Wednesday, April 6, 2016

On Costly Dreams & Battleship

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I'm impulsive.

I see something I want and I go for it. It might be in a shop window, on a Pinterest board, or grooving on a dance floor at a frat party. I see something I would like and set my mind on making it happen. I've been this way as long as I can remember.

As a kid this was particularly hard because of chores and allowance and Target's price tags. I remember one trip to pick up a few things with mom ended with my undying devotion to save up for a pair of roller skates that had velcro that buckled over my shoes. I needed those skates to pursue my (sudden) desire to be a skating queen. And so, I started saving my chore money.

But then, there was Battleship. I was introduced to the game by the girl that lived up the street. She tiptoed quietly into her older brother's room and brought out the box. We set up the two boards, she taught me the rules, and I was hooked. Absolutely hooked. I needed the game to pursue my future as Queen of Battleship Face-offs. And so, I started counting my chore money.

I counted and quickly realized: I had enough money for one or the other, but not both.

And -because I'm impulsive- I needed a visit to Target immediately.

This isn't really about games or velcro skates. It's about the scarcity in my piggy bank. Because, like my money, our time, efforts, and abilities are limited in each day. We've only got twenty-four hours, three meals, and two hands with which to work. Like I had to learn that day in Target, priorities are important.

Because sometimes what's strong is to set down one dream in order to fully pursue another. It's scary -because what if that dreams gets mothballs- but it's necessary. Sometimes the price tag on the chase is just too much for our time and money. This feels like an excuse, but it's actually an important observation about our reality. Sometimes the piggy bank is only half full and we're required to make a choice.

It's hard to hear that we can't have it all. Goodness, it hurts so bad.

Sometimes you need to ear mark it, set it aside, and know it'll be there to pick up later. Because, truth be told, we can't have it all at one time. This harsh reality means we've got to prioritize. Pick the velcro skates or the Battleship. Choose the painting over the book writing. Spend your time learning calligraphy instead of working with watercolor. One day, you'll see opportunity open up and allow space for that other dream.

When that happens, dust it off, put on your new hat, and dance.

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