This week’s lesson

“The only behavior we can control is our own. No one can make us do anything we do not want to do, as long as we are willing to endure the consequences (i.e., punishment for not doing what others want us to do). If we choose to do what others want us to do under the threat of severe punishment, we tend to be passive-aggressive by not performing well. When we try to force others to do what they do not want to do, they may choose not to do it—or choose to also be passive-aggressive by not performing well (Glasser, 1998).”

So there you go. Today I wrote a paper on “Glasser’s choice theory of explanation of human behavior.”  And true to “Colleen behavior,” said paper was due yesterday. See above quote for the reason.  Deadlines. Due dates. Forced reading of shit I don’t want to read. (Ok, that’s not entirely true, most of the stuff I am studying gets me all wound up and ready to throw on my Social Worker Superhero Cape!) Sometimes it gets to me, especially when life gets busy, or I get the stupid flu.  Fortunately, also true to “Colleen behavior,” I always pull it off in the end and somehow have maintained a 4.o.

When researching grad school, I had a choice between brick-and-mortar, or online. I chose online for the flexible schedule and the promise of enhancing my writing skills.  While I absolutely do not regret it, I DO think I made things much more difficult… ok “CHALLENGING,” for myself. Rather than classroom lectures and discussions, it’s reading scholarly journal articles, textbooks, and periodicals, and then formulating a “discussion post,” (in APA format, of course!), and then responding (in APA format, of course!) to other’s “discussion posts” with more reading and research.  So instead of classwork, reading, and maybe writing one or 2 papers a week, it’s basically writing 6-10 papers a week.

It’s all good, though.  It’s tough, sometimes almost insurmountably tough, but it’s wo20161218_154238rth it.  I can already see the difference in my writing from the first class and today.  I have changed my point-of-view on SO. MANY. THINGS. and I LOVE THAT!

Full Disclosure: I had two papers due yesterday and totally made the choice to blow them both off in favor of spending the day with my husband eating grilled cheese sandwiches, drinking, making cookies, watching football, and taking selfies with my puppy. A choice I paid dearly for at 6am this morning. #worthit

 

Angergy

I was warned.

Before my 4-day intensive residency program for my MSW program, my friend and co-worker, Emily, told me that it would get me all fired up and excited about social work.  I rolled my eyes and assured her that it would be painful and the longest 4 days of my life.  Emily is just good people. One of those positive, ‘rah-rah- GO TEAM!!’ people that we all wish we could be instead of the snarky, eye-rolling bitches that we mostly are. And by we, I obviously mean me 😉  So Emily telling me that I was going to love it, really didn’t hold a lot of water. Sorry, Emily.  lol

Well damnit, she was right.

Every class for those 4 days left me feeling like I need to DO SOMETHING!!  MAKE A CHANGE!! Opening day we had speakers talking about the importance of social work on the macro-level.  BIG CHANGES…. LAW changes…. POLICY changes… FIGHTING FOR CIVIL RIGHTS CHANGES!  I barely waited until the break before texting Jessi to tell her that I believe she is a social worker at heart.  She LIVES to argue for change and, while right now it’s just limited to social media and in-person stuff, I KNOW she has it in her to change the world.

By the end of the 4 days, I had decided that in the interest of personal growth, I needed to do some work, and perhaps my field experience, working with those victims of domestic violence.  The reason?  Well… there was a long pause just now before I could bring myself to type the word “victims,” because, I don’t see women as victims. I see destructive choices that hurt children, and themselves.  I have done a lot of soul-searching since I made that

decision, and while this is something I need to continue thinking about, I don’t think I can do my field experience in that type of situation at this time in my life.  I do work with people from time-to-time as a crisis worker who are in domestic violence situations, and I honestly have no trouble with it.  I have empathy for them, and am fully there with them in that moment.  But when I don’t have a person in front of me living that life, I have a pretty strong bias.

Our final small-group project was to pick an issue and do a 15 minute PowerPoint presentation.  We chose to present on veteran suicide because of all the recent press with the 22 pushups a day challenges to represent the 22 veterans a day who commit suicide.  We slayed our presentation, and I learned a lot from a veteran in our group about military culture and the struggles they face when they come home, and it has me sooooooooo pissed off.  One odd fact that I didn’t know is that the suicide rate is higher for veteran’s who DON’T get sent to fight!  And there doesn’t seem to be an explanation for this anywhere?

OK… I will stop rambling now, because I could easily continue, and talk about rape culture…. elder abuse…. sex trafficking….  racism….  SO MANY THINGS BOUNCING AROUND IN MY HEAD!!

