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Dream on, sweet dreamer

June 8, 2011

One of my favorite things to do growing up was daydream.

I would schedule time for it, in fact. I loved to float around a pool, gazing at the clouds. Or lay in the grass. Or watch the whirrrring of my ceiling fan — and just think.

It was a happy, hopeful, ambitious place where I could dream about what life may bring.

I think most of us were probably that way as children and teenagers. Young dreamers, with a full life before us — little responsibility and a lot of hope.

And then: we grow up. We get responsibilities. Sometimes we get jaded. The carefree timelessness that allowed us to daydream before is now often filled with mental to-do lists, scheduling, calorie counting, worries, have-to’s and should-do’s – and sometimes, we’re just too tired to think at all. What a disservice we do ourselves.

Daydreaming is not just a past time — it is a guiding light. It allows us to spend some time with ourselves and figure out where we’re headed.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs yesterday and was touched by Kelle Hampton’s words about high school graduation:

“At the same time, there is something inspiring and hopeful about a graduation. Everyone’s talking about the great potential, the excitement of writing on a blank slate, choosing a path and how fabulous it is to be eighteen with the world in the palm of your hand. Yes, so incredibly true but I can’t help but wonder, why is it that so many people lose that excitement? Because the world is just as much an oyster for a sixty-five-year-old as it is for a young student penciling in personality tests in his advisor’s office.”

I paused when I read this. I remembered the exhilleration of the first time I got behind the wheel of a car by myself and drove around my small neighborhood in Florida. I felt so independent, so free. I felt as though I could go anywhere.

I thought about my first day in my first big, real job with a desk and a computer — and how I loved it. How I thought to myself, “I never want to take this for granted, to forget this feeling.”

I thought about the first time I held my first born. This tiny little human with a big future was mine to mold.

I thought about my 18-year-old self. The one I wrote the letter to – the one that feels so young now. And then I thought about my 60-year-old self. The one who will look back at me now and say, “She was so young. She had her whole life before her.”

We must never stop dreaming. Or feel like we’re too old to change the world, start a career, do something artistic, heal a relationship, find love, forgive someone, forgive ourselves, challenge ourselves, run a marathon, write a book or start a business.

But if we spend all of our time thinking about what we have to do, when do we think about what we want to do?

Take some time today to float in a pool, lay in the grass, or watch the whirring of a ceiling fan: the world is your oyster.

 

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