My tongue is in my hand…

Archive for September 2008

Posted on: September 16, 2008

I have a lot to say, it’s just not ready yet

I’ll develop this more later:  There are few guarantees.  It comes out all the time in tragedy, but it is true for everyone, all the time: all we have is whatever’s within us and each other.  That’s it.  No matter what you think you have, you aren’t guaranteed to keep it, no matter how many precautions you take, no matter how prepared, no matter how much you have.  That’s it.  People and belief.

It’s not so scary if you realize this is all it’s ever been.  Because even when people go, we carry them in us, we carry them with us, they mark us and change us.  Spirits don’t die, so people, in essence, stay with us.  That’s why we have to build up storehouses within ourselves of the intangible.  Things that will nourish us and protect us and push us.  And we have to build in one another, invest in one another.  We are it.  We are all there is. We are all we have.  We are all we need.  Us and belief.  The things we carry in us (God, love, faith, hope, belief).  These basic, basic things.

Matthew 6:19-24 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.   But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, your heart will be also.

The eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and Money.”

Our eyes are our perspective, the words we choose to tell ourselves, to accept from the world around us and then internalize and believe.

Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.”

There are discrepancies in the kind of belief you have before you see the world and after you see the world.  Before you see so many percieved bad things happen to percieved good people.  Before you realize that no matter how much someone plays by the rules they can still lose it all or get burned.  Before you see suffering and sickness and death strike with no order, not passing over the faithful.  But it is perception, expectation, false understanding of the powers of faith and prayer.  It’s not about the world around us.  It’s about the world within us.

Posted on: September 11, 2008

and so, it comes.  it always does.  the time when everything stops and rests right there on your heart. and you just have to take it.  you just have to let it be what it is.

My initial notes from the list I made in the previous entry ended with this:

 I see recurring themes for the need of love, support, friendship, safety, security, financial help, coping skills, forgiveness (of self and others), importance of learning one’s own body cues, importance of taking care of one’s self, accepting life and people as they are, moving on from the past, seeking healing and relief, the desperate need to believe something in order to keep going and the trick of using the right words when talking to yourself and fixing your mind on the positive – having your “eyes on the prize”, the remarkable impact parents have on their children and the horrific things that they do, that there is something that separates those who repeat these actions and those who actively seek to be better. And what keeps amazing me is the things that a person can endure and the things that can break us into tiny little pieces.

This is all universal. This is all of us. We are all in this together. We are one big ocean of souls. A spider web of minds. A mass of energy. We have to live consciously.

 Things that are frustrating me about my job:

1. Going to people’s house when they’re not there. (waste of time and gas and leaves blank spots in my schedule and paycheck)

2. Going places I’m uncomfortable (i.e. being verbally and bordering on sexually harassed by men in the street)

3. Being exposed to secondhand smoke by chronic smokers

4. Having no place to “be” as a home base (such as my own office)

5. Taking people places they need to go because no one else will and they can’t take themselves (no car or license or public transportation)

6. Driving 100 miles a day, especially in bad weather/traffic

7. The unstructured nature of the day leaves me at too many loose ends and unproductive too often

8. Mixing home and work (taking calls while with family, running errands during work gaps)

9. Being surrounded by negativity, poverty, illness, and bad family situations

10. No time with co workers (lonely/bored/no venting or idea sharing)

11. Parents that won’t return my phone calls

12. Adults that call me 5 times in 30 minutes leaving dramatic voicemails and pages on my phone (I am not emergency services, I have other people to work with)

13. Expectation to tailor my schedule to others needs (possibly in the future)

14. Worrying about getting hours

15. Feeling at other’s beck and call to get said hours

16. Causes me to question my mental/emotional/spiritual well being (feeds me sadness, negativity, anxiety, hopelessness, frustration; unhealthy thoughts and trains of thought)

17. Wishing this job didn’t even exist

Things I feel good about or like about my job:

1. I feel like it’s important

2. It has lead me to develop and use my own ideas and techniques for therapeutic exercises and interventions (personally and professionally)

