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Should Parents Give Up on Their Dreams?

At the risk of sounding corny and provincial, I always dreamed of being a wife and a mom and raising a happy family. I’m living the dream. I was never Olympic-bound or Broadway-hopeful. But I have always had this niggling wish to write a book. It’s so niggling that I can’t forget it and I guess you could say it is my dream to be an author.

Sometimes I’m really jazzed about it and energized about pursuing it. It’s a fairly modest dream. Look at all the knuckleheads who manage it! And in the last year or so, I’ve decided that self-publishing is totally acceptable for my dream, which makes it even more achievable.

But I’ll be honest with you. Sometimes when I’m tired and busy and overwhelmed, the idea of giving up on my dream—to just let it go and not worry about trying—fills me with relief. It feels good to give up on it.

Do you have anything like that?

Whitney Johnson, a secretary turned investment banker who encourages women to find happiness by daring to dream says:

“Take a risk and consider disrupting yourself. Envision possibilities for your life. Make your dreams your reality.”

It is this act of disruption that can make you feel happier. So maybe it’s not just about achieving something as it is about envisioning possibilities for your life, an approach to life where you can imagine incorporating new, happy things into it that you want.

I think I have found this to be true. I may run a little hot and cold about my book, but through blogging and freelancing I’ve found a way to incorporate writing into my life every day. At the heart of wanting to write a book lies the desire to be a writer, which I am. I am a writer. When I focus on the process of “living the dream” I realized that I’m actually doing it, even though it looks a little different (blog posts) than I might have initially envisioned (leather-bound hardback best-seller).

I have a friend who dreams of dancing. Maybe this dream initially included toe shoes and performances for her, but now she dances in a zumba class every day and teaches eager moms how to do “All the Single Ladies.”

There’s probably as much satisfaction in moving towards a dream as there is in actually attaining it.

What do you think? I know there are some moms out there who feel like they had to give up on their dream to raise their kids. I wonder if re-thinking your dream would help you move a little closer to it?

Photo Credit: Justin Hackworth

Read more of my writing at Babble and at my blog, Every Day I Write the Book.

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