Tag Archives: Year of Living Intentionally

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?

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Friendship Without Food Dates #1 and #2

24 Jan

my friends and i totally look like this when we hang out. from the girl with the popped collar on tumblr

So far my year of intentionality is going well, but wouldn’t you know it? I’m having to intentionally make an effort to make it happen. Funny how that works. 🙂

One of my stated goals for this year was to find ways to hang out with friends that don’t revolve around food, which coincidentally helps me with my goal to nurture the relationships I have. I thought this one was going to be a slam dunk, but it’s hard to think of fun things to do that don’t revolve around food! I didn’t set this goal because I’m anti-food. Far from it! I just grow tired of our collective cultural obsession with food, and how it seems like we don’t get together anymore without the interaction revolving around what we’re going to eat. What to hang out after church? Let’s grab lunch! Haven’t had time to catch up with a girlfriend for a while? Meet for coffee! Want to move that friendship with the new-ish friends in your life forward? Invite them over for dinner! What to go catch a movie? Might as well grab dinner beforehand! All in all I don’t think this focus on food is inherently bad, but since several of my goals for living intentionally this year is to focus on relationships I want them to be the focus, not where and how and when we’re going to eat.

So I had two successes this week. For my first Friendship Without Food date I met up with a friend who is fun and outdoors-ey, who loved to run before I learned how fun it could be (I believe I called her ‘stupid’ when we met and she told me she loved to run. Oh, the Lord has a sense of humor.) and who’s fairly new to the area and has many trails yet to explore. I’m blessed to live anywhere from walking distance to a ten-minute drive from three excellent trails that exist to give walkers, runners, bikers, dog walkers, and stroller-moms a place to get some exercise. Most follow some kind of creek, and are pretty freaking scenic for being in the middle of heavily populated cities. So I took my friend to a new (to her) trail. We did an easy three miles – out and back from the park to a nice bridge that does a great job as a 1.5 mile marker. Good sport that she is, we brought my raggety-taggity dogs along, and walked most of it because my pooches be lazy. The conversation was fluid and easy. We stopped to take pictures of a white heron and when I got a rock in my shoe. Our talk matched our walking pace, and wasn’t interrupted by us shoveling food into our mouths or making the “sorry, I’m chewing, but I so have a comment to make” face we women are so good at. We both felt great afterwards, as we’d gotten to be lazy and sleep in on our day off but also were active and got in our exercise. I call unequivocally successful Friendship Without Food date.

FWF date #2 was with my bff, and here’s where the water gets a little murky. We had food during our date. (Cue dramatic music: Dum dum DUMMMMM!) We had dinner with her family (and her kids, whom I adore) before settling in for one of our long catch-up nights. I’m still calling this a successful FWF date, because our interaction didn’t hinge on whether or not we ate. We would still have had a great evening had I showed up an hour later and not been around for the meal, but as it was dinner was a nice (and delicious) bonus to an evening that was about us hanging out and catching up. With really great friends you don’t need much more than their company to make it a great night.

So that’s where I’ve come to on my quest to do friendship without food: that food can still be around, so long as our time doesn’t hinge on it. Meeting for lunch to catch up doesn’t count. Going for a run and deciding to grab a bite afterwards because we’re both starving does. Going to Monterey to walk along the coast and grabbing dinner while we’re there counts. Going to Monterey because we want to have dinner at that one place we went to once and loved doesn’t. It’s a fine line, and I intend to spend the rest of this year walking it.

Do you have ideas for FWF hangouts? I’ve been trying to come up with some creative ones, and it’s tough! How do you and your friends enjoy each other’s company without food?

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