Believe in yourself
Thoughts take shape
Like figures clearing
Threatening to envelope
Of minds' wanderings
Only focused belief
Producing desires' gifts
Becoming tactile substance
Made real by
Simply because of
Believe in yourself
~ Treasa Cailleach
Caresses my soul
As tiny crystals on hot tin
Special in a sea of sameness
As unique as a single snowflake
Felt yet unseen
Perhaps five senses
By a mere dream
Dreams are free
Wide open wonder
Worth every moment
Brain's best friend
Far better than
- Treasa Cailleach
How does one define happiness, and why is our own definition so illusive?
It’s a weird rhetorical question.
I have no solid answer myself, as I can find my happiness sitting alone in a room, meditating, during a quiet massage session, or sitting in my hammock.
On the same token there are times that I feel like I should be happy when I’m not.
Today is the 4th of July. Former president Trump and 2020 ruined what shred was left of my patriotism. I should be happy to celebrate this holiday, but I have been grumpy all day long. At the same time I am fighting a desired to run away.
I could apply for a management position at what is now my part-time second job, they are hiring for many positions with an impending new building opening. It would be a massive promotion and I’m certain they want me to do so. It could be equivalent to income I make from the clinic, maybe a hair more, and the work would likely be much easier on me physically. However, the stress levels would be high, I’d probably be on-call a lot, and likely end up working as much, if not more, than I do now. It’s not my own business, and it’s not the intentional community I desired.
The skills might help with my dream community, but at this point I have a strong awareness that I can learn anything I need in a very short span of time, so the learning lesson is much less of a draw these days. Beyond that, 2020 again ruined my desire to work with elderly in any fashion, and I am already considering quitting the part-time work because of it. I would have much less headache and Saturday afternoons off, something that seems really appealing with our new mess related to dialysis.
The clinic still has me occupied 5 to 6 days a week and I feel like I work with platonic family. It is a good feeling and I know my work there is genuinely helping many people. Literally the only real drawback is that it is hard on my body and requires many hours of self care. Also because of that, I know my income will always be limited and I have likely already reached my maximum.
If I stay where I am and doing what I am doing then life will be fairly unchanged for years to come. It’s not really a horrible thing, but I am simply just tired of bearing the weight of a family alone. I have done it for almost 16 years and on very few occasions Nathan or I had to grovel to our parents for assistance. Most of them were right after we moved to Kansas city and turned around to deal with his hospital stay. It was a very rough period and the only period that I had to beg for parental assistance more than once. Out of 16 years I’ve asked my mom for money 4 times, and Nathan’s mom about the same (maybe a couple more times). The rest of the 16 years has fallen squarely on our shoulders, and only the last 10 have been my sole responsibility. When I state it that way, it doesn’t seem like that much, but my experience of it is just wearing me out.
I’ve been contemplating grad school, but know I can’t get a loan. So to that end I’m contemplating taking the MCAT and Mensa tests. It’s my hope to get scholarship if I do well enough, but I’ve set no direct commitment yet, only inquiries on tests and chiropractic college.
I’m also contemplating simply looking into a loan to start a massage school of actual merit. THAT I already have enough knowledge and commitment for. God knows KC needs a decent massage school, or I’d be able to find a quality trade partner easier. It would be a ton of legwork and writing on the front end, skimping by financially until a student body could be acquired and actual classes could begin. There would be accreditation processes and board certification processes, course management and all of the regular business and accounting issues to deal with, all out of whatever loan I managed to procure. It would be fast paced and grueling for several months to get set-up and functional, and everything would ride on loans until students began enrollment. Not impossible- my massage school had just done that when I enrolled 14 years ago and they are still functional.
This week the chiropractor encouraged me to shift my business to a full LLC, and I wondered if that was my cue to lean that direction. I simply don’t know.
Part of me is perfectly fine with settling and riding the calm waters of maintaining what I’ve already created. Especially if I quit the part-time job and get my Saturdays back for relaxation and fun.
Part of me knows this is not really my Atira, and is downtrodden over the prospects that I may never see my actual dream manifest. That’s the part of me that wants to run away.
