New chapter

I am starting another new beginning.  As usual, it is exciting and anxiety-provoking.  New beginnings bring up old doubts and fears–mostly of not being good enough and of inevitably failing at the new task at hand.

I am no longer a caregiver for the elderly woman I’ve been with for over 3 years.  Next week, I will begin my new job as a mental health intern.  I will be there for one year, and then move on to intern at another site.

In the meantime, I will be continuing my coursework, taking care of my family, cleaning my house, planning, shopping and making meals, and hopefully having some fun with my husband and kids–and hopefully be able to take care of myself in the process.  It’s all about balance, I suppose.  I am not sure if I have that figured out yet.

I’m also waiting to attend my first birth as a doula–another area that brings up the what-ifs of being good enough and of being a failure.

I’ve been recording my dreams the last two mornings, and am learning from them based on the Adlerian framework in which I am being trained in my studies.  

A year has passed since I took my special trip to Denmark with my dad–it is and will always be one of my most cherished memories.  I have yet to go through the photos and get them on my hard drive.  Somehow those technical projects always end up on the back burner.  I guess I am not a techie kind of person by nature.

I’ve been thinking a lot about social interest–another part of the groundwork of Adlerian psychology.  This has had my trying to speak less and listen more, and to think about how blogs and Facebook can push us into self-absorption rather than social interest, ironically.  This has me moving in a direction that is different from where I’ve been moving in the past, and I like it.  I am building my own sense of social interest and decreasing my need to feel unique and noticed.

Alan spent his whole summer break putting new siding on our house.  It looks so cute.  We’ve both fallen in love with our “new” house and are so glad it happened.  The summer went by so quickly because of it, though, and we’re all a little sad it’s almost over.

I shredded my two credit cards and am going to attempt to get back to a cash-only system.  Financial management is so important and anyone can do it–right? It’s one of my greatest struggles, though; I’ve always been a spender.  I want to be a saver now, and a debt-payer-off-er! I also want to be smart and frugal with meal planning.  It’s so hard.  I love variety and convenience, and those are not cheap.

Being back on Facebook has been good and sometimes wasteful.  I feel better about it than I used to and don’t get as affected by negativity on there anymore, but I tend to comment too much and “like” too much.  Again, I would like to work on listening more and speaking less.  I have such a need to be heard.  Why is that?

 

Weird to look back.

Four and five years ago, I was writing on this blog. It is so weird to read my posts from back then. They were pretty frequent and carefully written, and had nice photographs along with them. I had a lot of time and energy for this. It feels like a different life, and like they were written by a different person.

Back then, Mia was as old as Anna is now. I was a different mother with her then compared to how I am with Anna now. I don’t know what I think about that. I was extremely devoted and connected with Mia, and my life revolved around giving her the kind of experience I felt she deserved, which, in hindsight, I still think was pretty awesome. In the meantime, I think I denied myself the experience I deserved, and neglected myself quite badly. That was not so awesome.

With Anna, I now have lower expectations of myself. I have made countless mistakes with her, and I am trusting that things will work out. I am more forgiving of myself than I was back then. It is easier. It is better now. The girls play with each other and don’t need me so much, and I have room for myself. More room than I had back then.

Over the years, my idealism has faded. That is a good thing. It’s still there, but much more realistic and forgiving. We’re each on our own path, and there is no one-side-fits-all. I see that now. It’s okay that we are all different. It is good. I am not as defensive and protective of myself and my beliefs as I was back then. People will agree sometimes, people will disagree sometimes. I am more comfortable with that now.

What I did not realize back then is how hard it is to let go of those old patterns and beliefs that I thought I could just “think” away. The gut reactions, the handling of stress, and the self-defense mechanisms I had back then have not changed all that much. Those deep, unmet needs from childhood that are still hanging on. I would like them to change. I would like them to be healthier and more functional. Those things cause stress to my family. What is the purpose of that? I am trying to figure that out. (This is how we are trained to think as Adlerians! All behavior has purpose!) Perhaps the purpose of overreacting to stress is to have significance, to get attention, to matter. How can I get that in a positive way? Maybe just by being nice all the time. That is hard for a Gemini to do.

This was probably the dumbest post I have written in a long time.

Good.

Since my last post, there has been action and closure.  My action was not easy, but it was necessary.  I am in a good place now, and ready to move forward and leave the past in the past.  

The pieces are coming together for the journey I’ll be on in the coming year.  I will attend my first birth in August and also begin an exciting internship for my mental health training in August.  I am so excited for both, and for the new beginning that these two signify.  I feel like I’ve been on one train for a long time and am now arriving at the station, ready to step onto a new train, heading in a new direction.

My internship means that my children will need some before and after school care, because Alan and I are not always able to drive and/or pick up on time every day.  This will be a new and different experience for all of us, and hopefully a smooth and positive one.  It’s a little hard sometimes with the notion that I’ll no longer be a stay-at-home mom like I’ve been for so long.  It will be different.

