An Unconventional Drive

Dream Journal

The dream:
The particulars of the first part of the dream are hazy in my memory…almost like they aren’t actually part of the dream that has my interest. In fact, I may have actually had two unrelated dreams, one right after the other. Regardless, this is what I remember:
I was at M’s house for one of our occasional friend dates. It was her daughter T’s birthday, so I had brought a present wrapped in silver, reflective wrapping paper. In the dream, I discovered that T had a younger brother with the same birthday, so I drew a line down the middle of the box and wrote her name on one side and his on the other to indicate that the gift was for both of them. Meanwhile M was on the phone talking to someone else. …and there was something about a frozen entree of mac and cheese that I had brought for M.
Then, I was watching the Mythbusters do a special on the Grand Canyon that involved zip lining from one side to the other. They weren’t harnessed in the traditional way, but were connected to the line only with elaborate helmets so that their hands and the rest of their bodies were unencumbered.
And then I was driving alone through the Grand Canyon. My compact car had large windows and a sun roof, and if I leaned back a bit, the view was quite stunning and larger than life. There was a way to operate the car–which had surreptitiously changed into a giant Tahoe-type vehicle without my noticing–from the very back. The rear of the vehicle offered even better views, so I decided to continue the trek from there despite the fact that maneuvering became significantly more difficult. I drove on, from the back, for some time with no problem, but then things got tricky. I lost control of my car–but somehow I was suddenly unsuccessfully operating two vehicles going opposite directions with the same controls. I was able to slow both down and safely park albeit haphazardly positioned. And all at once, I was again back to just the one vehicle. I couldn’t actually turn off the car, though. I was holding down a brake button from my spot in the back, but the key to turn off the ignition was at the front. I was trying to decide whether it was safe to let go of the brake in order to rush to the front and turn off the car, but then two police officers strolled over and the brake/ignition problem sorted itself out and was no longer an issue. I raised my hands so that the police would be able to see that I didn’t have a weapon, and caught a nonverbal exchange between the two. The dark-skinned officer on the left raised his eyebrows in a mocking “can-you-believe-this-lady?” expression. The fair-skinned officer on the right shrugged as if to say “you get all types out here.” Then he indicated that I should open the hatch, and I obliged. He started to write out a ticket, but then went around front to investigate something, leaving his pad behind. I was able to see that the fine for illegally operating a motor vehicle from the rear was about $90. I felt relieved at the low cost, but knew there would likely be additional fines. Then I woke up.

My thoughts on the dream:
I think it’s interesting how something crazy can happen in a dream, but how I don’t realize how ludicrous it is until I wake up. The car changing in type and in quantity didn’t even warrant a questioning thought in my dream. It was merely inconvenient when the one car became two. It was stressful to operate the two vehicles simultaneously, and I felt concern about how much my ticket would be, but the negative emotions in the dream were extremely muted, almost like it was someone else’s life rather than my own.
In my mental/emotional economy, a vehicle in a dream represents a person’s life. I find it interesting that in my dream I was running the show from the back seat. It’s like my subconscious is telling me that I’m doing things the hard way. I may need to make a difficult decision if I’m going to put a stop to the way I’m doing things, though. (Should I let go of the brake to reach the ignition?) If it were an issue of passivity, I think I would have been the passenger. But what of the changes to the vehicle? First compact, then large. First clipping along in a specific direction, then losing control and haphazardly moving in opposing and arbitrary directions. If I continue this way, my subconscious is advising that I’ll get into trouble (police) and that it’ll cost me (ticket).
As for the first part of the dream, the only thing that sticks out to me is the feeling of giving more in a relationship than the other party. I come bearing gifts (and a random frozen meal), and my friend won’t even get off the phone to talk to me.
The Mythbusters part is perplexing. They were suspended from their heads….which to me is a reference to being overly cerebral about things… Other than that, though, I’ve got nothing. I think someone just tightroped across the Grand Canyon, though, so maybe that’s where I came up with that.

Themes/Analysis:
Feelings of being unimportant and undervalued.
Concern about being too cerebral.
Major life changes (new job? potential move to Spokane?)
The desire to take in the beauty around me.
Losing control and being pulled in different directions.
Trying too hard – doing things the hard way and not being able to turn the hard parts off.
The emotional cost of losing control.
Feeling judged.

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Sophie Seeks Spokane’s Security in the Financial and Familial Fronts

Goals

I might need to change my blog title, because J and I are seriously talking about moving across the state. In my opinion, though, “Sophie in Spokane” doesn’t sound as nice as “Sophie in Seattle.” It does still have alliteration, though, so I guess it’ll do. Most likely, the big move won’t happen for a few years. We own a condo, and we’re profoundly underwater. My hope is that the market will pick up and that our home value will rise enough for us to break even.

Why do we want to move? Two reasons: family and finances. (More alliteration!)

