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.

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!