The Why: Day 1 Journaling Month

Today begins a 31 day journaling challenge. It's basically like National Novel Writing Month but less of an overall big project with a deadline and stress and kookiness and more of a "please try to jot down your thoughts daily, ok, thanks, bye." So the premise is similar (the premise being that writing is a good thing overall), but it is a slightly different focus and avenue. 

To try to make it a bit easier on the participants they provide daily prompts and inspiration, the first of which boils down to "why?" Why try to write daily? Why make it part of a daily routine? Why bother?

If there is one thing that the rush and thrill of NaNoWriMo has taught me over the last 4 years it is that writing is cathartic. Whether or not anyone ever reads what you write, you have a concrete product at the end of whatever writing session you just finished. Journaling (or blogging, in my case) every day doesn't give you the bragging rights of "I wrote a novel", but it does provide an outlet for a lot of things, whether you need a place to vent, mull over ideas, or a task to take your mind off of the here and now.  

Any long-term social worker will tell you the value of self care. If they don't, they are more likely to be one of the majority of social workers that burn out in the first few years after beginning their career.  Self care can be a lot of things, from doing nothing for a few hours to rock climbing.   For me, it is keeping busy. Being idle for too long makes me antsy and I start to feel like I am forgetting about things or just wasting my time.

Journaling is often something we ask clients to do in order to provide them with insight or to gather more information about a situation. It is a useful tool that provides them with a method of self-care and reflection while also giving us a solid way to begin helping them figure out where they are. So to the question of why journal everyday, I say why not? Maybe taking time out every day to journal, even if it is for just a short time, will provide me with deeper insight and a chance to figure out where I am and what I need to do to get to the next par
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Academia, the times that try a woman's soul

The five stages of beginning the semester: 
Denial: I still have plenty of time before I need to worry about school. It won't be that bad. It doesn't start until next week. 
Bargaining: I'll volunteer instead of school. I'll read on my own. I'll do good things with my time. Just don't make me go!
Depression: Go on to class without me. I can't take this cruel existence anymore.
Acceptance: I'll show up. I'll participate. But I will sit in the back of the room and I will not have fun.

Spring Break ahead!

I had forgotten how exciting an upcoming break from the daily grind of school could be. However, at Knox Spring Break meant very big things: 1. no homework or studying at all since you just finished your winter term finals; 2. Winter term, the worst ten weeks of the year, was finally over so professors would stop piling on massive amounts of homework because they figured you had nothing better to do than stay inside studying; and 3. Flunk season was coming.

 Flunk Day, for those who have not experienced the mystique for themselves, is the most magical day of the year. At around 5 a.m. on a random day during Spring term you wake up to (or stop writing a paper you were pulling an all-nighter for) dozens of people screaming the best three words you will ever hear, "IT'S FLUNK DAY!" Classes are cancelled. Carnival games roll in. There is a foam pit that really turns into a dirty water pit from the mud of the unsanctioned mud pit; ice cream trucks drive around and hand out free treats; Abraham Lincoln, Elvis Presley, and other famous people walk around chatting and taking selfies with students; and so many other amazing things that it truly is the best day of the year. It's like having a snow day, but replace the snow with fun, so much fun.

 Alas, now that I have left the wonder that was Knox College I will be spending my spring break not dreaming of the flunktivities to come, but rather studying for an exam the following Monday and still meeting with clients for my internship. Mix in a quick weekend trip to Albuquerque just to get away and throw in grown up things like going to the doctor and my spring break is gone before I can even think about Flunking.
But that doesn't mean that I can't look at old pictures of myself covered in paint or chilling with good old Abe and wish that UTEP could call me at 5 a.m. some day during the rest of the semester just to give me a much needed mental health day.
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My last post about never having time ever was apparently totally true. Also I have forgotten how to use commas.

I am 15 days into 2014 and have remembered that I have a blog. Fancy that. I have also recently been roped into using Goodreads, which is a good thing because otherwise I kind of forget about reading for enjoyment when I get really busy (i.e. during the semester) and setting a book goal to read for the Goodreads challenge as well as playing book bingo with a friend are both things that will help me think of reading not with a cringe but with at least a little bit of a smile during the semester. That is a really long sentence.

What I've done since I last posted on my blog:
*Completed TWO semesters of graduate school for my Master's of Social Work (even though there were forces at work to get me kicked out). In doing so I have realized that I have chosen the correct field for me.
*Successfully not gotten divorced yet.
*Adopted a second rescue pup. His name is Loki and he is wonderful. He had been sold on Craigslist 5 times before he got to the shelter at only 9 weeks old. I can't imagine life without him or Apollo.
*Wrote another novel in November and survived being municipal liaison for NaNoWriMo.
*Begrudgingly accepted that I need to learn APA style. I hate APA style. I think it looks ugly and wastes paper.
*Gotten into and watched all of Doctor Who. Yes, this is life changing.

Granted there is a lot more that I have done besides all of that but it's been awhile since I have written a blog entry and I'm a bit rusty.
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