Category Archives: Uncategorized

Need Awesome Continuing Education Hours?

Traveling to Thailand has spoiled me for traveling to other countries. The culture is rich and beautiful. The Buddhist temples are gorgeous and the philosophy is deep.

Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho
Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho in Bangkok
The people are friendly. My dollar stretches much further there. The mountains and beaches are stunning.
Waterfall, Thailand, river
Waterfall in Thailand
Waterfall, Thailand
Beautiful Waterfall on Koh Chang, Thailand
The prevalence and availability of massage therapy is remarkable and delicious.
Wat Pho, statues, yoga, stretching
Statues from Wat Pho demonstrating Stretching Techniques

 

yoga, stretches, Wat Pho, temple, ancient
Images at Wat Pho demonstrating postures to help with chest pain.
ancient, stone carving, Temple, Wat Pho
Ancient drawings depicting energy points in the Sen Sib lines at Wat Pho

And there are elephants!

Thailand, Elephants, river
Washing Elephants in Koh Chang, Thailand. So much love and gratitude.
It just doesn’t get any better than getting a Thai Massage in Thailand.
Thai Foot Massage, Thailand
Thai Foot Massage on Khao San Rd. Thailand
So, until you can book your travel to Thailand, you can at least get an authentic Thai massage, learn it, and bring it to your clients.
Thai Massage has a completely different approach and goal than Swedish Massage. It’s relaxing but energizing. The therapist uses their body as leverage to give pressure and perform deep stretches on the client. Thai Massage is done fully clothed on a mat on the floor.
Mats will be provided for the class. And it is perfectly okay if you do not have a mat in your practice. Many of the techniques and stretches can be adapted to the table.
Thai, Massage, Continuing Education
Thai Massage Class in Ft. Smith

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, former owner of I.M. Spa, registered nurse at a local hospital, Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, runner, world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 25 plus years, a massage therapy educator, and a gardener.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  

To Schedule an Appointment for a Massage go to: Integrated Massage and click the “Book Now” button. Or email Wendy at imspa@hotmail.com

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Women’s Cycling Community

There is a women’s cycling community here in Fayetteville that I have stumbled across while trying to branch out from running so much.  I’ve been following @thefinncycle on Instagram and saw that she was with The Bike Route, hosting a beginner’s bike ride on Monday nights at 6pm.  I’ve known Finn for maybe 10 or 12 years and we keep running into each other as seems to be the custom here in Fayetteville.

Image may contain: cycling, 8 people, people smiling, tree, bicycle, outdoor and nature
Monday Night Beginner’s Cycling Group at the Bike Route. Much laughter

I usually work as a nurse on Mondays, but I had a couple of weeks off this summer for staycation so I was able to go.  My friend Gildah was getting ready to buy a bicycle because she felt like she needed to exercise more.

Gildah had never ridden a bike that had gears.

But this group was great for her.  Finn was able to take time to teach her along the way and helped her gain confidence in her cycling.  We didn’t get left in the dust, which would have been okay, but it was great for community building.

Since I started this post we have been to that group a couple of times, and another one of our co-workers, Chassie, who has been an avid cyclist for about 5 years, joined us for the ride.  I was surprised she had only been cycling 5 years because she looks like a badass on her bike.

She said as a nurse she felt like a hypocrite because she was lecturing patients about getting out there and getting exercise and she was just naturally thin with a fast metabolism.  So she decided to take up cycling.

The first couple of times out she and her husband thought she was going to kill herself on the bike.  They rode tandem for a couple of years after that.  She didn’t even have her own bike for several years.  When she finally did get her own bike she started racing because that was what everybody around her was doing.  Right now she is on a cycling trip in Ireland.  She inspires me.

I love running, but right now cycling feels so easy.  I don’t love having to keep up with all the gear, but I do love zipping along on the trail.

Props to Finn for community building at the Bike Route.  Much love.  And go check it out if you are looking for a women’s cycling community.

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, former owner of I.M. Spa, registered nurse at a local hospital, Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, runner, world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 25 plus years, a massage therapy educator, and a gardener.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  

To Schedule an Appointment for a Massage go to: Integrated Massage and click the “Book Now” button. Or email Wendy at imspa@hotmail.com

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Why do you run?

