07 January 2010

My Dream Life

In early 2009 I felt like I wasn’t living the life I wanted and felt out of touch with my goals and priorities. So I decided to sit down and create a picture of what my dream life looked like and try to get myself going in that direction.

In the middle of a sheet of pretty cardstock I wrote “my dream life” with a circle around it. Then I just started drawing lines out from that center. At the end of each line I wrote an element of my dream life. Some of my entries included the following:
·         must have a garden
·         must write and publish
·         must ride bike regularly
·         must have inspiring friendships
·         must teach things I am passionate about
·         must have time to cook and for other creative pursuits
·         must have close relationships with extended family

These are just a sample of 33 things I felt I must have in my perfect life. Everything I listed was something I had control over in some way. I regularly revisited this chart and carried it in the journal I carry with me daily. As I looked I realized I was already partially realizing nine of my must haves and could take steps to try to accomplish more of them. I started taking advantage of opportunities when they came my way.

We started riding our bikes to the beach on Saturday afternoons then having dinner and riding home after dark, I started cooking more and even entered a recipe contest, we made plans to travel to visit family and take fun adventures with them, I gathered ideas for my blog and attended classes when I could, and bought a few tomato and herb plants for my patio. We enjoyed a bounteous tomato, basil and thyme crop – all ingredients in my contest winning sandwich recipe. All these things were calming, peaceful and enjoyable for me and made my life happier in so many ways.

A couple of months later I revisited my dream life chart and circled everything I was either completely or partially doing. I could circle more than half. A few months later I revisited the chart again and could circle nearly all of the items. Some had come as a direct and driven effort on my part; others had come almost effortlessly because I was open to opportunities that were offered me. I was thrilled as I began to see that I was already living my dream life in so many ways. I can and will still make strides in each area I listed that first day, but I see progress in every area that has brought me closer to my dream life and made me realize how lucky and blessed I am. I have my dream life.

This guide is leading me into 2010 and inspiring me to keep striving to maintain and exceed my dream life in the coming year. We have a new herb garden kit from Christmas, the tomato plants are already growing again. I am excited about growing my blog this year: writing, networking, sharing, conversing and marketing. I have money in hand to enhance my somewhat tired wardrobe. I am more appreciative of laughter and loved ones. I am excited for time with family and friends and travel opportunities to Boston and Virginia and returning to New York, San Diego, New Mexico, Utah, and Hawaii again.

I am looking forward to more time with myself in the coming year: meditating, learning, reading and writing. I will finish my first novel this year. My soul craves a return to long early morning run/walks and my familiar old trail. I spent 75 minutes on it Saturday morning. I have already learned some painful and beautiful lessons this year. I look forward to fully realizing more this year, to being quiet enough to learn peacefully rather than taking the hard way unnecessarily.

My biggest challenge for the coming year, I feel strongly, is just not getting so wound up about things: things I consider tiring, things that feel like a waste of my time, unexpected things that throw me off my overly-analyzed efficiency mandate. I want to enjoy life more and neither worry so much about the consequences of unexpected delays and frustrations nor fuss so much when things don’t go my way or go more slowly than I would like. It’s amazing how lovely the day can be when you relax your expectations a bit and go with the flow. The people around you certainly enjoy their time with you more too.

So I’ll push a little bit, but much more I’ll allow myself to ease more into my perfect life. We should have fresh tomatoes soon, we’ll plant the new herb garden next weekend. I’ll keep writing and make new strides in my quest to continue to live my dream life.

You can read an update to this post about how I changed my dream life list here.


cath said...

thank you for this - i needed the wisdom in your ideas and the comfort of the reminders you shared. i look forward to watching your jounrey unfold this year ... and especially to reading your novel!!

Mariah said...

such great advice on how to get a good balance. I too need to mellow out a little with my overly efficient agenda, especially when my life is somewhat at the mercy of three children under three and a half. I'm going to get a nice piece of cardstock and start my dream life circle. Love the blog BTW, makes me feel like we're having a good heart to heart even when we haven't been able to connect on the phone.

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