I'm not gonna lie to you, last week was pretty bad. The bitterness of having to work through the holidays, along with exacerbated work stress resulted in an excess of crankiness.

When I'm cranky, it's no fun for anyone.

But I purposely had a VERY mellow weekend, and B and I started a new nutrition program this morning (which will be blown to hell at tonight's NYE festivities) *and* I ran 3 miles yesterday...so I'm feeling a bit better.

And in the spirit of setting my goals big, wondering if OrangemanMike wants to do a little running.


ReThinking Thanksgiving

The Setting: B's brother's house....

The Players: Me, B's mom, B's brother, B's SIL, B's nephew, and last, but not least, B. (You didn't think I'd go visit them on my own, did you?)

The Backstory -B's Mom came to our apartment for Thanksgiving and I cooked. It is now one month later...

Aaaaannnnd action!

Mom - So [ridiculouschick], what else did you get for Christmas?
B - The book...
Me - Oh yeah, [B] also got me a book by Anthony Bourdain.
Mom - Who's he?
Me - He's this famous chef.
Mom - Ooohh....so you're going to learn to cook?

Aaaaaaaaand Scene!


Happy Holidays

I slept at my brother's house on Christmas Eve. The Peanut did her part by singing every Christmas carol she knows at the crack of dawn to get us all out of bed the next morning.

So it's about 6:17 am and we're waiting for the coffee to brew and my parents to arrive when she turns to me and says, "[ridiculouschick], you really need to get married."

I looked for the hidden camera, or for evidence that my mother had bribed her make this request.

Then I asked why.

And she explained, in her most adult three-year-old voice, that when I get married, I will "really start living" and that "all adult girls need husbands".

It might be time to rethink her fascination with the Disney Princesses.


Peppermint Mocha

I finished my 2nd therapy session tonight...

(did I tell you that I now see two private clients through my institute on Friday nights? Yes, Friday nights. One at 7:00 and one at 8:00. I don't know who I feel worse for - me or them.)

...and walked downstairs into the bitter cold...

...to find B and the dog waiting with my favorite Starbucks beverage. He even remembered to make it decaf (it was 9:00 pm and I am an old lady) and to put a straw in it, and to add soymilk...

...and then we all walked home, where he had ordered sushi and queued up the next season of Monk.

We really have that dog well trained, no?


Oh Lordy

And as if pondering my existential bullshit isn't enough, it's raining and I forgot my umbrella.


Before I became a therapist/counselor/mental health professional, my work life was pretty simple and steady. I could go to my office and completely tune out for the day (and I often did). I could do the absolute minimum that my job required, and still be considered an excellent employee. And so my days went...

...until I decided to overturn everything that I knew and everything I felt comfortable with to become a social worker. (See archive for graduate school wackiness.)

When I started my 2nd career I had a plan. I knew the work would be emotionally challenging, but vowed that it wasn't going to get in the way of my outside life or my relationships. The start felt bumpy, but I figured that was normal for a new social worker. Then my supervisor left and things felt chaotic and finally after months of feeling totally and utterly unsupported at work, I decided that I needed clinical skills help, and started an intensive 2-year trauma training program.

Still, there was this idea about living my life and drawing the line and keeping work and play separate.

Now I feel totally tricked. Because honestly, how did I think adding 8 hours to my work week wasn't going to have an impact? How did I think that I was going to continue listening to the things that my clients tell me without having trouble sleeping, or trouble feeling safe, or trouble with any other symptom of vicarious trauma? How did I think I was going to be a social worker and that my life was going to stay the same?

Fact: my work and my personal life are intertwined, whether it's in the stuff that I carry home every day, the way that I see the world, and/or the way I'm experiencing my interpersonal relationships. And maybe holding the belief that I need to keep the two divided is taking more energy than is necessary.

I think I just need to acknowledge that I'm not the same person, and that morphing into something different is a process. I'm gonna analyze my interactions and get some things wrong and overreact to some other things and it's all going to be a bit of a mess for a while. The truth is that I chose this career and so along with that, I choose the person who will exist within this career. And I have to give myself a little space to puzzle it all together.