Alan will be at the girls’ school 3 days a week–the same days I will be at my internship.  He did not get the school administration jobs he applied for, and this is a relief for all of us, actually! It means a minimal change in our lifestyle and routine, and also that he will have Mia in his 5th grade band next year.  We are all really happy about that.  Having all three of my most special people at the same school is a comfort, and I know that the girls are in a good place when I am away from them.

I am back on Facebook.  With new boundaries and enough personal work under my belt, I feel ready to handle it in a healthy way.  I choose who and what I let into my world, and it’s that simple.  It is so nice to be in touch with people who matter to me, those who are far and away, and those who inspire and support me and make me laugh!

Alan and I are in love with Portlandia.  I highly recommend it for anyone needing a good laugh.

Have a good week, friends!

xo

 

Life is change.

Mia’s last day of fourth grade is today, and I can hardly believe how much she has grown up this year.  She is a confident, kind, and sweet girl, and I feel so lucky to be her mom.  It has been special and fun to watch her become increasingly social and interested in her friends, and the best part is that her friends are as sweet and wonderful as she is.  Sometimes I get worried that she will lose interest in me and our family unit the way kids sometimes do at this age.  I am hoping that we can create something different and both family and friends can coexist in her world.

I have been applying and interviewing for internships starting in the fall.  I was accepted for my top two choices, and aside feeling flabbergasted and surprised, I am extremely honored and happy about it.  It will be a fantastic learning experience and prepare me for the work that I want to do after I am a licensed therapist.  I will begin at Park Avenue Center this fall and intern there through the school year.  After that, I will intern for the Hazelden adolescent program.  

Interning and going to school will have me occupied as much or more as a full-time job, and it will be a major life adjustment for all of us.  I have been a full-time caregiver of my children for ten years.  Now they will both be out in the world without me for much of the week, and I will be out doing my own thing.  Somehow we will have to balance school drop-offs, errands, housework, and meal preparation.  How do people do that? I am so used to “doing it all” and I think the biggest change will be for me to let a lot of things go.

I am looking forward to summer, and my hope is that it is a good balance between fun and relaxation and productivity.  We have a lot of house projects that we must complete this year, a pool pass and Childrens Museum pass to use, camping to do, and a family cabin to visit.  

Well, that was my self-centered post of the day.  We’re in Gemini right now, and this Gemini always has a lot to say during this time of year.

I am a doula!

Today at 4 pm, I officially became a doula!

There is still work to do until I will be DONA-certified, including to attend 3 births.  At this time, I have no births lined up. So, I am putting it out there that my doula services are available at a low/negotiable cost, including birth photography.

My plan is to become certified in placenta encapsulation at the end of May, as well, and offer this service to those who are interested.

This will be a one-step-at-a-time adventure.  I don’t know where it will take me or what it will bring. It is exciting.

The Red Cloak

This is artwork I did today with my family. We’ve been making art together, and it feels so good. We each made our own piece today, but sometimes we make one piece together. I love making art. I has been a while since I’ve made space for really making art, and now I remember how therapeutic it is.  When art is therapy, it is about the process and not the product.

This painting is about what is processing inside of me now–there are themes of the shadow of a child, the red protective cloak, facing the strength of the tree which gives life and is firmly rooted, the winds of change, cycle of life, release of the old, room for the new, room to grow, birds, leaves, and feathers. There might be more that I am not seeing and will see as time goes on.

Little Red Riding Hood has significance here, and I am not sure yet what it is.  She was a significant character in my childhood and is still significant in my Early Recollections. Some people see her as a metaphor for sexual awakening and temptation, or on the other hand, for learning about deceit.  It can be a symbol for maturity and coming of age.  The woods are exciting and dangerous at the same time, and can allude to temptation, courage, sexuality, and maturity again. Maybe there is possibility and potential, there is courage to face the unknown. Maybe there is a need to be virtuous and fighting the temptation to go astray.

What do you see?

 

Scan

Growth and Movement

What is life without growth and movement?

In Adlerian terms, movement equals life.  Once movement ceases, there is no life.  We have the choice in which direction and how to move in our own life.  When we fully own that responsibility, we can align with our true selves and live a healthy and purposeful life.

I have been thinking about this lately, during a time of intense challenge that has me growing and moving more quickly than I’ve done in a long time.  I am quite busy with learning and growing and changing, and it is scary and also wonderful.  Challenges are opportunities for growth and change.

I am also beginning the “parting” process between Anna’s babyhood and me.  It’s a process I’ve been dreading for a while, and I’ve seen it coming.  I am a griever.  Letting go is hard for me.  It seems that the more I heal myself, the more easily I am able to make these transitions without getting stuck in the grief process.  I have cried a few times about the “no more babies” topic, and maybe I will some more. And really, we can grieve and be grateful at the same time.  Happy it happened, sad that it’s over, and life goes on.  Making room for the new, all in the name of movement and change.

 

 

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