Posts Tagged ‘routine’

You Know You Love Some One

March 28, 2020

When you record yourself reading “All The Hippos Go Berserk” by Sandra Boynton.

At top volume and with much expression.

I got some of the sweetest little voice messages from the littles I used to take care of.

The family and I did a FaceTime session early in the week and I have been getting all sorts of pictures of them and their adventures during shelter in place.

I miss them a lot and I miss the snuggles.

Tonight, while I was in session with my last client of the day, the mom sent me voice recordings of the kids saying “I love you.”

Oh my God.

I just about died.

I have been thinking about sending the littlest guy a recording of the “hippo book” as he calls it.

“You read me the hippo book!”

I bought the book and “Belly Button Beach”, also by the same author, as birthday gifts for him when he was two.

Listening to him repeat back the words to me still makes my heart melt.

I often would read them to him at nap time.

“I’ll read the hippos once and then nap time,” I would tell him.

The last time I did that was the last time I worked for the family, my last time putting him down for a nap.

My last time reading him the hippo book.

When I finished he said, “sing me song.”

That undid me.

I sang him my standard lullaby, “Hush little baby,” and choked back the tears.

Might have been the hardest lullaby ever to sing.

He fell asleep holding my hand.

Oh, my heart.

Such a sweet guy.

So, after receiving the sweet voice messages I knew I had to record the book.

I have the damn thing memorized, so it wasn’t too hard, and I threw in a little commentary for the little guy too.

We would have our own little conversations about the story and what all the silly hippos were doing.

Then I sent it to the mom and asked that she play it while he looked at the book.

They sent me back video of him looking at the book while my voice was reading it to him and he talked back at the phone like I was there.

“I love you Carmen,” he said again and again.

That was the best part of my day.

It was a pretty good day too.

Only cried three or four times.

Mostly during supervision with my supervisor talking about my clients and all the fear and anxiety and terror that so many of them are going through.

I have had 21 therapy sessions this week, I have one left for tomorrow, then Sunday off before I dive back in.

I am doing pretty well holding it all, but it does leak out at times.

It is right there at the top of my heart and I can’t always contain it and the tears spill out of my eyes and roll down my face.

I am so grateful for my individual supervisor, she really held my stuff today and let me process all the stuff and work my way through the muck.

Most of the time I am really good at shaking myself out when I finish with clients and I have little routines and rituals at my office that help me do that.

But right now.

My office is my desk, which is also where I study and work on my homework–which frankly has suffered this week, I will not lie.

My office is my desk, my laptop, my phone, the video camera in my Macbook Air, all of which are located in my house.

My one room studio.

Thank God it’s a big studio, but it’s still a challenge.

I am also aware of how lucky, really, really, really lucky, it is that I can work from home.

Despite how much I love and adore the family I used to nanny for, I would not be able to nanny right now for them even if I was still employed.

The timing of the situation coinciding with me making the full transition over to being a psychotherapist still astounds me.

I am beyond grateful.

And I am working my ass off to stay stable and grounded, to eat good food, to cook nice meals, to take walks when I can, to wear nice clothes, put on my makeup, do my hair.

The only concession I have to the fact that I am doing my therapy practice out of my home right now is that I wear my Tretorn sneakers instead of my Fluevog heels.

I had a fleeting, and I do mean fleeting, moment when I giggled to myself, I could do my therapy sessions in my bunny slippers.

Um.

NO.

Bad idea.

Not just because I couldn’t take myself seriously as a psychotherapist if I was doing sessions in my slippers, but I love that at the end of the day I can slide off my shoes and put on my slippers and that indicates to me that my day is done.

That was what I used to do when I was coming home from the office and my day out in the world–get home, kick off my shoes and put on my bunny slippers.

Yeah.

I know.

I am a 47 year old woman who wears bunny slippers.

I once had a lover tell me he couldn’t take me seriously when I was wearing them.

Of course that just made me want to wear them more.

In fact, it is almost slipper time.

I have had a good day.

It’s ok that I cried and it’s ok that sometimes it’s hard and it’s ok that I’m not keeping up with my my homework.

Actually we are on “Spring Break” so I don’t have any thing due, but I have a lot of work to do for two big up coming papers and a class that I am going to be teaching.

But over all.

I am ok.

I am making it through and staying grounded.

It definitely helped to get silly and record myself reciting the story, helped remind me of how loved I am and how lucky I was to have the nanny job with the family for the three years and three months I worked with them.

And.

Really.

Bunny slippers do make things a lot better.

Seriously.

Ground Hog’s Day

March 21, 2020

I’m beginning to not know what day of the week it is.

That is a little surreal for me.

I am still sticking to a type of scheduled and since I have had group supervision and individual supervision the last two mornings, I’ve actually been setting alarms to get up.

Which reminds me, I need to do that for tomorrow since I have a video session in the morning with a client.

I sense tomorrow and Sunday are going to be the weird days for me.

I had supervision, an online meeting, and two clients today.

Plus a long phone call with a dear friend from my Master’s program and a long walk through the park.

I was actually a little upset today on my walk.

The beach was busy!

I mean, I sort of get it when it’s a nice day and the surf is good, but people, we got a shelter in place happening and further admonishment from the governor to hunker down.

I was surprised to see so many people and so many groups!

I had to take my judgmental self away from the beach.

It was too busy with people and the parking lot at the Balboa side of Ocean Beach was packed!

I headed instead to Golden Gate and hit the horse paths.

There’s horseback riding paths that criss cross the park and they are not nearly as trod as the regular walking paths.

I didn’t see a person and when I did pop out of the park on the Fulton Street side to head back to my house, I graciously gave everyone a wide berth or crossed the street to not make contact.

And.

Even with that decent amount of activity I felt it begin to creep in, the malaise of being confined to my own space.

And I really love my space.

So.

I had a mid-afternoon dance party and I did some meditation afterward.

That felt better.

But it is beginning to all blur together.

