Dogs, Art and Writing

Our two little dogs, Oscar and Digby, are never far from my side while I work from home at my desk.  As I write, Oscar will often sleep in the foot-well of my desk, while Digby snoozes on the reading chair, beside the bookshelves in the next room.  I love this routine we have.  It makes me smile.  Every so often, Oscar will launch himself up onto my lap, requiring an immediate fuss.  Frankly, that can sometimes interrupt my writing and initially is annoying, but it only takes seconds for me to be chuckling at him.  It also gives me time for a much needed coffee break.  Digby is less needy and, being a little rounder, he cannot always make such an elegant launch as Oscar.  So, he doesn’t bother.  If you excuse how rough I look today, you won’t mind the selfie that I took of me with Oscar during one such sudden interruption, earlier today.

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This has been a busy week, thus far.  Due to work schedules, we tend to take our weekend on Fridays and Saturdays; so my weekend begins now.  I’m feeling ready for my weekend.  Looking back over my week, I’m feeling pleased as I have lost several pounds in weight, thanks to making greater effort at healthy eating and resuming my exercise routines.  No need to fear, that doesn’t involve leotards or lycra!  Perish the thought!  I’m not particularly over-weight but I’d like to move from the top end of my BMI (Body Mass Index) to the centre of it.  This will just improve my health and well-being and that is important when you live with chronic illnesses.  Funnily enough, I celebrated losing weight by eating chocolate.  Hmmmm, I need to work at that!  For that matter, has anyone noticed the change to Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate?  It tastes dull and somehow just unpleasant.  Whoever owns Cadbury’s these days has really screwed with the recipe.

Setting Simple Goals.

My longer-term aim is to reduce the amount of pain medication that I am on and so losing a little more weight will help with that; for I am sure that carrying a few extra pounds does nothing to help my lower back pain.  I also did a lot of reflective thinking this week, in relation to the yo-yo of weight loss and gain that I experience.  It is quite amazing how we can make links to our past, to explain certain habits; even dietary habits.  I shared these thoughts with a couple of family members and a friend this week.  It is always good to be able to share those enlightening moments.    Yes, even Counsellors and Psychotherapists keep on learning about themselves.  We are human, too.   My biggest battle, of course, is getting the right balance of exercise in place, without triggering further symptoms of pain from the illnesses I have; the main contributor to pain being Fibromyalgia.  I am trying not to fear my pain, but sometimes it is hell.

Update: Since writing this Blog post, my former diagnosis of Fibromyalgia has been changed.  I have, as of June 27th 2017, now conclusively been diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease.

It’s Good to Reflect.

I have had quite a number of new referrals, this week, for Counselling and Psychotherapy.  It is always a joy to see new clients at the start of their therapeutic journey’s with me and, equally, a joy (with the obvious sadness of saying goodbye) to see clients complete their therapy with me and say goodbye as they go off to live the changes that they have put in place.  Autumn and Spring are the times of year when the change of clients happen the most; equally the most new referrals and the most completions in Spring and Autumn alike.  Being a Counsellor and Psychotherapist is a privilege, indeed.

I have just started a new course.  Each year I am required to study towards my continued professional development; a requirement of maintaining my Accredited and Registered status.    I am now training for a Certificate in Art Therapy.  I will begin next week.  I am excited, but a little daunted as well.  That’s to be expected, I know.  I have used art materials within the therapeutic setting many times, but this course will qualify me to create Art Therapy programmes and promote my work in Art Therapy more fully.  I will post further updates on my training and commencement of delivering formal Art Therapy services in 2017.  Wish me luck!

I am also now fully booked for my Clinical Supervision service until January 2017.  This is always a nice feeling but, at the same time, it is always difficult to inform those who seek to commission my service, that they will now have to wait and re-apply in the new year.  One of my Supervisees sent me a most wonderful ‘thank you’ message, today.   I feel humbled by such gestures.  It is truly wonderful to support other therapists as they develop their skills and their careers.

I have done quite a bit of work on my web site, this week; even with the interruptions of my two little Terriers.  Actually, taking breaks to play with them are highlights of all of my days.  I have changed the colour scheme of my web site, added and removed a page or two and updated information, where needed.  Alongside this, I now await the arrival of the new tri-fold leaflets and business cards that I have also re-designed this week; small changes but it is always nice to refresh every so often.

My weekend really must involve paint and a paint brush, as I keep intending to decorate but various factors have got in the way over the past month or two.  The only distraction will be to visit my Mum.  She has some health and mobility problems and managed to cut herself badly while trying to open a jar, in the week.  We have been busily helping her and tending to her wound.  We took the opportunity to buy her some new gadgets that help her open cans and jars.  She is usually too stubborn to accept an aid, but this time she recognised she needed them.  Phew!  That’s one less worry.

So, October is very much about refreshing the home and garden, as much as possible between work and rest!  This activity will actually help to keep me warm, for our boiler died on us one week ago and so we are currently without central heating until the new boiler and heating system is installed in the next couple of weeks (hopefully sooner!).  I think the log & coal burner will be working hard until then.  Fortunately, we do have piping hot water.  Hmmm, we may have to compete with Oscar and Digby, to get a spot close to the fire!

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Finally, after almost a decade of ploughing through my many thoughts and ideas….I have had a ‘Eureka’ moment.  I now know the basis of the storyline for what is going to be the novel that I will write.  I cannot begin to express how excited I am by this.  It has been something I have toiled over and, as writing a novel is this incredible urge I have felt, for as long as I can remember, the magnitude of this moment is utterly significant and momentous for me.  It seems I have a very busy year ahead of me. (Did I say year?  Maybe that should be years?!).