Tuesday, 28 April 2015
Living the dream
I've never really thought about dreams. Dreams as in goals or a bucket list, like stuff you really want to do. I came upon this startling revelation last night, quite by chance when discussing travel with a friend. I've always considered myself to be quite an ambitious person - but how the hell can you be ambitious if you don't have dreams? Of course there are things I would like to do; I've just never really thought about achieving them, the when's and the how's. For as long as I can remember I've always just been too busy getting by from day to day. Dreams are the things you think about when your kids have grown up and you finally have time and money for yourself. Dreams are the things we do after we've worked our arses off for half a century, if we're lucky enough to still have the good health and energy required to undertake and enjoy them.
Which is a bit crap really, isn't it? Why do we content ourselves with waiting our whole lives to do the cool stuff? I mean what really stops us from achieving our dreams? Sure, there's responsibilities, we all have those but if our lives were to depend on it - or the lives of our loved ones, we would move heaven and earth to make things happen. At the end of the day it's money, the lack of it and our inability to manage it which prevents our dreams from becoming reality. It's a bit sickening really in hindsight. I mean just imagine all the amazing experiences many of us could have already had if we didn't fritter away so much money for years and years and treat all those few dollars here and there as though they didn't matter? As if they didn't count? That's the thing though isn't it, we're always too busy living for today. We want everything now.
I decided last night that I am not going to be this way any more. Dreams are more important than Diet Coke. They're more important than petrol. They're more important than convenience food and takeaways - not that I succumb to those very often, I can't! But I can still do better - a LOT better. From now on I want every single dollar to count. I want to count my coins every night like Fagin. I want to climb my way out of the financial poo (please do not attempt to visualise this) and focus on achieving my dreams before it's too late. Because now I've thought about it I have quite a few. Such as:
Drinking wine in a Greek taverna. Shirley Valentine is my heroine. I love her to bits, we are scarily alike and from the moment I saw the movie (which I have since seen at least 20 times since) I have wanted to go to Greece. It's kind of funny really because I've already been to Greece but I was only 13. I want to go back as an adult and take everything in with fresh eyes like Shirley.
Float along in a gondola in Venice. Another movie to blame for this one - ever since Liam and I watched 'The Tourist' we have wanted to go to Venice and see this beautiful city first hand. Definitely top of my list. Along with scoffing obscene amounts of pasta, pizza and gelato a la Elizabeth Gilbert in 'Eat, Pray, Love'. Come to think of it I wouldn't mind hanging out with some monks for a bit like she did as well. But I digress...
Order a chocolate ice cream in France. When I was just a spring chicken growing up in England I watched an episode of Blue Peter where the presenter, Simon Groom went to France and ordered 'une glace au chocolat'. I was dead impressed and decided that one day when I went to France I would order the same as Simon, just because I could. I even went to high school and studied French for five years but the mysterious country across the channel where they ate snails and frog's legs stayed out of my reach. Two years after I emigrated to the other side of the world forever, they opened the Channel Tunnel. Life is cruel! But I shall not give up! One day I WILL go to France and I WILL get to order my bloody chocolate ice cream.
Go back home. Home to England that is. Even if I only got to go there for a day, I would go back to Selborne, the little village in Hampshire where I grew up. I would climb the Zig Zag to the top of the Hanger, sit on the seat my Dad built when I was little which is still there today and look out over Selborne Common. I would visit all my old haunts; St Mary's Church where I got married and sang in the choir as a youngster, Church Meadow where we used to go tobogganing and the dear little school I attended. I would stand at the end of the long driveway and picture myself as a five-year-old running down it to meet my mum at the bottom. The day my undies fell down. But that's another story...
I'd also love to see the Big Buddha in Thailand and Phi Phi Island as made famous in 'The Beach' but all in good time, I think that's enough to be going on with for now! Oh - and write a book. I know, I've already written one, and I love it. Actually if you count the celebrity cook book I put together for our local ladies Lions club in 2004 I've actually written two! But everyone has a novel inside them so they say and I have so many books in my head I don't know where to begin.
But all of these dreams have one thing in common. I will never see any of them come to fruition without having the money to do so. And I don't want to be responsible for not being able to fulfil them any more. I may not have the money yet but I do have one thing and that's a will of steel. Sure sometimes it doesn't always work the first time, rather like giving up smoking but I think this might actually be the impetus that pushes my buttons. Ladies and gentlemen from now on getting money out of me is going to be like getting blood out of a stone! OK, so I have the small matter of a truckload of debt and bills I have to clear before I can swan off to Greece and the likes but now I have a real incentive. Not a 'meh' incentive like 'I want to be debt free' - although please don't get me wrong, that's one heck of a good goal - but it's a bit boring isn't it? For God's sake, if we're going to celebrate financial freedom then let's do it in style! And the sooner we can make that happen, the better. Starting right now, I'm going to dream my way out of debt! Who else wants to join me?