Tag Archives: Dream life

Birthday Surprises…I HATE Surprises

I am not a very social person. I like spending time with people I’m extremely comfortable with, and usually in small groups. I like structure. I like to know what is going on and what to expect. I do not take surprises well. I get overwhelmed easily. My friends know this. My family knows this. My husband knows this.

(PC: the berry)

I love celebrating my friends and family’s birthdays. I don’t like celebrating my own. I never have. I usually get really depressed around my birthday. I remember when I was 10, my mom made me a chocolate cake and the number 10 was designed on the cake with those pumpkin candies. I remember thinking; “wow, my life is going by so quickly. I’m getting old.” Silly, right? Well those clearly rational thoughts have never gone away.

(I don’t know who to credit for this photo, my best friend texted it to me one day after finding it online)

This is a long story so stay with me. While my family was planning my birthday they asked me where I wanted to eat. I said; “lunch at mom’s house.” What is better than your favorite meal made by your mother? Nothing. My mom tried to convince me to go to a restaurant to celebrate. She asked me at least 20 different times leading up to my birthday. I complained to my husband about how I can’t understand why my mom is so pushy about going to a restaurant. My sister and I both have little ones. Taking little kids to a restaurant is a nightmare. I wanted to relax and be around the people I love.

My husband asked me what I wanted to do several times. Again, I said eat lunch at my parents house and then nothing. I wanted to relax and read. Then, my best friend asked if I wanted to get a couples massage with her for my birthday. Absolutely! Relaxing with my best friend sounds lovely. Not too much effort on my part. Great! Done! I asked my husband if he would be okay with this, he seemed excited that I’d want to do something for my day.

(My BF, daughter and me before leaving for the massage)

We arrived at the spa and checked in. Then my BF was looking at her phone and I glanced over and saw my husbands name in her Facebook messenger. I asked her why they were talking. She turned bright red and said it’s none of my business. The wheels started spinning in my head, but I was drawing a blank. I knew then there was a surprise but I didn’t know what it was. I asked her if I would hate it. She said no. I asked her 2 more times while getting our massages. I thought having her relaxed would make her more likely to talk, it didn’t. I was hoping that whatever it was, that it would be low-key. Like very few, if any, other people involved. I was and always will be perfectly okay hanging out by myself and isolating. Socializing is a lot of work.

After the massages, we drove into our neighborhood. I spotted my parent’s cars while pulling up to my house. I was confused, but then thought how nice he’s having my parents and sister come over. I walked in the house and saw one of my dearest friends standing in my kitchen. I was very confused because I wasn’t expecting to see her. Then I looked over and saw my aunt and uncle. They live in Ohio. I kind of stared at them, then it registered that they came to see me! What?!?! Amazing! My sister, brother in-law, nephews, best friends, parents, aunt and uncle and darling friends from high school all came to my house to celebrate me. My husband had been planning this for 3 months. I had no idea. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was slightly overwhelmed with tons of people at my house. But, I felt so completely loved and honored that people would come fly/drive really far to see me, all of them just to spend time with me for my b-day.

I hate surprises. Did I already say that?  I do. Almost always. But NOT this one. As much as I dread my birthday, this year was by far my most favorite birthday. I found out that my husband was trying to surprise me at a restaurant initially and had tried to get my mom to convince me to go out to eat (this didn’t click with me until he explained it; I promise I’m not stupid). When it was clear I wouldn’t go out to eat, he asked my best friend to take me to get massages. He paid for them. For 80 minutes! It was the best massage of my life! So much fun getting a couples massage with your bestie, I highly recommend it. After we left to get massages, my aunt and mom came to my house and they, along with my husband cleaned it. They had dinner waiting for me. Cupcakes. Loved ones. All there for me. I may not always express to my husband how much I appreciate him, but he is amazing. I really hit the jackpot with this one. For him to do something so kind and thoughtful and wanted to include my loved ones is just over the top. Besides having the best husband, I really do have a terrific family and the most wonderful friends anyone could ever have.

(This guy…my heart..he totally has it)

Yeah…and a couple of months ago I didn’t know what to get him. Yep, I sure did hand him our daughter and said “your welcome.” That’s a pretty good gift. Now I really need to make up for that one. I’m not a bad wife, I promise. He’s just so hard to buy for. He has everything. He buys what he wants. I can’t afford the things that he would love to have. At the end of the day, gifts don’t really matter. This surprise party was one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten. I will remember this for the rest of my life. Words can never express how much this birthday meant to me. Every one of those people who helped me celebrate my birthday mean the world to me. For those of my friends who read my blog, I adore you all. Truly and with my whole heart.

