Licenses, Firsts, and some life advice

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I can't believe it's already September. The summer seems to have flown by. It was a busy one around here. I got a new job, continued with a writing job I already had, celebrated my husband's birthday, and celebrated our first wedding anniversary. All good stuff, but it has kept me busy.

I also decided this summer to place my law license in inactive status. I am a member of two licensed professions (law and therapy) and it makes no sense to keep my law license active since it costs $500 a year to do so and I'm not using it. Should I ever decide to use it again, I can always place it on active status, but I don't see that happening in the near future or probably ever. You never know though.

In June, I started working as a full-time therapist at a psychiatric hospital. It is a very, very busy job. I am on the go from morning until quitting time. It's the kind of job where you look up and see it's 3 p.m. already and you have no idea how the time has passed so quickly. I average about 45 hours a week there plus I work, on average, two weekend days a month. Feels good to be working in my field and amassing the required hours for my full license. As a therapist, I'm required to work 3000 hours and see a supervisor (this is a person who has a special license designation for supervising interns) once a week until my hours are completed. It's like having a mentor who assists you and helps you grow in the profession. I adore my supervisor!

I made a decision this summer to clear my schedule a bit. In addition to working 45 hours a week, plus at least two weekends, I was seeing my supervisor one night a week and facilitating two DBSA groups on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The Thursday group required that I drive 60 miles round-trip. It was exhausting. I decided to let go of the Thursday evening group and that has made a huge difference in how I feel. I'm not as exhausted during the week and I feel like I'm more centered mentally. I have always been a person with a packed schedule, but I'm learning how much I not only value, but really need down time. It's helped me a lot to have that free time during the week. I gave notice to the organization in August that I could no longer do the Thursday night group and I facilitated my last one at the end of that month.

In August, we also celebrated my husband's 38th birthday with a professional massage for him and a trip to the water park. We enjoyed the weekend immensely. That same month, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary.

Our first year together has been filled with ups and downs in life, but never with each other. We are rock solid and steady, helping each other through the storms. It's absolutely amazing to me that I have someone like my husband in my life. I've certainly had my share of relationship mishaps, but I'd do it all again 10 times over to have the amazing, incredible man I have in my life now. A true partnership, a person who cares for my happiness as much or more than he does his own, a man who strives every single day to make my life as easy as possible...this is worth waiting for. 

So many people stay in relationships for years that just don't work in one way or another. With my husband, I now realize how much time I wasted with people who didn't deserve it. In this relationship, I feel valued and genuinely cherished every single moment of every day. Nearing 40 years old now, I just want to tell my younger self and anyone else who will listen - DO NOT SETTLE.

If you find yourself chasing someone who keeps you at arm's length or uses you when it's convenient for them, if you find yourself hoping they will call and you switch your life around to do everything you can to be in their life...just stop. Stop and move on. There truly are better people out there. Don't waste the effort on those who don't deserve it.

I realize this is hard to do. Eternal hope keeps us running back to the things we think we want. But one thing I've learned is that, in the end, it's just not that difficult. If someone wants to be with you, they will do so. It's really that simple. Years of pining and wondering and worrying and hoping is just wasted energy. Find the one who doesn't play games, doesn't make you feel like you're a burden on their time and energy, understands that love is about being a team and traversing the path together. It's worth it. Truly. 

Tube Theft and Other Water Park Adventures

Sunday, August 10, 2014

We had a fantastic day at Wet 'n Wild Splash Town Houston yesterday! It was part of my wonderful husband's birthday celebration. We arrived early in the morning about 30 minutes after the park opened and we stayed a good six hours. I thought I'd write a blog about our experience at the park and what might make it easier for people who are planning to go.

Obviously swim wear is a must, but what a lot of people don't think about is shoes. Many people think they can go barefoot. And you can, but it is HOT in Texas (I know, shocking) and the ground can burn your feet. We learned from our trip to the park last year that water shoes are the way to go. We stopped at Wal-Mart and bought a pair for each of us for the grand total of $14 since my shoes were on sale for $3. Totally worth it. Way easier to walk around the park with the shoes and there was only one ride (Wala Wala Falls) where we had to take them off. No problem though because it's a short ride and you can easily hold them.

Our shoes:

This site offered an excellent discount on tickets. It's a credit union site. We're not members of the credit union, but were still able to use the site. We got tickets for $30 each and that included the taxes and processing fee. That is an absolute steal and hard to beat anywhere.

Parking costs $10, but there is a pick-up/drop-off area so if you want to save on parking, you can have a friend drop you off. We planned to go ahead and pay for the parking ourselves.

We arrived about 30 minutes after the park opened. That was not bad since it wasn't as crowded as it got later in the day, but it is still crowded. Definitely buy your tickets online before you go (see discount site above). You can save yourself time standing in the ticket line.

Your bags will be inspected and any and all food/drink items will be removed. You will be asked to return them to the car or to eat them right there or whatever, but you cannot bring them into the park with you. Be prepared for that.

Food and drinks are ridiculously expensive in the park. The best thing to do is eat before you go. We stopped by Dunkin' Doughnuts before we went to the park and that filled us up. The one thing we did do was purchase a drink in the park. It was horrifically expensive, but worth it at the time since I was so thirsty. I understand you can bring water so next time I will do that. But, I did not see any water fountains in the park to refill a bottle so I'd suggest bringing a large bottle.

For food, the best thing to do is leave the park (you can re-enter for no fee) and walk to Wendy's or Rudy's BBQ, both of which are nearby. It's not a bad walk and is significantly cheaper than eating in the park.

There is really no way around a locker rental since everyone brings something with them to the park if only car keys. The small locker was $9 plus a $5 fee that gets refunded when you bring the key back. Just plan to pay that. The small locker accommodated our tote bag with sunscreen, extra clothes and towel.

Tubes are $6 plus a $2 fee that gets refunded when you return them. We rented two tubes. This is not the best idea honestly. Live and learn. We ended up carrying them around with us and on the second ride we went on, we had to use the provided tubes for the ride. So we set our rented tubes next to the ride thinking they would be fine there.

They weren't. We got off the ride and found our tubes gone. Luckily, we saw a kid with one of them so we got that one back. We returned to the tube rental place and they were nice enough to just give us a second tube. Still though, it's just a hassle because you only need the tube for three of the rides in the park. While it is nice not to have to wait in the tube line (which can get very, very long), the best thing to do is either not rent the tube or, if you decide to, go immediately to the attractions for which you need it and do those first, then return the tube.

Attractions for which you can use the rental tubes are:
1. Runaway Rapids
2. Zoom Flumes
3. RipQurl

You can also use them on Paradise River, which is the lazy river where you just casually float around the park.

So, if you rent the tubes, go immediately to the attractions where they are useful, ride those as much as you want and then return the tubes so you aren't carrying them around all day.

Park Map:
Hope that helps some of you who may be thinking about visiting the park this summer. All in all, we had a great time and will definitely be back next year!