Archive for January, 2010

Month 4

Obviously, given the infrequency of my posts lately, there’s a lot of stuff going on that I don’t – and in some cases, can’t – write about in a public forum.  I will share one thing with you, however: Month 4 has been, without a doubt, the hardest month of internship to date.

This is not unexpected – I was told this would happen by people who have been there and know.  January is just close enough to April to be over halfway done, but far enough away that 10 more weeks seems like forever (even though I’ve already done 16 weeks).  February will fly by – only 28 days, plus Paul’s visiting and I’m going to NMT training (a big HOORAY for both of those!!).  I have a feeling that March – the last month – will be a flurry of activity, me frantically trying to tie up loose ends, studying like a madwoman for exams, trying to take in everything I can about San Diego, flying back to Texas for my best friend’s wedding (an actual event, not a movie) … and then BAM! it’s April 2nd and it’s all over.  I’m back to Texas, finding a job, building a life.  Time marches on.

At any rate, right now I am trying desperately not to fall into burn-out.  At times I’ve been more successful than others.  More than ever I find that I need breaks in my day, I can’t go long periods moving from client to client without a lunch break, a coffee break – something.  When I get home at night, I have to fight every fiber in my being to do actual work and not curl up in bed.  I really have to fight my body’s urge to stay in bed in the morning as well – particularly on those mornings that I’ve been getting up to run.  Ahhh, running… currently my main tool against burnout.  That, and Texas athletics.

At the Music Therapy Center of California, a site where I’m currently working (and loving!), they use a “months of the year” song with some of the clients.  The song capitalizes on a technique called MMT (musical mnemonics training), which basically means that people have an easier time encoding memorizable information in their brain (e.g. months of the year) if  it’s set to music.  At any rate, there’s a set of flashcards that accompanies said song, each with the name of one month on it, and while the client is learning the song, the therapist sets out each flashcard in turn as a cue for the client.  What struck me about this the first time I saw it was not how remarkable MMT is (that came later), but actually how fast the months truly do go by.  Someday, when I look back on my time in San Diego, the months are going to go by in my head like six flashcards (“October… November… December… January… February… March”), one by one going on the table, each month the same size and taking up the same amount of space.  And then the song will continue and go on.  And right now, that is the most comforting thing in the world to me.  🙂

January 24, 2010 at 10:39 am Leave a comment

Time marches on…

… My dad used to listen to a lot of country music, and there was this one Tracy Lawrence song with the above title and the fantastic line “The only thing that stays the same is everything changes, everything changes…”  This is so, so true.  For one thing, my brother proposed to his beautiful girlfriend this weekend and I couldn’t be happier for them… 4 years of long-distance = major respect from me.  Two and a half years makes me want to pound my head against a wall sometimes 🙂

Something that I can’t explain happened to me over my all-too-brief holiday trip back to Texas.  I came back here in some ways exactly the same person that left a few days before Christmas, but in some ways I feel more mature now.  This may be because in addition to transitioning from co-leading to mostly leading sessions now, we’re also training two brand new interns!!  While this is fun and I really enjoy this newfound role, it is also stressful – I want to make sure I’m telling the newbies things they need to know,while cautiously leaving out things that will just be overwhelming at this point.  Anyway, every day is a new adventure, and getting used to that fact has made me better able to “just go with it”.  There’s something else though that’s contributing to this new feeling – I think I just became more confident while I was at home, spending time with friends/family… I began to think about all the things I wasn’t trying in my life because they were new or scary (or both), and I decided to (to the best of my ability) banish fear from dictating my life decisions OR my decisions in therapy.  For me, the hardest part of following my instincts is no longer deciding what my instincts are telling me – it’s actually growing a pair and following through.  🙂

At any rate, I’m working on it, and it’s slowly getting better.  I’m also drinking more tea than I used to (generally of the decaf or caffeine free variety at night).  I have fallen deeply in love with The Coffee Bean’s ginseng peppermint looseleaf tea.  It is heaven.  Perfect studying beverage if you don’t want caffeine but like the mental perk-up you get from the ginseng.  Also getting into green tea with kombucha – yum 🙂

Okay – going to bed, night night, have a wonderful week everyone!!  12 weeks to end of internship!

January 11, 2010 at 12:50 am Leave a comment

I promise…

… so back in October I wrote a post at the bottom which is a list of promises I made to myself the night before I started internship.  Tonight, on the eve of starting my second half of internship (cannot believe I’m already HALF DONE!?!), I looked at the list and made some changes – some additions, some revisions of pre-existing promises, a few that Idecided to take out.  Anyway, here’s the new list:

I promise…

-to seek out opportunities for growth

-to trust my intuition more often

-to engage in self-care

-to find opportunities for positive change in criticism and praise alike

-not to expect perfection, only improvement

-to reach out to thers confidently (in work and in personal life)

-to “go for it”, even if I’ve never done “it” before

-to see God in every client and in every colleague

And finally…

-not to get angry with myself if I falter in achieving one of my promises for myself.

There you have it!  I’ll update you after internship’s finished with a whole new list of promises.  I am sure there will be many!  Part of the reason my Christmas break was so wonderful was that I got to spend 10 days in the exclusive company of people who support me and who believe in me.  That kind of love is incredibly powerful to receive – it transforms you, makes you believe that you are worth believing in.  It was exactly what I needed.  Trust me, I’m far from “there” yet (whatever “there” means), but every week I get a wee bit closer!

All right kids, time for bed – back to the grind tomorrow (and by the grind I mean leading drum circles, helping people find a sense of relaxation through music and the like).  I love my job!

January 4, 2010 at 1:26 am Leave a comment


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