you will be more disappointed
by the things that
you didn’t do
than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.”
“Here’s some paper, scissors and crayons,” my grandmother and mother said. “Draw some food for your tea set and then we will have a tea party.”
Sitting on the floor in the middle of the living room with womanly chatter continuing through the afternoon, I sat quietly and drew, colored and then cut out food. In my imagination, the little green dots were really peas and the weird shaped brown things were pork chops.
After hours of drawing a wide array of delectable dishes, I pronounced, “I’m done!” and the commencement of a tea party began.
“Oh, the pork chops are delicious,” Mom said.
“I want some green beans,” Aunt Bob said while winking at Mom.
“Bring Mam-Maw a big pile of mash potatoes, Honey,” my grandmother said while beckoning me over with a little wave showing a flash of her brightly colored, short red fingernails.
I was serving them a meal fit for queens and they obliged by pretending to eat it.
That is what an imagination is all about and often we lose that ability when we grow into adulthood.
But it doesn’t have to be gone forever…
What To Do With The Imaginable List
I wrote my imaginable list, but it took me many hours of thought and consideration. The next day, I pared it down to the things that could really be accomplished. Unless I find a time machine or gain the power to raise the dead, those things that were cut from the list will have to stay gone.
Left behind on the imaginable list were 23 things…some that could be done soon and others that might take a lifetime or more to accomplish.
We are not done with the list yet.
It is time to read between the lines and dissect the imaginable list.
First, divide your list into sections of things that are alike or that simply go together. For instance, I have four things on my list that deal with “employment” and are directly related to being employed in order to earn a living.
With those things now grouped together, I started brainstorming what would be needed to accomplish these imaginable goals. Just as a baker prepares for constructing a magnificent wedding cake, take the time to fill in all the items between the lines of your imaginable list.
Let your imagination soar.
Take yourself to the moment of living the items on the imaginable list.
Imagine the life.
One by one, slowly go to there…
It needs you to breathe life and reality into it just as I did with the tea party food on the sunny afternoon with the wonderful women of my family. Those same women who told me that I can do anything and succeed at everything.
They believed it for me until I was able to believe for myself.
My grandmother, mother, and aunt pretended colored paper was food, helping a little girl’s imagination bloom and she basked in the acceptance and love they gave her. She felt special, talented, and very loved.
Now it is 2011 and as I am drawing ever closer to the half century mark, I’m letting them believe it for me again until I can feel it.
While waiting for the PTSD to subside and the confidence resume in full force, I’m preparing for the life I’ve imagined.
Over the next week, contemplate your imagined life and write everything it will take to accomplish it between the lines of the list. Then when we come back together, we will finish the last step of the preparation and begin our journey together.
Tomorrow, however, I’ve cooked something up to eat while you’re working on that list.
You know we need our energy and can’t think or work on an empty stomach!
that makes a dream
impossible to achieve:
the fear of failure.”