I’m a runner.  I ran in high school for a short period of time when I was going to Monterey High School.  I went to 4 different high schools growing up so it was hard to get into anything for long enough to figure it all out.  I remember wearing Reeboks, having shin splints, and having to soak my shins in an ice bath.  The rest of the team would be running to Lover’s Point for a 7 mile run.  I was trying to learn how to deal with the pain.  There was not a coach that I connected with, no friends to give me pointers–perhaps about the right kind of shoes, and really no mentor.  So at that point I decided that running was not fun, it was painful, and I just didn’t get it.

It’s a practice

Flash forward to me at 29.  I had a 2 year old kid.  I was in school for my first degree at the University of Arkansas.  I was standing at the top of The Hill–UofA is also known as The Hill because it is on a huge hill–contemplating whether to wait for the bus or run the 2 miles down the hill to my house.  I ran, backpack and all.  That was the first time I ever experienced the exhileration that comes only from running.

Endorphins are amazing.  I can swim, bike, lift weights–no other sport gives me the same ‘high’ that running does.

Blackberry Blossoms on the Trail

I run for my mental health.  In the winter time I get SAD if I don’t keep my cardio up.  I run when I’m just normally sad.  I have sobbed and wailed through many a run, grieving the many losses that come with this hard life we live.  It has helped me to process those losses.  I run when I’m angry or agitated with a situation (this is not a frequent occurrence, but it does happen), or when I’m just feeling pent up, or like I have an excess of energy and I need to blow off steam.  I run to increase my happiness and sense of accomplishment.  Sometimes I feel like, ‘if I can run 7 miles, man, I can handle anything today.’

Complexities of nature

I run for my physical health.  My heart is happy I’m running, my lungs-especially in the wintertime-feel so expansive after a run, my endurance gets better the more I run.  Physically, I’m in better shape because I run.

Sometimes I run for the community of it.  I keep thinking I need to get out and ‘find my tribe.’  Part of me is a little intimidated about running with people.  I’m not super competitive with my running.  I stop and take pictures, catch my breath and walk if I want.  I’m afraid I might be a bad running companion for others.  Part of me is downright selfish about my running headspace and not really wanting to share that with others.  It’s my flow, man.  Don’t mess with my flow.  If somebody else is there then it will be ‘our flow.’  I’m not sure I’m down for that.  I should try it I’m sure.  Maybe if I find my running tribe it will elevate my flow.

I run because trail running in the woods is beautiful and rejuvenating, and you never know what you will see.

My boys used to look through that turret
The Castle at Wilson Park

I run for the practice.  Running is a practice for me, like yoga or meditation.  It is the practice of actively getting out of my comfort zone and overcoming.  It is doing something because it is hard.  It is being uncomfortable in order to feel better.  It makes everything else so much easier.  It is going out in 90 degree weather, sweat dripping into my eyes and mouth, one foot in front of the other, with gratitude that these are the challenges that I get to work with from day to day.  It is going out in subfreezing temperatures that I abhor, welcoming that pain and discomfort with gratitude that I can still do this, that I can still conquer this and forget about the cold and discomfort in the middle of it all.

I am actively trying to diversify my exercise routine, do more swimming (I suck at swimming), more cycling.  It might be easier for me to find my tribe with cycling.  I’m not so stuck in my ways.

Ultimately, I run because it makes me feel alive.  We only get the chance to be on the planet for a short while.  I want to feel as good and alive as I can while I’m here, and running helps me do that.

Waterfall
Bridge at Wilson Park

Why do you run?  Or what practices do you have that help you?  And why do you do them?

Email to schedule an appt for a massage: imspa@hotmail.com

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, former owner of I.M. Spa, registered nurse at a hospital, Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, runner, world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 25 plus years, a massage therapy educator, and a gardener.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.

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Hot Nurses, Sexism, and the Culture of Silence #metoo

“You have to pick your battles.”  That’s what my friend says to me as we relate the different ways in which we have dealt with sexism over the years.  The culture of silence.  Why do we have to pick our battles?  Because it is so stinking pervasive.  That’s why.  If it only happened every now and then, you could hit it head on, and get past it.  You wouldn’t have to weigh out the consequences and implications of possible conflict in the work place and out.

