Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Laughing at Myself

The people who have visited me here at my new place or who helped me move have heard me say more than once "Does this place smell like cat piss to you?" or "Man, this place smells like cat piss." or "Do you think I should have them clean the carpets again to get rid of the smell of cat piss?" No one else could smell it. In their infinite kindness and patience, they said "It just smells like new apartment to me." or "I'm sure once you get moved in whatever you're smelling will go away" or "I'm sure you could talk to them about cleaning the carpet again."

Well, last night, after I heard about not getting the Boston job, I finally brought myself to do some serious unpacking. Know what I found? Corn cobs. That's the cat piss I was smelling. I just cracked myself up.

Geoff had given me some home grown corn on the cobb that someone had given to him. I'd had it in the kitchen right when I was moving so I put the plastic produce bag holding the cobbs in some box or bucket or something believing that I'd remember to take it out right away. Well, two weeks later, it was nicely fermented in the bag. I guess that makes sense since both fermented grains and cat piss have a certain amount of alcohol in them, don't they? I'm not sure. I came back from working out this morning and, having removed the offending cobs, my apartment did just smell like new apartment.

I'm sharing this story in case you're ever in the position of moving with corn cobbs or if you think your place smells like cat piss. I'm sort of a public servant that way. I sincerely hope it helps you or someone you love.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Boston Will Have to Wait (Again)

Well...I just got word that the Boston position was offered to someone else. :-(  and :-)   I'm sad but also relieved to know which direction I'll be taking now. I'm sure it will take a few weeks to grieve and to adjust but it's all good! It was an unexpected opportunity anyway. I'm trusting the process.

I hope to get some more specific feedback when the person I worked most closely with during the interview process gets back from vacation. I'll keep my eyes open for other opportunities in Boston in the future. For at least a year or two, though, I'll stay put, try to re-invigorate my practice so I can afford health insurance, take Graphic Design classes at Parkland, and keep working on my "issues." 

I get to take Maddy to college when she starts in the fall. I get to unpack, knowing that I won't be packing up again in a month. I'm glad to be staying close to friends and family who supported me through the process. Thanks to all of you.

What will I write about in my blog now?!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Thought Provoking

This article has been out since April but I just ran across it: 
Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black

More recently (July)

Time to Go Home

I'm feeling very sad about leaving Cape May. Partly because it's been such a relaxing, therapeutic vacation with people I enjoy and partly because I know that at least some of the time after I leave, I'll be facing loneliness again. It's a hard time for that but I know it's also healthy for me to face it and move into it rather than avoid it and run from it. Moving into "the shadow." It's just a tough transition.

Still no word from Boston. I'll likely call later this afternoon to check on the status of the search. Not real happy about the delay. That's the way it goes, though. 

Cape May is a difficult place for impulse shoppers like me. One of my favorite finds was in a shop I love. There were dozens of these little charms to choose from. The company that makes them is called Pick Up Sticks. I chose carefully the words I'd like to inspire me and reflect who I am these days. The words I picked are: brave, true, and free spirit. 

I know I should have gotten the "smarty pants" one but I just didn't have enough money. I love wearing them around my neck, touching them occasionally to bring myself back to these qualities. There was another one I liked a lot (pictured below) but, again, decided to edit and keep it simple! Very funny. That may be more my old self. At least I hope I'm less imperious than I used to be...
I hope in the next post to have news about Boston. I'm ready to move on.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Latest

No word about Boston, yet. Not sure what's up with that but I'm resolved to either outcome. I've done this enough to know that not hearing yet doesn't necessarily mean anything but I'd like to have things resolved so I know what's going on in the next phase of my life! 

In the meantime, vacation in Cape May has been wonderful. I fly home tomorrow so I'm squeezing all the enjoyment I can out of the last day. Here are a few pix. I've been so relaxed, I haven't even been much of a shutterbug. Today, we went on an African American Heritage walking tour of Cape May. Very interesting and informative. We had great tour guides who shared some personal stories. 

Unfortunately, over the years, Cape May has suffered a huge drain of blacks out of the city. Both because many have been priced out of the area (along with many whites) and because there are simply not enough jobs to keep them here. In addition, many of the African American residents early on came as servants to the wealthy white families who vacationed here from Philadelphia. My guess is that as civil rights improved, fewer people were employed in this way and pursued life in places with more opportunities. Clearly, there's a lot more for me to learn about!