I had zero, and I mean like none at all, motivation to do school work.

I know I will have to this weekend and it will help break things up to focus on papers and drafts and getting work in.

Which also reminds me, where the hell is the draft I turned in last week?  I need to get it back so I can make revisions and implement changes that the professor wants.

Tomorrow all I have is one client.

I did make plans to meet a friend on the other side of the park to go walk her dog on the beach.

Her side of Ocean Beach on the Outer Sunset side, won’t be as busy as my side on the Outer Richmond side as my side has parking and a lot of surfers hit the break out here.

No break on the Judah Street side in the Outer Sunset the next nearest break is Noriega, so there won’t be cars and surfers and big families playing soccer (that’s what got me, a big group of I’m assuming family, playing soccer, there were just too many folks too close) and she and I can walk apart and let her dog frolic in the waves.

I have connected so much to the neighborhood this week, I am grateful for that.

I have taken long walks every day in the afternoon either before or after lunch and I have seen things and walked parts of the park that I have only driven past.

That has been lovely.

I also know that I am very lucky to be so close to such a large park too.  It is big enough to give wide space to others when I come across them.

I am also going through parts that aren’t often used, like the backside of the archery field or the horse paths.

I figure I will also do a longer hike at some point and really explore Sutro Baths and Land’s End.

If we are not under martial law at that point.

I keep hearing rumors about that, but I’m trying to stay out of the rumor mill, it does not help me keep my equilibrium and that has to stay in place.  I have clients to support and therapy to do.

I have also given up the office I just started subletting a few months ago.

I only use it one day a week and the woman who is my individual supervisor and my landlord has given me more access to the main office I am in.

I now have access to it in a full time capacity.

So I called the woman I sublet from and told her I had to give it up and I gave notice.

I will still have to pay rent on it for this month and I think also next month and possibly the month after.

If we are able to go back to work in our offices I may use it a touch more, but I doubt that is going to happen.

My agency is preparing for three to six months of this strangeness.

Most of us have the feeling that we won’t be going back on April 7th when the three weeks of shelter in place is up.

I’m preparing myself mentally for a longer haul.

Of course I am hoping that doesn’t happen, but I am preparing myself for the possibility.

So, yeah, gave up my Monday office.

And it’s all going to be ok.

I have food, I have shelter, sunlight, access to my deck, places to walk still (hoping that will hold out a little longer), friends to have long conversations on the phone

Oh yeah.

And.

Homework.

Sigh.

I still have lots of that.

No Bandwidth

September 14, 2019

I mean.

Ok.

Maybe a tiny bit.

There is some.

But it is small and slight and I chose to write a blog instead of using it for homework.

Don’t worry.

Shh.

Anxiety be gone.

I will work the homework is a serious manner tomorrow.

I promise.

I had one client cancellation, there will be homework done then.

And after I finish with my last client at 2p.m., aside from lunch, I have no plans except to bury myself in the work.

My fucking god.

There is a lot of work.

And I have been doing some over the week, don’t get me wrong, I have attended to it.

JESUS FUCK.

I am so grateful I just caught that, I had an assignment due.

I actually don’t know if I would have caught that if I hadn’t been writing this.

I stopped and popped into my online classroom and saw correctly that I had something due.

Good grief.

I am so glad I caught that!

I already had done the work, I just hadn’t formatted it to turn in.

Whew.

It’s turned in and now I can go back to whining about how much work this all is and when the fuck and am I going to have the time to do all the reading.

All the reading.

So much reading.

So much.

I have seven, seven, new books that have arrived in the mail this week.

I’m going to say that again.

SEVEN.

Ugh.

I keep reminding myself that I just have to do what’s in front of me today.

It really becomes impossible if I look at that stack of books, like maybe if I just sleep at my desk and never leave it and never move I might, might, get through the stack by the end of the semester.

But.

I have a life.

A big life.

A full life.

I also have a private practice I am trying to fill since, well, that’s like my income.

Not fully.

But soon.

Today, yes, today.

Today was my last Friday as a nanny.

I am still nannying, but I am reducing my hours down to three days a week as opposed to the five days a week I’ve been working for like, forever.

Thirteen years, give or take a few other odd jobs here and there, I have been nannying for thirteen years.

There is an end in sight.

And maybe that’s why I needed to write tonight.

To mark this.

It’s a big step.

Next week I work two days less a week as a nanny.

And soon, by the end of the year, by February at the latest, I am hopeful that I will be done completely as a nanny and be fully self-supporting as a therapist.

It’s a big freaking deal.

I have been working so long and so hard to get here.

I remember when I turned ten years sober how I was putting the finishing touches on my application to my Master’s in Psychology program.

That was four and a half years ago.

It’s been a long road, but I have been on it, working and working and working and the working, well, it does seem to be paying off.

I reflected this morning while I was doing my morning pages (I still do that, I may not be blogging every day like I used to, but I am still committed to that practice, I can’t not write, I would die) that I have really come far since last year.

I moved into my new place September 15th of last year, I started my first year of a PhD program, I was hired in August to work for Grateful Heart as an Associate MFT to establish my practice.

I left my other internship where I was not paid to transition to Grateful Heart in October.

I had four clients.

Now.

I have eighteen.

That’s a pretty damn big deal.

To make it through a year of a PhD program, work full time and set up a private practice therapy business.

I don’t know that I held down the fort in all areas all that well.

Oh.

And yeah.

I broke up with my soul mate, the love of my life, the one.

The fucking one.

I have been grieving that a lot lately.

It’s been a lot of sadness and tough at times and I don’t write much about it here.

Aside from the odd poetry post that I happen to throw up.

Tonight’s full harvest moon is also not helping.

It’s been excruciating when I think about the language of love that we spoke to each other through the moon.

How many text messages and phone calls looking at the moon wishing for him?

So many.

Crying for the moon in the sky, crying for him.

Crying all the time.

I still cry.

It catches me off-guard sometimes.

