sharing my life experiences, reflections and insights as a mother, a writer, an Occupational Therapist, an unschooler, and and a spiritual being having a human experience

Posts tagged ‘new perspective’

Healing through writing

Today is March 25, 2013

I had knee pain come out of no where yesterday and was so glad I had an appointment at my chiropractor this morning.  Apparently it was more misalignment in my back and hips causing knee pain.  I assumed it was residual damage from the car accident that I was in 10 months ago.  When my knee bothers me which it does from time to time, I get angry.  Before my car accident, I had no knee pain issues.  And when I am in pain or stressed, then I become more anxious driving.

Even ten months later, I have an over active startle reflex when driving.  It is far better than it was the days and week and even months right after the accident but it is not gone.  We can recover from trauma yet we don’t ever return to the place we were before the trauma.  Right after the accident and for many weeks, I could not get the memory of the accident out of my mind the entire time I was driving.  I hated that.  I hated the fact that what sometimes is my time alone, time in the car driving, was now ridden with fear and the memory of a traumatic experience.   I think what made it even more difficult for me was because I was driving along minding my own business traveling the speed limit and this car turned into me in broad daylight on a road with good visibility.  The result has been me not trusting any other driver on the road because you just never know when they are going to make a bad judgement decision.

This is no way to live.

Today as I was driving to  my chiropractor experiencing this  constant ache in my knee, I had a few close calls on the road.  Nothing extreme just a few cars coming toward me and crossing the yellow line for a few seconds, enough to set me on high alert.  Later, after I dropped my son off, I was pulling into a two lane road where the speed limit is 35 and was about to move into the left turn lane when a car speed along out of no where- the closest call all day.  So I thought to myself,  Why am I having these near miss experiences in the car on a day that I have knee pain?

Surely, it must just mean that I need to write about my accident.  The universe has been pushing me to write more and to carve out time in my life regularly to do so.  The signs have been so clear to me and yet finding or making the time to do so has been a challenge.  This past Friday, I did it.  After getting my younger kids breakfast, they wanted to watch a show and so I decided I would go up to my bedroom with my lap top and write.  I would not check Facebook or my email but go directly to wordpress and write.  A few weeks before I had decided that i needed a more specific blog and had created a Child-led learning blog.  I hadn’t done anything else since creating it.  So for almost an hour, I wrote. I did not finish the blog, but was so happy that I had carved out the time and done it! Finally!  My goal is to do that every day or at least several days each week.  As I write that, something deep within me says, “everyday,Gina, make time to write every day”.

It is Monday and on Mondays, I usually have a few hours to myself while my oldest is at the homeschool co-op.  I either go to a coffee house or the library both around the corner from where the co-op meets.  Usually, I decompress by checking Facebook and email and then look at my homeschooling website and approve and welcome new members and then work on an update message to send to members.   I think about writing a blog but it has been a long time since I have done so.

I knew I needed to go straight to WordPress today and not look anywhere else and write.  I wasn’t sure exactly what I would say or what the focus would be.  I then pulled up my drafts because I recalled writing about my accident in the past.  I found the following written just 6 weeks after my accident:

I was in a car accident on May 26, 2012.

I was driving home from work. It was a Saturday and I was done early and so I decided to head to Target to use the gift card that I had gotten back in October  to buy a new swim suit and planned to take my kids to the pool too.

I never made it to Target and I did not take my kids to the pool nor was not able to for about 2 weeks.

I was driving along, not my usual route but on a road I had traveled many times before.

It all happened so fast and yet those seconds or more likely second, before the crash, happened in slow motion.  I clearly recall seeing the white SUV turning into me and deciding to swerve to the right to get out of the way.  I also vividly recall realizing that I could not get out of the way and knew she was going to hit me.  I remember it all like it took place over minutes instead of seconds.

But then all I remember is impact-

….and then the car coming to a stop and me opening my eyes.

After the initial impact, I do not know what happened.  I must have hit my head because I had a cut on my nose and my nose was bleeding and my air bag never went off.  But this I only know after the fact- when I got out of the car and someone said my nose was bleeding and when I later realized the air bag did not deploy.

I remember opening my eyes and seeing an air bag (passangers side) and some smoke and having the instinct to get out of the car.  I attempted to open my door but it did not move and so I climbed to the passangers side, taking my purse and water bag and exited my car.

I recall how shaky I felt as I stepped out onto the grass.  A wonderful bystander was walking toward me and asked me if I was alright and advised me to sit down.  I am so grateful to that wonderful woman who reached out to help me.  She did  not have to help me and I think she might be the witness who is listed on the accident report but I really have no idea.  She was there when I needed someone and I am forever grateful to this kind stranger for stopping and coming to my aid.

The person who hit me, apparently was a medic and she advised my bystander angel that I should lay down which I heard and then did.

I had no idea at the time that my car had spun around and the back end had struck a third car and then had been propelled forward coming to a rest along the grass on the side of the road.  Thinking about that, its almost like someone had guided my car to move forward and come to a rest where it did.  Maybe the car wasn’t on the grass, but I know when I stepped out of the car, I stepped onto the grass.