Family:
The only family members we have in the Seattle area are…difficult. I mentioned J’s “cousin-in-law” in a previous post – I think I mentioned that she unfriended me on Facebook and has ignored all my overtures of friendship. And then there’s J’s aunt who is a piece of work. She is by far the most judgmental and grudge-holding woman I’ve ever met. The men in the family are all right, but I wish they’d take a stand and get their women in line. (…that might be sexist of me… My feminist friends would disown me if they knew… Which is why this is a secret blog. If someone I knew read this, then I probably wouldn’t be nearly this authentic about the controversial things.) Anyway, so since the dynamic of family we do have here is so strained, it would probably be more healthy to pursue the family that does want us around. Thus, the move to Spokane.

Finances:
In our little suburb of Seattle, we bought our townhouse for $203,000. It’s now worth half of that, but that’s beside the point. In Spokane, we could buy a NICE house for that. …and, even better, it looks like J would be able to keep his Seattle pay rate and work from home in Spokane. We’d live like kings….or more accurately, we’d live extremely comfortably. We might even be able to afford to have kids. (Assuming, of course, we could get the sex drama figured out.)

…So… That’s the hope anyway. …now we just need to be able to sell our townhouse…

The Onset of Ditziness

Brokenness

Yesterday J told me that he’s worried about me; I’ve been losing things lately. I regularly lose my phone, for example. In fact, J recently named it Waldo since I’m always looking for it. The phone is sort of funny, though; like an endearing quirk…but then I left my wallet somewhere. Unfortunately, the person who found it isn’t of the honest variety, and now I have a few minor transactions that I’ll need to dispute. It could have been a lot worse, but it was an emotional slap in the face. And then when J made his comment about being worried, I broke down. I know he meant it in kindness, but I felt like my competence was in question…and competence is kind of the only thing I’ve got right now. ..but not anymore. I’m ditzy and forgetful, and I’m ashamed of that fact. J thinks I’m just overwhelmed. I’m not sure, but he could be right.

I am hoping that my new job, which I just started today, will be less stressful. Less hectic. Less political. Less drama. Initially it will be worse, though, at least in some regards. I had been with my last employer for over four years so I knew pretty much everything about my responsibilities. Doing something completely new today was quite a shock, like diving into a cold pool after basking in the sun’s warmth. I hate the learning curve, but I think — I hope — that this will be a good fit for me.

100 Life Goals

Goals

J and I both love to read, and sometimes we’ll discuss the books we’re discovering.  Not long ago, J read a book called 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam.  Truth be told, I haven’t read it and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get around to it, but one thing J mentioned to me while he was reading it was that the author recommended writing a list of 100 dreams or goals.  I thought it was a great idea, so I decided to make my own list.

And now, for your reading pleasure, my dreams (in no particular order):

