Showing posts from January, 2019

Taking Some Time To Contemplate

I have written a version of this blog post now about five times. I got a bit frustrated with myself because I was coming across as a bit too whiny and "poor me-ish," even for me - just couldn't stomach what was coming across my keyboard. So, I decided to change up my routine a bit and see if that would help me write something that includes some sort of solution to problems that are happening around me.

I took my shower in the middle of my morning rather than at the beginning or at the end like I usually do. My routine is more of a task list than a schedule, so I often mix things up a bit, but showers are not usually all that flexible for me for some strange reason. I decided to see if some shower time would help me to figure out what is going on with me.

Here are some of the details. My family members, all out in California, are struggling with various and sundry medical issues. Some of these are specifically time-framed, others are not. I am here, stuck 1500 miles away, a…

A Regular Week?? What's That?

Today is Monday and I am going to work. Not all that unusual, but after last week, somewhat comforting. I don't know about you, but I like my routine, and I miss it when it is interrupted for whatever reason. Last week was full of interruptions, so I am hoping for some routine this week.

I didn't accomplish one of my routine tasks this week - setting up my bullet journal for the upcoming week on Saturday. Here it is, early on Monday morning, and I haven't set up my weekly calendar. Time to get that done so I can keep track of the things happening - The Online Conference for Music Therapy (starts on Friday evening for me), meetings, scheduled emails, etc. This is my home journal, so I don't record much that goes on at work in this little book. I have a work journal that is where my work stuff goes - one way of separating work from home life, I guess.

I did make something for work this past weekend. I've wanted a cover for my work planner for quite some time now, and I…

Song Conversion Sunday: Time To Choose Something New - iPod Edition...

I am sitting here, getting ready for a Song Conversion Sunday post, trying to figure out what to select. Do I go for sheet music? A song book? Nope. Here's the iPod - let's use that to select a song. Turn on shuffle and go to the songs list. Song? Stand By You as performed by Rachel Platten. It's on my Now! That's What I Call Music, Vol. 58 album and is not a song that I've made an effort to listen to before now. My students have never requested it, so it's not something on my radar (or would that be sonar?) yet. Time to change that.

So, now I've pulled up iTunes on the computer. Does anyone else have difficulty with getting iTunes to work on your computer? Mine always stops for horrendously long periods of time and doesn't allow for any type of interaction. It's one of the many things that frustrates me about apple products - they just don't work for me the way I want them to work. Never have.

Anyway - now that iTunes is FINALLY open, I listen to…

Sometimes You Just Gotta Laugh

So, this is the beginning of a challenge offered to me by my interns who liked something I said and thought that I should write about things - a cautionary story of sorts - that apply to internship experiences. I think it will be a fun way to share information, but we'll see.

I hope to have my first installment this next week, but I have other things going on right now (check out the Online Conference for Music Therapy - starts in six days from this post), so this may not come to fruition until after next weekend. It may start during next weekend - things get pretty goofy during OCMT!

Here's the idea...

Premise: A series of blog posts about a completely fictional music therapy internship program.

Bertha Bigglesworth - the music therapy mentor, scion of all things musical in the town of Anywhere.

Felicity Fiddle - the music therapy intern, coming to learn at the feet of the master. 

Penelope Pennyman - the administrator at the facility, Anywhere Health, supervisor…

Oh. Things Are Starting to Happen...

Yesterday, I got my first nomination for some music therapy happy mail for a deserving music therapist. I am looking forward to making up a box of stuff and sending it out to someone that I don't know. I hope that it will brighten up the day of the recipient! The best thing about this nomination is that it was truly anonymous! I have NO idea who nominated the recipient, but thank you. Thank you so much for allowing me to do this on your behalf and for the benefit of someone you have a vested interest in!!

I love it when we support one another as fellow music therapists and as human beings.

I think I could support about two more nominations this time around, so think about who could use a bit of music therapy support and NOMINATE please!! I will not publish the names of any person nominated, so feel free to nominate - I get the comments and make decisions about publication - nothing with names is published!! I will post a picture of the box once I get it all put together. Be thinking…

Thoughtful Thursday: How Quickly That Emotional Brain Can Take Over

I am amazed at how quickly people move from hearing something - a name, a decision made by someone else, an opinion - and go straight into an emotional response based on very little other than emotion. Now, I am not immune to this type of response, but I have become a bit more aware of when it is happening to me. When I start to make decisions based in and on my feelings about something with very little regard for thought, fact, or research, I call this being taken over by my emotional brain.

On the other side of things is being taken over by my rational brain. That side is the part of me that takes time to make a decision. It is the brain that wants facts, opinions with commentary, and sound research to make the case for whatever I am trying to decide.

I tend to be more in my rational brain when it comes to making large decisions, but my emotional brain does take over, on occasion. I have learned to recognize when I am responding in a purely emotional manner, and I continue to learn ho…

Snow Day #2 - Slip Sliding On My Way to Work

There is almost 3 inches of "wintry mix" outside this morning. It started just after I arrived at home after a good day at work, and continued all night. For all I know, it may still be precipitating out there - it's hard to see outside at the moment - seems to be still coming down, but more snow now than sleet and ice. This type of weather makes for some really interesting days at my job.

