I had a girl’s night out the other day. We went for delicious sushi and to see the film Black Swan. At one point in the evening’s conversation my blog came up and I mentioned that I haven’t had much to say lately- which got me thinking about how much time I used to spend inside my head burrowing and scratching around and how it took it me out of my life.
I even had a moment of nostalgia for those days recently. I was driving along thinking about tasks that I needed to accomplish in my new job and like a flash I was returned to all those times when driving provided the perfect environment for me to check out of my life and fret and worry and fantasize about things beyond my control and outside the realm of reality. And although I don’t miss the death fantasies (which by the way still pop up now and again) some of my fantasies were pretty amazing: winning the Oscar for best documentary or screenplay depending on the day, moving to Africa, designing a board game and making millions of dollars etc, etc. And I had a small moment of panic as I worried that giving up these fantasies is in some way giving up on my dreams.
But if I’m completely honest my fantasies always centered on the end result of some amazing thing I had done or accomplished- the fame, the recognition, the money. If I had many lives perhaps I would have been a documentary maker or screenplay writer (and maybe I still will be.) But for now it’s probably a safer bet to look for my ‘fame’ with my family and friends and in my day to day life.
Last Wednesday we had a snowstorm. Everything was cancelled, and we were all in the house together for the day. At about 5 p.m. the kiddos started to fall apart. As I tried to gently push everyone towards dinner and bed my man pointed out how uncharacteristically patient I was being. “You’re right,” I observed and continued to try and figure out what magic configuration of happenings had resulted in me being patient. And this is what I came up with: I had spent several hours working at my job that day facilitating a conference call. As simple as that. I had put time and effort into something real of my own and had done it well. Something new and a little bit challenging- and so what critical voice- if it is only at the Department of Education- maybe some day I’ll take it over.
For now I will try and keep things simple and real. And I am branching out and exploring new hobbies in my real life: playing a bit of pond hockey with my daughter, sewing my first tunic with the help of Rhea at Alewives, curing diseases with my man playing Pandemic, and aspiring to be a better photographer with my new fancy camera. So if I occasionally fantasize about fame and fortune in one of these areas at least it is loosely based in reality. And some day we will at least travel to Africa but first comes Costa Rica.