Well, I started grad school last Monday at JFK university in Campbell. It is always amazing and stressful to add a new role and responsibilities to your life but I am weathering it quite well.
My new days start at 7am with the buzz of my alarm clock; I hurry to shut it off before Lily and Eric are wakened and wander, sleepy-eyed, to the fridge for my caffeine fix and then to our semi-comfy vintage sofa to check my email and think about the coming day.
Now, the sky is just begining to lighten when I wake up. It has a blue-ish gray tinge and seems heavy with the weight of coastal fog that rolls in throughout the night. I barely notice the lightening of the sky as I continue to wake up, often because I'm still in reverie of the dreams I just left behind, and it happens so quickly that it's easy to miss.
Eventually I pull my fleecy, pink, polka-dotted robe tight and slip on my shoes to adventure out to the deck in our backyard. I smoke my first cig of the day, thinking about what I need to accomplish, how I will quit smoking, the gardening and outside projects on our to-do list, and the beauty of new flower blooms throughout the back yard baskets. In the stillness of morning, the hummingbirds whir by to drink sugar-water from the feeder I hung and some early bees begin to wander through the vines and flowers we are learning to cultivate.
In the early mornings I think a lot about life, how much happiness I am finding in the gentle climate of this valley, and how happy I am to raise Lily in this special place. I imagine what my life might be like in 5 years, when I am a practising therapist, and have ever-more complicated roles and responsibilities to think about. And sometimes I think about how peaceful it is to sit outside, amid greenery and flowers and hummingbirds and bees. I think about how I might one day bring this serenity into my practice, creating a haven of natural calm and beauty to relax and invigorate my clients. Maybe a little cabin in the mountains, with a garden and shady terrace to host therapy sessions... Or, maybe a little bungalow on the beach, with the sounds of the waves as background, the salty ocean air to energize, and barefoot walks on the beach to help calm the troubles of the mind... perhaps the backdrop of the mysterious and infinite ocean would help provide perspective to my and their problems and lives.
Then I shake myself out of reverie, start a hot shower, remember to wear my sunscreen, and bundle up for the chilly 5-mile bike ride to school.
This new morning ritual is a good change for me. Some private time to think and be Juliette instead of Mommy. The bike ride fully energizes me and makes me feel ready for class (I feel like I'm in better shape already) and then the class itself always excites me and makes me impatient to learn more.
This is interesting stuff I'm learning, and there is no end to what I can learn in this field... I can think of nothing better than that-- and maybe having a beachfront office to operate out of :)