September 18

I ran into a colleague I don’t often see while at the coffee shop on campus. We chatted a little bit about what we each had going on, his son’s recent birthday, my grad classes. As we parted ways, he said to me how happy he was to see me pursuing my dreams. And for some reason, that was jarring to me. It sounded foreign and I realized that I don’t think of it that way. In my mind, I’m just doing what I’m doing. Working, trying to keep on top of house management, animal management, kid management, a social life and taking classes. Of course, in all this, I have a goal for myself. I want to succeed at all of it, excel if I’m honest. I want to get my Masters and teach again. I want a nice house and sweet pets and great kids. Good, lasting relationships with my boyfriend and friends. I want the things everyone wants, a happy life. But somehow chasing a dream seems like naivety. Something that disappeared a long time ago and is no longer in the equation of daily survival. Pursue your dreams is what we tell high school students when they graduate. What new college students cling to. As an adult, it doesn’t seem like there’s time for that anymore. What a shame. I need to change my thinking. I’m grateful for that reminder.

July 30

There needs to be more time in the day after 5:00 pm. In the last week I’ve gotten on a completely different schedule and am now finding myself getting up earlier and earlier, and I don’t even have the dog to blame. Chance still doesn’t whine or bark in the night. My cat, however, thinks 5 am is time to wake up and attend to his needs. Out of guilt, I’ve been letting him sleep with me, something I don’t normally do. I don’t like the fact that he takes a bath at bedtime. Or purrs loudly in my ear. Or bites my hands when he wants to be petted. Usually, I shut my bedroom door at night, only now I have been keeping it open to hear the dog. Plus, the first couple of nights I tried to keep the normal routine, the cat sat outside pounding on my door and meowing loudly, in tones that sounded like I was being cussed out and yelled at. He wasn’t pleased with our new addition. Either I let him in and put up with his nocturnal bathing, or I locked him out and woke up to pounding. Ultimately, the bathing was less noxious. Given the state of affairs recently, I’m confident I will eventually be able to sleep alone again. The dog and cat have been sighted within inches of each other without incident. A hiss and a tail wag is the norm. At any rate, this morning I woke up at 4:30 with no one but myself to blame. I just woke up. And then had trouble getting back to sleep. I did, but only briefly before the alarm rang at 6:00. And the sleep was punctuated by strange dreams of bathing in a sink in front of a sliding glass door behind which was my entire extended family sitting on couches in what appeared to be my late grandmother’s living room. I’m not even sure what to say about that except I’m sure my day to day hassles are to blame. My kitchen sink sprung a leak yesterday, I’ve been trying to get the dog to go out of the sliding doors to the deck, I’ve been wishing my family lived closer. That’s what I tell myself anyway. So what am I thankful in all of this? Well, nothing as far as getting little sleep is concerned. Getting up earlier means I’m tired earlier, which means I have less time after work to get things done. I’m sure I’ll get used to the routine and maybe actually do more in the morning besides drink coffee and sit outside. I am thankful for a small break tonight though. My boyfriend invited me out for pizza and beer. No dogs. No house projects. No worries. That was really nice.