Another Saturday Night

Whew….I’m a little dizzy. It’s one of those Saturday nights when I can do whatever the heck I want. I like that idea. So on my way home from a monthly sing along that I attend, I decided that I would do something wonderfully self indulgent yet original. Default thinking took me immediately to watching the NCIS marathon, but that wouldn’t be any different than most Saturday nights. While preparing my Jenny cuisine for dinner – more routine, I pondered the idea of vegging on the couch and playing solitaire on my phone. Nope….I do that every day….almost. Ooh, maybe both those activities simultaneously. Um….not a good idea. 

The telephone rang interrupting my contemplation, and against my good judgment, I answered. It was a young woman reading her script for the “short survey” she wanted me to participate in. Normally, I beg off and hang up, but what the heck? I could take a few minutes out of my special night to help her out? The conversation went like this:

Caller:  Thank you, Miss Der-HODES (one of the many mispronunciations). Are you the primary occupant of the home?

Me: Yes but not on alternate Tuesday mornings and once quarterly when they’re here to sweep for bugs

Caller: (hesitating) OK,…can you answer questions regarding major purchasing decisions in the household?

Me: Yes as long as the information isn’t classified in nature.

Caller: Um….is there someone else I can talk to? 

Me: Maybe….I’ll see if Leo is available to speak with you.

I held the phone away from my ear for about a minute until I heard….

Caller: Miss Der-HODES? Are you still there?

Me: Yes. I’m waiting for Leo to wake up.

Caller: Oh, that won’t be necessary. Is there a time that I can call again and speak to Leo?

Me: You can try most evenings between 9 and 9:30 although you might not be able to understand his responses.

Caller: Does he not speak English? 

Me: Well yes, sort of. It’s feline English. You might want to have an interpreter to help you translate his responses.

(Click…..dead air) Oh well…..I got further with her than I thought I would. That was fun. Now….where was I?

Oh yeah….what to do on Saturday night. Maybe I should be more cerebral about passing the time. I could put on some soft music, light a candle or two, and read. Yes…that seems sophisticated enough. I chose an appropriate self help title from the stack beside my bed and headed for the living room. It took a few extra minutes to find a candle with a wick that would burn, but I got one going. Setting up the mood music also took a few minutes because I can never remember where the music stations are on the cable channel lineup. As I settled into the recliner with the book that I know is going to change my life, the cats started screaming at something outside. I got up to see what was going on.

Still some daylight on this late summer evening, I saw the resident crazy squirrel in the flower bed digging holes in the mulch. I tapped on the sliding door glass and shouted. He hesitated for maybe a second and a half, then resumed the digging. Now this fearless vermin was on my last nerve since this has been his regular activity for the past three months or so. Having reached the end of my patience, my eyes landed on a small balloon on the kitchen counter – the one that was among the freebies in my bag from the party store’s grand opening earlier this week. I swear I saw the light bulb in my mind’s eye flicker on brightly. The sink is right beside where I spotted the balloon, so I carefully filled the  balloon with water and tied it off. Remembering that one of the bedroom windows overlooks the ravaged flower bed, I hoofed it upstairs and quietly opened the window. As luck would have it, the squirrel was still foraging in the mulch – for what is still a mystery. Very carefully I reached through the open window with the water balloon in my hands, aiming for a solid spot near the intruder. I let it go….it fell almost in slow motion…and SPLAT! The balloon popped and water splattered everywhere including a respectable soaking of the nutball squirrel. The startled squirrel stopped digging, ran to the other side of the mulched bed, and started digging there. Sigh….when I returned to the kitchen on the first floor, the cats were gone – no doubt freaked out by the water bomb they saw burst before their eyes.

Enough of that….back to my sophisticated evening of reading and listening to high brow music (I chose the movie sound tracks channel). Finally, I was settled in with my book, nestled in my recliner with my favorite throw keeping me warm. I read a paragraph, then took a moment to look around and observe the ambiance I had created for myself. Lovely….peaceful…..serene. I returned to my book and started reading again, but I had forgotten that reading in the evening tends to make me sleepy. My eyelids were drooping after about 12 minutes of reading. Crap! I could give in to the sleepiness, but I do that all the time. This was supposed to be my special Saturday night, so NO, I’m not going to take one of those blissful naps this time. 

I closed my book, lowered the foot rest, and threw the blanket off as I looked around for another something special to occupy my Saturday night. Why not Netflix? It’s paid for, and I can choose one of those films that people are impressed to hear you’ve watched. I pulled out all 3 remotes and finally figured out how to get to Netflix….through the Wii game system. As the menu appeared on the screen, I realized that my Just Dance – Ballet Edition was in the player. How fun would that be? And I know I wouldn’t fall asleep doing that. It’s good exercise and ballet is fairly sophisticated. Right?

Just Dance ballet is quite a workout believe it or not. About 5 minutes in, I decided to take a short rest here at the computer and write this blog entry. There’s still another 20-30 minutes left before it’s time to get ready for bed. I guess I’ll try those pirouettes one more time. 

