I turned 49 years old this past week. One year away from the BIG 50! It has definitely got me thinking as I realize that more than likely half of my life is behind me. Thoughts have drifted to, What have I accomplished?, What did I miss out on?, How do I want to spend my years going forward? With all these thoughts swirling around in my head, I had a surprise revelation that actually brought me a lot of joy and peace. It occurred to me that I am well on my way to accomplishing my greatest life dream. I guess I didn’t realize it qualified as a life dream because it isn’t very shiny, it doesn’t come with a lot of accolades, I don’t need a college degree to do it, and it isn’t that out of the ordinary. I am achieving my biggest life dream and I had not even realized it. How crazy is that?
The dream is:
to have an intact, happy, healthy family of my own.
Let me explain, I grew up as a kid who had divorced parents. They divorced when I was five years old. That meant years of living with my mom during the week and then staying with my dad on the weekends. It meant living with my older brothers only part-time. It meant missing the other parent when I wasn’t with them. It meant lots of goodbyes to people I loved and always packing a bag to go back and forth. Don’t get me wrong, I think I had it a lot better than a lot of divorced kids do. I always knew my parents loved me and I always knew they were there for me, but at the end of the day kids want their parents to be married and in love. Because of this, I would often watch other families that were not divorced and dream about one day having a family of my own. Throughout my childhood, I had one regular prayer regarding this hope for my future. It was…
“Dear Lord, please let me have a happy, intact family of my own someday. Let me have a family where my husband and I are in love and the kids see it and we stay together.”
It was always some version of this. I repeated it often, year after year. And now, as I look back on my 49 years I can honestly say, I am achieving my biggest life dream. Sure, we are not 100% done raising kids but we are definitely in the home stretch! Scott and I have for the most part had a very happy marriage and we have been a good example to our kids of what parents who are in love and have a healthy relationship look like. We are proud of how we have raised our kids and all the concessions we made when they were little, for me to stay home with them, instead of putting them in daycare. (No judgment on anyone who put their kid/s in daycare. This was important to us to have them home and I know this is a personal choice.) It wasn’t easy, that is for sure. Money was tight for a long time, but we worked extra jobs at night trading off nights, spent less money, and did what it took to raise them the way we wanted to. I am really proud of that.
I am sharing this with you all not because I want to say “Yay me! Look how great I am for achieving my biggest life dream!”, I am sharing this because I think sometimes we forget that our dreams can be simple, less flashy things. They don’t have to always be “I want to be a doctor one day”, or “I want to make a million dollars”, or “I want to be the CEO of my own company.” I think when we talk about dreams in this world, we tend to think of things like that. I want to point out that a life dream of being a mom who takes care of her family and who works really hard at her marriage is also a hard and worthy goal.
Maybe you too have recently begun to reflect back a bit and maybe you have been hard on yourself regarding your accomplishments. Maybe you didn’t land that dream job you always wanted, or maybe you didn’t make as much money as you had envisioned. Try not to focus on that, instead, focus on what you have done well—even if it is something as ordinary as raising great kids or being a really good child to your aging parents.
Use these successes to help build yourself up for your future. What dreams do you still want to aspire to? When was the last time you thought about what your life dream is? Here is a great article to get you thinking about life dreams. https://www.success.com/what-is-your-dream/. Each of us still has today to go after our dreams. Don’t give up on yourself and keep thinking about what you want your life to represent!