I drove back down the road where the accident took place today, it has taken me over 6 weeks to build up the courage to do this.

_______________________________________

I kept the above just as I wrote it 8 months ago.  The accident was still fresh in my mind and as I read it, I recalled the feelings I felt for so long every time I got in the car for several months after the accident.

I finally drove down the road where the accident was, pushing myself to do so 6 weeks after my accident but then I did not drive that way again for many months.   Luckily, it was not a usual route for me so it wasn’t like I was avoiding the road.  Yet, I knew I needed to drive on that road again to desensitize myself and reduce my anxiety.  Reminds me very much of ERP therapy that my daughter does for her OCD.   Recently, they began working on a bridge on my usual route to work and also where my chiropractor is located.  So now, I found that driving past my accident was the quickest option to get where I needed to go.  At first, I drove that way to work because I was driving the opposite direction from when I was in my accident.  It helped me to drive many times from the other direction and see where the accident took place.   I would go home a different route avoiding the road entirely.  Then, I decided I needed to drive down that road heading home but I choose to take the highway which the entrance to is within eyesight and just before where my accident took place.  The first time I did this, I got stopped at a red light waiting to turn onto the entrance ramp and as I sat there,  I had a clear view of where my accident took place.  I became anxious and felt my heart racing.  It was difficult to sit there for those seconds waiting for the light to turn green.  The next time that I came to the same intersection, I could look on the spot without all of the anxiety.    Over time, I even drove the actual path of my accident again.  The most difficult was when I was bringing my son’s friend home and it was dark and raining.  I became very anxious but survived the experiene.

When I think about my daughter and the level of anxiety she experiences with her OCD, I realize that it is likely far more intense than even what I experience.  The thought of having the amount of anxiety that I experienced when first trying to drive on the path of my accident  every day and many times in a day gives me a better understanding of what she experiences.  All I can say is,  “Wow, I can not imagine living with that much fear and anxiety   every day and frequently throughout each and every day.”

Healing from trauma is a funny thing.  There is physical healing and mental healing and yet they are very interwoven, much more so than most of us realize.  I know on days when I have physical pain, I have more anxiety driving.  I also know when I feel more emotional stress, I also have more anxiety driving.

I am teaching my 15 year old son to drive.  He has had his learner’s permit for several months and so I think about my driving all the time as a way of helping him to learn.  I try to take my 25 years of driving experience and use it to help him develop good skills and habits with driving.  Today as he was driving and we were talking about driving, he told me that he believes I drive different now as compared to before my accident.  He did not have his permit when I had my accident.  It was 3 months later that he took the required drivers ed class and another 3 months before he turned 15 and could take the test for his learner’s permit.  But he is very observant and I found it interesting that he saw a difference.

Traumas change us.  When my husband was healing after surving a massive heart attaack and long hospitalization, people  began to ask if things were “back  to normal”.  There is no going back.   I remember feeling,  Life will never be normal again.   I realize now that things can become “normal” again but it is a new normal.   The experience changes you forever and the change can be both positive and negative.  Hopefully we can heal enough through the experience to take more positive change with us and learn to release the negative or allow it to subside.

My husband calls his heat attack “getting hit by a two by four”, a sort of wake up call.

I have decided that it is much more challenging being the one smacked by the “two by four” than to be the caregiver.  At least, that has been my experience.  I could see far more positive change after my husband’s heart attack.  Yet, when I was the one in pain, it was difficult for me to step outside of my experience.  As I say that, it makes perfect sense.  At the time when my husband was recovering, it was frustrating to be in this place of new understanding and clarity and he seamed to be mostly angry, frustrated.  Maybe I was more in a spiritual place and he was more in his body.  Unlike my car accident, had no memory of his heart attack.  He had pain but had no idea it might be a heart attack and then he went into cardiac arrest and remembers nothing until after he woke up hours later after coming out of the cath lab.   I saw him in the ER before he went to the cath lab and he was “awake” and they told him he had a heart attack and he had this look on his face like “you have got to be kidding me” but he has no clear memory of this.   And so he awoke to discover what had happened and to be on a bed restricted to laying absolutely flat for a humber of hours and then it took time before he could sit up and over a week before he could stand and walk.

I knew the car was going to hit me before it did and I can feel the impact of metal on metal.  When I stop and think about it, I can feel it in my entire body.  I recall vividly the experience of my car coming to a stop and seeing smoke coming out of the dash and feeling that I needed to get out of the car.  I can relive the moments like it happened yesterday.  Yet, I know I was in a state of shock after the impact.  After all, it was dust coming up from the air bag on the passengers side that I saw and not really smoke, but at the time, my instincts told me, smoke means get out of the car and quickly.  I even wanted to move far enough away from the car after I got out of it.  I had no idea that my arm was injured from the glass and that my nose was bleeding and that my air bag had not gone off.  I remember some blood dripping but had no need to figure out where it was coming from.   Once I was out of the car, others began helping me and I am sure laying down helped me.  Then it was a long wait as the medics arrived and the police officer came over to talk to me, all with me lying flat on m back staring up at the sky.  I think about it and feel like I was fully aware of everything.  yet, I know there was a hazy fog of shock that likely lasted for days or weeks.