 

Through the glass dimly

Time flies. Sure does. I am still on my quest for right livelihood. I am rife with ideas – remember Bill in the movie Night Shift? He was an idea guy who regularly halted his current activity to speak his latest idea into his pocket recorder, “Invention idea: microwave pants – you can stay warm and bake a potato at the same time.” I think I’m a lot like Bill. I come up with ideas at all times of the day or night, and when they come to me, I feel inspired and absolutely sure that it’s the big winner. Then in the light of day or the next day or some other reasonably short span of time, I am horrified that I ever thought it was remotely viable. For example, my most recent brilliant ideas included a catchy or perhaps kitschy business card for networking purposes (thankfully, I didn’t pay more than shipping for them) and a business name that takes a pop culture savant to get its meaning. Fortunately, I caught that one before I “invested” any money.

Looking back over the past month, I suppose I had some actual flashes of brilliance. This networking thing that I previously was so afraid to do has actually become an almost thrilling challenge to see who I can approach and engage in discussion about me and my endeavors. I figured out that lots of people are more than willing to share ideas with me, and those people aren’t necessarily the recommended contacts we’re taught to pursue. It actually engages some creative thinking to land on one of these potential vocational soothsayers, but when you find one they’re worth their weight in gold. Maybe I’ve just got a bigger pool of friends and acquaintances from which to draw, but through them, I’m also gathering up new connections – to use the proper terminology. I recently met a self-proclaimed Professional Networker. Is that cool or what? I sincerely hope he can make a good living at that occupation because it’s a lot of fun. It will have to be a sideline for me.

My last two networking meetings were with unlikely people in my broader circle of acquaintances. Both asked me thought provoking questions that cast a new perspective from which to view my search. Their questions and suggestions also helped lift the veil of murkiness around what I really want to do with my life. One person asked, “Are you really passionate about starting your own business? Or are you passionate about the work you want to do?” Wow, that was an eye opener. I like helping other people with their businesses, which seems like I’d enjoy doing that for myself, but maybe my own business would interfere with the real passion. Sigh. That’s a question that I’m still pondering but feel like the choices are clearer now, or at least I know my priority of preferences. I think. I’ll let you know.

Ah yes, clearer…..through the glass dimly.

Short Attention Span

Leave it to me to come up with a great idea, start it, then quickly forget about it. I just rediscovered this blog that I started almost two years ago, and I still like what I wrote. So today I’ll make another entry to see if there is any congruency of thought and belief between that first entry and today.

I am currently moving through a watershed period of my life. I left my job – of my own accord – quite unexpectedly and now find myself once again trying to figure out what or who I want to be when I grow up. Mind you, I am not all that far from retirement age, so traditional choices are limited. I am blessed to have a lot of skills that I can market in a variety of ways, so that opens up my choices – both a blessing and a curse.

Sometimes I feel like I’m sitting on the floor in the middle of the room with pieces of information scattered all around me. I don’t know where to begin to sort it out. I need to find my focus, my direction. Some days after spending time in meditation or spiritual practice, I have fleeting moments of clarity. I see the logical path, then it dims again with uncertainty and indecision. Essentially, I have six weeks to get this sorted out, which is better than none.

So for today, I’m grateful for all that I have. It’s a lot. And I’m grateful for my current “problem.” More growth is on its way.

Epiphany

No, it isn’t pro-JECT like “to throw, cast, or impel forward or onward.” Emphasis is on the first syllable as in “something that is contemplated, devised, or planned; plan; scheme.” (Thank you, Dictionary.com) Walking out of my dear therapist’s office the other day, the epiphany occurred. It really IS okay to put myself first – make time for me before doing the obligatory without guilt….shame….self loathing. Okay, so I get it intellectually but what does it look like and how does one do that? Hence, Project Me – a plan, a scheme that will finally illuminate and identify Who I Really Am.

What-if questions start flooding my mind as I allow myself to entertain such a notion. What if I make taking care of ME the primary focus of my life? What if I actually act on the myriad creative ideas I have stored in my head? What if I actually take the advice and recommendations of the others who clearly know something about success and happiness? What if I conduct myself according to my beliefs? Feelings of possibility and excitement rise in my being like I haven’t felt in a long time – maybe I’ve never quite felt like this before.

I worked on many projects in the course of my lifetime. There was the Being a Kid project immediately followed by the Growing-up project, which I’ll admit is still ongoing. Early on I embarked on Marriage project #1 while simultaneously starting the Have-a-Baby initiative. These two major efforts led to the Divorce undertaking alongside the Single-Parenting program. An overarching strategy known as the Survival Matter included numerous discrete ventures such as Marriage #2, Get-a-Job, Start-a-Business, Finally-Get-an-Education, and Divorce-Part 2. Have I made progress toward self realization? Definitely. How much progress? The more I discover, the less I seem to know or understand about myself, so I press on.

So will this blog help? We’ll see. For today, it serves as a journal. If by some miracle of intention and result of divine law I gain momentum on my quest for the meaning of my own life, perhaps I’ll share the insights and learning that come to me in the hope that my experiences might shed light for someone else.