I simply don’t know, and my tired brain just wants the elusive happiness all the time. It’s there when I have the time and space to find it, but I have a hell of a time keeping it in me.
For now I leave you with my rhetorical question and ramblings.
May you find your happiness, know your expectations, and find a way to maintain it regardless. May you instill in your children the ability to maintain their happiness while also lifting our world up. May we all enjoy our lives mostly and find ease in navigating the paths of life. May you be comfortable with your life regardless of where the roads lead you. May you see that everything happens for a reason, sometimes to just give you clarity on what you don’t want. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.
That was my afternoon and I thought of the serenity prayer as a result.
I spent all of my working hours thinking about things that would be really nice to experience. Followed by, it’s okay though, I am alright regardless.
It felt good to just let dreams be dreams. To acknowledge that the likelihood of any of it was improbable, but that it would be amazing if it weren’t. I focused on all the good things I wanted to see and hear, things I’d love to have others do or say, places to go, things to do. Then acknowledged over and over again that regardless of any of it, I am okay and will be for a long time to come.
Sometimes dreams, especially daydreams, are just a tool to feel good.
I even acknowledged that maybe my childhood dreams of Atira were just that. It was me dreaming up things that made the world a better place, because my world didn’t feel that good. Atira was me wanting to feel loved, and feel supported. Atira was me wanting to feel like an important part of something, like I mattered, and like I could go and do fun things and help people. Atira was abundant and fun and friendly. Atira was safe strong homes compared to our trailer home. All of the things missing in my childhood were embodied in my dreams of Atira.
And so, I sat today and acknowledged the many elements that I have accomplished. I have a safe home. Thanks to the clinic, I do have more financial abundance, but I also help people daily. I work with friendly people both in staff and clients. I am more supported than ever. I could use a little more fun in my life, but it’s not exactly out of reach either, just some logistics and rearrangement needed. Many of the pieces I was reaching for in my dreaming of Atira are now a part of my life.
The pieces that aren’t might eventually come to fruition, but then again they might not, and that’s okay. My family and I are doing okay. Things could be better, but they could definitely be worse. I also spent a long time thinking of how things have been worse, and appreciating the good things I now get to experience.
I stopped at a store on the way home for a few items needed for dinner. I walked in, found them, paid and left. Quickly, easily, and without much thought (my brain was on these thoughts). It was a stark contrast to days spent buying meals with food-stamps trying to get the right item that would be covered and literally counting pennies, nickles and dimes for anything that wouldn’t be covered. Did you know that toilet paper isn’t covered by government assistance programs in Kansas City? I have to assume that applies to most or all of the U.S. Yet, now I don’t have to do that. I no longer have to count pocket change, and most of the time I buy what we need regardless of brand or cost, and there is no concern for rules regarding what is okay to purchase (a really good thing since I have all the food allergy concerns). I have purchase freedom, and most of the time enough abundance to get what is desired or needed. There’s no Tesela car yet, and clothes still mostly come from thrift stores, but at least I can keep everyone covered – did I mention I’m really good at finding the good stuff. I also live in the best home I’ve ever had, and though some might call it average, I think it’s beautiful. I have running water and we no longer need the 10 mile treck for a truckload of well water. We have central air and heat, and aren’t freezing around a wood stove because of poor insulation.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I really do appreciate what I have, and how far I’ve come. Every aspect of our lives is better than some of our worst periods, and for that I am truly grateful. I do see improvement in many ways, and even if my dream community never happens, I am okay. I know each day I live is a blessing and an opportunity to keep working on myself and keep aiming for better.
When I got back in our van to finish the drive home, God validated my afternoon. The 4 songs that played were as shown below. I am living the best version of my dream that is possible from where I stand. One day maybe I’ll see my Atira over the rainbow.
May you know that you are okay, and that sometimes dreams are just meant to help you feel better. May you see your own progress and appreciate how far you’ve come. May you know that you are doing better and that each day you live is a blessing and another opportunity to reach for better. May you see the things you wished for in your current experience. May you know that God loves and supports you in all that you do.