Make your dreams come true

My grandmothers and aunts had dishes, silverware, and parlor furniture that they ‘kept for Good’ which meant we rarely used them.  When they died, I watched these ‘Good’ items so treasured carted off to auctions and the Salvation Army.

I have a friend who has had a heart scare and is now going through an existential crisis and Life Review.  He has become quiet, withdrawn, and not his usual self.  He and I agree that the last thing we want is regrets on our death beds.  He is thinking long and hard about what that means for him now.

I know we need to be prudent and mitigate risk as best we can, but life is uncertain.  Choices need to be made, not delayed.  I wonder about the Langston Hughes poem that asks what happens to a dream deferred.  Can dreams be put on hold and still last or do they “dry up like a raisin in the sun”?

Don't wait for spring, do it now!

Some people save money or stuff ‘for Good’ while others save up experiences like travel or home comforts.  Some save up their wisdom, their stories, or their love and think that someday they will get around to sharing those with the people that matter in their lives.  I am reminded of that old slogan. ‘Don’t wait for spring, do it now!’  It is spring and now may be the time to figure out how to make your dreams come true.

Jimmy Buffet’s lyrics come to mind. “ If you ever wonder why you ride the carrousel, You do it for the stories you can tell.”  I want to have some good stories about how I have lived my life.  No regrets later on means I need to figure out how to use my resources to make those dreams come true while I still can.  Having had a serious health scare in my mid-life makes me acutely aware of time ticking and the reality of mortality.  When I visit my mother at the nursing home, I wonder how many dreams never came true or even acknowledged by the folks living there.

I just returned from a trip to Northern Spain.  I am glad that I made that trip while I can still walk over the cobblestones in the Gothic area of Barcelona and up the hills near Santiago de Compostela or the stairs of an old Cathedral in Leon without a cane or a puffer.  I see too many who are travelling and cannot maximize the experience because of the various restrictions of health concerns.  I met those who are not letting those restrictions stop them from what they want to do but the struggle for them is there.

Do dreams cost money?

Not all dreams require a great outpouring of money, some are closer to the heart than others, some will stay alive and others will pass like fads but sorting and selecting which ones count are a part of the process.  Some have to do with legacy and others adventure.  Some have to do with social activism and some with discovery and experience.  Figuring out the ones worth the effort, the time, and the cost have a lot to do with our values and our identities.

Goethe is credited with saying, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”  The beginning may be just sliding a bit of money into a savings vehicle of choice, or volunteering a few hours a month, or taking a course, talking to a child or grandchild, or reading a book.  Figure out what those dreams are, begin the process of making them come true, and do not save what you really value ‘for Good’ just in case that time never comes.

What is it that you want to make happen?

Written by Donna McCaw

Donna McCaw is the author of It’s Your Time about the choices and decisions in preparing for retirement, a storyteller and speaker who helps people make informed and positive transitions to retirement. She does courses and presentations on Retirement Readiness and Women and Retirement.

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