Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Follow Your Dreams?

I've been worrying lately. That's not really anything new or noteworthy, and it certainly doesn't have a real impact on my life at all. But I've been hearing and reading frequently about regrets. People have them. One of the biggest regrets I hear is that people didn't make themselves happy during their lives. They didn't follow their dreams.

Reading something like that causes one to take a step back and ask questions. Am I happy? What dreams of mine am I not chasing, not fulfilling? You hear about people who changed careers and were much happier with a low paying job. People who, on their death beds, lament a life spent chasing a dollar and never stopping to smell the roses.

But I'm not sure what I'd be doing if I wasn't doing what I'm doing. I'm such an introvert that if I didn't have a job I'd probably never leave the house! No, having a job is good for me, and I don't mind this one at all. There are many aspects of my job that I enjoy.

Sometimes I wonder if I'd be happier in a much simpler life. If we sold everything, quit our jobs and started a home/farmstead out away from the city.

I'm not convinced I would find that much better. I love the idea of it. I romanticize it. I don't like how we're treating the planet, each other. We do our best, in our family's little corner of the world, to make better choices and set a better example.

But is that my dream? I don't think so, and the fact that I don't "just know" if it is my dream, tells me it isn't.

Does that make me the least ambitious or motivated person? That I can't even come up with what my "dream" would be if I was suddenly given leave to follow it?


  1. Very thought provoking. As you know, we "left it all behind" to follow our homesteading dream. I don't regret that, but also understand that there is an element of human nature that follows us everywhere, discontent. I think that makes us more unhappy in life than not following our dreams. In fact, discontent can hijack an otherwise happy life!

    I'm also learning that the older I get, my idea of what will make me happy changes. I pretty much did what I wanted when I was younger, dropped out of college and followed a dream to go back to the land. Sometimes I look back now and regret that I had no direction; how unproductive my life was. Not in terms of amassing fortune and material possessions, but in terms of developing a skills and knowledge base.

    I confess I find the follow my dreams concept a bit self-centered. When we decided to homeschool our children, it required me giving up certain things I loved. I accepted the sacrifice then, though not without regret. Now that they're adults and I see the kind of people they've become, I can honestly say I know I made the right choice and do not regret that sacrifice. They thrived under my attention. If I'd followed what I wanted, I honestly don't think they'd have done as well.

  2. My wife, who knows me best, thinks it's my dislike of change that makes it hard for me to imagine myself taking any kind of a leap of faith.

    You make a good point, and knowing you did what you did for your children is certainly the best reward.

    Who knows. The more I read and live vicariously through the homestead blogs like yours, the more I learn. Maybe we'll get there someday after all.

    1. My husband said he heard a radio program where they surveyed folks who said their biggest regret in life was not having taken more risks.

      I tend to be more like you, uncertain of change. Sometimes life pushes us into it though. I hope someday you do get to move out to bigger "pastures." :)