Checking in post holiday madness... It feels like we have turned the corner into the new year and all the possibilities it holds. Our family trip to Oregon was good overall, all things considered. Highlights included:
- Seeing my nieces and nephew of course! They are getting bigger and are so very, very cute. I took the older two out for ice cream with S one night, which was fun. My oldest niece, J, is totally into reading books now, just like I was at her age! I gave her a big book of horse stories that had once been mine, which she seemed excited about.
- We went to the coast with my brother, sister-in-law, and two littlest nieces one day, and I ran from the waves on the beach with the three-year-old, like my Dad used to do with me. The baby (10-months now) is getting cuter all the time and still has a mellow personality, like my brother - a nice contrast to her big sister who is super active and feisty. :)
- S and I worked out every day at the family athletic club during the last few days there. We had a dog-friendly hotel room in walking distance from downtown, which worked out really well. When we got back, we joined a small workout gym down the street from my house and are both looking forward to continuing our efforts to increase fitness.
- As expected, we all felt some sadness on Christmas missing my Mom. I had a good cry at the end of the day and lit a candle in her memory. Her birthday was yesterday, as well, and we all raised a virtual glass of wine in her honor.
- My Dad and Aunt, who are now very officially an item, were still in their "new romance" mode, which can be annoying as he is then not fully present to what's going on. We all - except for my sister's family who took a short family trip - attended the NYE party at the athletic club (which was just "okay" but had fun dancing with S) and my brother was annoyed that Dad and my Aunt were kissing on the dance floor at the end of the night. :-/ That said, S and I did have a nice goodbye breakfast with them the day we drove back. Apparently, there are plans being made for her to move to Oregon.
- Relationship-wise, S and I got along "okay," which is actually a big step up, if you can recall previous trips. Sorry for TMI, but I was on my cycle during the first half of the trip and then S had a stomach bug the last half, so we didn't have much "romance," but were able to live together in a very small hotel room for twice the time we normally stay, have fun, and work through disagreements fairly well and quickly when they came up. Ironically, at the very end of the trip, we had our worst fight about the way I talked to him when I told him to stop removing the lights on a fake Xmas tree we were readying to return to my sister. I felt justified telling him to stop because I had asked him not to take them off in the first place. He thought he was doing the safe thing, and also felt I was being controlling and should let this small thing go. So the first part of our drive was stressful but then I had a cry, which in hindsight was likely releasing emotions from the family trip as much as being about our argument, and we talked it through.
Work-wise, my routine has changed a lot, though, in that, as mentioned, I'm not at the college this semester (except for a few days week after next). I caught a flu last week, though, so have only had a few days of health. I have one more client now, bringing the total to six and hope to gain two more by the end of this month. Please send me good wishes! I sent out a mass holiday letter and will be following up with past and potential clients/referral partners by phone starting next week. I also have another career transition meet-up group next Wednesday evening with six people signed up so far. At these monthly meet-ups, I will continue to sign folks up for free consultations and hope to gain another client or two each time. I'm also in the process of developing a newsletter and other social media ideas so that will help with outreach, as well.
I also have two more applications to submit for local counseling jobs. I have started receiving unemployment, which should help me get through the next two-three months. I wish I could know where the chips will fall on the job front. I'm not sure whether I would prefer to just rely on my business or whether I would like to find another part-time college counseling gig and continue that in addition to working with 8-10 clients. In a way, working at the college two days a week would be ideal right now because I just show up and leave, without taking work home. With my clients, I need to track each of their progress and do a lot of outside research and communication. I have adjusted to having six clients but 10-15 will definitely be another level of adjustment. I enjoy the outside work with clients more, however.
Completely relying on individual client load, it seems at my current fee structure, I would need 15+ clients. I'm still figuring it all out, and I feel like there are parts of this puzzle that are out of my hands. I suppose I am just going to continue to take the next steps in both applying for jobs and building my business until things become more clear.