I think this last time it’s been different, more final, more ending.

Hopeless and heartbroken.

And still thriving.

Still alive.

My therapist reflected that to me this week after I shared some things about the current issues I have around the ending of the relationship and how I am still affected by it.

She said, “you can be heartbroken and thrive too.”

Heartbroken.

And.

Thriving.

And overwhelmed by the work, but up to it and ready for it and grateful for the lessening of nanny hours so that I can work more on my dissertation and my course work.

So that I may cultivate more clients for my therapy practice so that I may, sooner, oh please, rather than later, stop nannying altogether.

I don’t know how it will look or when it will happen, but I sense it is out there just around the corner.

Just there.

Under the shadow of the moon.

Like my love for you, my love.

Always just there.

Lit by the moon.

 

Small Steps

January 6, 2019

Almost, even, baby steps.

But steps nonetheless.

I have not been exercising for a while.

Not that I’m super out of shape, work five days a week as a nanny, picking up toys, the baby, who is now no longer a baby at two years old, the six-year-old and the almost nine-year old, up and down steps, over to the park and back, and you’ll stay in decent shape.

However.

I haven’t really exercised much since I moved into my new digs.

I’ve been here now three and a half, almost four months.

Part of it is that I’m in a PhD program and the majority of exercise there is lifting a book and turning the page or fretting about having to write a paper.

I’m sure the anxiety of walking through my first semester of the program wore off a few calories, but not really in a way that was healthful for me.

I have been thinking a lot about exercise, partially because a dear friend of mine keeps sending me messages about going to this or that yoga/dance party class.

I keep saying no.

And.

I keep saying I want to.

I don’t actually like exercise.

Until after I’ve done it and then I’m all like, why the fuck don’t I do this more often.

Of course, that feeling often fades and exercise becomes a bit of a chore, but I also know, rather well at that, that feeling better is important.

It’s not just my body that feels better.

It’s my brain.

My brain needs the break from thinking.

Sometimes I just need to get into my body and exercise is a great way to do that.

One of the things I have been telling my friend is that it’s a scheduling thing.

I just can’t see myself getting up early and heading across town to do a yoga class then hauling ass back here and getting ready for work or for seeing clients.

Nothing is convenient.

I looked at pools last night, which I have done enough times to know that it really is a haul to get anywhere that has a pool.

Then I fret about how long it will take to deal with my hair.

My hair is a serious thing.

Not that I do a lot with it, per se, just that I have a lot of it.

In fact, I think my hair is the longest its been in years.

I love my hair and it’s actually easier to deal with when it’s long, I don’t do much with it, it’s just that it takes a long time to de-tangle, wash, condition, and dry.

I have naturally curly hair and if I don’t treat it right it goes bonkers.

So swimming, though imminently appealing is not always the best option for me where I’m living and with the schedule that I keep.

Then.

This morning I had a dear friend over for coffee and he mentioned the gym down the street.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I know.

There’s a gym around the corner.

I walked past it on Christmas Eve at sunset when I went for a little stroll around the block and I noticed it.

And it’s been taking up a little corner of my brain for a while now, but until today I wasn’t really taking it seriously.

My friend happened to park next to it and talked to me about it and how it was a key pad punch in and that it didn’t look busy and that it seemed really reasonably priced and wow was it close.

My friend doesn’t have a gym that close to his place and he works out frequently.

I knew when he was talking to me about it that it was the answer and I had also gotten an e-mail at the turn of the New Year regarding the gym as it was part of the mailing list I got popped on for my old yoga studio.

Too many signs saying, ahem, you want convenient and fits in your schedule?

Here you go.

So.

I went online and found out that it really is quite reasonable and there’s a student discount and I could get a membership for $55 a month.

Which is $30 less than I was paying for my yoga studio.

But I don’t have work out shoes, my brain tells me.

Buy them, you twit.

Today after my friend left I headed to the Mission to see clients and I had nothing really to do until my 7p.m. commitment and I thought, you know, there’s that place in the Inner Sunset that has a pretty good athletic shoe selection.

I went.

They didn’t have anything that worked for me, but I had the idea in my head and I knew when I got home that I would just go online and order a pair of shoes.

I had transitioned to Saucony running shoes when I hurt my ankle about five years ago now, and I wore the hell out of them for a while and I know what size works for me.

Plus.

Oh yeah.

I have an Amazon gift card my employers gave me for Christmas.

Voila!

Free athletic shoes.

And the decision to go to the gym and get a membership as soon as the shoes arrive.

I’m thinking I could even lose a little weight, not that I need to so much, but I wouldn’t mind dropping one more pant size.

“You just keep getting skinnier and skinnier,” my friend said over coffee this morning, “what are you doing?”

Not much, honestly, obviously not working out.

But when I had all the issues with the reflux I cut a few things out of my diet.

I stopped eating a hard-boiled egg in the morning with my breakfast and I stopped having a snack at night.

I think that was really about it.

I’m just basically eating less.

I don’t think I’m still losing weight, but it was nice to hear that from my friend.

I also don’t see myself very clearly.

I will often see myself as heavier than I am or think that I am bigger than I am.

Partially because, well, I was for a very long time in my life.

Anyway.

Here’s to baby steps and ordering new work out shoes and making the decision to join a gym.

A gym!

Ahahahaha.

I am now one of those people who joins a gym in January.

This isn’t really a resolution though.

More like an intention to do just a little more self-care.

The next semester will bring much work with it and I sense that having an outlet will help me deal with the homework.

And maybe.

You know.

Look sexier in a pair of jeans.

Heh.

Long Days

February 28, 2018

And tomorrow will be another one.

I was asked yesterday by the mom to come in two hours before my scheduled time tomorrow.

I said yes.

They have been having a rough go of it, three sick kids.

The oldest boy had to call out of school today with an ear ache.

A trip to the pediatrician and it turns out he has an ear infection.

Meanwhile, back at the house, I had the baby strapped to me pretty much all day, he’s still so sick.