3. Gives me the opportunity to make a lasting change

4. Uses skills I have naturally (listening, empathy, problem solving)

5. Challenges me to be authentic emotionally/spiritually/mentally

6. Gives me a window into people’s lives

7. Has me doing things I may have never done but many people do: Apply for food stamps, Medicaid, WIC,  WorkFirst, rent/power/emergency food/clothing assistance at DSS and other agencies, find out how to file for divorce, how to file a restraining order, file for and appeal social security/disability benefits, get a GED, apply for public housing, deal with county transportation system, attend therapy sessions…

8. Leads me to challenge stereotypes and assumptions

9. Hearing stories that you just couldn’t make up

10. Confirms time and again that we are more alike than we are different.

I actually wrote out a service note for myself after this:

Intervention: Rebecca stated that she felt frustrated with her day because her schedule was messed up and she was losing cases and needed more hours especially with recent financial stresses due to husband’s unemployment and recent gall bladder surgery for which he is out of work again.  Rebecca stated that she was tired of being frustrated and feeling at loose ends on days like this.  Rebecca stated that she felt overwhelmed and unsure of what to do and did not know if she even liked her job or wanted to do it anymore.  Rebecca suggested to herself that she make a list of frustrations and positives related to her job to help her to possibly identify triggers and possible solutions or coping skills to utilize.

Effectiveness: Rebecca decided to take a lunch break and make a list of things that were negative and positive about her job.  Rebecca stated that overall, she felt better after making the list.  Rebecca stated that she did identify some major triggers and ways she could deal with them better and also ways she could decrease/eliminate them such as: talking to supervisors about needing new cases and about not working in areas she felt unsafe, scheduling more firmly with individuals, shaping her day to streamline driving,  streamlining her schedule to minimize work/home overlap, have productive options available to self if schedule opens up such as study for school).  Rebecca stated that the list of positives helped her feel good about her job and lessened the importance of the negatives.

The following day’s note would say something about me crying about my job the next day due to someone saying they give up completely and almost missing out on farewell party for well-liked supervisor (and the rare interaction with co workers) and feeling overwhelmed again by my life in general but would state that by the end of the day I felt okay.

So does the fact that I am clinically assessing myself fall under positives or negatives? Or does it just cancel itself out? I wonder, what it is like to have learned effective and healthy coping skills as a child and adolescent through your main supports and if it makes a difference in the end.

And FYI with the person I was crying about/for has not, in fact, not given up.

I was going through old papers this weekend and found one that had a list of dreams I had for my life.  One of them was to “find a way to consistently be part of helping others/improving lives/making an impact and difference”.  In the words of the oh-so-wise Pussycat Dolls “Be careful what you wish for cuz you just might get it (you just might get it, yea you just might get it)”.

I also found a list of fears.  The lists were made at different times. The list of dreams has 14 items.  The list of fears has 42.  I starred this one on the list of fears: *not being perfect*.  Hmm.

I just read a statistic in Charlotte Parent that according to the U.S. Department of Education, men make up 42 percent of the nation’s college population.

That means women make up the remaining 58 percent.

I think I’ll let my dad know about this.  He’s like a secret Spice Girl- all about girl power and such.

I wonder: is it that more women are entering college, less men are entering college, there are more women than men in places where college is a viable option, more women going back to college after having families, more women pursuing advanced degrees than in the past…

The article was saying that this was pushing companies to offer more flexible work schedules and for more companies to be “family friendly” since  women are making up a significant part of the work force and still taking on the major role domestically .

Of course, this also means more men are taking on domestic duties (thank you!) Which in turn means these men (if working) need flexibility too.

When both parents are working, there is an issue of childcare, the breakdown of quality time with children and as a family.

But, if companies were more and more willing to acknowldege the importance of family and the effect caring for a family has on employees because they HAVE to, then maybe we would eventually have more healthy work/family balance.

Of course, the next issue is that of equal flexibility for singles and childless couples.  I notice at my job (which has flexible hours) that people with kids are given breaks much more so than people that don’t have kids and while this is logical, it’s not fair to give (unwanted ) extra work to these supposedly less burdened employees.

Overall, I think we work too too much and spend too too little time living.  It is our challenge in our personal lives to do what we can to balance it out, but it would be great if some major changes were made in the workforce to help us out a little.

