Live the life of your wildest dreams!
Those words make me swell up with hope and excitement. Yes! Yes! I want to experience my wildest dreams! I want to live the life of my wildest dreams!
And what are my wildest dreams?
Like most people, I suspect, my wildest dreams include success in doing what I love. For me it would be becoming an accomplished musician, or taking my sweet time writing a book and having it published to critical acclaim.
My wildest dreams include being surrounded by pretty things and updated appliances. In my wildest dreams, no doors stick, no couches stick you in the back when you sit in them, and no windows leak cold air into the bedroom in the winter.
My wildest dreams include travel, particularly to Ireland and staying in a B&B next to a pub where the best fiddlers in County Clare play on any given night. Then a trip to Iceland to take a dip in the thermal pools, then a trip to Croatia to listen to the sea organ, then to Japan to walk through the Wisteria Tunnel.
My wildest dreams include providing my children with whatever advanced education they desire, and homes that don’t have sticking doors, worn couches, and leaking windows. Ditto for the grandchildren when they come.
My wildest dreams involve oodles of time to do whatever I want. For me it would be having expanses of time to read the piles of books around the various sitting areas of our home. It would include having time to linger over the newspaper every morning, taking time to pause before turning the page to watch the birds in the sunlight, picking seeds out of the bird feeder, having time to mosey on down the street to the coffee shop and lose myself in conversation with a good friend. No more of this running out the door every morning, leaving things undone, unfinished, unwashed.
But some days I’m not a dreamer. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s my energy level that day, maybe it’s my pragmatic Midwest Scandinavian upbringing, but some mornings I think of my wildest dreams and think, “Who’s going to pay for all of this?” or “How likely is any of this going to happen?”
There will be no living my wildest dreams today. Today I will be living my mildest dreams.
I take my gaze off the limitless horizon and head to work.
While I don’t have an exciting job, it isn’t awful. I have coworkers that have become good friends and my paycheck covers the bills. And I don’t have to compromise my values every time I punch in.
In this mild life, I still find time to honor what’s important to me every day. For example, most mornings I take time to read or write. This is sacred time for me and I treasure it. Friends shudder when I tell them what time I get up, but they don’t need to understand the joy of sitting at a laptop or with a pen at hand, accompanied by a hot beverage while its still dark out. The world seems limitless at that moment.
My mildest dreams include moments of simple bliss. Often in the summer, I’ll can tomatoes that we grew ourselves. Sometimes I’ll create a pretty decent dinner out of the leftovers I found in the refrigerator. Sometimes I’ll rearrange a closet and step back and admire it with deep satisfaction. Sometimes I’ll finally get that stain out.
Fantasizing about what could be is a marvelous exercise in creativity and in feeling the magic of hope and in honoring our potential, but some days the mildest dreams are okay, too. The appreciation of waking up to a rack of clean dishes or having mates to all of the socks on laundry day can have a place of honor on our list of successes until we’re ready to dream big again.