I’ve never been much of a dreamer.  Not the sleeping kind of dreams because, in that way, I am a vivid, crazy dreamer.  No, the kind of dreamer that says, “One day…”

When I was selling Mary Kay, we used to have these rah-rah meetings that were meant to inspire and fire us up to sell more (of course).  Many, many times I was asked about my dreams.  What were my wildest dreams and how did I plan to get there?  We were supposed to make a “dream board” that had all of the things we dreamt about having with the idea that if we could see it and visualize it every day, we were more likely to make it happen.  It’s a very effective way of helping a person realize their dreams.

Unless you have no idea what yours are.

I used to struggle with this so much it would make me anxious.  Pop quiz kind of anxious.  New kid kind of anxious.  I mean…really?

Why don’t I have any dreams?  Instead, I have wants.  I have a sort of bucket list.  I want to go to Europe.  I want to take the kids to Hawaii.  I want to have a house by the beach.  I want to learn to speak a foreign language fluently.  I want to learn to play the piano.  I want to find peace.

But dreams?  I’m not even sure I know what that is?  What differentiates it from wants? 


[dreem] adjective:  most desirable; ideal: a dream vacation.


[wont, wawnt] verb (used with object):  to feel a need or a desire for; wish for: to want one’s dinner; always wanting something new.
Hmmm…sounds an awful lot alike to me.

For me the difference is control.  I have no control over my dreams.  Dreams are things for which you wish.  They are made of spun cotton and air. They are ethereal.  Smoke and mirrors.  In that way they are like their counterpart that occurs during the night.  When you wake…they are gone. They are fantasy born of a desire.

Wants, on the other hand, I can make happen.

I believe that I struggle with this because when you’re hanging on by your fingernails as a child you don’t have time to “dream”.  You’re biggest dreams revolve around just wanting your family to be normal so that you can be a kid…and in your heart of hearts you know that will never happen so why bother.
So I learned that if I wanted something it was up to me to make it happen.  I wanted a home and a “normal” family and a career that would provide for them.  With the help of my husband (who is also my life partner, soul mate and best friend) I made it happen.  After 4 years of out of control drinking I wanted to be sober…I made it happen.  I want to find peace…I’m on the path to making that happen.
Of course your wants can also hurt you (to quote my mother-in-law).  I wanted to party.  I wanted to be able to enjoy a glass (bottle) of wine at home.  I wanted to try smoking.  I wanted to get married two weeks out of high school in order to get out of the house.  I have to learn to watch that part.

So for today what I want is to get back into shape.  (And I don’t want that shape to be round.)  Now here’s the difference for me between dreams and wants.  My dream is to get back into the shape I was at 35…however, since I am no longer 35, I want to get fit and in a reasonable shape for a 51 year old woman.  No amount of wishing will make my dream come true.
But I can make that want come true.

“Some people follow their dreams, others hunt them down and beat them mercilessly into submission.”  ~Neil Kendall

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