Thursday, January 21, 2016

I'm Well, and You?

[Insert obligatory apology / explanation / self-flagellation re: shocking length of time since last update here]

I write this in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week, sitting in a sunny café. In a while I will go to pick up HB from school, but for now my time is 100% my own, and that feels delicious.

I left my job some eight months ago, and it was one of the best decisions of my life. It took about four months to decompress, which goes to show you how very very compressed I was. In retrospect I see I was responsible for a jaw-dropping amount of stuff; while in the midst of it I sometimes wondered if I was just wimpy. I know, I know!

One of the first things I did was reschedule my trip to Guatemala. I didn't even re-research it - I had the credit for the trip I'd canceled a year before so I just picked a date and went. I spent the whole time firmly planted in a small semi-remote town, practicing Spanish half the day (outside, next to the lake, one on one) and wandering, taking pictures, and barflying the rest of the time. It was glorious beyond words. The view from my room:

Aside from that, I've been hanging with my kid, really wandering the streets of my city for the first time ever, slowly rehabbing / running, reading, surfing the web, catching up with friends, fixing All The Things in the house, saying goodbye to one sweet old cat and introducing a sassy new one, barflying, sewing, and many many many therapy appointments (mine and HB's). I've done a little work filling in for people I used to work with (but not in my old location and not a lot). My students approached me to do homeless outreach with them, which is pretty cool. (This week a homeless guy's tent had fallen down and I had some duct tape so I helped put it back together. What merit badge is that?) My students also asked me to lead a creative writing workshop, which was a blast.

We budgeted for me not working and that's going ok, so I'm waiting to see what possibilities come along. I truly adore teaching and will do that one way or another. HB asked me not to work full-time again, and whatever I end up doing I'll respect that.

HB has come SO far. Day to day it can sometimes be hard to see the improvement but when you zoom out, well. First off he's not suicidal (!). Second, he no longer worries about the future in the extreme - and extremely specific - way he did. Third, he spends much less time angry and is even often chatty and polite to people. Fourth, he mostly likes school. You'd think that he'd love it every single day since there are ZERO REQUIREMENTS, but there is a pretty firm social contract and he pushes against that regularly, resulting in "sentences" (e.g. no using the computer room, extra cleaning, etc.). He mostly gets in trouble because he wants the older boys (15-17 year olds) to respect him so he does macho crap (which doesn't work).  But on vacation he wishes he were at school, and when I pick him up he's playing with a gaggle of kids.

I've come far in my therapy too, but I think I'll leave that topic for another time.

I will say that I have had to repeat my own Maggot Instructions to myself many, many times over the past couple years. That shit is good advice!