I wrote this post last year and never published it.  Since then the #metoo movement took off and more women have been speaking up about sexism and sexual harassment.

Sitting on the sidelines of my kid’s soccer game as he was playing another team that was co-ed.  Boys and girls.  There was a mom behind me screaming at her son to, “Get her.  Let her have it.”  Then she spoke to the rest of us.  “He (my son) told me he didn’t like playing teams with girls because he had to be careful. I said, no you don’t!  If she’s playing on a boy team she’s asking for it.  You let her have it.”

I was horrified.  And yet, as is so often the case when we are involved with sexism our shock and confusion render us silent.  Is this really happening?  She feels supported enough in this environment to be so rabidly sexist toward these young soccer girls and in what she is teaching her son about how women should be treated.  The whole, ‘she’s asking for it’ line.

What’s wrong with teaching your son to treat the female soccer players like humans, with good sportsmanship?

Another woman asked me how I felt about co-ed teams while in the same sentence saying that she didn’t like it.  She said that girls develop faster than boys and that gave them an unfair advantage (we were losing to the co-ed team).  I told her that I was glad to see that there were girls on the team and that they were doing well.

But I think that if they hadn’t been doing well, that mother would have said instead, “well, what did they expect, playing on a boys’ field.”  No matter how it was going these women had it out for girls on the ‘boys’ team.

These are grown women.  Mothers of 12 year old children.  And I said nothing.

As a small business owner for 10 years I hadn’t had to deal with workplace sexism.  I was the boss and I set the tone for my environment.  But when I got into nursing in an environment that serves a predominantly male population, it was everywhere.  Patients grabbing me inappropriately, talking about the nurses with reference to sexual fantasies, and from coworkers who would say, “aw let him have his fun.  He’s not hurting anybody.”

Once I had a nurse (in a superior position) approach me with my patient in the hall. My patient was demented and needed to be walked continually to feel that we were going somewhere.  He didn’t know where he was going but he knew he wanted to get out of there.  The other nurse said to the patient, “Why do you want to get out of here?  You have this hot nurse here helping you out?  Look at her.  You’ve got it made here.”  He continued the conversation with the patient, referencing me as the hot nurse repeatedly and in different ways.  I stepped away from the two of them.  My face was flushed.  I had witnessed this nurse trash talking women disrespectfully with almost every encounter.  This was the first time he had spoken about me in that way in my presence.  When he was leaving I came back to the patient’s chair and said to the nurse, “It is not okay for you to talk about me like that.”  The nurse apologized and he hasn’t done it to me since then.  He has not however, stopped disrespecting other women on the floor to their face and behind their back.  They probably felt as disempowered as I so often have, and haven’t found the words or courage to fight it.

More recently there was a nurse assistant who was talking about how rough his life was since he couldn’t get out to the strip clubs.  It’s his right to spend his time as he wants.  But in our work setting I felt uncomfortable listening to him detailing the things he was missing out on because he was working so much. This wasn’t a private conversation he was having with an intimate friend.  This was him boastfully and loudly talking to all of us in the nurses station about how rough his life was because he couldn’t get to the naked dancers and there was no porn available.  Again, I said nothing.  It wasn’t directed at me personally, but it was assuming a comfort level with a sexual topic that objectifies women and devalues their humanity.

I think it’s a combination of shock, fear, and shame that makes us remain silent when we should speak up when being dehumanized.  Even while writing this post I question if I should write certain aspects of it.  I question if I will even post it.  Why?  Because, what if somebody I know reads this, what if I lose my job for talking about the realities of workplace sexism, what if the soccer moms blacklist my son from events because I’m weird and not a part of the ‘good ole boy network’ that believes that women have it coming to them.  We feel shame when we are denigrated like that.  Whether our logical mind buys into the abuse or not, we feel ashamed to be that which is so easily ridiculed and put down.  Our culture is not supportive of rational discussions of sexism.  Our culture, whether it intends to or not, is supportive of silence.  Put your head down and it will be over in a minute.

