Saturday, February 4, 2012

Living the Dream

So, over Thanksgiving break, my kids finally saw the movie Tangled at Uncle Nathan and Aunt Jessica's house. I was in and out and didn't really see much. But the boys loved it and wanted to check it out from the library when we got home. One morning I sat down with my three year old to watch it and didn't get up again until the closing credits. I loved it! I laughed. I cried. What a great uplifting movie. I dropped hint after hint to my husband that I would very much like the movie for Christmas (to no avail--will buy it for myself at some point). I think the reason it was so powerful for me was because of the message so clearly conveyed that we must hang on to our dreams, that dreams can change, and pay attention because you just might be living your dream!

I think these ideas came to me because of a conversation I'd had with my sister-in-law over Thanksgiving. Jessica is a remarkable young woman. She is talented in so many ways. She married my husband's brother when she was very young after going to college when she was younger then most. She graduated from college in much less time than it takes many. She's been working in a really wonderful and satisfying career for a few years and is about to have a baby in the late Spring and "retire." But one of Jessica's most outstanding talents is her ability to sing. And when I say "sing" I mean she can really sing. She spent most of her life singing and writes music and even went to Nashville and has a demo CD. Her dad really wanted to see her chase her dream from growing up and working towards a career in music. To some degree he felt like maybe by marrying so young she sold herself short. She would never be able to live that dream.

But, Jessica told me that, while she certainly had that dream and still uses her outstanding talents to bless other people, she has new dreams--dreams the include a whole broad of children and supporting her dentist husband and being happy and adventurous and serving in the church.

So that got me thinking about my own dreams. And getting back to Tangled, it was in the middle of hearing Rapunzel ask Flynn Ryder what you do when you finally find yourself living your dream, that I realized that I was in the middle of living the most splendid dream I can imagine! It was while sitting in the middle of a kitchen that needed to be picked up and to the sound of the third load of laundry that day, that I just felt this great surge of emotion that I'm living my dream! I'm not sure I ever really thought much about what my life would be like with a family. It was always something on the list, but not something I sat around dreaming about. I guess what I mean by living my dream is that I had this wonderful sense of contentment. I am happy and feel loved and feel like I can serve and bless those around me. I have a beautiful family and that it is really the best dream anyone can have.

In the movie, Rapunzel sings a song asking "when will my life begin." What she doesn't realize is that all the things that she's doing to try to pass the time, to learn, to grow, to develop her talents are the things that eventually make her life so rich and full when placed in the right circumstances. There is no sense in waiting around for our lives to begin. Why not start now.

Sometimes I think things are really going to be great when I no longer have children in diapers, or when everyone in the house sleeps through the night (got woken up four times last night--and that was the two older boys). I tire of hearing people say they sure don't miss this or that about having a baby or young children. I will probably feel that way, too. But in the mean time, this is very much part of my dream. It's taking the bitter with the sweet and savoring the sweet. I suppose it's a little like a really great See's chocolate. It's small and it lasts only a moment, but the flavor and satisfaction linger so much that even when your eating the ho hum, you have a sweet memory of something better and will for sure go back for more when the chance comes up!

So thanks, Disney for making a movie with such beautiful, redeeming ideas. I'm doing it. I'm in the middle of living my dream!