To Dream Or To Live The Dream?

Life is good

My friend Kim over at “The Vocabulary Of My Life” took a meme (seriously…what does “meme” mean? Anyone?) from “Twenty-Four At Heart” who took it from who knows who else. It’s called “100 Things I Want To Do Before I Bite It” (or something like that) and it’s a list of a bunch of stuff that someone has made up that they want to do before they die. Kind of a bucket list of sorts. But I want to argue something. And you can join in whenever you see fit. It’s a discussion that my wife and I have had before and I want opinions from others who might see this and wish to join in. Here’s my thought…

Dreams are overrated.

There. I said it. Come to think about it…I don’t even know what my dreams are or if I’ve ever had them. What did you want to be when you grew up? Don’t you have any dreams? Don’t you want your dreams to come true?

Hmmmm…nope. I don’t know if its because I don’t remember my dreams. I don’t know if it’s because I have never really had the foresight to be curious about what my future is. I DO know this…I don’t usually know what I want to do until the opportunity presents itself.

For example…on Kim’s list, there were things such as “write a song”, or “observe a surgery” or “take a train trip across the country”. Ya know…(shrug shoulders)…I don’t know. Can I tell you…I just don’t know!?! I mean, it all sounds great and all, but I don’t aspire to do a lot of these things. I imagine if the opportunity ever comes up and I’m struck by this sudden urge to write a song or a book (which I’m considering) or if I’m in a hospital and they allow me to hang out in the op room or if I’ve got a few weeks to blow off and I’m at the train station…I guess ALL of these things could happen. I mean, I’m open to just about anything! But do I “dream” of these things? Nah…

Does this make me odd? Does it make me seem strange? Is it unusual that I have no dreams? I can say that I have already gone to places I never ever thought I would see. I’m already living a life I never thought I would have. I already know so many great people that I never thought I would know. And to dream of more…well…it seems kind of selfish.

I guess if I were to dream, I would dream that I will get to see my kids graduate from high school and college. I would dream that I get to meet my grandkids and get to see them have wonderful lives. I would dream that I will someday see our country return to the greatness that it once was. I don’t know if these are dreams that I dream about at night…but I hope they are. Because these are the things that I really want.

I don’t have to see a taping of  “The Daily Show” to feel satisfied. I don’t have to make my own wine or travel to Thailand or go white water rafting (oh wait…done that!) or meet Anthony Bourdain (who is that? No idea…gonna Google it once I’m done here…) or really do much of anything else that this list has on it.

So everyone else can have their dreams. I’m all good! I am (to some degree) living my dream. I have a wonderful wife, a nice home, a good job, 2 awesome kids, a great dog, I got a couple of computers and a bunch of CDs and DVDs. I have decent health and a car in my driveway. It’s all I could have ever dreamed of…and it’s wonderful.

So you go ahead and dream. I’m gonna keep on living. And if the opportunities present themselves…then I’m gonna take the opportunities and make the most of them! But I never seem to remember my dreams when I wake up…

And I kinda like it that way.


P.S. Anthony Bourdain is a chef on The Travel Channel. Who knew?

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10 Responses to To Dream Or To Live The Dream?

  1. kcalland says:

    Well. I knew.

    Let me clarify. I don’t need these 100 things to come to fruition for my life to be fulfilled. My life is pretty great right now. But …. if I were to say …. it the lottery? I’d take a trip to Europe and visit all the places I have never been. If I had a chance to see a taping of the Daily Show, I’d go see it, because I think it would be fun. I WILL run a marathon in my life, because I it is a fitness goal for myself.

    None of those things on my list are things I “need” do to. Just things that I think might be fun to do sometime.

    Sorry if that makes me selfish. 😛

    (Please tell me that Steph thinks you are a big lazy slacker for not having any goals in life?)


    Oh Betty…wanting to do these things doesn’t make you selfish! I put a lot of thought into this post and I was speaking entirely for myself. Steph & I have talked about what my “dreams” are…and I don’t really have any. I guess there are lots of things that I would like to do, however when put on the spot, I can’t say anything really stands out. That doesn’t mean life is over for me, it just means I don’t have a “bucket list”. There are lots of cool places to go and great things to do and many more people to meet! I just can’t say that if I died today that my life would be incomplete because I hadn’t gone or seen or done any of them. Does that make sense?

