Free Flow

Sometimes I don’t know.  It’s been such a crazy journey.  I have no idea how I got here.  I have no idea how we got here.  Like a caterpillar digging through a mountain, we have pressed on and on, ever slowly, on through.  And here we are.  At the precipice of the next step.  I am completely grateful and in shock of landing a solid internship.  There are so many emotions.  It’s not the perfect internship in every day.  And we are leaving behind the most amazing community.  A great school for our kids.  Family.  People who support us.  So many of those people continue to support us and talk about their own journeys.  It’s all about trust I suppose.  Relatedly, it’s about detachment.  Trusting that our Lord will give us what we need.  That is what we needed to do in the first place.  When we got married, had our first child.  We had to trust.  When we started this crazy grad program.  We needed to trust.  We had no idea what we were getting in to.  We had no idea that we were going to be pushed to the absolute limits of our capabilities.  Challenged physically, emotionally, spiritually.  That we would have two children while Lauren stayed at home and I as a full-time graduate student and worker.  I remember that first semester.  The program seemed 1) So much harder 2) So much longer and 3) So free of responsibility.  Since then I have grown in so many ways.  I am a completely different person in so many ways.  I have developed many academic, helping, and professional skills.  I have pushed myself to the brink and beyond.  Working on reports and internship cover letters.  Balancing school and family.  I doubted at times that we would be able to get through this program, and, though there are so many more hoops to jump through, there is light.  We are going to make it.  Three and a half years of this crazy and now we begin the journey to move on: it is the beginning of the end.  Our marriage has been pushed to the brink as well, and we have come through stronger.  Our faith and hope has been challenged, and we are even more devoted.  I personally can’t say that I have gotten in better shape, but I’m at least inspired to return to exercise!  At this point, I have a plan in place in terms of balance.  It is the first time in a long time that I have a comprehensive plan of life.  It’s still quite lacking.  But for the longest time, when I planned my week, I focused on the various school-related (or school plus practicum related) tasks and just let everything else go by the wayside.  That didn’t work.  So I stopped making plans.  I just did as much work whenever I could.  While I have been largely successful with regards to getting work done and accomplishing, it has run me into the ground.  I now realize that I need to plan other things too.  Like I have on my plan for tomorrow that after the kids go to bed I am going to spend an hour doing some sort of exercise, prayer, and self-care before I dive into the neuropsychological evaluation I need to begin.  Even last week, I would have just begun the evaluation, and then if I got done early, I would have just done something on facebook or whatever.  I have gotten to the point that I can’t do that anymore.  I need to be more intentional about my time.  I need to grow up.  To become a professional.  By that I mean, I can’t just pretend that things are going to get done.  I can’t just say, “I’ll work on that report now, and some other time I’ll take care of myself.”  Part of completing reports is taking care of myself.  Just like part of loving my family is exercise and prayer.  Just like part of being a good therapist 2 years from today means giving myself leisure time this week.  Building those healthy habits helps build virtue.  I have been a person of extremes for this whole time in graduate school.  I have been so prolific.  But I have been so depressed.  So burnt out.  Irritated.  Compromising my future for today’s work.  It’s not worth it.  I’m good enough to be able to handle work when I need to handle it.  At the same time, I’m better equipped to work when I can focus.  When I have that inner peace.  When I don’t have to force myself to work.  When i can choose to do so and thus am able to put my whole into it.  Too often, I forget myself to work and I am only half-devoted to it.  I am hopeful that as I continue to live balance, the time I do work will be multiplied in that I will accomplish more in a given time than I did before.  

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