Good thing I am back to exercising to burn off some of this angergy.  <—– HAHA New word!!

Life got in the way

Boston aquarium and an excuse to show of my man’s sexy arm 😉

It happens.  September arrived, and with it a flurry of activity and emotions.  We started our new fall work schedules (a new schedule that  I LOVE, but was a big change nonetheless), Jessi headed back to UMaine, Sean started 8th grade, Mom came for a surprise visit, we went on our long-awaited long weekend to Boston…….. etc etc etc…..

All were WONDERFUL excuses to not count points and stick to Weight Watchers.  I CAN proudly say that I have continued to exercise!  Yay me!

But now I am at a crossroads of sorts.  I am not feeling WW at all.  I have considered going back to low-carb for awhile.  But honestly…. as of this moment.  I am just feeling sticking to exercise and trying to be more mindful about what I stuff in my face and why I am doing said stuffing.

Speaking of WHY….  Nicole (bff) and I were talking about all my yearly autumn drama
Nicole: Why ARE you such a mess every year at this time?
Me:  I don’t fucking know…  because everything changes and it’s really busy and irritating.
Nicole: Hmmmm…. I think there is more to it then that.  When did your father leave?
Me: Holy shit.
Nicole:  :::::mic drop:::::

Now I have no idea if she is really onto something, but who knows?  Talking with my mom about it, she thinks that if there is a connection there, it would also include moving to Maine a few months beforehand and leaving behind my entire life in Connecticut.  And even if they ARE related, I need to learn to manage my behavior no matter WHAT the reason is for engaging in said behavior. …
Or maybe just work on being less crazy in general.  LOL NAH!!!!  What fun would THAT be!!??

And now some pics from the past couple weeks adventures…..
Sangria and a visit from Mom, which also included an unexpected lovely weekend at a cottage in Northport, Maine.

ONE DIRECTION!!!!  (Yes I am a 13 year old in a forty-something body.)
Jessi’s “new” car and back to school

Sassy new hair… that husband hated.  (“It’s so STRAIGHT?  Where’s my wild-haired girl??”) 

Nothin’ to it but to KEEP DOIN’ IT!!!
Lonnie grillin’ up some Paella during Mom’s visit.
Another gratuitous sexy husband pic.  LOOK AT THOSE CALVES!

The grad school application essay that I am not going to write

When I was fifteen years old, I lived in a car with two guys.  I spent my days sleeping in the backseat and visiting my friends in the high school parking lot rather that going to school.  I was suspended,  and then expelled. I shoplifted a package of Twinkies from the Broadway Shop n’ Save because I was hungry.  I was arrested for inciting a riot.  Then I was arrested again because I didn’t return two movies and the store charged me with theft.  Then I broke into house of an ex-boyfriend to retrieve said movies (that he had refused to give back to me) and return them.  And… oh yeah, I was also a cutter.   ………………………..blah blah blah this all led me to want to pursue a career in social work as I feel that I can not only relate to those who are struggling, but I also feel like I am a pretty good example of the fact that one CAN come out on the other side of a bad place.

The past few months I had been pondering going to grad school to get my masters in social work.  I love school.  I love writing, and assignments, and having “stuff I have to get done.”  What I don’t love is student loan debt.  As of today, I have close to $80,000 of said debt.  I know people don’t often put their money situations ‘out there.’  Money is really the last taboo.  We will converse about our vaginas, our partner’s psych medications, and that weird mole on our ass that keeps on growing, but if you want to end a conversation in .002 seconds,  ask someone how much money they made last year.

Anyhoo… We needed to buy a second car last week.  Lonnie’s 2000 ford Explorer wasn’t going to pass inspection again.  We listed it for sale on Craigslist, assuming that it would take forever to sell, or wouldn’t sell at all and we would just take whatever we could in trade just to get rid of it.  WRONG.  I am STILL getting e-mails today about that stupid car that two guys came and picked up 2 days after I listed it.  Car gone.  Us with one car.  Not good.  So we scrambled to find a replacement.  WTF does this have to do with grad school, you ask?  Well, a super fun finance guy at the dealership took what seemed to be an opportunity that he had been waiting for all his life, to berate me about my student loan debt, and what exactly it is that I am now doing for work, and how I was ever going to pay that off as ‘just a social worker.’  And as much of a dick he was, he was right.  Not only was he right, but he highlighted what an ass I am for even considering adding to that pile of money that I need to pay back.

So grad school is not happening right now.  And unless I someday work for a company that is going substantially subsidize the endeavor, it may never happen.  And I am 90% ok with that.  OK maybe 80% …or possibly 75%?