Filling life with seizable dreams
by Mr. Sheehy
I always loved homemade bread and aspired to make it often “when I grew old.” And when cooking, I always took a good sniff of the vanilla extract before adding it to the mixing bowl. I dreamed of a life filled with such savory experience – good bread, good cooking, and – I added this later – good coffee. At this point, I must admit I have achieved the age part of the formula, and thanks to my wife, I even enjoy the dreams.
I don’t make much more than the occasional coffee cake, but you can see by the super sized packages of yeast that my life is plenty full of homemade bread. Etch in also my memories of hanging around the kitchen with the girls – Ellen and I both like taking a big sniff of that vanilla, and both Annie and Ellen initially learned to count to 12 by helping Mommy and Daddy make the coffee – and you have a couple dreams come true.
Now, maybe “dreams come true” is about the world’s shakiest thesis, but it’s at least a hair less shaky to claim that many practical ones do. Those are the ones that are achievable, and my wife and I are motivated to implement them as much as possible – she didn’t have the bread dreams, but she knew I did and now I’m munching on my fourth piece of the day. I didn’t always assume that my wife would be a stay at home mom, but when we together examined the reality of parenting and formed a vision – or dream – for our family, we ordered our lives to make it possible.
These are valuable and life-changing goals, and this category of goals (practical, achievable, worthy) is one teachers might find motivating as well. At least, they’d find goals of this type more motivating than the going breed, whose crowned emperor is the naively unrealistic goal of 100% of students testing at the determined proficient level. That’s a goal of deflation and despondency. Its equivalent in my marriage might have been for my wife and I to say we should always feel like we’re “in love” every day of our married lives (by this I mean that emotional high to which people are referring when discussing the feeling of being in love). But that goal, as our country’s divorce rate shows clearly, is also deflating and despondent. It leads to failure, and it’s the kind of goal we refuse to set.
We have found after seven beautiful years of marriage that it is better to work towards the realistic and worthy little things, like filling our days with fresh bread, coffee, and the aroma of vanilla extract.
Thanks for reading.