I hope that my sons will see a female opponent the way they see a male opponent, as a human to be treated with respect and good sportsmanship.  I hope that they will stand up for women in the workplace and recognize that it is not good sportsmanship to allow an elderly man to grab a nurse’s  breasts because, “let him have his fun.  He’s not hurting anybody.”  The fact that these elderly men haven’t learned that it is assault to grab a woman’s breast should not be a deterrent to educating them now.

I hope for myself that I can recover more quickly from the shock of these situations in the future and hit them head on without fear of backward consequences that blame the victim.  Because of course, according to some people, I’m asking for it.  What I’m truly asking for is to be treated like a human, that all women be treated equally as humans.

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, former owner of I.M. Spa, registered nurse at a hospital, Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, runner, world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 24 plus years, a massage therapy educator, and a gardener.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.

 

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Massage Times Available

Massage appointment times available March 23rd, 30th, April 6th, and 8th, 13th, and 20th.  Text 479-466-8294 to request an appointment or request an appointment through the Integrated Massage Facebook Page

I love my job as a nurse.  It’s another way of serving, and I have found that my life makes more sense when I am serving others.  Left to my own devices my brain becomes a treacherous self involved place.  There are a lot of things I don’t love about it, but some of the things I do love about it are my coworkers–I work with some amazing humans and I’m fortunate to be able to spend my days with them.  I love the patients.

Mostly I work with grouchy old dudes.  They are often cute and curmudgeonly.  I love it when I get to send them home after a bout with pneumonia, flu, or infection.  I especially love it when I get a patient who is open to taking responsibility for their health and they want to hear about food, meditation, and exercise.

Another thing I love about it is that it allows me to have large chunks of time off when I can create other things, be with friends, develop curriculum for teaching massage, take on a few massage clients, write.

Today is the first of 5 days off.  But there is soooo much I want to do!  I’m developing curriculum for continuing education classes, compiling information for writing a book, spending as much time as I can with my kids, repairing the siding on my house, helping my kid paint his bedroom, giving my kids massages, hanging out in the hot tub with them, training for a 25K, teaching a dance class.  There are so many things to do in this life.  I wish the days were longer.  I’m grateful for my job that lets me have time at home to play.

I’ve been doing massage on Fridays and some Sunday afternoons.  Usually the times fill right up, and often if there is a cancellation there is somebody waiting to take that spot.  I’m really grateful to be doing some massage now.  I’m especially grateful that my  children, even my adult children  still ask me for massage.  It’s pretty special.

Let me know if you want some time on the table.

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Good Solid Chiropractic Adjustments

During the Persian Gulf War I was an Airman in the Air Force working in a warehouse, driving trucks, forklifts, and lifting heavy boxes.  I hurt my low back then–was out of commission for about 3 months.  The medical doctors did x-rays and tests, they put me through physical therapy, ice therapy, and electrical stimulation.  They put me on light duty for months.  It wasn’t until I got out of the military and was in massage therapy school that I had the ah-ha moment of chiropractic.  I was in excruciating pain and my instructor said, your sacro-iliac joints are misaligned.  You need a chiropractic adjustment.

It was miraculous.  The next day I felt almost 100% better.

I have had to manage low back pain ever since .  It’s a process and some days are better than others, but the tools I have developed over time to help are what I have shaped my life and occupation around.

  • Eat good food.  (Maintaining a good weight is definitely a factor in low back pain)
  • Move it or lose it.  (Exercise is imperative)
  • Yoga-intentional stretching (I’ve been bad about this lately)
  • Massage.  (of course)
  • And Chiropractic

I have gone to many chiropractors over the years, and always,  when I go, I see clients I have referred there.  I love trying out new chiropractors, but like any profession, it’s good to get a good referral.

Until recently I have paid cash for my chiropractic visits.  That pay range has been between $35 and $55 a session.  I’m not interested in getting on  a program, and I’m not interested in the bells and whistles–heat, TENS units (especially since they re-use the stickers-yuck), ice, machine manipulation–I can do all that stuff on my own.

My son needed a couple chiropractic adjustments to help him recover from a soccer injury so I took him and used my insurance.  2 times to the chiropractor–$400.  The adjustment itself was affordable, but all the bells and whistles were through the roof expensive.

I just want the adjustment.

