Practicing what I Teach

The Luchador will smite you for your hubris

Since Tuesday, I’ve been feeling less-than-myself. One could call it feeling down or blue, but I’m not entirely sure that’s a good description. It isn’t that significant. I’m just not feeling myself.

I know that my distress stems from events that are out of my control–Political fights, natural and man made disasters, my brother’s situation–and because I am aware of it, I can mitigate the stress. At the end of the day, I’m still annoyed with something. Following the advice I’ve given my clients over the past twelve years, I’ve done some soul searching and I have come to a few conclusions:

1) I’m exhausted.
2) I am not content with my life.

Now, part one hit me like a ton of bricks on the way home from work. This week, I had a number of tasks (my final, a few meetings, some important case work) that, just by themselves, would be taxing on a person. To have all three factors in one week is just a rough week. Instead of complaining about how tired I am or how I didn’t get nearly enough done (because there is always something more to do) I need to just accept that SHIT GOT ROUGH. That’s it.

Number 2 needs more elucidation. I’m perfectly happy with my friends and family, and I cannot imagine a day with out Shannon. While I would love to fly out to Boston and Seattle to see the people I don’t see frequently, I’m still in contact with the folks that mean a lot to me. My discontent has very little to do with my friends or my social life.

I’m not content with my academic and professional life. As tired as I am from school, I want to take more classes. I want more challenges. I want to learn more. I’m not good with self-study: I need to report and talk to someone about what I have learned. I need to bounce my ideas off another person, and I appreciate having my logic checked. Professionally speaking, I’m not getting as much time as I would like with my clients. I am also beginning to believe that while I am a damn fine PO, there maybe other people more suited to the task of working with my population.

While my rates of success with my clients are better than average, and I can run a group with a wide variety of kids, I am limited by my lack of advanced techniques. My clients deserve the best therapy available. I’m good, but I’m not sure I’m the best.

Granted, right now there is no alternative to me, but that borders on politics and union issues that aren’t the topic here.

While I am going to school for IT, I am providing direct service to clients in the field. I had hoped to combine my degree with my career in probation, but right now that does not seem feasible. This means that when I finish my degree in 2.5 years–and truth be told, as much as I love learning, its a bit of a downer to learn that my degree is completed in 2.5 years–I may have to look outside of the public sector for work. This isn’t a question of hacking it in the private sector–given what I do, and my work ethic, that is not going to be a problem–but a question of what the hell do I want to do with this degree.

I’m lucky and privileged enough to devote time to figure this out AND to solve these problems. But instead of feeling down or being anti-social, I need to focus my energy on working on these issues. That’s what I teach my clients: Deal with the issues you have with the tools you developed. I figure if they can do it, so can I.