil), big tossed salad for the whole family, and sushi rice in the rice cooker.

I did a lot of other things too, laundry, clean up, dishes, but I don’t think of it anymore, I just do it.

I just had my five month anniversary with the family and I would say it’s going well.

The almost five-year old celebrated his birthday tonight with his grandparents who fly out tomorrow afternoon.

I was grateful to not have to be a party to bed time.

It was hard enough wrangling the two monkeys after a couple of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes from Mission Mini’s.

It was like a sugar bomb went off in both their brains.

As I stood in the middle of it, watching the dynamic of the family I thought how lucky I was for my job.

And for the experience it’s providing me.

“You are so far ahead of anyone coming into the program,” a friend told me Saturday night, “leaps and bounds, you’ll do fine at the interview and they will take you into the program.”

It’s nice to hear.

Again, validation, affirmation, I am good, I do a good job.

But it was better to have it sink in, from my head to my heart, down to my gut.

I know she’s right.

I have had eight years being at the center of many a family.

I have done my field research to be a MFT, Marriage and Family Therapist.

In spades.

I have seen family’s that blew me away with their love and others that blew me away with their neurosis.

All of them have been instrumental in my own personal growth.

Learning how to communicate without being passive aggressive or manipulative.

When a kid whines, it’s hard to tolerate and there’s a wheedling aggressive manipulation happening.

If I make you uncomfortable, you will fold and I will get what I want.

I can’t handle it much better in adults.

It’s subtler, but really it boils down to the same thing.

And those families I haven’t stayed employed with long.

I have learned about self-care, how to prepare myself for the job and stay serene in my own persona and core.

I have learned to meditate at work, in the middle of the day when there’s a nap time happening.

I don’t always get to, but when I am, the magic is palpable.

I see what happens when families eat junk versus good food.

Or when miscommunication happens or feelings get hurt.

I see that we are all, all of us, me especially, human and I make mistakes.

I see also that I get to make mistakes and that’s part of learning.

“No!  I want you to draw it,” the oldest boy told me, “I can’t do it as well.”

“You will one day, and not so far off,” I replied.  “Just try, you don’t have to be perfect, it takes patience and practice and repetition, you have to start somewhere, here’s a great place.”

He picked up the crayon and drew outside the lines, smashing bright colors all over the page, “it’s my favorite color!”

Yellow.

Or gold.

“Just try, you are safe, I won’t drop you,” I told the youngest boy yesterday at swim lessons.

“I’m scared, I’m afraid,” he said.

“I have you, I won’t drop you, you are safe, and you can be afraid, fear is ok, but you still get to try, come on, you can do it, jump!” I smiled and lifted him up into the air and the splashed down into the water.

“See!” I hugged him and his wet arms wrapped around me and he smiled back wet eyed and beautiful.

I’m going to nail that interview.

I’m going to graduate school.

This is happening.

Never thought being a nanny would lead me anywhere, it was just something to do until the right thing came along.

Who knew it was the thing that would provide me with the foundation to do that right thing when the time came.

Life.

Full of wonderful surprises.

And sweet validation.

Thank you!

The grandma and grandpa said for the photos.

Thank you, you are a super hero, the dad said.

Thank you! The mom called out to me as I walked out the door.

You are very welcome.

See you tomorrow.

I have some more research to do.

Morbid Reflection

November 1, 2013

Must be careful to not drift that way.

Just a reminder.

I was supposing that as this day drew near that I might be tempted to do just that.

However, without even realizing it I am excited to be here, one year later, ready to take some of what I experienced and move forward with it.

“The first time I moved to Paris,” he said to me with his rakish British accent, “I fell in love and married her and within a year we were divorcing, she took everything I had, and I had to move back home to live with my dad.”

He shook his head, “I was sixty thousand dollars in debt and living on the fucking pull out at my fathers flat.  I was 45.”

“Nobody makes it their first time in Paris, it takes time, but I wouldn’t give up that experience for the world.”  He paused, ran his hand through his hair, “I was in an awful place, but I was there for a reason, and I took a lot of photographs.”

Photographs that were about to be the main attraction in a big show at the Tate in London.  Photographs that had already done the Biennial at Venice and shows in Paris.