As I ramble on writing about this experience, I am thinking about all of the day to day traumas in our life, all of the little disappointments as well as the bigger challenges that affect our daily experiences and our life as a whole.  We respond differently depending on the situation.  The common thread is whether it has primarily a negative impact or a positive one.  How can a trauma have a positive impact?  Even I wonder that too as I write this.  I think it is what we take from the experience. The decisions we choose to make because of it, not our initial gut reaction but the way we handle ourselves despite it.  Most of the time it can be a big mix of both negative reacting and positive decisions.

Somemtimes, it just takes us longer to pull out of the trauma and to step outside of it and move forward.   Sometimes we have no choice but to keep moving forward.  Other times, we sit with the pain for a while.

When I think back on the days and weeks just after my accident, if I could go back in time, I would allow myself more time to heal.  I know I took my time to some extent and yet I take from the experience  a reminder to accept what is.  If I don’t feel well on any given day, I really try now to stop and think about what must get done and what can wait.  LIfe is no longer the rat race that I used to feel when I was younger.  Some days, it is good to stay in your pajamas and watch tv with your kids or make cookies and eat them for dinner.

Life really is too short to be in a hurry and rush though jumping from one thing to another without any time to breath.

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Waking up at 2am

I woke up at 2am and made the mistake of looking at Facebook. A Facebook “friend” had shared a video of a Pediatrician speaking out agains transgender youth, speaking out about the dangers of medications and procedures for transgender children. From her video spewed mountains of hate for LGBTQ individuals and references to the Bible and God and Jesus and a debate on gender and sex.

Ignorance

First, I made comments back on the post and to the people spreading hate and ignorance.

I took my frustration and decide to write a blog.

My blog turned into a blog about all I have learned from my children.

Love

Love is stronger than hate

The opposite of love is fear

People are afraid of what they don’t understand.

Come from a place of love

This is my goal in my writing, to come from a place of love.

So now I have been awake for 4 hours?

Has that much time really gone by?

I am not sure what time i sat down to write, must have been by 3am.

It is now 6:28.

How I spend my time.

I wrote one blog in 3 and a half hours

And spent much time reading other posts on Facebook.

Hmm…

How I spend my time…

I am now paying attention to how I spend my time

The first step in changing my actions is to pay attention to what I am doing

And ask, Why?

Or maybe more poignantly, what purpose has it served for me?

Today, I have learned that I can read something I completely disagree with and from that create a post of love. That I can pull inspiration from unusual places.

And what I write about might not be a response to what I have read.

I have also learned that I can choose how I spend my time.

I have learned that I have been craving quiet time alone

Time alone in my own thoughts

That is renews me to have time to reflect, to listen to inspiring music and read social media and then turn to writing.

We all can be influenced by persuasion even in the absence of facts and science.

Facebook and social media is full of so much misinformation and it is a source of real information, truth and honest news.

Like life, it is a dichotomy.

Now it is 6:30am and my alarm goes off telling me to get up for work.

I am now ready for a nap.

Yet, I will get ready for work.

Inside their is a struggle of resistance, wanting to spend my day writing and reflecting rather than entering the world of geriatric healthcare for the day.

Yet, I know I can choose how I spend my time.

I can choose to make time to write and reflect and have quiet alone time.

I can and need to make these choices actively no matter what is happening with my family and what time my children wake up.

I can get ready for work and go to work now and nap later.

I can take this idea with me today and remember that I am more than my job working in healthcare as an Occupational Therapist.

I can create time for writing and pursuing parenting coaching business just as I make time to go out of the home and work to bring home income for my family.

Everything is temporary.

I can earn an income in more than the traditional way of working at a job.

I can have faith.

I can live in this world and not be of it

I can work at a a job and pursue a passion and and pursue earning a living from a business.

I can transition my time slowly or however it unfolds…

I can embrace the change.

Story of my life

Have you ever seen the video for the song, Story of My LIfe, by One direction?

I have always liked the song and having just watched the video, I like it even more.

And I am very picky about my videos. My favorite song currently is Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the Hill, but oh my! I really dislike the video. It just does not do the song justice. I find the video cheesy. But I will focus back on the video I like…

Story of My Life by One Direction

Today is my half birthday.

Crazy? That a 48 year old woman is celebrating her half birthday?…

Maybe…

There is no cake or anything. I just always think about it when it arrives, 6 months prior to my next birthday.

And today, I am using the date to focus on me and my life for my blog.

What better song to use and after watching the video, I knew it was perfect.

Do three links to the video impress upon how much I want you to watch this video?

I will superimpose my blog within the lyrics of the song today….

“Story Of My Life”

Written in these walls are the stories that I can’t explain

I leave my heart open but it stays right here empty for days

April 15, 2018

I am 48.5 years old today. My 49th birthday is 6 months away. It is also “tax day” but being Sunday, I guess that will really be tomorrow.

I am very happy with my life right now. I would not have said that last year. Two years ago, I might have, but several years prior to that, most likely not. I have had more than my share of challenges over the past 11 years. Somewhere in all of it, I lost myself but have been working to uncover myself again. In doing so, I have discovered that the truest part of me has been lost for far more than 11 years.

