Following Your Dreams*
By Cindy Sumner
We don’t have an eternity to realize our dreams,
only the time we are here.
(Susan King Taylor)
Do you ever have the feeling that life is passing you by? Even in the midst of constant activity, with children growing and changing before your eyes, your own goals and dreams seem to be put on hold. Mothers are champions at putting their needs on the back burner. But becoming a mom doesn’t require relinquishing your dreams.
Don’t get stuck! Take time out to consider your life goals and plan how best to realize them.
- Start small. Gain confidence in your ability to accomplish your larger dreams by starting with something simple like volunteering for a job that interests you or undertaking a project you’ve been wanting to do. Pick up the materials you need and store them until you are ready to begin.
- Share your dreams with a friend. Although dreams can be intensely personal, talking them over with a friend or spouse can help your vision bear fruit. Sharing your vision gives you the opportunity to brainstorm as well as providing accountability to another (in case you need a little push toward your goal).
- Put one foot in front of the other. Settle on a goal and do something that inches you toward it. After you’ve made some progress, reevaluate your vision. Are you moving closer to or away from what you want?
- Connect with others who have accomplished something similar. If you are interesting in becoming a dietitian, for example, talk to one. Enjoying the benefits of someone else’s experience can save you time and sometimes money. “Shadowing” a professional may also let you know whether or not your aspirations are on the right track.
- Don’t discredit nontraditional dreams. Volunteering for a cause you feel passionate about, stretching your resourcefulness and endurance on a wilderness encounter, or studying a foreign language with plans to visit another country — these are examples of unconventional dreams that present a challenge.
*Adapted from Time Out for Mom ... Ahhh Moments.