I suppose I’ve always been a dreamer and a goal setter at heart.
As a young musician, I wanted to meet Prince. And I did, at 22 years old, while living in the Uptown district of Minneapolis. He was wearing a blue jumpsuit. (“I’m goin’ down to Alphabet Street…” Y’all don’t know nothing about that, do ya?)
A few troubled years later, as a recovering AFDC recipient and a developing sales director in North Carolina, I set goals to earn company prizes, awards, and even cars. And I did. I wanted to own a house in which to raise my two young children before I turned 30. And I did. With two weeks to spare.
When my former husband and I first got (back) together (long, semi-sweet story), I wanted to get married and have a child together before I turned 40. And we did, when I was 39. I still have my precious child. The marriage, however, was short-lived.
In a couple of weeks, I’ll be squarely in my late forties. You know, early forties, mid forties, late forties. Ok, late-mid forties. I don’t have any specific goals I want to achieve within the next two weeks – although it would be great if I could choose paint for my bedroom and finally have just one wall color – but there are a few things I’d like to see happen in my life before I hit 5-0.
It’s a short list of things, not entirely unlike a bucket list. I won’t necessarily “die happy” when these things are accomplished. I just need for them to happen to help me cope with the mental baggage of turning 50. By then, I hope to have some actual fruit growing on my tree. A legacy, I suppose. Something that connects me to others in a life-affirming, loving way, and that proves that I’ve been here and did something worthwhile for somebody beyond myself.
So, here are two of the major items I can share, in order:
– Publish The Addict Magnet
– Establish a related conferencing ministry
Truth is, I have done a lot of preparatory work toward these goals, from as far back as six years ago. I wrote the book in 2007, and had a publishing offer, but not the kind I’d like to get. I’ve been in graduate school for the past five years, studying toward a Master of Divinity degree from Campbell Divinity School, to train as a counselor and as a minister. With the book and training under my belt, I should have more of what I need to develop an effective and meaningful ministry.
Of course, if I’ve learned anything in Div School, it’s this: I don’t know much.
I can barely make sense of any of the things that have already happened in my lifetime. I have even less of a chance of accurately predicting what’s going to happen in the next few days, weeks, months, or years.
Still, I’m grateful to the God who continues to plant dreams in the human soul. Those dreams are the only link we have, really, to any notion of “future.”
I believe in dreams, not in the self-helpers’ “believe it and achieve it” way, but as God’s way of communicating to me through the wild ride of my transformation into the Sandy I’ll eventually become while I’m still the Sandy I am.
Maybe I should add in some more intentional dreaming time over these next three years before I reach 50 … Who knows what might be on the next list!