Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Now What!

I did it! I passed! I am now a LICSW, a licensed independent clinical social worker. I have now completed so many goals and dreams in life.  I am married to a great man, have 3 great children, a masters degree now with my LICSW (which I have wanted ever since I was in undergrad social work school), a house, a career, and so much more. It is now time to work on new goals, new dreams, new passions.

What are my passions, dreams, and goals? Where do I go from here?  I actually do like being a social worker, and maybe it's just me being overly optimistic, but I think there are so many avenues that I can go down with my social work degree and now my LICSW, I just need to figure out what!

Sometimes, I think I want to do something with health and wellness.  I'm thinking something on the idea of how food affects you: body, mind, and spirit. I would love to do something with growing food, choosing foods, cooking foods, and how it all impacts so many parts of ours lives.

I want to talk about exercise and food choices and how that can affect how we act, how we think, how we feel. I want to talk about how growing our own food is healthy not only to eat, but just being out in nature and being part of our own destiny when it comes to food choices. Destiny is not a great word, but it somewhat conveys what I want to. There is something about being outside and "playing" in dirt, taking something from seed or a small plant and being able to nourish ourselves. That being said, I need to take my own advice and make better choices.

Another thing that is a passion, is creativity and how being creative can impact us; mind. body, and spirit.  I love the idea of old fashioned hand crafts, and doing these "crafts" by hand, the way they did before there were machines.  Not that there is anything wrong with using a sewing machine, a table saw, a slow cooker for soap, but there is something satisfying about creating something that doesn't need anything special for equipment.

I love creating! I love being able to take some material and something for warmth, and create a quilt. I love, for example, that a quilt, that can start out as old clothes, old bed sheets, or very expensive material can then become something new and something comforting, something nourishing for the giver and the receiver. I love that , what basically starts out as a piece of string, can become a sweater, an afghan, a hat, something to keep you warm and comfortable, and by extension (hopefully) feeling safe.

I love being able to provide for myself and my family with out always relying on stores to provide all our food and all our clothing and bedding.  There is nothing wrong with buying things at the store, I do so more often than I would like, but it is nice to know that I can grow my own food (at least some of it) and create clothing or items to keep us warm.

I think it is a lost art, one that is hopefully returning, to know how to do simple cooking, sewing, and other fix it type things.  I have the conversation with my husband (more than he would like I'm sure) that Home Ec and Shop are two classes that should be back in the curriculum.  I think everyone should now how to do simple sewing, hemming or sewing a button on.  I think everyone should have a basic comfort level in the kitchen. I think it is important to know how to use tools.

I just heard about makerspaces and the maker movement, and am going to do more research about it. I'm hoping my next post can be more about that.  I'm thinking that maybe an area that I can get into and maybe use my social work degree and experience.  I would love to see a makerspace in Wakefield. Maybe that can be my new goal.

Amy Fratto, MSW, LICSW (I love seeing my name like this!)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

My Life

This is the start of a crazy week. My twins have their annual physical tomorrow, then the next day my oldest has an appointment with his autism doctor, and then I take my LICSW test on Wednesday.  Along with this I have to work at three different nursing homes this week.  As usual, I am continuing to try to figure out life.  I keep trying to living the handmade and natural life that I want to live, but for some reason, it always seems so illusive.

I just read a blog post about " Our Year Without Groceries"  and I am re-inspired to continue with this dreams and desire to live a handmade and natural life.  As always, there is a balance, but I haven't quite found the balance I want or need.  I'm not sure that I could go a year without going to a grocery store, but I would love to try it.  I need to figure out how, just north of Boston, I can afford to eat local. I have a garden, and we should be set for tomatoes and kale, but I'm not sure what else.  Farmers markets here seem to be more of the "in thing" instead of a way of life.  I love going to our local farmers market, but, unfortunately it is really an expensive way to buy food.  I would love to support my local farmers, but I need to figure out how to keep it within my budget.

Along with the food issue, I need to work on the clothing issue.  I just read a story to my children about being green.  One way I want to live a greener life, other than with eating less processed foods, is to reuse clothing.  I have been really lucky with hand me downs for my kids, but I haven't been as lucky or as good with thrift stores and hand me downs for me.  I want and need to stop buying and adding to the excessive amounts of "stuff"

Once I pass my LICSW test Wednesday, I am hoping to do more than just nursing home social work.  I am hoping to do social work with my love of handmade and natural living. I would love to work with people to teach them how to live this way, But I need to learn how to live this way too.  I will keep trying and learning and failing and getting back up and trying again.

This blog is my dream and my ultimate goal and I will continue to work at living the life I desire.  I may not always live it and I may fall really hard, but I will continue to get back up and try again.  I hope that at some point, I will be able to share this with others!