The Cost of Dreaming

30 Jan

photo from soul meets body

So I was looking back over my wishes for 2012 and saw that I wrote, on this very blog, that I would live to cross 15 of the 25 remaining items off of The List this year. That’s 15 things in 12 months. Or, more accurately since I haven’t accomplished any this month, 15 things in 11 months. Holy crappers, people, that’s a lot of things to do!

As I look over my list, the thing that strikes me most is that crossing things off my list is going to cost me. Why didn’t that occur to me, in a real dollars and cents way, before now? A and I do just fine, thankyouverymuch, but most of our money isn’t liquid. As A likes to put it, we’re house-poor. Even more so with our water heater basically exploding last week. The more I work on crossing off the list, the more I realize that even having a list means accepting cost. It has a tangible monetary cost, but it also costs time, it costs effort, and I can see why people put off their dreams because, at the end of the day, dreaming is costly.

A few months ago I was at a lecture by Kathi Lipp where she talked to women about finding their dream. One of the things I remember her saying the most was (and I’m heavily paraphrasing here) that lots of women don’t know how find their dreams, and those who do let the excuses of time or money get in the way of pursuing their dreams. My 30 before 30 list is an excercise in dreaming, and there’s no way I’m going to get 15 things crossed off in the next year, let alone 25 in two, if I don’t plan for it. Make the time, set aside the money, and just balls-to-the-wall go for it, baby.

When A and I decided it was time to put aside excuses and have me start Christian counselling, we did it not knowing where the money was going to come from. All we knew was that we’d prayed for assistance, it hadn’t come, but that we’d waited long enough and it was time. After we took the leap and I started meeting with a counsellor, the financial help appeared. Our prayers were answered. But we had to take the leap first.

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe that was a special case. I don’t think God’s going to show up if I pray hard enough for the money to appear so A and I can learn to make sushi. My point it that dreaming takes planning, intention, and making a choice to go for it, come what may. So this month I’m starting a 30 Before 30 fund. I’m lucky enough to work at a job where I get reimbursed a bit for the endless amount of commuting I do. With A’s blessing I’m now going to save up my mileage and designate it my dream fund – a little bit above and beyond our normal income that I can put towards my dreams guilt-free. But if I didn’t have that, I wouldn’t let that stop me. I’d find another way to cut a corner: forego my Friday latte, reduce my cell phone’s data plan, nix Netflix, something. Because as nice as those little luxuries are, they’re nothing compared to seeing a dream become reality and being able to look back and say “yeah, I did that. I went for it.”

If you’re waiting on someone to hand you the golden ticket to  make all your dreams come true, I have three words for you: Get Over It. No one will care more about your dreams than you will. No one has the capacity to make them happen like you do. No one else will hunger to see them come to life, and darn the cost. Because it will cost you: effort, time, willpower, maybe even money, but as someone working through her own mini-bucket list I’m here to tell you that it’s worth every bit of it.

So that’s my pledge for this next chapter of my life: to go forward with no excuses. If I can’t afford it, I’ll save up or find a way to make it happen for less. If I don’t have time, well, we always make time for that which is most important to us, don’t we? If I don’t have the drive, I have a friends and a loving husband to help keep me accountable. I’ll be intentional, and make it happen.

Do you ever let outside forces stand in the way of your dreams?

5 Responses to “The Cost of Dreaming”

  1. katieleigh January 30, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    I love this post, Christy. I needed to hear these words. Thanks – and kudos to you for both dreaming big and making those dreams happen!

  2. Adelle Gabrielson January 30, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    don’t forget to also give yourself the grace to change your mind – sometimes what seems important one year just isn’t 12 months down the and another dream rises up to take it’s place.

    Very well said, Christy!

  3. Cara Olsen January 30, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    “All we knew was that we’d prayed for assistance, it hadn’t come, but that we’d waited long enough and it was time. After we took the leap and I started meeting with a counsellor, the financial help appeared. Our prayers were answered. But we had to take the leap first.”

    These words made my heart ping. A good ping; the kind of ping that sends a shock of starbursts shooting straight (sheesh! alliteration much?) up your stomach to explode in a shower of ebullience. It always blesses me, first, to see Christians understanding that faith needs to be put to action — sitting around and waiting on God to make all our dreams come true is not faith — and second, to see you recognize that the opportune finances were a result of wise prayer and the honorable intentions you planned to use it for. (I laughed aloud at your sushi remark 🙂 )

    Thank you for sharing this, Christy. It was a pleasure to read while waking up and sipping coffee. I will say a prayer right now that our Heavenly Father would guide you as you work to pursuing your life’s dreams, and that His will be done.


    • Christy Aylesworth January 30, 2012 at 9:48 am #

      Thanks Cara. 🙂 Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten was from the man who eventually officiated our marriage. He told me that God won’t push you into a life-changing decision, but ask you to honor Him, make the leap, and trust Him to catch you on the other side. There are too many joys I would have missed out on had I never heard that. Thanks for your heart and your prayers!


  1. Intentionally January « Bigger in Real Life - February 1, 2012

    […] As I’ve said, January didn’t see me cross anything off my list. I am working on learning the guitar, and have started a teeny-tiny dream fund, but no actual crossings yet. I’m hopeful for February. […]

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