Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy New (School) Year!

I have always said that Labour Day feels much more like a new beginning than January 1st for me. Maybe because I've spent about 26 of my almost 37 years in school??? That's just nuts I know.

It's been a week full of firsts in our house this past week. Some good and some not so good.

Friday I took Big A to the Toronto Ex for the first time. We had no fights and she was very well behaved the whole time. I was a bit concerned that we didn't have much deep conversation, in fact we spent a lot of the time in silence. I always feel like we should be confiding in one another and giggling together but I am realizing this may be unrealistic given that she is only 5. When I asked Adam how it is when they are alone together, he said they don't talk much either and if he does want to converse with her, he has to ask strategic questions if he wants to get more than one word answers.

Over the weekend Adam and I went to his cousin's wedding in Ottawa. We dropped the girls off at my parents' house in Kingston, which is on the way. This was the first time they watched our kids on their own and it was a huge success. The girls behaved beautifully (not at all like they behave for us most of the time!) and there was not even a moment of separation anxiety.

So Adam and I got a luxuriously child-free little holiday. We stayed in a lovely hotel and relaxed. We visited friends who just bought a house in Ottawa and had a wonderful time at the wedding. I bought a new outfit and it was the first time I have ever worn a strapless dress and stilleto shoes...I know, I'm a philistine! To my surprise, the shoes were actually very comfortable and I didn't fall and break my ankle as expected. I did, however, find the strapless dress a bit ackward to dance in because it was a wee bit loose at the top and kept threatening a rather x-rated wordrobe malfunction.

Today was Big A's first day of senior kindergarten. She really is growing up fast...figuratively and literally. We discovered today that besides her summer sandals, she has NO shoes that fit. I've got to try and make it to the mall today so she has shoes for tomorrow if the weather continues to be so (wonderfully) cool.

On the not so good side, I had my first root canal last week. Unfortunately, this meant I was in some serious pain most of the weekend, not only because the tooth was still sensitive, but because I can't chew on that side eating has been very difficult and I ended up seriously biting my stupid tongue on the OTHER side of my mouth. Am I the only one who has such dumb-ass things happen?

Why did I need a root canal, you ask? Basically my teeth grinding and jaw clenching has gotten worse lately. I have had to acknowledge that I am not handling anxiety as well as I thought I was. Since I did the cognitive behavioural therapy just over a year ago, I have not suffered from insomnia. I no longer ruminate about my worries. But I recently realized that the anxiety is still there, it's just manifest itself differently. I keep all my tension in my jaw and it's become so bad that even the mouth guard I wear is not enough to protect my teeth from damage.

I've missed yoga the past few weeks because of my torn ab muscle, but it's healed up faster than expected so I have to get back to it this week. It really is so therapeutic for my mind and my body.

I also have to address my anxieties head on.

What am I so stressed about, you ask?

Ultimately about money. No we're not in any trouble, but I find it very difficult not to have any income. First off, it makes me feel stressed and guilty every time I spend a dime. I am not bringing any money in, yet I am the primary spender of our money. I almost exclusively do all the food and clothes shopping. Adam doesn't make me feel bad about this - of course we have to eat and be clothed, but I am not comfortable with it. Both because I worry about overspending but it also is hard for my ego. Adam has reassured me repeatedly that we are okay. So this is just my own crap. Not the reaction to an actual problem.

Also, related to the money issue is my fear of failure. I am going to be finishing school soon (hopefully by January!) and then it's time to make the past 2 year (financial and time) investment pay off. I am so worried that I won't be able to successfully start my own counselling practice. So again, I'm worrying about something that "could" happen, rather than an actual problem. I know from studying psychology and from my counselling, that this type of worry is futile and dysfunctional.

So my goal for the new (school) year is to work on my cognitive appraisal. In other words, learn to reframe my current situation in more positive and optimistic terms. As Adam pointed out yesterday, my life is actually pretty spectacular right now and I should be enjoying it instead of fretting about the future. This is good advice and probably necessary if I don't want to end up toothless!

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