Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Little Rearranging

This has been the arrangement of my living room for at least the last year. The table across from the couch, the large yellow chair in the corner by the front door.

I had concluded with my limited space and with other failed rearrangements in the past that this was the best working arrangement for the room. The yellow chair is so big that it tends to swallow the space it is in and the table is petite enough that it fits comfortably on the short wall between the door to my storage room and the unused, locked door to my landlady's storage room (which she accesses from a door in the other part of her basement).

The table was adequate next to the wall especially if I was only feeding one or two or even three people. But when I invited people over for dinner (like our roommate Christmas party above) I had to pull the table out into the center of the room. Which worked fine once every few months although it made it awkward to get around the table and I had to make sure I was always seated closest to the kitchen so I could serve the food.

Then it really started to be a bother me this fall and winter when my weekly Sunday niece/nephew ritual with the littles grew to the number six. With six kiddies running and playing and building blocks and legos, floor space was at a premium. But if I was going to feed them lunch, we had to pull the table out from the wall which reduced the floor space. We tried to eat picnic style in the kitchen but the smallest of the littles have a hard time handling food in bowls and cups of water on the floor, so a table was necessary. So, we would haul the table out, reduce the floor space and squish our traffic patterns around the table. It wasn't practical. The table had to be more accessible for my sanity and our combined enjoyment.

And this is the result. I made the living room area more intimate and cozy by putting the yellow chair directly across from the couch and put the bookcase in the awkward space next to the unused door.

There is now room for the table to be out from the wall and put four chairs around it and when I need to feed six kids I pull out two folding chairs and everyone has room and the table doesn't impede traffic, so the kids can eat lunch comfortably and run around and play without either activity hindering the other.

I even put in the two leaves that I've never used for the table and stretched it out to its full length and what do you know? I can seat a party of eight now if I really, really want to! Anyone want to come for dinner?

That's when my rearranging felt inspired.

I'm still thinking I need that art intervention though. The bare walls could use some love.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The New Year Can Now Begin

Everybody miss me?

I missed you too!

I've been a bit buried for the last six days, six weeks and six months. My stress level has been about mach 10 for most of that time and I kind of threw down this week and had a bit of a wallow in the woe-is-me pit of despair. And now I've tidied up from that, finished the last grad school application and I'm suddenly grasping around wondering what is next other than the hurry-up-and-wait stretch that continues from now until the spring. I'm hoping to get back to blogging a bit more now. In the meantime, here are some selections from all those grad school applications I've been pouring over.

During the last several years, I have had a number of experiences that have inspired me to pursue graduate studies in marriage and family therapy. I now realize that these experiences were building on strengths and abilities that I have always possessed, but that I have not been able to fully act upon in the various employment paths I have taken.
For the last eight years, I’ve worked full-time as a web editor for an academic journal. I was originally hired as a writer for this position and it developed into an editorial position. I have always loved writing and I use it as a creative outlet, so during this work experience I seriously contemplated pursuing graduate work in writing. Yet, I couldn’t seem to settle into it as a profession. I kept feeling like there was more I was supposed to do. In part, this was due to the fact that I have always been fascinated by relationships, people and teasing apart the layers and complexities that make us human. I’ve also had a nearly insatiable desire to listen to others’ stories, their truths, their heartaches and their realities.
A turning point came three years ago after fighting a lifelong battle with my own weight, I took a health class at the university taught by Dr. Steven Hawks that focused on eating disorders, intuitive eating as a counter approach to these disorders and the psychology of the eating disorder spectrum that affects so many women in the United States. I knew after that class that I wanted to spend the rest of my life working with women and girls countering and confronting the dark lies that permeate too many women’s minds in our country. This is where my interest in family therapy grew. I am fascinated by the role that relationships play in contributing to an individual’s health and well-being and particularly the family influence on the development and treatment of these disorders.

That is just a taste of where I'm going next. I'm excited for all the fun to get underway. Hopefully they are ready for me.


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