30 Before 30: Second Installment of the Dirty Thirty Bucket List

Alright ladies and gents, after a six month hiatus and WordPress losing my post, I think it is time that I post the next ten things I want to do or achieve before I hit the big 3-0. Check out my update to see how I am doing on the first ten bucket list to-do items.

Let’s start right where I left off.

11. Learn a foreign language. I’m starting this round off big with a tremendous aspiration. In high school I took courses in both Spanish and French, but ultimately did not go far with either. The longest actual conversation I had in a language other than English was to tell the maid in a hotel that she didn’t need to finish cleaning our room because I needed to take a shower. Pretty sure I butchered my pronunciation. Has anyone had success with Rosetta Stone?

12. Pamper myself once a month. This will be an ongoing goal, of course, and I will try my best to stick to it. Ry so kindly bought me a spa day for my birthday and it was an amazing afternoon of indulgence. I don’t have to do an entire day each month. Heck, I can’t afford to do a whole day each month, but a little something would be nice. Especially since my massage therapist told me my neck and back are “all sorts of messed up” after my serious case of whiplash.

13. Watch the sunset on a beach. This was in my original post that, so sadly, was misplaced, but has since been achieved. Ry and I went on a glorious vacation to St. Thomas last week and had a prime view of the sunset from our beach side dinner one night. There isn’t anything more beautiful.

I mean, just look at that view.

14. Eat at a 5 Star restaurant. I can’t even express how much I love food. This would be the ultimate date (and probably break the bank).

15. See a show on Broadway. I have seen plenty of off-Broadway shows. I have been to NYC a ton of times. How have I not seen a show in the city by now?!

16. Find my inner yogi. I recently took a couple of hot yoga classes and, after getting past the early “I might pass out” feeling, couldn’t believe how refreshed and at peace I felt. I bought a new Manduka mat to get myself started.

17. Get a raise. I wish this one didn’t sound so impossible. I have taken on even more responsibility at work, but still with no compensation. I know I work for a non-profit, but I need to grow a pair of balls and demand that my work receive an appropriate value.

18. Pay off my credit cards and keep them paid off. The eternal battle. It seems I have carried a balance on one of my cards for the last five years. I would like to be more financially solid and paying off my debt is one of the first steps.

19. Go to an awesome festival. Ry and I went to Lollapalooza in Chicago almost three years ago and it was one of the coolest experiences ever. Another music fest like Coachella or SXSW or maybe a badass world-renowned beer fest would be so amazing.

20. Travel alone. Go somewhere all alone, turn off my phone, find myself. Not that I’m lost or need to do some soul searching, but I think people now-a-days, including myself, don’t know how to just be. Where should I go?

I’m developing a pretty lofty list here! Do you have a bucket list? Or suggestions to add to mine?

– C

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30 Before 30: Dirty Thirty Bucket List Update

Before I get started, is anyone else having technical issues with WordPress? I already wrote my next ten bucket list items and scheduled to publish the post while I was on vacation last week, yet it’s as if it never existed. No post made, not in the drafts folder- just completely gone. I’m more than a little frustrated since I put a lot of time and thought into the next installment of my list.

Anyway…

Since posting my first 30 Before 30 posting a few months ago, I managed to tick another item off of my agenda!

5. Get a new tattoo.

In fact, I got two. After years of waiting, I finally put my favorite quote on my rib cage. You know, the one where my blog title comes from. 🙂 PS- don’t mind the tiny bit of blood on my fresh ink.

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“Fears are paper tigers.” – Amelia Earhart

I also added a beautiful skeleton key outline to my inner bicep. The bit is shaped like a puzzle piece as a reminder when working with my students with Autism to unlock their voices.

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If you are ever in Upstate New York and want a badass tattoo, the artists at Dead President’s Lounge will do an amazing job. Mine and Ryan’s were both done by Krystal in November and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out (he got a sick half sleeve). I love my new art and was so excited to show it off while wearing my bikini on vacation last week!

Do you have any tattoos? What do they mean to you?

– C

Adventures in Speech Language Pathology Part II: Losing My Hair (Literally)

Attempt #2 here since WordPress only published half of my post earlier this week…

After a co-worker became pregnant this summer, I oh-so-kindly took on one of her more aggressive students. Now, if you are reading this from purely a “typical” school background, let me clarify. Aggressive in the world of working with students with ASD is not slamming doors or kicking desks. Some of our students engage in some pretty seriously violent behavior. Please let me stress, some. 

I digress. I began working with this student during our summer session and rarely had to deal with anything more than a tantrum that involved a few attempted punches. Still, he was not safe for Miss Preggo-Eggo. Once fall began, his behaviors greatly escalated and I learned some ninja-style blocking maneuvers pretty quickly to save my face. It became a regular occurrence to address no speech goals and only work on behavior management.

Fast forward three weeks into school and I’m having a speech session in this student’s classroom because I was warned he was having an off day and I probably don’t want to be alone with him. It’s going great! He’s listening to directions, he’s interacting appropriately with peers, he’s imitating target sounds… he’s jerking my head toward the ground by my hair.

“BANANA!!!!” Sounds like a weird thing to yell, I know, but this is our school’s code word for “Give me some freaking help NOW!”

Would really be great if all the staff were aware of this.

A somewhat new TA is only about 2 feet away, but it takes me shouting “banana” two more times and finally “help!” to get anyone’s attention. While my student’s vice grip on my hair is pried open by three adults, his expression remains disturbingly placid.

Finally, release. I retreat to my office to hide and take a moment to cry in peace. Then, I pulled myself together and returned to treatment sessions for the remainder of the day.

As the day progressed, the burning sensation faded and severe pain in my neck and back set in. An urgent care visit, X-rays, and orthopedic visit concluded that I had sprained my neck and had “one of worst cases of whiplash” the doctor had ever seen.

This would send most people running from their jobs and, truthfully, I wanted to for a time; however, I can’t do that to my kids. Some days are so overwhelming and intense that it would be much easier to quit and be an SLP somewhere else, but then there are days where I hear a five year old child speak for the first time and know that I had a small part in making that happen. Somehow, the tiny accomplishments every day make all of the pain worth it.

Can’t Get You Out of My Head…

I haven’t blogged in about six months. WordPress, you’ve been on my mind. This makes sense because today when I logged in, I was greeted with a “Happy Anniversary” notification. Wow, it has been a year since I started sharing my thoughts with the interwebz (and I was inactive for about half of that *cringe*).

I regularly receive email updates when some of the ladies and gents I love to read post and constantly remind myself to find some time to write. I worry about staying on one topic, making my post flow- just making something that people want to read. Today I’m feeling like I need to not let that stress me out. After all, this is supposed to be a form of release for me; an uncensored outlet for my mind. Right now my mind is overflowing and could really use a purge.

Hopefully over my next few posts I can really blow off some steam and not worry about the little nuances of writing. I would like to: finish my 30 Before 30 post; issue a new, not so funny, Adventure in Speech Language Pathology; update my fitness goals; and brag about my badass vacation coming up.

Stay Tuned.

– C