Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy to be home

Tonight I was watching desperate housewives.  I had finished dinner, and was almost done with my progress notes.  I got up to get some apple crisp for desert and an unpleasant feeling washed over me.  Last year at this time I would have been getting ready to go back to Pocatello for the week.  I can't even begin to tell you how much I hated living in that apartment.  I went to school with a bunch of kids whom I had nothing in common with, and they never invited me to do anything anyway because I was as old as their parents.  Most of the things they liked to do I don't do much anyway. 

The apartment I lived in was the worst place I have EVER lived!  My neighbors were generally druggies, and drug dealers, and the manager was a lying scheming worthless piece of work.  I rarely had a good internet signal when I was there.  I could hear one neighbor having intimate relations, another liked to play his guitar at all hours of the night, and the neighbor next door fought a lot with his wife.  It stunk, it was run down, and there was nothing about it that said home.

I spent the entire week working on homework, on teaching assistant stuff, going to classes and working in the lab.  When I got to do PSR work I got excited!  It was the only part of my life where I felt important.  I had some classes I loved!  Sensation and Perception was a total mind blower for me.  I could spend my whole life learning about that stuff.  I also looked forward to Physiological Psychology and Fetal development.  I read lots of research and debated with classmates about the implications of the findings.  It was a blast.  But when I think about all the hours I spent in the my office because I couldn't stand to go back to the apartment and feel so utterly alone, I just want to cry.

I don't regret my decision to not go back this year.  I am happy working as a PSR.  I have a lot of hours.  I can handle this much for now, but I'm sure I will eventually want to cut back some.  Maybe.  Maybe I'll get used to all of this time working and decide that's what I want to do from here on!  I need the money for now.  I did find out, however, that 32 hours/week looks an awful lot like 38 hours a week on my take home pay.  Taxes get the rest!

I'm not complaining about paying taxes!  I feel like I am contributing to my cause now!  I am donating my money to agencies that feed the poor, house those who would be otherwise homeless, support the disabled, build the roads I love to drive on, etc. etc. etc!  It makes me feel good to know I am giving back now.  I got the Earned income tax credit for a lot of years because I didn't make enough money to support my own kids.  Now I get to help another woman somewhere who is struggling like I did.  I only wish I could make more so I could pay more! 

Well, I might have gotten a little carried away there.  But I do feel good about paying my share now.

And I'm really glad I am not just now pulling up to a stinking rat-hole of an apartment right now.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Last weekend I went to Meridian to see Megan and Ellie.  I also took Zach because he was participating in the City of Trees Marathon this year - the half marathon.  He did pretty well, especially considering he was suffering from bronchitus!  And since a picture is worth a thousand words, I feel no need to write further! ;)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Happy Anniversary Dear Universe - 5 years and counting!

Wow!  Five years I have been charting me in this blog.  I don't have any other diaries that are as well kept as this blog.  Sad, because of late I have not been keeping up with this blog.  It has been two months since I last posted.

The grad school thing didn't work out.  I managed to flunk a statistics class - I still don't know how, it was strange - and that meant losing my assistance ship, so no money to finish.  It didn't matter really, the research project I wanted to do so bad blew up in my face this summer.  When I was researching possible avenues of research, I read a Kane and Engle paper that actually IS what I wanted to do.  The thing is, when I was reading it in the beginning, I really didn't understand what it was about.  It wasn't until the hypothesis was suggested and I researched it through other avenues that I came to understand the paradigm.  I had my proposal all but completed and thought out and was going back through papers to make sure I included all relevant information.  It was then that I looked again at the paper and realized that it was the study I wanted to do.  Maybe if I were young and had lots of time to get through grad school, I could have picked myself up by the bootstraps and made may way through, but I'm old and I really needed to have something going by the time school started this semester.  It sucked.  Such is life.

Then, all summer I had to muck through with only 12 hours a week of work.  It's hard to have any money that way, but all that free time was cool.  I did get to go to Boise more often then.  All of a sudden when school started, my case load tripled.  Now I am working nearly 40 hours a week, driving 8 hours a week and writing progress notes another 3 hours a week.  It is fun work, sometimes very frustrating and exhausting, but I can see myself doing this for a long time.  It is different now than it was last summer.  I work with people who want a better life.  Imagine that!

