Living the Dream?

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.   Buddha

” . . . How about you, are you living your dream?”
Boy, someone challenged me today with this question.  I’m still not sure how to answer it.  I used to believe I was living the dream when I was teaching.  I loved it.  Well, I loved it in the love/hate relationship way we have with anything we’re passionate about including our significant others sometimes.  Since leaving teaching, I have not done anything professionally that makes me feel like I’m living the dream.  I’ve done some work as an administrative assistant that was less than fulfilling but I loved the group I worked with.  I’ve done some lawn care, landscaping and painting all of which I really enjoy.  At the end of the project there is a finished work.  Teachers never really see a finished product they just have to believe they have made a difference for the future.  So I love doing the labor work and seeing a direct outcome.  However, I can’t say with sincerity that I’m living the dream when I’m doing those things.  I just enjoying doing some work and making some money while I’m at it.  

So maybe the deal is I have to redefine “the dream.”  What is my view of living the dream?  I’ve always wanted to have time to write.  So far since retiring, I have this website and blog.  I’ve written a memoir that I am working on having published.  I write poetry and plan to work on other writing projects. I’ve always wanted time to enjoy my other creative endeavors like quilting and painting.  I’ve been able to finished furniture painting projects and continue to find new ones.  I have only made two quilts in five years.  However, I have the time and I continue to plan the quilts I’d like to make. I’ve wanted to be able to travel which we do quite a bit.  I don’t get to all the exotic locations but I get to enjoy beautiful country wherever we go.  I wanted time to bike and golf and that we are able to do frequently.  As a matter of fact we just returned from a vacation in Las Vegas where we biked each day and played golf a couple of times.  I did get to see Paris and Venice from there so I guess those might be considered exotic!

Am I living the dream?  Hmmmm, according to what I wished for, yes.  Yet I guess I sort of meant for my dream to be bigger and have an impact on the world.  I supposed my writing could ultimately do that.  But if it doesn’t, have I still been living the dream?  Yes, I have.  I guess I just needed to take a moment and recognize that I am doing all the things I hoped to be able to do.  So I’d like to thank my friend who asked me the question and made me reflect on my life and discover that I’m not dreaming but rather living the dream.

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