Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Any Given Tuesday

As I have muddled through the first half of my Tuesday, a couple of noteworthy things have already happened. In addition to that, my Tuesdays are generally the most full in terms of the number of different environments I need to be in. My favorite email buddy knows that I am less available on Tuesdays and she frequently writes it off to me being in court with survivors so I thought it might be fun to walk through my day thus far to give a snapshot of any given Tuesday in my life. For this purpose, today I would define it as a day in the life of a cat owner/commuter/advocate/clinician.

Ok, so it starts out with my sick kitty. My older cat, who I love like I gave birth to her, was diagnosed with kidney failure last week. It was pretty tragic for me but I am doing all that I can to keep her life as normal and natural as possible and to ensure that she has good quality of life for as long as she can. One of the things this involves is a diet switch but food is no joking matter in our house. We have a 2 year old cat that is a heifer. And then this older one is like 5 lbs. So it's actually a really strategic process to split the food in half, mash it up, and put it on two sides of a plate and make sure each cat gets his or her designated side. The little one will only eat if she is on the left. Odd but true.

Then I get in my car to begin my commute that usually takes about 45 minutes but it's about 15 miles so that number can vary widely depending on the time of day, the road I take, etc. I prefer back roads over the highway, usually.  And back roads are especially scenic in New England at this time of year. So I was on a lovely road near a body of water and had just passed an elementary school when I saw a mother and three small children kneeling by the curb on my left. In front of them was an animal in the road the size of a medium dog with brown fur. At first my heart wrenched as I feared a family pet had just been injured. I worried about the trauma these children would remember for the rest of their lives. I drove a few more feet and realized it wasn't a dog but a giant beaver. Giant. And there was blood splatter abounding like it was a CSI episode. While it was still sad and certainly interesting, I became a little alarmed now that the mother was showing this off to her little ones. Being near the school and just after 9 am, I'm pretty sure they were running late for classes so they could get this life lesson. This wasn't just pointing it out; it was getting down to street level within a foot of a very bloody dead animal and these were really little kids. Again, I worried about the traumatic impact. I certainly would expect nightmares at that house tonight.

I'm making pretty good time and feeling pretty good about that because last Tuesday this same commute made me a little late for my work day because the road was under construction in about 46 places. I actually saw a woman I used to babysit for out on her morning run and was kind of racing her as I had to keep stopping at lights. As she passed me for the fourth time, something shifted in the traffic pattern. I was stopped and probably five solid minutes passed before I realized it wasn't just stop and go, slow and inching. It was put your car in park and do your makeup stopped. First a cop car came by. Then a fire truck. Then 2 more cop cars. Then an undercover cop car. Cars behind me started turning around but I was stuck between a Peter Pan bus and a tractor trailer. I got out of my car to see what was happening and I could see that it was right in front of me but the action shot was being blocked by the bus. I could see a photographer and some construction equipment in the middle of the road. Fifteen minutes had passed. Curious but impatient, I did a multi-point turn to unwedge myself and turned down a road I had never been on but somehow it delivered me to a main route and I was on my way again!

Twenty minutes late for a group I had all the supplies for that I was co-leading with my boss, I arrived at a residential facility for mothers in early substance abuse recovery. We had a discussion about a topic related to domestic violence, substance use and transactional sex and then moved on to craft time. We used Mod Podge to collage hat boxes as a means of "defining your own reality" and a good time was had by all.

After an hour, I left to head to the local trauma clinic where, each week, I sit on a team that talks about families they are working with who are experiencing domestic violence. Often, they are also families I am working with so we pow wow about how we can collaborate. I know it sounds wacky but it's actually really fun. It's nice to be in it with other like-minded people. I grabbed some baked goods off of the table before heading into my office for the first time today. Filled up from the goodies, I could take less time eating my actual lunch and could sneak in a quick blog post. Voila!

And that was only by 1 pm....I still have a few more hours to go and then head to my part time job tonight!


  1. Poor beaver. Maybe the kids were staring at it in the name of science!! Maybe they are home schooled :) I can remember examining a road-killed squirrel when I was about 4 or 5. I thought it was cool, not scary. But then again, I'm a weirdo.

  2. 1. I'm so sorry about your cat.
    2. In my professional opinion, examining road kill with small children is, indeed, whack.
    3. I absolutely loved the lack of segue in "domestic violence, substance use and transactional sex and then moved on to craft time." I'm sure there was one in real life, but all I could picture was a bunch of sad, broken women opening up and crying to each other, and then you announcing, "Okay, craft time!!"