I found some Delaware sea glass!
We tend to think that dreams are big things, like destiny or a life’s pursuit. When I think of “dreams” I think of things like how I want to be a ballet dancer, live in a cabin on the side of a mountain, and hold women’s retreats where I get to talk about Jesus.
But with that mentality we miss the small dreams that hold a huge place in the “IMPORTANT” file of life—they are what our memories are made of. When you become elderly your focus is more on your memories than it is on the future, so think about this: every day you’re creating the memories you want to relive when you become older, when your world grows so much smaller.
Imagine that you are at this moment ninety-nine years old and sitting on your front porch thinking back over your life, what do you have to relive? Let’s say the first twenty years of your life you had no control over, but since then you’ve had anywhere from one to seventy years to remember things you did have control over. What has it been filled with? Positive memories don’t depend on our circumstances, finances, health, or our relatives.
So, for the moment, close the lid on the big dreams: the house renovation and pool, the trip you always wanted to take to Hawaii, buying your own home on the golf course, or becoming the next bestselling novel writer. Did you know that every day you have “dreamlets,” tiny dreams that can come to pass that very day? Here are some of my dreamlets–I want to go to the park and walk, go to Starbucks and write or hang out with a friend, browse at Barnes and Noble or Goodwill, take a trip to an art museum, or work on my Joy Book I’m making. I want to eat Godiva Chocolate cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory. Yet those are still dependent on several factors: weather, finances, and free time. What about dreams for a busy day that will give me, if not a pleasant memory, at least a pleasant feel to my day? Dreams like having a few minutes to catch my breath with some me-time, of watching Survivor, or of taking a walk in the sun around the block. Of sitting in the swing out back and just breathing deeply and checking the progress of the green tomatoes. Of reading another chapter in my book while I eat Graeter’s Mocha Chip ice cream, or of taking a few minutes to play a game of 7 Little Words or Red Herring on my Kindle. I dream of bite of dark chocolate with raspberries, or sneaking a moment in my car to read a fun email, or of listening to a good Lance Wallnau teaching CD as I drive.
How do you know what your dreams for the day are? What would you like to see happen, what can you look forward to? Those are dreams. They create memories. Even if you don’t remember that particular twenty minutes you had to yourself that day, you’ll close the day with a pleasant feeling about it. We too often climb into bed too tired to think anything except “Thank God today is over!” BUT, every day should include a dream, no matter how tiny, and if it doesn’t than you need to look at your life again and count the cost of what you’re doing. At the end of your life, when you’re sitting on your porch in your rocking chair waiting on the bus to come take you to the Senior Center, what will your memories be? Will it be the time you watched the birds build a nest outside your window or the day you ate that first, sun-warmed tomato off your vine? Or will you remember how hard you worked and how much overtime you put in, or how you were too busy to breathe. Here are some of my dreamlet memories: Driving the kids to school every day past a huge sunflower garden. The red apron I wore the summer I worked the fruit stand, so now that apron represents a world of fresh, sun-ripened produce. Walking along the ocean in Delaware looking for sea glass. Stopping on the side of the interstate and filling the car so full of beautiful rocks that my feet rested on a pile of them the rest of the trip. Breakfasts at Panera.
I fulfilled a dream I had today that turned out better than I’d expected. I had hoped, come evening, that I could sit on the front porch and just enjoy the flowers, my mom has a wonderful green thumb and I’m reaping the benefits of it. As it turned out, a blustery, grumbly thunderstorm tumbled over me and I got to sit and watch a downpour. It was exhilarating! I also dreamed of having Thai chicken curry soup for supper today while reading my book, and it turned out lovely. When I’m old will I sit on my porch and relive those particular memories? Probably not, but I will remember my life with a positive feeling, having created my own “happily ever after.”
What kind of tiny dreams, or little “dreamlets,” can you come up with to insert into your day? I’ll bet if you think hard you can find some!