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Showing posts from July, 2013

Preparing for the Next Adventure

So, today is the day for my first round of tests and procedures. I was up at midnight and at 3am and am now sitting here typing about my anxieties about this next week. Thank goodness for journaling, even if it is a public blog out there for anyone to read. There is something about having a place to put my thoughts down to see and been seen that helpsme organize and accept my responses to things.

I'm going to the hospital today for a series of tests, an EKG, and colonoscopy. All of these things are new to me, and my natural bent towards being a weenie when it comes to medical things is starting to take over. I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, and I'm really tired of being scared to do things. Everyone tells me that I'm going to be fine, and I know I am, but that doesn't really assuage the feelings of anxiety that are sweeping over me again and again.

So, it's time to breathe.

It's also time to clean the kitchen, so I'm going to do that. I'll post this after …

Medical Anxiety

I am a wimp when it comes to medical issues. I have always been this way. My mother reports that the pediatrician who evaluated me after birth stated that he had never seen a child lift her head off the table and watch him walk around before. He was a bit freaked out, and apparently I was as well!

My regular pediatrician got very used to my screams and unhappiness whenever I saw him. I would start to scream when I saw his office nurse in the grocery store (poor woman!). There was one time, though, when I reacted to him in a completely different manner.

I was about three years old and had some fever-induced seizures. My parents took me to the emergency room where my pediatrician was doing rounds. He came along with an entire gaggle of student nurses, and, when I saw him, I smiled, opened my arms, and gave him a huge hug. He took the hug and stood there patting my back and rocking me back and forth. He looked at the nurses, and said, "This child is REALLY sick. If she was in her righ…

8,300 and Counting!

It amazing that this blog has been viewed 8,300 times. I'm humbled by the idea that others actually read what I have to say. Thank you, readers, for looking at this little page! I appreciate it!

Today, I went to work on a day when I don't have to so I could sort all of my music therapy stuff into three piles - Trash, closet storage, and music therapy office. I did it. All of the stuff (and I have lots of it) is ready to be moved. I'm hoping that someone can move it soon since my life is going in another direction right now - away from work and into solving my medical issues of the past seven months.

Hopefully, if I am not the one who moves stuff around, it will all be finished when I get back to do music therapy. Are there any moving fairies out there?? Anyone??

This next year will be challenging on many levels. The first is the actual challenge of not having a space to do music therapy. I'm the first to admit that I've been REALLY spoiled in my career. I've alway…

Sinking and Going Down Fast

Do you like medication side effects? I, of course, don't, but it is a fact of my life right now. The medication that I'm on causes me to feel depressed in addition to helping me feel better as far as pain goes. I find that this manifests itself in a couple of different ways.

First, I find that I am happiest when I am around my clients. I still love making music with people, but I also want them to cancel their sessions so I don't have to do anything. Instead of my usual enthusiasm for making sure that my clients have the treatment I think they deserve, I am willing to cancel, if needed.

Second, I overreact to the most stupid things. Yesterday, I FINALLY got to see the plans for the new music room. I was not happy and started to cry when I saw the space. I have real concerns about the functionality of the space itself and my fears were not assuaged by any means. Actually, I now have more concerns about the space that music therapy is being crammed into.

Third, I am taking thin…

Relax Into the Now

One of the things that constantly challenges me is relaxing. I do not find it easy to simply sit and do only one thing. I often do not feel that I am using my time wisely unless I am doing more than one thing. For example, at this very moment, I am blogging, watching a new television show, listening to a load of laundry churning away, and thinking of things I can do with my clients next week during sessions.

It is difficult to just sit somewhere. This is probably why I do not like meetings and inservices. I have to simply sit and listen to someone who may or may not be speaking about something that relates to me or my role at my facility. I often take a notepad or my laptop to meetings to keep myself occupied and multitasking the entire time. It really is a shame.

I find it hard to simply relax, to float, to not make lists of things to do. So, I don't. I keep myself going, find new challenges, and keep multiple tasks going at all times.

Then, I hit a wall.

If you've been reading m…

All of the Dominoes are Going to Fall

Do you ever have times in your lives when there are so many things going on that you can't seem to get on top of all of the things that you need to do in order to remain up-to-date?

There are so many things going on right now that I really shouldn't be surprised that I'm not able to find my creative impulses right now. Every time I sit down to compose something or draw something or think about something, everything else in my life starts to intervene.

Domino One: illness...
Domino Two: school renovation...
Domino Three: surgery...
Domino Four: new intern...
Domino Five: intern applications...
Domino Six: work...
Domino Seven: medications...

My problem is that I want all of my dominoes to be set perfectly and ready to be pushed when I want to push them. Blech. If you have ever seen a domino display, you know that one small misstep, one small jiggle, or a simple klutzy move can start the entire process of falling. That's kinda how I'm feeling right now.

