In 2020 I started my Coffee date catch up posts as a way to connect a bit with my readers and to reflect on my own thoughts and experiences from the last little while. I don’t actually follow the numbers of people that read these posts, and maybe no one even reads them, but they have served as a nice check in for myself, so I am continuing to write them.
“It has been so long since I wrote one of these updates and taken time to reflect on how things are going, because it has been a busy time!” This is literally how I started the last one of these posts I wrote, and here we are again! I’ve been bouncing between my full-time job and my two casual positions, and also taking time to learn about myself as a person.
The last time I wrote one of these, it was the new year the beginning of 2022, and here we are rounding up to the new year!
One of my big learning opportunity is this year, was really getting to know myself in a self-care and leisure way. I started recognizing the connection between myself and my autistic clients, and started exploring my own sensory needs. I’ve always been sensitive to large crowds and to places with new people I don’t know, but as I get older and my anxiety becomes more prominent, I’ve noticed my sensory needs a lot more..: or maybe it’s just that I’ve never known how to care for them or what they were?
I am so thankful to be working in a place where my colleagues also understand, and share similar sensory needs, and I have built such a repertoire of earplugs, Sound cancelling headphones, various fidgets, and other strategies to help me get through challenging times! During this adventure , I have been able to affirm not only the challenges I experience now, but also the challenges I’ve experienced as a child. It feels good to be able to understand why certain situations like large crowds, loud noises, new people, etc. always made me feel exhausted or overwhelmed.
Below are linked some of the material strategies I have ❤️
Over this past year not only did I continue to write on my blog, but I also took the leap and started a podcast! I have always wanted to start a podcast about occupational therapy and some of the nontraditional roles that I work in, as well as giving future occupational therapist/OT Students a space to learn and grow outside of a textbook. One of my favourite places to find new information a new strategies are often OT blogs and podcasts as they highlight current relevant experiences! I always share with my students that when you graduate from school there’s still so much more to learn, but you’re still experiencing financial struggle as a new grad. So in that sense I always recommend them do creative work to buy new information to support their practice in a free way. My podcast is still under work as I haven’t had much time to record episodes as of late, but the link is here if you’re interested!
I also started diving into really making a focus of my job education for my placement students. Now that I have a grasp of my role in this non traditional setting and have more confidence as a practitioner, I want to give more attention to educating my students. My placement students this round were absolutely incredible at reflecting on their experiences and giving me feedback which has given me lots of ideas to hopefully better support my future students! They’ve also created some lovely Infographs that have started my collection of student content, that I have started adding book titles to and articles 🙂 I am feeling more confident in my role and feel thankful to be able to share my knowledge with others!
On a more personal note, my fiancée and I became “spiritually married” this year 🥰 I’m not one for dramatic titles like that, but that’s what we’ve kind of decided on. In truth, we were supposed to get married in 2021 and it was too much with COVID, so we postponed. This year there were so many postponed weddings that we decided to use our camp booking for a giant bachelorette party! I had a vision for photos, which I value a lot, and we got our photographer to meet us in BC on our vacation to take wedding photos in nature !! It was the most magical time, we danced and enjoyed the forests of BC, and convinced everyone we were married even though we’re not 😂. This coming year we’ll have a “small” wedding but the photos will always be our private little marriage moment 🤍🤍🤍
Tonight is New Year’s Eve, and as much as I don’t care for the new year celebrations, I did enjoy reflecting on all the lovely moments of 2022!
What moments stand out to you about your year?