I've been dreaming and setting goals for as long as I can remember. When I was in high school, I set a goal of visiting all 50 states by the time I was 25. I almost made it. I was missing only four by the time I turned 25, but I didn't see that as a failure. After all, I had visited 46 states. I jumped at every opportunity to go anywhere. When I was 22, a friend needed to go home for Christmas, and the airport in his hometown was closed due to fog. No problem, I said, I'd drive him, if he paid for the gas. I was in Rhode Island at the time, and his home was in Oregon. My home was in Texas. Most of my friends thought I was crazy, and my mother was unhappy that I would miss Christmas at home, but I was focused on my goal, and I checked off about a dozen new states within a week.
I recently found a list of goals I set five years ago. Among other things, I had written down "get a master's degree" and "teach college." Done! Done! The "beautiful flower gardens" and "productive vegetable garden" will always be a work in progress. "Write memoir" was also on the list, and that has not been done. In fact, it was the only thing on the list that I have not accomplished.
As I looked at the list, I thought about my goals for the future, and then I realized that I am living my dream. Early in our marriage -- 20-something years ago -- Mike and I talked about moving to the country and building our own home. And the dream grew over the years. We decided that we wanted to have a garden and grow our own food. In the 90s, I decided I wanted goats and chickens. We talked and planned for nine years after Mike got out of the Navy, and then we finally did it eight years ago. We moved out here and started to turn those dreams into our reality.
So, what's left? The book. I need to write the book. I've been writing this blog for four and a half years, and if you think it's been an adventure, you should have been around for the first four years when we really were clueless city slickers. We'd drive goats to the University of Illinois vet hospital at the drop of a milk bucket. My husband nearly blew himself up. My son was dragged across the pasture by a cow -- and, I thought, killed. My then-9-year-old daughter told me that one of our goats was "trying to poop, but can't" when the goat was actually in labor. The water system was something from a high school science fair, which caused one flood after another in the barns. I had more than one meltdown, but who wouldn't when you're soaking wet with manure in your hair and it's 20 degrees outside? And does anyone really want to know how we were failed by four real estate agents, a lawyer, and an appraiser, and unknowingly bought a mobile home that was supposed to be gone four months after closing?
My next goal is to get all of those crazy stories into a manuscript by the end of 2010.