I am wondering if I…

New Songs and Ideas

I admit. I am stumped right now. I don't have any new ideas going through my head.

This ever happen to you? You find yourself doing the same old things in the same old way with the same old folks? How do you get yourself out of the rut?

Over the years, I have had so many of these brain freezes that I have become pretty good at shaking up my own creative process. It is time to be inspired by someone or something. So, let's get started...

Within reach of my computer keyboard I have a bunch of Star Wars stationary, a fish clacker, a weather board for school calendars, several kids' poetry books. and wall borders with transportation pictures and other themes. Here is where inspiration starts.

(Now, here is where some of the more psychodynamically-oriented music therapists may feel that I practice at an auxiliary level in my sessions - starting with the activity rather than the client, but I am not necessarily developing Therapeutic Music Experiences (TMEs) right now, I am jumpstar…

Well, I Didn't Hold Up My End of the Bargain

Yesterday, I didn't do a very good job of holding up my end of the therapeutic triad. I wasn't really participating in the therapeutic process as much as I could have or should have. As I was watching my clients interact with music throughout the day, I kept thinking, "I could be doing so much more." Truly, not one of my better days as a therapist...

Now, please don't think that I usually sit and watch my clients cavort around the music room without any type of intervention from me - that is certainly NOT the case at all! Unfortunately, yesterday was a day of pain for me, and I was trying hard not to telegraph my pain and fever to my students. It was more prudent for me to take a more passive role in the session than try to engage in the middle of pain.

Today, I opted to remain at home rather than head to my summer school sessions and try to keep the increasing pain to myself. I should be able to return to my normal routine and the task of being a therapist tomorro…

The Monkeys...The Monkeys!

I am a novice art journaler. If you don't have a clue what that is, don't worry about it! I didn't know about it either until I just thought I would Google the term and see what popped up.

Much to my joy and constant challenge, I found this website: http://dannygregory.wordpress.com/. Now, Danny is an amazing art journalist who turned to journaling after his wife had an accident and later died. He has a blog and has been recently started a series of posts about monkeys (do you see the link to the title yet?). Danny's monkeys are little voices that tell you that you are no good, can't do anything, and stand in your way when you start to doubt yourself. He has written three posts about his personal monkeys, and I have found each one resonates with me.

I have monkeys that roam around the spaces of my mind just waiting for a quiet moment to jump out and take over my life! I see them most often when I am experiencing one of my occasional bouts of insomnia. It is amazing h…

Playing with Scissors

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So, yesterday I spent some time playing around with ideas and with my multitude of crafting materials and stuff (remember that I'm a pack-rat and LOVE stuff!). I started with two folders from my "Projects to Be Done" file and just started creating things. My two folders were "Three-Part Scheduler" and "An Austrian Went Yodeling." The schedule folder had started with pockets on the folder itself, but I had to create the rest of the idea...So, I did! One of the things that I enjoy about working with children and adolescents is that music therapy offers opportunities for choice that other opportunities do not. I can walk into a session with one or more of my kids, and, because I tend to work in a client-directed manner rather than a therapist-directed manner, I offer those kids chances to choose what we're going to do. Many times, my students have diagnoses on the Autism Spectrum. Some of them have become accustomed to using a schedule to organize the…

Thoughts

“The only escape from the miseries of life are music and cats...”
Albert Schweitzer
Ah, Albert, I think you are a man after my own heart. I can be stressed out about having to think about surgery, situations at work with my supervisor, the balance in my bank account, and I find that two things can make those things seem less concerning to me. Those two things are making music with my clients and rubbing Bella-cat between the ears.

There is something about hearing the melodic purr of my cat after a long day that just makes me breathe a bit more deeply.

There is also something about being in the middle of a musical improvisation with kids who have finally become group-oriented that requires being fully in the moment and not distracted by anything else. One of those perfect music therapy moments is like a plug in the bottom of a bathtub - find it, and all of the outside stressors just drain away.

“My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.”
Edith Si…

Trying a Bit Too Hard

I have been trying and trying to figure out what to write about on this blog post.

The ideas have come and gone, each one less interesting as I start to think about it. So, this blog post is going under the label of Random Thoughts. I'm sorry in advance and completely understand if you move on to different parts of your life!

Independence Day - I am getting ready for a (hopefully) quiet night around me out here. I really do not like fireworks - a holdover from a terrifying fireworks show when I was five years-old. I have had neighbors who have thought it was a good idea to shoot off fireworks at 2am, pointing them towards my car, and in a rain storm. Now, if they had done this stunt at 8:30 pm, I probably would not have called the police, but 2am is just plain wrong! Yep, I called the police who seemed to be happy to know where the illegal fireworks were coming from!!

Renovation Thoughts - My facility is getting ready for a major renovation. I am facing the challenge of changing my e…