    So don’t be defensive! I certainly didn’t mean for you to think this blog was about you! I just used your “list” to make MY point…

    Oh…and so you know…I have worked with people who work on The Daily Show. They say Jon Stewart is the coolest cat around. So you SHOULD go see it if you ever get the chance!

  2. Well, when you put it like that, it does sound selfish. But the hell with it, I have dreams – things I want to do, places I want to see, things I want to experience – not to make me satisfied with my life but to make it even richer than before. Selflessness is overrated!

    HA! I agree. Having dreams does NOT make you selfish! In my case, I just feel satisfied I guess. Nothing wrong with either standpoint, I don’t think…

  3. Amber says:

    I think it is wonderful that you are so happy. You have been to a million places and done some amazing things, but these things were never what gave you true happiness. You have always gotten your bliss from your loved ones, your family and friends. Your dream is that we are all hapy and safe. This does not make you odd, it makes you beautiful. Love you Alan!!!!

    Thanks sis! Now go have that baby! Maybe you’ll see what I’m talking about! 🙂

  4. kcalland says:

    Hey man … no worries! You certainly have done and seen way more stuff in your life than I have. Maybe that is kind of why I feel like there are so many things I still want to do.

    Who knows. But when I do meet Jon Stewart, I’ll be sure to get his autograph for you.


    Excellent! I’ll take it! LOL

  5. “So you go ahead and dream. I’m gonna keep on living.”

    That is all that need be said and I can’t say it any better myself. You have made a great observation in this post, that people need to do some living first. I believe the key is to not limit yourself in your goals… not necessarily achieve dreams. I’ve got to get busy living now… (well at lest head into work)!


  6. mop master says:

    I am with you on the dreaming thing. I am too bust trying to live my best each day to dream about waht my future might be could be. Maybe we are the lucky ones who are content with what we have that we don’t need to imagine a life with other stuff?

  7. It’s good to be happy. There are so many people in the OC who dream of keeping up with the Jones’s … their lives are centered on getting MORE and they are never happy. For me, I know I have a wonderful life and I feel very grateful for it. At the same time, there ARE things I’d like to do …. As an example, I’ve always wanted to travel and see New Zealand and Australia. (Probably because my parents went and have raved about their trip for decades.) I think it’s okay to have “dreams” and to work towards them as long as they are kept in perspective. If I never make it on that trip I won’t feel let down … and if I do make it I’ll be thrilled.

  8. mandy says:

    I dream. You bet your hind-quarters I do (I can’t swear online anymore, mom is apparently keeping tabs on me and is standing ready with a bar of soap with my name on it). I’m STUCK in Z-ville, I’ve never been anywhere but Florida, and I sit in an office by myself all day every day. So I dream about going camping. And rafting. And climbing. And flying. And hiking. And traveling. And parasailing. And exploring. In Belize, or Hawaii, or Europe, or Hong Kong or wherever else in the world that isn’t in this friggin office. And it’s not that I don’t appreciate my job and love my family, because trust me I DO. A lot. I would just like to get to stretch a little bit, mentally and physically. Of course, I refer to this as “planning” instead of “dreaming,” since I like to pretend I’m actually going to get to do all this stuff someday.

    Also: I used to dream about writing books too, but that dream died long ago when I realized how boring I was. 🙂

    You are definitely NOT boring sis! I can attest to that. And I see your point. Maybe I’m just so tired of traveling and moving non-stop that I need some time to just relax. You should NEVER give up on your dreams! If you have any opportunity to do ANY of the things you dream of doing, you should take advantage!

  9. jrivera says:

    I agree with you. There’s no need to write down things that you’ll never know if you’ll have the opportunity to do, or if you’ll really enjoy it if you finally have the opportunity…

    So, your posture is like living the present. I agree with that.

    There’s a poem that said: “The way gets done as you walk through it” – so you do it by walking.

    And about that meme of “Things you have to do before dying”, I remember an slogan that answered to that just:

    1. To live.

  10. DiAnna says:

    I have read through everyones comments and here’s my take on this whole dream thing. I truely believe that YOU create your life. You do that by first dreams, then thoughts, then choice. If you don’t have goals, you are just existing in this life…true you can fly by the seat of your pants and see what life will bring, and it will bring you experiences, but why not kick it up a little, take your chances and dream. Be a mental engineer and use tried and proven techniques in building a grander and greter life. Its called positive thinking and visualization! Picture it, say it, and dream it! Have faith that you will get there!
    Your dreams will come true!!

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