And at the doctor’s office the pediatrician was super concerned bout the little lady bug, who has now officially been out of school for ten days, and it turns out she has a severe lung infection.

The mom has also been sick, so the doctor ran a test on the mom to see if she’s got the flu bug that has been so vicious.

Negative.

Thank God.

I don’t know if I could have handled hearing that she had the flu.

I am healthy as fuck.

I rarely get sick.

I had a cold about a year ago.

And I’ve had a couple of instances of food poisoning this year.

Once from sushi and once from oysters.

Neither one was fun, the one from the sushi was horrendous and I won’t be going back to that restaurant again.

But.

I haven’t had the flu.

I did do the flu shot at the beginning of the year and I’m super grateful for that.

I don’t really know if it’s all that effective with the strain of the virus that has been going around, but I’m glad to know I have it.

Could just be the placebo effect.

Could be that I have pleaded with God to not let me get sick.

I am far too fucking busy for that.

So.

Tomorrow I will have a ten-hour day at work.

Gratefully I don’t have clients on Wednesday.

When I get off from work I will be coming home and making soup.

I didn’t have a chance to do food prep for the week, lunch prep, I did dinner, and I’ve been eating salads at lunch.

Which is lovely, don’t get me wrong, but with it being as cold as it’s been, I prefer a nice hot bowl of soup.

Today, though, I have to say it felt pretty good to have a big salad.

I eat really clean.

No sugar, no flour, and a few other things that I pretty much eschew.

But I don’t graze, I’m not typically a big salad eater.

They tend to be a last resort for me.

I like to have a meal cooked and hot for my lunch, especially, having a warm lunch at work really helps me be grounded.

But.

In a pinch, I’ll do a salad and I had hit up Rainbow yesterday after supervision and I got lots of good salad fixings to carry me a few days into the week until I could do some food prep.

The salad today seemed particularly to hit the spot.

Because.

Well.

Yoga.

I was, and am, very pleased to say that I finally made the 7 a.m. yoga class at my studio.

My therapist was out of office today, so we didn’t have a session, and although I love the family I work with, I was loath to say anything about having any extra time, I decided rather, to go in at my regular time and to allow myself some yoga this morning.

It was great.

My favorite instructor taught the class and it was small.

Saturday and Sunday there were at least thirty people crammed into the studio.

Today.

Not so much.

There were just three of us and the instructor.

And for the first time.

The guys outnumbered the girls.

Three guys and me.

It was pretty awesome.

And there was lots of hands on instruction and attention and it felt good to be in my body and I was very happy with it.

So happy that I pretty much pledged to be there again next week.

It turns out that I have enough time to do the yoga class before I go to therapy.

I have to plan out somethings, have my clothes ready, and all my bags and folders and books and meals and what have you packed, but I can do it.

I can do the 7 a.m. class, get back to the house, take a quick shower, dress, do hair and makeup and get out of the house in a timely enough manner that I will be able to be on time for my therapy session.

I am pleased as fuck that I can fit it in.

I even discussed, fingers crossed, with my instructor the possiblility of the studio doing another morning class.

He’s all about it.

And the owner, in an e-mail recently, had mentioned that they were considering it.

On Thursdays.

Which would be perfect for me.

It would literally mean something almost every day of the week before work, but it would also mean staying flexible doing some good self-care and getting more exercise, which I have been craving.

So.

Yeah.

It felt pretty good to eat a great big salad after doing a 7 a.m. yoga class and going to work and being a really good nanny.

The baby took two very long naps on me and was either being carried by me and sitting right next to me the entire day.

He craves being held.

It makes so much sense, just the comfort of being held, it is such a nice thing.

I miss it too.

I have that same craving.

I suspect many of us do.

I sense, though, that it will come to me again.

Patience I tell myself.

Patience.

Just be patient.

Baby girl.

All good things to those who wait.

 

 

Back In The Groove

February 21, 2018

Second day back to work.

Second day with clients.

A day of therapy.

A day of supervision.

I’m beginning to feel more grounded and returned than I was yesterday.

Hell.

Definitely more so than Sunday.

Sunday my flight out from D.C. was delayed so I didn’t get to do a lot of the things that I had told myself I was going to do.

In the end I am hella grateful that the flight was delayed.

I was able to spend a few more hours with my best friend and that time was invaluable to me.

I had such a fantastic time I cannot even begin to enumerate it here.

It was also a lovely weekend away from social media and perhaps the first time that I also stayed completely off my blog.

I was happy to do so.

I was happy to be present and connected and aware of all the things happening for me.

I was horrified to get back to social media and see a school shooting and that a person in my recovery community had overdosed and died.

I was like.

Fuck.

Is it worth it to even bother with Facecrack?

I do like Instagram, I won’t lie, I like photographs and I find it really compelling to see different places that I want to go and travel too as well as appreciating images from my friends lives.

I have a private Instagram account, so I’m not overly inundated with crap, but Facebook has really not been a platform that I have enjoyed in some time.

I don’t post much to it and I don’t like to spend too much time on it.

I check in with it, mostly I feel to stay connected to my cohort at school, we have a group and there is often things that get posted there that are relevant to my school program.

Hell.

That was how I found out about the graduation application and processing fee.

I was able to deal with it a full three weeks prior to some members in my cohort who didn’t know that there was an application, let a lone a fee, for graduation.

I received the last bit of the application paperwork that needed to be filled out today.

I sent in the survey that the school requires as a sort of exit from the program and sent it in.

One more thing down.

And speaking of school.

This is it.

I have to get my PhD application together by the end of this week.

I just took a look at my syllabi for the next weekend of classes and saw that I have a modicum of breathing space.

I don’t have to devote any time to homework for school this weekend, I’m ahead of my reading and my assignments that are due aren’t due until March 10th.

Which means that I have the weekend of March 3rd and 4th to work on them.

Which means that this weekend, which is what I had pretty much planned on doing anyway, is clear to work on my PhD application.