Um, Wait. That's Not What I Meant.

I have a day off on Monday. I have a day off on Monday! The original plan was to go visit my Boston peeps for a 3 day weekend, but given the impending storm/doom and gloom that is predicted, it might be best to stay home.

But that's not the point.

In the main waiting area of my program, we have a whiteboard where we track staff location, using codes to note the reason for absences: sick, vacation, conference, etc. So this morning, I merrily wrote that I was going to be out on Monday (I have a day off on Monday!) with the appropriate code.

I just walked into the hallway and re-read the board:
[ridiculouschick] 12.17.07 VD.



Very Relaxing

B and I have been taking turns at incapacitation. I was sick for most of the weekend, and he just went in the bedroom to rest, stating that he is 'very stressed'.

I end up sitting on the couch, catching up on everything DVR'd, and all my emails and blogs...and decide I'm going to check how he's feeling. So I'm standing in the doorway to our bedroom, trying to gauge whether he's awake or not, when Stewie starts growling and barking and bounding out toward me (I cut a pretty menacing figure, apparently).

In hindsight, I should've called out to the dog because he'd have likely recognized my voice. What I actually did was panic and turn the overhead light on, while loudly commanding (ok, yelling) that Stew needed to be quiet.

Obviously, B woke up, rather abruptly.

Hope I helped with your stress, honey!


Touche, My Friend. Touche.

This morning in our(!) apartment:

ridiculouschick in cheese-voice: "The best gift I can get is waking up every morning next to you." [batting eyes in an exaggerated manner]

B: "Okay. Well then. Merry Christmas."



A gentle reminder from H, one of my book club girls:

"You got two choices – both only involve 8 letters. 8 nights, 8 letters.



Hmmm...why didn't B know this?


Religious Differences

I was worried that I wouldn't have time to get B a first-night Chanuka gift, what with all the moving craziness and such - but no worries. We both took a day off work...

*Trip to CVS, bought him a Cherry Pepsi. Happy Chanuka.

*Empanada Mama - bought lunch. Happy Chanuka.

*Sat in my old apartment for 3 hours, waiting on a delivery for his friend who will be subletting. Without complaining (much). Happy Chanuka.

*Shared a leftover half bottle of Pinot Grigio, rather than drinking it myself. (Straight from the bottle - bonus!) Happy Chanuka.

*Organized the hall closet in our new apartment while he was out, performing at a gig. Happy Chanuka.

*Located balm for his chapped hands. Happy Chanuka.

I believe I've covered 6 out of 8 days already. This is simple.


Let's Play The Feud!

One of the areas where B and I are really well matched is the craziness of our families. So I've devised a little contest between the two to determine whose family is actually more insane. A 'Family Feud' if you will.

Round 1: Birthdays
On ridiculouschick's 30th birthday, her Mom called to 'wish her a happy birthday' but ended up crying on the phone for half an hour about ridiculouschick's recent broken engagement and her beliefs that ridiculouschick would never get married or have children.

On B's birthday, his Mom called to give him grief about his surprise party, wondering why she had not been invited, an issue over which he had no control, as he had no part in organizing the festivities. .

Round 2: Living Together
ridiculouschick: 'B and I have decided to move in together!'
ridiculousmom: [silence] - 15 seconds - 'Oh. Well, does that mean the two of you are getting serious?
ridiculouschick: 'Um, yes, I guess so.'
ridiculousmom: 'Well, what about the baby?'
ridiculouschick: 'What baby?'
ridiculousmom: 'When you have a baby. What religion is the baby going to be?'

ridiculouschick: 'B and I have decided to move in together!'
ridiculousbrother: 'Are you pregnant?'

B: 'ridiculouschick and I have decided to move in together!'
Bmom: 'Well, I hope it's not like the last time, when you lived with [B ex-girlfriend] for 2 years and it came to nothing. '

Round 3: Coming Soon...