Alright! Alright! I’ve not blogged for a month and I feel your gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) prodding to get back to it. Really, I remain surprised that you even notice, or even that you care, but I’m awfully glad you do, because I enjoy writing my thoughts down. Problem is, lately, I’ve had a lot of thoughts and not a lot of time to put them down, but this is one that I’ve had mulling about in my brain, and I think it is time to share.
It all starts with this:
A hectic, crazy day about a month ago. Nothing I attempted to do turned out right and the dishwasher was the last straw. I was still trying to clean up from a big cooking mess, the vendor fair fundraiser I was working on was just days away and now my dishwasher got loaded with something that had actual dish soap in it and it leaked all over the floor.
Yes, I realize that this is not a disaster, just a major inconvenience, but the way this day had been going I really wanted to just let the thing flood the house and drown in my sorrows. Let the pity party commence. Now I was going to have to wash all of the dishes in the washer AND the pile that was still in the sink, BY HAND!!!! The horrors!
You should know that I have been pretty meticulous about selecting kitchen items that are dishwasher safe. With few exceptions, everything I use can be thrown in this mechanism of convenience and I can walk away. Well, after the iron skillets and other non-machine-friendly items get washed up. That was supposed to be the deal, anyway.
So, I cleared the sink and I opened the dishwasher, and I started the suds going in the sink. I cleared the top rack of the dishwasher; it might as well serve as a drying rack anyway; and I set to washing the dishes…by hand.
Something happens when you stand at your sink and wash your dishes by hand. Something I’d forgotten about in the midst of my pity party. Washing dishes make you stand still so that your mind can wander, and mine wandered deep into the forest of thought.
You see, a few weeks before “the flood”, I became aware of an essay contest to win the Center Lovell Inn and Restaurant in Center Lovell, Maine. Now maybe it was because we were watching reruns of Newhart, but I actually paused to consider this essay contest. I could easily write a 200 word essay about why I should be the next owner of the Inn and I would LOVE to own and run an hospitality business like that and the Inn is BEAUTIFUL! The entry fee of $125 wasn’t even prohibitive from where I stood.
Of course I would never do it, I had a million reasons why it wouldn’t work. I know nothing of running a business like that, I don’t like cold weather. I’m too old to start over. The Hubs couldn’t leave his job at this point in life. I couldn’t leave my grandchildren. OK, that last one might have been the most legitimate excuse I had going. The thing is, over the days and weeks that had passed, this contest wouldn’t leave me alone. It kept creeping into every moment of my day. I even talked to The Hubs about it, about how our lives are changing and we are, in some ways, becoming freer to chase our dreams. I found myself daydreaming about it. Shoot, I even thought about what interesting blog posts our adventures would make!
Yes, the thoughts of the Center Lovell Inn were with me always, and they were with me as I stood there with my hands in dirty dishwasher. As I looked out the window, watching birds fly about, noticing how things were starting to green up I began to dream again. Again, all of the doubts and reasons why NOT came in to stomp all over my daydream. Why? Why did I feel that I couldn’t do it, or that I shouldn’t at least try? Sure I was being practical, I’ve always been practical, but just once, why didn’t I risk it. There was a reason this contest wouldn’t leave me. What was the message I wasn’t getting.
While the dirty dishes dwindled and the clean ones stacked up, I continued to ponder the questions. Two things were revealed to me: for one thing, I was afraid to enter the contest; afraid I might just win. Then what? Would it be so bad? It would be complicated, but would it be the end of it all? The second thing I realized was that this contest was not the only thing that kept coming to my attention, over and over and over again. There was something else. There was a job.
The job was at a church, not more than a couple of blocks from my house. The church where our 4-H club meets. A church that needed a secretary, and if the most recent facebook post was accurate, it was a church that had an immediate need for a secretary. I’d seen the ad before, in the paper, on facebook, etc. It had peaked my interest, but again, I had a million reasons why they wouldn’t hire me.
I’m not of their denomination, I don’t go to that church, I probably don’t have the qualities they would look for in a secretary. The list went on and on and on before I asked myself why? Why did I keep putting myself down? Why didn’t I believe I could do the job? What was I afraid of? Was I afraid of being told no? Was I afraid of letting myself and others down? No. I was afraid I might actually land the job! I knew I was qualified and I knew I could do it, but in blaring contrast to that, I was afraid I would succeed.
Well, enough of that! I am at that age in my life where I should be stepping out into this big world with confidence! If I don’t take a risk or two, if I don’t follow my dreams now, then when will I ever? OK, so a job isn’t comparable to winning an Inn, but I had to start somewhere. More than that, I needed to face my fears and change this inner dialog!
I rinsed the last of the dishes, drained the sink and cleaned it out. I told myself that if I returned to the computer and saw that the posting about the job was still there, I would apply. No questions asked, no excuses given. I was going to do it, and that was that.
Well, the posting was there, and in the comments, some of my fears were addressed, in particular, no need to be a member of the church or have a religious affiliation of any sort. God placed all of the answer to my silly questions right there on the screen. I set out to update my resume, but couldn’t find where it was saved. No turning back though, I just started over! Before I knew it, I had sent my cover letter and resume. I felt good. I felt nervous, but good.
I start my new job next Monday. Twenty-three hours a week. The people seem nice and I think I’m going to like it there. More importantly, I’ve got a new insight to why I do what I do. I’m going to work on me and when the next opportunity comes along, I’m going to grab hold of it with both hands and see where it takes me.
So, if you dishwasher breaks on you this week, or even if it doesn’t, take some time to load up the sink and spend some time pondering your thoughts. You never know where you might end up. As The Girl says, follow your dreams!