The last time I remember being this confident and happy with myself was when I was 10, 11, and 12 years old and living in Bethel Park, Pa. I lived there for 3 years of my life: September 1979 through the summer of 1982. I made some wonderful friends in those 3 years and have some of my best childhood memories from that time period. I was a Girl Scout, a safety guard for the bus stop, part of the writing crew for a child run and produced news show that ran on the local channel and was facilitated by my 5th grade teacher at Washington Elementary School. I learned to play the clarinet and was in the band which continued even after moving across the state and when entering high school. I played softball for a church league and was a catcher and learned to hit the ball and even got a home run! I played softball the year before we moved to Pennsylvania, when we lived in Ohio, but we later found out that I really needed glasses and this explained my not hitting the ball for an entire season of softball. It is much more fun to play softball when you can see.

She told me in the morning she don’t feel the same about us in her bones

Seems to me that when I die these words will be written on my stone

I received my first journal, “dairy” when I was 10 years old. My sister gave it to me for my 10th birthday, October 15, 1979.

I still have that diary and every one after it that I have been writing in for the past 38 1/2 years. I have been a writer for as long as I an remember. My 6th grade language arts teacher was the best. I can remember creating a book of poetry in her class and I vividly remember her sitting down to review it with me. She encouraged me and praised m writing.

We moved a year later and somehow, my vision of myself as a writer changed. Somehow, when I was in high school and thinking about college, I never thought of pursuing a career in writing. Looking back at my life now, I see how everything I did was perfect to bring me to where I am today. I would not change going to E-town College and majoring in Occupational Therapy. Nor would I change all the places I have worked as an Occupational Therapist. Even the job I held for only one month. It all brought me to where I am now.

I used to say “I am a writer that got detoured by a career in Occupational Therapy”.

I don’t know that I would say that anymore.

I am a writer AND…

I am an Occupational Therapist.

Both are a large part of who I am.

And I’ll be gone, gone tonight

The ground beneath my feet is open wide

The way that I been holding on too tight

With nothing in between

The story of my life

I take her home

I drive all night

To keep her warm

And time is frozen (the story of, the story of)

The story of my life

I give her hope

I spend her love

Until she’s broke

Inside

The story of my life (the story of, the story of)

Any love song I listen to now, I often think about loving my inner child.

Nourishing the part of me that got lost, my true self.

I have been actively working to nurture my inner child for over 14 years ever since I began practicing EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique with Jan Luther.

I did personal work and went on to study EFT further and earned a level 1 and level 2 EFT training certificates. I also received level 1 and level 2 Reiki training. I am a student of Conversations with God. That goes back even further, I believe to before my oldest child was born over 20 years ago. I remember hearing Neale Donald Walsh speak at Unity of Charlotte when I was pregnant with my oldest child. I have read many self help books as well and engaged in classes on spiritual health and growth. I went to counseling with my husband when we fist met and before we even had a first fight. I attended further therapy on my own and joined a women’s group and continued to be in touch with those women for several years.

Written on these walls are the colors that I can’t change

Leave my heart open but it stays right here in its cage

I know that in the morning now I see us in the light upon a hill

Although I am broken, my heart is untamed, still

Depression has been a part of my life since my teenage years. I did not struggle significantly until my senior year of college at the age of 22. Although, high school was difficult for me and I lacked self-confidence and could not wait to move out of highschool. I excelled academically but socially was a very different story.

Moving out on my own after graduating college was a shock to my system. Somehow I envisioned that experience to be an extension of college, but it was not. I had challenges but found my way.

I met my husband in March of 1993, just four months after moving 600 miles south to North Carolina.

I can still see the add in my OT magazine for the job, it read,

Shouldn’t you be in Charlotte?

It spoke to me.

I am glad I listened. That is one “should” that benefited me!

Married in May of 1994

First big job change in August of 1995 with significant pay increase and less stress

First child born November of 1997

Changed to part time work (from full time) in January of 2000

Moved to new larger house in April of 2001

Child number two born February of 2002

Home full time in Summer of 2007, something I had desired since February of 1998 when I returned to full time work leaving my 12 week old son home with his dad

Spring of 2008, expecting my third child and when three months pregnant,

…Back to work because my husband was reduced from full time employee with salary to contractor paid commission only

January 8, 2009 my third child is born and I choose to stay home for a full year because that is why we had waited to have a third child…

So that I could be home full time

Our financial struggles began in summer of 2008 when my husband lost. his job, but never collected unemployment because he still had a job, as a contractor, paid commission, and he even had to collect the money from customers.

I sought work but it took a few months to get hired and worked many weekends ad other days as needed until December when I felt I was too pregnant to continue. I had worked up to the day before for my first two children, but this time I was 39 years old and very tired with this pregnancy.

I returned to work at that same job in spring of 2010 when my youngest was just over a year old, working “PRN” on a part time, as needed basis. I continued at that job until recently.

I could continue to list life events from this point on and yet, that would take hours.

I already have many blogs written about the challenges overt the past 10 years.

The important part…

Is that I am on the other side now

I have walked through the mud

Swam the swamp and come up for air

Hurdled the obstacles with bruises and scars

Badges of honor abound

And courage…

I am stronger because of it

I am also who I am because of all of my experiences

I am NOT what has happened to me…

I AM who I now as, as a result of my choices I have made about what has happened.

And I,’ll be gone, gone tonight

The fire beneath my feet is burning bright

The way that I been holding on so tight

With nothing in between

The story of my life

I take her home

I drive all night

To keep her warm

And time is frozen (the story of, the story of)

The story of my life

I give her hope

I spend her love

Until she’s broke

Inside

The story of my life (the story of, the story of)

And I been waiting for this time to come around

But baby running after you is like chasing the clouds

The story of my life

I take her home

I drive all night

To keep her warm

And time is frozen

The story of my life

I give her hope (give her hope)

I spend her love

Until she’s broke (until she’s broke inside)

Inside

The story of my life (the story of, the story of)

The story of my life

The story of my life (the story of, the story of)

The story of my life

Changes…and dreams…home!

My life has taken a big turn this month. I sit down to write on this Sunday morning and my Writing Inspiration playlist echos my thoughts…

Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’

‘Cause I’ve built my life around you

But time makes you bolder

Even children get older

And I’m getting older, too

I have been with one job for 8 years and now I am moving on. The universe has slowly been nudging me to move on and yet I resisted for so long. But I love my co-workers and I know the building, the other staff and even the families, it feels like home to me!

I have said these things over and over again over the years, yet I have been left stagnant, my soul in dire need of change. Sometimes we need a big PUSH to move on in life. I am grateful for a big push.

Tomorrow I start a new job.

The funny thing is that I have worked at this “new job” before. I worked for this same company, in this same building, for the same boss and with several of the same co-workers several years ago. My ego can not argue about change when I am moving to something that is familiar to me and is not really new.

It feels right to move to this new job. And it also is scary. Change can be scary.

I feel excited, yet anxious, eager, yet apprehensive…

Do most people feel these things when starting a new job, or anything new?

For me, I get eager to get that first day over with….

I know once I complete my first day, it will get easier, and once I get used to the computer system and the documentation, and the people…. Part of me wants to jump ahead a few months, knowing it will be easier then and I will have less anxiety then.

Yet, there is joy in the new-ness of the beginning of a new job, a new relationship….

I can feel free to ask all my questions.

I have permission to not know exactly what I am doing.

I enjoy meeting new people and the early questions and conversations with new people.

Discovery

A new job can be like an exploring mission to a new land…

Changes

More than a new job is happening in my life

My life is full of many changes right now.

Don and I attended SHIFT Charlotte yesterday. We are embarking on a new journey together. We are going to speak on conscious parenting. We are embarking on a combined business endeavor.

Child-led Learning and Family OCD are coming together under Focused Healthy Families.

We have been working toward this for a long time.

I have been working toward this vision for 20+years, since I became a mother, and since I first envisioned, “Mommy Daddy STOP.com”.

Mommy, Daddy, STOP.com was the website I first created with the tag line: Consciously parenting our children, our parents, and ourselves.

Once upon a time

Once when you were mine

I remember skies

Reflected in your eyes

I wonder where you are

I wonder if you think about me

Once upon a time

In your wildest dreams

When I listen to songs like Your Wildest Dreams by the Moody Blues, even though it is a “love song”, I hear the message of speaking to my soul, my true self that was lost for so long.

I wonder if you care

I wonder if you still remember

Once upon a time

In your wildest dreams

And when the music plays

And when the words are touched with sorrow

When the music plays

I hear the sound I had to follow

Once upon a time

I feel reconnected with my children.

I feel recommended with myself.

I feel that Don and I are on the path that I envisioned nearly 7 years ago when he was born again, May 4,2011.

I had big visions when Don was in the hospital for 12 days in May of 2011, recovering from a massive heart attack.

I have had dreams since I first became a mother on November 10, 1997 and from when I returned to work in February of 1998.

I had dreams of finding a way to work from home so that I could be a full time mother and earn a living.

Today is Sunday, March 25, 2018

20 years + 1 month ago, I returned to work after my first child was born,

It was the most difficult thing i had done up to that point in my life. My husband was building a business, working from home and we had made this plan long before I had become pregnant. He offered to find a job again so that I could stay home full time. Yet, I knew that we had chosen this path for a reason and him building his own business was a big part of our vision which included him growing the business so that I could work less hours, and eventually even be home full time.

I remember sending away for work from home information.

I got a large roll of ribbon from one company, to make tiny bows.

This was pre-internet, 1998, when I found out about working from home from snail mail resources.

I never made those bows.

Yet, I kept searching for a way to work from home…

I started Charlottehomeschooling.com in 2008, just months before my third child was born.

I began this blog in 2012.

I began Child-led Learning blog in 2014.

I have been working toward a new endeavor for a long time and magically, my husband has evolved his career multiple times into what is now a coaching business working with families with the focus of helping people overcoming anxiety.