I don’t think it will take too much time, but I do want to put in a nice effort on it.

And I still have a full weekend anyway.

I’ll be back in my group supervision on Saturday, and my Thursday and Friday are both full of clients.

I saw a new client tonight and I have another new client on Friday.

I’m back to eight clients a week.

I also will be meeting with my ladies on Sunday that I normally work with and my person up in the Castro before my new commitment on Sunday at 7:30p.m.

I want to do yoga, it’s been two weeks without, and I desperately need a manicure.

I have a busy weekend.

I have a busy week, it’s just Tuesday and it’s already been busy.

But.

It hasn’t been horrendous.

It was a gentler easing back into my routine than I could have asked for.

Today I had therapy, such a good session, and after I got out of the session, I received a text from the mom that my little lady charge was sick and they had a pediatrician appointment.

It happened to be just blocks from where I was and the mom asked that I meet them at the doctor’s office.

I had enough time between my therapy session ending and having to meet the mom that I was able to pop into the Whole Foods in Noe Valley and get groceries for the week.

A huge time coup for me.

Then I met the mom and the baby was asleep and I got to take him and stroll down 24th street and go to Martha’s Bros Coffee and the bench outside the cafe opened as I walked out with my coffee and I got to sit in the sun and drink coffee and soak up some heat.

It’s been cold, cold, cold in the city.

And to sit, granted wrapped up in my hoodie, jean jacket, scarf, and half-gloves, in the sun as it warmed up the front of the cafe, was glorious.

My job can be really stressful juggling three kids, house work, cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, and such, but it can also have these absolutely wonderful pockets of time that pop out of nowhere, when I need some time, a reprieve, a gentle break in routine.

And I find myself being able to be still.

To be able to reflect.

It is a gift.

I spent a lot of time thinking about my time in D.C. and how very grateful I was to get to go.

To see the things I saw.

To have the experiences I had.

Glorious.

The company, the environment, the quality of the time.

Exquisite.

And so very much-needed.

It was a sorrow to part.

I won’t lie.

It hurt to say goodbye after such a grand time and I felt desolate coming back to San Francisco, which is not an experience I have much had.

Usually I find myself happy to come home.

And I am happy to be home, but I already miss my friend.

Hell.

I missed my friend before I had even gotten to the boarding area of my flight back.

In a way I was also grateful for that.

It showed me just how much the time had meant to me.

A lot.

So much.

So very much.

I can get lonely in my routine and my comings and goings and doings and I had such splendid time with my friend that I found myself facing some loneliness coming home that I don’t usually acknowledge.

Thankful for it too, that realization, and those emotions tied to it.

I have such a rich emotional life.

I am aware.

I am alive.

I am loved.

I love.

Simple.

Although not always easy.

A blessing always, though.

Always.

A gift.

This exquisite life.

This grand love.

The.

Greatest.

Gift.

Maintenance

September 11, 2017

And slow movement  forward.

I have to give myself some credit here.

Even though I did not leave the environs of the Outer Sunset.

Oh mama, did I do a lot of stuff.

Sometimes my brain will give me grief, you’re moving too slow, you’re not going fast enough, there is stuff that needs to be done.

And sometimes I can let that old harangue take a back seat to all the spectacular, albeit small things, that I did do in my day.

All I have to do is look at my sumptious bed.

I made it.

That’s a big deal.

I put fresh sheets on my bed and washed all my linens and all the clothes in my laundry basket, I made my bed and all the pillows are lined up and it looks comfy and cozy and beckoning.

I’ll get to slide in between soft, clean, fresh, sweet smelling sheets at the end of my day.

Which is not too far off.

I love my bed.

I have a nice mattress.

I have a bed frame.

I have five fucking pillows.

Who the hell am I?

Remember?

I do.

Remember being a kid and having one flat, stained, squashed pillow?

Or.

When I upgraded to two pillows when I was a junior or senior in highschool.

I forget which, but I remember how I would double up those pillows and prop them just so underneath my head so that I could read late into the night whatever novel I was busy seeking refuge in.

I escaped in reading a lot.

Reading was my way out and the feel of those pillows, each folded in half, to prop up my head is a memory that I won’t forget soon.

Then.

There were the times when I didn’t have a pillow of mine own at all.

Or a bed, for that matter.

Sleeping on couches, in the back seats of cars, or the passenger side.

Being homeless on again and off again for years, squashing myself onto a friends love seat with broken springs, sleeping in a tent, “but I was camping,” I told her and she laughed, “we call that being homeless.”

Sleeping on a sheet of plywood on the ground.

Or.

When I moved up a little in that world, on a sheet of plywood that was being held up by a couple of plastic milk crates and there was a sleeping bag.

Homeless, on the abandoned airforce base in Homestead, Florida, just outside of Miami, in the early 90s after Hurricane Andrew had devastated the city, living in a hooch.

Good times.

How I got there is a story in and of itself.

But a bed.

Just seeing my bed, that it’s not a mattress on the floor, but a real live bed, is something that I don’t take for granted and when I think I’m not doing enough, well, just look at my amazing bed, so pretty with its duvet and big fluffy pillows.

So pretty.

So yeah, digress much, I made my bed today.

I went to yoga.

I took a shower.

I washed my hair and deep conditioned it and ate a lovely breakfast and drank a nice latte and wrote morning pages.

This takes time and sometimes I wish my morning routine were not quite so long, but I do savor having some time to look over e-mails and do my writing and I did my morning prayers and readings too, important stuff, small stuff, in its own manner but really necessary.

I feel better for having the routine.

I also went grocery shopping.

And that does take up some time.

Especially that I had to go to three different stores.

I didn’t mind though, just got to it and picked up all the things to make all the things.

I made a pork and ginger, garlic, onion stir fry with baby portabella mushrooms and julienned sugar snap peas.  I had it with brown rice and half an avocado for lunch.

So good.

