I have dreams. Most people have or had dreams, of what they wanted in or want in life; of what they wanted to be when they grew up; of what they would do if they hit the lottery.
My dreams were never grandiose. Nor were they extravagant, unattainable or selfish. In fact, today, I would call them simple. Most of what I dreamed of came true. Most of them.
When I was young, I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I only knew that I wanted to marry a nice man. I got that dream – big time. Married thirty years to my best friend, though, I never dreamed of my wedding day. I never had hopes for a particular dress or ceremony or menu. I didn’t even own the game, “Mystery Date.” I just wanted to marry a “nice” man. I did.
I wanted to be a mom. I got that dream– big time. And, I’m grateful for every moment of it. I was blessed with the opportunity to raise two healthy, beautiful children to adulthood. I relished every baseball game, every debate, every swim meet. I didn’t mind changing diapers or sitting up all night mopping a fevered brow. I was disgustingly proud and had absolutely no humility when it came to talking about my children. I fear I’ll be worse when and if I ever have grandchildren.
I did not, however, have any designs on a career of any kind. When I was very little, perhaps, I wanted to be a movie star or a Broadway star. As I grew, and friends found interests and direction, I did not. I didn’t have any idea what to focus on in high school or college. I majored in communications, took a job with my father until he closed down his business, and then took the first job I could get, which ultimately launched me into a career in not-for-profit fundraising. Was it an aspiration of mine to ask rich people for money? No. Did I anticipate making parties and sporting events and symposia whose guests saw me as the “help?” No, not really. I learned the business well, and have succeeded in making a living. Was it a dream of mine? No.
So now, as I deal with the empty nest, middle-age, creaky bones and much less time ahead of me as I have behind me, my dream is more modest than ever. All I want is to simplify. To live a quiet life, pursue the artistic talents I have discovered in myself along the way, and do them just for my own pleasure. I want to grow old with my best friend. And, if at all possible, I’d like to hit the lottery.