And I told them that.  I was getting adjustments there as well.  And even though I stated very clearly that I was not interested in electrical stimulation or heat, my chiropractor ushered me to the treatment room after my adjustment anyway.  The tech person took me into a room and showed me how to stretch my piriformis–I think I know that one by now.

It’s a money making machine.  If insurance will pay hundreds of dollars for adjunct therapies, then everybody is getting them.  This is so much what I dislike about our health care system.  The system will pay it–so we’ll do it.  It’s the difference between a $55 adjustment, and a $200 visit.

This is why health care is so expensive and inaccessible to the masses.  It doesn’t make sense.

Frustration in that situation led me to seek out a friend I’ve known for 12 years but have never visited for services.  Dr. Joanna Hudec.  She has always been active in our community, attending race events, supporting the massage therapist community, teaching bodywork professionals.

She does a great adjustment, she listens to what my concerns are, she doesn’t give me unnecessary bells and whistles, and she cares about her community.

Effective adjustments.  And, she takes insurance.  Bonus!

If you are looking for a good chiropractor, go see them at Spine Sports and Rehab.

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, former owner of I.M. Spa, registered nurse at a local hospital, Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 24 plus years, a massage therapy educator, and a gardener.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.

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Middle Aged Heart Attacks–What You Eat Matters!

Heart Attack.

My patients come in waves.  The most common patients I have are grumpy old dudes with congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.   I’m pretty fond of them.  This week all of my patients were younger, some younger than me, with coronary artery disease at huge risk for heart attack.  One had a diastolic blood pressure that never went below 120, one had to be taken for a stent (to bypass arteries that are ‘clogged’ and not able to allow blood to flow to the heart), and another had had a heart attack and stroke the week before.

I knew when I was getting in to nursing that I did not want to work with cancer.  A lot of things cause cancer, but it’s not as easy to determine, and it can be quite indiscriminate.  One of the biggest predetermining factors for cancer is age.  Eventually it’s going to get you.  That’s depressing and I don’t want to think about that all the time, cancer seems nigh unconquerable.

Hypertension, coronary artery disease, and atherosclerosis–these are things with direct cause and effect relationships with food, exercise, and lifestyle choices.  Yes, there is a genetic component, but we can control the variables.  These are diseases that I can focus on and get excited about.

When I was helping my middle aged patient on the stretcher to go to the hospital that would put in his stent, the family was talking about where they would go for dinner on the way to the hospital.  The ambulance workers were telling the family where all the good fried chicken restaurants were.

This is a family who is looking death in the face through the lens of an atherosclerotic coronary artery.  This man’s father had died young from a heart attack.  The ambulance workers recognized The ambulance workers recognized his family name because the siblings called 911 for chest pain frequently.

My input?  Fried chicken clogs arteries.  We are sending your dear sweet husband to surgery for clogged arteries and you are going to stop on the way and buy some more grease.  Now I realize that lifestyle change takes time and education, but it is frustrating when our behaviors are so obviously self defeating.

I gave them my ‘what for’ speech about packing an artery with their food while sending hubby under the knife to carve out a new pathway to oxygenate the heart, and then I recommended the health food store deli across the street as a great place to pick up something fast that wouldn’t take years off their lives.

As I was walking away I could hear the ambulance worker reinforcing the idea that fried chicken was a perfectly fine thing to eat when under stress and the family seemed to agree that this was no time for health food.

I’m at a loss.

A couple weeks ago I was trying to convince an older congestive heart failure and COPD (he can’t breathe well) patient of the same thing.  His family was bringing him fast food and he kept asking me to bring him sodas.  Of course every time he asks me for a soda it comes with a lecture on the evils of putting bad fuel in your engine.  He argued and argued with me that he just wasn’t a water drinking kind of guy and that fast food tastes good to him.

This is a man who weighs over 300 pounds and is in the hospital for shortness of breath.  The extra weight he’s carrying alone could make a person short of breath.

One day, while I was caring for him, I said, “You wouldn’t put bad fuel in your car would you?”  He stopped and looked at me for a minute.  He said, “You got me there.  I can’t argue with that.”

There’s a sign in the shoe store for runners that says, “Don’t choose your shoes because of the color!”  Runners choose their shoes for their function.  Yes, you can choose food because it tastes good, but the function of eating is to fuel the body.

“But I don’t like that kind of food” is not a good defense.

