Launch lab report: Date your dreams

A couple of weeks ago I proposed an experiment in dating dreams and, as promised, I'm here to report back on how it went. But first, a confession. My writing well is empty. Or broken. Something. I really owe some penance for missing two posts last week but here's what was happening behind the scenes:  I was just staring into the writing abyss with nary an insight, not a bit of wit. Blank white screen and flashing, mocking cursor.

But lab reports are notoriously dry, right? I like that low-set bar. So here goes...

Experiment: Date my dreams by trying out small doses of activities/things I think might be interesting to follow as someday dreams

Timeframe: Two weeks, which really isn't enough time to really do this lab justice. This is something more suited to a new years' resolution, in all honesty. But I did manage to try on a couple of dreams to see how they fit: a dream job and a new creative pursuit.

Trial 1:  Date my dream job. A few weeks ago I was offered a temporary position to fill in during someone's one-year maternity leave at exactly the kind of job I had always coveted: managing research at a non-profit/consultancy for children and youth programs, policy, and research. It felt scary but pretty exciting--and the three days a week (T, W, Th) schedule felt manageable.

I have some pretty good, relevant experience supporting me but I knew going in that it was going to be an opportunity to step up to a new level professionally.  In addition, I leapt in at just the moment of high-paced deadlines of the end of the fiscal year. There have been moments when I've had to give myself a pep talk, moments when I felt like doing a happy dance, and moments when I wondered why on earth I had wanted to disrupt my life this way! But it's also been exhilarating in that way that stretching beyond what you thought you could do brings a new sense of possibility. 

Exhibit A: On my third day I had the assignment to co-testify at Parliament to a senate committee on early childhood. Gulp.

Yes, it's been quite a ride so far, mostly exciting and rewarding with a dash of terror. (When it comes to fight-or-flight stress response instincts, I'm definitely in the "flight" category. I immediately start looking for an escape hatch. Or an avoidant nap.) What has saved me as I hike the steep learning curve is the mental framing of this experience as dating my dream and the notion that this is just an experiment to see if it's something I would want to do longer term. It's just a rehearsal, really.  A paid rehearsal no less!

Trial 2: Take on a new creative pursuit. I've mentioned before that I've been feeling the creative itch lately. These hands want (need!) to make things. Ideally, I'd like to be able to create while I sit around with my family, while we watch a movie or are on a roadtrip. I noticed I had been pinning an abundance of embroidery projects to my "make things" Pinterest board so decided to stop pinning and start stitching already.

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 Not my actual embroidery, just one of the many inspirations, via  here  and here

Not my actual embroidery, just one of the many inspirations, via here and here

I LOVE it. It's the perfect zen balance to the higher adrenaline of the new-job experiment. I'm starting with some easy projects in this Stitched in Scandinavia embroidery book but I'm hoping to do both of the above projects as I get more comfortable with the needle. So therapeutic and calming!

Results: The two experiment trials have been positive, overall. I'm keeping both activities for now and I highly, highly recommend the "date your dreams" mentality. 


Enough about me. Have you dated any dreams lately? Do tell!