A Place in the World

Our grandchildren, all three of them, came to visit! We have two sons and our younger has one child (a boy) and our oldest has a boy and a girl. The cousins don’t live anywhere close to the same state so it’s a thrill for them to see each other. The boys instantly click like best friends no matter how much time has gone by (Covid!) since they saw each other last, maybe because they are only about a year apart. “Our” little girl is the youngest and she is very sweet. Her favorite color is pink and she asks me to read to her and sit by her as she paints pictures and likes to keep her hands clean. She’s brave, too, and follows the boys in their adventures. They all put on wetsuits and snorkels and swam with manatees the other day.

It was a lovely time. If we all had lived in Michigan, Al and I never would have moved to Florida. As it is, we’ll visit them and they’ll visit us. As it is, I have found my place in the world. Just lucky it clicked for Al too. And the kids come here to Florida where most of their grandparents are snowbirds. We all like to travel. Everyone is excited for the new house…they have seen pictures. They missed seeing the real thing by less than a month. Still waiting on the deal to close. I’ll say more then.

I have been so happy. As I’ve said before, it’s always felt like home when I’m in Florida. I thought of it longingly all my years in Michigan. But my children were born and raised in the north and for that matter so was I, thus I didn’t dwell on what I couldn’t have. Palm trees! Sunsets! Flowers full of vibrant color and large as dinner plates! Then, as I got older, it started to seem that maybe after all I would have that dream of my heart. But I could never entirely believe it. It seemed like too much. Yet…the kids had moved far away. Al was cautiously game. We found ourselves making a plan and taking steps. Slowwww steps.

I think I can stop asking him if he’s really sure he wants to live here…because we already are. We found our place in the world. Yes, we had to wait until Al retired…but it is never too late to do what your heart has always longed for.

Year of Big Dreams

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Not very long ago, I believed I was past the age of dreaming big. By the age of 60, I had achieved far more than my 16 year old self could ever have imagined. More than my 26 year old self, or indeed even my 36 year old self. I thought that maybe by my age, vision should be retrospective. There was just a hint of feeling as if my time for new dreams had passed and I should graciously accept that fact.

I felt that I should be satisfied with what my life had brought thus far. And I was. I am. More than satisfied, I’m grateful and amazed with this good luck life, grateful and amazed  to have taken the adversity and challenges in stride, even surmounting them in some instances. I have survived and thrived and find myself in a really wonderful place, mentally and physically and emotionally. All is well.

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Sort of. Or it will be now that I have rooted out this silly unconscious notion that at some magic age (for me that seems to be 60) or perhaps after some momentous event (retiring from teaching) I need to simply give up on dreaming big dreams and be content with what I’ve manifested thus far.

The idea that there is an age or an event that signals “time to stop going for it” isn’t just silly–it’s depressing. And I was depressed for about a year without really knowing exactly why. I kept giving myself the pep talk about having had a great life and now I could simply coast…enjoy the scenery, keep writing, have a glass of wine.

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Not that any of the above are bad things. But there was the nagging spark inside that begged me to dream some new dreams before it really was too late. Slowly, I have gathered my courage and uncovered a few gems. Things I still want to try. Things that are a bit scary. Things that I might fail to achieve.

But damn I’m going for it. The time to stop dreaming, planning and achieving will come when I draw my final breath, and not before. This is my mantra for 2016. Stayed tuned, there’s much more to come.

Happy new year!

 

 

Need You Now

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“It’s a quarter after one, I’m a little drunk, and I need you now.” Music knows. Now that I’m coming off some incredibly disruptive medication, I have been remembering my dreams again. The ones we have at night when we go to sleep. Those dreams.

I had it again last night, the dream I’ve have for forty years. A man from my past, he was a boy then, and I was a girl. His girl. If I thought I got over him during daylight, at night I knew I never really would. We connected in our dreams.

Dreams are funny things. We pretend they are beyond our understanding or control but  they aren’t. I used to have bad dreams, scary dreams, dreams where I was defeated by unspeakable evil. I learned how to wake up inside those dreams and change them. I became the warrior I needed to be. I changed the endings.

Lucid Dreaming is real. Anyone can train themselves to do it.

I didn’t know that when I was 16, 26, 36 even. Back then I thought dreams were just symbols, or messages. So when I’d dream about him, I’d call. It didn’t matter who I was married to, I knew he needed me, so I made contact. All those years, we never made love. I never cheated on my partner with him. But we knew each other so well and no man has ever spoken to me with as much light-filled truth. But he can be cruel, too.

In the dream last night, I didn’t wake, but I behaved my dreamself. I finally saw him in all his beautiful deception. And I knew who I was and to whom I owed my loyalty. I turned away. I woke thinking I needed to call, but this time it was not him I wanted to call. It was the right man. I finally made amends.

Science doesn’t know much about dreams. It isn’t even clear why we dream. Lots of theories out there but not a heck of a lot of fact. One thing science does know, a recent finding, is that our minds don’t recognize the difference between dreaming and daytime thought. Half our lives, completely beyond our control. If you think that’s true, it will be.

We all have longings and we all have our quarter after one moments, but it’s what we do with them that counts.