Once every six months or so, I leave the peaceful realm of daydreaming about “tomorrow,” planning for the future, and being grateful for the little things that make my life incredible. At some point in this cycle, I tell my husband we need to “just do it.” I am not talking dirty here. I am talking about grabbing our dreams and running with them.
Our basic “dream” is the same. We both want to be comfortable enough to afford everything we need and want and be able to travel and see the world. We both want to earn our income from creative endeavors like writing and creating art. Actually getting to that place is much more difficult than I ever imagined it would be.
My husband was raised to believe in staying in one job all your life, taking care of your family even if you hate it and it destroys your health. My family’s short-lived business failed when I was a teenager and our income was a quarter of what it had been. I got to watch “creative financing” firsthand from that experience. I learned what was important. For example, it wasn’t the pizza delivery that was the point of Pizza Night (which we had to forgo), it was giving my mom a night off from cooking and spending time relaxed with each other chatting.
So back to today—I feel sometimes that the life I want is passing me by. I feel older this year for the first time ever and fear that I’ll still be here in twenty years wishing I had just done it when I was younger. However, I am not one to just abandon my family and go live on a tropical island eating fresh fruit and watching nude tourists as they saunter by me. I truly do love my husband and daughter, and I like them, too. I would be miserable if I went somewhere for long periods of time without them.
I have made significant strides in my writing career over the past year. I went from no jobs in the field to writing for three other blogs. I have taken writing seminars and workshops and bought books and magazines to help me become an even better writer. Why, then, am I still here in Clayton, North Carolina, wishing I could apply for travel writing positions?
My focus turns to my husband’s current job situation and his obvious desire to keep it the same. I try to spur him into action with my enthusiasm for all the things I want to accomplish, all the places I want to visit, and all the benefits we could enjoy. I accuse him of dilly-dallying with starting his writing career, although I have begun mine the best I can with a toddler to care for during the day. I wanted to know what his obstacle was because if you give me an obstacle, I will try to find a way around it. Today, he finally gave me a reason. He said he was too uncomfortable to write at home because it is so messy.
I was taken aback by the simplicity of this revelation. This we could fix, and easily with just a bit of work. Our house is not dirty but it is very messy, filled with lots of unused items. We usually decide to do something else besides folding all the clean clothes, washing last night’s dishes, or going through months of magazines. So now we have a new goal, and that is to make our house an artistic haven where it is comfortable to create. Our plan is to take one room at a time and truly get rid of what we no longer want or need, the baby crib we’ll never use, the books we only read once, the DVDs a friend gave us that we’ll never watch.
Although it’s not taking to the road and experiencing all that life has to offer, I am okay with this stage (for now). It is the first step in realizing our dream.