Oh and I still got to have my favorite meal prepared by my loving mom. I’m a very lucky lady. Young lady. I’m young!

Labor Day Weekend

I love holiday weekends that are spent with loved ones. I’m pretty traditional and enjoy my holidays to be filled with quality relaxing time. I hope everyone has a safe, happy and healthy holiday weekend!

I’m next to my daughter trying to get her down for a nap. It’s so peaceful to look out onto the water. We are so fortunate. While I love summer, I am very much looking forward to fall. It’s my favorite season. I love the smells, the weather, the colors. Once Labor Day hits, you know fall is just around the corner! For me, it’s like the beginning if the holiday season!

Getting away from the grind of every day life is so important. I feel that it’s so important for family to spend some quality time together away from stress, electronics, noise to be able to re-connect every now and then. I hope everyone out there gets to have some refreshing time spent among loved ones.

You Can’t Adopt Inmates?

I mean, obviously you can’t adopt an inmate. You can’t adopt grown-ups. I know about boundaries with my clients, not being “too invested”, having good self-care, blah blah blah. Doesn’t change that every so often there are several inmates that I would gladly take home if I could.

I think movies like The Blind Side make it seem right to take in grownups/or close to being a grown up seem like such a nobel idea. The entire adoption process of children is much more complicated. Once you turn 18 it’s like good luck, try to have a good life with no support system. I see more grown ups that are emotionally stunted because they had horrible childhoods and minimal to no support system.

As a human, you will come in contact with a variety of people who touch your heart in various ways. Some leave lasting impressions. Some you never want to see again. Then, there are some that if it were allowed, I would take home in an instant! I’m pretty vocal at the jail that I want to take some of the inmates home. People joke around with me and ask frequently who I want to bring home today. We laugh it off. I am mostly joking….mostly. I won’t take anyone home. This doesn’t stop me from wanting to.

Part of the reason I became a social worker is because I wanted to fix the world. I want to leave it a better place than I found it. Some of my supervisors over the years have said I have a “bleeding heart” and that my goals are unrealistic. Who cares if they are unrealistic? First, this pisses me off because who the hell is anyone to tell me that wanting to change the world is unrealistic. Change starts with one person, that’s it! I’m not saying that I will save the world, but wanting to save the world, why would anyone try to stop someone from attempting to do so?

Second, when did we all get so comfortable with the bystander effect? I’m a little disgusted that even among other social workers, there is this idea that some of my clients issues aren’t my problem and someone else with deal with them. Who is this magic someone else? Why is there always a someone else to deal with that specific issue? We try to make almost everything someone else’s issue. It’s not our job. It’s not our responsibility. People don’t want to take on other people’s problems. No wonder it is so hard for people to get mental health treatment. They have to go through many people, several agencies, countless pages of paperwork, then wait several weeks to months before even seeing a therapist or prescriber. People we consider high-functioning wouldn’t think this process is acceptable. For someone who is labeled with a mental illness, labeled a criminal, is homeless, whatever; this process becomes incredibly more difficult; if not almost impossible.

No system is perfect. I see countless issues within the system I work and don’t know where to even begin to start a conversation for implementing positive change. People are also uncomfortable with change. Not the point, with a flawed system it makes it seem more realistic in my mind to just take these people home. I know I can’t fix people. I know I’m not this amazing person that brings happiness wherever I go. I do know that change starts with the person who wants to change. But, I do have tools and skills to offer to these people. I do also have a warm heart that can give comfort and empathetic support.

There are things in this world I will never understand. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my job. I love the population I work with. There are days that are challenging. There are people who are challenging. The system gets me fired up at times. I am passionate about what I do, which people might mistake for weakness or being “too invested” (clearly I hear this term used often). As I have said before, I don’t think that being invested in a negative. Even if other people view that as a flaw, I will not change that. I will not apologise for that. I just wish there was better collaboration between agencies to help these inmates. I wish there wasn’t so much stigma attached to people who have committed a crime. Truly, anyone could easily get caught up in the judicial system, this does not mean this person no longer has value.

I just hope for a better world. I hate having conversations that focus on the limitations of what we can do as therapists/social workers. I don’t like being told that my ambitions are too high. That’s the problem with our society. Even if I don’t come close to my goals, I would rather attempt to get there and accomplish something than set my standards lower and accept things as they are. I may never see the changes in this world I wish to see, but I am sure as hell going to try.

