Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

MOOD: Pensive.
MOOD MUSIC: here ya go.

1. Friday: I went shopping, and bought 2 weeks of: oranges, eggs, soup, yogurt.  I like to have those things during the day when I'm working.  I have an energy drink/protein shake  for breakfast, and then mid morning, between assessments, I'll have my orange and hard-boiled egg.  Soup for lunch, or hummus sandwich and vegetables.  (I have a lot of hummus leftover from my party.  NOBODY ate any, and it was on sale.  Hope it freezes.  Also, my favorite instant green tea.  I'll take my boiler to work, so I can have hot tea.

2.  Saturday: I ran about 10 miles.  I felt awful after.  My adductors, mostly. I think.  The muscles that lift your legs. OW.  One hot bath later, I felt much better.
Still.  OW.  Should I be hurting this much?  I thought I had a bigger base than this. Ghost Town is ONE MONTH AWAY, Y'ALL!

3. Later Saturday: Baboo had a work holiday party to go to, but he took me shopping for a few new items to celebrate my new job instead.  I had a flash of insight: "Do you realize that this will be my first job employed in my new profession?" I asked Baboo.  
"I do," he said.
I hadn't I mean, this will be the first salaried position I've held that required my mental health counselor's license.  I would not have been hired without it. I have now officially moved on.

4.  Sunday: I packed up my most useful professional books in a bag and stuck them in my car, so that they can be housed in my new OFFICE.  Also, my resistance bands.
I packed our lunches at night, a new habit I'll try to establish.

5.  Monday: I got up at 5.  I ran 3 miles on the treadmill, then made coffee.  I'm going to do this every day except Wednesdays and Fridays, when I'll do resistance training. I left for work at 7:30.  I was there before 8:00.  
They kind of tossed me in the office, and gave me a general idea of what I'll be doing.
I found the bathroom, mail room, microwave, and other important places.

6.  Monday, p. 2: No facebook, youtube, or personal email at work.  But the best thing is I'm busy, busy, busy doing interesting stuff.  I can talk about it, but only in generalities.
This hospital treats kids.
Some of them were abused.  Some of them abuse.
Some of them are mentally ill.
Some of them are cognitively disabled, and their families can't take care of them.
Some of them are substance abusers.
Some of them have families who need help, not just them.
I never meet these kids, for the most part.

7.  Monday, p. 3:  They gave me a nice office.  And kept acting grateful that I was there.  They handed me an assessment, and I worked on it for about three hours.  My job is to take information about adolescents or  children, and then diagnose and write a treatment plan for them.  It's a psychiatric hospital.  Heavy stuff.  I call social workers and schools and talk to parents.  The day FLEW by.  I worried that I wasn't doing the right work. 
Then, at the end of the day, they were all like, "so, are you coming back tomorrow?"

?? IS there something about this job that they're keeping hidden from me?

8.  Tuesday: I got up at 5 and ran 3 miles.  I watch bits and pieces of a movie while running on the Dreadmill.  This week, it's Fried Green Tomatoes.
I had three new cases.  Generally, I get three a day.  Each one takes me 2-3 hours to complete.  Sometimes they are people actually showing up.  Sometimes they are pages of information and reports and I never actually meet the kid, but in both cases I put together a puzzle, and the solution to the puzzle is, what's wrong with this kid, and how can we help him/her?  Every time a kid seeks treatment at this facility, their case goes through me, and I determine whether or not they need treatment, what kind, what's best for the kid and his/her family.  Sometimes I call a parent, or a case worker, and ask more questions.  It's interesting, and challenging, putting these puzzles together.
The hours fly by.
I mention to one of the directors the potential for being overwhelmed by the sadness and tragedy of these young, ruined lives.
He furrowed his brow for a moment, and then smiled.  "Lets not call them ruined," he said.  "Ravaged, maybe.  But not ruined."

9. Wednesday: Up at 5 again, another 3 miles on the treadmill.  Fried Green Tomatoes is almost over.  I think Friday, I'll put in Practical Magic.  For some reason, quirky chick movies work really well for this treadmill project.
As long as I can be asleep soon after 9, this works for me.  Anything that keeps me up is DISASTER. Gotta have my eight hours. 
I haven't done a single strength or flexibility workout.  So what I've decided is, starting next week, Mondays and Wednesdays will be days that instead of doing my 3-4 miles on the treadmill, I'll do a strength and flexibility workout instead.

10. Wednesday, P. 2: This week, I with a parent and child and had the pleasure to tell the parent, well gosh, your kid is normal.  of course, in behavioral health, we say developmentally appropriate.  Which means, your kids behavior isn't that far off from other kids the same age.
Yes, unfortunately, kids are sometimes insufferably annoying. Sometimes they aren't what we want them to be.  Sorry about that.
But congratulations on how normal your kids is.
Not everything is about pathology.
Some things are just life.
Sometimes life is work.
I'm feeling good about what I do.  I'm helping people.

11.  Wednesday, P. 3:  I plugged in my boiler at work to make some tea, and blew a circuit.  Lost all the power in my office, shutting down my computer, and I suspect the offices on either side of me, except that those people happen to be out today, so we'll never know.  Thank goodness.
It's cold tea for me, for now.  I wonder if a mug warmer would be okay?
They still like me.  Still want to know if I'm coming back tomorrow.

12.  Thursday.  It's Thursday.  My commute is about 25 minutes, not bad, mostly at a breakneck pace straight down the freeway.  I'm close to it at one end, work is close to it at the other end.  Far left lane.
No telephone.  No radio.  Just some music.
Nothing to take my attention away from speeding down the freeway.
I like it.

13.  Weekly wrap-up:
I like my job.
I'm actually running more now.
I was happy to report to unemployment office that I'm working.
I'm not sure how classes are going to fit into this schedule when they start in a month.
I'm working out how Ironman training will commence in late February.
I'm going to just focus on running and strength training for now.
I feel like a trained, skilled, appreciated professional.
I like my job.



  1. Very, VERY cool. But, stop time warping my calendar--I had to look up the day/date twice after reading your entry! Glad you like your job. That's not something everyone gets to say...

  2. YAY! That is so cool, you've put in the work and now you're where you want to be! Yay!

  3. Glad you had an excellent first week of work.
    Freeze the hummus. It's fine to freeze and then thaw.

  4. don't you just love it when it all works out? awesome..

  5. Like! Okay, not your facebook status, but I still like it all!

  6. What a happy work post - glad it's working well for you!

  7. Yay! Sounds like a really good fit (and better for you than teaching!).

  8. You are so lucky to have a job that you love and that loves you. Congrats on having a meaningful job that helps kids. What more could you ask for out of a profession?

  9. Anonymous12:13 PM

    Awesome! You sound more content.

  10. So far, so good! My oldest has Aspergers and we've dealt with such facilities in the past. Congrats on a meaningful job that can impact people's lives. And I like that song. :)

  11. Anonymous8:31 PM

    That is awesome on your job...or rather, how you feel about your job. I'm sure there will be days when you question why you do what you do and what you're doing in general, but as long as you remember that you like what you're doing, and why you went into it, you'll be fine. :)
    Yay for having a job in what you went for school for, and double yay for liking what you do so much!

  12. Awesome post! Happy for you!

  13. Just want to add to the congratulations for finding a job that you seem to really enjoy -- I'm happy for you too!

  14. apparently canadians don't get to watch the video.

    Niiiiiiiiice. (not niiiiiice to you but - niiiiice in that, what did canadians ever do that was so bad???)


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