I’ve been working a lot lately. All of last week, I was in training for a really neat new counselling theory and practice. I’m excited to start using it. And then today, even though it was Saturday, I was in another training for half the day. I feel a bit like a worked-out zombie, to tell you the truth. Tired as heck. Might as well be using me as a barcode scanner, as I’m on automatic pilot at this point. I hope sleep is coming soon!
One of the things that we went through while house searching was trying to find the perfect “material” for our new home. We’ve seen all sorts of sinks and counter tops. All sorts of closets – from sliding door types to walk-ins, to just average ones. What we didn’t see, however, is a stone sink. I don’t think they exist anywhere else but on HGTV. I’m not sure anyone uses them, as they’re a novelty right now. Maybe in a few years. However, after seeing them on HGTV and how they can look so wonderful when done right and decorated right with other materials, I kind of wonder… hmmm… maybe we can make it look awesome in our home too!
Kinda like concrete countertops. Who would have thought that would look cool, right? But HGTV does magic. Magic, I tell you.
This is the start of another work week. This week, I have some serious things to do at work. Tomorrow, we have our annual conference for the program I work for. Every year there is a conference that this program heads up and leads, and creates. It is to inform and educate local agencies far and wide, from other community therapists to school personnel to regular people who want to know more about our programs. This is the first year I am attending, and this also happens to be the first year I am part of the program itself. I’m honored, and I’m very proud.
I am really loving my job. It is wonderful that my affiliate marketing programs happen to be other therapists and case managers in the community. I love surrounding myself in the healthcare and social services community. I love that my coworkers and my “competitors” happen to be teachers, counsellors, case managers, vocational therapists. I love that I’m not doing this for the money (but am grateful that I make enough to feed my family). I love that I am getting paid to help people.
I am constantly amazed that I still love what I do for a living. Each new job I get, it further instills in me the endless possibilities of “feel good” vibes when I can help people, and when I am positively contributing to my community. This new job I am in… it really tests everything in me. It makes me look at the world in a completely different light. It makes me feel like I’m learning something new about humanity. It makes me rethink the way we live, the way I’ve lived, and how truly vulnerable we are as a human race.
I like being challenged like this. I like being challenged to look at the deeper meaning of life, the deeper meaning of myself, of me. Of what it feels like to have my job be my religion, where it is a part of my daily living, how I am a wife, how I am a mother. It makes me feel good that I worry more about people than about Ferrari parts. It makes me feel alive. I’m happy.
Yesterday, I went to this wonderful neuroscience conference in Vancouver, where there were several speakers who presented on their perspective of our homeless and drug problem in the urban community. It was a full day dialogue, and it was fascinating. Absolutely fascinating. Not only did it get political and scientific, it also got very deep and personal. They showed videos and photos of those who had drug-induced psychosis and living on the streets of Vancouver, particularly in the downtown east side, near Hastings. I am absolutely struck that so many people are living under such horrible, diseased, dire conditions. I am not one of those who will blame people for their own circumstances because I think that is too simple of an answer to a complicated question. I can sit by and say “Oh they deserve it because they did this to themselves.” After so many years of working in the mental health field, I have come to realize with wide open eyes that circumstances, genetics, and environment dictate who we become and who we are.
In other words, in different circumstances and with a different upbringing, I could be exactly in their place, homeless, drugged out, and with no support system.
Simply by saying, “Oh just let them kill themselves off and die. They deserve it anyway.” doesn’t make the problem go away. In fact, in many ways, it makes it worse. These are our people, our homes, whether or not we choose to accept them. These are the people who fall through the cracks. These are the people we are afraid to look at and when we do, we look at them with disgust because it is easier to do than to think, “Wow, this could be me in a different place and a different time.” These are the people who society turns their backs on because it’s easier to do than to admit that we have a problem that we need to get together and fix.
While driving home from the conference, I passed Hastings St. The two or three blocks where the homeless, the drug addicts, the sex workers all hung out struck me even more so than just that very morning when I passed through the same streets on my way to the conference. It was easier for me to ignore just 8 hours before, even though I’ve worked in this for about 5 years now. It was easier for me to say, “Oh well, poor souls.” and move on. Suddenly, I was struck by a deep understanding, a pitiful admittance about our society and the way we work. I find myself tearing up while I saw a cocaine-addicted sex worker roaming a corner, looking for her next fix, or her next client. I find myself wondering how I can responsibly go on with the rest of my life, without a care in the world, to my lovely new home, with my lovely new furniture, with my lovely family, to my lovely baby (who in different circumstances, could have, would have ended up where these people are).
I find myself staring blatantly in the face of our own failure as a human race. When we can’t even take care of our own. When we no more than blatantly commit cannibalism while we eat our own alive, through such abuse and ignorance. It is a societal cannibalistic act in and of itself, when we pretend that what we are doing to each other isn’t the same as what we are doing to ourselves.
(Anyone need atv?)
I’ve seen people do this on their blogs, and I really enjoyed reading them, so I thought I’d do the same. These are random things I like:
* sunny days
* weekends (I’m sure you don’t have to guess why)
* mornings with my Lily Bean where I get her all to myself
* going out with our Lily Bean
* getting compliments from strangers about our Lily Bean
* kisses and hugs from Lily Bean
* okay, okay… Lily Bean herself
* good fiction novels
* guilty pleasures in tv shows (such as Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives)
* sliced mangoes with chili salt… mmm…
* not having Mesothelioma
* being healthy overall
* having a loving family
* sharing breakfast with Lily
* cuddle times during Caioulle episodes
* our new house
* our new couches
* getting our new bedroom set — FINALLY SOON
* honeycomb cereal
* tortillas by themselves
* my new job
* good friends
* evenings with my husband after Lily’s bedtime
* having a dishwasher
* comfy pajamas
* moca almond fudge ice cream
Okay I’m pooped. That’s all I can think of right now. There’s plenty more though.
One of the things I’ve really begun to notice (more so than usual, that is) is how much of a consumerist family we are. Mostly it’s in food. Our food intake has gone up exponentially ever since Lily was born. And we’re not really the type to look at prices when it comes to food — we like what we eat, we eat what we like, and we don’t really compare between foods and brands just because we know what we like. But maybe lately, we need to. Our family is growing, and so are our food bills. I wish we had something like Cyber Monday for grocery shopping. Except maybe more common and more frequent than just once a year. I’d love to be able to buy good food for cheap on a regular basis, and even more so, from the comforts of my home home. Hm, one can dream, I guess.
Well, we’re all moved in now, and there isn’t a whole lot of unpacking to do anymore, thankfully… as long as we sort of more or less ignore the garage, which is still a bit filled up with unpacked items here and there. Most of them belong in the garage, so that’s okay. Some are just scattered bits and pieces we need to find a home for. Others I’m hoping to sell once and for all (with Dave’s help and permission!). Downsizing is a good thing, downsizing is a good thing, downsizing is a good thing. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell my husband, who seems to be living in an era where we have to keep everything “just in case we need it.” Oh boy.
Lily’s pretty much moved in. Tink’s moved in. Everything is more or less back to normal. I’ve started my new job, and am now in my second week. It’s going great, and I’m really enjoying it so far. I like making a position my “own.” I like being able to be creative as a therapist, and creating new ways to help my clients. I am really loving it.
(Are you guys looking for fat loss pills? I’ve never had to, but maybe you do.)
You didn’t get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.
You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate
You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.
You didn’t get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.
You didn’t get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.
You didn’t get mad when we spent over 600 billion(and counting) on said illegal war.
You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars just disappeared in Iraq.
You didn’t get mad when you found out we were torturing people.
You didn’t get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.
You didn’t get mad when we didn’t catch Bin Laden.
You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.
You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.
You didn’t get mad when we gave a 900 billion tax break to the rich.
You didn’t get mad when the deficit hit the trillion dollar mark.
You finally got mad when the government decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick. Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, are all okay with you, but helping other Americans…oh hell no.
The big move is coming this weekend, and boy do we have some anxiety butterflies in our tummy! It will not be easy to move with a toddler, but we have lots of generous hands to help us out. We’re actually dedicating the whole upcoming 4-day weekend to moving, so it won’t be too bad, I don’t think. It’s the small stuff that I always sweat over, like all the little things that can’t be packed until the last minute (our food, Lily’s necessities, our clothes, etc.).
And then when all that is done with, I have to worry about where my employment options are. I wish that was squared away, but it never works out that way. I have several options, but none of them are “for sure” yet, and I can’t even dedicate full anxiety to that, what with the upcoming move. It’s stressful.
I can’t wait till life settles down. Living in “float” status doesn’t work well for our stability and sense of safety, as an individual or as a family. At least we’ve got each other.