A while ago I blogged about a dream I had where a favorite high school teacher gave me some excellent advice about deciding what was important to me, which played out nicely in my real life. Lately I've been having recurring dreams that I'm trying out for something — choir, the hockey team (?), a play, gymnastics — and that same teacher is standing on the sidelines, shaking his head in disappointment. I keep telling myself, "Focus, Laurie, focus" (I was Laurie in high school), but I'm devastated by the look on his face and I know I won't be making the cut. (This scenario is, of course, sandwiched between not knowing which locker is mine, not being able to find my car in the parking lot and not remembering where my dorm room is, which doesn't make any sense because it's high school, not college, so why can't I just go home? But where is home?)
Generally speaking, my dreams are not terribly subtle, and this one doesn't exactly have me scratching my head. While I no longer struggle to identify what's important, I'm not sure I'm doing such a great job of maintaining focus. When so many things go wrong at once, I can't help but stop and wonder if it's me, if I'm letting myself be distracted by things that seem important now but are really just easier to pay attention to. Grace, family, friends, my writing — these are my priorities. But Grace is the only one getting the best part of me, to the detriment of everything else. I haven't seen my family in ages; ditto for most friends. I continue half-heartedly plugging my novel, when the reality is that I've done what I can for now. It's time to set aside Soft Landing and start actually writing again. Not blogging, not farting around on facebook or sharing my questionable journalistic talents on Allvoices, but continuing the second novel I started over a year ago and am truly passionate about.
I also have a renewed interest in gardening. At first blush this feels like another easy distraction, but it's something I can share with family and friends. (Grace is all about getting her hands dirty and planting things, thanks to her time at her old daycare; she's even learning to enjoy bugs as long as they are OUTSIDE and she understands the roles they play, according to Laurel's Insect Philosophy.) And there is something calming about weeding, pruning, watering and deciding what to plant that allows me to be present, but also to look forward in a good way. The nurturing part of me could definitely use some repair; I spent much of the last year protecting myself, but to what end? I'm feeling alienated (not part of the team) and somewhat lost (where's my math class?), so it might be time to get back to basics and FOCUS. Isn't there a pill for that?
I'm going to bed now. Sweet dreams to you (both of you), and to me.