For years before it became popular, my friend Ellen used the expression livin’ the dream a lot—the perfect sarcastic response to how ya doin? or whatcha doin? or in response to head scratching behavior. I always liked that expression and wished I had used it more, but now, I hear it everywhere, and as trendy things go, the sentiment has lost some of the bite and heaven forbid I embrace anything trendy. But livin’ the dream has taken on new significance for me. It is a concept that repeats and repeats in my brain as I move away from previous visions of fulfillment and desire. Dreams change, I have changed, circumstances made it so, and I have the opportunity and huge challenge of creating and living a new dream, to move towards a life that I’ve recently, but vividly, imagined. I’m venturing into new territory, and examining everything along the way.
What does livin’ the dream look like to you? Is it the house in the suburbs or the larger house in the suburbs, a vacation home, a more exotic vacation home? Is it healthy family and friends gathered ’round the BBQ, beautiful babies romping on the grass as you sit with cocktail in hand on the chaise? Is your dream Sundays on the sofa with newspaper, leisure time, travel time, free time to do whatever it is you want? What do you want? Are you already living the dream and don’t even know it? I know that I’m living much of what I previously dreamed of and do take the time to smell the roses, to be grateful and cognizant of all that I have, to take the time to savor dreams realized. But the dream realized is a small part of our existence, a fleeting moment on the lawn chair. While my new dream absolutely includes a beautiful home and a healthy and happy family, I also dream of a life that is satisfying in-between those this-is-what-it’s-all-about-moments. I want to simplify, to enrich, to learn, to sift through previous notions of value and worth and arrive at the essence of what it is I want. I want to live life on my terms, to pursue my interests, to live a life with myself as a priority. I have a selfish dream, and no apologies.
I look around my beautiful home and all the work I’ve put into it, I look at my dear friends and think about our wonderful experiences together, and I ask myself can I walk away from all of this? And the answer keeps coming back yes. The important friends and possessions will travel with me, and the possibilities for livin’ the dream are endless.
photo credit: unavailable / not true – don’t trust the source