Sunday, November 1, 2015

NaNoWriMo - sorta.

ok so I'm not writing a novel.  I'm just going to try to write every day.  It often seems like I have a lot I want to say and nowhere to say it.  Often I censor myself - there are things I won't say just because of who I might upset or what kind of fight it will cause or what it might mean for my career(s) if the "wrong" person were to read it.  Or maybe my ideas just aren't formed.  Or I don't really think I can fully support them - they're too speculative or subjective or something.  Or I don't know how it should all fit together thematically.

I'm kinda tired of that.  I feel blocked.  Stuck.  So screw it, I'm going to try to write everyday and see what happens.

Its going to be about all kinds of crap.  Integral theory. Kink. Polyamory. Counseling. Psychology. Politics. Geek/Nerd culture. Marriage. Parenthood. Romance. Music. You name it. Who knows? I may even write some fiction.

Self-care is on my mind a lot these days.  Its a term we throw around in counseling circles - it means, how the hell do we stay sane, energized, healthy, fresh, happy, content, etc., when we're asking ourselves to help people shoulder their burdens. Often it boils down to just stopping being so hard on yourself.  I mean we're devoting huge amounts of our energy to helping people for fuck's sake. And it isn't as if counseling is a hugely lucrative career.  If we are careful and make some wise choices with how we run our practice we can do pretty well - but lets face it, if you are entering a helping profession what are the odds that you're just a natural born entrepreneur and small business owner-operator.  The number of counselors who seem to bleed themselves dry with overly aggressive sliding scales, for instance, always shocks me.  

(not to say sliding scales are bad - people need sliding scales - not every one has insurance or can afford therapy - yadda-yadda-yadda-etc-etc.  Can we just assume that I'm not a cold-hearted bastard please? I'm totally sure I'm getting into counseling because I just can't wait to really sock it to people's pocket books. Yes I know I'm projecting.  And no, I'm not at all sure someone isn't reading this right now thinking exactly that I'm somehow insulting sliding scales.  Because our call-out, politically correct, trigger warning culture has beat this into me deeply.)

But anyway, back to self-care. Now that my professional internship is in full swing at the *same* time that my day job is beginning to heat up - I'm finding myself feeling pretty beat, pretty often.  I'm getting older.  I've never taken great care of myself.  I'm always prone to neglecting my own needs in favor of someone else's.  Its just how I was raised.  And the hell of it is, I kind of think my family (of origin) thinks I'm too selfish and inconsiderate sometimes - when as far as I'm concerned *the* struggle of my life is learning how to be appropriately selfish and let other people take care of themselves.  I'm nowhere *near* selfish enough.  I sacrifice my own needs and wants in the name of people I care about (and even people I don't particularly care about) constantly.

Obviously a recipe for burn-out - which I've already done a couple of times even in lines of work that are not at all about taking care of fundamental human needs.  So an important area of focus for me is getting my hands wrapped around self-care.

You would think it would be obvious but its not.  Sometimes you just have to take the day off and veg-out in front of the TV.  Sometimes what you really need is a work-out.  Sometimes you need to do something creative.  Sometimes you need to just let yourself be the least creative, most reactive, most neurotic, tired, whiny, grumpy, selfish person.  Just go ahead and watch the presidential debates and throw things at the TV.  That can be self-care.  Just letting yourself go from standards of decorum and thoughtfulness and how an evolved self-aware person should be spending their time.  Just tell your super-ego to go fuck itself and crank up the South Park.  In the scheme of things, just who the hell am I hurting? Are more people *really* going to die in Syria if I laugh my ass off at some very offensive comedian for an hour or two?  Obviously not, but boy part of me really thinks so.  Part of me is just standing there, tapping his toes, crossing his arms, pursing his lips, shaking his head sadly.

I really want to strangle that part of me.  Just punch his face in.  He isn't helpful.  He isn't moral. He isn't helping me be a good person - he's undermining me by trying to convince me I'm a *bad* person.  Well, I'm not.  Ok, maybe I've done a shitty job of breaking up with a few girlfriends.  Maybe way back when my job barely covered my student loans and living expenses I borrowed a few paper clips from the corporate supply closet.  Maybe I've unthoughtfully said things that hurt someone's feelings (usually followed by weeks of apologies).  Yes, maybe there are a few things I've done in my life that I *really* wish I hadn't.

But that's it. My prissy little tattletale superego can go fuck itself. I have better things to do with my time and energy. I have my family to support. Friends to love. Clients who I'm trying to help.

And now, I was planning to do some paperwork for the state licensing board.  But fuck that, I'm going to crank up the electric piano instead.  Then if its *lucky* my laundry will get done.

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