Here I am now after 20 years…

Bon Jovisays it well

I spent twenty years trying to get out of this place

I was looking for something I couldn’t replace

I was running away from the only thing I’ve ever known

Like a blind dog without a bone

I was a gypsy lost in the twilight zone

I hijacked a rainbow and crashed into a pot of gold

I been there, done that

But I ain’t looking back on the seeds I’ve sown

Saving dimes, spending too much time on the telephone

Who says you can’t go home?

I AM GINA….One Week Later: Creating a New Life for Myself

I am

Powerful and creative energy

I am

I am ready to take my experience and skills and more to new work.

I am ready to use my skills as an Occupational therapist to begin a business in well- care, instead of sick-care.

Sundays are now writing time and planning time and goal setting time.

I can embrace my new Sundays.

I am also ready to see the $350 I typically earn (or used to earn) each Sunday, showing up in my life in new ways…

..so the bills can be paid.

I am ready universe.

I am open to new possibilities.

I am a writer.

I am Gina.

I wrote that one week ago

Wow

I have experienced so much since I wrote my post last Sunday.

I am home on Sunday and have time alone to myself in my own home.

Jason and Don are at my sister’s house 3 hours away for an agility trial.

I had an interview this week, a job offer and I set up another interview for Monday and got a phone call about another job.

Wow

I am amazed at how fast I am finding other work options. It used to take so long for that process.

Or maybe I was dragging my heels and that is why it took a long time

Now

I am

Creating

A new life for myself

There are many job opportunities in my area and my field right now.

I have found many job opportunities very close to my home!

I am looking for work at higher rate of pay and closer to home.

I am finding that!

I am amazed at how powerful creation is…

I am! Is such a powerful and creative statement to the universe.

I have known this truth, yet experiencing it happen this quickly and strongly in my life right now is just…

Wow

I didn’t realize it until I read my post from last Sunday.

And I read my post after I had written in my journal this morning.

After I have been struggling this week with feelings of “I should have done …” and “I wish I hadn’t done…”

I wrote in my gratitude journal and through writing, embraced the beauty of my mistakes.

I am grateful for this experience…and ALL that happened and unfolded- I have learned from it. It happened and hear I am now so much better Because of it!!!!

I am grateful for the mistakes I have made in my life!

We regret what we don’t do- not what we do.

I spoke up!

I spoke my truth!

I also wrote:

I am grateful- I spoke up for myself!

I am grateful

-I am not perfect

_I make mistakes

I am HUMAN

And being HUMAN is beautiful!

I am so grateful for this experience

I can “let it go”

And release all the “I should have done…”

“I should have not done….”

Blah blah blah

I am so grateful!

I am grateful for

Right Here

Right NOW

I AM GINA

Bipolar Depression: When Life Just Sucks and the bills need to be paid

I have been on prozac, 20mg, 9 months now. I have birthed myself a new life.

Unlike the last anti-depressant I tried 2 years ago, I feel that the Prozac is helping me and not causing side effects and mania.

It makes me wonder, why didn’t I try this medication years ago?

Here I am now. And somehow it is all perfect and in perfect order.

It can be challenging to really believe that.

The idea that life unfolds, or we create it, just the way it needs to be.

And it is what we do with what happens that matters more than what happens.

We create our life….

Yet, there are those times when it really feels like life is happening to me

Sh#t happens

I work PRN as an Occupational Therapy in geriatric rehab.

PRN means no required hours and no guaranteed hours.

I sign up to work but they can “call me off”if they don’t need me something that can happen the night before or the day of…

I am employed with 2 companies, one for almost 8 years and the other for 4 years.

PRN also means you get paid a “higher rate of pay” because you have no benefits.

Healthcare changed in 2000 and greatly for me in the field of Occupational Therapy.

I had a pay cut and salary caps happened and jobs were hard to find for a while.

My work is very different than it was when I graduated college with my Bachelor of Science Degree in OCcupational Therapy in 1992.

All those Medicare cuts and changes that happened at the beginning of this century, mean I now make less money than I did 20 years ago. I worked PRN 21 years ago in addition to a full time job. At that time, my PRN rate of pay was double my rate as a full time employee. IT was $50 an hour. The current average rate of pay in the area where I live for a PRN OCcupational Therapist is now $45 an hour.

I now have 25 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist and yet 21 years later, I am making less money.

PRN means no increase in pay.

This is healthcare.

Or better named, sickcare.

I vent about this all the time to my husband and close friends and family.

It is time I write about it.

I began asking for a pay increase 4 years ago at my job I had been with for 4 years when I found out the current rate of pay for new PRN employees, therapists, was $5 more than I was making. I got told I would get the pay increase and then called back the next day and told, “I didn’t know there was a hold on raises. But you will be the first to get a raise when it changes.”

I asked again almost 2 years later, I was told I had to wait until the fall (it was early spring) when they do reviews.

As a prn employee, I had never had a review done.

First of September, my boss schedules a review for me. Wow!

I get told I will get the “pay increase”, in other words, they will now pay me what they are paying everyone else who was hired after me.

It will be in my December pay check.

December comes, no pay increase.

I was told that the regional manager forgot to allocate the money for my raise.

