Last Saturday, Trini and I set off for the Symphony Show House, a showcase for local designers that's also a fundraiser for the Oklahoma City Orchestra League, and while we'd pooled our time and resources for the trip, we had, I suspect, very different motivations. (Besides that sort of thing, I mean.) I'm looking mostly for clever details, ideas I could use to spruce up my own modest digs, had I the wherewithal; while she sees most of the same things that I do, and several things I don't, she doesn't see those things as isolated data points, but as part of her ongoing concept of the Ultimate Dream House, something she's still young enough to want. At my age, I can state pretty emphatically that nothing with that many stairs constitutes anything like a Dream.
And having so stated, I find myself wondering: do I, at too close to 60 for comfort, still have any capital-D Dreams? The answer, I suspect, is no: I'm too old for "What do I want to be when I grow up?", I think, and I'm about as grown up as I'm ever going to get; I don't have anything like a "bucket list" of things that simply must be accomplished before I go; and while I'm still entirely too susceptible to seemingly random crushes, I have no illusions that any of them will foster any form of reciprocity.
Now is this a bad thing? When I was younger, I'd have insisted that, well, of course it is; give up your dreams, and you might as well lie back and have them throw dirt on your face, because you're good as gone. Then again, younger people are more or less required to think that. Comes with the territory, I suppose. And besides, they presumably have time to work on making them come true. I of course have less time, though I have no way of knowing how much less. It is not unreasonable, therefore, for me to have scaled back any of my more grandiose plans, had I any such. For example, driving up to Alaska is not what I'd call an enormous undertaking, and I expect to have that pulled off within the next five years, assuming I'm not suffering from long-term penury by then. (Driving to Hawaii, however, is probably not going to happen.)
Amusingly, there exists a Web site called Give Up Your Dream, which claims to be "a job site that helps you give up your dream and transition into a satisfying stable career," by which I assume they mean "yeah, it sucks, but the bills get paid, so shut up already." Like those are hard to find or something. Besides, I'm not the kind of person who defines himself in terms of what he gets paid for doing: I do have a day job, and the bills get paid after a fashion, but at no point does it lead me to say, "Yeah, this is what I am." And if I'm not as big as I might think myself to be, I'm certainly bigger than a line on an organizational chart.
So perhaps I'm in a more comfortable position than it would seem, assuming I can keep from blowing the budget on goofy stuff and pull my heart back from its unaccustomed place on my sleeve. I just wish I knew which of those two tasks might be the easier.
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Copyright © 2012 by Charles G. Hill