I've been a dreamer my whole life.
This has served me well in some ways, but messed me up in others.
On the one hand, my dreams have given me a creative life force that is undeniable, but on the other, it has brought me many disappointments that have been heartbreaking, to say the least.
I've had many of my dreams come true, but many have not.
Just recently, my husband and I painstakingly went over plans for our dream "modern cottage" home in our dream neighborhood not far from the University where he teaches.
We put an offer on the lot and everything was going well.
Until we found out two months into the process that the lot was too small for our house (which was also so small that the architect said we couldn't reasonably make the house smaller to fit on the lot, unless we didn't mind making the bedrooms basically the size of closets).
So, at that point, we realized we could either choose a new house plan or choose a new lot.
After looking through several options, we began to realize that in order to create the little cottage home we really wanted, it was going to cost us much more than we wanted to spend.
We simply don't want to become slaves to a hefty mortgage payment, especially since we have complicated health realities to navigate in our family.
So we made the decision to let the dream go.
And I cried.
I had already envisioned the beautiful parties we were going to have and the summer storms we were going to watch from the back deck.
It was going to be magical.
But I've lived long enough to realize that magic wears off and real life sets in.
The bills have to be paid. The toilets have to be cleaned. The weeds have to be pulled. Sick people have to be cared for.
So we've decided to buy a townhouse instead.
And, yes, I'm kind of sad about it, but I realize it's completely irresponsible for me to feel sorry for myself when there are many more important things to be worried about in this broken world.
People are suffering in many ways right now and I just don't want to waste my time worrying about the fact that I don't get to have my perfect "Studio McGee" style house. (Not that I'm judging those who do have that, it's just not realistic for my life right now.)
I'd rather spend my time helping to build a more compassionate world that isn't built on the never-ending quest for more, more, more and better, better, better.
I'd rather leave plenty of space in both my bank account and on my calendar to be able to live a life of peace, creativity, and service - without stressing out about whether or not we are going to have enough money to pay for the sprinkler system.
Yes, I'm going to keep on dreaming, but I'm going to do it in a way that makes sense for me and my family.
So, even though you won't find me sitting at the top of a mountain, watching summer storms from my dreamy back deck, you may just find me at the local forest preserve, walking my adorable dog next to the river, with the people I love, then heading back to our townhouse for a magical party for six.
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