Apparently, they can only do raises one time per year.

I inquired about my options. I won’t even share that here because you would never believe it.

And I know my boss went to bat for me for the raise and then after the raise didn’t happen. I appreciate her efforts.

Much to my surprise, a year later, I get the pay increase!

After nearly 8 years working nearly ever week and most weekends for this company being available for most weekends and also being called off work when the caseload was too low, I now am getting paid what they should have been paying me at least 4 years ago.

$50 per hour

The rate of pay I made 21 years ago, when my hourly rate as a full time employee was $25 per hour.

GRATEFUL?

Sure I am grateful.

I feel like i finally made it happen!

Because PRN employees don’t get raises, pay increases, nothing.

I have been told that by my other employer, where I have now worked 4 years.

Why am I prn?

Because in order to be part time you have to average 20 hours per week.

They don’t have that many hours to give me at either place. I often work 20 hours between both jobs.

Many companies only have full time and prn employees and not part time employees.

So this is all good right?

Now the company is choosing to use prn employees as little as possible.

A secret policy that I have only learned about through the grape vine.

I have been called off work as a prn employee and I get that is part of being prn and the status of healthcare.

But now, I am called off work more and more.

It doesn’t matter how many years I have been with the company, nor my experience, nor the fact that when they do my quarterly relives now, I get glowing remarks on what I great employee I am.

What is the point of the glowing reviews?

It feels like a slap in the face!

I began getting the glowing reviews after I was told my raise wasn’t happening, because the regional manager forgot to allocate the money for my raise.

Now, just 3 months after my raise went into effect….

I am finding out not from my boss but from my co-workers, that the company is now choosing to use prn employees as little as possible.

Why am I writing about this and not going to my boss?

I have gone to her multiple times.

I have had many sit down talks with her about my concerns and issues.

I have reached out to her to find out about these rumors I am hearing.

She chooses not to fill me in and not respond to my phone call or repeated questions about the changes.

Each month, I am asked to give my availability for working weekends for the coming month.

I typically let them know I am available most Sundays for a full work day and most Saturdays for at least a half work day. On average, I tell them I am available for 6 our of 8 weekend days, every month, for nearly 8 years.

I find out about how much I am needed for on the Friday afternoon or night before the weekend.

I find out if they are calling me off work on the Friday before and sometimes not until 10pm the night before.

This is the nature of prn work in Occupational Therapy. (PT and OT work in adult and geriatric rehab)

I have been told, that despite my years of experience and time with the company, that if there are no evaluations, I will be called off first rather than the COTAS (OT assistants with a 2 year degree).

OK

It is a financial thing, they tell me.

Something I have never been happy with.

When I am needed for evaluations, they need me. But I am the first to go when the caseload is low.

That in itself sucks.

But what sucks even more

Is the company deciding to use prn employees as little as possible and not sharing this information with the prn employees.

Not openly sharing it.

We all know because we talk to the full time employees

Who are now required to rotate working weekends.

Not because they want to but because they have to.

Sometimes life just sucks.

I have seen that I am being called off more often and despite really liking my fellow co-workers and the facility as a whole at my weekend job, and have been looking for more work hours elsewhere.

My other prn job I work one or two days during the week as well as Saturdays when needed also has a low caseload right now.

And that is a crazy story with its own issues but I will save that for another time.

That being said,

I now have two prn jobs with very little hours for me to work.

And I have been looking for more hours and have let them all know that I am looking for more work hours.

Instead of more hours, I am getting far less hours.

In January, I earned enough to meet and exceed our expenses, to help pay down our debt.

My February pay checks totaled $1000 less, not quite meeting our basic expenses.

So far in March, I have worked a total of 5.25 hours.

It is only March 4, but I have only worked that many hours from Sunday Feb 25 through today, Sunday March 4.
I signed up to work full day last Sunday and today and for 5 hours yesterday and got 0 hours.

The 5.25 hours came from my other prn job.

But I may have 0 hours this week at my other prn job.

The caseload is low and instead of referring patients to our in facility outpatient therapy program, the facility is referring patients to a home health company who is trying to establish a monopoly in the facility, despite our company having a contract with a different home health company.

So I shared a little of that drama…

This is the nature of health care…

Sick care

I usually work at least 15 hours per week, 20 hours per week meets my expenses.

Sometimes I work 25 or more hours per week and other times 10-15, and it balances out.

But working only 5 hours in 2 weeks won’t pay the bills.

I have been asking about other prn work and have a number of companies to call and…

I updated my resume

Today, I am applying for other jobs. I have had that on my to do list for several weeks.

Now it feels urgent

When I began looking around for other work and asking my fellow prn employees and co-workers who work prn, I was looking to give myself more options and to seek work at a higher rate of pay.

I was looking for a third prn job to have the upper hand.

To be able to tell my weekend employer,

“NO, I have other work and work where I won’t get called off the day of or the night before at 10pm.”

I enjoy the jobI work weekends, I enjoy what I do as an Occupational Therapist, the patients I work with, and my co-workers, and the facility.

But I also value my sanity.

And, heck, the bills need to get paid!

