Its funny, how your dreams change and evolve over time.
It seems like it was only a few sunsets ago that I was dreaming and yearning for motherhood. More than anything, all I wanted from life was to have my own babies to hold and cherish. My entire focus was on making that dream come true. Diapers and stuffed bears and powder and blankies. That seemed like “the good life” to me.
And then for a while, my dreams were about having all five of us take a vacation together. Somewhere new and special. Somewhere that seemed a little adventurous. That would be “the good life”, wouldn’t it? Taking the kids to Europe? Camping in the Canadian maritimes? We did those things, and they were fabulous. The good life dreams still seemed elusive.
Along the way, “the good life” started to seem like it would be out there when we finally had enough money to relax a bit. Maybe we’d hit that point when the kids were grown up and our salaries had increased some. Maybe it would come when we finally paid off the mortgage. I started to dream and wish for “new”. A new couch, a new dishwasher, one of those new fridges with the automatic ice maker. I still don’t have everything all shiny and new, but I definitely have enough. I have finally reached the point where an unexpected car repair doesn’t lead me to panic.
This morning I woke up in the pitch dark again. To the sound of pouring, driving rain. Again. The room was chilly, and damp. Even the dogs were sound asleep. I rolled to my side, pulling the blankets around my neck. “Just five more minutes,” my brain begged. “Just five.” I didn’t want to get up in darkness again. I didn’t want to gulp down my coffee while checking my email. I didn’t want to drive for an hour through the flooded highways yet again, dragging my weary bones to work.
Retirement. Ah, yes. Won’t that be “the good life”? To sleep through the darkness, and only get up when the sun is high? To pull on flannel pants, and keep them on for the whole wet day? That’s my new “good life.” A cold, driving rain, and me inside with the dogs and a blanket and a good book.
I guess its good to have dreams, right? Its good to be looking forward, to embrace the future with joy. But I am trying to be careful about it at the same time.
Today I will slog through the traffic, endure the wet leaves and dark highway, strive for patience as the whole world tries to get to work at the same time. I’ll feel my aching back and neck, and wish for my soft flannel pants.
Then I’ll get to my classroom, flip on the lights, feed the fish and get ready to greet the gang of giggling children who will rush in the door to chat with me.
Maybe this is actually “the good life” right now, and I’m right smack in the middle of it.