Friday, April 17, 2009

Making a List

A plan. A goal. A Dream.

Like a never ending audio loop, it’s been running through my head all day. I woke up this morning quietly acknowledging I need to do something so the phrase “blood pressure” doesn’t automatically raise mine. Something’s got to change. Okay, my move. I can’t control the pollen, but I can weed out stress. Sounds simple. What’s the biggest stress factor in my life? My job. Hmm, not so simple. Especially in this economy. And yet the more I attempt to work around that which ails me at work, the more it works on my last nerve. Me, I can change. Them that run the work universe…not so much. Unlike diplomatic me, they do not believe in compromise. Not exactly the Disney version of the circle of life, huh?

A plan. A goal. A Dream.

Every time the mantra repeats, I keep thinking, “That’s backwards.” Shouldn’t life entail dreams and goals with a plan emphasizing how to achieve them?

And why did I only capitalize “dream”?

I have a habit, good or bad, of allowing that childlike optimism in me to declare “dreaming” a good thing. It’s like thinking out loud, silently. Dreaming is the ability to see the absolute best case scenario while learning how to live with reality. A dream mulled over and modified can often turn into a goal. I still believe most goals are achievable if you think small….then build.

Like most teenagers, I once had a list of “Things I Want to Do”. No, not like the movie “The Bucket List”, which contained ridiculous aspirations of things to do before you die. I had no yen to sit atop a camel and tour the pyramids of Egypt. I wanted to learn to drive a car with a standard transmission. The ability to shift gears seemed important to a girl who learned to drive a car with an automatic transmission. Besides, if I could shift gears on say a truck, I wouldn’t be intimidated by some guy just because he knew how. I know, it was 14 year old girl logic, but in my mind it leveled the playing field.

The things I can remember on the list are the ones I accomplished. Like learning to crochet a granny square. It wasn’t just a minor victory. It allowed me to make afghans, which in turn were donated to strangers in hopes of brightening their day. I wanted to be a published writer. Evidently I didn’t define “published”. I’ve sold a few articles along the way but my favorite writing I did gratis: three years as a columnist for a children’s magazine. It was my own version of heaven because my column was about the joys of childhood, which evidently many people allow adulthood to smite. It was like being a kid twice. All because I was challenged to enter a “name the magazine” contest. 300 kids and 9 adults…and my title won. I bet you won’t be surprised when I tell you the title was “imagine that!

I wish I had that list. Just to see how far I got before it was lost in the shuffle of being a teenager. I remember there were 20 goals, gradually increasing in difficulty. Which is why it worked for me. Some wise adult along the way encouraged me to dream big, but to start on the first step, not the tenth. The only other goal on the list which I remember was “marry a good guy.”

I did. In fact, he taught me how to drive a stick.

A plan. A goal. A Dream.

Perhaps this mantra is my brain silently telegraphing, “To have a plan, you need a goal based on a dream.” Maybe I just need thirty minutes of uninterrupted time to create a new list. Yes, “New Job” will be on it.

And the kid in me? She’s always wanted to go out west and stand in “Monument Valley”. It’s where the t.v. cowboys of my youth rode, usually on their way to capture the bad guy during a shoot-out in a box canyon. Hmm, start small. Item #1: write letter to my favorite t.v. cowboy and thank him for adding to my childhood joy. To this day the sound of jingling spurs and boots walking down a boardwalk makes me happy. That gentlemanly nod of the head, finger touching the brim of a cowboy hat and deeply voiced greeting of ”Ma’am” still makes my heart beat a little faster.

That kind of raise in blood pressure is still allowed. And appreciated.


Poetikat said...

I love cowboys and westerns. Can I come with you to Monument Valley?

I think I have one of those lists kicking around somewhere.
I know every New Year's eve I would make a list of resolutions and topping the list was "learn to drive". It wasn't until I was 21 (my dad insisted on teaching me). I think you've just given me my next BFtP post, Hope.

Keep dreaming! (In a good way.)


Susan said...

Brilliant stuff, Hope, this one's a real keeper. Sadly I now have "Don't dream it, be it" running through my head (ah, Tim Curry...)

I can't wait to see the photo of you in Monument Valley.

hope said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hope said...

Does Blogger really HAVE to rat on you when you can't edit faster than deleting? Sigh.

Sure Kat. I may be on a walker by the time I get around to it, but a girl has to have a dream, right? :) If you want to see "my cowboy" you can find him at this link.

Susan, I can think of worse than Tim Curry to dance around your head. :) You're good with a camera, maybe you can come take the picture of me and Kat.

Dave King said...

Wonderful. Keep the mantra going and the dream alive. Just go for it.

hope said...

Thanks Dave!

Perhaps this post is an omen of good things to come. Hubby called me at work today with some interesting news about a new job in the works that someone other than the two of us has deemed me just PERFECT to handle.

Time will tell. All prayers welcome. :)