Choose To Live Your Dreams

by Kim on June 14, 2011 · 22 comments

Will you live your dreams?  The choice is yours. 

Photo by cogdogblog.  Flickr creative commons.

If your place of employment is anything like mine then retirement is a common topic of conversation. 

There are daily, weekly, monthly countdowns.  Desktop clocks click backwards towards the moment

Retirement whispered like a little prayer. 

Each day, one day closer to freedom. 

But also this: each day, one less than we had before. 

Tick tock.

In the morning I study the tired eyes of my coworkers as we pile into the elevator.  I tell myself remember this, remember this, remember this.  I say, fight with all you have to find another way.

I want to live a life that I don’t want to retire from.

Life is one big experiment.  We test boundaries and rules.  We dabble.  We take chances -or we don’t- and then we find out what happens.  We turn over one stone and then another and another.  We make choices and we’re never quite sure what the consequences will be.  We decide to live boldly.  We decide to be brave.  We decide if we will spend forty years in a cubicle.  We decide how much that big paycheck means to us.  We decide if security is the point.

Then, once we’ve made our choice the momentum of that decision takes us closer or farther away from the life we were meant to live. 

Either way, each choice is ours.  For the record, not making a choice is making a choice. 

Where are your choices leading you? 

What kind of life will you decide to live?

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Greg June 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm

How do I define myself?

We have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves that question. And for many it’s a hard question because we’ve been hard wired to tie our work\career to how we define ourself. De-coupling the two is a hard challenge. So hard that it seems to be taking place at an evolutionary level as opposed to a conscious switch that we can just turn on.

Very timely post and questions asked that need to be addressed so we can live our dreams. Thanks.

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Kim June 14, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Hi Greg. Yes, it is so hard to stop defining ourselves based on our career and how important/successful we are at it. I do not think there is anything wrong with success. Who doesnt’ want to be successful?!?! But I think the idea is to redefine success. Or at least, to define success on our own terms. Thanks for your great comment.

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Gillian @OneGiantStep June 14, 2011 at 8:35 pm

One of my defining events: Ed told me every day how many days he had left until retirement. He was man older than his 60 years and had been counting down every day for the 10 years I had known him. He died within one month of reaching his golden moment. A lifetime spent waiting only to never really get there. Not for me were the first words I though when I heard of his passing. Not for me. RIP Ed; you taught me a great lesson.

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Kim June 14, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Wow. There are similar stories where I work. It’s almost like some people live to reach that goal of retirement and then when they get there they don’t have anything beyond it. Ed taught you a very valuable lesson indeed.

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Carmel June 15, 2011 at 8:48 am

What a great story.

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Amy Riley June 15, 2011 at 5:50 am

Great post! I totally agree I too want to live a life I don’t retire from. I want to fully live in whatever capacity that might be until the end. Thanks for the inspiration!

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Kim June 15, 2011 at 7:00 am

Thanks Amy!

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Carmel June 15, 2011 at 8:47 am

It’s easy to get swept up into other people’s ideas of success–money, status, job, parenting–but you’re right. We choose to be swept up, maybe by feeling stymied by making a choice, so our choice is following the herd. We talked about this last week–I tried so hard to make my career meaningful, but finally realized, that’s not how I want to define my life. I try to think, if I die today, how will people remember me? Hopefully they’ll remember stuff like my love for cooking, travelling, music, and just having a good time, not just the fact that I am amazingly organized at work. So far, I feel pretty successful.

When everyone was getting jobs after college and I took off for Europe for 10 weeks, my only explanation was that I didn’t want to wait to travel until I was stuck taking bus tours because I couldn’t get myself around. Hence our decision to travel ASAP, rather than wait until retirement. You never know if it’ll come.
Carmel recently posted..Farmers Market Inspired Weekend

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Kim June 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Hi Carmel. I also tried so hard to make my career meaningful and actually I DO think it’s meaningful. But I always remember that quote, I can’t remember off the top of my head who said it- “If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”

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Carmel June 16, 2011 at 10:28 am

Yet another great quote!

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Megan June 15, 2011 at 7:09 pm

“I want to live a life that I don’t want to retire from.”

Yes! That verbalises so much of what’s been going on in my head lately. Great post.
Megan recently posted..The Bollywood Border

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Kim June 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Thanks Megan. :)

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Cynthia June 15, 2011 at 11:36 pm

I agree wholeheartedly. I don’t want to wait till I’m over the hill to enjoy what I can enjoy now. Your post complimented what I’ve been reading lately so I know that I’m on the right path – thank you for being a signpost on that path :) *hugs*

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Kim June 17, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Hi Cynthia- so glad it jives with what you are thinking lately. Hugs to you too.

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Kristin June 18, 2011 at 8:04 am

One of my defining moments: seeing a picture of the Taj Mahal in a travel magazine and realizing, from deep, deep inside that I was meant to travel to India. Not just travel, but take a big trip there. That moment and trip started two years of traveling and the takeyourbigtrip blog. Along the way, I let go of the need to plan so much and gained trust and faith in myself.

Thanks for asking Kim!

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Kim June 19, 2011 at 7:13 am

Thanks for sharing Kristin. I love it when something from the inside speaks up and you know, without a doubt, which way you are meant to go.

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Jason @ Travel Junkies June 26, 2011 at 10:24 am

We must have similar employment, as that sounds just like the power of a certain public retirement benefit…
Already I have seen many people wait for their retirement to “Live Life” only to die shortly after or find their bodies too worn out to do the things they had wanted to do in retirement. Live for the moment, because who knows what the future will hold!

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Kim June 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Jason, how did you figure it out??! You know, we might even have the same employer ;)

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Angela July 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Very important message, I think always more people are starting to understand, always more people are getting tired of living a life they don’t want.
Similar to the story told by Gillian, there are far too many people who have to work until they almost have no breath. Funny system they (we) have created for ourselves.
Angela recently posted..My 7 links, lest we forget

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Kim July 18, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Hi Angela. I always think about how odd it is that we have created these rules for ourselves where we work ourselves to death and take very little time for the things (and people) we love. Why do we put up with this?

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Mack Reynolds August 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm

you know, i’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately with essentially the same message. i am really in love with the idea of living a happy life apart from the 9-5 droning that has me in captivity. i’m learning a few skills and testing a few things, and working a few things out in my mind. when i get it all together i’m going to say goodbye to corporate america and live happily ever after.

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Kim August 1, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Good luck Mack. It sounds cheesy but I think that if you follow your heart you’ll figure it all out.

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