It is hard being a human on the planet.  Making good choices is hard, and it’s a process.  And our culture does not support healthy food choices, even our ambulance paramedics are advocating for fast food.  Food is addictive.  We want what we want and it’s hard to see the direct cause and effect that can carve time off of our lives.

I don’t know that my constant re-education of patients on lifestyle and food choices does any good, but I’m at a loss as to what else to do to try to affect change.

But I do have an idea for a book that surveys hospitals that are doing healthy food well and asks how they got that way.  Maybe we could use that kind of research to affect policy change in a more systemic way in our hospital systems.

In the meantime I’ll continue with the one on one approach on the front lines.  What you eat matters!

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, former owner of I.M. Spa, registered nurse at a local hospital, Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 24 plus years, a massage therapy educator, and a gardener.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.

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Dogpatch USA Remembered

There’s a young man doing a documentary on Dogpatch USA, a family amusement and theme park from the 70s and 80s that was based on the L’il Abner comic strip by Al Capp.  My brother, Rob, and I decided to go to an open call for interviews of people who had worked, or been involved with Dogpatch, and while the kind of information the interviewer was looking for seemed somewhat different from what we had to contribute, it was super fun to relive that time with my brother.

When we first started working at Marble Falls in Dogpatch, I was 10 years old.  It was 1980.  My dad gave me a guitar and told me to learn how to play it.  It wasn’t long before we were playing gigs together as a family.  At the time we were living in Low Gap, in between Ponca and Jasper, about a mile behind the Low Gap church down a dirt road.  We used to ride the bus to school and it took us an hour and a half each way.  That was part of the reason that our parents decided to home school us.  Too much time on the bus.

Our family was back-to-the-landers.  We bought 20 acres of land and proceeded to build an 11 sided log cabin by hand, with stone floors.  We loved it there. We didn’t have electricity, running water, or telephones.  My mom cooked every meal on a wood cookstove.  She gardened on a one acre garden and canned all of our food for the year.  We went to the store once a month for necessities, and tried to get by with what we had.  I think at one time I remember my dad saying that we lived on 1200 dollars a year.

My dad used to tell stories about taking the county road grader a case of beer in trade for dynamite that would help us blast past the rocks in our soon to be well.  Newton County was a dry county, meaning that it was illegal to sell beer there, and for as long as I can remember, there were several bootleggers where my dad went to get beer when he wanted it.

My mom and dad were musicians so it was natural for them to give us instruments and for us all to play together.  Sort of natural.  My dad was the task master who mandated that we practice so that we could excel at our music.  My mom played the bass, my brother played the fiddle, my dad played guitar, and I played guitar and mandolin.  We played old bluegrass songs and country songs.

At some point when I was almost 12 we moved to Possum Trot in Osage (Carroll County).  It’s a place best remembered by Frank Stamps’ store which still stands there today.  Frank has since passed on, but when we lived there in the early 80s we would go to Frank’s store where he would be with his white hair, tending shop with his 5 white dogs following him around everywhere he went.  We sometimes got to buy huge sandwiches there that he would make with his big meat and cheese slicer.  There were shelves and shelves of general store items, some of them covered in dust because product didn’t always move as fast as it did in more populated areas.  And in the winter time the wood stove in the middle of the store was surrounded by benches of old men chewing tobacco, whittling sticks, and telling tall tales.  It was a beautiful time.

When we first started working at Dogpatch we had a Volkswagen bug that we would load up with a bass, two guitars, a mandolin, a fiddle, and all of the sound equipment necessary to produce our show.  There were 4 of us.  It was an exercise in, how many elephants can you fit in an VW.

We performed 6 shows a day.  Every hour on the half hour.  I wore a black and white polka dot cancan dress.  Did I mention it was a summer gig in Arkansas.  There was a lot of asphalt and it was HOT.  My brother’s costume was red as was my dad’s and my mom also wore black.  In between shows I would run around the park, in and out of the character dressing areas, roller coaster rides, and arcades.  I remember riding a ride was a giant cylinder.  You stood against the wall and the centrifugal force would propel you against the wall as you spun deliriously in a circle, eventually the floor fell out.  I think if I rode that ride now I would puke my guts up, but then it was great fun.

