Daring to dream

Appalachian Trail dream

A dear friend recently celebrated a milestone birthday.  After the food was eaten, wine drunk, toasts offered and dessert served, my friend rapped her glass for attention. She had a toast of her own to make, and, in the process, offered a word of wisdom.  Follow your dream, she said, and told of something she had wanted to do all her life, that, after many close calls and much persistence, is finally now about to happen.

Follow your dream.

But what happens when you don’t have dreams?

I don’t.  Not in the sense of life dreams.  I grew up assuming I’d be dead by 45.  My mother died at that age, so I would, too.  My birthday wish, blowing out candles each year, was simply to live one more year.

Okay, I suppose that’s a dream. But it’s not like dreaming of living in Paris or being an actress or hiking the Appalachian trail.  My dreams were all short-term, one year to the next.  Even when I started writing, I took it one book at a time.  I didn’t plan on amassing 80+ books to my credit, much less hitting the New York Times list however many times.

So here I am, still writing and in good health.  What happens now?

I have goals.  Not dreams.  Goals.  I want to finish Making Up, the book I’m currently writing.  I want to see Scotland.  I want to lose 5 pounds.  These are not long-term life dreams.  They’re just things that I want to do.  A year or two ago, my list would have been different – and DO NOT use the words “bucket list” with me. They come from the phrase, “kick the bucket,” which means die, and having obsessed over dying for too many years, I’d rather be upbeat.

Goals imply something that can be realistically attained.  I’m a realist.  Goals work for me.  I also like thinking of “wishes” and “adventures.”

Where do you stand on this?  Is it important to have life-long dreams?  Am I less complete a person for not having them?  Or, to paraphrase that quote about love, is it better to have dreamed and lost, than never to have dreamed at all?

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  1. Stacey Wilk on September 27, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I have goals and dreams. Goals are something I can obtain. Daily goals like exercise, spending time with my teenagers, eating right, (I’d like to lose 5 pounds too) making my word count, time spent marketing. Dreams are bigger. They take longer to achieve, require more work and patience. Dreams are on God’s time, not mine. Did you dream of having children? You must’ve dreamt of publishing your first book. Whatever word you give it doesn’t matter, as long as you live your life to the fullest. That’s the real dream!

  2. Patti Barrett on September 27, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    I take one day at a time. I try to set goals, and that seems to help me accomplish things that I want to get done. It’s almost like being “rewarded” and it makes me feel so good.
    I do enjoy reading, but always think to myself, “you should be cleaning a room or something like that”. Well, I’ve decided you only have one life, so I’ve promised myself that I should take a couple of hours a day and just sit with a nice hot cup of tea, coffee, cocoa or a nice glass of wine and read. I’ve raised my children, I have a relatively tidy house, so I deserve this time for just “me”.

  3. Elba Rivera on September 27, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Is the Makeup Artist and Making Up the same book???
    Always buy your books, right now I am reading again and again Blueprints.

    Thank you,
    Elba Rivera

    • Barbara Delinsky on September 27, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Yes! Same book. We just changed the name. It’s MAKING UP now. I just need to change it on all my manuscript pages.

  4. Jean Swift on October 17, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Do you ever write follow up books? The only book I have read is “Suddenly” and I am interested in if you followed any of those characters?

    • Barbara Delinsky on October 17, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      No, Jean, I don’t usually write follow-ups. But I never say never. If I were to try it, “Suddenly” would be a good choice. Thanks!

  5. Lorna THompson on November 3, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    I fulfil my dreams by reading your books.It’s easy to live vicariously with the so interesting characters.Only discovered you last year Barbara, but have now read all of the books of yours that I can get my hands on.I never feel guilty about finding time to read am only sorry when I come to the end of one of yours. Have read Sweet Salt Air twice and enjoyed as much on the 2nd reading.Thank you.

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