Dreamers-Outside of the Box; Not Out to Lunch

photo.JPGAllegrainforestclose

I am a dreamer.  I have always been.  I have never believed that there are certain pleasures in life that are reserved for certain, special people.  Even as a young child, I had big plans, and now, as a middle aged adult, I still have big plans.  I believe that the treasures this life holds are vast, nearly infinite, and they are mine to be discovered, claimed, lost, cherished, broken and adored. Dreams make this life wonderous. After forty years on this earth, I have not yet allowed maturity, pragmatism and the bitter aftertaste of negative experiences rob me of my childlike musings.  Life has yet to suck the life out of me.  If I didn’t have my dreams, however, I would die inside.

There is so, so much to do in such limited time.  There are creative endeavors to pursue and business plans to hatch.  There are new places to visit and live, yachts to sail, beaches to bask and mountains to ski. This would all seem so much more plausible if I were a wealthy woman, which I am not, but I never allow money to stand in the way of my pursuit of dreams.  I am a reasonably intelligent  and resourceful woman. I can get that which I desire. I usually do.

All of this bravado doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t feel like I sound like a compete lunatic when I share some of my plans. And, gauging from the responses my declarations often elicit, many do think I am a mad cat. “You want to do what?” “You think you can do that?”  “What?” “Huh?”  Well, the answer is-yes.  Yes, I want to do that.  I will do it with my intellect and my talents, my sheer willpower and don’t forget, a healthy dose of joie de vivre. I will do it because I want to feel alive; I want my kids to feel alive and know that life can be extraordinary and magical.  We all know it can be pretty horrible and tedious and pain inducing, so why can’t it also be wonderful?  How about that? 

Don’t worry.  I do realize that dreams cannot be attained without risk. Before I had children, taking risks wasn’t nearly as stress inducing as it is now.  Back in the day, I had no qualms about packing my bags and moving to NYC to become a dancer or quitting a stable job at a state college to open a business with my husband.  Whether I failed or made it, the risks were worth it.  I was alive, moving, changing, growing. 

With children, risk taking is a different business. Risk must be weighed and security can never be sacrificed.  As a parent, you can never be reckless, or, worse yet, completely selfish.  Any pursuit that consumes your time and resources as a parent must benefit all members of the family.  That said, I want my children to take chances, to be brave, to embrace adventure and see what the world has to offer.  As my husband likes to say, there is no value living like a declawed cat, staring out the window and watching life pass by .  I want my children to take risks, take chances and dream.

One of the most simple, yet profound things I have heard came from Russell Wilson, the quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks.  Considering I do not follow football, I am so grateful that I caught this interview. Wilson was discussing how he got to where he was and recalled his father posing this question to him: “Why not you Russ?  Why not you?”  What a phenomenal question to pose to our children, to ourselves!  Why not me?  Why not my children? Why not my family?  Why not dream?  The riches and wonders of the world are not hidden away for an elite few.  For those of us who want, they are there for us to claim.  So if you hear me say that I want to move to Bora Bora, or buy a horse farm or open a restaurant, don’t think me mad.  Why not me?

My heart sings on flights of fancy.  I dream mountains and feel oceans and live.