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Living the Dream

I've had one of those moments. The moments where you realize that things have really been great. The moment you realize that you've grabbed the bull by the horns and have done things that some people dream about.

I'm not going to lie; it's an odd feeling to have.
I've never considered myself particularly adventurous or courageous. Never someone who was leading the pack by any stretch of the imagination.  I was simply living my life, the best way I knew how in that moment.

And that's what it boils down to; the moments. Those precious spans of time where the decisions can alter the paths we take and change everything. The seconds that can last for heartbeats and mean everything. For me, those moments, quite simply were one in a series of such moments. I didn't really give them the weight they deserved.  I'm amazed my mother survived with minimal grey hair and her sanity intact as I cavalierly announced I was taking a year off from college to back pack through Europe. Or when I said I was moving hundreds of miles away. Or anything really. 
But, those were my moments. The moments that shaped my world.
And I am eternally grateful to have had them.

So, don't panic about today, or worry about tomorrow. Just be happy in the now.
You might just surprise yourself.


Living in the moment while living your dream

I am at a transition point in my day job. The job that pays the bills. The job that supports me, personally, and my goal of writing full time some day. The clinic is restructuring and I've been given an opportunity to have a much bigger role. It's a very exciting time as we take these steps to be stronger. (I realize I'm being vague about what I do, it's in the medical field, and while not top secret, I go out of my way to keep that part of my life separate from the writing side in order to protect the privacy of everyone.)

So, anyway. Transitions. They're happening. And it's great.

But yesterday I had a meeting with one of the consultants and she asked me about my writing. Not because she was curious, but because she wanted to make sure that if she was going to be training me for this new job, that I wasn't going to up and quit to become a full time writer anytime soon.

At first her words of, "This is a career, not a job. You can't do both." threw me for a loop. I pressed her a bit to get to the root of what she's saying and came to find out that she knows a man, a lawyer, who always wanted to write a book. But he couldn't, because he didn't have the time.  It's a familiar story, right? We all lament about what we could do if we didn't have to work or had those extra hours in the day.

She went on to identify with people like EL James and JK Rowling, how that's a fabulous goal and dream to have as a writer, to be that successful. But those women were full time writers. I hesitated to say (mostly because I don't know the status of those two particular authors when they first penned their books) that most writers also have full time jobs. That most writers, at least the ones I know, have solid careers outside of the world of writing.

Instead I laughed with her, conceding her point that those two women do write full time, and assured her I'm not going to be quitting my job anytime soon and that I'm more than prepared to take on the challenge of this new position at the day job. 

After our meeting I was rolling around what she'd said, trying to figure out the meaning of it all and I realized she was cautioning me. Not on being a writer or how I spend my outside of work hours. But on expectations. What she saw with the other person she knows who has always wanted to be a writer is that he expected to be able to pen a novel, sell it, have it land on the NYT best seller list and he'd be a millionaire. Ta da! And, I can't really fault her for that because I know writers who have had those exact expectations. Maybe not realistically, but it's the dream.

What she was after, and what I'm realizing in myself, is that I'm rooted solidly on the ground, in the now. That I recognize both my day job and my writing career as businesses. Generally speaking, businesses are slow to grow. Live in the moment while you dream your dream. Certainly don't give up your dreams, but work them. Make them work for you. 

But most of all, manage your expectations. And by doing that people will take you seriously in all aspects of your life.


Where is your happy place?

You have to have one, right? Your 'happy place'. The place you go when the world seems to be caving in around you. The place you can escape the rigors of day-to-day life and just relax. Maybe it's a hike into the woods to a favorite waterfall. Or a cozy mountain cabin. Or a small sliver of beach not too far away.

Or maybe it's not that far at all, but a room in your house. Or even a little corner where you can kick back and read a book or listen to music. Whatever it is that helps you release the stress of the day.

I've had several of these over the years. My happy place seems to change depending on the demands of life, the age of the kids and all sorts of other factors.

In fact, I can be pretty happy anywhere. I've like people. I like trying new things. And I have to have light. As the kids have gotten more talkative (so since they hit age 3 and just wouldn't stop talking) I find myself craving silence too. Even though I know I should cherish these moment when they're talking to me, because there's bound to be a time in the not too distant future when I'll have to threaten them with the cat o' nines to get them to open up. But, sometimes, I just need to be alone with my thoughts.
So, I have a new writing nook. (Not the one above, though isn't it lovely?) It's removed from the main traffic areas of the house, but still accessible. No longer near the TV which seems to be on all the time (particularly if I'm otherwise occupied and unable to engage) and right in front of a big window which holds my antique cobalt bottle collection and several plants. I had visions of being able to light little tea light candles while I worked, but the cat has claimed a portion of the window for herself, so I don't see that happening anymore.

It's been a major redecorating project in order to create this little writing nook, but as I sit here this morning, watching the sunrise through that big gorgeous window, I couldn't be more pleased.

Tell me about your happy place!