I want to be self-sufficient. I want to be debt-free. I want to build a home off the grid, live of the land, have a ceramic studio, raise animals and teach my children to do the same. Or so I think.
Alan wants to be a school principal. In the meantime he wants to pursue his Ph.D in Educational Administration. He has no interest in my dream of living off the land and he doesn’t want the responsibility of any animal, let alone a cow that needs to be milked twice a day.
Because I love this man and want to be with him forever, I choose to shift my dream. My dream requires his participation; I will not force it onto him. I choose to fit into a new framework that respects his space.
I have had my way plenty of times over the course of our almost 12-year marriage: the babies, the cat, the house, the parenting style, the organic food and natural medicine, the no-vaccinating, homeschooling, homebirthing–those were all my ideas. And he has embraced them, every single one. I am fortunate; I know that.
This time it is his turn. I will shift my dream to make room for him, room for us both. A compromise. Perhaps we can have some land, but a regular house that is on the grid. Perhaps we can have a few animals and grow some food, but not so much that it requires machinery and a lot of manpower. Perhaps I can have a clay studio and he can have his motorcycle workshop.
I am shifting my disappointment into possibility and compromise. A new dream.
We can’t always have exactly what we want, but if we are flexible, we might get something even better.