Thursday, February 18, 2010

Interviewee becomes interviewer

Exactly one year (to the day), after my interview at work, I was handed a stack of new intern applications to familarize myself with because 2nd round interviews will be conducted by me!

It is bittersweet.  And throws into harsh reality for me what the next couple of months will be bringing my way.  I have to complete practicum, apply for and take the liscensing exam and find a job.  Hopefully, all this can be accomplished by September 1 (at the latest)!

I am sad to leave practicum because I have wonderful supervision, guidance, and support there.  But, I am excited to actually get paid for all this hard and mentally exhausting work I am doing.  No more babysitting.  Stable salary.  Set schedule.  Basically, I want to start my adult life.

I cannot think of a better way to become an adult, then conduct interviews for your replacement.  What questions should I ask?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Amazing Grace

Gone...but not forgotten.  My grandfather passed away 1 year ago today.  Today, I do not want to recount the joys of his life or the pain of his loss, I just want to find strength in the song played at his funeral, Amazing Grace.

Amazing Grace Lyrics

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.


T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.


Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.


The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.


Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
a life of joy and peace.


When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.


"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,    
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines Day Recap


My dozen lavender roses from Robbins Flowers!! 

The pilot baked and decorated a Valentines cake.  It tasted delicious!  How sweet and cheesy is he?! 


My new dress and necklace paid for by Christmas and birthday gift cards to Target.

My big smile at the end of the night!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I woke up yesterday and just felt off!  I never really found the right words to describe the feeling to anyone, but some of the attempted descriptions included, "gross," "in a funk," "off balance," and "living in the twilight zone."

I think my body was angry yesterday when it woke up after a horrible night's sleep, although I managed to sleep through the rare Illinois earthquake.  The previous night had included bad for you dinner choices and 3 glasses of cheap red wine while dining at Ziadi with a friend.  My body was fed up with mistreatment, after my birthday, the Super Bowl and the Ziadi trip I had consumed too many non-nutritious calories and way to much alcohol.  Not to mention finding convenient reasons to not make it to the gym.  Hence, the "gross" feeling.

I got to work and thought I would have an hour to re-group before my first client came in.  I had big plans for that hour; eat lunch, journal and meditate.  I wanted to get myself out of whatever mood it was that I was in, because I knew I would not be an effective therapist.  Then an opportunity to an observe a client I was really wanting to interact with appeared and I could not turn it down.  The session was great, but my countertransference was OUT OF CONTROL and afterward, I was faced with no time to process the whole thing before going into session with my own client who has been particularly difficult to work with recently.  By the start of my third hour at work, I was sitting in my supervisor's office crying for reasons, I still could not find the words to explain.

My next client, also a difficult one canceled and I was finally allowed sometime to try to get my act together when 2 disturbing facebook status updates caught my attention, causing frantic text messages to GR and a google news search that yielded this result: 2 Priniciples Shot by Teacher in Knoxville!!!  GR's mom works at that school.  She is fine.  But that's when the, "I'm living in the Twilight Zone" comments first slipped from my lips.  It was a strange day.

My next 2 sessions were fine and I thought I was getting back into the swing of things, until my last client did not show up for session and my stomach started to hurt, prompting another skipped gym session.  By the time I made it home, I was exhausted.  I had to pack for the weekend at the Pilot's house, which just seemed to laborious at the time, I considered coming home after school today and then driving out to his place instead of heading straight there, just so I wouldn't have to pack anytime soon.

The Pilot was having a really good day and I felt horrible about having to tell him about mine.  I would NOT have, if he hadn't asked directly, "How are you?"  Even then I just explained it away as having a rough day and started crying because I still couldn't describe it.

I woke up this morning and packed for the weekend, because I NEED time with the Pilot tonight.  However, I think today is a good day to take a personal day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Heart Healthy

Friday February 5 was wear National Wear Red Day to support Heart Disease Awareness in Women.  I sported red...did you?!

Sunday February 7 was the 2 year anniversary of my father undergoing open-heart surgery!!

For the past couple of years, February has been a rough month for me, despite starting with my birthday!  This year and years to come will be different because February is American Heart month.  I want to figure out a way to make Heart health a priority in my life, the lives of my loved ones and society at large.  I guess I'll start by donating!!

