The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Automobile Auditions, Car Callbacks, and My Parathyroid January 20, 2020

Hello all! It’s been quite a while!  Although I can’t exactly remember what all news I have talked about in my most recent posts (which really aren’t recent at all, if the truth be known) there is virtually nothing in my life that is the same. My kids are all legal adults now. In fact, Daughter S and Daughter J are 26 years old, and J is married with a baby!! (Sadly, the hubby, whom I will refer to hereafter as Dufus Jr., is not my favorite person in the world.) It’s a long, complicated, and sad story, but suffice it to say I would not be broken-hearted if he were to get abducted by aliens or kidnapped by a traveling circus. The most difficult part is that they live with me. The situation drives me bananas on the daily, but they say necessity is the mother of… something or other. Just kidding. I know it’s ‘invention.’ The only thing I find myself trying to invent around here are ways to make him disappear without a trace, but I am pretty sure that will never happen.

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Anyway. I didn’t start this post to complain about Dufus Jr. Another really weird thing in my life is that The Boy has moved out. He is living with my baby sister a couple hours away from here and it’s really bizarre not having him around. I miss him a lot. He’s been my reason for living for so long and now he has finished his school, and is trying to make his way in the world. Thankfully he has my little sister and her husband, who are taking good care of him. It’s not like I have to worry about him too much. Or at all, really, but I do it anyway. I’m a mom- it’s what I am supposed to do!
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So what do I do with my free time now that I’m not focused on keeping The Boy alive? Did I mention there is a baby?! Yes! My sweet little grandgirl whom I will refer to as The Squirrel. (I know that’s a silly nickname. I just called her that one night and it stuck.) She is my heart and soul. She is ten months old now and she is the most precious thing I have ever seen. So when I am not at work, I’m hanging out with The Squirrel, letting her crawl all over me while I am flopped on the bed scrolling Fb or watching Netflix. She is amazing and smart and perfect, except for a tiny little hair fetish she seems to have where her favorite thing in the world is to pull on my hair or hold it in her hand while she sucks her thumb or takes her bottle.

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I’m still teaching, amazingly enough. There are days I think I am not so bad and days I think I am the worst teacher in the history of the Universe, but they continue to keep me around, so I will keep doing my level best.

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On the theatre front, I haven’t been able to do anything since last summer. I was in our summer show, which was “Annie Get Your Gun,” but I haven’t been able to do anything since.  For most of us in community theatre, we go through seasons. There are times in our lives when we can give it a lot of attention and other times when our attention is required elsewhere. Right now I am going through a season when I am needed at home to help with my sweet grandgirl.
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I still love it though, and sometimes I fall into fantasizing about it, which is where the title of tonight’s post comes from.  I had to drive up to a nearby (sort of) city for a doctor appointment today and on my way home I was listening to my iTunes and singing along at the top of my lungs, and about every other song was one I would imagine auditioning for a show with, picturing myself onstage, wishing I were better than I am, pushing my range to its limits in both directions, and just generally having a good time. They are doing “Hello, Dolly” right now and I would have loved to have been in it, but not only do I have to help watch the Squirrel in the evenings, I also have school stuff that could need to be done. Granted, I rarely do any school work at home, but you never know.

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Now the parathyroid part of tonight’s title is what the appointment was about. I had some blood work done the other day for my one-year follow up on my weight loss surgery. (By the way, I have lost 106 pounds since September 2018. It should be more, but I am a bad rule-follower.)  Anyhoo, my blood work showed elevation of my calcium and parathyroid hormone AND a little bit on my  Vitamin D, so my doctor sent me to an endocrinologist.  He wants me to adjust my Vitamin D, take some more labs at the end of March, see him again in mid-April, and if it still seems to warrant attention, he will refer me to an endocrinology surgeon, who will, after doing some studies, most likely want to take my parathyroid gland or glands out. Rest assured this does not thrill me. I have spent the last year trying to dig out from under the medical bills that have piled up as a result of my weight loss surgery. Alas, I have realized that if you have medical insurance, you will ALWAYS have outstanding medical bills because they will always keep finding things that need fixed!

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Oh well. I am extremely thankful to have insurance through my job, and to have been able to have my weight loss surgery and to know that if I have anything else that goes wrong, I will be able to have it taken care of.  That’s always a blessing.