The last time I made a post about my blog was on the 100th post.  I still like the same things that I liked then, and a few more!

Probably the most amazing and wonderful thing to happen this year is Ellie!  She is perfection in a very small package.  Megan all over again!  I haven't done the best job posting pictures of her here on this blog, but I have been posting them on my facebook photos and there are plenty of cute ones here, here, here, here, and here.  The baby keeps growing, and I try to go see her at least once a month, but sometimes nasty life can get in the way.  I'd be there to see her every day if I could.  She is starting to coo now, and when I heard her on the phone last week I thought she sounded exactly like her mom! 

Ellie is very amazing - but another amazing thing happened on the family front this year.  I was found by my Adopted Dad's family!  It has been a wonderful experience to say the least.  They are free to love me the way they want without interference from my mother.  The sibling thing is still weird.  My sister is not dating/living with Dale anymore, but instead has taken up with some other guy that she really doesn't know.  I had my brother Jay in my life for a minute - he made me a beautiful piece of art to put on my wall, and now will be gone again for a long time.  My other brother - well - I guess I'm just a huge disappointment to him.  I guess.  He never came to see Ellie when she was here - any of the times - and he pretty much pretends not to see me when I know he does.  Oh well.

I haven't don't a whole lot with art lately.  I have my camera and have been taking pictures, of Ellie, of course, but not of anything too artsy.  A whole summer blown.  Maybe I'll find time soon.  I have been working on my grapes painting (still) and it will end up just being a study because I have really messed things up.  But I did learn how to make my grapes look translucent.  I'll show you when I have time to paint one that can be hung! Instead of posting my favorites individually, I am choosing to point you to art label.  There are a few pages to scroll through, but some of my favorite pictures are there and all of my best drawings and paintings (and some that aren't so good) are there. My job has been keeping me as busy as school did.  What is up with that?

I haven't written any real prose in a long time.  I wrote on my facebook status a few lines once. 

I’d like to dance with the wind, shout with the thunder, strike like the lightening, and cry with the rain.
I’d like to know why the answer is no, then yes, then no again.
It cannot be sane to cry in pain, and live in vain.
I’d like to dance with the wind, shout with the thunder, strike like the lightening, and cry with the rain.

It isn't really that great.  I've done better.  My Favorite is Hide and Seek.  When I read posts like January, I remember how depressed I used to get every Winter.  I haven't done that in years!  I have changed my thought patterns!  It really is that easy - and that hard!  It can be done, however.  Every time I find myself thinking the thoughts that typically lead to depression, I stop them with thought stoppers, and refocus on positive thoughts.  It is a lot of work at first.  It is constant and unrelenting.  Eventually new thought patterns strengthen (new neural pathways become weighted) and the old weaken.  I really do feel like a different person now!  Unfortunately, I don't have the pain to write prose about anymore, and everyone knows all good prose comes from pain! ;)  I'm sure that isn't true - but I don't spend nearly as much time  contemplating such things now.

I haven't posted any more on my Acquisition label, not because I haven't explored more of where I have come, but because when I continue to write about it, I need to take the time to write it well.  I am quite proud of these posts.  I was definitely inspired when I wrote them.  In the future I plan to write about how not living my life trying to figure out what my "purpose" is has led to a freedom that has definitely aided in my freedom from depression.  Before, I looked for signs to help guide me to where I hoped some greater entity was steering me to, now I guide myself.  If I start down one path and come to find it is a dead end, there is no emotional angst, just a prompt to move on to something else.  I'm not lost any more, because I make my own way - I blaze my own trails.  That way I am happy to take responsibility for all of the consequences, good and bad.

I've been letting facebook chart my life lately.  That doesn't really work, however, because facebook doesn't allow specific searches, and going back for a few months is a serious pain in the neck.  What that means is that I might actually have to post what I have written on facebook here too.  Even if it is just a couple of lines.  At least that way there is a record of my life.  A place to write about my life and remember it, because the brain just isn't a very good place to keep track.