One Take from the Week #9: Unintentional Consequences of Delaying Your Dreams
Ever since childhood, Carl was a dreamer. When he was a child, he watched a movie that left a lasting impression on him. The world was much bigger than he realized. Beyond his little neighborhood was a vast unknown waiting to be explored. That day, Carl made up his mind. He was going to be an adventurer and travel to the far reaches of the world.
That was Carl’s dream, but he did something different. He did what he was expected to do. He didn’t have the money to follow his dreams, so he got a job. He met someone with a similar dream, and they got married. To save up enough money to go on their adventures, his wife got a job.
They had a plan. It was a good plan. In fact, it was the logical plan that responsible people are encouraged to make. But in the movie Up, we realize that plans are only plans and have no guarantees. Carl and Ellie continued to dream and to work as they got older. Ellie ended up dying and they never got to go on their adventure together.
Carl’s story reminds me of Jack. Jack owned a construction and built houses all over town. Like Carl, he also dreamed of travelling the world with his wife. One day he was going to slow down and retire. What he didn’t count on was becoming a widower. His loss was devastating, and his quality of life took a dramatic turn for the worse. Eventually, his daughter forced him to move in with her and her family. This didn’t go over well and what ensued was War with Grandpa.
The lesson could be that wives should never die before their husbands, but it is not. Instead, the lesson is about the unintentional consequences of delaying your dreams. No one is guaranteed tomorrow, let alone another twenty years and a comfortable retirement. If your dreams are nothing more than a fantasy, that is fine. Have your fantasy. But if this dream is important enough, you must start setting it into motion today. Make the plans, lay the groundwork, and attack it with all your being. Don’t let these dreams only be wasted thoughts. Bring them from the world of illusions into reality.
Selling/buying a house. We close on the one we are selling in five weeks. We close on the one we are buying in five weeks and a day. The inspections are coming back from both houses, and it seems we are the losers on both of them. I keep telling myself to see the big picture, that this is the right decision for the long run, yet doubt still fills my mind.
New job description. I don’t think I have been in the same position with my employer for more than a year in the last four or five years. I am still pretty clueless about my responsibilities in this new role. Even more clueless about how long it will last.
I am still struggling to find make the time. Every day, I tell myself this should be a non-negotiable habit, but for some reason it hasn’t been the priority. And that which is not a priority, finds a way to get pushed to the back burner.
This has been one of the solid habits that has not wavered. I usually only take one day off a week if any. This week, I noticed a hitch in my giddy-up. I think I may have strained a glute. I thought I was doing the right things to prevent injury, but this one is forcing me to run less, row less, and be careful with strength training in my legs. That’s a bummer as I primarily run and row.
As I feel I am drifting with the currents of life, getting pulled in multiple directions, there is one thought that keeps rising above the chaos: trust my training. What is this training? It is all the things I have been doing over the last couple of years. All the reading, studying, exercising, meditating, and growing. What I am going through is a trial of sorts. One that has the possibility of derailing me from the path I want to be on. It is during this time that I cannot become frantic and start making irrational decisions, nor can I become complacent. I have to continue walking in faith knowing that the works I do will bear fruit in the end.
To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim, you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. -Alan Watts
A few times at the pool this summer, I have seen Alec panic in the deep end. He loses his confidence and starts flailing. He starts going under. I have to remind him to relax. To go under is fine, but swim up to catch your breath. Regain control and swim to safety.
It is a good reminder for me as well. When I get in the chaotic waters of life, to panic is fruitless. I need to relax, breathe, and then swim in the direction I need to go.