You see, I work in a psychiatric residential treatment facility for kids with developmental/intellectual diagnoses and chronic psychiatric concerns. We have both a day school program and an educational program for our residents. When the local school district shuts down, we still have clients who live at the facility and who need something to do. So, we have school for our residents.

Now, teachers are not required to attend on inclement weather days (AKA: any day where the weather causes us to close the school), but I have always worked on these days. I've missed three inclement weat…

Habit Tracker - Week Two - This Week Is More Challenging

I am starting the second week of a new habit, and I am feeling a bit anxious about what I want to get done at work versus what I know I need to do with my schedule and my self. My anxiety talk is running around my head - "You won't have time to do what you want to do if you go in on time. You NEED to go in early." Those types of whispers are exacerbated by the infection running through my body at the moment as well. Fortunately, I know that these thoughts are my anxiety thoughts rather than an actual fact, so I can work through them.
Oh, rational brain, how I love thee! One of the things that I am doing to help myself remember that I really do not have to work so many hours at work is keep track of when I leave and when I arrive each morning. Some of my anxiety comes from the erroneous idea that I will not arrive on time. I am writing down the minute that I enter my home, I track whether or not I run an errand before leaving town, and I write down the minute I arrive in m…

jnhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh - Cat's on the Keyboard Again

Cat's been on the keyboard again - interesting to me, three keys today...

Today is a day off from work.

I had all sorts of plans for going into work and spending some time organizing things, but I have a recurring infection that just keeps returning, and I have to change my plans to accommodate that situation. So, I will be going to the doctor and then to the pharmacy and then back here to my house to spend some of that organization energy here at home (where it is SORELY needed). I hope to clear out my bookshelf corner. I also have the recycling to get out to the dumpster, and the trash to take as well.

I also stocked up on mini composition books, so I have a chance to do some random paper crafting on this day off. I am still looking for some music therapists to nominate OTHER music therapists to get one of these little books in some random happy mail (no self-nominations, please!). If you know of someone out there in music therapy land who could use a little something to remind th…

Song Conversion Sunday: It's an Insect World

Oh my. It is time to finish up this month's song and make it into a therapeutic music experience. This particular song, which I found in The Flying Pig Campfire Song Book, had a very simple beginning, but I think it can be so much more!!

So, this will now become an information carrier for facts about insects. The melody, harmony, and basic song structure will remain the same, but there are going to be so many more facts offered than in the original song. 

I think I will keep the original chorus as originally shared.
(It's a Small World) It's a world of centipedes, a world of moths
It's a world of katydids, a world of wasps
There's so much that we share that it's time we're aware
It's an insect world
It's an insect covered world
It's an insect covered world
It's an insect covered world
It's an insect world
It's a world of beetles, a world of fleas
It's a world of caterpillars, a world of bees
In this world that we know there is so much…

Other Duties As Assigned...Well, I Actually Volunteered for This One

My work office is currently FULL from the knee down of all sorts of things that I ordered for the STARS store at school. This is the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (or PBIS) incentive store that is located in a closet in my room, so when the people who were in charge of it left suddenly, I asked to be the person who oversees the store. Quite frankly, I was tired of coming into my room and finding that the people using the store were not being very respectful or neat, and I was having to spend lots of time in that room anyway, so why not be the person who makes the rules? I like making rules! I do!!

So, I've been in charge of the store for several months now. I think I've finally figured out all the steps that have to be taken and all the people that I have to talk to in order to get things ordered and available for the store. As a result, I have about 15 large boxes of cookies and chex mix and some other stuff that I have to figure out how to store in the limited …

Thoughtful Thursday: More and More and More

It is 5:07am, and I already feel like I am behind schedule. (I'm really not, but these feelings happen on a regular basis to me - it probably has a bit to do with my perfectionism and my discussion about impostor syndrome yesterday - you know, feeling like I don't really know what I'm doing and being scared that someone will discover this fact.) I have spent some time catching up with the weather, with friends and family members, and I have done part of my morning routine. I am working on the next part of my routine right now - writing my blog. I have some time for crafting on my routine, and breakfast is on the agenda. That's all that is left, but I still feel behind.

Even though I am doing my routine and getting things done, my "want to-do" list is growing...and growing...and growing.

I feel behind, but I want to be doing so much more. I find myself feeding my coulda/woulda/shoulda goblins more often these days, even though I know that feeding those goblins w…

I Get Ambitious, and My Body Lets Me Know What It Thinks About That...and a Bit on Impostor Syndrome

Yesterday was full of ambition and setting intentions and making plans, and my body started a migraine headache on the way home, letting me know that those plans were not going to be accomplished. Okay, then body - here's what we're going to do today. We're going to do the things we wanted to do yesterday today as we continue to work through the migraine and take the day away from the florescent lights and the cacophony of kids playing instruments. So there, body! Take that!!
This is one of the problems that I have with myself and setting intentions - things happen and then I can't get to what I plan. Why do I plan?? Oh yeah - it's because that's what I think should happen in a responsible adult's life. Oh well.
I often get hung up on what I think is what happens when an adult is adulting. Does anyone else? Am I the only one or are there others out there that feel like an impostor when it comes to being an adult?
I haven't done much reading about impostor …

I'm a Bit Over Ambitious...Is That a Surprise??