I knew he was an artist and I knew that he was annoyed by me.

Sometimes we are annoyed by that which reminds us the most of ourselves.

By the end of my time in Paris he would bear me grudging respect, and he hugged me when I was saying my good byes the last time I was on George V heading away from the American Cathedral to the Metro.

“Everyone comes to Paris to write a book, you’re not special, or unique, if I had a fucking dollar for every person who dreams about coming to Paris and making it as a writer, I would be a filthy rich man.”

He was not always the nicest with his opinions, but he had a point.

A point that I have been reflecting on as I sit here not at all sad to be in the place that I am.

Happy indeed, “I love my life,” popped into my head a lot today, walking through the park with my charge dressed as a bunny on our way to Music Together to do some Halloween themed singing and dancing; on my bicycle as I crested Lincoln Ave at 19th and the smell of singed pumpkin tops greeted my nose; again when I was walking out of a store on 9th and Irving.

I bought myself a pretty dress.

It had been too long.

I paid my rent yesterday, leaving me flush today, anything I earned was to be my special treat.  I dropped $21 at Bi-Rite on Divasedero getting myself some brown rice, avocado, cucumber, and crab sushi for lunch, some artisanal apples and persimmons, organic pears, and yes, some carrots for the bunny and me.

The dress cost $95.

I made $128.

I still came out ahead.

And I have a new dress to wear tomorrow.

Tomorrow it will fly out behind me as I wing down Valencia Street after work to make an artist’s date run on Flax.

Why Flax?

They have my Claire Fontaine notebooks.

I am doing the writing challenge.

I had an idea and I am going to run with it.

Because even if I don’t succeed at doing the novel, which I will, it’s there, I can feel it itching to come out of my head, in fact I can’t shake the story even if I am not sure of the middle and the ending, I have a beginning, an antagonist, a heroine, a character, and she, like Athena, longs to spring forth from my brain.

I am going to buy my favorite notebook, a bunch of stickers, and a birthday card for my mom.

Then I am going to go to Philz on 24th and write until I meet with John Ater.

Every day I have time in between this and that which I can fill with the writing.

The implementation to my laptop can happen on the weekends and in its own way become a second draft.  It will be a project, but a project I am happy to attend to.

My time in Paris was amazing.

Hard.

Challenging in ways that I never expected.

And when I look at the experience with a little perspective, where I was six months ago moving back from the experiment, to where I was a year ago, I can see that I took a fucking research trip.

I gave myself up to the city.

I walked as much as my feet could handle, and probably past the point they could handle.  I took so many photographs, I wrote, endlessly in my journals, in my blog, in notebooks, in a moleskin that I jotted down my financial spending.

I can tell you what I spent where on what day when in this neighborhood, pair it with the blog I wrote, see the photographs I took and recount in detail things that happened.

I gave myself a huge experience to draw from.

I gave myself the best artist date ever.

And to not use that would be sacrilege.

I suspect that what will happen is that I will sit down and start writing long hand and just see what comes.  Showing up for the page is two-thirds the battle.

Then when I take the words to the second draft from my notebook to my laptop I can flush out ideas, images, sensory happenings, I can write in detail what it was like to be in Sacre Couer on Christmas Eve pressed in to the masses of people singing with the choir, the smell of roasting chestnuts in the Metro stops, the way snow flakes looked falling in the light of the sodium lamps on Pont d’Alma next to the Eiffel Tower.

I can flush it all out and bump the word count significantly, I believe without too much of a stretch.

My first short story to get published was a science fiction piece inspired by something I observed on the Metro heading to French class.

It was published in The Bastille.

Which, fyi, small aside, has contacted me to submit to the December issue.

I shall be sending them some things, as well as some photographs.

How fitting, then to write my first real fiction novel set in Paris, a future Paris, one I get to make up, that’s the fiction, and a Paris that I will allude to in flashback, to the time when I was there, utilizing the astounding amount of data I collected.

That’s what I did.

I made a leap of faith and I went.

I did something brave.

I shall not let down the experience.

I shall continue to do something brave.

I will show up for the page and see where the story takes me.

I will write.

Wasting nothing.

My experience, my greatest gift.


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