Then I put up the rest of it, some in the fridge and some in the freezer, as I like to have back up food for when I’m in class and often times my weekend before the weekend of class will be taken up with writing papers.

I have two to do next week.

They’re not horrible and shouldn’t take too long.

I figure I’ll kick them both out Sunday afternoon.

After the lunch cooking and weekly food prep I got down and dirty with my school books.

I flipped through all my syllabi and noted what I needed to read and I toggled about in my Cognitive Behavior class syllabi and saw when I needed to be online for a class webinar.

I just got out of it about 45 minutes ago.

So.

I pretty much read and did homework for four hours.

I feel like that’s getting some stuff taken care of.

I also roasted a chicken, for dinner and meals throughout the week and made up some more brown rice.

I like having my stuff stocked up for the week.

It’s maintenance.

It helps me with a certain level of comfort that I feel allows me to go about my busy week and still maintain a semblance of being a human being.

I love that I cook.

I love that I have good food to sustain me, that I went to yoga, damn my thighs are sore, that I stretched, that I wrote, and yes.

That it was sunny.

And instead of being rueful that I was not able to go out and play in the sun, I took advantage of it and threw a pillow on a patio chair out back and sat in the sun for a good two and a half hours doing my school reading.

There is something rather nice about being propped up in the sun and reading a book, even if it is for school.

I had some sweet phone calls.

I wrote a little poetry.

I managed my calendar for the next couple of weeks.

And now.

I’m just about done with my blog, I’m listening to Coleman Hawkins and thinking very sweet thoughts about the week to come.

It’s going to be a grand one.

I just know it.

Sneaky Work

August 15, 2017

It’s Monday.

The alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m.

I bounce out of bed, turn on the lights, run to the loo.

Brush teeth, wash face, wander naked to the kitchen, I sleep in the nude, yes, indeed the first ten minutes of my morning are bare ass, drink a glass of water, take three vitamin supplements–iron, glucosamine chondrotin, Flax seed oil, then I go make my bed.

After that I get dressed, put on my shoes, watch, and pull out the layers I plan on wearing.

Hello.

It’s August in San Francisco.

Best to have at least three layers.

Cardigan, sweatshirt, scooter riding jacket.

I lay them out on the bed and then go do my morning reading and say some prayers and ask for some direction and then.

Breakfast!

Today was oatmeal with banana and figs, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw cocoa and unsweetened coconut/almond milk; 1 hard-boiled egg and an unsweetened almond milk latte.

While said food items are busy boiling, cooking, and frothing, I pack my lunch for work and whatever homework and internship paperwork, texts, and syllabi I need for the day.

Today it was solo supervision, so definitely needed my pink glitter notebook.

Who says grad school has to be all seriousness.

Glitter makes it better.

Trust me.

I also packed my Jungian dream book, even though my brain said, what’s the point?

There’s not a spare minute to do reading today.

But, from experience, this is not true.

Times when I think I am going to have hours of reading, I don’t and days when I think, I couldn’t possibly spare thirty seconds to look at a paragraph, I suddenly have unexpected time.

Life happens.

All the time.

That’s what life does.

But.

I find these weird, sweet, odd pockets of time and that’s when I use Stephen King’s advice.

And if you don’t think reading Stephen King is a highly psychological endeavor you’re not reading his works very well.

Anyway.

He wrote this awesome little book a while back, non-fiction, called “On Writing” and it gives his basic formula for what he does and his routine.

First.

He reads.

A lot.

And not his stuff, but everyone else.

His biggest suggestion and one that I took very much to heart, especially after starting grad school, is, carry a book with you at all times.

You never know when you may get stuck in a line or your appointment gets pushed back, or you’re riding the train or the bus or the subway.

I notice most folks these days are looking at their phones.

I read my homework for school if I have down time.

And like I said, I often have a snatch of it when I least expect it.

Today it happened at supervision.

My supervisor lost his keys and had to run home to get the replacement set.

So, my session was cut a little short but, hey!

I have my Jungian Dream Work class text-book.

Whip it out!

I knocked out another couple of pages.

And very glad for it.

I got another text-book in the mail today and I have it already packed in my travel bag for tomorrow, along with the Jungian book, I doubt very much I’ll actually have time to read the two chapters for the class I still need to kick through and have time to get into the next text I have assigned myself.

But.

Well.

You never know.

I just don’t anyway.

Another thing King recommends is that you write everyday.

Yup.

I do that too.

Before I head out.

And when I get home in the evening.

Sometimes I am still not sure how that all happens.

I do the morning writing in one of my Claire Fontaine notebooks from Paris, or whatever notebook I have handy.  I of course have a preference, but I will write on anything.

Although I hate recycled notebooks, the quality of the paper is ass.

I write three pages long hand.

I write about what I’m doing, the things that happened the day before that I don’t write about in my blog

Oh.

Haha.

There’s a few things that I do not write about here.

That all gets covered and rehashed and processed in the morning writing.

The evening, this, my blog, I am also pretty damn consistent.

I used to be super anal about it and I couldn’t not write every day.

That’s eased up a little in recent years.

Years, I say, I have been writing this blog for so long.

Seven, eight years.

I have over 2,200 blogs posted.

And that’s after two different scrubbing sessions where I probably deleted a couple hundred blogs just to make sure I wasn’t leaving a thumbprint or, yes, I had said something unkind about someone in my life.

Typically a boss.

Occasionally a bad date.

Ooh, man I had some bad date blogs.

Which I stopped doing when a blind date stumbled on a blog I wrote, I’m thinking he probably stalked me a bit, let’s be real, and sent me a text which said, “I read your blog.”

Ack.

I had to delete it and make an amends.

I swallowed that pride, deleted the blog, called him, he answered, and apologized.

That was an uncomfortable conversation.

But.

Better than the alternative.

It still was an awful date, but I had said some pretty not so nice things.

I learned my lesson, words can cut deep and it’s not my business to malign.

I stopped writing anything about other people and really tried from that point forward to keep the focus on myself.

