Dream Big

Facts and FiguresI’m indebted to my daughter for coining what I think of as our family motto. “Dream BIG–It could happen.” She came up with this exhortation when she was about eleven years old, and new to the world of horse shows. She and her first horse, a venerable Crabbet Arabian trotting past his quarter-century birthday, garnered a national award in the discipline of dressage. 

dante-heather-rainbow-206x300To be eleven years old, winning national recognition for any accomplishment is a big deal, though not for the recognition. The take away for Beloved Offspring was that hard work, team work, luck, and persistence could result in enormous dreams coming true. Not every dream, not every time, but some dreams…some really, really big dreams. She had waited years for that horse, and spent hour after hour riding in all kinds of weather, showing in all kinds of weather, and try-try-again-ing against much more mature and experienced competitors. 

Dream BIG–it could happen. With this thought in the back of my mind, I’ll move on to describe a third significant moment from 2015.

GraceXatXEileanXDonanI scheduled my first 2015 trip to Scotland hoping to meet two personal goals. First, I wanted to hear Dougie MacLean perform live. More on that another time, but the concert was wonderful. Second, I wanted to begin investigating the possibility of earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from a Scottish University–or an M.Litt, as they call it.

This is a Big Dream. I haven’t had a Big Dream for quite a while. Becoming a published author, oddly enough, was not a big dream. I wrote twenty books without any aspiration to become published, and only tossed my hat in that ring because my family kept bugging me. Then too, pitching an editor wasn’t much effort, and the first editor I pitched offered me a contract.

my fair isle jammiesBut to spend a year doing nothing but rambling around Scotland and writing? That’s a huge, enormous, gigantic dream. It will not come true though, if I never take steps to make it so. I’ve been all over the internet researching programs, and I have some idea what I’d focus on for my year of writing. I found a university in central Scotland that seemed to have a lot of what I wanted, emailed the appropriate professor, and ended up having a lovely conversation with him that only made me more hopeful that some day, I can be among the program’s students.

Daniel final PEACH coverAnd so I moved closer to making a dream come true. The meeting clarified what my next steps need to be, what hurdles might be higher than I thought, which ones more tedious or daunting. This dream will be exorbitantly expensive, but I also think it could be endlessly rewarding. I love to write, I love Scotland–it could happen, right?

And best of all, while I was chatting up the professor I learned something wonderful: The school has a PhD program in creative writing, which gives me an even bigger dream to ponder.  

Are you nurturing a dream, however grand or modest? Are there first steps you can take toward making the dream come true? To one commenter, I’ll send a signed copy of Daniel’s True Desire. 

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17 comments on “Dream Big

  1. I’ve had all sorts of small dreams come true by chance. And one small dream–being asked to be an occasional blogger for my professional society’s website–turned into a BIG DREAM when they asked me to be a weekly blogger last summer. It was never something I really wanted to do but now, the blog posts could turn into a book I hadn’t even contemplated writing. That’s the next part of the Big Dream, I suppose. Folks keep telling me it should be a whole book and…maybe. I have to wrap my mind around that…I do love the subject (Choral Ethics)! It’s a lot of work and I have to plot out time to write the column each week so I suppose I could plot out more time when I’m between concert cycles to edit/write more. This is a dream-by-chance so anything I do and gain is strictly a bonus for me!

    Just loved the Daniel book…..and am looking forward to Will’s story too. And Axel’s before his!

  2. I don’t have a big dream ideal I’m pushing towards. I do have a small dream. Every week I try to be a better person. More kind, more in touch with others. It’s a struggle, because I’m introverted and don’t interact much with others. But I keep trying!

  3. One of my small dreams came true yesterday. Celeste ( the barking corgi) passed an advanced canine good citizen test. Celeste was able to down stay for 3 minutes and stay quiet the entire time.

    Eighteen months ago, Celeste barked constantly. With lots of training and positive reinforcement , she has quieted. She has three obedience titles and legs towards two additional titles. Our next step is the Beginner Novice title and my “Dream Big” goal is to achieve the CD- companion dog title. Our training classes are focusing on the BN title so with time, practice and lots of cheese we should attain our goal!

    Another dream for me is to travel. I would love to go to England, Scotland and Ireland and enjoy the history, music and food. Traveling will need to wait until after daughter finishes law school. My “Dream BIg” plan includes getting my passport in the next few weeks and starting to save for my trip.

    Congratulations on making your dreams come true! Traveling , Scotland and writing make you happy– so go for it! Be happy!

    Loved Daniel and so looking forward to Axel!!

