Each morning I endure, on average, an hour and half to two hours of traffic en route to work. That’s one way. As you can imagine, it offers me excessive amounts of time to think, listen to sermons, or drown my sorrows. (in music, for heaven’s sake. Music!)
One recent morning, I found myself pondering a question that we’re all asked at some time or another, usually by some motivational speaker or a high school life skills teacher: Where do you see yourself in x-amount of years? Well, I thought, let’s have some fun with this…. I still have a good ten kilometres of hell ahead of me, I may as well dream…
Where am I in ten years…?
I am not sitting in this traffic. I’m sipping a coffee at home, and my beautiful daughter is munching on her breakfast across the table from me. I didn’t have to tear her out of bed this morning, because now I take her to school at 07h45, and not the ungodly hour of 06h30. She is well-rested and ready for the day. We are both mother-and-daughter, and best-of-friends. (For about another year, because after that she’ll turn 13 and I will start to ruin her life.) We go to church together, and she loves the Lord.
My husband appears at the kitchen table and he kisses us each on the head. Yes, I’m still married to the same wonderful man, aren’t I lucky? Except, now he has a sexy Australian accent because this is my fantasy about where I see myself in ten years’ time, and this is what I want to see (and hear). We live on a modest horse and cattle ranch in the Australian outback, because I love horses and heat and nature, and how else would my husband be able to pick up that delicious accent?
I work from home. I write, mostly, and I run the admin of my husband’s successful business. He’s invented some gadget that does everything for you from a cloud (that’s all I need to know), and now he’s now admired across the globe as much as Steve Jobs used to be. Ok, I’m laying it on quite heavy now…
Miraculously, all my family and dear friends have also moved to Australia with us, so I’m not missing anyone. I’ve started a book club, but it’s not the kind of club where bunch of overgrown girls get together and bitch about our burdens to bear in life, or gossip about other women. We gather to discuss things that really matter. We talk about things we’re grateful for and we encourage each other. We read books that inspire. We pray.
I have a freckled white and black horse named Stardust and am a renowned horse-whisperer. And a bunny-whisperer.
At long last, I know enough about something to be considered a ‘thought leader’ of sorts. A leading expert. But it’s not about glory or power. I write articles and host talks that help people live more fulfilled lives, finding value not in material possessions, frivolous romantic pursuits, or fame and success, but rather inner peace, nature, love and living simple, benevolent lives that make a difference in their respective worlds.
Even so, I haven’t stopped learning. On the contrary, I’ve acquired an insatiable hunger for knowledge and now have the time to devote hours to reading and research and meeting with influencers that I admire. My hunger to learn and grow is at last greater than my apathy and tendency to remain the same.
I’ve finally grown that extra four inches (in height, not width) and now have the legs of Julia Roberts in the mid-90’s.
I’ve learned to cook amazing food, and now host regular wine-and-dine evenings with special friends. They arrive early almost every time and we prepare delicious, wholesome meals together and we talk and laugh and cry late into the night. They stay over often, our meaningful conversations overflowing onto the breakfast table. I have real friends. I am a real friend.
I never have writer’s block. Ever. And I’m still hilarious.
Such fanciful dreaming… Oh, it passed the time and I guess I could laugh it all off… except… well, hidden in between the outlandish fantasies were gems of truth, dreams that could be pursued, if I put my mind to it. A lot of it is simply about choice.
Do we do that to ourselves? Laugh all our dreams off? Roll our eyes, scoff a little and tell ourselves to ‘get real’? How often do we throw the proverbial baby out with the proverbial bathwater? Sure, my husband will probably never have an Australian accent. (I say ‘probably’ with just a hint of hope) My chances of owning a horse named Stardust are slimmer than I’d like. I’m not sure what I’d say to bunnies if I could whisper to them.
But what about the rest…? Learning to cook… Becoming a thought leader and conquering writer’s block… Running a business…. Starting a book club… Finding the time to build genuine friendships…
At the risk of sounding like a (slightly cheesy) motivational speaker, let me ask you: Where do you see yourself in ten years? Think about it. Be outlandish, go a little crazy on the idea. And then… read between the lines, and there you will find the desires of your heart laid out, plain as day. You may surprised, like I’ve been.
A moment of clarity. A moment of knowing. A moment of decision.