The double-edged text message – Cowboy Appreciation

*Caution: this post discusses my romantic life and might induce vomiting. Please stop reading now if this post might offend your senses. It pretty much offends mine.*

This week, I decided to make an extra effort to appreciate Cowboy and to let him know that he is in my thoughts. On Monday morning, before I left, I took an extra ten seconds to give him a kiss and tell him I loved him. He was still sleeping, so I could only kiss a vague corner of his beard. I don’t know if he remembers me doing this. He did mumble something about driving safe, which led me to assume he must have been conscious on some level.

Mostly, this appreciation for him started on Sunday night, when I was generally intolerable with panic and stress. Continue reading

A quarter

This week marks the quarter way point through the second half of my manual therapy training (so technically it’s an eighth, but I like quarter because it sounds bigger). Yesterday we had our first student clinic, where we were unleashed on real live members of the public, and challenged to do our best work yet.

It seemed to go quite well. I had been anxious and apprehensive, and spent most of Sunday lolling about wondering how on earth to get myself out of this pickle, and considering whether I could pass off my ever so mild cough and cold as serious illness (when, in fact, it’s a combination of dust and cat hair), and thus fabricate a reason not to go to Seattle in the morning.

I’m glad I went. My client was suffering from frozen shoulder, which was a juicy therapeutic issue for me to think about while I worked. The general relaxation thing, of which I can see the many merits, does not excite me in any way as a practitioner. If all you want is a nice rub, please go to the spa place and spare me the boredom. However, if you have an interesting problem for me to think about and tackle, please come along.

The weeks feel long, as I am now away from home more than I am there, or so it seems. School days blur into an afternoon spent on the computer at an internet hotspot. My current favourite is Panera Bread, which has not bad tea (a little strangely sweet), and pretty decent salads, although is a little pricey. I am trying to eat less cake and fewer buns, and less chocolate (because let’s be honest: American chocolate just isn’t that enjoyable), as I am suddenly mindful that there is a dress of specific dimensions waiting for me back in the UK.

It is easy to spend the four days in Seattle resting on my buttocks in various locations. Said buttocks have lost the shapely er… shape that Mark the Magician whipped them into last summer, and I rather miss them. Of course, there is nothing to stop me taking my buttocks to a park and doing a bunch of squats and lunges, except that I have no self-discipline whatsoever. I like to think that I am working up to the self-motivation to go to the part and do squats and lunges, but in reality I am just avoiding it.

At home, we are about to undergo a rather huge change, which I’m reluctant to talk about until it is completely finalised, in case I jinx it… It means we will have busy weekends full of activity, all very hands on and vigorous, and it also affords Cowboy the opportunities that we have been striving for for the last year.

As March winds down, we are also a quarter of the way through the year. It’s an insignificant sort of milestone. Who cares what time of what year it is? In a way, it is strangely comforting to look at the expanse of 2015 calendar still unmarked and view it as a green grassed land of optimistic successes. It was equally comforting to take my pen this afternoon and scrub out the weeks of school that have already passed this semester. What is it about scratching out the physical evidence of time that is so cathartic? To see that quarter of the semester already behind me gives me hope in the upcoming weeks, that they might pass as quickly and painlessly as those five have done.

I try not to think too hard about how long those five weeks have felt. I instead focus on how monumental they have been. My doubts about my ability to thrive as a manual therapist have been put to one side. I might not be good at general relaxation, but by golly, my clinical reasoning is sound, my anatomy knowledge is fairly solid, give or take a few origins and insertions, and a complete stranger was happy with the work I put in to her tissue yesterday. The end is in sight, and I am seeing a reasonable career at the end of it. A chance to recoup the investments of money and time, both of which have been hard to swallow.

The urge to spill the beans about what is going on in life is almost overwhelming, so I am going to try to restrain myself and stop here… Watch this space.

Plaid. Yes, plaid.

I’m half way through my second week back at school down in Seattle. This is the downhill stretch, the final 20 weeks (18.5 now) to graduation and licensure. And that means a job! After so many years trying to further my education, the prospect of an income is very exciting.

With school comes the new life routine. Cowboy and I are back to a certain distance for part of the week – Monday to Thursday afternoon, I am some two hours away in the city while he stays at home with the critters. I’ve explored Seattle a little more this trip, by which I mean I took a few wrong turns when trying to get around and learned about some new streets. I took a trip to Seattle’s REI shop, which was an epic expedition in itself. The shopfront is surrounded by an urban forest, complete with bike trails and waterfalls. It was unexpected!

Also unexpected was the clearance bargain I got on a Montana-inspired insulated coat in a red plaid print. Yes, I said plaid (pronounced “plad” if you are British and not sure how to go about such a word). Don’t judge me. I ride horses in the cold and apparently plaid looks sort of adorable on me. I’m embracing it.

I fully intend to break it in this weekend, which I will be spending on horseback, learning how to chase cows with rather more finesse and skill than I have now.

I’ve used my hotel room time to get ahead of the game on my online course homework, to pay all the bills, and to become unhealthily obsessed with the home improvement channel. I can’t help myself. I have such a large urge to nest.

Shortly, I will change to the inaccurately named “The Learning Channel”. TLC seems to specialise in the most guilty of my guilty pleasures – tv shows about extreme weight loss, dysfunctional families and plastic surgery. Shows where people cry in front of healthcare professionals and say they just can’t do it any more, and then proceed to do it anyway.

Cowboy and I are about to take the plunge into something that I can’t quite talk about yet, but oh my goodness, it is so exciting, I can barely contain myself, and trying to keep a lid on my excitement and be logical and calm about things is quite the challenge. Just keep your fingers crossed for me, please!