Chafing at Structure?

Tuesday April 29th I went to group therapy and attended my first Toastmasters meeting. Toastmasters was very structured, probably too structured for my tastes; though, the structure worked well in that they covered a lot of ground in one hour. Mentioned in group that I completed my continuing education units to renew my Marriage and Family Therapist license on an active basis, and got positive feedback.  I was afraid that my psychiatrist would disapprove. Not sure why. Guess I don’t yet feel competent enough, well enough; though that fear may be unfounded. I do, of course, have some catching up to do in terms of professional development having been out of the loop for a couple of decades. This is the first time since I was thirty that I have seriously considered and took steps toward re-entering the mental health field as a licensed professional.

Where am I going from here? Well, for one thing, whether or not I attend Toastmasters again, I consider myself an orator to be, an orator at heart. I’m sure Toastmasters would be helpful, but I do not feel comfortable with the format. Time tested, yes, but, well, I don’t know, maybe it’s just that part of me that doesn’t like dancing choreographed steps. I chafe at structure. I know, or so I’ve been told, that structure is helpful, necessary even, for those with bipolar disorder. But, I prefer to live my life with fewer constraints.

The structure of my life: up at 7:00am; fix breakfast and lunch for my son; take him to school; the day is mine spent doing errands, going to writers’ groups, occasionally writing, and maintaining my social media presence; then pick son up from school; spend time with him after school, often shuttling him to and from and up and down the hills he loves to downhill mountain bike; fix dinner; and finally, relax with my husband and son in front of the TV. At the beck and call of our dogs, who want outside, then inside, then outside, then inside (bought a dog door, but need to install it); the overly excited labradoodle and standard poodle even accompany me in the car to and from my son’s school. I know I should walk them twice a day, but since they recently chased a golden retriever while on leash and dragged me along the sidewalk, I’m not taking them out. They need the exercise, as do I. But I also need peace. I paid for dog training through PetCo, but haven’t yet started, just spoke over the phone with the trainer about their behavior.

This summer I will be home with my son full-time. Not sure how that will go. Like most of the stay-at-home moms I know, I always dread the summer. I need the structure that the school day provides me. Without it, I become overwhelmed. I need down time and time to take care of household business, not to mention my newfound interests.

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8 thoughts on “Chafing at Structure?

  1. lulufille May 15, 2014 / 7:16 pm

    I’m considering trying Toastmasters. Let us know of your experience if you decide to give it another try!

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    • Kitt O'Malley May 15, 2014 / 8:56 pm

      Give Toastmasters a try to see if you like it. My grandfather loved Toastmasters.

      Like

  2. philsblog01 May 15, 2014 / 4:16 pm

    Thanks for sharing, this is so different than when I was growing up. Summer was a bit hectic for Mom, but basically we were out around 8 AM after breakfast, home for lunch, then out again, then back to wash up and dinner. There were activities run by the Dept of Parks, like sports, and art, and music, etc. So there were adults around if you wanted, or you could just hang out with friends. So we pretty much had the world to ourselves. Good Luck to everyone with your summers!

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    • Kitt O'Malley May 15, 2014 / 4:35 pm

      As it should be. Unfortunately, our shy son has taken up a dangerous sport, downhill mountain bicycling (DH MTB), which requires our supervision. DH MTB is all he ever thinks about. Few kids his age, heck few adult mountain bikers, risk the trails he and my husband dare. Eventually he will find peers. For now, I spend A LOT of time shuttling him/them up hills, picking him/them up at the bottom, repeat. Their downhill bikes are very heavy, unlike their all mountain bikes, making riding back up the steep hills impossible. Heck, I tried hiking one to help my son maintain it, and I had to slide down on my bum (as you’d say in the UK).

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  3. Doreen Bench May 15, 2014 / 12:38 pm

    You’re structure actually sounds really good right now. I’m getting ready to make a huge list with my kids about our goals for the summer. First goal: You are your own entertainment committee! Ha! Yeah right!

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  4. dyane May 15, 2014 / 12:03 pm

    Thank you for validating how important structure can be to some of us, as well as sharing your views about the summer. I am right there with you as far as dreading when school gets out, which is a shame, because it sucks the joy out of the season. We can compare notes on how dog training goes if we decide to sign up Lucy. The Petsmart up here starts puppies at 10 weeks old, & I know that’s super-young, so the idea is up in the air…I’ll let you know. And thank you for your candid post from a devoted fan!

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    • Kitt O'Malley May 15, 2014 / 3:44 pm

      I like that “entertainment committee” idea. Good luck! My son wants to do nothing but downhill mountain bike, we’re talking scary stuff. He takes GoPro videos and posts them as RivalTrail on YouTube. I used to ride with him. Now I take him and my husband to the top of hills and then pick them up at the bottom, repeat, and repeat again. Not much exercise in it for me. At least I can type on my phone with my thumbs while I wait for them to descend.

      Like

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