Friday, September 26, 2014

20 years

20 years ago today, I started classes at the University of Oregon. I was 18. I didn't know then that I would earn four degrees at three universities across 11 years. It was the beginning of a long journey that I didn't know I was on. Just a few days before classes started, I met the woman who would become my best friend, my kindred spirit. Britt had the dorm room down the hall from mine. We lived in the International Dorm and it turned out we were the only two there who were from Oregon. We bonded over cereal and our mutual love of talking about everything and nothing at all. Britt has been by my side for over half my life now, seeing me through marriage, divorce, law school, grad school, moving from Oregon to Houston, and everything in-between. There is nothing that can replace the sound of her voice when I need a pick-me-up, her great advice for all life's troubles, and her shared joy when life goes my way. Thank you for sharing the journey Britt. I love you more than I can say. Here's to 20 years of friendship. I have truly been blessed with you.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Licenses, Firsts, and some life advice

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.