I have plenty of flaws I can poke fun at, I don’t need to point out anyone else’s.

So.

That’s the writing routine for the day.

The rest of today looked like work, cooking for the family, doing the baby’s laundry, lots of bouncing around with the baby–he’s teething horribly–playing race cars with the oldest boy and letting the little lady watch Frozen, since she wasn’t feeling well.

I was supposed to go to my internship today and see a client.

But.

She cancelled.

So.

After work I zoomed to the grocery store and picked up some staples and then zipped over the hill to 7th and Irving and hit up the spot, got right with God and got home.

Garbage, recycling, compost out to the curb as a favor to the landlady who is traveling, check the mail, another text-book from school!

I know, it’s exciting, right?

Reviewed my calendar, personal, work, and internship, printed off some forms–I have a new client consult at the internship tomorrow, and ate some dinner.

Checked e-mails, popped over to my “Track My Hours” my BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) approved MFT hours tracker, and added in my hour of supervision from the morning.

And um.

That’s the day.

Not exactly exciting.

But really full.

Hell I even snuck in a trip to the bank and the post office to return a package in between supervision and work, and a run to Walgreens for some more school supplies–two packs of my favorite pens and a new pink folder.

Because.

Pink.

It’s a lot.

But.

It’s a gift.

This life, my life, getting to be this person who is busy and of service, getting to learn how to be a better therapist, advocating for my self-care, taking time to do my own writing, eating well, being kind, just living.

Life is going to happen and I can choose to look at it as a grind.

Or.

Fuck.

I can say, look at my amazing life!

I live in San Francisco for fuck sake.

I have such a bounty of gratitude for what I have.

It awes me every day.

I am.

Yes.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Really.

I am.

Bubble Wrap

July 4, 2017

And it’s being razor bladed off you.

Sometimes my supervisor has a way with words that astounds me.

I like to consider myself a writer, perhaps having a bit of a way with words, at times, I am definitely wayward, so there is that too.

But.

Man.

He knocked it out of the park today.

“It’s like this, you’re a brand new therapist, you’re still being taken out of the bubble wrap and they are razor blading it off you,” he paused, “you are getting overwhelmed and you need time to acclimated all the things that you are getting from your clients.”

He paused, straightened the hem on his pants, a tic sometimes that I’m not sure he’s aware of when he’s collecting his thoughts, like someone taking off their glasses to polish them when they want to find the right words to tell you you’re about to get fired.

Then he continued, “you are getting a lot from you clients, you are having some extraordinary insights, I’m not going to deny that, but you need some boundaries around it so you can assimilated all the information.”

I know what he is saying.

I was surprised last week when I got tossed as many clients as I did.

“Hey!  I’m new! I don’t have the chops yet!  Wait a minute, please,” I remember thinking and I also called into my person who tagged me out.

“You are overwhelmed and they are giving you too much and you need to push back,” he told me, “I can hear it in every message you are leaving, it’s great you’re a therapist and you’ve got skills, but you are absolutely overwhelmed.”

He was right.

And.

By grace, by God, by luck, what have you, I was granted small reprieves here and there and pockets of time that I was able to fall in, be held in, like the big oversized European chairs in my employers house.

Sometimes when I get a break, when the kids are not around, when the baby is sleeping, when the mom is off at her office or running errands and I am not in class and needing to catch up on my reading, I will sit in one of the chairs and stare out the big plate-glass windows of the back wall–it’s an entire wall, ceiling to floor (and it’s a high ceiling over twelve feet, probably fourteen foot high) of windows, one side of the house to the other.

I can see the entire downtown skyline.

I can see the Bay Bridge.

But most of the time I look at the tops of the trees, the scudding clouds, the blue of the sky.

Sometimes I will listen to music.

Sometimes I will just sit quietly.

But I always look at that sky and it replenishes me, the blue, the depths of it, the calling of calmness that comes over me.

I feel serene and there have been times, rare, but they have happened, when I can sit for a half hour.

Most of the time I get five, ten minutes.

And a lot of the time.

I don’t get any at all, not since the kids have been out of school.

The baby and I hang out more and more, oh my God his smiles when he sees me, melting.

I joked earlier today with the mom that it was the warm smell of baby that was the reason my clients are re-booking with me.

Re-booking.

I have three clients now that all have had more than two sessions and are continuing to schedule with me.

And the one client who has requested me.

I haven’t been assigned to him yet, so I don’t know the outcome, but my peers in group supervision seemed very positive about it.

If I have hours available, which I do, and the client request me, I let the assistant director and the director know and hopefully I will get that client.

It was actually that specific client that led my supervisor to put down his foot.

We had only gotten to discuss two of my cases and when I got into the details of what this new client was going through I thought for a minute he was going to throw down his notepad and call up my internship and scold them.

He collected himself and then talked to me about being a brand new therapist and how I was still opening and learning and how it shouldn’t be forced.

I shouldn’t be getting razor bladed out of my protective wrapping quite so fast.

I felt a mighty respect for the man and his consideration of me and my abilities but also in his protectiveness.

It also means that there was nothing wrong with me feeling overwhelmed last week.

I was.

Simple.

There have been times though when I have been all, “I got this,” and maybe I do and maybe I’m faking it until I make it, but generally I do pull it the fuck off and I do well and I am a good therapist.

I mean.

I am learning like fucking crazy, my instincts are really good and I’m able to track my clients and what they are sharing really well.

I know I surprised my client today with my recall of our session, and also that I was able to build some trust, I’m listening, I’m there, I’m empathetic.

I also don’t want to be overwhelmed and I want to show up and be of service.

I have a routine that works really well for me now that I know how long it takes for me to get from work to my internship.

I get done with work, use the bathroom, refresh my lip gloss, step out of my nanny shoes, literally, put on my therapist shoes, today a pair of Fluevogs, my “Leader” black stacked heel Mary Janes, and collect my bags and my files and hop on my scooter.