I currently have WAY too many ideas in my idea book that I want to do but don't have time to get finished. This happens to me quite often during these winter months. The summer months tend to be my time to stagnate and become less interested in finishing things, but the winter months are my time to create and dream and try to keep up with the flow of things that come into my brain at random times.

Right now, my idea list has the following projects on it:
a new CMTE course for internship directors and supervising music therapists - four out of 10 modules outlined awaiting Powerpoint and videossing about March - three out of five TMEs written and formatted. Visual aids are uploaded to Teachers Pay Teachers - still need one more visual aid to go with a TME that needs to be written.proposals for two music therapy opportunities - one is local, one is not. I'm thinking through things like fees, possibilities, and what I can offer to other music therapists as I go into this type of con…


I started this post as an update on my brand new morning routine, but writing about my anxiety made me feel more anxious, so now I'm going to write about something else.

I have an idea for a new continuing education course to offer to those folks who are internship supervisors. I'm going to start working on it this week and I hope to have it going pretty soon. The first three modules (of ten) are outlined and waiting for slides and narration. Then will come the process of uploading things to YouTube and starting to market the course to interested parties.

I am looking forward to going out into the cold climes of my home right now to go to work. I'm going to stay here, at my home, until just time to leave and get to work on time. This is where my anxiety lies, so it is time to stop writing about it and start working on my amelioration plans.

Today's creative expression is going to be looking through my stationery subscription boxes and organizing things into categories for…

Song Conversion Sunday: It's An Insect World

It is Sunday again, and that means a Song Conversion is in process here at my computer. Last week I selected It's An Insect World, a piggy-backed song that I found in The Flying Pig Campfire Song Book, and that is a brief song about some insects. My rule is that I choose a song randomly and then make it into a therapeutic music experience (TME) to use with clients somewhere. So, here we are.

The lyrics of this song are not complicated. They list eight types of insects - centipedes, moths, katydids, wasps, beetles, fleas, caterpillars, and bees. That's it. All the song does is list these insects. I think this song could do so much more!!

The song is designed to work with the musical format of It's a Small World, so the musical analysis is pretty easy. Form - A/B. Melody - varied contour, clear differences between chorus and verse, tessitura - about an octave, maybe a bit more (I'm not looking at the sheet music - maybe I should do right back...). Sheet music rev…

My Path Forward...

I have finished my first music therapy challenge of the new year. I'm thinking this may be something that I pursue more often as the challenges that I have completed have really helped me figure some things out. The problem with challenges is that they illustrate to me just how much I do not know about getting to my destinations, but they all have served to illuminate a new part of the path. (I'm still very much mired within my mind map concept, and I'll be working on making that map a reality later this morning - I took an important step this morning on getting some roadside assistance, as it were, so things will be moving!)

I made some good decisions and progress on my journey this week. I know what I want to do, and I have visualized my end goal. I know what I want to do with my time, my energy, my attention, and my resources. I know what I want, and I am starting to figure out the way I'll be getting there.

Step One: Courage
Step Two: Commitment
Step Three: Leaving the…

The Gift of an Extra Hour

I gave myself a gift today - an extra hour of time at home. I am going to stay at my home until after the sunrise. I have already enjoyed an extra hour in bed, and now I still have two hours before I have to leave for work. I am taking some of my valuable personal time to allow myself a bit of time to just be me at the best time of day for me - early morning.

I have been extremely tired this week. I've been falling asleep way before it was time to sleep, and I've been waking up at random times during the night - not like me, but because I've been falling asleep before I've completed my evening routine, I'm waking up to get things done. I'm on allergy medication and that's making me drowsy, but this is more. Hence the extra hour at home today.

This is a self-care technique that I've used a bit more recently over the past couple of years. When I get to this type of feeling, I find that an extra hour of time in the morning refreshes me more than anything els…

Thoughtful Thursday: Values and Directions and Goals

I've done it again. I've signed up for yet another challenge to do to help me figure out my newest path through life. This one is called the Biz Breakthrough for MTs, and I am working my way through the thought prompts slowly and surely.

As part of this challenge, I have been thinking through my values and my visions and am starting to prioritize my goals. I do this often, but being part of a formal challenge helps me refine what I really want out of life.

I know that my values are pretty set (at least, for the moment - values often change, and that is perfectly natural) and center around music therapy, family, friends, and financial security. I feel that I am doing pretty well at living a value-full life right now. My vision is also pretty clear - I know what I want to be doing with my business ideas, but my pathway is obscured by fog. So, I know what is next.

I have to find my map.

I am a visual learner and pictures are the best way for me to express myself and to figure things …