“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” – Christoper Reeve
My husband Bill and I returned from a run this week and ate breakfast. Rather than showering immediately, as we usually do, we headed outside to do some work in our yard.
Many wheelbarrows full of weeds later, I trudged wearily inside and stood under the shower while Bill finished mowing. As I lathered up, my mind began to wonder; I do some of my best thinking in the shower.
15 minutes later, Bill stuck his head in the door. “Aren’t you finished?” His question startled me from deep thoughts. I quickly finished and toweled off so that he could use the shower.
I have always been a dreamer, as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl, I used to write illustrated books and put on complex plays for an audience of one (my mom), complete with costumes and sets.
My oldest grandson seems to have taken over that role in our family. He loves to put on magic shows, devise outlandish adventures, and build elaborately engineered masks and costumes. He dreams of having his own YouTube channel.
As I got older, my dreams became more realistic. When I taught high school science, I dreamed of giving my students a taste of real science, to have them complete the process of researching a topic of their choosing, planning and executing a lab to test their hypothesis, drawing conclusions from results, and then devising ways to improve the procedure. I wanted to do the scientific method with them, rather than just learn a sterile definition.
From that dream, our school’s science fair was born. Some years I shepherded 100 Honors Chemistry students through the process, arranged for dozens of local scientists to serve as judges, solicited thousands of dollars worth of donations from community businesses and organizations for awards, and accompanied some students to regional and even international science fairs. I get tired just thinking about it now, looking back.
My dreams nowadays revolve mostly around travel. And running. And traveling to run. Since I retired from teaching, I have the time and opportunity to do both.
Traveling allows me to meet individuals with a completely different cultural background, it opens my eyes to different ways to live, think, and play. It builds empathy and character.
When I tell Bill “I have an idea“, I believe his first response may be to cringe just a little bit, but he now knows to get ready and pack the bags. We have had some amazing adventures. The big travel dream that is currently in the hazy distance is a visit to the Galapagos Islands. Stay tuned!
Running has benefitted my brain and body in so many ways. Aside from the obvious health benefits, it is a stress reducer. I tend to have excess energy for which I need an outlet. Running gives me a way to “burn off the crazy“. It also is a social stimulant. Many of my good friends have come into my life through running. It builds confidence and makes me a happier person.
The current running dream is to run another marathon with Bill. We used to regularly train for and run marathons together but have not done so in recent years. We both ran the Berlin Marathon in 2017, but we did not run together (Bill was ahead of me). Our plan for the Marine Corps Marathon this fall, however, is to once again run every step of the race side by side.
When I dream, I imagine a better life, a better method of doing things. That vision of a superior way moves me one step ahead, it keeps me going, gives me purpose and hope.
Dreaming gets the synapses firing and forces me to make connections, envision scenarios, and posit goals.
It’s not enough to just think the thoughts; for dreams to have meaning, we must take concrete actions to make our dreams become reality.
Dr. Martin Luther King did not just say the words “I have a dream.” He gave his life to pursuing his dream, turning aspiration into actuality.
Being a dreamer means having the confidence to fail, not once, but many times and not give up. As Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said, “The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them.“
If you are a dreamer, you will fall, but you will bounce. Your focus will move your life in the right direction. Dreaming big teaches you to recover when you inevitably come up short. It teaches you not to take failure personally, but to look for lessons and ways to avoid the same pitfalls the next time you try.
Dreamers will reach for the stars, they have wild, bold, fantastic visions, and adventurous spirits. When you dream, you tend to look at the actions of other dreamers who have come before you. Gaining inspiration from someone who has been down the same path and emerged victoriously is an effective motivator.
Finally, dreamers know that small achievements add up to big success. You don’t achieve dreams all at once; dreamers know they must chip away little by little. Looking at a big dream as one huge goal may seem insurmountable and unassailable. To achieve big dreams, the impossible must be achieved in small chunks.
Are you a dreamer? What are your big dreams?
In the inimitable words of John Lennon, from his beautiful song, “Imagine” (listen to it here),
“You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one“.
I am linking up with Shank You Very Much for Dream Team and Global Blogging, Mary-andering Creatively for LMM, Esme Salon for Senior Salon, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, Purposeful Faith for RaRa, Bethere2day for Wordless Wednesday on a Tuesday, Kooky Runner for Tuesday Topics, Meghan Weyerbacher for Tea and Word, Mary Geisen Tell His Story, Running on Happy, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for Coaches’ Corner, One-Liner Wednesday, Hooks and Dragons for A Bit of Everything, and My Random Musings for Anything Goes.