  4. I think my biggest dream right now is to finish one of the many books I have started writing. I am not stuck with any of them, I know where the story is going and have even written more of the story in my head. My problem is I get busy with other things, whether it’s being a mom, working, health issues or reading book after book, I just always seem to put off writing my own books. I thought with all the boys being in school this year I would get back to writing but my days seem busier than ever.
    I need to become more disciplined and make myself write a little each day or even every other day. I could tell myself that instead of reading between 3:00 and 4:00 I should be writing. Or do it in the morning as soon as the twins get on the bus. No reading until I write at least 200 words.
    If I write this down some where other than here and maybe get someone to stay on me, I just may be able to finish a story I have started. I don’t even care about publishing it. I just want to finish. It’s been a dream since childhood and one I am pretty sure is within reach.

  5. I have always been a “small dream” kind of gal myself. But I wish you all the best with your big dream and have no doubt you will attain it.

    Although I am reading Daniel story right now on my kindle, I wouldn’t mind having a signed copy for my bookshelf.

  6. Very impressive that your daughter (and her beloved horse) were able to win at a National level at such a young age – and with so little experience compared to those she was competing against!

    Maybe it’s a bad thing, but right now I don’t have any dreams I am trying to achieve for myself. I’m more in a supportive role for my kids: both are earning their Bachelor degrees; our son is currently applying for PhD programs; and our daughter is still debating her focus for her first degree which will determine the secondary degree(s) she will want to earn. Helping them out financially (and mentally when needed) is our short term focus for now. Once school is paid for, we’ll be putting that money into retirement when hopefully we will be able to travel a bit.

  7. A new dream is participating in a certification program for managing chronic pain and illness with Mindfulness, including mindful movement. Am in the emailing and plotting stage, poking at the scheme with trusted friends. So far, 2016 looks viable for this new path. Learning more about what supports a better quality of life for me *and* being able to effectively share the with others…double scoops of delicious.

  8. I’ve already read Daniel’s True Desire, it may be my favorite book so far. I am trying to get into graduate school. I have been turned down 3 times. I am going to take a class in the spring and apply again in the Fall, it’s just too important to give up on.

  9. I had a life-long dream – and that was to go to Scotland and experience the Highlands for real. That dream came true this past April! And, it was even more amazing than I could have imagined. I now have a “smaller” dream to return again in August/September one year to see the hills covered in the blooming heather.
    i know how blessed I am to have my dream come true, and I wish the same for everyone.

  10. I can’t remember the last time I had a dream. I have to admit I’ve given up on it, at least for myself. I have lots of dreams for my children though but mostly I just want them to be happy.

  11. Oh Grace I am so happy for you! What a dream.

    Dreams? just one? I have many! Right now my dreams is to continue to take care of my diabetes – its very hard not to eat carbs! Its a real struggle for me.
    I am right now investigating going back to school also. Time passes anyway, might as well go to school and learn more. My grandmother used to tell me “learn all you can. There is always room for improvement”

  12. Oh, my goodness, I am so excited for you and hope you find a way to do that.

    Right now my big dream is for my son to find his career direction. He is a freshman in college and doing well, and I am very proud.

    I know from personal experience that not finding your direction in your sophomore year can lead to more expense, work, time, and possibly lost credit hours if you end up needing to transfer to a school that offers your preferred program.

  13. Twelve years ago I reached for a dream I barely even remembered I had. I went back to school and became a physician assistant. In high school, I had thought about becoming a doctor. But I am dyslexic and, back in the early 1970’s, calculators were for science geeks–the “smart” kids. And computers with spell checkers didn’t exist. I didn’t think I was smart enough, so I took a different path. Fast forward 30 years, age 48, helping a elderly friend navigate the ER, I realize I wanted a job in medicine. I considered nursing, but I have had 2 back surgeries and I didn’t think I could do it. My husband said, “How about PA?” And when I said, “But it’s going to take 5 years!” He said, “How old will you be in 5 years if you *don’t* do it?” So, I did it. I did the science and the math, the chemistry. Organic chemistry! All the things I had thought I was not smart enough to do, I did, and I did well.
    If you had told me before I started that 12 years later, I would be a PA, living in sunny CA, no longer in snowy NY, I would have asked what are you smoking? Dreams do come true, with a lot of hard work. And, in my case, a village of support. My husband, my bemused kids (3 of us in college at the same time!), my friends, my teachers.
    Don’t be afraid to reach for the stars. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

  14. I had two dreams, to see Australia and to write a book. I have been to Australia but I have not write that book. I have written several beginnings but, I have not completed one book.I hope reading about your trials, they would inspire me complete just one. I am an introvert.Thank you for Writing about your self.

  15. I had two dreams, to see Australia and to write a book. I have been to Australia but I have not written that book. I have wrote several beginnings, but I have not completed one book.I hope reading about your trials, it would inspire me complete just one. I am an introvert.Thank you for Writing about your self.