I missed the deadline to apply for graduate school at my university by about two weeks. Why? Well, because when I should have been gathering materials and letters, I was up to my neck in 5 final exams/papers. Also, I wasn't (and am still not) entirely sure that I am up to the task, nor completely convinced of where I want to go, IF I go. And ... there is the expense ... realistically $50k, not counting the cost of surviving until I'm done.
But I did take a look at our budget, and what is absolutely clear is the I must bring in some income, ASAP. WIthout the graduate degree that allows me to be a licensed counselor, what I'm being offered is the same work I've done most of my life - secretarial, administrative assistant, etc. The pay is incredibly flat - it hasn't increased markedly since the 1980's, and that just isn't cutting it. SOOOOOOO....
I decided to pull out a long-ago acquired skill -- massage therapist. Why? Because office work is paying $10-$15 an hour and massage pays me on average $50 an hour. I like it, I'm good at it, and it is still in the 'caring profession' realm. I got my table out of the closet and set it up, pulled out my training materials, and made a few phone calls to local schools to see about taking some workshops. The school I originally attended wants me to start entirely over with my training and complete their new longer, more comprehensive program .. for a whopping $14,000.00!
Ummmmmm NO! That's insane. I've been doing massage off and on for 2 decades, I know anatomy and technique and business ethics - why should I pay for all that again, AND put in 200 hours for free at their clinic, hours for which they get paid, not me. When I trained originally you only had to log hours on your own. Forget that! I found a long-standing school in the area that will let me do ala carte hours and my plan is to pick up advanced training in trigger point work, myofascial release, a refresher on pregnancy massage, etc. and then apply for a state certification (in case I want to work in a facility). In the meantime, I will give free or extremely reduced cost massage to people I know to knock the rust off my skills.
AND... here's the bonus ... my table is older, so its HEAVY. Because my house is tiny, I will probably bring my table to other people's houses to do massage, but the table weighs 40 pounds+. That doesn't sound like a lot, but heaving it into and out of the trunk means I have to have a really strong core. AND doing massage all day requires strong legs, core, arms, etc. Therefore, daily exercise is REQUIRED for me to keep my body in shape. Heck that was the case in my 20's so I can only imagine how much more necessary it is now! I could see that as forcing myself to exercise, but I think Self-Trickery (with a reward of cash at the end) is a more positive take, don't you?
Mindfulness meditation went very well last night. After I spent 15 minutes complaining about it to my coach, I realized that my mind really REALLY wanted to attach itself to something, to anchor itself in DOing, rather than BEing. Verbally releasing that frustration resulted in a very relaxing and deep body scan last night. Hmmmm maybe complaining is cathartic. It is part of just 'recognizing and releasing' I suppose. Also, talking out how my focus has been almost entirely absorbed by the revelation that my finances were really suffering and then finding a plan made me realize how 'out of my body' I've been ... and out of my mind. I really hope to learn BALANCE someday soon -- where school/work/money and health all find their proper place in my day, along with chores/family/friends.
ONWARD .... how about you?
Happy Week Everyone!!!
(Off to exercise then meditate then homework)
p.s. I feel SO lucky. I told a friend of mine that I wanted to acquire a bodyCushion system - it allows for less stress for the therapist, and puts the client in a more comfortable position, and is great for pregnant patients. They are way out of my price range .. $400 plus. Then, after ages of looking for a 'deal', I found a bay area chiropractor selling an extra one, for $100! One of my friends insisted on buying it for me, and taking it out in massage trade. WOW. Not only is that a huge boon, but what a blessing to have such great pals. Its amazing what comes when you let people know your needs!