Sitting in our school cafeteria the other day, my assistant and I were chatting about her sister who is looking into a career in the travel agency business. As such, she was “required” to fly to a few exotic islands and spend a couple of days being pampered. You understand, the best way to sell that exotic get-away is to have had a first hand experience.
So on this dreary Monday, surrounded by 140 kindergarten students, teachers, and assistants all enjoying the regular Monday lunch (chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes, green peas, and peaches) we took a short trip down misery lane; lamenting the fact that we weren’t sharing the island experience with Sis. Then, something wonderful happened… we looked around at our children and realized just how much they mean to us; how they brighten our day, how much they have already grown and changed since the beginning of school.
We quickly decided that being in a newly renovated school, filled with kids who loved us, in a town that borders the Atlantic Ocean wasn’t so bad after all. We started counting our blessings and confirmed that there were many- in fact abundance! We almost let a fleeting dream rob us of our reality.
Now I ask you, “Is some far-away dream robbing you of YOUR reality?” What do you wish for that you do not have? There is a song whose lyrics say, “Life is not about having what you want, it is about wanting what you have.” What a great play on words. This is appreciation at its finest.
Now, does this appreciation make dreaming bad? NO WAY! Without dreams we’d have nothing. But here’s what I know. When I let my desire and my dreams rob me of the happiness I can find in my current circumstances, I lose out.
So how does one manage all this? Dreams vs reality… Appreciation vs desires…The future vs now. Here’s what I do and it works for me. In each reflective moment, I look around for something good and I celebrate that good thing. I recognize that at that moment, I am in it; I am part of it. There is no changing the moment- might as well embrace and enjoy it.
BUT- and this is the big one- I also regularly schedule time to work on my dreams. Yes! I make a plan. I take small steps daily toward the things I want. I know I can have it all- just not all at once. (Oh, by the way that little phrase will work with eating and keeping off unwanted pounds, but that’s a subject for another day.)
Back to the message at hand: Dreams are good, but they must not be allowed to ruin your NOW. Truly, NOW is all you are guaranteed. Live the now with gratitude. Enjoy the moment. Work diligently on the dream in scheduled times. As you embrace this way of life, you’ll no longer be robbed. You’ll be living fulfilled in the moment AND living out your biggest dreams. What could be better?