I’m participating in the dream manager program my company offers, where I meet with our dream manager who helps me sort through the things I want to accomplish and fulfill the dreams I have for both my family and myself.
My first challenge was to try and come up with a list of 100 dreams, but that wasn’t my “challenge.”While it was super fun and rather easy–I think I have more than 175 dreams–what I noticed on my list is that many of the dreams are actually more like to-do’s than big dreams.
I sat on the list for a couple of weeks, thinking about it and wondering if maybe I wasn’t dreaming big enough. What I discovered is that I want, more than anything on this huge list, is to feel in control. I’ve lived for the last 5 years in a state of stress and overwhelm. Life feels like it’s taken over and I’m just trying to keep my head above water from one wave to the next. Whether it’s surprise car repairs, housework, family responsibilities, weight gain, social obligations, or work, I’ve not felt like I’ve been able to entertain my own dreams and desires.
The Challenge with Dreams:
I’ve tried keeping dream journals, creating vision boards, and daily prayer and meditation to get focused on my dreams, and for me, the dreaming part is easy. Allowing myself to feel like I deserve them now is the hard part.
I’ve stuffed my dreams down, too much, living by the unwritten and self inflicted rule of work first/play later. The housework, laundry, and unfinished things on my to-do list, drain me of energy, leaving me in a state of not really feeling like doing anything. In reality, I know the work will never be done, but I have a hard time releasing myself from it.
I know this is what many moms and nurturing women feel. We live like martyrs and end up feeling resentful that we don’t have time for ourselves because there are too many things we NEED to do.
Even though consciously, I know it’s my perspective and outlook that makes me feel overwhelmed, not the “stuff” on my to-do list, I let myself live in that state, day in and out. It’s not fun for me, my kids, or my husband.
Coming up with this dream list helped me to see that there are a lot of joys in life that I could have easily achieved, but I’ve stolen from myself and my family because of my work before play attitude.
My Next Dream Big Step:
So, I’m not sure what the next step for the dream manager program is for me, but I plan to make my first step one of stopping to smell the roses and making a commitment to reduce the external, energy draining stresses in my life by decluttering my finances, home, schedule, and body of as many things that don’t bring me joy as possible.
Ironically, there’s a banner I see every day, hanging above our lunch table at work that says, “Balance.” It’s one of our 7 core values at work. I don’t know if it’s ever truly possible to be balanced, but I’m sure as heck excited to try.
Maybe it’s the residual buzz of the New Year’s new beginning combined with knowing that I’m going to have some accountability from our amazing dream manager at work, but I’m thrilled beyond belief to start tackling some of these things on my list–both the to-do’s and the just for fun dreams.
Dreams Coming True Already:
Just since making this list, I’ve been able to cross off a few of the items:
- For peace of mind we got an alarm system for the house. Now I have a spy who will announce “back door” when my eager explorer 4 year old son attempts to escape. :)
- We also bagged up a bunch baby things from my son this weekend and brought them to my husband’s best friend’s 3 day old new baby boy. (I felt so excited driving there with a car load of toys and baby gear, knowing that they’ll enjoy it and we’ve cleared some space for new dreams in our house.)
- We paid the balance in full for our daughter’s trip to Washington DC with school
- And finally, I bought a Groupon deal for a night in a Chicago hotel for my husband and I to take a mini romantic getaway this spring.
I’ll keep you posted on more dreams come true, but in the mean time, I encourage you to make a list of your 100 dreams. Who knows, it may be more revealing than you think!
If it will help you brainstorm some of your own ideas, here’s my list of goals and dreams, circa 2012!