Thursday, March 8, 2012

Making Progress

So far I have accomplished 5 things of my list!

Item 1) Make This List: Again, I know this seemed like a gimmie, but it was a challenge. I am still finding things I want to add or substitute. So keeping to the current list is even a challenge! Thanks again to all those who made suggestions!

Item 5) Learn to Make Espresso. My wonderful friend Mandi arranged for a private lesson at Vince's in Renton. She taught me how to pull shots and foam milk. There is a lot that goes into each of these very important steps. To pull good shots you have to correctly dose, tamp, and polish the shot before it even gets to the espresso machine.  We even tried some latte art (with little success). I was already a bit of a coffee snob, but now I am an informed coffee snob. If my coffee tastes off, I know why. Thanks Mandi!

Not so beautiful Latte Art.
Beautiful Espresso Shots

Item 18) Tour Red Hook Brewery and St. Michelle Winery- To celebrate the Fourth Anniversary of our first date/valentines day, my husband took me on a day trip up to Woodinville to tour the brewery and the winery. First, I have to say that lunch at Red Hook was fantastic! I had the Salmon with a Quinoa Pilaf and Pinapple Salsa Yum!  I highly recommend the tour. It is well worth every penny of the $1 it costs; you get to see most of the factory, sample several of their delicious ales, and don't get me started on the tour guide. If you go, I hope you get Valerie as your guide. She was hilarious (and it had nothing to do with the beer drinking), and informative. The St. Michelle Winery was also lovely, the grounds were beautiful despite the rain, and we ended up getting a private tour and tasting. 

Between Items 5 and 18 I have learned all I need to know about my three favorite beverages! :)
My thoughts exactly!
 Red Hood was established in 1982, just like me!

Giant glass fruit bowl and SMW.

Item 30) Date Night at a Cinebarre Theater - After a wonderful afternoon in Woodinville, we made a brief stop at Starbucks to do some of our Real Marriage homework (a study our church is doing). Then we made our way to Montlake Terrace to the Cinebarre Theater. While fun, this one did not live up to my expectations. Don't get me wrong, I love the concept of a dinner theater, and the prices were good, but the food was only so-so. Both my Blue Velvet Burger, and Jordan's Gladiator pizza were lukewarm at best by the time they got to us. I will try it again, but next time I will eat dinner somewhere else beforehand and plan on having Some Like it Hot Wings and Princess Leias (mini cinnamon rolls).

Item 4) Try a New Ethnic Food- This week is spring break, so yesterday my co-workers and I took advantage of the slow pace and went out for lunch. There is a great Indian place called Shamiana just down the road. They have a great lunch buffet special, which allowed me to try lots of different things. I tried Naan, world-renowned Major Grey Chicken Curry, Pulao, Dal, Raita, and Mango Yoghurt Mousse.It was delicious and the company was great! Sorry no picture, but trust me it looked as good as it sounds. I think this is an item on my list I may accomplish more than once, because I would still like to try Ethiopian food.

Overall, I am pleased with my progress so far. With St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, I am turning my attention toward 5K prep. I may try to fit my run on Alki into my training. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Intimidated by Insight

To say "it has been a while" would be an understatement. I started this blog over a year ago, and really haven't gotten much past that step. So here I am, one year, one month and three days (or four, depending on when I get around to posting this) later starting again.

I think I got intimidated by my title. Chasing Insight, I like the sound of it, and think it perfectly describes the way I interact with the world. But it also sounds so profound, like every post I made would need to be full of wit, wisdom, and shocking revelations. I wouldn't say the past year has been dull, or lacking excitement or interesting lessons; it has been eventful, but the moments of insight have been slowly revealed, and sometimes through circumstances that seem more silly than profound.

I am not going to change the title of this blog, but I am going to change my attitude toward it! It is, after all, my blog; so I can write about whatever I want. I'm not forcing you to read it, nor am I promising that you will walk away wiser after reading my thoughts. I do hope I learn something along the way. :) 

So, what am I going to blog about first? Well I decided a few days ago to start a project. I have made a list of 30 things I want to do before I am 30. My deadline: 3 Months (May 11th). I have also added a few alternates, just in case some of them get too impractical financially.

I really believe that insight can lead to action, and with this project I hope the opposite can be true as well. Lately I feel as though I have been sitting still, not experiencing much. I wouldn't so much call it lazy, as just inactive. I hope this project helps me to have some small adventures and create some memories. As I created this list I tried to think of things that were 1) new experiences (with some re-dos), and 2) local and reasonably within my financial means. Also, I tried not to over think the importance of each task, in other words, it didn't matter what I would be doing so much as that I would be doing something.

So here is the list (with some commentary):

