My kid ate Sun Chips for dinner tonight.
I wasn’t supposed to be the mom who let her kid eat Sun Chips for dinner. But, somehow, that’s how the night unfolded. It started with sandwiches and baked potatoes and applesauce and then somehow a drink got spilled, the kid got distracted and what happened next was a swift grab of the Sun Chips bag. And, then, there was no taking away the bag of Sun Chips swiped (but paid for becxause we’re on the up and up) from the McAlister’s counter unless I was ready to endure public screaming. And there had already been one public screaming incident. So my kid ate Sun Chips for dinner. In fact, we think that might have been all he ate today. Period. Because, sometimes, dude just doesn’t eat. But he does drink copious amounts of milk.
I could obsess over that but, for now, I choose not to because sometimes good enough just has to do. So, tomorrow’s another day. Already, I’m eyeing black eyed peas, brown rice (two Happy favorites), yogurt, and an orange for his dinner. Hopefully, he won’t be eyeing Sun Chips (fortunately, there are no Sun Chips in our house which should keep us safe).
In other news, I’m in a percolating place. My brain’s full with trying to figure out what’s next professionally and how to get things organized in a way that helps me figure out and act on what I’d like to be next. This time always feels really disorganized in my head as I try to reorganize focus and vision and then create a plan. I think it’s further complicated by the fact that my concrete systems are getting replaced- my computer desperately needs to be replaced (probably 25% of my time is spent being held hostage by a computer that wants to move from one internet page to the next but just can’t quite get it together to go there and so it hangs out in the never, never land of nothing) and my office is soon going to be half the size it once was and outside so I need to get rid of stuff and create new personal operating systems for my new work environment. I could have worse problems, I know. I’m just aware that the whole situation has my head in a state of flux which is messy in terms of conceputalizing what’s next and how. There’s a tension between wanting to know what’s next so I can already work on it and knowing that I don’t really have my bearings to create what’s next anyway and that, in truth, the creative process demands a state of flux sometimes becuase that’s where the really good brainstorming stuff happens. There’s just a whole lotta flux.
A few years ago, a friend was in a state of flux. She was older, widowed, and ready to sell everything to start anew, living the life that she had always said she was going to have one day. With her husband deceased, she was suddenly aware that you can say you are going to do something one day all you want. At some point, you have to say today’s the day or the whole dream of one day is pointless. She claimed her one day as now and asked me to help her concetionalize how she began THAT day realizing her ONE DAY.
I think what scares so many of us about aging is running out of time. We cram so many ideas into what’s possible a year from now or three or five. And while all those ideas may very well be possible a year or three or five from now, if we aren’t doing anything to make them possible, even the slightest thing, then they aren’t going to be possible. Our ONE DAY remains an idea, a notion, a dream. Not something inching towards reality.
So, my friend, who actually was a friend of a friend and who I just knew more casually, asked if I’d help her come up with her ONE DAY IS NOW plan because she’d heard from my friend that I loved both the brainstorming about the ideas and the applying those ideas into a scheme that would make them a reality.
Today, I was cleaning out my computer (anticipating a new purchase soon and wanting as much off of this computer that doesn’t need to be transfered over to the new machine) when I came across the outline of exercises my friend and I completed together to chart her vision and a plan. Among her goals was to create a lifestyle for herself as a single, autonomous woman that left her feeling vital and full and, within that, rediscovering personal interests and unique ways to offer her talents. She also needed to concretely inventory her home, get a sense of what stayed and what went. She wanted to research other places she might joyously live, other ways she might joyously live. Everything she understood about her life was going up on the board, to be reconsidered and deliberately decided on so that her ONE DAY was realized. And another thing that needed to be done amongst all this was really determine what part of her ONE DAY dreams were really desired and which part just sounded good in her head (ie: I want to farm organic vegetables might sound good to someone until she realizes that it would take time away from something else she really loves more so maybe she just wants to buy organic produce rather than give everything up to grow it).
One of the big questions we covered early on in our time together was: do you love your home, your work, your friends, your neighborhood, your life? Do you say ONE DAY about any of those things: ie: one day I’ll live in an old house, one day I’ll live in a place where I can raise chickens, one day I’ll make a living as a teacher, one day I’ll take up sewing, one day I’ll have more supportive friends, etc.
When I came across that outline of our time together and the exercises we did to get her to a place of conceptualizing, claiming and creating her ONE DAY, it gave me a frame for this period of flux that I am going through right now. So, as I review every piece of information in my office to see what moves and what doesn’t, pack boxes of books that are headed to the library’s fundraiser, delete files that I don’t want clogging up my new computer, and create a visual of what my new workspace will look like, I can parallel this physical work with the mental work that needs to be done to make the next best decision towards the ONE DAY I’m sereptitiously harboring inside.
Have you been saying one day about any part of your life? If so, what part and where are you with considering what’s next? How do you process times like this– in your mind, on paper, in conversation? Do you do a lot of research during these phases? Any other patterns or habits you notice that are especially helpful in the journey towards ONE DAY realized? Any books or exercises you recommend?