My Life & Career Goals
I took Gumbo, my senior Chihuahua (wears diapers & sweaters, likes to bite), and Fotoula (‘Toula-like my Big Fat Greek Wedding/My grand-dog) to the Freedom Dog Park. They had a great time expending their pent-up energy.
As I watched them while enjoying the light breeze, I thought about my overall life and the goals I held. I always intended to have a career, but that did not materialize for me-no matter what I did to make it work out (college education, etc.) Bipolar disorder and PTSD certainly did not help. Also, I may have an education but there is a lot of stigma in the world about what people like me can achieve and what they can do. The stigma has been so harsh that I have undervalued my skills immensely. It has even caused me to feel a loss of self-confidence and worsened my depression.
I am very fortunate that I have an income safety net. I know a lot of people will never have that, and that truly saddens me. Having a career was not about earning more money; it was about growing as a person and giving back to the world in some way.
While I am sad to let old dreams die, I think that being at the dog park and reflecting helped put things into perspective. It is always nice to see your pets enjoying themselves; it is like therapy for their little dog spirits. I think their happiness spilled over to me in that even difficult thoughts and emotions gave way to inspiration and optimism.
My Life & Wellness Journey
While thinking at the dog park, I wondered if maybe I could translate my wellness journey into a career. A career for which I need no audition. A career in which I can be myself and share what has helped me recover over the years. I considered writing a book based on recovery that will complement this blog. A career is not about earning a large salary to me. I have already accepted that I will probably never earn enough to leave an inheritance to my children. I do not feel sorry for myself about it, but I do feel sad that goal is largely unattainable for many people who have disabilities.
On my About page, I mention that you can always create new goals if old ones do not work out. I think that was wise of me, at the time, and I think it is applicable to me right now.
Instead of working a traditional job for a career, I am going to supplement my income with flexible part-time employment so that I can keep exercising, blogging, writing (a book or two), and focusing on my overall wellness journey.
You never know where you will find inspiration. For me, it was as the dog park today. Getting out into fresh air also helps. As does watching happy dogs frolic in the grass! Even watching Toula make a mud hole was amusing!
Stuck on a Problem
If you ever feel stuck on a problem, maybe try taking a moment to enjoy life. I think it refreshes your brain and helps you to more creatively and logically solve the problem. It may seem like you need to analyze and laser-focus on the problem, but the problem, itself, is not going to give you a solution. However, a relaxed state and mindfully enjoying the present (despite the stress) can give your mind a break that leads to the solution.