Episode 12: My Heart & Money

I had a dream about Harry Styles last night.

We were just talking!

Have you seen Harry Styles? Recently? Since One Direction fizzled, he has become a very charming, stylish and handsome young man.


I am aware of my boundaries here. If a man was describing how attractive a young woman is in his eyes, it would be creepy and a violation to get too specific. It's not only uncomfortable for those listening

(especially if my kids read this)

but it can be triggering to survivors of child sexual abuse. 1 in 6 are boys, you know.

Reportedly.


So I am aware, and I'm not going to be creepy about it. Just know that he is McDreamy to me.


We were talking. It was friendly and he smiled. I told him about my triggers, that I'd been looking back at my marriage and seeing where I was triggered, and even before that.

I can see more clearly the events of the last 4 decades since living alone.


Harry had compassion for me and I woke up crying at my ability to tell a man these things and have him be so supportive,

without the resentment of unequal transactions.


And this is where I want to throw a towel over it, like wrapping a four-cornered napkin over warm rolls at a family dinner. Topic change.


I applied for jobs yesterday. I was feeling frustrated and less hopeful. After taking a dog walk break, I decided to not check out in front of Netflix, but came back and applied for a few more.

One listing was perfect for me.

It was part-time and it paid enough. Check, check.

I could envision me doing it: write consistent copy, in the form of emails, blogs and websites.

I was very excited.


In the list of requirements, it stated: must watch the news consistently.

"Huh...," said I.

and in bold type:

must feel comfortable with center-right politics.


Oh, dear.

Could I fake it? Is this even legal? Can they even ask for that?

Yes, they can.

So, cognitively, this is the job. Can I do it?


Ugh, the news. It's a different kind of grounding, isn't it?

The news of the past, in style of Walter Cronkite, I could do that.

There was a plane crash.

Congress voted.

The President's been shot.

An earthquake killed this many people.


What the news has become, and I implore you see it, is:

Blame them, blame them and blame them.

Attach blame to every sentence, every circumstance.


Okay, what if this perfect job was asking for a center-left comfort level. Would I take it?

No.

No.

No.


Currently, I have two fiction books that are in draft stage.

I am writing a non-fiction book and workbook centered around Gray Divorce.

I dabble in reality. Half of my time is spent in fiction.

When I'm not writing, I am following STORY in other places: reading, watching movies and series.

I am all about the stories, because they are an excellent tool to illustrate abstractions

that makes them understandable and attainable.


There is a need for this because not everyone understands the abstract,

and I do. I live deep in it.

Know thyself.


There's one more concept I want to throw into this stone soup. I call it that because each reader throws in what they themselves bring to the pot, and what I write becomes something different to each one of you.

The third concept is spirituality.


I have detoured around this topic since 2013. I've talked about everything else.

When I was a girl, I liked to believe in love and hope and redemption, the ultimate in abstract concepts.

These words are stunning to me.

At home, I had not been raised in love, or hope, or redemption. So they were also foreign.

Which made me need them more at church.


As I got older, a lot of structure and rule-keeping was added onto these three beauties.

Like I had this shiny, light basket and they kept handing me things to put into it,

Here, take this,

and this,

and this.


With my ideal job prospect yesterday, I was excited to shine in very similar ways to what I do now.

To be frank, I don't monetize this blog. There are no ads on my website.

I earn nothing of capitalist value here. I don't play.


And not many people know about my website.

I post on my socials once this is emailed out and goes live. Social media algorithms dictate who sees the posts. I play a little with those.

The heart of what I love to do is not monetized.


Spirituality is abstract. It is the heart of what we do.

The Five Whys, The Model, Byron Katie, The Law of Attraction. These lie at the heart of what we do.


Today's Deep Breath: a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.


Also yesterday, I wrote ideas for my Third Act Bucket List, a full bucket of ideas.

In the category of spirituality, I brainstormed.


I had not fully considered this part of my life for many years. I've been afraid to trust myself because of the 500 pound basket that religion became.


In this free-write, I found practices and even rituals that I miss. I could see how knowledge, nature and my physical body related to many of these practices.

I have a long list of things I can do by myself to connect to everything bigger than me,

without help from an ordained man.


And there's a trigger, that's how the conversation with Harry Styles fits.

That's where the flashlight

we call Pain

shines.

There's the work that I need to do.


Does that mean that once I heal that trigger (can we heal triggers?)

that I'll go back to religion?

I don't think so.


I notice that my love for simple, Hallmark stories feeds this childish want for love, hope and redemption.

I am sitting down with child-me and swimming in abstract love and hope.


So, maybe adult-me will work at Target and leave my heart here at home.

I'm considering if I want to get paid for something that I love,

and if I do,

if it is entirely possible to keep what I love clean.


I'm being so entirely honest with you right now.

Is my soul an adolescent, stuck between childhood and adulting?


Often, writers will work on their stories in the evenings, or before sunrise,

and hold a 9-5.

In workshops and conferences, I have witnessed a perspective that it is desirable to progress to a point of quitting the day job and taking a leap of faith in yourself to write full time.


Picture a ripping finish line ribbon as the writer crosses that line, arms up in triumph.


I think a small percentage of writers do this.

A tiny percentage get book deals.

0025% sell over 1000 copies of a book, which is the bar for "successful."

(That's 25% of 1%, for the non-math genius.)


There is a business of herding authors to check off lists,

to outsource professional headshots,

hire editors and subscribe to author help websites. It is big business to fleece an author.


My headshot is a selfie.

I don't subscribe.


As my belief in Me grows, I am bombarded with many choices, and yet so few.

The challenge is to continue to foster love, hope and redemption

while facing #employmentafter50 with no degree or paid experience for 20 years.

That's my story for now.