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Monday, May 9, 2011

Dream a Little Dream

It's so important to dream dreams together.  When Bruce and I were first married, we had some trouble visioning together (as I'm sure is true with any newly married couple).  I, being the proactive type, tried to force it.  I'd get pencil and paper and suggest we make lists together.  Lists such as:  the top five places in the world you want to see, the top ten places in the United States you'd like to go, states you've already been in, states you've never been in, an event you would like to catch someday.

As I was newly employed as a teacher and fairly buried in student loan debt and as Bruce and Luke had been a single-income family for years, we had very little money to play around with.  Still, my philosophy is that if you don't plan now then you shouldn't expect to accomplish something later on.  Even if it's ten dollars a month stuck away in the sock drawer in an envelope labeled "Paris", it's something toward that dream and you're ten dollars closer every month to seeing it realized.

In our case, "Paris" was Minnesota.  It was do-able.  If we saved back so much each month, we could actually realize a summer vacation the next year.   It was a sacrifice (and still is sometimes even though student loans are all paid off), but putting money back from every paycheck keeps it always in front of us (as do the photos on the screen savers).  We talk about Minnesota all year long.  It's inspiring.  We wonder what Lake Superior looks like in the dead of winter.  We keep our eyes on the webcams in Duluth.  We talk about how good a peanut butter sandwich tastes when eaten at a rest stop in Iowa on the way toward the Minnesota state line or on the way back home.  We mentally stroll the streets, visit the sights, relive and renew the dream together.  The word Minnesota has not only become a common term in our house, it has become a family member.  It's our good friend, our counselor, our financial consultant.  We weigh our desire to take that trip together against any other opportunities that come up and, so far, Minnesota always wins.

If we had taken the same money we've invested in these trips the last five years, we probably would have been able to schedule one dandy tour of Europe by now.  But, I wouldn't trade June in Minnesota  for that.  There are too many memories, too many plans, too many pleasures, and too many dreams still to be dreamed together there.

What are you dreaming up with the one you love?

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