Monthly Archives: May 2015

Waking to Dream…


It’s a shocking thing to wake up to the lives we find ourselves in. Certainly not the visions we had for ourselves when we were young and our dreams were fresh. It happens. Eventually responsibility looms larger than life and many of us enter into survival mode.

Some of us escape, mid-life or even from the start, and successfully find a way to do what we love, while making a living doing it.  More common than not though, we will punch a clock and toil from dawn to dusk until we die. If we’re lucky we’ll find an hour or two to rendezvous with our dreams, relegating them to hobby status, deluding ourselves into thinking that it is enough. Believing in our heart of hearts that it never will be. Bummer.

How then do we survive with some semblance of satisfaction in life, mired in drudge, seemingly thwarted from our deepest desires?

I am not content nor willing to let the circumstances of my life own me. But I am also not good at making and taking time to fill my non-working time with stimulating dream-catching activities.  Most of the time I just want to change into comfy clothes and sleep. You could call it “passive” dream-catching. I could sleep all day…every day, and have gone through seasons of doing just that! But that is not living. And the dreams are still there somewhere inside of me.  At least I think they are. When one gets to this point it is a short step away from losing one’s dreams all together. Mustn’t let that happen.

And I wonder…why do I let myself languish in the notion that some is not all and therefore not good enough? It’s a choice you know. Not a good one…but a choice. One that is promoted by marketing and media, by boards of directors who value profits and debtors who are only looking for my next payment.  These things are a reality in my life, but they need not be my only reality.

I find that if I make time to fulfill even a small part of a dream, it lights a spark in me. Enough to sustain me through the to-do’s and must be’s in my life. Enough to help me stay awake. The amount of time I am afforded to spend dreaming matters not, as long as I am fully in the moment when I do. It’s as much who I am as that work-a-day title I wear day in and day out…it’s more.

I like what French Poet-Philosopher Paul Valery said about dreamers and the dreams they dream…

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.

And so this moment I hit the “publish” button and realize another dream.  Make that, “Did you happen to know that I am a writer?  I am!”…And the sparks fly, fueling me this moment into marvelous satisfaction and delight. What of sleep? No time for that! There are more lovely words to find with my keypad…so many more!

Sunday naps in retrograde…

I love Sundays at my house. It is the perfect day for naps. A time to renew and refresh before starting the workweek. Today’s nap time began like a sweet dream! I snapped the angelic faces of my fur babies softly snoring, purring…my moment of zen.
Aren’t they the picture of peace and tranquility?  I give you now the picture of reality…rousing me from my cycle of REM…as the planets plunge into retrograde!

Sibling rivalry knows no species!

Maxwell is determined to have his turn at mommy snuggle time…

…and Winston ain’t budgin’!

Welcome to my world! Happy Sunday!

Confessions of an Obnoxious Optimist…

Obnoxious you say? Well, I confess that I added that descriptor just for you dear reader, though I have to admit that even I sometimes find me a bit hard to be around. I mean, really? Nobody is that happy or that positive all the time. 

True enough. I have my moments. We all do. And what we see is not always what is.

I do, in fact, hit the floor most mornings with a twinkle in my eye, a song in my heart and smile on my face. I have learned to temper my exuberance to preserve harmony in my home. But that bubbling joie de vivre is truly a gift I cherish. Always there energizing me like a certain “bunny” that keeps going, going, going…and going.

This, of course makes it all the more spectacular when I hit a wall. When the moments crash together and I find myself drowning in a sea of regrets, what if’s and why’s. I am usually good at wearing my “happy mask” for most of the world to see. But those closest to me…the loves of my life see my horrible melt-downs. It must be a terrifyingly sad sight. At least that’s what I imagine. I feel responsible somehow. After a lifetime of being everyone’s cheerleader, now cheerless and stunned, I typically try to find a rock to crawl under, or tuck myself away for hours of restless sleep. 

The truth is I really do believe that things will work out for the best. I am generally a positive, upbeat person who loves life and is exceedingly grateful for its blessings. My happy-faced, positive tendencies are not an act and generally do not take a lot of effort on my part to pull off. But the honest truth also is that my brain is slightly out of whack. My happy levels of serotonin and dopamine bottom out sometimes and the weepiness begins and the world comes crashing in. Chronic depression is no ride in the park, and so I rely on chemistry to maintain the status quo.

A confession then, as promised in the title.  Making my optimism all the more obnoxious. Is my eternally up-beat persona a big fat lie? Nope. I repeat…nope!

For that, my dears, is what the fearful “pick yourself up by your own bootstraps” crowd wants you to believe. The “mental illness is a character flaw weakness and not a true medical condition” mumblers and “pray it away” exhorters will escort you to your rock and hold it up for you to crawl under if you let them. Because misery loves company. This is the real lie and we need to change this for all who suffer. I prefer not to be in the company of the miserable. And neither should you.

