Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The price of work

I have been considering my work and what I earn and wondering, not wondering, knowing I need to make some changes but not really knowing what changes to make. I am a music therapist and a !massage therapist working primarily with children and adults with special needs. I also do massage work with a hospice (my favorite work) and I am working on becoming a doula and doing music therapy child birth assistant work.  I have built my business around traveling to people's homes to see them. I have been happiest when I had 10-13 hours of work. Of course this is when Maggie was younger and I was taking her places. I"m capable of more work, this has just been my sweet spot.  I have had up to 22 hours which is just too many. I currently hold 18 (and all this is not including hospice) and it has me working 3.5 days per week.  I could spread some of them out more, but since I live far away from the city it makes more sense to just to hit it hard when I'm in town and not drive to town more than I have to.  

I have been figuring what it costs me to earn what I earn. I make good money per hour and I won't deny that for a minute. There are a lot of 'non billable' things that have to be done in the course of a week as well and they are what leaves me feeling like I'm always working.  There is always a note to write or paperwork to do. It's frustrating to never feel like I'm finished working.  I also am lucky in that I can make my own schedule, so I'm not really complaining...at least not much.  I have always looked at my hand's on hours is half of what I do and I double that in my mind to know how many "real" hours I'm working and this seems like a viable formula.  So with 18 hours, I'm in reality working 36 hours, which is almost full time.  Of course, this doesn't take into account the extra people I see or the hospice people which is over and above. That number comes and goes so I don't count it as part of my week. Also, some weeks a lot of people cancel, so I am rarely seeing all 18 hours of clients.

I have been wondering if I should reduce my hours to drive into the city one less day.  As I approach my November wedding and eventual move to Purmela this would seem to make sense.  I am finding that i just don't tolerate the late nights and getting home after 1030 or 11 pm like I used to. I guess I'm getting old and I just don't have the energy I used to.  I now have so many day time clients I don't have to work as late...Conversely I have so many day time clients that I can't start as late to make up for the late nights.  I got home last night at 10. I got to sleep after 11.  I had a hard time waking up this morning to go see the clients I have this morning.  I just hate to give up the income of the extra 2.5 hours of work.  Of course I am praying about it and I feel God pressing on my heart to make this choice. I know that He will ultimate take care of me, I just hate to be foolish about my decision.  I wonder if I have been trying to do too much in any case. I find myself wondering what other therapists who do outcall work do.  

I have the opportunity to become the backup therapist at a massage establishment close to where I will be living. However I'll be an employee, I'll make half of what I make per hour now and I will lose much of the flexibility I have grown to love about my life.  The pros are simple, less money spent earning what I earn and more time at home.  As I become part of a new family unit these choices will have to be made, but I had decided not to make these choices until after we got married.  I have (probably unreasonable) concerns that if I go ahead and move my things and give up my house...what if something happened and we didn't get married. I don't mean like we break up...but what if something happened before we got married. Then I would be out of a house and out of a job and pretty much in a bad spot. So, we decided I should wait to make those changes till after the wedding. I'm at peace with that decision completely. It allows me to make one change without making a bunch of changes at once.  However, it also leaves me wondering how much is too much work? How much free time is reasonable? Is there something else I should be giving up besides money earning potential?  Is this something I need to just push through?

This is what I have been thinking about...

addendum. I found out that a couple agencies are looking for therapist near waco and Killeen ao if I give upy monday clients or shift them in will end up.filling that day with new opportunities. this is honestly thr point of consolidation: to move me closer to a career in the new location. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Another weird dream

I have been starting my mornings with strange dreams. They occur during the time my alarm goes off, or just before and go through when I finally push up and get out of bed.

This morning I dreamed that I was in a college cafeteria, but it was outdoors. I had been working at a long table, waiting for lunch time with my friends. I had my stuff all over the end of the table. My friends started to pile in and I got up to get my lunch. One of my music therapy teachers, Joe Pinson,  was there ordering food. He didn't realize it was the first day of classes...he used to teach college so I thought that was funny that he didn't realize classes were supposed to start that day.  I was trying to eat healthy so I got a banana and a yogurt and a tiny soft shelled taco.  When I got back to the table I found that one of my  friends had sat in my spot. I asked her to move and she refused saying her husband was coming and she needed a spot for both of them.  I replied that Michael was also coming and that all my stuff had been there. She told me she had moved me down the table.  So began part of my dream when every time I got up, my stuff and been moved. Finally I could not find my things or my food.  The disrespect and the lack of caring really got to me in the dream.  I ended up going off on the girl who had moved my things and her husband.  I was really angry with them and I tried to tell them all the things I have been holding back. Only every time I would start to get to the point of what I was saying I would lose my voice and no one could hear me.  I thought that one of the others in the group was on my side and that she would try to help me, but she agreed with them.  I left the table with Michael, in tears, trying to explain everything I was feeling, but still having no voice.

