Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal. —Pamela Vaull Starr
Dreams and goals are often talked about at the start of a new year—except they turn into shallow resolutions that go nowhere. It seems appropriate that I start this new series of articles at the beginning of a brand new year. I will miss writing articles on marriage, as marriage is close to my heart; but I felt that it was time for someone else breathe fresh life into the marriage column and take a look at it from a different perspective. My goal for this year is to find quotes that inspire and to write about how they make me feel.
My father was a dreamer. He was the most uniquely eccentric person I’ve ever known. He knew how to reach high, and how to inspire his children to find the stars hidden in their souls. Most contests these days are nothing more than scams which get you nothing but spam on your e-mail accounts and sales calls at dinnertime, but 40-50 years ago, there were legitimate contests put on in the marketplace. Dad filled out an entry form for every contest in every grocery store, department store, and hardware store. He dreamed big and always convinced his children that we had a chance to win.
One day the phone rang, and Dad answered it. Dad began to laugh until he could no longer hold onto the telephone. He dropped to the floor and laughed so hard he couldn’t breathe. He won a huge dog house and 100 pounds of dog food. We did not own a dog. He gave the dog food to my aunt, and I used the dog house for a playhouse. I had a great time in that playhouse! That experience taught me that it’s okay to dream big, and it’s fine if the end result isn’t exactly what you expected. The important thing is to keep dreaming.
Mom received a phone call from my brother’s teacher telling her that my brother had a very vivid imagination. He had been telling the other students that he was going to have the first hot dog stand on the moon. Mom had to explain to the teacher that it was actually Dad’s vivid imagination. Did Dad really believe he could do it? I was going to say of course he didn’t—but now that I think about it, this is my father we’re talking about. Remember I said he was “uniquely eccentric”—and that is the understatement of the century.
I had a dream as a child of becoming a writer. That was a very large dream. Ironically, it was my father who told me that writing was not a dignified enough profession for a lady. I don’t fault him; it was a different time back then. I held onto the dream, though, because Dad taught me well about holding onto dreams. I raised my family, spent many years as a legal secretary, and lo and behold, I am living my dream as a writer. The dream turned into a goal, which then became the reality.
There were many years while I was raising my children that ideas and stories ran through my head. I didn’t have the time to write them down then, but I do now. As an empty nester, I have all the time in the world for writing. I’m glad Dad discouraged me from writing all those years ago because now I have not only the time, but life experiences to write about—not to mention the money I was able to bring in as a legal secretary to help provide for my family.
It was good to dream first then develop the goal. Now is my time to kick into high gear and make it real. Now is my time to shine.
There are short-term goals and long-term goals. My short-term goal last year was to write a year’s worth of marriage articles for LDSBlogs. I had never written a series of articles before, and I wasn’t even sure I had that much to say about marriage. I was pretty intimidated at the prospect—but I completed my goal. My long-term goal was to polish my writing skills. I’m still working on that, but my writing has come a long way in the last couple of years.
What stars lie hidden in your soul? What can you reach for? Do you have a dream? Is it a shallow dream, or a deep dream? It’s perfectly acceptable to have nice shallow dreams of keeping the lawn mowed weekly, the beds made every day, or the dishes washed daily. What about those big deep dreams though? Do you want to climb Mt. Everest? Have you dreamed of running a marathon? Do you picture yourself starting a business? Do you want to learn how to play tennis? Is there an antique table you want to refinish? Have you always wanted to become an artist, or play an instrument?
Don’t be afraid to reach high, dream deep, and set goals. A New Year’s resolution to buy a gym membership, go on a diet, and lose 50 pounds will be forgotten in three weeks. That’s a given. There’s a difference between a dream and a shallow resolution. Let this be your year for big dreams and lofty goals. Dream with your heart and soul then develop a plan to make it a reality.
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents.