My husband and I were on a get-away for our tenth wedding anniversary when he received an email that put an end to an opportunity we had been considering. We felt the weight of having to set that dream aside and move forward, but we determined not to let this unexpected setback ruin our time together.
After hugs and tears, we left our hotel and climbed into a taxi, trying to think about other things as we rode through the streets of Chicago. Our plans for the day included a trip to Adler Planetarium. Once there, we explored the Shoot for the Moon exhibit and learned more about astronaut Jim Lovell and his space career.
Even though Lovell is known for successfully landing Apollo 13, there were many space missions he didn’t get to be a part of. Of those missions, Lovell wrote, “First, if you want to be successful as an astronaut or anything else, you have to keep trying. There will be disappointments in your life. You’ll get so far and then there will be a setback. And if you let the setback overcome your drive, your willpower, then you’re in trouble.” Lovell’s words spoke to my heart.
As mothers, our goal is probably not to land on the moon, but we do have dreams. We have hobbies we’d like to pursue, trips we’d like to take, and hopes for our children. (At my stage of motherhood, sometimes I just dream of a quiet house where I’m the only one home for two hours!)
What do we do when our dreams just feel so far away? As writer and mother Linda Eyre has taught, we need to remember that “life is long.” I have learned, and am still learning, that I need to be patient with my dreams.
Having patience with my dreams means waiting for the right time to pursue them, learning to say no to those goals that have or may become a burden, putting my family first, taking small steps to make my dreams a reality when the time is right, and recognizing that so many of my dreams have already come true!
When my husband was in graduate school, it was necessary for me to put some of my ‘extra’ pursuits on hold. I was okay with that and my husband and I made the decision together. It doesn’t mean that it was always easy. I often have dreams stirring in my head, but there are many times when I have to set them on a shelf. I realize that some of them will stay there forever. Others I hope to pull down when the time is right…and I’m quite certain that some of them will disappear altogether when I realize later on they really aren’t that important after all.
As mothers, we may shoot for the moon and the moon may be what we get. If not, we may find that our mission was to see the stars or the moon craters passing by. Perhaps our biggest dream will be realized by simply experiencing the world around us.
Little hands clasped in ours, hugs from our teenagers, and phone calls from our grown-up children can remind us that our dreams really aren’t so far away.
QUESTION: How have you learned to be patient with your dreams?
CHALLENGE: Consider some small steps you can take toward making your dreams a reality and then start making those steps. (For me, this may just be a matter of calling a friend to swap kids so I can get those two quiet hours alone at home!) April, Saren, and Linda’s podcast may offer some inspiration.
Image courtesy of Microsoft Office Images