  1. Take a picture of myself every day (for age progression purposes).
  2. Attend at least 2 roller derby bouts every season.
  3. Go someplace new once every other month.
  4. Feel confident in a bathing suit.
  5. Have a wardrobe I love.
  6. Read 5 nonfiction and 10 fiction books every year.
  7. Give a million dollars to charity during my lifetime.
  8. Become an activist who fights against human trafficking.
  9. See the pyramids.
  10. Buy lingerie in Paris.
  11. Tithe a full 10% to the general fund at church in addition to the other various good causes I support. 2013 and ongoing
  12. Do a humanitarian trip at least once a decade.
  13. Learn to sew beautiful clothing and crafts.
  14. Send anonymous gifts to people twice a year.
  15. Visit my ancestral roots in Germany.
  16. Learn to make my own cleaning/beauty products (for the sake of reducing my carbon footprint and household chemical consumption).
  17. Visit all 50 states.
  18. Pray at the Wailing Wall at least one more time. Bring J.
  19. Call Sister and Oma once a week.
  20. See college friend G again before I turn 35. 2014
  21. Take college friend M out to dinner before the end of 2013.
  22. Take a Caribbean cruise.
  23. Find my place in ministry.
  24. Create a comfortable and beautiful home that is neat, organized, and decorated.
  25. Become “mostly vegetarian.”  Seafood excluded.
  26. Invest in T’s life.  Become her confidante and outside support system.
  27. Become a prayer warrior.
  28. Buy roller skates and skate once a month.
  29. Learn to believe in true love again.
  30. See Oma at least one more time before she dies. 2014
  31. Write R & R (sponsored children) once every other month.
  32. Find a best friend in my region.
  33. Volunteer once a month. 2014 and ongoing
  34. Eat more pizza and sushi.
  35. See Eddie Izzard, Jim Gaffigan, and Brian Regan (again) [2014] live.
  36. Have $0 of debt.
  37. Win employee of the year.
  38. See a live theater production once a year.
  39. Keep a dream journal.
  40. Take a vacation with Sister.
  41. At least once in my life, leave a $100 bill for my restaurant meal at Christmas time.
  42. Get my picture taken with Johnny Depp.
  43. Watch a documentary once a month.
  44. Take belly dancing lessons.
  45. See Petra – the buildings carved into stone.
  46. Ride a camel.
  47. Choose and wear a signature scent.
  48. Take J on a surprise vacation.
  49. Save enough to retire comfortably at the age of 60.
  50. Own something from Tiffany’s.
  51. Take a ceramics and/or stained glass course.
  52. Learn Sign Language.
  53. Keep a daily “I’m Thankful For” journal.
  54. Win a trophy that I get to keep indefinitely (not the Iron Skee Ball trophy).
  55. Beat J at least once more time at one of our annual Iron Skee Ball competitions.
  56. Do the “27 Days of J” for J’s birthday one year.
  57. Finish a half-marathon.
  58. Learn to swing dance, stunts included.  Or salsa dancing.
  59. Stay up late and watch shooting stars in a cemetery (again).
  60. Watch the sunrise from somewhere where an ocean is to the east.
  61. See Ground Zero.
  62. Kiss J on the top of the Empire State Building.
  63. Look out the window from the top of the Columbia Tower.
  64. See the view from the top of the Smith Tower.
  65. Start celebrating “Treat Yourself” day annually.
  66. Skydive.
  67. Every presidential election, take off from work the day after the election so that I can stay up late to hear the results as they happen.  Have a celebratory or commiseration beverage when the results are announced.
  68. Take off from work and celebrate Cinco de July-o annually.
  69. Perform my civic duty and serve as a juror.
  70. Feed a giraffe.
  71. Hold a baby hedgehog.
  72. Decorate my house with 1000 white candles for a special date night.
  73. Stay at the Albuquerque Holiday Inn.
  74. Visit New Orleans.
  75. Get a dog.
  76. Make and use fabric napkins so that we don’t have to use paper towels.
  77. Figure out a convenient way to compost.
  78. Send a care package to a solder (again).
  79. Make a rag quilt.
  80. Attend a masquerade.
  81. Cuddle and play with the little ones at the “Hogar San Francisco de Asis” Center for Destitute and Sick Children in Lima, Peru.
  82. Accomplish or be part of something truly great.
  83. Help at a homeless soup kitchen.
  84. Buy a decent car entirely with $20 bills from my savings account – no financing.
  85. See the Northern (or Southern) lights one more time.
  86. See a phosphorescent red tide at night (again).
  87. Take a long-exposure photograph of the twirling night sky.
  88. Get a mattress that doesn’t give me back/headaches. 2013
  89. Save the equivalent of three month’s income in case of emergency.
  90. Acquire enough emergency supplies in my home to survive one week without outside help.
  91. Grow my hair long enough to donate (again). 2014
  92. Shake hands with a current or former American president.
  93. Get to know my brother better.
  94. Pet a penguin.
  95. Have a vow-renewal ceremony with friends for my 25th wedding anniversary.
  96. Look sexy in the Wonder Woman t-shirt in my closet.
  97. Go on a helicopter tour of a pretty place.
  98. Ride in a limousine.
  99. Go on a safari.
  100. Develop my vocabulary to include uncommon words (not to impress anyone, but rather simply for the sake of my love for the English language).

I know it’s unreasonable to expect that I’ll accomplish all of these, but I’ll do as many as I can!

If you’d like, shoot me a comment with some of your life goals.  I’d love to hear them.

The Pursuit

The Happiness Project

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about happiness lately.  Mostly, probably, because I’ve been so unhappy for so many years.  In the American culture, despite the adage that money can’t buy happiness, we seem to believe that it can.  It seems to me, however, that the more money I personally have, the less happy I become.  …or maybe there are other forces at work here…

I’ve dedicated 2013 as the year I learn to be happy.  I’ve done some light research on it (and by that I mean I’ve looked at what other people have found out).  Specifically, I read a book called The Happiness Project not long ago, and then tonight J and I watched a documentary called Happy.

I think the bottom line is that I need to consider making some major changes to the way I do life.  I want to get off the money train and focus on the things that matter.  Relationship.  Compassion.  Generosity.  Altruism.  (Yes, I know.  There is a lot of overlap here.)

Such changes are much easier said than done, though.  For example, I’ve been trying to be more social lately, but it’s slow going.  I have a kind of social anxiety that makes it exceedingly hard for me to be around people I don’t know very well, and if someone shows an apparent hesitation to hang out with me, I easily lose heart and give up.  A pox upon the Seattle Freeze!  (Maybe I should just move somewhere else.  Oh yeah, I have a mortgage.  Never mind.)

So, the pursuit continues.

If anyone out there has any brilliant ideas on how to be happy, I welcome your thoughts.