I finished my summer graduate school class earlier this month. It was about Grief and Loss two topics that aren’t spoken about much in our society. We talk about when some one dies, but not about the other areas of the topic. Not about dying, or preparing for loss. Not about being abandoned, abandoning ourselves. Losing so many of the things are important to us but we don’t think that other people will understand: a pet, a job, security, friends, comfort, ritual, mementos, dreams, possibilities….the list really goes on and on. It was a good class and an enlightening class. At times very powerful!
This leaves me with two classes left, research, which I’m honestly not looking forward to. And, a foundations (2) of theory and practice. Above this is my practicum which starts officially in September and then my internship beginning January. I’ve actually started my practicum already, but it doesn’t count officially. It’s just “practice” at this point and that’s OK because as a new mental health counselor practice is a very good thing.
I know where I’m going but I have some decisions to make about where I go from here. The first one is about balance. Never an easy thing. I currently work full time as a warehouse manager for a big box autoparts store. The income is helpful and the health insurance is God send to my wife and I. I am also working about 5 hours a week for the psychologist where I am doing my practicum. And, I still see photo and video clients as much as time allows. Recently I took on an archiving project for a new photo client.
All of this is terrific and honestly sometimes overwhelming. As September comes I need to cut back on my hours at the warehouse in order to focus on my graduate work. That means losing the health insurance come January 1st. It also means losing some secure income, but I’m fairly confident the other work will make up for it.
On the plus side my wife starts a new job in September that gives her health benefits, but we are not certain of the costs to add me to that plan. Also this job pays more than her previous one so that’s a boost.
My other concern is my commitment to my photo clients, as I move forward toward my degree it becomes harder to fulfill large projects. Many of my clients are regulars and I am taking on almost no new clients (except for the one mentioned earlier). I have begun weaning some of them away and have accidentally neglected a few others and they are OK with this, but I am struggling. Perhaps it’s a loss….
I also enjoy the photo work! It’s relaxing to me and satisfying -and rewarding, so I am not quite ready to give it up completely.
The first thing I need to do is figure out how many hours to cut back from the warehouse beginning in September. Autoparts is certainly not my career, but I’m not just ready to leave the security of it behind. Also, I really like my boss. I will figure it out. Perhaps this really is all about loss and grieving. Even good things can create loss.