Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Crash Cart

I think it's time we defibrillate this blog!

I went to see my counselor today, sometimes I am not sure if I'm getting anything out of the session but I think today was actually pretty productive. I spent most of the time talking about how unproductive I've been feeling and how impossible it seems for me to accomplish anything -- professionally and personally. I talked a lot about the long hours I work and how very taxing my job can be. I frequently get leave at 830 and do not return home until 7 or 8 after a long day of driving through traffic. I also bring my work home with me and try to motivate myself to do some work while I watch TV. Ah, TV, my other problem. If you didn't already infer from my intro, I've contracted an unhealthy addiction to Grey's Anatomy. Lifetime is trying to ruin my life by airing three episodes a night on every weekday night, they've been quite successful at it.

So my counselor gave me a couple challenges, I love when she does that, one of which is to create more balance in my life. Everyday I am to find a way to do something for myself which does not fall into the category of work or vegging. Even if I only do it for 15 minutes it counts. I have some ideas -- like reading, going for a run or bike ride, doing my short indoor work-out. But I was trying to decide what I'll do tomorrow and I was hit with an idea. I totally enjoyed last year when ya'll threw out daily activity suggestions to me during Lent (See: Me and JC). I think it would be fun to start that up again.

For this week I am going to a play on Friday and I have softball practice on Saturday. I need balance activity ideas for Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. Lay 'em on me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Opposite

I know, this is pretty much the same cop-out as before, just in reverse. It's gonna be a list, just of what I did do rather than what I need to do.

First an explanation. I was talking with my counselor again about my crazy inability to accomplish tasks -- prime example: I received a stipend for approximately $5,000 during my time with MATCH Corps, have I applied it to my loan yet? Nope. I tried once, but then found out I couldn't apply it to Sallie Mae (the devil incarnate) my HUGE loan. I can apply it to my CFS loan - which at around $12,000 seems like small beans, but have I done that? Nope. When did I receive the stipend? June 2005!!! How many times have I thought about applying it? More than 12,000! It gets less valuable as my interest continues to be applied.... But I digress (as usual).
Where was I? Yes, I am bad at getting things done. My counselor (whom I seem to write more and more about on here), was asking me if there is anything that I gain from this behavior or anything that I am apt to loose from abandoning it. We thought a lot. I talked about this whole idea about not being an adult, how if I did accomplish these tasks I would see myself as more of an adult -- but I honestly couldn't think of a reason why being an adult would be a bad thing. The short and end of it is that after 17 years of wondering (my first memory of seriously considering my "forgetfulness" comes in at around fourth grade) I am going to get evaluated for ADD - adult ADD, awesome, I think we all know I totally have that.
So, anyway, as part of our discussion, we talked about changing my mindset from negative nagging myself to get me to do things, to thinking positively about how good I'll feel once things are accomplished. Well, at the time I didn't think I had more negative thoughts than positive about accomplishing tasks - and then I realized - blogging my to do lists. That is definitely negative reinforcement -- I put a list out there for the world to see all that I have to accomplish, then when I don't tick off all my goals, I see myself as failing. So, The Opposite (FINALLY, THE POINT!), from now on I will blog about what I have accomplished rather than what I need to accomplish.

1) Went to office early to get new cases
2) Found out dates for kids to start toddler groups
3) Scheduled re-eval for D H-C
4) Finished progress sheets
5) Turned in mileage
6) Resolved transportation issues for 2 kids
7) Submitted consult requests for new kid
8) Called three families to give information
9) Read from Toddler's busy book
10) Followed-up on new cases
11) Printed up personal info and resources (again) for young mother

1) Called PCP office
2) Called to schedule evaluation
3) Cleaned out car
4) Read from Lamb (thanks Lei)
5) Took half hour nap (definitely an accomplishment)
6) Cleaned for half hour
6) Cooked dinner (an amazing accomplishment)
7) Made new rule for self (can only have beer and/or (and) wine if actually made food)
8) Watched netflix movie - To Sir with Love (very good)
9) Updated finances
10) Checked flights for wedding and set up fare tracking (farecast.com -- wonderful)
11) Gathered prescriptions to be picked up (this has been put off since summer)
12) Added social events to planner.
13) Updated Blog - meager though it is.

That's a lot. I'm proud. More to come...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The List

Ugh, I'm doing it again. The other day someone told me there is an expression in Italian about working on a task that you're always trying to accomplish but just never seems to get done, it translates into "Building a Cathedral". That's how I feel about pretty much everything, there's just always more to do, I'm always building my cathedral. I'm still hopeful that I will eventually achieve a system, some real organization and find time to consistently and meaningfully update.

