Sunday, December 12, 2010


One of the really awesome things about my job is that I get great vacation time. In fact, I get so much great vacation time that I can't seem to use it all. I'm losing a bunch of vacation hours when 2011 comes round. That's alright though. I have attempted to squeeze some things in here. Like Panama!

I went to Panama for the week of Thanksgiving with some wonderful friends. I have no complaints about this trip! It was a true vacation. We sat by the pool and read, then for a change of scenery we walked down the jungle lane to our own beach, then when we got tired of the salt water we walked back up to our pool. We read and read and read--I finished the Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, some smutty beach read that I don't remember the title of, and then the Help. Really great reads! Then we ate, nothing too remarkable but good food.

We did encounter a rainy day that limited our beach sitting, so ventured into El Valle which was an amazing day! We found mud baths, sat in natural hot springs, zip lined through rain forests, over waterfalls...hmm. It was so beautiful!

Here's where vacation is accomplished--I didn't think about work, people, the cold air of Boston, or anything! I forgot it was the end of November, not summer everywhere, I let the sun bake me, I lathered sun screen like it was my job for the week, and all good things!!! It was also just long enough that the last day I did feel like I had my fill and was ready to get back to life. Three weeks later I'm ready to go back to Panama where it's warm. I've decided one of the best sensations is the warm sun massaging your bare shoulders.

Monday, March 1, 2010


I used to work at an adolescent mental health treatment center. I worked in an area designated the CSU...crisis stabilization unit. (I think) This was an area where individuals would go when they broke too many rules, became a danger to themselves or others, or annoyed their unit staff enough that they'd have to leave the "clinical milieu" for some quiet time. Depending on the reason for the person coming to CSU, there would be a plan assigned for each client that would allow them a path back to their regular unit. Often these involved writing assignments. I had to look at many writing assignments. Often some of these teens would be in such a bad mood they would refuse to do the work, or do it in some snarky sarcastic way. I had the distinct privilege of reading and correcting these assignments. When someone didn't do it sincerely or put any thought into it, the rule was to draw a line through the whole thing and write REDO and then give it back. Seems rather stupid now that I'm more educated in this field, but at the time, that was one part of my job.

Lately this has come to my mind quite a bit. There are things that I do that sometimes I mentally grade myself, slash it out and wish I could REDO. Unfortunately there is often no way to redo. Then there are other things that I wish I could REFRESH. Refresh is different than redo. Let me give you some examples:

REDO: conversations with clients, conversations with friends, conversations on dates, (apparently talking is a problem for me), eating rituals during the day, rolling through stop signs in front of cops, snoozing my alarm 5 times too many, sending that text message or midnight email, Sundays.

REFRESH: my closet, the air in my apartment (this weekend anyway), career, budget (start from the beginning), dating options.

I'd love to redo a few things and I'd like a few things refreshed-almost reloaded-with new options and possibilities. So I guess the questions is how to refresh or redo some of these things when I have to live with the way they are now. But wouldn't a giant refresh button be awesome?!! That reminds me of those Staples commercials with the easy button.

But to answer my own question, I think there are always ways we renew our options whether it be in dating or job possibilities or finances. I just often make excuses and get lazy so things stay the same. It takes work, creativity and an adventure to refresh some things. As far as the redo--I guess I could just say really loudly, "REDO" and start over again.