In the 1940's, the population of Cape May was 30% African American with a vibrant, active community. Today, the numbers have reduced to about 3%. There seem to be very few black tourists as well, probably for both financial and cultural reasons.  

Here's where I'm staying -- brother-in-law's parents' beach house - very nice. Other photos are of some of the Victorian style architecture.  

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Vacation. Beach. Sisters. 
Enough said.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Scoop - Addendum

I've been thinking a lot about my situation off and on today and I wanted to add that while this is a challenging decision that I agonize over (probably more than is necessary), I'm also very aware of how privileged I am to have such a problem. In this economy, to have so many choices about how to make a living and with the support of so many friends and family, I really just need to get over it, huh?! I know it's a difficult decision that will determine the path of my life. I also know that either way, I'll have a roof over my head, food to eat and clothes to wear --- and I get to choose all three. I feel very grateful for these privileges.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Scoop

OK, people, so here's the scoop. I got a call from Boston College today as expected but they threw me a curve ball! Now I'm in a narrowed pool of candidates. I thought I'd either be getting the thumbs up or thumbs down. A "short list" is what happens when you interview 9 people for 2 positions, I guess. 

Contrary to my read (I felt they were lukewarm about me), the woman who talked to me said they really enjoyed my interview and getting to know about my background. So...now I wait for another week to find out whether I will be offered a position. As I get older, these kinds of decisions feel much more difficult. I know that no position or town/city is perfect so I'm not seeking that magical new place that will take care of all my problems and fix everything in my life. A lot of it now just seems like figuring out the trade offs, coping with the losses and celebrating the gains regardless of the outcome. No fairy tales. That's a positive thing in it's own way but I miss the good old delusional days sometimes. 

I'm kind of glad to have a little more incubation time. I'll be trying not to let it overshadow my vacation next week. Who knows, being at the beach with my sisters might put me in a good, relaxed place to sort through it all. Feel free to share your input...

Thank you for all the support you've given me! 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Didn't I Just Do This?! Blah.

I'm getting ready to move again. Moving is emotionally and physically exhausting to me. It feels overwhelming and it shouldn't because I did just do this so I have lots of things that are still in boxes. I think adding the fact that there's so much going on is making me feel like I'm in a pressure cooker. I know, I know, nothing can make me feel anything. It's all about how I choose to respond. Blah, blah, blah. Whatever. 
  • I just got back from Boston yesterday and have this job possibility hanging over my head. I'm feeling more and more that I probably won't get an offer but that could just be my weird distortions. If I do get an offer, I don't know how I can turn it down but I also will miss my friends and family here.
  • I'm supposed to have furniture delivered this Thursday but I don't really have any open time because...
  • I have a full caseload of clients since I was out last week and will be out next week.
  • I will be leaving again Friday so somehow have to sort through all the boxes and bags to find what I'll need to pack for a week away.
When I was younger, it seemed like there were at least a dozen people I could ask to help me move. Now, it feels like people are so busy with their own lives or their bodies, like mine, are busy decaying so they can hardly move one box much less a whole household of boxes. People just don't seem to be there as much as they used to be with a few exceptions. I feel a little lonely and on my own which, if I'm honest, I really am. It's only me now. Well, me and the movers I'm going to pay a fortune to carry boxes for me.

On Friday evening when I'm sitting in Atlantic City with my sisters and brother-in-law relaxing and hanging out, this will all be behind me. I'll try to respond in a positive resourceful way to all of the stressors this week. It will work out. What's the alternative, right? Now I'm off to pack some more boxes!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

So Far So Good

I made it to Boston this afternoon. No travel incidents. I do wonder, though, why it is that I never get assigned a seat on a plane next to a hunky guy or brilliant, interesting diplomat or something. The first leg of my flight today, I spent next to an Apple guy -- iPhone, iPad, glasses, bad hair cut (seriously bad hair cut - done with a bowl and a hatchet or something). The whole deal. He sat spread eagle so his knee and arm were all over my territory. Doesn't everyone know the etiquette about flying? No arm touching. No, no, no, no! If I feel the hairs on your arm and my arm is clearly in my space, you are breaking the rules. It was clearly not the first time he'd flown either so he can't use that excuse. I tried to be friendly but there was no response...I guess leaning onto his shoulder when I felt sleepy wasn't the path to friendship for him.