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Well, I guess that’s about all the news that is news. I’ll try to think of more entertaining things to write about and post here more often.

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Until next time,

D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Hear the People Sing? May 17, 2018

Hello all!!  Wow, am I all over the map today.  I have the whole “Do You Hear the People Sing” thing stuck in my head because… it’s the last day of school AND Les Mis auditions at Ardmore Little Theatre were five years ago tomorrow.  OBVIOUSLY I’m an emotional wreck. But totally in a good way.

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First, the last day of school is a major milestone.  It feels like barely a few days ago I was working in my classroom, getting ready for school to start, being scared, nervous, intimidated, and completely unsure if I were supposed to be here.  I made it through the year though, survived all the moments when I felt like I should run away and become a sheep herder in Tibet, and kept plowing despite a somewhat critical bout with depression.  I think I’ve come to the conclusion that the first year of teaching is about like the first year of college:  I’ve probably gained at least fifteen pounds since I was hired.  Still, it’s been a good year.  I’ve tried to operate in a mode of loving these kids and remembering that they ARE just KIDS.  They are not fully formed humans yet, and they can be jerks on occasion.  Sadly, many adults can be jerks too, but that’s another post.  The point is… IT’S THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!! WOOOO!

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Second, the anniversary of the auditions for Les Miserables (I don’t know how to type it with all the correct little accent marks) is tomorrow.  FIVE years ago tomorrow, I got on a stage and sang in front of strangers, and opened the door to a world I couldn’t have imagined.  It has brought me some of the greatest joy and the worst pain I’ve experienced in the last few years.  Between great new friends, disappointing audition results, crushes that were not meant to be, sharing the worst pain of those new friends,  celebrating victories and learning new things I never knew I could do… theatre has been a blessing in my life.  Note: the featured image of this post is my best friend who I met at auditions and who played Madame Thenardier.  She was and is nine kinds of awesome!

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I haven’t been actually ON stage in a long time, because I allowed myself to feel like I was too fat and ugly to be up there, (and also that I wasn’t really a good enough actor) but I’m hoping to conquer that this season.  There are a couple of shows I wouldn’t mind auditioning for, directors I would love to work with, and of course, the chance to reprise a role and play the same character I played when I first started, when we produce a new entry in the Buttermilk series: A Dark and Stormy Night at the Buttermilk Hotel, written partly by one of those new theatre friends.  I’ll have hopefully had my weight loss surgery a few months before the Buttermilk play is ready to audition, and I’ll be feeling a lot better about my weight. I’m also probably going to start working with a practitioner of FDN, functional diagnostic nutrition, and getting some health issues solved even before I have surgery.  We’ll see how it works.

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So back to the last day of school.  I just feel like I want to try to remember everything.  So far it’s been a good day, but it’s only 2nd hour!  I’m going to finish this post and grade the tests from 1st hour.  Let the day only go up from here!  And in only three weeks, I’ll be on my way to ALASKA!!! Yessss!

Until next time,

D.

 

 

Teaching, Directing, And Other New Adventures July 22, 2017

Hello all!  What a hot, hot day here in my world.  So much has been going on lately, it’s quite crazy.

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First of all, I think I have probably posted before about going back to college, getting my degree after 30, my one year of teaching, the tornado, the house fire, how difficult it all was, and how I survived and grew stronger, but I didn’t really think I’d ever be able to teach again?  Well… I wouldn’t have believed it, but the Universe had other plans.  An opportunity arose, I seized it, and now I am the new 10th grade English teacher at my hometown high school!!  It’s almost miraculous, honestly.  I would probably never have gotten the chance without the help of a couple of amazing women and outstanding teachers, my friends D.B and D.J.  Between the two of them, they made me aware of the opportunity, encouraged me to go for it, prepared me for it, put in good words for me, and are helping make my first year back in about nine years easier by leaving a road map of lesson plans and complete units for me to use.  I am excited and nervous, and scared and thrilled and determined and ready.  I just pray so hard that I do a good job and make a difference in my students’ lives!!