Being that happy optimist for me is a choice. The glass is half empty AND half full in my world. Yes both! The fact that the glass exists at all is reason to celebrate.  Even if I need a little boost now and then to maintain that lovely chemical brain soup sloshing around in my head. There is and should be no shame in that. It keeps it real for me. It helps me be me. And it’s called taking care of myself and being healthy.  And the truth is I’m not always obnoxious. But optimistic? I wear that label happily!

Surprised by Calm


My partner has been unemployed for several months now…going on infinity. Or at least that’s how it feels from my supportive partner position.  It’s exhausting. I’m normally an upbeat optimistic sprite…the kind non-morning people hate waking up to each day before coffee. Or so I’m told.

Remaining positive in the midst of the looming depression, insecurity and fear that comes with endless application submissions, interviews ad nauseum and the waiting…waiting…waiting…days to weeks to months without closure or progress, takes a bit more effort than I am used to exerting. So far I have avoided that rabbit hole myself. That “what if” vortex that sucks me back to every time I have cried over a pile of bills on the kitchen table, with no means to pay them, wracking my brain for the umpteenth way I can rob Peter to pay Paul. It would be so easy to plunge into that uncertainty, angst and despair. I know it, because I’ve ridden that roller coaster before.  And I’ve been waiting for it…but in a startling development, even to me, I am surprisingly calm.

It’s as if I am in the midst of a final exam, spiritually speaking. The piper has come to collect on all my “live in the moment” aspirations. Sure I like to say I am practicing conscious moment to moment living. If you’ve known me long enough, you’ve probably heard me say it or read it in one of my flowery optimistic posts…Oy…I know it’s easy for me to say right? But the truth is, right here right now I am doing okay, even more, I know that I know everything will work out in the end.

How did this happen? I admit I am startled that I am not falling apart right about now. But I am encouraged by my progress.  I just may ace the test this time. I guess I’ve paid attention all those moments when Wisdom whispered into my ear, or when Experience, taskmaster that she is, took me through her impossible obstacle courses over and over and over again. It’s exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time, but each passing day I grow more and more confident.  And when I say “we got this”…  “you’ve got this” to my partner, I mean it with every ounce of my being. Even if sometimes I have to repeat it out loud to myself to make sure I’m hearing myself correctly.

Enter the dangling carrot bedazzled with glitter.  That job…THE job finally crossed our path – upwardly mobile, room for growth and a substantial pay increase. Every job hunter’s dream! We…I say we, but it is my partner who finally got that much anticipated call and entered into a dizzying series of interviews. The drama transpired over a month and a half, each interviewer extolling her virtues and passing her upstream to the next talking head. And in the meantime, another call for a job…not spectacular, but not horrible, not a step back, but meh…and the ensuing course of even more interviews. The moment of truth has been approaching for both opportunities. And I admit we both allowed ourselves to dream a little, to toss around the idea of a more comfortable life and the ability to tuck a bit away for that retirement I had just assumed was out of our reach.

When the call finally came, it was stunning. The last interviewer for THAT job lowered the ax…thanks but no thanks.  Even the bearer of this outcome, a friendly HR person, was shocked and dismayed by the verdict and offered another option within the company, a traveling position with an even higher compensation package so as not to lose what she considered a tremendously qualified candidate. Travel…extensive travel…more pay…extensive travel…no home life…churn…

As for that other job…what had become the lesser than, but adequate backup job. That process seems to be moving forward. Background and reference checks are checked…offer expected most assuredly in a few days. And another surprise…even another test? Perhaps, the most important test of all. A good night’s sleep and the new day sealed my resolve. How quickly THE job turned into just a job. Because there are a few things worth considering…important things. Clarity…the true gift of each moment, is a beautiful thing!

This morning I told my partner that having her around is more important than having…stuff. Of course, all this has confirmed what I already knew. It’s all going to work out in the end. It always has and always will. Riding the wave has been quite a thrill and I’ve learned I can let go, and to savor each precious moment when it happens. So with a smile and a nod and an “atta girl”…after she’s had her coffee…I think my partner is starting to believe it too. And at this very moment we are both fine…yes fine indeed!

P.S. We got a wonderful offer late last week! Filled are we with happy anticipation as we turn the page and begin the next chapter!

A Job Seeker’s Lament…a poem for a “friend” who is feeling anonymous :)

A Job Seeker’s Lament

I’ve crossed all my t’s and dotted my i’s,
embellished my truth with a few benign lies,
given you time when time was due
and all to get a nod or two from you.

Apply, wait, repeat…repeat and again.
Spin-cycled dizzy and churned with no end,
suited and polished to make that impression.
Dressed for THAT job…you know the expression.

Hours to days to weeks to depression.
Surely I fit your idealized description.
Show me your hoops and I’ll gladly jump through,
stand on my head, dance a jig, shine your shoe.

Encouraging words only make me feel sick
without them in writing they’re nothing but shtick
I’m hanging in though, but by a thin thread
so give me a reason to get out of bed.

Call me and soon, you’ve got all my numbers.
Time’s running out, my savings are plundered.
Give me that chance to amaze and impress
Let my foot in the door, and I’ll handle the rest.

kat ~ May 2015

%d bloggers like this: