Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dream Big

First published on November 14, 2009 on My Life Is Like A Song

When I was a little boy
I swore that I would change the world
when I grew up
Nothing else would be enough

I see it everyday
We settled for safe
And lose ourselves along the way

'Cause if you don't dream big
what's the use of dreaming
(Dream Big by David Cook)

Last spring, I saw a presentation from Mothers On Fire. You can read what I wrote about it here in case you want the background to this post.

This fall, I saw a second presentation from Mothers on Fire. I was going to write about it, but then got sidetracked when I read what I wrote about the first presentation and was reminded that I hadn't been a "mother on fire" since that first presentation (which was a couple of days after getting a puppy). You can read that post here.

So now, I will write about the second presentation by Brenda Jasmin of Mothers on Fire.

This presentation didn't resonate as much with me as the first one, maybe because it's not as much fun as the first one "Finding Your Inner Fire". It was about "Getting Over Guilt".

I guess I do feel guilty about some aspects of parenting and homemaking but I rarely feel guilty about having time for myself like a lot of mothers do.

I believe that the main reason I am like this is because of my husband. He always believed in the importance of his activities and his friends and always encouraged me whenever I had an opportunity to go out with my friends or for activities I enjoyed. It has been a give and take for us. I never questioned the activities that were important to him and he never questioned the activities that were important to me. We supported each other.

The timing was good to hear about guilt though (and to revisit that first presentation) because I struggled with the first few months of having a puppy. Being at a mother's group and listening to moms talk about feeling guilty for not being able to accomplish as much as they used to, it reminded me that I am a new mother. I hadn't really made the realization that I do have a newborn that I have been taking care's just not a human newborn but a puppy.

Brenda also talked about being a "good enough" mother and not a "perfect" mother. This again, was not an ideal topic for me. I don't think I ever pretended that I could be a perfect mother. I think I let go of perfection in motherhood early on. (I do have perfectionist tendencies though but that's a different topic altogether) So when we were talking about what a "perfect" mother is like, I never tried to achieve the characteristics of the "perfect" mother.

Could I be a better mother than I am? Yes I could, and I keep trying to improve but perfect was never what I tried to achieve.

This presentation was a great reminder for me though to let go of the guilt of the past few months and make sure that as I try to make my dreams come true, I don't feel guilty in the future.

My favourite items on the Top Ten List for Getting Over Guilt include:
  • Resist the urge to compare yourself and your children to others.
  • Find times to be present for your kids.
  • Take time to acknowledge what you have accomplished.
  • Let go of the opinions of others (and society) and listen to your own inner voice.
  • Remember that when you also take care of your own needs and do things that make you happy, your loved ones benefit.
  • Connect your activity to your deeper values and dreams.
Mothers on Fire has reminded me to follow my dreams. I have been writing a lot about it in the past few months. With the Olympics being held in my country in less than 100 days, my dream of attending the Olympic Games has been my focus.

I am one step closer today to realizing that dream. After over four hours of two computers refreshing every 30 seconds and my fingers redialing for tickets yesterday, I managed to secure a ticket to the Opening Ceremony.

There are still some walls to surmount before I get there, but this is the first step. Now that I have a ticket, I will continue to work at fulfilling my dream by booking a flight, arranging accommodation, arranging for my kids and puppy care and of course, work on my finances (this is not a cheap dream). The biggest challenge will be ensuring that Mother Nature doesn't wreak havoc with my dream. It will be February in Canada. Snow storms happen. Flights get cancelled. I am trying to make sure that I take all these "walls" into consideration as I plan my trip.

I do believe that if I had not been introduced to Mothers on Fire, I would not be going to the Olympic Games this winter. I had given up on that dream last year when I looked at getting tickets for my whole family and realized financially (and logistically) it was not realistic. The timing of those two presentations was perfect for me. Would I rather go to the Olympics with my family? Absolutely!! But going alone is better than not going at all and going alone is realistic and doable.

When trying to make dreams come true, we will come up against walls. You can read my post about "they're just walls" here. These walls are not meant to stop us, but to make us show how much we want something. Unfortunately, I learned this lesson late in life (but fortunately not too late). I used to give up on my dreams too easily.

I hope that my going to the Olympic Games will teach my children to Dream Big. We don't know what we are capable of until we climb over, dig under, go around or knock those walls down.

'Cause if you don't dream big what's the use of dreaming

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