Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dream a Little by Peg Brantley

A Colorado native, Peg Brantley is a lover of animals (and her husband), traveler and nester, who also appreciates a good bottle of wine. She loves to curl up with a good book—usually a crime novel of some kind. Her writing has come in second place and honorable mention in various contests as she works toward publication.

Peg spent over 25 years in corporate America, many of them running her own businesses. At any given time she could have helped you finance some real estate or sold you a bag of popcorn or a tube of lipstick. She’s unabashedly happy to have those years behind her. She and the love of her life make their home southeast of Denver, where Peg is busy at work on a new manuscript.

by Peg Brantley

One day, I quit dreaming—and it took me over forty years to figure it out.

At some point, it became easier to turn my back on a dream, to let it fade, then to not be perfect each step on the way toward making that dream a reality. (Perfection is really a stupid concept, but that’s another topic.)

What I had, when I quit dreaming, were flat goals. Goals that belonged to other people. Goals I committed to for some reason: to keep my job; to make a loved one happy; because everyone else had a similar goal. They weren’t wrong, they just weren’t mine.

A few weeks ago, while writing my morning pages (if you haven’t read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, what are you waiting for?), I recognized the little girl who used to dream (with a certain amount of fearlessness) had stopped, and I began work to get her back.

I heard this as recently as last week: “Unless it’s specific, with a timeline, it’s not a goal. It’s just a dream.”

Just a dream.

A little belittling to dreams, if you ask me.

I’m not saying my life for forty years consisted of dull days and a series of tasks. Far from it. But I am saying I missed the richness—the possibility—dreams provide.

How do you keep a soul in your goals? Inspiration in your perspiration?


I’ve decided a dream is a little like a new idea for a novel. I toss it around for a while. Turn it over. Is it something I can build a whole story around—a life around? If it feels good, grabs me, then I begin to plot it out. Or, for those of you are more of a “live life by the seat of your pants” kind of person, dive in until your dream begins to take shape. If the idea has staying power, it’s full speed ahead.

The best goals begin as dreams. The best dreams are your dreams. Dreams that fill your soul. They demand you go after them. It’s your pursuit that makes the dream stronger and turns it into (gasp!) a goal.

Before you kick yourself for not accomplishing everything on your list in 2011, consider whether those things were your goals or someone else’s. And before you begin to contemplate what you would like to have happen in 2012, dream a little.


Anonymous said...

Peg this was lovely! I was just thinking about re-reading Cameron's book.....I loved it. Artist dates are the best!

Wendy Bartlett

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Peg - Hi and Welcome! LOVED this! I'm so happy you've rediscovered your dreams. Keep writing, girl and all the other things you so love to do.


Peg Brantley said...

Wnedy, I'm almost finished with my first read-through of TAW (and it took me a lot longer than twelve weeks, I promise!), but my plan is to go through it again next year and actually do all of the tasks/exercises. This time, I got the morning pages down and that's about it. But they are great! My artist dates . . . I'm not so good at keeping.

Kaye, thank you so much for giving me the honor of guest posting on your most amazing blog. I'm excited for your plans for it. You've kept it a living, breathing, viable place.

Krysta said...

Insightful and inspiring as always! Thanks for this.

Jaden Terrell said...

Thanks, Peg, for the reminder that dreams are fuel for the soul. I'm another TAW fan. The first time I read it, I thought, this is a book I'd like to give to everyone I know. Cheers!

Peg Brantley said...

Krysta, you've gifted me again. I love you.

Jaden, we have like minds! I have two copies of the book waiting to wrapped up for my granddaughters for Christmas (Krysta being one of them).

Kathleen Hickey said...

Thanks,Peg! I needed this


Jessica Ferguson said...

Good post, Peg. Love your openness--your from the heart posts. You're a gem.

I'm looking forward to sitting down soon and identifying some of my 2012 goals--and cleaning house on a few things that are getting in my way. I'm a HUGE dreamer too so I need to distinquish between the two. :)You've certainly given me food for thought.

Peg Brantley said...

Kathleen, I'm gratified to have written something beneficial to you. Thanks.

Oh Jess . . . keep those dreams. Those are one of the things that make our lives magical. Maybe you just want to tweek them a bit, or priotize them. See if they still have the same power they had when you first dreamt 'em up.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

I'm planning on doing Julia Cameron's on-line "The Artist's Way," and hope to get right into it in January. That will probably be my one and only concession to making a New Year's Resolution.

Peg Brantley said...

You are my kind of woman, Kaye.

L.J. Sellers said...

Peg: Keep writing and dreaming and making it happen. I have faith in you.

Terry Wright said...

My dad often told me, "Dream for the moon, boy, you might make it around the block." I took his advice and made it to the moon.

Peg Brantley said...

L.J., thanks. Your faith means a lot to me.

Terry, thank you for that advice.

And fabulous Kaye, thank you so much for sharing your space with me. You are a treasure to writers and readers and dreamers everywhere.

Chris Devlin said...

All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.
Jack Kerouac

Thanks for the inspiration, Peg!