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Theatre things are also cooking along like crazy.  I am now not only on the Board of Directors for the theatre, I’m the VP.  That in itself would be amazing for me, but on top of that, in their wisdom or insanity, I’m never sure which, my fellow board members voted to allow me to direct a show in the next season!  I’ll be directing a small cast play in March and April, called Ripcord by David Lindsay-Abaire. I am so, so looking forward to it, and I am so amazed and thrilled they gave me a chance.  In other news, the theatre is doing Oklahoma! this summer.  It has already opened and has five performances left.  I am planning to see it tonight and I’m sure it will be wonderful.

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Theatre is bittersweet for me now, in a lot of ways. It is one of those places where the faces stay the same but the relationships ebb and flow, and someone you felt close to in one show may feel like a stranger in the next.  Or you may feel you fit in, and then feel like a stranger peeping in the window of your own living room.  I miss certain people who used to be part of it all, and I miss feeling like I am close to the heart of it.  Oddly, I became VP and immediate began to struggle with my enthusiasm for it, in the face of changing friendships and allegiances.  But I suspect that’s normal.

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I’m really looking forward to tonight, though.  As I said, the theatre is doing Oklahoma! this summer and my mom and I are taking my 90 year old grandfather.  I think he will very much enjoy the show.  I was supposed to be shadowing the director on this one, learning and preparing for my directorial debut, but after I got the school job, everything else in my mind just kind of jumped into the backseat and I gradually faded out of the show.

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Also, my son has had a rough summer.  He did some summer school, which he hated, but he has also been struggling with his moods and emotions, and it has been difficult.  We struggle on a daily basis to be able to see his path and his future, and it is… well, difficult.  He is just not your average bear, and we have a hard time knowing what to do with him.

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Clearly I have a million things occupying my mind, so much so that sometimes, like now, when I want to be able to SAY something, my brain is nothing but drowsiness and white noise.  OH!  I have also been doing my best to plan another trip back to Alaska, AKA The Mother Ship.  If all goes well in school this year and I am rehired for next year, I am taking The Boy and myself, and we are going to the Great Northern Frontier, and we are going to have many, many adventures.  No matter what!

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I think maybe that’s all for now.  I’m going to do my best to write more often here.  Maybe I’ll find something worth saying.

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Until Next Time,

D.

 

Leaving On a Jet Plane… November 2, 2015

Filed under: Alaska Summer,Looking Forward — DDKlingonGirl @ 9:20 pm
Tags: , ,

Hello, all!  I have been back at home again for five weeks.  I had promised to share the end of my Alaska adventures, and so this post will include some final images covering the State Fair and the last couple of days at the lodge. I wish I could really articulate how much the experience of living and working in Alaska meant to me. It was truly a dream come true.  Not every moment was dreamy, obviously.  It was occasionally very hard.  The self-critical part of me has a tendency to say it was all in my head, and that if I had somehow changed my outlook, my perspective, my attitude, it would have been thoroughly peachy.  I’m pretty sure that is not entirely true, and that I did the best I could with what I had at the time, and that I need to quit ragging on myself.  I’ll work on it.

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For now, though, I am home.  Back into old routines, old job, etc.  There are some new things. About three weeks after I got home, Daughter J. got married.  Definitely not something I fully embraced at the time, but she is happy.  I also was able to get new vehicles for myself and Daughter S.  Not new, new.  New to us.  Definitely the nicest, prettiest cars I’ve ever owned- an ’07 and an ’08.

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Another thing that will stay the same, obviously, is that I remain involved in my beloved Ardmore Little Theater.  A few days after I got home I attended closing night of “Harvey.”  The next show opens November 12, which is “Of Mice and Men.”  After a break for the holidays that will hopefully include working on the parade float and doing some caroling at the senior centers, the major musical of the season will be “Fiddler On the Roof.”  A couple of weeks ago I was asked to be Stage Manager for Fiddler, and I am super excited but very nervous.  It will only be my second time to SM and it is a huge cast and a classic favorite of many people.  It is important to me to help make it excellent. I am very much looking forward to stage managing again.

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So all in all, things are good and I am happy to be home with my family and friends.  I definitely miss my new friends I met in Alaska.  I don’t think I ever expected to meet people I would learn to love so much.  I will forever be thankful for the time I had there, and hopefully I will get to return someday, maybe even bringing some of my loved ones with me to share in the experience.