Part of the reason, I have hesitated to find other prn work, more prn jobs…

Is because I am also a writer and actively working

To grow my writing, and turn Child-led learning into a paying gig

My husband, Don, and I are making plans to speak together on conscious parenting.

I run a local homeschool website, Charlottehomeschooling.com

I run Child-led Learning blog and facebook page and my goal is to grow that into a community and to also work as a child-led learning consultant.

I am ready to take my experience and skills and more to new work.

I am ready to use my skills as an Occupational therapist to begin a business in well- care, instead of sick-care.

Sundays are now writing time and planning time and goal setting time.

I can embrace my new Sundays.

I am also ready to see the $350 I typically earn (or used to earn) each Sunday, showing up in my life in new ways…

..so the bills can be paid.

I am ready universe.

I am open to new possibilities.

I am a writer.

I am Gina.

I am creating a new realization, a new experience, for my life

…and for my family.

My Journey out of Depression, Rising up:October 15,2017 – February 25, 2018

I have traveled far on my life journey. The past 4 months, since my birthday adventure to the beach, have been life changing.

I don’t even know where to begin to describe the experience.

I am now getting up early every morning excited for the day and ready to have some quiet time to myself. I head to the kitchen and get something to drink and often a cup of tea and maybe a hot pack for my neck or back and sometimes an ice pack for my achey hip. I have a purple bag that holds my iPad, keyboard, gratitude journal, pens, current inspirational book I am reading, and a few other things. I have my Bluetooth ear buds and my iPhone for listening to my music.

I begin sitting in the quiet and writing in my gratitude journal. Grateful for all that has transpired in the past day and also for all that is yet to come.

I then listen to music and write, or sometimes I stretch and exercise first.

Today after writing in my gratitude journal, I decided to take an early morning walk. Today is Sunday and most Sundays I work. Today I was called off work and the weather is beautiful. NC’s early spring with 50+ degree temperatures and sun rising. Years ago, I started many days with a morning walk and stretch, an activity I have been working to get back in the habit of doing. Yet, I have managed to walk on occasion maybe 1 or 2 days in a week but often go weeks without doing so.

Today, I walked for an hour!

It was 7am when I started and then my favorite local radio program, Resurrection Sunday, came on the air, 106.5 the end, at 8am and I enjoyed being outside stretching, walking around my yard, and then walking our dog, Olive while enjoying the retro music.

I started with a sweatshirt when I headed out at 7am but half way through my walk, I had removed it. I have spent much time outside this morning in this wonderful weather knowing that rain is on its way today. I got the brilliant idea to write outside and where better to write than sitting on our trampoline with a husband pillow at my back. Rain spits on me and my screen as I write, hoping to get some writing completed before the sky opens up.

Today is February 25, 2018 and this is how spring begins in NC.

Walking this morning, I enjoyed the Bradford pear trees beginning to bloom along with forsythia, daffodils and other blossoming trees. I took a close up picture of 2 small purple flowers that grow on vines in my front yard. I reminisced looking at my barren back yard, remembering how we used to have a collection of purple flowers that bloomed around April. But 3 years ago when we had to have our septic fields redug, the entire yard was dug up, taking out the giant oak (or was it a maple) tree, it had the helicopter seed pods.

Rain!

I am writing inside now from the top of my daughter’s bunk bed. I call it “my new office”. It’s quiet and I have a view out the big widows in her room and can only see her inspiring wall hangings and not the clutter below. The rain chased me inside today. Yet, I now know I can enjoy sitting outside on the trampoline to write. I enjoyed spending time outside this morning.

Fresh air feeds my soul.

I need to plant more purple flowers to replace the ones we lost in our backyard. I searched for my snow crocuses but couldn’t find them.

We do have daffodils blooming in our yard. When I lived in. Canton, Ohio from 1971 through 1979, we lived on Daffodil Street. I have fond memories of our home in Ohio including our kitchen with giant yellow and orange flowered wall paper that inspired me to paint my current kitchen bright gold. Our home was about the same age as the home I am living in now that was built in 1969. We have the same streets paved with gravel, tar and a steam roller. We have dead end roads that end in woods.

I am finding that as I do the inner work through EFT along with Jan Luther and the amazing groups she has created, that I am bringing to live my inner child. I am enjoying life and easily remembering what I felt like as a child. My inner joy is shining through my 48 year old self and all the trauma and challenges that have been a part of my life.

When I try to remember when I felt this excited and energized by life, I think the honest answer is when I was a child before the age of 13.

I will end with quoting a song that feels so true to the adult life I have lived. Even though it is not easy to be me, I am now happy to be me! And I will retitle the song, Wonder-woman. Thank you Five for Fighting for creating this song.

It is more powerful if you listen to it….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O87shD-FpvU

I can’t stand to fly

I’m not that naïve

I’m just out to find

The better part of me

I’m more than a bird,

I’m more than a plane

I’m more than some pretty face beside a train

It’s not easy to be me

It may sound absurd but don’t be naïve

Even heroes have the right to bleed

I may be disturbed but won’t you concede

Even heroes have the right to dream

And it’s not easy to be me