Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true. – W. Wilson (from We grow by our dreams)
Given that I have the attention span of a gnat on crack, it will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I am a dreamer. My late, and much unlamented, teacher, Miss Raybin (known to all as Rabies, although I would suggest that a dose of rabies was far nicer than the equal measure of Raybin), would oft catch me in the act of stargazing and boom at me – ‘DREAMS DO NOT EQUATE TO ACTION!’ Which, given that I was boomed at with stunning regularity, should actually have meant that I absolutely got the message and it followed me through to adulthood – wouldn’t it?
Nope. Didn’t happen.
And as much as I would like to, I can’t blame ole Raybin who had something of an obsession with ‘Action’ which rated second only to ‘Effort’ in her particular hit parade – a topic she never let a moment pass in which to remind us (mainly me).
On the umpteenth occasion that I had forgotten to bring in my homework, I and the other homework ne’er do anythings would stand at the front of the class whilst Rabies would enquire of the rest of the ‘Good Girls’ – ‘What does ‘E’ stand for?’ – and back would come ‘Effort, Miss Raybin!’ To which she would follow with ‘And those who do, do …’ with the resounding chorus in response ‘And those who don’t, don’t, Miss Raybin!’
On the very rare (even the Blue Moon didn’t get a look in) occasions that I did manage to produce my homework on time, becoming temporarily one of the ‘Good Girls,’ my heartfelt response to the ‘E’ question (albeit muttered under my breath) was ‘Exterminate’, Miss Raybin!’
As to which, and in what I can only surmise may have been the stirrings of my creative leanings, meant that I thought of a thousand different ways to kill off the old baggage. And being one of those who was a frequent recipient of her ‘This is how you use a compass properly’ monologues – my best idea for sending her off this mortal coil involved spearing her through the forehead with the pointy end of such compass, ferociously launched in her direction, at an obtuse angle, of course.
Many years have passed since Rabies departed to the great classroom in the sky, and I’ve mostly tried to forget her ramblings, except that she was right about the doing bit. You can dream as many dreams as you want and want above all else, but unless you get up and get going – it isn’t going to happen – those who do, really do and those who don’t – well they just don’t – ever.
Having a dream is fantastic – I love to dream and over the years such dreams have made me see my future as a famous author, the Prime Minister and even married to a millionaire. I was also going to add thin and beautiful to this list but that, in retrospect, would be more of a miracle so let’s just stick to dreams for the time being. Of course, none of my wilder imaginings have come true so far, for which I’m sure at least the world of literature and, indeed, the country can be thankful.
But there is nothing better than letting forth in the sheer unpredictability of dreaming, with such moments of reverie being the perfect antidote to a stressful, crazy and frenetic life. However, as I found out the hard way, there does need to be a good balance between exhilarating flights of fancy and the taming of some with techniques to ease the path forward – simply put, there needs to be rather a lot of ‘E’ for Effort!
I know, seems to take the fun out of it – but I promise, once you find the creative life that best suits you – then you will inhabit a wonderful continuum of dreaming and doing, which will be so life enhancing.
However, if you think it still all sounds like too much hard work then perhaps I should leave the last word to Miss Raybin –
‘Work will win when wishy washy wishing won’t!’ (which, in later years, I discovered to be a quote by Thomas S. Monson, and who I now rather suspect was Miss Raybin’s Donny Osmond …)