I don't need any interpreter to know what this dream is about.  I felt disrespected and undervalued in the group and Michael stood by me, which is awesome.  I couldn't tell my friends my concerns b/c I didn't feel like they would hear me anyway. In the end I just made a lot of people angry and accomplished nothing.  I think this dream embodies some of my recent relationship frustration where there are people with whom I would I like to talk but it is an awkward situation and talking it out may not even help.  It embodied my frustration with not being heard and feeling like my opinion is not important. The worst part is that when I tried to have my say,no one could hear me and I changed no one.  The best part of the dream is that my subconscious knows (and my conscious mind already knew) that Michael is truly on my side and my friend.  He is my rock and the best thing that has happened to me in this lifetime.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Tough Day

I sit here at my little desk in my bedroom...it's after 9 and I haven't even been in the house an hour yet. I have so many things swirling in my head and I have so much work to do....I had planned to come in and write my notes and watch some TV, but I find I really just like the quiet.  This is how I'm reminded that i really do need a paperwork day.  My paperwork is due by mail in Houston on Tuesday.  It's really hard to get it there unless i do it late and mail it priority on Saturday. I can get it there by Tuesday by Fed Ex ground as well, but I have to be on it early Monday morning. I had grand ideas that I'd get everything written and send it at the PO first thing in the morning, but it's clearly not happening. I do need to go to the PO first thing in the morning. I Have packages to pick up, but my brain is far too tired to write notes tonight. In spite of the fact that I don't enjoy early morning I'm more productive at 6a than I am at 9pm.

Three cats are out and one is lying on the bed with Bailey.  Pepper doesn't like dogs...or other cats really much.  She is curled up sleeping. Bailey is stretching out on the other bed. I'll have to get the other cats in before it gets too late because I like them and don't really want them to die.

When Michael and I get married the hardest part is going to be staying focused on my work when it needs to get done.  I enjoy being around him so much that it's hard for me to buckle down and work.  And he wakes up much earlier than me, chipper, and wanting to watch the news. I'm either going to have to learn to work with the TV on or go out to "the cabin" to do my work and wake up at my own pace.  He is the most considerate man I have ever met (I am NOT disrespecting anyone I have been with previously, fyi, this is just commentary on how kind HE is) and he will do whatever I need without question. I need to find my own balance so he is not burdened with that task.

I have decided that for now I'm not going to look for a job closer to his home. I'm going to keep my little house at Teresa's for as long as I can stand to split my time between his house and here. I will slowly start to put feelers out and through one of my contracts I will start to find work closer to his house.  I will be up here about 3 nights per week, maybe less sometimes, and down there the other four. This will give me a chance to get married and then find work instead of trying to do it all at once.  I am also going to rearrange my furniture here again to get the big TV out of the bedroom and make it more "2 person" friendly.  That way if he's here and can't sleep or I have work to do and he wants to sleep we will have a more functional space to make that happen.  It's all a process.

My trailer is still not getting any hits. I'm not sure why but I do need to get it sold. I'm hoping to work on cleaning out so I can take photos of the inside tomorrow morning, but I have some other stuff going on so who knows.  I've reduced the price to $4800, but that won't include the hi tie, since that itself is $300+.  So anyone interested in a horse trailer with a great place to sleep email me.

I found out today that my first CTR horse, Delicato, a shagya mare, died earlier in the summer. The folks who had her and were using her for lessons kept meaning to call me but just never got around to it.  They were busy, so I'm not upset that they didn't call, but it is sad knowing she's not in the world. I realized today that all my KY pets are gone now...

Deli was not a great CTR horse, nor was she a great dressage horse, but she turned out to be a great lesson horse in her later years.  She did not really like the ever changing things on the trail and while she tried so hard to be a good trail horse she would sometimes lose her marbles and spook, which almost always meant that I fell off.  One time, at Parrie Haynes ranch, we were cantering along a trail and out of the blue she spooked and I came off so hard I lost my shoes.  I had a hurt tail bone for weeks (months?)...it only happened 2-3 times per year but it was always big and I almost never stayed on.  I wish I had been the rider I am now when I had her. I'm sure we could have done better things together now. She was a beautiful creature to look at but she hated other horses.  She would get after any of the horses than came near her when being ridden.  I will have to ask Laurie/Sarah at the NATRC office how many miles she had in CTR. Not that many I'm sure. We competed at 2 rides in 2002 and 5 in 2003. I think there were 2 in 2004 and then in 2005 and 2006 just a smattering.  2007 I took her to be bred but rode her in 1 competition on the way there...she lost her mind and we had to pull just before the 2 mile marker on the 2nd day. So close to the end...

Besides her CTR career she did a little pony club with Maggie, a little dressage with me. She liked to jump if it wasn't too hard, but had a habit of ducking out at the last minute given a chance. She was mother to Fiera, who like her mom didn't really like trail and is happily doing therapeutic riding in Arkansas....