Dogpatch was Daisy Mae and L’il Abner, costumed characters, and the Schmoo, hillbilly talking, goats on the roofs, and bluegrass music.  It was teenagers with summer jobs in the most beautiful place on earth.  It was a water slide and Ms. Pac Man when I didn’t have enough money to play arcade games.  It was roller coasters and slow train rides, waterfalls and trout farm.  It was music contests and Bill Monroe.  It was hours at home at night practicing with my family.  My brother with his self conscious slicked back hair and lack of a sense of humor.  My dad with his constant hope of hitting it big.  My mom working her butt off growing the food, cooking the food, canning the food, fixing everything, and at the end of the day singing and playing music.  Supporting.  Dogpatch was my first job.  I was 12.  I was a musician.  It was a different kind of existence.

My earnings at Dogpatch paid for my homeschooling books from Calvert.  It paid for my first braces on my very crooked teeth.  It was a sweet time.

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Self Employment Versus Job Job

My life has changed dramatically.

Last year this time I still had a business in downtown Fayetteville, I was in school full time, I worked part time as a student nurse, and my husband and I were working together to get through school–our 4 kids in the mix.  Now I have a Job Job.

This year is very different.  I released myself from 10 years of business ownership, I graduated nursing school, I only have one job now-that of a nurse, and we’re getting a divorce.  The kids are doing great.  They amaze me every day.  I had no idea a year and a half ago even that I would be living this life in this way.  Life on the planet is an adventure.

It’s remarkable to me, having come from a position of decision maker where people sought me out for solutions, to being part of a ‘cog in the wheel’ job job, that the thought processes are completely different.  Perspective is everything.

As a self employed or self motivated person, I am the sole motivation behind what I do.  Nobody is making me punch a clock or fill out miles of documentation to prove that I am doing the job for which I was hired.  I choose to be here.  I choose to work hard.  I love what I do.  I take pride in my efforts.   I am not a victim to any perpetrators within my working scope of practice.  I take responsibility for my work success.

Don’t Succumb to the Allure of Victim Language

As an employed person, I find myself surrounded by language of ‘us and them.’ Victim to the system.  “They are doing this, they are doing that, surely they don’t expect us to…, can you believe they did that?”

Rampage of Gratitude!

I want to stay grounded in my optimism, love of people, and gratitude.   I don’t want to be a victim.  I want to be somebody who is choosing every day to be happy to go to work, to do the best I can with the time that I am given for the people I am responsible for helping.  I am grateful for the people I work with.  They are kind, loving, and helpful.  I have had the best mentors and preceptors, and I am so glad for my experiences with them.  They have taught me so much.  I am grateful to work in a place that values its employees financially and beneficially.  I am grateful to work in a place that has the closest thing to patient centered care that I have seen in organized ‘traditional’ medicine.  And I hope to continue finding successful medical models that embody patient centered care in a way that can be emulated.

I may have a job job now, but I hope to continue to find ways to fuel my creativity as I redefine myself in this period of time.  So much has changed for me, my job, my connection to my community, my connection to a partner.  Uranus has had fun redefining my life this year.  It will be so fun to see how this next chapter unfolds.

I still value health, clean burning food, family, yoga, running, meditation, alternative therapies, and community.  It will be interesting to see how this new clean slate that I’m working with will manifest itself, and what direction all this new energy will take.  I hope that I am able to maintain my sense of responsibility for my position in life.  I’m pretty sure I’ve put myself here and there is nowhere else I’d rather be at this moment.  The sky is the limit.  At the same time, there is a certain amount of fear involved, similar to when, as an artist I am faced with a blank page committing to those first defining strokes

Hiking New Territory
Hiking New Territory, what I can do when I am not at the Job Job.  One of the cool features of Job Jobs is Time Off.  This is a previously undiscovered possibility in my last 10 years of self employment.

 

 

“There’s a million things to be, you know that there are,” keeps running through my head these days.  Thank you Cat Stevens.   May the continual background conversations of victimhood fall unheeded around my feet at the job job, and let the first strokes of color fall on the blank page of my life.

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, an entrepreneur, a Registered Nurse, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a writer, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist and educator of 22 plus years, and a gardener.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health. 

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