Until next time,

D.

 

A Good, Normal Day June 6, 2015

Hello, all! Today is not a day off, nor have I had any unusually exciting adventures.  I just thought it might make sense to talk a little bit about what everyday normal life is like here.  But first, let me just say I am super sad to be missing some of the Ardmore Little Theatre events that are going on in the next little while.  Tonight is the annual meeting and awards dinner.  A year ago at his event, I was honored with the MVP award, which was very special to me.  Tonight they will reveal the shows for the next season and choose new board members.  I hope all my theatre friends know how much I miss them and wish I could be there.  Also coming up is a show I would dearly love to see, a musical revue to benefit a local outreach center.  I know the show will be awesome and the Grace Center will benefit greatly.

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That having been said, back to Alaska.  I am currently seatimageed in an outdoor gathering area known as the Fire Pits.  Guests can sit out here and chat and look at the mountain.  Most of them choose to do so in the evenings after dinner.  The staff light the fires and make s’mores for the guests.  As an employee I am allowed to sit here, but only out of uniform, dressed in normal clothes to appear as if I too were a guest.  This is the first time I have sat here and there is no one else here.  It is partly cloudy and 56 degrees.

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I have to be at work in a liitle over an hour and a half.  In an effort to avoid having to climb the Killer Hill more than once today, I brought my work clothes down with me from my room.  I ate lunch, mailed some letters, and decided to sit here to blog.  I put on makeup this morning, something I don’t usually do.  Also dressed a bit nicer and threw on a necklace and bracelet.  Just for kicks.

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So it occurred to me that most of my friends and family probably don’t have muchof a sense of how a place like this works.  It is a huge operation.  First there is transportation.  Most of the guests who stay here are on organized trips through Princess or Holland America cruiselines.  They arrive via motorcoach, which is a snooty way of saying bus.  Some of them have come all the way here by bus and some of them have come part of the way on the Alaska Railroad.  Sometimes they are here following a cruise and sometimes they are here prior to their cruise.  Employee-wise, transportation consists of bus drivers, shuttle drivers, and expeditors- people who tell the guests where they are supposed to be and when, and help make sure they get there.  They are a bit like sheepherders.  Also, obviously, it includes all the people in offices who plan all those crazy schedules.

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Closely related to Transportation is the Luggage department.  These people blow my mind  They sort and deliver hundreds of pieces of luggage every day.  I don’t know how they do it.  Guests put their luggage outside their room at 7 a.m. on the last day of their cruise, and somehow it gets off the ship and onto a truck and to the resort and to the guest’s room here within a few hours of the guests’ arrival.  It’s crazy.  Sadly, some guests apparently are not as impressed with the magnitude of this undertaking and find it necessary to complain when their luggage is even slightly delayed.  They too blow my mind, just not in a good way.  Luggage guys can carry 100 lbs of suitcases at one time.  Amazing.

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There is a wide catgory called Hotel Services which encompasses housekeeping, gift shop, and guest experience hosts, who can be anything from front desk clerks to tour guides.  Food and Beveragfe is probably in there too.  There is a ton of work to be done, between cleaning the rooms, washing, folding, and delivering the laundry, prepping and cooking the food, serving, cleaning, and all the various aspects of all of those.

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My particular niche, as you know, is the gift shop.  There are about ten or eleven clerks, one manager, one supervisor, and one warehouse person.  We usually work one of two shifts, either 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or 2:30 p.m.p to 11:00 p.m.  There are a couple of in-between shifts but most of us only work the main ones. Up to now we have had one day off per week, but I just saw the schedule for this week and it appears we are beginning to get two days off per week.  This is most exciting news, as you might guess.

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You could say I occupy a bit of a unique place among the gift shop staff and the whole staff in general.  I am one of very few staff in my age bracket.  Most of the people I work with are twenty years younger or twenty to thirty years older.  This is a little weird for me but not too difficult to deal with, as I am usually either acting like a cranky old goat or a big overgrown kid.  One of my co-workers and I spent much of yesterday tossing Jim Carrey “Grinch” quotes at each other, for example. Looking and acting a bit younger than I am has never been more to my advantage than it is in an environment like this.  Most people are shocked when they find out my age. Actually, though, I feel like a weird outsider here.