Social Work Struggles

I returned to work on Monday. One week post-op. No real issues in that department. What I am sad about is that some people at my job tell me I’m too invested. This really irritates the living daylights out of me! We live in a culture that is very self-centered. Everyone’s main focus is on themselves.

I think if people spend a little more time being selfless instead of selfish, our society would function just a little better. I am all about self-care and being self full, but there has to be a balance. I hate when another social worker tells me I’m too invested in my clients, because that doesn’t seem like a very social worky thing to say. I thought that was the whole point of my job, to actually give a crap.

I think every therapist or in any line of work people have their favorite clients/patients/whatever. I definitely have mine, but I’ve also been told by my peers that while they know I have my favorite inmates they do not see me give them any special favoritism. I appreciate that feedback, I try to treat everyone equally and work equally as hard for all my clients. As a social worker, and more importantly, as a human we form attachments to people.

Forming bonds are so rare and special. People share things with me that I’m sure they have never shared with another person in their lives. I’m also positive that people flat-out lie to my face. Everyone has a story. Everyone has trauma. Everyone is a human. In my job specifically, I think the inmates are frequently seen as just that: an inmate, a criminal. It’s not always so black and white.

It surprises me that in 2015, we are still thinking with such rigid judgments on people, myself included. There are several inmates I would gladly take home. I tell the majority of my co-workers I want to take inmates home. However, I do have good boundaries and haven’t and won’t do that. But there are people in there that are funny, charming, smart, kind-hearted and absolutely worthwhile. There are some that I think exactly the opposite of. Regardless of my opinions or anyone else’s we are all people. We are all searching for the same things in life: love and acceptance.

There are several people at the jail, that if it weren’t for the guidelines of my job, if I would have met them outside of jail I probably would have been friends with them. We forget how easily any one of us could be inside a jail for making a mistake. Some choose to make worse mistakes than others, but some people are stuck in a system that is difficult to get out of.

Basically, I’m irritated that people tell me I care too much. What does that even mean? Why is that a bad thing? I can tell you I will NEVER change that. That doesn’t mean I have poor boundaries. That doesn’t mean I’m not good at my job. That doesn’t mean I coddle inmates. That doesn’t mean that I need to work on my self-care or be involved in my own therapy to sort it out. I care because in my heart I feel that it’s the right thing to do. I care because too many people don’t give a s**t about anyone or anything. I care because I believe it in my heart and soul to be a positive thing. It gives me hope to care, because the world can be a cruel place. I also know I am not alone in my thinking and am so saddened that we live in a society where caring is viewed as a flaw that needs to be fixed. I refuse to accept that. I refuse to change my heart. I refuse to give up on people that everyone else wants to throw away.

At the end of my life, I want to know I gave every ounce of my soul to helping and loving others. Showing emotions is a strength. We need to be more open and accepting of that. I have always had a tender heart and used to feel that I needed to change that. As I got older I have learned to embrace it and am so proud that in a society where it isn’t easy to be sensitive, I am not afraid to be me. I can be a henious b***h, don’t get me wrong. I will always stand up for what is right. Maybe if we took an extra moment each day to be a little kinder, to be less judgmental, to embrace our own emotions we could really make some major positive changes. Just maybe we could each give a little bit more…

I NEEEED a Barn!

I’m just a country girl without a barn. Also, I don’t live in the country. These both need to change. I have dreams that having some acreage and a barn will be terribly chic and improve my quality of life significantly.

Growing up, we had a friend who had a fantastic barn. It was our baby sitter and we entertained ourselves for hours! There was a juke box, trampoline, swing, and lots of hot chocolate and apple cider. My daughter definitely needs something like this in her life!

I envision running around the yard, having picnics, bon fires and the occasional hay ride. I want her to have a childhood that is filled with the simple beauty of nature and space of her own to explore. I want to have barn parties. I want to have Thanksgiving in a barn that is worthy of Country Living.

How can I make this my reality? I can do this. One day I will have a barn! One day I will make that barn the most spectacular barn the earth has ever seen! I want a tire swing, a zip line and slack line placed between beautiful mature trees that will obviously be near my perfect barn.

I should get a goat! Maybe I will get a goat? Probably not a goat, but will continue to enjoy my plethora of cats. I could possibly justify getting more?!?! Hopefully my husband will think I’m so charming that he will support my barn endeavors. Once he sees how magical I will make it I bet he will be begging me to get more cats. And then maybe a goat.

Yes, this is happening! I will make it happen.

I told my husband about my barn idea and the possibility of acquiring more cats. He stared at me in silence. He is fine with a barn. He is not ok with more cats. I think this is still negotiable. Right?