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Thursday, January 27, 2011

No Winter Blues

January is coming to and end so too is my little holiday from school. Next week it's back to the books in full force. The time has flown but I am fairly satisfied with my level of productivity over the past few weeks. I am surprised by just how incredibly BUSY I've been.

Of course, I have been working on the second last course for my Miscarriage/Infertility Counselling certificate, so that's had be somewhat occupied. This current course is on third party fertility treatments (i.e. donor sperm, eggs and surrogacy) and is incredibly interesting. There are so many layers emotional and ethical issues involved.

I still have not got a confirmed practicum placement for May, but I am feeling very optimistic. No word from J.S. at Women's College Hospital, however, so I'm just writing her off. I am disappointed, but frankly, if she is this undependable and flaky, I figure I am better off working with someone else. My radar should have gone up when she started making me so many promises, which in my heart I knew were not likely to come through. She works for a research hospital, which I am sure has just as many restrictions on patient contact as does Mount Sinai. My mom suspects she is embarrassed that she assured me she had the authority to give me unrestricted access to working with her and was then denied this request. To me, it still doesn't excuse an explanation. Simply failing to return my emails and phone calls is just rude and unprofessional.

Nevertheless, I have other options I am exploring. S.D., who teaches my Miscarriage/Infertility Counselling program is still giving me a maybe. She works out of a private fertility clinic so there is more flexibility for taking me on, however, she is still trying to get it approved by her employers.

Meanwhile, I have begun to look for placements outside of the miscarriage/infertility area. I am honestly so excited to get started with counselling, that I really don't care if it is with a broader patient population. So far, I have an interview lined up with a psychotherapy clinic next Friday and I have a woman I grew up with, who works at a counselling agency for women with addictions/domestic abuse issues, investigating placement possibilities at her organization.

I have never been so thrilled to work for free! If you told me I had to spend 4 months doing just about anything, including teaching fitness classes, without pay, I would not be pleased. But I feel grateful just having the opportunity to get this experience. I guess that is a sign that I am moving my career in the right direction. Counselling jobs I see posted generally pay at least $20,000 less than what I was making in my research job when I quit. And if I chose to start work for myself, it will likely be years before I have a large enough practice to generate a significant income. But I don't care. I was constantly bitter and angry and frustrated in my research jobs. I resented both my colleagues and clients who acted like the work we were doing was so important, when to me, it was pointless and meaningless. I think I would have felt that way no matter how much I was being paid. The idea that one day people will pay me to do something that will (hopefully) help them and give me intense joy and intrinsic satisfaction just seems too good to be true. But somehow, some way, I intend to make this happen. At this point, with all the time and money I have invested in my counselling training, I CANNOT AFFORD TO FAIL!

The girls are back on track after the winter break, although we have the usual ups and downs. Big A is much more cooperative in the morning again, thank goodness, however, we have recently had difficulties with her when she has playdates. All of a sudden, she won't let anyone in her room as if she is possessively protecting her "stuff". Monday night, her friend Z came over and Big A practically ignored her and went off to do her own thing in another room. After remonstrating with her, she had a major tantrum and screamed and cried. Thank goodness Adam arrived home just at that moment and took over entertaining Z while I was trying to make dinner for everyone. This only made Big A more angry and jealous, and it took about 30 minutes to get her to calm down and start treating Z better. But she is never a terribly gracious host. It is really mortifying! She always wants: the bigger snack, to go first in the game, the pink cup, etc, etc. We have tried to explain proper manners when entertaining guests but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

Little A is showing interest in toilet training - she regularly pees in the potty at daycare and she has made 3 poos on the toilet at home. Unfortunately, she still has a lot to learn about proper hygiene. Last night she took the toilet paper I gave her and wiped...and then she blew her nose with it. Gross I know!

Little A loves daycare (some days I have to drag her out kicking and screaming) and has made quite a few friends. The physical aggression she displayed last summer is only evident when she is with her sister. Squabbles between the girls often leave poor Big A with scratches or bite marks from her fiesty little sister.
Little A is definitely still a pig pen...she has a remarkable ability to make messes and get filthy in SECONDS. I find it funny and endearing to a point. We are always cleaning up after her.

After a few painful days dealing with bad mastitis last week, several days on antibiotics cleared things up quickly. Over all, I'm feeling great right now. My allergies aren't bad (just the usual runny nose I always have), my hamstring is doing a bit better, and the blisters on my heels are finally healed so workouts are much more enjoyable. The eye doctor has given me trial one day contact lenses and so far it looks like this may be a good option for me. The tests she did found that I am not a good candidate for the tear duct blocking procedure because I have enough volume of tears, the problem is my tears are too viscous and therefore, don't moisturize my eyes well. But hopefully switching to daily wear contacts will help me avoid irritation and infections.

Yep, so far 2011 is shaping up pretty well I'd say.

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