1.19.2010

flats or heels?...guest post by lucia

So here it is, the little surprise I told you about.
Aquí esta la sorpresita de la que les había contado.

My guest today is not just a mami, a Latina, a great psychologist, but also the best friend anyone can have. I've been asking her to start her own blog forever! Though she still has not started one (but there are definite plans in the future) she has agreed to write a post for my blog. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Mi invitada de hoy no solo es una gran mami, latina, e increíble psicóloga, si no también la mejor amiga que uno pueda pedir. Ya tengo tiempo pidiéndole que empiece a escribir su propio blog! Por lo pronto (pues si hay planes de empezar uno) ha escrito un post para mi blog. Espero lo disfruten tanto como yo. (Solo esta escrito en Ingles. Si gustan pueden usar el google translator (aqui).

***

I’m a hoarder, which, for me means that I store up items to save for that “special occasion.” Outfits, nice dishes, fancy fabric, the “good” towels. I recently noticed that when I’ve looked for that nice platter to use for a fancy dinner, I find myself scratching my head thinking, “wait, did I even have one?”

I’ve been carrying around a small envelope filled with gift cards I’ve received for my birthday, mother’s day, Christmas... I have a few winners. The other day I looked in my bag and I found $100 to Macy’s. To Macy’s of all places! Why haven’t I used them? My rationale: “Well I’ve looked in the store and couldn’t spend $25 because the shoes I wanted were more than three times that amount, and well, I could buy these very practical flats that I really need.” But uggh, flats seem so boring.

I am extremely responsible. However, I think the word to best describe me is “sensible (doesn’t that seem like a dirty word).” .” I am also “thrifty,” “level-headed,” and “dependable.” Why was picking out a pair of flats or much needed “to be around the house” clothes so difficult? I happened to meet up with a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while and she and I spoke about our careers and clothes (of course) all while we were browsing at the shoe department. I must have tried on dozens of “comfortable” (ugh) flats and couldn’t decide on a pair when she listlessly said, “why do you need to get flats?” “Well, I stay at home now, so I need some shoes that I can run around in.” She looked me in the eye, “Oh, stop being so sensible, it’s your birthday for crying out loud!” Huh? Am I too sensible? Me? Really? What an epiphany, “she’s right!” I thought about this for a moment, “when the hell am I gonna’ have $100 dollars to spend on myself to get whatever my heart desires?” I am not working right now, I don’t have any extra income, and it is my birthday. Why am I thinking about buying new shoes to purposefully get mud and juice, and Lord knows what else on? And since when have I been sensible?

I am your classic caregiver. Please don’t sigh; you know you’re one too, especially if you are a mother or someone in the caring “fields” (teachers, nurses, mental health professionals, etc.). I happen to be a double whammy, a mother and a psychologist. I am not practicing at the moment, but taking a break to care for my little ones. I happen to think that this care giving “career” is one in which I didn’t choose. It was given to me. It makes me a caring person, but it doesn’t serve me. It is one in which I leave myself out of the equation, so to speak. So how, I’ve wondered, can my life be balanced, if the scale is tipped so far off the edge that a 200 pound weight can’t seem to steady me?

With my clients, I have learned that in order to be an effective therapist, I need to be present, open and authentic, otherwise my decisions will be biased and my judgment impaired. I am “on” and ready and in order to be in that space, a great deal of emotional preparation needs to take place. I meditate, breathe and use consultation so that I do not color or cloud their issues with my own. Why does this stop when I get home? Why don’t I prepare in the same way for my own family? In that very moment, gazing adoringly at a lovely pair of stiletto booties, I realized, there needs to be more space for “me” at home.

At around 2pm everyday, my body appears to want to hibernate while my children appear to be revving full speed ahead. “Oh, for the love of all things holy, please nap!!!” I become snappy and impatient, and the issues that at once seemed easy to handle appear to incite meltdowns within seconds. If you walked into our house, you wouldn’t know that a seasoned, infant-family, mental health “expert” lived in that home. Instead you find chaos, confusion and disorder.

***

Want to read more? Come back tomorrow to read on. :: Quieres leer mas? Regresa mañana para leer la segunda parte.

Did she get flats or heels?::Que creen compro los tacones o las zapatillas?