I get to the internship, lock down the scooter, take my basket bag out of the basket, key into the building and take the elevator.

I pray on the way up.

I breathe.

I open my office door, depending on what day of the week it is I am in a different office.

I pull my client file, review my notes, look over my supervision notes, tidy the room, hang my jacket, secure my purse and then pray again, to carry the message, not the mess, to be of service, to be helpful to be a good therapist.

I look at my phone and make sure that the volume is turned off.

And I put it away.

I always make sure that I have five minutes to breathe and sit and be settled in my chair.

The phone rings.

I buzz in my client.

I give them a minute to get to my floor, I put the Please Do Not Disturb, Session in Progress, sign on my door and go client my client.

And like that.

I’m a therapist.

Sometimes overwhelmed.

But mostly.

Vastly.

Amazingly grateful.

To be doing this work.

To be of service.

To serve.

I am so grateful.

Even when I am overwhelmed.

It passes and the gratitude washes over me and I know.

I am held and carried.

God didn’t bring me this far to drop me on my ass.

I don’t think so.

I’m just beginning.

There is so much to learn.

Just one foot in front of the other, one moment at a time.

Living in this present.

The gift.

My gift.

This thing that keeps giving.

This love.

This grace.

This life.

It is not mine to command.

But only to serve.

May I do so with continuous grace.

And no small amount of humility.

May it be enough.

As I know.

Know.

That I am enough.

 

Today Was A

February 19, 2017

Fuck yeah kind of day.

I was chilled most of the day, but I did look cute.

Although perhaps a little on the shivery side.

I wasn’t expecting to be out all day long and I just never made it back to the house once I was out and about.

I sort of know better, but oh well, that’s all I really have to complain about, I was a little cold today, and now that I am home, a hot mug of tea next to me, the heater turned on and my candles all lit up, oh yes, and some nice Saint Germaine de Pres on the radio cube, yes, I said radio cube, it’s like a trip toy for rave kids candy flipping, but I’ve had it for years and years and it really does work–an old IHome cube.

I have had it forever and it’s been to many a Burning Man.

Not this year though, nothing that I will have to hook up to electricity, I won’t be working the event so very doubtful I will have access to any sort of power hook up like I have in the past.

I digress.

Burning Man was not today, although it did come up in conversation a few times.

I am pretty dorked out that I get to go again.

Anyway.

I did go to things today.

I went to yoga.

I am glad I did, although, yes, I had a moment or two when I didn’t want to and it’s hard to get back on the horse, but I did.

I wasn’t able to go at all last weekend since I was in class all day and it’s hard, I see how fast I can lose the benefits of the practice, but hey, I went, and it was enough.

I am enough.

There it is again.

Hello.

Yes, I repeat, I am enough.

After yoga, a quick hot shower, a yummy hot breakfast and a tasty coconut/almond milk latte.

Living the high life.

Then.

I gratefully accepted the reprieve in the rain, it cleared today, but shall be back the next few days, and I uncovered my scooter and rode it up to 7th and Irving.

I met my person at Tart to Tart and embarked on some inventory.

We did some reading.

I did some writing.

I did some crying.

Damn it.

But.

Such good crying and also a lot of laughing, sometimes seeing how my foibles are impeding my journey just makes me laugh and how I think and how it does not serve.

Oh.

Does my thinking, NOT serve.

So.

I got some amazing perspective and some really good suggestions.

And.

Yes.

That’s right.

I took them.

I ran with them all day.

Guess what?

I had a fucking fabulous day.

FABULOUS.

I went and had a mani/pedi after and got my eyebrows wrangled.

Then I took myself out to lunch at Marnee Thai–duck breast curry with plantains.

Holy Mother of God.

So freaking good.

I did a little shopping after that at Ambiance.

I actually took a friend’s suggestion around self-care.

Well.

Close.

My friend had suggested I go get a massage.

I went to a hot tub instead.

It was bliss.

So good to get a soak and let all the kinks get worked out.

Then a scooter ride over to Turk and Divisadero to hang out with my fellows and do the deal.

I even fucking fellowshipped after and discovered a new place for food that I had not been to in the neighborhood.

Hung out.

Socialized.

Ate hella good food and let my hair down.

I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time and I was able to nip the isolation blues in the bud.

Sometimes a girl gets lonely.

I could have bailed on the fellowship, I had food at the house, but I really craved some company tonight and I am so much the better for just hanging the fuck out with my people.

They are like no other.

Yeah.

I know.

I am biased.

But.

I do know a special and amazing group of people.

They’ve got my back and I’ve got theirs.

I felt a lot more a part of and I want to continue making that effort.

I shared with a friend tonight that it really can be a challenge to navigate doing grad school work and work and recovery and socializing.

I isolate sometimes because I am scared.

But.

Also.

Because, um, yeah, I have hundreds of pages of reading to do and papers to write.

I may not get to the paper I was going to write today.

And I’m just fine with that.

I have time and my time was so much better spent letting myself be of and in the world.

I rather like my San Franciscan world.

Sure.

It’s not the same city it used to be, it’s changed, but then again, so have I.

Change happens.

Change is the only reliable thing that is consistent.

I can try to control things and I am a sucker for routine, but once in a while I need to break out of it, evolve and see what comes of that action.

I may go back to where I was, all up in my head, but i have a solution that works.

I mean.

Fuck.

It works.

I am so grateful for that.

So much so it’s sort of stupid.

Don’t care if I’m a dork about that too.

Something lovely about my gratitude.

Something lovely about not having it all be on my time, my schedule and my way.

God has perfect timing.

Perfect love.

And wants me to be happy.

I can stop trying so hard to make things happen and just let them happen.

I don’t have to watch the horror show in my head.

I’m pretty bored with the characters and the casting is awful, and really it’s over dramatic, fear filled, and unrealistic.

Reality is so much more sexy.

And I certainly had a sexy day today.

Yes.

Yes.

I did.


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