Day 18, because I say it is

At the prompting of Patti Digh (and life, and timing, and the universe), I'm doing one thing every day for 37 Days, and sharing that journey here. You can read about what I'm doing in this post.

I was unsure whether to call this Day 18 - 18 days since the exercise started, or Day 13 - the 13th day I've written since the exercise started. I'm not calling it Day 1, even though I know I could. Maybe the thing I'm saying today is that I'm not so great at long-term commitment. Can you even consider 37 days to be long-term? Apparently I do.

I found myself dreading this morning, dreading Monday. I never thought I'd get to this point again in my life. I worked a few full-time jobs from the time I was 18 - I never really thought about it, I just thought that's what you're supposed to do as an adult, so I did. It was only after doing that, and seeing how soul-sucking and deadening it was, that I realized THAT life is not for me. The life of punching a clock (or being on salary), going to work five days out of seven, spending most of the day indoors, waiting for the weekend and my real life? Nope. But that's what I was doing when I got pregnant with Evan - biding my time, I guess, until I knew for sure what I did want to do.

After having Evan, there was no question - what I wanted to do was nurture and be with this tiny little person. I was actually surprised by that! I had figured I'd take maternity leave for ten weeks, then put him in daycare and keep working... because that's what people did. After I met him? There was NO WAY that was happening. I was a single mom when I had him, and I found ways to make it work - watching kids so I could be with him, working on the weekends when his Dad had him. We lived on next to nothing so I could be with him - I found a place to rent for $200 a month that was, admittedly, falling apart. It didn't matter.

It was during that time that I asked myself, "If I had all the money I needed, and all the energy I needed, what would I do with my life?" My thought was - and this was before I had read anything about Law of Attraction - if I know what I would do with all the resources I needed, I can find a way to do it now. What I wanted to do was be with him, be there for him.

I also found out - because I am a champion navel-gazer, people!, always questioning my thoughts - that I didn't WANT to work. I wanted to be taken care of. At the time, that seemed like something to fix: why would I not want to take responsibility for my life? How immature was I? In the intervening years - marriage, another child, divorce - I have grown so much in that regard. It was actually shortly after our separation that I got - really, really got - that I was responsible for our lives. It was on my shoulders. Man, it took a lot of growing, a lot of making bad choices, etc. But I'm definitely in a different place with all that now than when it was just me and Evan.

The problem I'm having - I'm not living the life I want anymore. I want more. When I got the job I have now - and I'm planning a post about that soon, my job and what I do - it was meant to be 10 - 15 hours a week, in an office. I went in on my first day and realized I could do the job from home, so a few months later, I was set up with a company computer and an office phone, and here I've been, ever since, for three and a half years. My duties have changed, my hours have grown. For years, I struggled with not making enough money each month - pay one bill one month, one bill the next, always trying to stay just ahead of the cut-off... I'd get really far behind and ask friends for help. I managed my money poorly, on top of under-earning. What a mess! But for the last year or year and half, I've kinda gotten it together. I pay my rent on time, and now, most other bills, too. I earn enough each month - well, combined with child support - to pay our bills, get groceries, etc. We're not in a totally secure place, but much, much better than it's ever been.

But in gaining that security? I lost time with my boys. I've lost some connection with them. I didn't even really GET that, until we moved last year, and my office is in a separate space from them. We were all in one room at the other place - the TV, game systems, books, computer, drawing stuff, toys. I struggled with it being quiet enough when I made phone calls, so I was glad to get a separate office here. But in doing that, I realized how much I'm not here. I actually wasn't at the old place, either, but because I was physically in the same space I didn't realize it. Now? I feel so separated from them, for large chunks of the day.

My dream? Man, it's been a long time since I've asked myself what I would do if I had all the resources I wanted. But without looking inside too deeply, just off the cuff here, I'd say - to have more free time with the boys. To have resources we needed to travel more, be with other unschoolers more. I don't even have a car! I'd want to explore wherever and whenever they wanted to explore, and we'd have time, too, to just hang together. I'd also want to share drumming with more people, promote my drum circles.

I am a gifted intuitive reader. I know this. I've had success giving people readings, been told that what I "saw" was right on - and beyond. I want to study this, get stronger, find a mentor. There is so much healing I could offer - if I dared. I haven't taken one step to promote myself, or find support for learning.

But I can see that life - I could learn to give effective readings, earning enough each hour so I could take care of our needs, but still have plenty of time for us. With phone readings, I could give readings wherever I went. I'm not feeling that rush of excitement as I write this, meaning - maybe this isn't what I'm meant to do. Or maybe, it means I don't trust that I would be good enough at this any more. It's been a while since I've done any readings.

I feel stuck, and scared, and frustrated. I'm not finding the gratitude right now - gratitude for my current job that has allowed me to work from home, and gain some security. Gratitude for an incredible boss, and work that makes a difference. Gratitude for the fact that any time I want, I can step outside, plus, my office has HUGE windows on both outside walls. I went downtown this past weekend, and I was walking in the overstreet mall - there are offices where people don't even SEE the outdoors!! Every single day, in this artificially-lighted place with no windows! I've got it good, compared to those folks.

But I want more. I want the life I want. I want to not dread Mondays.

And I'm feeling unsure about how to get there, out of touch. Which means it's time to look within again, time to re-prioritize, time to figure out the next step, tiny step to take. That's all it takes, most times, one small step in the direction of your dreams.

Maybe one small thing every day for, say... 37 Days? Hmm... someone should write something about that.

"I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." ~ Thoreau

I've learned that even if one flails awkwardly, full of self-doubt and insecurity, in the general direction of her dreams, that's enough to start. It wouldn't sound as good on a plaque, but it works.

I first wrote that imminently quotable quote on a comment on a post by Christine Kane. In remembering that, I looked up which post it was - and found one way out. Wow! I've read the answer... two years ago! Answers really are everywhere, once you start looking.

I'm feeling overwhelmed, unable to pull this off. Once again, I'm wishing someone would come in and help me.

And again, something I read by Steve Pavlina - posted this morning, how's that for good timing? - is offering hope. I just need to get out from the overwhelm just enough to take that first step. Or take it even in the overwhelm. Maybe that's it.

1 comment:

Carolynn said...

I hear your frustration and have been dealing with much of the same on my journey, as well. It's scary stuff, this launching out on a dream quest full of faith & little else. I also realized recently, that it is entirely possible, that my dream, when it finally comes to pass, may not look anything like I had originally expected it to. Nevertheless, I hold it sacred and trust that somehow, someway, it will all work out.

Some of the best advice I was ever given was this: "It's okay to be in the struggle."

Blessings to you!
(a fellow 37 Day Challenger)