I'm in a really good mood today. Not entirely sure why (though there are some reasons I could blame, partially good food, partially having a nap this afternoon, partially having a good exercise session this morning… but there are many other potential causes too). And being in a really good mood has gotten me thinking about not goals exactly (I assess my goals, you know my SMART goals (or SMARTER goals) relatively often as it is), but about dreams, hopes and wishes. You know the things that while you could put them into concrete goals aren't really up to you alone and which you might just happen to still dream, hope and wish about regardless of whether you're taking steps toward them at the moment or not. And at different times in my life I've done a bit of stepping toward different ones of these. And given that I guess 2012 is intended to be a time of transition for me of a sort (I *WILL* at some point before the end of the CALENDAR year finish this degree — ideally before the end of summer, but I'll be happy to finish before the end of the year), it makes sense that I'd think about hopes, dreams and whatnot.
When I was a little girl, in I suppose second grade, I dreamed of being a ton of things, many of which I will never do or be (like a chef for example), but at some point around then I think I first thought of being a librarian and an author. And I've done a bit of writing over the years, and Tom reminded me today at his talk about the fact that I am still to an extent writing, though perhaps not as often in the fictional way as I have at other times, I'm still writing and still dream of someday publishing novels of fiction, which I suppose was what I initially thought of when I thought of writers, though I have since thought much more broadly about writing. As for being a librarian, I'll get my MLIS when I graduate from these degrees so I'll be one step closer.
Other hopes and dreams are less defined. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted a family of my own, which to me at the time meant a husband (though now I would more appropriately say significant other, because while I want to be legally married someday, I wouldn't insist on the formality necessarily, the relationship by far superseding any wedding or other celebration in importance), and a number of children of my own. As a kid I also imagined one day becoming a grandparent, which I still hope to do, but evidently finding an appropriate significant other is the first step in forming for myself that family unit of my dreams. And while I have, in recent years developed some rather great friendships (and budding friendships) with people I may have formerly dated, or with male friends, I am single and still looking. But you know what, I'm fine with that. I'm not unhappy, though of course ideally I want multiple children of my own, which likely means that I should move toward that direction sometime in the next decade, I'm not really in a rush or anything. I would much rather wait and form the right family unit for me and serve the world one child at a time through volunteer service as a spinster in the interim.
Because I guess I've achieved one of my dreams, which was to become a Kiwanian, and continue to help others. I hope to remain a Kiwanian for the rest of my days, and continue to serve the world one child, one community at a time. I'm rather passionate about the volunteer service that I involve myself in, and while I may spend more time with folks of different generations than myself than the average person of my age and demographic, I'm richer for it. Kiwanis is a passion of mine, whether it be in encouraging and aiding the new generations of leaders in Service Leadership Programs such as CKI or Key Leader, or if it's in doing other things.
In the same vein I really want to attend as many conventions/conferences as I feel are worthwhile in the CKI/Kiwanis/Academic/Professional/fun/other areas. I know that I'll never be able to attend them all, but I've never missed a Kiwanis International convention since becoming a Kiwanian, nor have I missed a CKI convention since my first one in 2003. This is a hope that I'll be able to afford to have the time off to do these things, as well as the financial means to continue to do so.
Another hope/wish/dream is for more close friends, a better support network and the rest. I have many many acquaintances. I have very very few close friends. At the moment, I would likely say that I interact with JD the most, and would likely consider him a best friend, but that doesn't mean that I don't value my acquaintances and wish for more time to better establish these relationships and better get to know these folks that I care about. Some of them are living closer to me these days. Some like to come play board games. Some are more accessible than others, and others still have been essentially lost to me as friends because of poor communication. I feel bad about this but can only work to improve and I hope and dream that I can do this, and do this well.
And I dream of travel. Of experiences. Of good food. Of better health. Of game nights. Of trying new things. Of financial independence. Of appropriate adventure. And I have some goals linked to some of these, but others will remain dreams until they are accomplished. I want a vacation, without a conference attached once I finish my degrees. I'm not allowing myself to plan it until I finish my degrees, nor will I start my job hunt in earnest until that time either. But I do allow myself to dream. And hope and wish.
Then there are dreams for others. The stereotypical ones: reduction of poverty, elimination of many kinds of suffering, better environment policy, a well structured city with great quality of life, literacy for all (or at least for as many as possible), elimination of illnesses, reduction of accidents, better planning and prevention and so on.
Sure I have hopes and wishes and dreams for material things. I keep hard copy lists of these and an occasionally updated Amazon wishlist (and redditgifts profile) for some of the more easily satisfied wants or needs, but the thing is that my world is full of hopes and dreams. And some seem more likely than others.