American Heart Association
Cardiovascular Health Test from my local hospital

Over the last few years this issue has become incredibly important to me and it is something I am becoming increasing passionate about.  I have some other ideas cooking, but what can you think of to help spread awareness?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Birthday blues and blooming

The 6 weeks leading up to my birthday were, in a word, stressful.  They included the holidays, a vacation, and 2 very serious, very time consuming papers.

Basically, everything fell apart around these 2 papers.  Vacation could have been more enjoyable if I didn't have to worry about the paper.  And the paper could have been better if I didn't have to focus on vacation.  One of these papers, my comprehensive exam, WILL make or break my graduation and I could only focus on not passing.  Because I was so consumed with that paper I began to slack (or be less enthusiastic) about work, which then pushed me into a belief that I was bad at my job.  Bringing us back, in a vicious cycle of thinking, to the paper.  Thinking the paper must be bad because I am bad at my job, and therefore could not possibly write a psychological theory and application paper.

Things got worse.  My 26th birthday was looming LARGE and I did not want it to come.  I did not want to acknowledge it.  I felt that 26 was a tremendous leap from 25 and I was not ready to be old.  Further, I felt unaccomplished and I did not want to be an unaccomplished 26 year old.  I was not meeting my own prior set expectations; I'm not married, I don't have my advanced to degree, I babysit for a living.  Let it pass silently was my prerogative until the Pilot got sick of it all, "Just have some friends over."  To which I responded, "I can't afford to go anywhere or do anything, no one from the city is going to want to come out and everyone is probably busy."  Upon reflection it occured to me that I was so concerned about the fact that I would feel rejected if no one could come, I was making up excuses to not even bother asking.

By Tuesday of the week before my birthday I was so down on myself I told the Pilot and my supervisor that I did not feel as though I was succeeding in any on area of my life.  I felt like everything was insurmountable.  I was in a hole so deep I couldn't see the light.

I'm not sure how it happened, but on Thursday a perceptable shift occured!  I moved from "woe is me" to relaxing for the weekend and meeting my birthday head on. 

My relaxing birthday weekend ended up as such:

Thursday-  I turned in the last of those two terrifying papers and vowed to not talk about, think about, or write about any subjects relating to psychology, school, or practicum.  I also received incredibly positive feedback from my supervisor on my "turning a corner" and really becoming a therapist.  He mentioned having confidence in me and that patients were having positive reactions to me and my work as well.

Friday-  I babysat in the morning, napped in the afternoon, went to the gym for far too long and hung out with the Pilot.  I embraced not having a babysitting job for that Friday evening, by not stressing about the money and looking at the time as a precious gift. 

Saturday-  Friday's precious gift of time turned into a 500 calorie-loss at the gym which then turned itself into it's own little Saturday morning birthday present.  My lowest weight in over 4 years!  163.7!!!  I whooped and hollered, made the Pilot come and look so that I knew I wasn't delirious.  I wasn't delirious and promptly suited up to head to the gym again. 

Also, got all the supplies ready for the party I did decided to throw myself.  I tested the waters early in the week, seeing who would be available on Saturday night to hang out and those most important to me were all available or made every effort to make themselves available.  I ended up in my parents newly re-converted living room and dining room with 5 friends, my brother, his girlfriend, the Pilot and my parents occasionally peeking their heads in to say hello and chat.  It was the definition of quality over quantity and I would not change a thing about that evening.  The Pilot opened up to my friends and in return experienced how truly great the people are that I have chosen to surround myself with.  They even complemented my cooking, which I can't take all the credit for.  The Buffalo Chicken Dip and Pigs in a Blanket are from the Hungry Girl genius.

Sunday-  My true day of relaxation.  We skipped church (sinners!) and I took my time getting ready for the gym, took my time at the gym.  I made no rush of anything that day.  Took my time and loved it.  Spent the night with the Pilot, celebrating by him cooking me dinner.  Nachos, at request. 

Monday- My birthday!  I babysat in the morning, happily, I might add.  I need the money.  Then indulged in a massage, my birthday present from the Pilot.  Drove to my parents house for another celebration that included, lemon chicken, again by my request, birthday cake, lots of wine and beer and home videos.

Tuesday- Came too soon after Monday night's late night festivities but I was ready to face the week.  Not to mention, receiving one last present, an Emotion Focused Body Therapy session with a friend who induced an emotional clearing for my new year of life.

It was the perfect birthday weekend!  I went into my Tuesday sessions with a re-newed sense of self, a confidence I was unfamiliar with, but loved and embraced and a new sense of calm and self-awareness.