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So anyway, on each shift we either have a “till” (a cash drawer) assigned to us or we are a floater, which means we don’t have a drawer and we just work wherever needed.  If we do have a drawer, we have to sign out our bank (the beginning amount in our drawer) and count it.  we start work half an hour before the shop opens. One thing that surprised me was how people are usually waiting outside for us to open in the morning, like a garage sale.  Once all three registers are up and running, we make sure everything is stocked and straightened, and then we open the doors.  It probably surprises some people to hear that we have three registers in that one tiny gift shop but our guests arrive in a fairly predictable pattern, hundreds at a time.  It is not unusual for four to five buses to pull up at one time.  They also depart in large numbers at the same time, so there are definitely rushes and lulls.

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Well, it is time for me to go change and get ready for my shift.  When I get off work tonight at 11, it will still be light out. I will listen to music that helps me to drag myself home and up the killer hill, (Like “At the End of the Day” from Les Mis) and I will have the same shift tomorrow.  Since I have two days off this week, I am going to be mentally planning what tours and adventures I want to try to have.  I really want a chance at a glacier landing tour.  🙂  More later!

Until next time,

D.

 

Maybe I’m Too Easily Entertained March 25, 2015

My motto for life, apparently!

My motto for life, apparently!

Hello all!  Ok, I don’t think this is likely to happen:  I don’t think I am in any danger of anyone thinking I am cool.  Or hip.  Or with-it.  Or fleek, or whatever the word is these days.  Ok?  Pretty sure nobody has ever mistaken me for any of those things, BUT.  Just in case I’m ever on the verge of being thought of as having or possessing in any way, any modicum of cool-ness, let me dispel that notion right here and now.

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See, because it takes a certain kind of person, a certain kind of personality, to enjoy at the age of 42 something meant to entertain 6-year-olds.  Today on the way to school, The Boy and I were listening to a CD recording of a book in the Hank the Cow Dog series.  First of all, if you have never heard of this adorable series, let me just say it is Hilarious.  With a capital H.  It is, in fact, so cleverly written as to border on brilliant.  The books themselves are adorable, but listening to them read on CD is even more special.  They are read and voiced by the author himself.

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Now, the particular story we were listening to was called The Case of the Tricky Trap, wherein:

Someone has been stealing feed out of the feed shed, and Hank knows that it’s his job to do whatever he can to help nab the culprit. Slim sets a live-animal trap in the shed, and Hank checks it in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, the trap is a little trickier than Hank anticipated, and in the process of his investigation Hank manages to get himself…well…trapped. Can Hank find a way out of this sticky situation?

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The thing I enjoy most about these stories on CD is absolutely the voices.  What intrigues and entertains me about these voices is that they are all done by the same person, but each one is a completely different, completely developed character.  For the last two evenings I’ve been watching auditions for the new show ALT is doing, their final show of the season, Tuna Does Vegas.  I usually love watching auditions because it’s interesting to see how people interpret characters, and it’s something I am just learning.  Sometimes people take things in a way you would never expect, and the result is usually pants-wetting funny!

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So back to Hank.  As you might expect from a story set in the Texas panhandle, there are two buzzards in the series- a father and son duo of buzzards called Wallace and Junior.  In this episode, Wallace is getting a huge kick out of the fact that poor old clueless Hank has gotten himself stuck in a trap, and decides to entertain him with a song.  (There’s almost always a song in these stories, and they are genius!)

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Right about the time it was time for The Boy to get out of the car and go in to school, this song was cueing up.  Now don’t we assume that most moms would turn off the kid music when the kid gets out of the car?  Aren’t most moms dying for adult music, news, ads, talk radio, or anything you might hear on your morning commute?  Well, not this mom. The Boy gets out of the car, flashes me a wicked grin, and says “Enjoy your song, Mom!” And as he shuts the door, I crank up the volume a little more and listen to this:

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…and laugh and laugh.

