This is my second post of the year (sad face, kind of.) That’s just the way it’s supposed to be, I imagine. I’m trying to get my life, ya’ll!
I didn’t plan it that way, but I am also very much about not forcing what is not coming organically. Writing is my happy place, not my deadlines and forced writing place. Occasionally, I did feel that nudge to get something down on paper, but I also don’t like writing just to write. I am very much about content, not just about post numbers. 2017 is bringing a lot of changes, and I’m both excited and ready. Here’s what’s been rockin’ my world thus far:
- In the tune of self-care, I have decided to cut down my work hours per week. I currently hold a full-time and part-time job, and I used to work 3 afternoons a week, but as of January I cut that down to 2 nights. Yes, I’ll miss the money but I really love having my Monday nights back.
- I am gearing up for the next physical move in life. I’m saying adios to the DMV! I’m hitting on 5 years in the area (come August), and I’m ready for something new! More details to come… #newcity2017
- I have to start DISCARDING stuff from my apartment. Namely my paperwork and things I’ve accumulated from graduate school. To prepare for this, I’m reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (audiobook.) https://www.amazon.com/Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering-Organizing/dp/1607747308
- Speaking of books, I have a 6 book goal for 2017. That sounds like an elementary goal, but it’s realistic for me and I make no apologies for it. Work is the main thing that keeps me from leisure reading, and the other part has been that I “consume” a lot and have no desire to read outside of that. I’m working on it, because I do miss getting lost in books.
- Work is work. There’s peak high and low times, I’m currently about to hit the peak “pre-spring break” time. IEP meetings galore, therapy, testing and everything in-between happens crazily in the days leading up to spring break. This year, we have spring break a little bit later in the year, which means the weather will be getting nicer and hopefully we won’t have any crazy snow storms. I don’t mind the days off, I just don’t want to extend the school year past June 12th! The good thing is when we come back from spring break, it’ll be almost May, a less-than 2 month countdown to the end of the school year.
- I want to pierce my nose. I have always liked nose piercings, but wasn’t sure how professional this “appeared.” I think nose piercings are more accepted now (even those septum piercings are very common) and so I’m going to go ahead and do it! #newpiercing2017
- I’m tired of working for other people, so I’m going to slowly and surely start my own contracting business. Nothing to it but to do it. This has been on my mind for almost a year, gotta set it in action!
- Love has found its way back to me. We are making it work with effort and transparency. I’m happy.
What’s currently rockin’ your world?
Last night, I stumbled upon a great article on Tactus Therapy about transitioning settings as a speech language pathologist (from schools to medical.) It’s very scary to think about making drastic changes, but I’m learning the older I get that without risk, there’s no reward. I think the most stifling feeling when it comes to work is the thought of being “stuck” or that you don’t have any options. Every speech language pathologist I’ve come in contact with, has chartered their own path. I love listening to “how I got here” stories. I’ve met veterans in school systems, private practice owners, doctoral students, clinicians who aspire to effect change on the state and local level by being active in State organizations, and I’ve read about SLP’s who have landed dream jobs abroad. Many hats, same passion.
I am also a Reddit lurker, because sometimes one can stumble upon the most provoking threads. In our field, sometimes it’s hard to find the answers you’re looking for by searching a simple Google question. I remember a big question that my graduating class had was realistic salary expectations coming out of school. I know there are many factors to consider (setting, hours, productivity, etc.), but I think having that information is empowering (especially in a female-dominated field where the N word is difficult.) Salary is not something you go up to a professor and discuss casually, and we (as a class) got the feeling that it was neither “proper” or “professional” to expect a direct answer or number. But it sure would have been helpful. In my experience in reading Reddit threads, people are more willing to share numbers to strangers across the interwebs. The transparency is just one aspect that we may lose in the spirit of “decorum.”
I’m writing this because I’m recognizing very early that the school setting is not a long-term reality for me. I’ve learned a lot in the 3 years (one year CF, and 2 “on my own”) from 2 different school districts. I have a lot of respect for everyone involved with keeping schools running, however, it is not for everyone. It is a tiresome, thankless job that no one does for money. But you’ve probably already heard that tune. I think the most exciting question to answer is… so what’s next?
The aforementioned article closes with the the thought that one should “travel toward what excites them, not away from what scares them.” In other words, it’s all about perspective. Recognizing what’s NOT for you is just as important as what is. The journey is the fun part, and the plan is what drives the goal. This year, I am embracing the plan and not becoming overwhelmed by big tasks. I’m striving to take a step every day towards not settling, committed to staying fulfilled, motivated and present.
How do you stay motivated when finding the right work setting?
I’ve washed my last dish of 2016. I’m on my couch currently eating Talenti ice cream (Southern Butter Pecan) from a sugar cone (I’m fancy!) I wouldn’t have New Year’s Eve any other way. 2016 is almost officially over on the East Coast. I’m thankful.
Below are some of the highlights of my year:
I got enough of the DC sights to last about 2 years. Summer (my goddaughter) came to visit for Labor Day and my mom got a couple of days in August to explore the Capital.
I got to fall in love with Chicago again. In the summertime, anyway.
I got to vote for the first time ever in life since becoming a US citizen in July 2014. I know, I know….didn’t mean to bring up the Election.
I went to Costa Rica two times! I loved visiting in March/April and November.
I harbored a new love for Play Dough in therapy.
I cut my hair.
I went to ASHA’s Annual Convention in Philly.
2016 was overall great. It wasn’t all perfect, but it’s unrealistic to expect a “perfect” year. Whatever comes my way, I can handle it.
Here’s to an awesome, safe and blessed ringing of 2017.
This Thanksgiving was non-traditional but still special. I got to travel back home for a bit for the second time this year and recalibrate (refresh, rejuvenate, and reset.) I had been struggling a lot more recently with getting out of my head and being present no matter what is going on. Work has been difficult and I’ve been unmotivated. It’s been very difficult to enjoy those things that I usually enjoy. These past 3 months have not been easy, but time has helped. Being in the presence of my loved ones, in a place that I don’t see nearly enough, has done me good. And I’m gon’ be alright.