A year and a half ago, a friend suggested an exercise to me: You envision a day in your life ten years in the future. What do you want it to look like? Describe it in great detail.
The promise is made that you will be surprised about how much that you envision will come true.
I was thinking about that exercise today. I was going for a walk by my lake. It was warm, yes, but cool breezes were blowing. I’d gotten a close up look at my friendly neighborhood great blue heron. Lovely flowers were blooming. It was simply beautiful. My heart was overflowing.
I started thinking, if ten years ago I had envisioned today, could I have imagined much better than this?
Now, if I were imagining a perfect day, I would have gotten up a whole lot earlier than I did today. But there are a whole bunch of elements of today that will be dreams come true:
— I’m going to spend hours reading out on my balcony.
— I got to go for a walk in a beautiful place.
— I *can* take a nap, take it easy, sing along with Christian music….
— I will post thoughts and they will be “published” on my blogs.
— I’m on the Newbery committee, for crying out loud!
Okay, it’s not as impressive when I write it out. But I’ve been thinking lately about Psalm 103:5 — “who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.” When my desires are satisfied with good things, I want to *notice* it. I’m a bit stressed because I need to spend every spare minute reading – but that’s a dream come true!
The truth is, when I envisioned my life ten years in the future – Future Sondy had a wonderful husband who was sharing in all the activities of that day I envisioned, and making them better.
But I’m noticing lately that dreams can come true even if that particular dream hasn’t come true yet.
Lately I’ve met some single men near my age – and I haven’t been attracted to them, and they have shown no signs of being attracted to me. And I just hate the part of me that is disappointed by that! It’s an attitude of scarcity – that single men near my age are rare, and I’d better hope if I meet one that we’re a good match, because otherwise none of my dreams will ever come true!
I’m speaking against that. I like what Michelle Obama said at ALA – that she’s found you can have it all, but usually not all at the same time.
The truth is, right now I’ve got a dream come true of being on the Newbery committee and getting legitimately to spend hours and hours of my time reading. Often out on my balcony with birds chirping around me and gentle breezes blowing.
And you know what? It really is easier to do that while I’m living alone.
At the same time, I’ve noticed how richly blessed I am with friends – and a wide variety of friends, women and men, young and old, from so many different backgrounds. Last night I got to read at Silent Book Club with a friend who’s older than me and a delightful storyteller and another new friend who likes to read horror stories and is a young college student and drives out an hour from West Virginia to meet with us.
But I like this idea: Envision Today.
Sure, I’ve frittered away a lot of this day, but that’s a luxury in itself! I’m going to get to sit out on my balcony and read. I’ve gotten to post on a blog some of my thoughts about life. I’ll get to connect with some friends on Facebook.
And look at that. A box of books just arrived at my door from a publisher!
Yes, I can imagine a day where NO dreams come true. But I don’t want to generate that kind of vision, so let me instead look at some really bad days I’ve had:
There was the day I went to court and my divorce became final. That day, my lifelong friend, who was my maid of honor at my wedding and a witness in my divorce, along with another much newer friend, took me out to eat. Showing that even on my worst day, I have loyal friends.
Or how about when I was in the hospital after my stroke? Again, friends came and helped. I went in the hospital the day before my son’s birthday – but my ex-husband rose to the occasion and drove to pick up my son a day earlier than we had planned. I was cared for even when I couldn’t care for myself. Even my work colleagues contributed some of their own sick leave for me.
Tomorrow I have to work. Working in a library has many situations that are definitely *not* dreams come true. But it also has many situations that are. Tomorrow, I’m hosting Family Math Games, and I can easily imagine that I’m going to get to see parents interacting and having fun with their children, who are learning, also having fun, and feeling loved. I can easily imagine that I will get to help a child find a book they’re going to love. And after work? Why, some more reading, of course!
I’m not trying to say that every day is a dream come true. But when dreams do come true, I really want to notice it!
And, honestly, until January 28, 2019, I’m on the Newbery committee – so the truth is that every day *does* have at least one dream come true.
But what about January 29?
I guess what I’m saying is that I’d like to make a new habit. Envisioning a day ten years in the future is a great exercise. I added some good things into my life after I did that.
But I would also like to make a habit of Envisioning Today.
I’d like to do meaningful things, and I’d like to notice that I’m doing them.
And when my dreams come true, I’d like to notice it.