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Maybe I’m just blowing off stress because I leave for Alaska SIX WEEKS from tomorrow!  I have three weeks to pack up my office and get it ready to move to Tennessee.  Then three weeks more to get new clothes bought and ship a few things I can’t take on the plane with me.  It’s going to go super fast.  Yikes!  Stay tuned for my new blog detailing my Alaska adventures.  Also plan to join Instagram for the purpose of sharing all the pictures people keep begging me to post, so watch for that.

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Until next time,

D.

 

Everything’s Coming Up Roses! December 19, 2014

Up dog

Hello all!  And a very Merry Christmas to you!  Ok, so I think I have just diagnosed myself with a serious disease.  I have dubbed it UDSS:  ‘Up’ Dog “Squirrel!” Syndrome.  That’s where I have so many things flying around in my distractible little head, that I can’t really latch on to one and think about it before another one catches my attention and I go all “Squirrel!!”

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For right now, here’s what I’m thinking about.  Kindness.  Kindness to a child, is what I’m saying.  Today I had a really lovely fulfilling morning being kind to a child.  The Boy had his last day of school before Christmas break today, and all they were going to do was have breakfast and trade gifts, so I stayed with them.  (He attends a small, private Christian school, where there are only about 12 kids through the whole 12 grades.  It’s basically kind of a group homeschool, and I am not sure how much training or education the two teachers have beyond years of actual experience.  It may sound kind of iffy, but it is working for my son, so I’m not questioning it too much.)  Anyway, there is a new boy in the school.  He seems like a super sweet little boy, but he has a LOT, and I mean a LOT of challenges.  He’s clearly very affected by attention deficits, he has speech delays, and he doesn’t understand a lot of social cues and boundaries.  On the opposite side of that, he is obviously very smart and very interested in a lot of science questions and how’s and why’s, AND the kid was humming “Carol of the Bells” all morning.  So yeah, very complex and very special kiddo.  So I spent the morning trying to help keep this child down to a slow whirl, and I think I was pretty successful.  Ok, he did manage to spill hot cocoa all over his leg, but we got through that.  I tried to listen to him, I tried to talk to him, and I tried to help him behave within acceptable limitations.  It was really great.

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First of all, it was just awesome for me to be able to actually have patience for a kid like that, because I have been so used to The Boy testing it!  I get so tired of dealing with my own son sometimes, and it was nice to be able to work with another kid and actually handle it well and be able to help him.  Now, here’s where the “Squirrel!” part comes in.  It made me consider, just for a brief moment, if maybe I should go back to school and get my certification to teach elementary level or special education.  I have a degree in English education and a (lapsed) certification to teach middle and high school level English.  But maybe I should look into taking a few special ed courses or ed psych courses, or something to be able to work with these kiddos.  The thing is, I really don’t think I want to work daily in public school.  It’s a mess, and the paperwork and bureaucracy and politics are beyond my ability to tolerate.  I don’t necessarily want to be a counselor, and I don’t want to take that much time going back to school.  So my thought was “I wonder if I should just start my own little private school?”  But that takes money and time and just… I don’t know.  Hard work and stuff.

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Anyway.  I’m not sure where I was going with all this.  There’s that UDSS again.  I just know it was really nice and fulfilling to spend a morning showing love and kindness and patience to a kid who clearly struggles. Part of me was thinking maybe I could just go visit the school once a week and work with the kids on some sort of social or personal behavior-type issue, and just help be a positive force in the little school.  It was just a thought.

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Other thoughts:  More theater stuff is on the horizon, as usual.  Auditions for Spamalot are January 4-5, and I’m simultaneously looking forward to and dreading them.  I’ve got my audition song.  I think.  So I just have to breathe and survive until the time comes and see how it goes.

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ALASKA NEWS!  I actually applied online for some summer tourism jobs in Alaska.  I don’t have the foggiest clue how I’m going to pull it off if I actually do get one of the jobs, but I think I can make it happen.  I’m very lucky right now, my job is pretty flexible.  The kids are older, and it’s time for me to start seeing if there is somewhere else I belong in the world.

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Anyway, I’m feeling the love and happiness today.  Maybe it’s just a bit of a manic phase, or the excess of caffeine I’ve had today but I feel like I’m firing on all cylinders.  That usually means I’m headed for a full-speed crash into the wall meltdown, but maybe we can avoid it.  We’re going to give it our best shot.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

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Until next time,

D.

 

 
The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

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