Monday, September 8
Satisfaction. That is what I felt when I printed out a holiday catalog I put together for the winery. The pages looked clean, the photos I selected were beautiful. It flowed seamlessly. I printed the pages on matte photo paper, used the paper cutter, then taped the edges for the front and back pages, and finally stapled the mini book I created. I was content with this.
That set the tone for my day. Which was nice. I was busy, proactive.
But then, it quickly turned. I had a moment of feeling overwhelmed when I got home. I went to the gym to run, and I thought it was ironic that I ran on a treadmill. It’s like going in circles – you go nowhere. Perhaps I should get outside and run. Perhaps I should sign up for 5Ks. But it wasn’t just the running in the gym like a hamster on ia wheel. It was the analogy of going nowhere.
Last night, on PBS, I watched The Last Lecture again with Randy Pausch. He talked about this allegorical brick wall that he’d often run into when trying to reach his not-so-short list of childhood dreams. He said the brick walls are signficant. Because most people never get over or break-through that brick wall. But, for those who are dogged and don’t give up easily, for those who do get over or break-through thier brick walls, that means they were meant to achieve their dreams. Thus, the brick walls serve as a test to see how badly you want it.
And, while running on the treadmill, going nowhere, all I could think about was the harrowing number of people who never reach their dreams. Is it just that they didn’t try hard enough? Is it fair to reduce their failures as, well, those so-called dreams were never meant to be, else, they would have come true. This made me sad. Frustrated. Concerned.
Was I running on my life treadmill going nowhere? I thought – what are my dreams? Am I even remotely on the right path? I wondered about the concept of when paths cross. When you meet that person when you’re not looking. Everyone always says you find that person when you’re not looking. Yeah, but when you’re in your mid-thirties and you’re still single, like hell you’re not looking! I keep seeing examples of couples who meet out of passion for the same things. They seem meant for each other. Okay. I love wine country, I want to eventually make wine or grow winegrapes (or both), I want to publish literary works, I love to play golf, do yoga, run, hike, cook. Where is he??? The latter statement an echo from a Sex & The City episode when Charlotte, exhausted from being single, exclaims those very same words in her princess past expiration desperation. And then there’s the dream of making wine, growing winegrapes, and getting published. In some ways, I am closer to those dreams than ever. But, I am facing a bunch of agonizing, tall, wide brick walls that are keeping me from getting there.
And then there’s the question of destination. Is there, in fact, a final destination when it comes to our dreams. Or do we design new dreams for ourselves? Surely, my childhood dreams did not include making wine or growing winegrapes. I dreamt of being a singer, a ballerina, a firewoman. I dreamed of travelling to space. I dreamed of having my own castle and unicorn. And when I outgrew those dreams, I dreamt of being the first woman to play in the NBA after I watched, along with my basketball team, Lynette Woodward, the first woman on the Harlem Globetrotters, play at George Mason University in 1985. And of being a politician to make the world a better place (I was in student government and grew up in the Washington, DC area, after all). Yeah, I dreamed of stupid stuff, like marrying The Karate Kid when I was in fifth grade, and then moved on to Patrick Swayze when I was in sixth grade (after his part in the t.v. mini-series North & South). The only childhood dream that I seem to be loosely following is my dream to be a writer. But, I’m barely on that path. And, thus, I am running on that treadmill going nowhere.
I have run smack into the brick walls of my dreams: Writing? Hasn’t happened. Making wine or growing wine grapes? Nope. That hasn’t happened, either. Buying my own home? Okay, no jokes about building that brick wall into my house. Getting married and having kids? Uhhhhhh, not even close. And using my gifts to make this world a better place – my desire to make a difference? I did help coordinate wine donations for a very good cause that benefits people in need (William Temple House). At least that’s progress. Brick by brick, right?
Am I not working hard enough? Am I not aggressive enough? Am I not worthy? Or have I just become too cynical? Are there patterns to my running on that treadmill going nowhere? Is it possible that I just don’t know what I want? Is it possible that I am to just be grateful for my blessings and forget my dreams? What would Randy Pausch advise?
Before bedtime, I made a cup of Good Earth organic Sweet & Spicy tea. Another quote on the tag. This one read: Strong reasons make strong actions, William Shakespeare.
I looked up the quote and it’s from his play King John, at the end of Act 3. Which led me to another blog – Making Change Happen by Jane Northcote. She wrote: If we are going to make change happen, we must know what we intend to achieve and why. This is profound and difficult.
Aye, me. It’s not a coincidence that I got this flippin teabag message today. What would life be without a little serendipity? I decided I was too tired to figure out my strong reasons.