What It Means to Dream

crocus by Aaron Burden
photo by Aaron Burden

“Don’t tell your secrets to anyone
Because ideas are vulnerable
As soon as you say your idea out loud
Then it can go and live on its own”

~Regina Spektor, from “Bon Idée”

It’s easy to dream in pastel colors and vague, lofty fantasies.  Everything seems so close, so achievable, almost inevitable.  But when you reach out to take hold, the scenery shifts…

I am ready to admit that I am more of a dreamer than a do-er.  There is an insane discrepancy between the way I dream of living my life, and the way I choose to spend my time.  Most of the time I’m very good at lying to myself about it and making up excuses, but every once in a while I’ll wake up, look around, and take stock of my life.

Why do I waste my time watching TV, browsing the internet, and playing cellphone games (yes, really!) when I know there is important work to do?  Why is it so difficult to muster the effort to just start?

So I take note of these character blemishes, and after the requisite period of guilt and self-loathing, I start to make a plan.  I’ve started accepting some of my flaws.  Going to bed at a decent hour is always going to be a struggle for me.  I am always going to try to cram too much into every day.  I know I tend to start out overly ambitious and burn out quickly, exhausted and disappointed.  I know these things about myself, and I’ve started to account for them.

I try not to demand the impossible of myself–I’m starting to learn my limitations.  I can focus on one thing, and let the others slide.  (Of course, life never is just one thing, so it becomes a juggling and balancing act… but I prioritize so that when something inevitably falls I can keep going.)  I give myself permission to fail a little bit.  (I know there will be mistakes and missteps–knowing they will come keeps me from getting completely derailed).  I start small, but keep the big picture in mind.  (Realistically, what can I expect from myself when I’m tired after a long day of work?  That’s where I should start.  It’s something, and I can build from there if I’m persistent.)  Then, it’s just a matter of holding myself accountable as much as possible.  (And it works for a while… but then the lapses and excuses begin again…)

I started this blog to hold myself accountable, to remind myself to constantly strive to get the most out of life.  I know this journey will be slow–life is slow!–but as long as I can return and pick up where I left off, there will be progress.


2 thoughts on “What It Means to Dream

    1. There is certainly truth in that! Having someone cheering for you and pushing your to do your best can help. I think the flip side is the fear that you’ll come across someone who doesn’t believe in you, and that you’ll start to doubt yourself. It’s pessimistic, but sometimes dreams are fragile!
      That said, I think I should take your advice and see where it takes me! 🙂


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