I think I have found a dessert that I can make cheaply with consistent outcome. I, for various reasons, haven’t done a whole lot in the kitchen and when I do, I don’t (can’t) spend much on ingredients which of course doesn’t really matter because the truth is, if it has more than 6 ingredients that aren’t seasonings, or a couple paragraphs of instructions, chances are, I’m not making it.  And because I like to be creative (or maybe because I like to think I know and can do things or maybe because I don’t actually have an ingredient but think something else will work just fine)  I will try often try to modify it.

This means things rarely turn out as expected.  That’s life, right?  If I had a cooking motto it would be something like “Who cares what it looks like as long as it tastes good”  (This could really be a life motto if you changed the word taste to something else)  Anyways, the recent results have been “you need a spoon to eat ’em” brownies and the subsequent “these were supposed to be iced brownie cupcakes but are now caved-in brownie goo for which you need a spoon to eat ’em” brownie cupcakes and chocolate pie that was described by my daughter as chocolate syrup and by my husband as chocolate “you need a spoon to eat it” cake batter.  My friend Alicia is very fond of these desserts and the caved-in brownie goo was hit with book club, so I’m not ever too concerned at the gooey outcomes.

But:  I have made the following recipe twice and am very proud of achieving the expected outcome (plus it’s really easy and cheap)

From the “Serving One Another In Love” Dulin’s Grove Church cookbook

Mom’s Any Fruit Cobbler (Betty R. Honeycutt)

Melt 1/2 stick margarine in baking dish

Mix: 1c. self-rising flour, 1/2 c sugar, 3/4 c milk

Pour batter over melted margarine.  Do not mix.  Top with fruit (spoon your sweetened favorite fruit: blackberries, peaches, cherries, etc. over the batter). Do not mix. Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 min until golden brown.

I may eat it for breakfast.


Posted on: September 3, 2008

Dozens of ideas, underdeveloped, going through my mind:

but you can’t be afraid of your own thoughts, can’t be afraid to write them out, to admit them, accept them, challenge them, develop them, reflect on them

lately, I am constantly questioning motives. this is of course: psychology and sociology and anthropology.

and thinking of other things about: non-profit; research (and why statistics means more to me than any other math because I can use it to develop ideas that are important to me); business; writing; therapies; techniques; interventions; love like a tide and not a tie; accepting constructive criticism; it’s okay to not be perfect-expect it and accept it; loving language; not biting my tongue at all the wrong times since I’m the only one that has to live my life; not trying to hold together something that’s not working for me anymore; responsibility; friendship-it’s magnitude, it’s capacity, it’s possibility; living authentically (what is important to me), shaping my voice; not giving up on myself (in a variety of ways); accepting missteps; accepting the general nature of consequence is that consequence is natural and though it can be predictable, it is not always; accepting that good intentions and “best” decisions do not guarantee positive (or obviously positive) outcomes; finding positive people and surrounding myself with communication and communion with them; not being anxious; the usefulness of reading, thinking, writing, reflecting on faith-things; bible stories coming back to me: manna and Lazarus; following through with plans or idea development: websites (class, family, personal), family history recording project, submitting to (and reading) publications that fit, organizing-developing-producing-editing-work materials and poetry or writings, developing and organizing lists to organize self, getting pictures developed, backing up my computer files; taking care of myself; being a good mom/wife/sister/daughter/friend/employee/student/support; daydreaming about people/places I want to be around; making good use of my time; forgiving myself my mistakes and moving on; redeveloping confidence; expanding myself; waking up earlier; being more prepared for things like: grocery shopping or the day itself; letting people step up; taking chances (on people); not accepting responsibility for others when everyone must be responsible for themselves, their life, their happiness; constantly remembering that I have within me everything I need to be okay; believing that the fulfillment and intimacy I am seeking can and will happen and being patient and active in the waiting; owning myself; knowing what I want and want to do and doing it; speaking positivity and belief into my day; being aware of perspective; responding to people; being able to reach natural highs and mind clearing/concentrated/open states; being moved to create- there is just not enough time in my day.