1) Write this list (I know this seems like a gimme, but believe me from brainstorming to narrowing it down, writing this list has been a bit of a challenge) Completed Feb. 15th
2) Go to a movie by myself. Completed Mar. 31
3) Watch the Sound of Music. (I really haven't ever seen it)
4) Try a new ethnic dish (I think Ethiopian, or Afghani) Completed-March 7 (Indian Food, Delicious)
5) Learn to make espresso. Completed- Feb. 17th
6) Run my second 5K. Completed- Mar. 17th
7) Get my picture taken with the Fremont Troll.
8) Add to the Gum Wall.
9) Go to Mt. Rainer.
10) Give Sushi another chance. (My husband loves sushi, so this one is for him) Completed Mar. 23rd
11) Pay for the person behind me in a drive-through.
12) Try the Purple Dish at Pogacha (a dish highly recommended by my co-workers) Completed Mar. 17th
13) Run on Alki Beach. Completed- Mar. 11th
14) Purchase all items for a meal at Pike's Place and prepare it at home.
15) Climb the REI wall.
16) Eat dinner at the Space Needle (helpful hint-you can join the Dinner Club for a free B-day meal!)
17) Go to the San Juan Islands.
18) Tour Red Hook Brewery and St. Michelle Winery. Completed Feb. 20th
19) Chocolate Tour of Seattle (certificates already purchased!) Completed Apr. 6
20) Go dancing with my husband.
21) Go on a date that requires wearing a little black dress. (Dinner at the Needle may get two with one stone)
22) Use my picnic basket for a picnic with my husband.
23) Eat a Bacon doughnut. (hopefully on the same day I go for a run)
24) Geo-cashing
25) Get up ridiculously early on a weekday to go on a Breakfast Date with my husband.
26) Go to the Seattle Art Museum
27) Memorize 30 Scripture Verses
28) Read a book from my "I've been meaning to read this bookshelf"
29) Go to Chuck E Cheeses (Where a kid can be a kid!)
30) Date Night at a Cinebarre Theater. Completed Feb. 20

* Ride the Duck
* Kayak in salty water

So there it is. Thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions! I think I'm well on my way to my 40 things to do before I'm 40 list as well! :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Getting Started

The idea for this blog came from a series of emails to my past professor and supervisor. See I am a counselor, or so I have been told. After graduate school I began working full time in Bellingham Washington for the Lummi Indian Tribe. New to the field of counseling, and well to life as a "real" adult in general, I was (still am) filled with questions, doubts, curiosities, and desperately seeking insight and encouragement. Journaling seemed like an option, but never really has worked for me. I need a more tangible sounding board than a notebook. So I emailed "updates" to two of my favorite supervisors from my graduate studies. I am still working on a theme for this blog, it will come. But for now I thought I would share a few of these emails, which I suppose you could call my "original blog."

Just Being- 11/1/07
I have to say it is nice to be a "real adult," I am definitely enjoying my steady income and as of today I have benefits! I just completed my 90 day probation period, and soon I hope to get a new car.
I am realizing the therapeutic value of being present. Over the past few weeks I have found myself becoming more comfortable with therapeutic silence. There have been moments when clients are crying, either out of frustration, fear, anger or sadness, where I have found myself at a loss for what words would comfort or console, so I went back to the basics. I reflected what feelings I saw, and then I waited, sometimes patiently and sometimes not. Often there would be 5 minute periods of nothing but silence, but in that silence both my client and I are engaged and present. Sometimes the most therapeutic lesson these kids can find is that somebody is there for them.
In my own life I feel like I am in a state of just being. One strange thing, I am having trouble realizing that it is fall. Usually in the fall I start something new, and very different from what I had been doing in the summer. But i started this job in the summer and I have just kept going... Most everything I have done in my life up until now has had a definite end in sight, Now that the 90 day probation period is over, there is no count down to anything, just life...its kind of refreshing actually.
Accepting Responsibility 12/12/07
Things here are Lummi are good, I found out yesterday that I get a Christmas Bonus, I suppose the PC term would be Holiday bonus, but on the rez things aren't always PC.  I am adding this to the list of things that make me feel like a real grown-up. Speaking of being grown-up I finally bought a new car. My old one was needing serious life support and as I work 15 miles from home, I was in need of transportation. I love my cute little Mazda3, it is silver, and a hatchback, and came with ski racks (not that i ski, but I'm still young, i can learn!)
Sometimes my clients are a window into my own neurosis. I am attempting to help them understand the idea of accepting responsibility of ones actions, part of this being to accept the consequences of those actions whether they be good or bad. My problem with accepting responsibility is that I think I take more than my fair share. If my client is doing well, it is do to their good work, if they aren't then I am a bad counselor. How is that for a maladaptive belief? It is completely illogical! Now if only my brain could convince my heart. Maybe my expectations for my clients are too high, maybe my expectations for myself are too high. I can only do so much, and sometimes this work feels like hitting your head against a wall. I need some help coping with this discouragement or else I am on my way to burnout quick.

Thoughts on Hope- 7/17/08
Recently I had a co-worker leave our agency to move onto work towards his Doctorate in Clinical/Research Psychology in Utah. I accept and understand that I am a very right brained therapist, and he accepts and understands that he is very left brained. We argued constantly, the productive kind of arguing where everyone is right they just choose to disagree. I appreciated the friendship, and the challenge of having him around, did i mention we shared an office. One thing that we could never agree on was the importance of Hope in counseling. I see it as foundational to personal development, my co-worker said that he preferred to be "realistic." i could never convince him that hope is not unrealistic. Sometimes I felt like it was myself I was trying to convince. How do I continue to have hope that my client's lives will get better, despite the overwhelming evidence that they may not. Even now I say "may not" instead of won't because I never want to lack hope so much that i definitively state they will have a miserable future. I know I'm right to have hope, but how do I convince others and myself that i am not naive to do so?
I need a Pep Talk- 6/9/09  (Written while also planning a wedding)
Things at work are crazy. Budget cuts, Medicaid crisis, and summer heat making the kids act out. Last Wednesday was a particularly rough day at work. I left wondering "how do you continue to love somebody, who refuses to receive it, who maybe is incapable of it because they don't love themselves, or has been too damaged to receive it?" It is really helping me to identify a bit with the heart of God. And with all the political chaos, I come to work everyday, uncertain about whether or not I will have a job the next week.
I feel like all my coping skills are occupied with the multiple stressors in my life. its a bit overwhelming at times, but i am hopeful.