For anyone who hasn't read The Alchemist, I suggest you go and read it now. I'll wait.
I'm not a religious person at all, but I am a rather firm believer in that which we cannot see. I believe in energy — that the more good and love we put out in to the world, the more it goes around and comes back to us, that people are intrinsically good and that when you put your wishes out to the universe, the universe conspires with you. No, I haven't had too much coffee, I've simply been practicing a bit more patience, and trying to be more content and aware of all that goes on around me.
Let's back up a bit.
I recently hit my one year mark at my current job. I expected a raise. Not a big one, mind you, just a raise. I had all these plans and goals of what I would do for the magazine and all the extra work I'd put in and all the travel I'd do. Then, I didn't get the raise. The boss says all is well, but no, no more money for you. My first reaction was to get pissy. Then I stood back and thought about what kind of message this might be.
For starters, I now know just how tough and time consuming this job is from December through March. As balance, I now know just how NOT tough it is May through June (there's a shoulder season on either side that's so-so; I do know there are 12 months. Duh). I also know that I've been craving more time with Chou Chou Magoo who is soon no longer two. And I have a doula client due now, one next month and another in July. Doula work fulfills me in ways a desk job never could, and spending time with Chou is priceless.
The connection? I think that if I'd been given a raise, I'd feel more obligated to spend every spare moment of every day working, thinking about work, considering work. Instead, I feel like I can draw a line ME time vs. WORK time. I can feel good about this line — I can be proud of my work achievements and my work ethic, but I can take my evenings, weekends and early afternoons and savour them, guilt-free, with my daughter and any other hobbies or interests I choose to pursue. I can cultivate friendships, spend time working on my own health and offering my support for labouring women. My job, as it is, allows that.
And so we come around to International Women's Day and our conspiring universe. I have a doula client due next week, but I feel that baby is going to arrive any day (as in, today, in fact), and I was worried that my deadline this week would derail those plans. Yesterday, I had two things on my plate that I HAD to deal with, and one this morning, that, had she called, would have meant I either couldn't attend her birth, or would have had to attend only part. I asked the universe to just give me 'til Tuesday at lunch. Pretty please? And here we are, no baby and work "musts" getting crossed off the list.
What does this have to do with Women's Day? Not much really, except that I think my most valuable contribution to this day is to be there, fully and present with an open mind and heart, at a woman's most powerful and vulnerable point in her life — giving birth — and I'm just too happy to know the universe agrees.