In the meantime, and old stand-by cop-out. My list. I met with my counselor today, I told her how bad I have been at accomplishing anything lately and we discussed how the first thing on my list, needs to be writing my list. Counseling costs a lot of money, it only costs me a $10 co-pay, but I got a full bill once and they charge over $200 for that hour I spend talking. So I figure if it costs that much I need to make sure I'm really following through. So, my list.

I love making lists, I have a good system too. According to this really awesome planner I had a long time ago, it was developed by Benjamin Franklin, I'm sure it was just a marketing gimmick, but either way it's simple and wonderful. You free-form write out everything you need to do, then you go through the list and rank the importance of the tasks A-D. So, without further ado:

A. Clean my room
A. Laundry, lots and lots of laundry
A. Organize my desk area
A+ Make a spray bottle of disinfectant - take it and towel into car
A. Transfer credit debt onto new Discover Card
B. Buy new laptop
B. Christmas presents
A+ Email Cultural Survival about volunteering
A. Put holiday events into planner
B+ Take care of doctors bills
A. Get prescriptions filled!
A+ Prep for tomorrow (art project, folders, plan, gift for emanuel, ingredients for dinner, other shopping)
A. Mosaics for kids
A. Card and stickers for adam
B+ Find out about Argenziano holiday party
A. E-mail about Toddler Book
A+ Figure out if I have time to pick up freecycle stuff tomorrow

Okay, so that's four A+s...I'm going to accomplish those four things tonight! I can do it! And I can already check off one list item - Make The List : CHECK!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Curriculum Blog

I just published a monster post on my curriculum Blog. It was very personal so i figure it kind of fits here too. Enjoy: Saying Goodbye.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Albums from our past....

I've been meaning to write this post for a while, so here goes. Let's post about the albums that remind us of the past. Like junior high, high school, college, etc.

What are the albums that remind you of junior high?

This is easy for me, as it was when I truly starting getting into music and listening to artists other than what my parents were listening to.

1. Oasis -- What's the Story Morning Glory. I can remember the first time I heard Champagne Supernova on the radio. They've been my favorite band ever since and it was announced today that Noel just quit Oasis. I'm bummed.

2. No Doubt -- Tragic Kingdom. They're still playing songs from this album on the radio. And I love me some OC bands.

3. Green Day -- Dookie. I used to sit and watch MTV all day waiting for the Basket Case video to play. Fantastic.

4. Weezer -- Blue. It's still one of my favorite albums ever. Love it.

Ladies, what are yours??

Sunday, August 23, 2009


...turn and face the strange.

Ok, ok, so it's been a looong time, way too long. I got into one of those, "there are so many other things that I should be doing that I'm not" funks. And yes, too much time on facebook, that thing is such a time suck!

Anyway, I have some posts of substance that have been rattling around in my head for a while, but I figure after such a great lapse I should do some sort of an update, "look how much has been going on, aren't I excused for my inactivity?" sort of post.

So this summer I have decided to go for a new record, how many things can I change about my life in one season.

Yesterday I realized that these are the only major changes I have NOT made this summer:
1) I am not moving out of the state/country
2) I am not having a baby
3) I am not starting school

Things I HAVE changed, or that have changed, this summer -- with explanations to follow.

1) After two years together and almost a year living together, Rachel and I broke up.
2) I cut all of the hair off of one side of my head, and half of it off of the other.
3) I started seeing a counselor.
4) I am hoping to receive an offer for a new job in the coming days.
5) I am moving across the river to Somerville with a very good friend.
6) I will become a step mother for a very cute puppy who lives in my new apartment.

I know 6 things doesn't sound like that much, but to me it seems like a lot. And aside from my hair and the counseling, all of these things are manifesting themselves in really huge ways in the next 2 weeks.

1) I don't really feel like sharing too much about this on a public forum. It was really hard, and heartbreaking, but the right thing for both of us. We broke up in early June and have been living together since. This was my first real long term relationship (I had made it a year before but she had been cheating on me the whole time and we kept "breaking up" but not being able to make it stick). Rachel is the first girlfriend? partner? I ever lived with. So consequently it's my first major break-up and period of adjustment.

It seems like there are a few ways the immediate post-breakup period can go. One of the two can immediately move out and rely on their friends while they figure out what to do. The couple can live together in a strained and steely silence that occasionally explodes into anger or violence. Or they can continue living together in a fashion very similar to before but somehow different, not friends yet, but also no longer a couple.

