She Shares Morning Tea

Hello lovelies!

My iPad didn’t want me to be great today, but I still wanted to share what’s rockin’ my world. If you get to the end, you’ll see why.

Video highlights:

My bra-less life

New Hair/New Lashes

Big Move!

What’s Rockin’ Your World as of late?

-She

 

Coping with Stress

Sometimes I recognize when I’m stressed, and other times, it’s like a typical Wednesday and I just want the work day to end. My coping mechanisms depend on my mood. At times I want to come home and pour myself a bottle of wine. Other times I push myself to the gym, or to pick up some take-out that will help me feel better. Some weeks, I countdown to Thursday when I have my #therapytime. I try not to judge myself too hard when I don’t see the gym for weeks on end. I recognize some coping mechanisms are healthier than others, but they are all helpful in just getting me through the DAY.

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Day by day is the only way we can live, taking what comes and rolling with the punches. With my job, it helps to prepare for the weeks to come, and possibly to take one day or one afternoon to plan for the 2-3 days ahead. In a PERFECT world. Planning and prepping is ideal, but realistically not always possible. Also, there’s times when unexpected things come up, and boom! you have to drop what you have planned and make like a rubber band (super stretchy.)

When it comes to stress management, I recognize Twitter works for and against my productivity. Sometimes during down-time, I vent to the the Twitterverse. I also document tidbits of my day; something a student has said during therapy, or some epiphany I’ve had in the course of the workday. Kids can be comic relief any day. Those days, I’m reminded why I love pediatrics. On days I’m just trying to get a student to sit down and care about what we are doing, my attitude becomes I’m over it and cannot wait until Friday, or spring break, or June (depends on the severity.)

Don’t misunderstand me. I am thankful for my career, which wasn’t an easy road. I think it’s easy to get discouraged, or loose patience, especially when you’re working with others. My ultimate take-away from working in a school environment is: YOU CANNOT CONTROL OTHERS. You hope for a “team-focused, positive, communicative” school team. IN A PERFECT WORLD everyone will consider one another and communicate well. You hope for on-board parents that will take your recommendations seriously. You hope for students that will not refuse services and will put forth their best effort. And this may be the case, overall, but in only takes a couple of difficult students to make things seem unbearable.

We don’t live in a perfect world. Therefore, stress can be expected. IT can also be managed, not in a pre-determined way someone else says you should manage it, but by paying attention to your current habits in a non-judgmental way.

What are some ways you manage your stress?

What are some habits you realize help manage stress that you hadn’t taken into account before?

-Tica

Work, Work, Work, Work…

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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 remain,

She

Summer 16: What’s Rockin’ My World

I’m already halfway through the summer “break” (when traditional schools are closed, unless they are in extended school year) and this has been a great time of waking up late, staying up even later, and doing whatever my heart desires. Most days it’s been cleaning, TOO much t.v., sitting poolside working on my tan, small decoration projects around the house, or planning trips. I have yet to post about the Chicago trip (it’s coming!), and this weekend I leave for a week-long beach trip. After that, my mom is coming to visit me in my big-girl apartment (sans roommate) for a couple of days from Florida. I’m geeked about a whole week of being steps away from water. Also, I get to hang out and get to know my boyfriend’s college friends, which we don’t see very often because they live near Richmond, VA.

I think this is the best summer I’ve had in awhile. A summer of part time working, but because I chose to, not because I had to. I have not had a summer “off” since I decided to go back to school 3 years ago. It’s hard getting used to not having anywhere to go in the mornings, and then doing that for about 6 weeks. I don’t know why I feel guilty about staying in bed until midday, or when I have a day of nothing on the To Do list. But I intend to keep sleeping in until I stop feeling guilty about it. 🙂

Last year, I didn’t work on my birthday (which fell on a Friday) but I still had to wake up early Saturday to work. This year for the big 3-1, I enjoyed a Sunday picnic with friends on a vineyard in Southern, MD called Running Hare. And we played Scattegories. My ideal day; chicken, friends, board games and chilled wine. I don’t intend to work on my birthday ever again (if I can help it.)

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Birthday vibes.
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View from Running Hare

The remainder of the summer is looking great, I have the next 2 weeks off and I intend to be present for them. I want to sign up for some technique dance classes. I have some more de-cluttering to do in my apartment (read: throw out paperwork.) I want to plan for a smooth transition back to work, at a new school with less support than I had my first year. I’m excited to see what population and new school team I will be a part of. I also want to soak up all my well-deserved time off before that countdown back to work. I may or may not get to do more writing until next month, but that’s only because I’m taking doing nothing very serious.

Your turn now. What’s rocking your Summer16?

 

-She