Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One Wonderful Sunday

I watched the movie, directed by Akira Kurosawa and released back in 1947. I had no idea what the movie was going to be about. The story was about a young couple with nothing but their dreams to hold onto. It was compelling. It could be shown today and be just as relevant. There were times when, by today's standards, the story seemed to be slow. However, the artistry in the imagery and the pace of the movie was completely in line with what the characters and the viewer was feeling as the story was revealed.

I have gone through hard times for decades. Being an artist and writer and having a brain injury, it seems that if I wanted to focus on the obstacles in my life, I wouldn't have written a book or finished one painting. Often through those times I would dream of how life would be if my writings were published or my artwork was seen. What would happen if I actually sold my work and could make a difference? But mulling over those thoughts would only lead me to a sense of hopelessness and despair. Instead I choose to share my dreams with my children. Telling them fun stories about something I saw online or in a store and how I went shopping for them today without any money. Or I might say what I would do if... I always told my children don't be afraid to dream big. Your dreams are free. And the ones you really want to have happen? You are going to need to work hard and you are going to need to take steps toward making those dreams a reality. I found the decisions I made based on necessity or a lack of courage took me further from the life I needed to realize and the decisions I made that were consistent with who I was and wear my talents were going to be utilized turned out to be the best decisions.

And all three of my grown children have found these truths to work for them too. And they are now living lives that they are truly engaged in. It is difficult for creative people to find a niche because usually we have to create our own careers. To see my children finding fulfillment in their lives is fantastic. Money comes and goes. Learning how to live below your means so you can save a little and make wise decisions is the ticket. Investing in your own future is certainly the best way to go. And anyone who doesn't know what it is like to earn a living... well, don't trust them with your money, your retirement or your future. Make your own decisions about all of that.

Whether you have millions or you are living below the poverty level, if you are always over extending and you don't budget yourself based on what you have, you are going to be chasing your tail or you are going to be vulnerable to people who will use you and take what you have.

That's the way it is.

I remember seeing young people who didn't have much money going out to eat all of the time. They may have been getting fast food or going to places that had a special that night but they were still going out to eat all of the time. And I thought, this was so wasteful and lazy. As time past my grown kids, on their own were, realized how much money they were wasting in this way too. I made them recipe books and taught them how to make healthy soups and cook things from scratch. I gave them soup pots and seasonings and they wound up realizing how much better the food they made at home tasted. And soon they started taking more of an interest in what they were eating and drinking and they started making really healthy choices.

I used to say, back when we had the farm, after I'd made a delicious soup and we were all sitting down for dinner, people would pay a lot of money to eat as good as we do. Being able to harvest fresh fruits and vegetables and cook healthy food without preservatives was golden. And when we'd sit around and talk and laugh, again I'd tell them how lucky we were to have each other. Because we could be real with each other and laugh together. Some times we laughed about how ridiculous life was. And some times we'd laugh about how ridiculous we were. But we didn't miss a day. Whether we were going through a rough time or whether we were seeing the beauty in the moment, we were experienced a fullness in life that we have continued to share. One that has continued to enrich our lives beyond measure.

We don't really need that much. We don't need new cars. We don't need huge houses. We don't need expensive vacations. We don't need to go out every night for dinner. And we don't need to waste a ton of money on things we think we need to make us feel better.

We can breathe in life and breathe out the peace or stress that we accumulate and we can share love and hope and yes, even our dreams. Dreams are good but only if we remember our feet must be firmly planted on the ground so we can move forward. Our eyes must be opened to the way things really are so we can see which way we are going and figure out which direction we need to go so we don't waste years being lost.

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