I’m a dreamer. It can be a strength and a weakness. I daydreamed my way through high school. I guess I always wanted something that I didn’t have or I imagined the life that I wanted to have. There were no real plans, just dreams. I wanted to get married and I dreamed that my Prince Charming would come sweep me off my feet. I would have 5 kids and be a stay at home mom and life would be WONDERFUL. I’ll never forget when my dad told me to start thinking about Plan B. I was truly offended. My dreams said I would have a husband and kids. It said nothing about working or having a career. Reality finally set in and I tried to find my niche in the world. Where did I fit in? What was my purpose supposed to be? Where could I make an impact?
I daydreamed what my life would be like under my new Plan B. I suppose reality is more of a muddle through sometimes. Explore this avenue, NOPE, that’s not the right path. Hey, how about this idea? Eh, not so much. After a while I had experienced things I liked and things I definitely knew I didn’t like. That’s ok. The experience prepared me for other things later in life. Daydreaming helped me envision what I did and didn’t want. I didn’t want to be broke. I didn’t want to sit around and do nothing until my Prince Charming showed up. I wanted to show that I DID something with my life.
I realized that in order to make my dreams a reality, I needed to start writing them down. Things I could control. Obviously I couldn’t control finding a husband. I could control how many single activities I went to and whether or not I was social at them. I could control my money. I didn’t want to be in debt. I wanted to own a house. I dreamed that I’d own it free and clear one day. But first I had to put my dreams into goals. I wrote down when I wanted to accomplish them by, how much money it would take to reach that goal, and how I was going to do it. As I learned from LFE Institute, A GOAL IS A DREAM WITH A DEADLINE AND A DOLLAR SIGN.
I became more accountable to what I wanted because I wrote it down. Soon I discovered that my daydreams were becoming reality. It felt really awesome. I started working towards my goals with a dogged determination. I read books about how to achieve my dreams and it gave me ideas. For instance, I wanted to be debt free. So, I got 2 roommates and used that money to pay off my car. I used my bonus money to save for vacations that I wanted to go on and a house I bought to fix up and sell. I welcomed teenagers into my home for a semester at a time and I used that money to start building an emergency fund. Before I knew it, the things I wanted happened. Then I realized that I needed new dreams to keep me motivated.
Once I was married, my dreams changed dramatically. We still wanted to be debt free. We wanted a family. When fertility struggles came our way, having children seemed like an obstacle that we could never achieve because of the hefty price tag. I used the same habits I had formed when I was single. I opened up a sub-account labeled baby and we began saving. Between both of our jobs, bonus income, selling things, rental income, and living frugally we managed to save enough money to do IVF. Although it ended in miscarriage, we don’t regret the decision to spend that money. After we adopted our 3 kids, my daydreams changed again. This time my dreams included retirement, family vacations, and having security if my husband died.
So, I’ll keep daydreaming. I think it’s good for me as long as I couple it with some goal setting to make them reality.