Now I love my old curmudgeon, his lordship, but sometimes the man drives me nuts! Today we were at Lowes looking for house paint. We walked in the door and he got distracted by their display of how-to books. He’d been talking about installing a fence extension from the backyard to the street and putting a flower bed in front of it, so I wasn’t surprised when he picked up a landscaping book and pondered over it for several minutes.
In the back of my mind I was jumping up and down and screaming, “YES!!!” because he’s one of those individuals who has NO interests or hobbies — which means when he retires in a year or so he’s going to be wearing this perpetual expression that says, “Please entertain me???” I’m shuddering already… So THIS was a big deal for me. HUGE deal seeing him flip through this book.
Perhaps you can imagine then how my heart sank when he put the book down and started to walk away. “Aren’t you going to get it?” I asked, my voice wobbling a little in disappointment. “No. We can’t afford to do anything right now anyway. I’ll get it later.” But I KNOW this man. I’ve lived with him for over 44 years and I know that LATER is somewhere down the road in eternity! I was devastated…
Then suddenly something poured out of my mouth. I want to say they were words of wisdom, but if so they didn’t come from me. It was an honest to goodness epiphany. “You always say that, but you never come back and do anything about it. THAT’S one of the reasons you’re so down-hearted all the time. You have no dreams to live ‘in to’. Nothing to look forward to doing. You always put it off until later, and later never comes. What’s wrong with thinking and planning and dreaming about it in the meantime?”
He looked at me for a moment as if to disagree, then he picked the book up and put it in the cart. (I didn’t want to appear too eager to give him something else to get excited about, but I picked up two more — Decks and Backyard Ideas — and chucked them in the cart.)
I was flyin’ high on the way home thinking FINALLY he’d shown an interest in something. FINALLY he had something to DREAM about. But then a thought occurred to me. Where were MY dreams? The thought stopped me dead in my tracks. I sat in the car confused and befuddled and suddenly depressed. Where WERE my dreams?
I thought back over all my years of raising kids. Drollery and I were so careful not to live our lives vicariously through our youngens. In the first place neither of us had time to do that. Droll was working and going to school. I had two jobs between shuttling kids from one end of the valley to the other. There was no time for me to be a helicopter mom. But we were always supportive of whatever dreams our kids had. And as I sat there in the car today I came to the startling realization I’ve always “dreamed by proxy” through whatever dreams my family had.
Probably the culmination of those dreams for me was when all three of them graduated from Weber State University at the same time. It was shortly after that I started feeling a bit lost…
(Had run to JC Penney’s a few hours after graduation for a picture and they forgot all their bells and whistles — cords, medallions, stoles… I was so frustrated with them! Ok… So maybe I WAS living through them all a little vicariously. 😦 )
Be that as it may, it was quite a shocker for me today to realize that I don’t have any dreams of my own to look forward to. My bucket list was never long. Two things: buy and learn to play piano, go to Ireland and Scotland. When my mom passed away I took some of the money she left me and bought a piano and took lessons… I was about 40 years too late! Going to Ireland and Scotland? Well, we have a cruise around the British Isles booked for September of next year. Right now it’s hard to even envision it as a dream. It’s way too far away.
So here I sit tonight wondering what in the world kind of dreams I should be having, looking forward to. You know what? I have no clue. When I was doing the Am I ready for the open sea? post on Friday I think it dawned on me for the first time that I’m really at a transitional point in my life. Plato commented: It came in its time. A seed at some point breaks open to seek the sun. If he’s right, maybe there’s still some dreams out there for me I just haven’t stumbled on yet. I’m going to have to watch where I step, aren’t I…