Wednesday, September 9, 2009


This topic is oddly appropriate. A number of circumstances have led to the beginning of this semester being busier than any one in memory, with perhaps the exception being the semester I had my son. What competes for my time and energy? Trainees, Clients, Students, Prep time, Consultation, Husband Time, Baby Time, Housework, Laundry, Friend time...I think it's easy to get caught in feeling as though nothing is done to the fullest extend and everything is left lacking. In some ways, I often feel like the hubbub of those expectations is the background noise to whatever I am doing at the moment. Like attempting to read a textbook while there is a party happening in the room. Being the personality style that I am, I manage these responsibilities by trying to keep each discrete in their timeframe. I don't do class or client work when my son is awake. I do friend time only when I have put energy into my marriage. I try to remember that sometimes good enough is good enough despite my wishes for perfection. When I don't do that well, my stress from one bleeds into another and I find myself distracted in the present moment. While listening to trainees, I'm thinking about class material or worrying about grading.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'm alright Jack keep your hands off my stack...

If you don't get the above reference, sadly you are missing a classic rock iconic song. Google it...anyway, the subject this week has been one I've put off writing about. This is very interpretable for me since my experiences in the realm of money fall easily within the idea of "do what I say and not what I do" for anyone I might step in to teach.

The messages I learned in childhood were almost all unspoken, modeled attitudes, emotions and behaviors related to money and its use. Certainly, on the positive end, I learned that money is not everything to be happy and that people are more important than money. I also learned generosity, to the church and others. If I have little, I might still have some to give.

However, largely I also learned that money is something to cause stress or to be feared. Never enough to cover what you want and sometimes the worry was that there was not enough to cover needs. I feared asking for things when I was little because my parents were so scared about their finances. Everyone avoided Dad when he did the bills because he would become so stressed and angry. My Mom would hide bills from my Dad and tell me as a child not to tell Dad about certain purchases. Healthy, right? So my response even in my adulthood has been the same, ostrich approach. Bury my head in the sand and hope for the best while ignoring the outgoing expendatures. Actually, this is in the process of changing.

Children will do that to you I suppose. I do not want my son to be fearful of money or to rack up debt because he cannot follow a budget (all mistakes made by his mother). So I have resolved that if ever I am fearful of looking at my bank balance, I do. If the news is bad, I need to know it. If the news is good, I need to know that too. I have resolved to work to be less reluctant to talk about budgeting with my husband and to do that work together. But I also want to keep the good things. I think money is not actually everything and is not worth more than my relationships or helping others. However, it does not have to be one or the other. Very little is. I have also resolved to teach principles of money management to him at a young age by my word and deed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Whew! First day of school for fall 2009 is in the history books and I'm so relieved. I always get nervous the first day of semester about a myriad of things. First, will I have everything I need to have together for getting Jack to his first day in a new class, us to work, what I need for clients, class and training? Then, will this new class be likeable? Will they like me? Will we mesh?

And then a meeting with one of our new post-doc residents I'll be supervising put some things into perspective. She said that on the eve of beginning to be a supervisor for the first time, she was learning to give some grace to her former supervisors. Hopefully sharing this will be the same for my students. We walk into every situation in which we are learning hoping that our instructors will know everything about everything and be infallible. And if someone is infallible, they should have all the confidence in the world. Actually, ironically, it is closer to the paradox that the more you know, the more you know what you do not know. So when your instructor stands up on the first day/week, realize that she might be nervous about this whole thing too. Even after teaching 5 years/8 classes.

What did I expect from college when I went? I expected to be given the answers to many things. Really I was asked a lot of questions that people have researched for eons and still don't know answers to. I expected to make lifelong friends. Partially true. Through the magic of technology and Facebook, I've reconnected with friends from that era. I expected some independence. Got that in droves. Lots of possibilities that make for a lot of fear, anxiety and excitement.

What fears do you have in your first week here?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Where I've been

After being an active blog reader, now I feel it timely to start my own as an effort to help my students explore themselves. Self-exploration can be an exciting, energizing and helpful process, but it can also be painful, ugly, and difficult. If it's done right, self-exploration helps you to have ah-ha moments that move you closer to the vision you have your life. My hope is that my student's blogs will help them to those ah-ha moments that will make their college experience and the rest of their life more meaningful.

As I look back to the point in my life when I started college, I laugh at the naivete that I had about how things would go (what would go wrong and what would go right). I thoroughly enjoyed my first semester. It was the era of National Championship Colorado Buffalo football and I remember it being a first priority in the first few weeks to get my dirt cheap season tickets in order to stand up all game squashed between my best friend and hopefully some new friends cheering for our football team. I remember a deep-seated desire to be a part of the large organism that was that campus and hopefully find a niche that didn't make me feel so lost or isolated.

I clung to my best friend and, I regret now, spent a lot of weekends driving home which was only twenty minutes away. Those acquaintances I went back to see were my past and not my future, but I was petrified of venturing into my new future. I envy those who were on my residence hall who spent so much time together by necessity that they developed some long-lasting relationships. I watched some new acquaintances in an adjacent hall as they made the classic freshman mistake of hanging out together all the time, drinking almost every night, and not remembering most of their first semester. They disappeared the next semester into the library because all of them were on academic probation. Smart men, all of them, but they didn't take seriously what their responsibility was to their education or that no one would prompt them.

Academically, I only had one class that was not 500 people. It was easy to be anonymous and independent. I was a self-starter academically and came to college better prepared than I feel like a lot of our current students are. When I think about why, I think it's because I had teachers in high school who were focused on teaching on those skills. Still, I had to spend inordinate amount of time studying and stressed about fitting in. I remember emerging from my freshman year a different person.

Since then, there has been graduate school, professional development, and lots of personal development. That will have to wait for another day.

What are your thoughts about what college will be like as you start?