On the second leg of my trip, I sat next to a sulky young woman in her late teens. She spent the flight trying to pick the fingernail polish off of her nails or listening to music on her ear buds so loudly that I could hear it through my own music in my own ear buds!! At least she stayed in her own zone. On that flight, there was a woman across the aisle from me who was friendly and then some French people in the two rows in front of us. I find it so interesting how different Europeans are from Americans in terms of letting our bodies just sweat it out. The French people smelled very...natural. It doesn't bother me at all but I know there's a stereotype. You know, I don't remember people smelling so natural when I was in Spain. I once heard a statistic that said that, on average, Mexican people are the "cleanest" people -- meaning they take more showers/baths than people in any other country. Just a little factoid for you to file away. 

I took the subway to my hotel from the airport. I kind of like riding public transportation as weird as that sounds. I like the people watching. It is a pain to ride with a suitcase, though. I hate sticking out like a tourist and it's pretty much hopeless if you have a suitcase with you. I'm staying in a very nice hotel in an area called Coolidge Corner. For dinner I went to a deli and got a tasty chicken salad sandwich to go. I asked the guy in the deli if there was a place to get a good dessert and another customer who was there heard me and told me about a place called Finale that was just around the corner. Check out the dessert I had. 
I really regret eating the whole thing right now. Not feeling so good...too much of even a good thing isn't good -- will I ever learn that about chocolate?! 

I'm starting to get a little nervous about my interview. I enjoyed my evening so much, I almost forgot that's what I'm here for. Now I'm going to spend a little time cramming about short term psychodynamic therapy so I can sound like I know what I'm talking about. I really do it, it's just hard to articulate the ways I've developed over the course of two decades. Good challenge, though. It'll keep the Alzheimer's away even if I don't get the job! 

I enjoy interviews but I'm also looking forward to being done with tomorrow so I can play for the rest of the weekend. Susan, Mark and I plan to go to an outdoor music performance on Saturday -- I hope it cools off by then! Wish me luck tomorrow. By the time I write in this again, it'll be all over and done with. 

Saturday, July 3, 2010


So, spending several hours today obsessing about what I would wear for my interview and then driving two hours round trip to shop for something to wear is a good use of my time to prepare for my interview, right? If I spend nearly as much time preparing for the interview as I have trying to find something to wear, there's no way they won't offer me the job. I'll seem brilliant!

First impressions are important, right? And while I was at it, it didn't hurt to get a few things for the beach...I may have my problems but it's clear that I'm really skilled at setting appropriate priorities.  

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Limbo Land

Interview at Boston College on Thursday, July 8th! Please send good vibes to me...I'm a little weird in that I've always kind of enjoyed interviewing. I get to meet new people, see how other places work, and put out all the best parts of me (until they ask the dreaded question about what my weakness are -- is it ok to say that my biggest weakness is that I just don't have any weaknesses so I feel different from everyone else? :-) 

Everything's in limbo - the lease on the apartment I'm in ends on July 15th. The lease on the new apartment starts on July 12th. With some cajoling, I got the rental company to extend my lease on this one but then realized that if I do get an offer and take it, the job wouldn't even start til mid to late August so I'd have to move before then anyway! $500 to pay a company to lug my earthly belongings from one 3rd floor walk up to another. I guess life just happens that way, huh? I just feel too old to be lugging heavy boxes and furniture all over the place these days. I'll willingly pay for someone else to do it. Plus the economy gets stimulated, right?

I've started to tell my clients that I might not be here in the fall. It's awkward because that starts to get into some other things (e.g., some of them know I'm married so wonder about that which means I have to decide what to tell them about the divorce if anything). Interestingly, only one client has asked about me not wearing my wedding ring anymore. I have no idea how many have noticed and not said anything. 

There are also some people I've worked with for years and see pro bono which leaves them in a difficult position if I leave. Not many therapists do pro bono work even though it's in our ethics code to do so. Telling clients about it is also making it a more real possibility for me. I don't want to get overly confident about getting the job either, though! Can you say ambiguity?! One of my least favorite things. 

Mostly, I feel good and excited about the opportunity to interview, though. Given this economy and that the job is in desirable Boston, I'm quite fortunate. Besides that, the weather has finally improved and it's gorgeous here. No AC, low humidity, sunny. Perfect! I think we'll be able to see the fourth of July fireworks from my balcony -- they set them off at the community college which is just down the road from me. So...I guess there's a lot for me to enjoy these days. 

Best of all -- 14 days til the beach! Yay!!!!