Rachel and I fell into the last category. We still love each other, I don't think a lack of love is what drove our breakup. So we've continued with most of the same love and affection we've always had but with changes, sometimes strained. Thankfully we live in a 2.5 bedroom house so Rachel was able to move into her office where, conveniently, a futon was already located. I don't think I can process this anymore. We're only living together for one more week, well two, but I'll be in Mexico for one of them. It's going to be very hard to leave, it's going to feel like we're breaking up all over again. But this limbo period can't keep going, the strain would eventually become too much. I'm hopeful for our future friendship.

Apparently I did have a bit to say about that.

2) I always do this, I'm such a ritualistic person. Breakup ----> cut hair. This being my biggest relationship I went for a drastic cut. For years I had been obsessing about Sara's cut from Cycle 6 of ANTM. She hated the cut, but I thought it was awesome. You can kind of see it in this picture:

It's super short on the sides but long on the top. I had been thinking that maybe this was my time to go for it, but I forgot the photo so I figured, maybe next time. But when I was waiting in the salon I found a very similar cut in one of the books and figured I would go for it. My stylist (who I love and trust) decided to use it as a jumping off point but go asymmetrical with it instead. I was really nervous about how different it was at first, but I've had it for a couple months now and I have totally adjusted and love it!

3) I realized that with my awesome health insurance, counseling was only a $10 co-payment away. I love it, I'm going to run the risk of sounding too much like a Dar song if I keep going, so I guess I should just quote it instead: "And when I talk about therapy, I know what people think, that it only makes you selfish and in love with your shrink. But oh how I loved everybody else when I finally got to talk so much about myself." I started going to discuss my relationship with Rachel, and that has continued to be a topic, but there's a lot more to talk about too. I have a ridiculous urge to put a smiley face here.

4) I don't like to be too public about people or jobs I'm interested in. The less people that know, the less you have to feel the pain when you're asked how it's going and you have to let them know {insert name here} wasn't as interested in you as you thought. But I am constantly shooting myself in the foot on this point -- every time it happens I vow that next time I'm going to keep my mouth shut. But then I get so hopeful, and so excited, and I can't contain it. So, running the risk that this may blow up in my face (when the 5 people who read this blog and don't already know ask me):

I have gone on two interviews for a position as a Developmental Specialist -- home visiting children 1 to 3. I think it would be a perfect job for me and I am really excited at the prospect. They seem to be genuinely interested in hiring me and are only waiting to hear back from the Department of Public Health to see if I qualify as an "education person". The government red tape pisses me off sometimes. It doesn't matter to them that I have been working in education for over 5 years, all they care about is if I took enough education courses in college -- as if that is where my real qualifications are coming from! Anyway, I'm really hopeful that I'll hear back soon (but in the meantime don't ask me about it).

5) I had been hoping to find a place to move into for mid-July, then August 1st, then August 15th. But I was really lazy about it. Despite the fact that I had to get up at 6 in the morning in order to make the hour and change commute to Somerville, I just kept dragging my feet. I couldn't figure out why I could not get myself to really look for a place. Now I know, it was the fates (or, yes mom, my guardian angle) working to make things fit correctly into place.

Two weeks ago, I found out from the one place I had actually seen that they went with someone else. Then I went to see another place. I walked around, noting the low basement ceiling, the pipes, the small windows opening to courtyards, the bedroom converted into a living room. I felt like I was in a college dorm, a quirky and kind of cool college dorm, but still. I started negotiating with myself -- Melanie, you've waited too long, I don't know if you can afford to be picky, you NEED to move by September 1st and we're getting close... I left, and on my way home I noticed I had missed a call from a good friend.

She let me know, 1) that she had been diagnosed with MS, 2) that her wedding (a little more than a month away) was off and 3) if I would like to move in with her. It is possible that she is experiencing more changes than me right now, just maybe! It all came together, this is the right place for me to be, and the right time. Yes Mom, it had to have been God, or fate, or interconnections -- some sort of energy flow between everything. And then, to top it all off, earlier this week Rachel confirmed that she found a new roommate to move in September 1st -- perfect.

6) This just occurred to me yesterday when I was talking to a friend about all these changes, I said, well, I'm not having a baby, or getting a dog, but then I realized. Yes, my friend is the proud momma of a Boston Terrier. I'm looking forward to having a puppy in my life, especially now that he is not a puppy anymore and has calmed down a lot.

Ok! That was a lot. Am I forgiven? I think we need to make a pact. Each of us need to pledge to do at least one short post per month -- then we'll have at least four posts in a month. I know I led us into our current demise but I am going to try really hard. Are you with me??

Friday, August 21, 2009