I’ve had this post in draft for months, but keep putting it farther and farther down on the calendar.
But the reason I’ve pushed down the queue so many times now is because I just can’t seem to pull the trigger on what my big dreams are.
In the ebb and flow of life, I find that sometimes your ambition is flowing. It’s flowing strong. It’s unstoppable. And when your ambition is flowing, your contentment is ebbing.
Conversely, when your contentment flows strong, you’re satisfied with life. You don’t feel that pull to achieve, achieve, achieve. Your ambition, in other words, is in an ebb state.
And I finally figured out why I keep back-burnering this post: my contentment is flowing right now. My ambition is ebbing.
And that’s ok!
If life were one big ambition flow for all of us, we’d surely lose a lot of pleasure along the road, wouldn’t we? And if our contentment never ebbed, we may never experience the surge of adrenalin that comes with a major goal achievement.
I’m OK with my ambition ebbing right now.
But if my ambition’s ebbing, what kind of big dreams can I possibly have? If I’m taking a page out of Random Reflection’s awesome list, that is.
I think right now my dream big list is more like my favorite poem, Success, which I’ve always attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, but learned a while ago that he may not have been the actual writer:
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
My list today isn’t too much different from that poem.
Do you remember the commercial back in the 80′s for Enjoli perfume? I’m dating myself (and some of you!) by saying how vividly I remember this.
The jingle went a little something like this:
“I can bring home the bacon . .
Fry it up in the pan . . .
And never, ever, ever let you forget you’re a man.
Cause I’m a woman (sing it wooooomaaaaan) . . .
I’m going to call bullshit on that jingle. I know it was a time when women were discovering their ability to be so much more than a housewife and good old Enjoli was cashing in on that deep rooted need so many women felt, but I’m still calling bullshit.
We don’t have (nor have we ever? Correct me if I’m wrong) commercial jingles telling men that they can be the breadwinner, homemaker and sex god . . . all at the same time, do we?
Because the truth is no one can be all of those things at once. The quality of one (or all) of the many irons a woman tries to keep in the fire will most certainly suffer when she tries to do too many things.
So my version of dreaming big isn’t to publish a novel, grow Literal Mom into the millions, scale Mt. Everest, and be the Enjolie woman.
At least not right now.
My version is to take my corner of the world and make it the BEST corner I possibly can, model the values to my children that I want them to grow up with, and hopefully prepare them to pursue their dreams when their time comes.
And as far as dreaming big? I want to live to be 100 and take the steps necessary to do that, travel extensively with my family and be fiscally responsible enough to achieve that, and make the world a better place in the ways the poem says.