I have posted some photos of her on facebook...as I mentioned above she was a beautiful horse. She will be missed.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Coming home

This is the first, non-horse related vacation I have had..ever. I think...I did go to that drumming retreat but that was for CMTE's when Maggie was 2 and while it was fun and cathartic in many ways it wasn't really a vacation. Since leaving home 8 days ago we have paid very little attention to clocks and it has been wonderful. Now we are back on the boat, sitting in the martini bar relaxing on the last day. At 8 pm we have name that tune in the martini lounge. 
The vacation has worn us out in a good way. We have learned as to sleep past our normal alarm and wake up after 7. We have had leisurely days and quiet nights. We have hung out like people getting in a routine so, but it has never been boring. I have found my movie watching soulmate--we can watch any movie at anytime without it being a problem if it's not our favorite movie. We have met New people and he embraces these social experiences like I do. We talk or we happily exist side by side. I love this man. 
I'm never I'm trouble' in this relationship. There is on.y joy and fun. 
The Bahamas were an interesting place. Food was ok but not super exciting. All except for dinner last night which was fantastic. The workers at the resort were either really nice or kind of rude. There was no in between. Things were how they were. At the coffee shop they were out of half and half. I asked for more and they just said no there isn't anymore. There was about zero attempt at customer service. I wondered  if it was the all inclusive nature of the resort that made workers feel like they didn't get tipped enough. The highlight of the island people was the bus driver back to the boat, who was hilarious. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Off to the Bahamas

We have made it Ft. Lauderdale. I had gotten a little nervous because I had read the reviews on the hotel before we got here and they made it sound awful. It's not bad...not the greatest hotel but it's comfy and quiet and the staff is super nice. The food is "meh" but since we are going on a cruise and the Bahamas, I don't actually care.  Plus, it's free so I can't complain at all about any of that. We do have to sit through a time share sales pitch this afternoon and we plan to say no over and over. Furthermore they told us at check in if we know we aren't interested to just stay no and appear as uninterested as possible. I Figure I'll take my electronics and my crochet/knitting and that will make it easy to ignore them. One couple who just got back said that they are relentless on the hounding you for timeshare work, but just to say no and they will eventually let us go...

I saw on the news that Balise is having a hurricane. Glad we aren't going there.

I have been mulling over an interpersonal problem the last 12 hours.  It's something I don't think I can fix and that I'm going to have to let go, but I'm still troubled.  I have apologized for what I did (and honestly I don't even remember doing it) multiple times (this is the not the first time this issue has come up). I understand that I was hurtful. I also understand that I can't undo it and that the consequences of my behavior have to be experienced.  I find myself puzzled by so many things in this situation that I have to let it go but it's hard.

One year ago I had such a tight group of girlfriends.  Over the last year that group has fallen apart and it has been implied that it's my fault.  I don't feel like it was all me...I feel like I was thrown under the bus multiple times by multiple people till it because clear that the people I most relied on were not really the people I should be trusting.  At any point these people could have come to me and talked to me about the problems and I would have either made an effort to change or I would have said that I was unable to comply.  In either case I would not be sitting her a year later wondering who I can trust and who I can't.  Of course the whole situation comes back to trust because I evidently violated trust as well.

Sometimes I feel like this is all part of God's plan to move me forward out of the past and into my future.  I am physically farther away from many of these people than I was before. I have different concerns in my life than I did before. I'm getting remarried in the next 4 months and will be moving to a new location. I now have an adult daughter. I have a fiance who likes to ride. I have a best friend and partner that I value more than all of these other friendships.

The part that hurts in all of this is that I feel misunderstood. Whatever I did wrong, I never did anything being vindictive.  I never did anything to cause hurt intentionally.  It hurts so much that the people involved think that I was purposely mean instead of the clueless I was.  I continue to be amazed that for all my good intentions there are so many people who continue to question that goodness I truly hold in my heart more often than not.  I'm not saying that I don't have human feelings of dislike or hate or sometimes even think about revenge.  But I rarely if ever act on them.  I try to do what I should do all the time even when I don't want to. Or I do nothing.  The biggest, most human part of me in all this wants to know who threw me under the bus...

So I'm letting this go and I'm going to go have fun.  I can hardly wait to go on the boat or the Bahamas beach.  I am on vacation. I can read, drink, rest, swim, crochet, play sims...whatever I think is relaxing.

The plan is to get back on Monday (boat leaves tomorrow). Then we w will drive to Ocala and have dinner with Glenn the Geek and Coach Jenn. We hope to make it to Mobile that night and then drive the rest of the way home Tuesday.  I feel like I'll need a day before I get back to work.  Funny part is that we will be back Wednesday and Thursday (both have things to do Thursday) and then we leave for the JUGGS weekend at Parrie Haynes on Friday.  Then it will be back to real life I guess...sadness reigns.