I Dream of a World…

8 Jan

So apparently I can’t get away from list-making and reflecting on the new year. I think it has something to do with the fact that for me the new year is doubly new, as my birthday is January 3rd, so not only is the new calendar year beginning, but so is a new year of my life.

I turned 43 on Thursday. To me this feels old though I know that it is not. I am not one of those people who won’t tell their age. I’m okay with being 43. Though, to be sure, 43 looks a lot younger to me than it did 30 years ago. Back then it looked old. Now it just looks…a wee bit old.

I thought that I’d have accomplished more things by this time in my life. I suppose that all kids imagine that. I thought that I’d be a published author. Or maybe a famous opera singer. Or maybe a scrappy journalist, speaking Russian and helping to end the Cold War.

Somehow the Cold War ended without me. The music major I’d considered turned out to be unrealistic, and the journalism major was more work than I was willing to put into it. So I majored in English (the standby for all people who love to read), went to grad school (the standby for all people who can’t get a job with their major), got married, taught a little, had kids…all those good, lovely things that happen to people, whether they achieve their imagined selves or not.

And I love where I am in life. I mean, I’m far from perfect. Far from the “#1 Mom” that my daughter tells me I am. Far from the perfect housewife, the perfect friend, the perfect parishioner. No, I’m not famous. I’m not perfect in body or mind or will. But I’m content.

No, I have not sold my book – not that I’m quite ready to try…give me a few more months – and I maybe never will. Maybe all the months and years that I’ve spent on it will end up as nothing more than a file on my lap top.

That would really be a drag.

For now, I’ll keep plugging away at it. I’ll take each day as it comes and not regret a thing. (Well, I do regret some things I’ve said and done …but I won’t bother regretting the things I haven’t done.) I’ll keep on washing the dishes and folding the clothes.

And it will be good. Because this is where I am. And I like the path I’ve taken to get here.


There are, however, a few things that I think would make the world a perfect place. A few dreams I have.

Allow me to share them with you:

I dream of a world where my children can sit together in the back seat of the car without arguing.

I dream of a world where my children notice that the garbage can is full and, knowing that it’s their chore for that week, will take it out without waiting to be told.

I dream of a world where our two cats totally reject their bird-killing tendencies, but totally keep on exercising their mouse-killing tendencies.

I dream of a world where the snow falls only on the grass and trees and houses, but never on the roads.

I dream of a world where hair care products for a family of five cost less than a new lawn mower.

I dream of a world where I can watch the news in the morning and every story won’t be about violence, sex, or irritating politics.

I dream of a world where I can eat all the Christmas goodies I want and my body will shrink instead of expand.

I dream of a world where we can actually use my husband’s frequent flyer miles as opposed to letting them build up but not having the money, kid-sitters or time to go anywhere with them.

I dream of a world where tiny pieces of Lego stay where they belong, rather than wandering all over the house and multiplying in mysterious ways.

I dream of a world where socks match up after the laundry, clothes never shrink in the dryer, and the clothes automatically fold themselves rather than remain in the laundry basket, mocking me every time I walk past them on my way to do other, more pressing things. Oh, and speaking of pressing, I dream of a world where I never have to iron again. Especially things with pleats.

I dream of a world where, when my children brush their teeth, it doesn’t mean automatically having to wipe the sink out afterwards.

I dream of a world where I don’t complain about stuff and face everything with a smile.

I fear that’s about as likely to happen as #1.


28 Responses to “I Dream of a World…”

  1. cravesadventure January 8, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    Loving your post and it is great to have DREAMS:) Happy New Year, Happy Birthday, Happy Dreaming and New Beginnings!!!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 8, 2013 at 11:57 am #

      Thanks! 🙂 Dreams are always worth having…even the crazy ones!

  2. Minnesota Prairie Roots January 8, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    First off, a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you, dear Gretchen! Forty-three is young, you hear me. You will think that when you are pushing 60 like me.

    As for your contentment with your current life, that is huge, huge I tell you. I know, I am being kind of bossy and loud this morning.

    I have no doubt, none, that you will publish your book. Yes, you will.

    That all said, I am waiting to hear how your presentation to the county commissioners for a new library in Worthington went. Do tell us.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 8, 2013 at 11:59 am #

      I shall indeed tell you…and post on the topic. Suffice it to say that it wasn’t EXACTLY what we wanted…but it will do to be going on with. I’m hoping to write about it in the next day or two. I’m working – a real job!! – the next three days, so today is nuts trying to be prepared for the next three days…so no writing on it today!

  3. gmariclay77 January 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    I could totally relate to all of this as being a mother of five children. Most of my kids are grown now so i did have the time to concentrate finally on publishing my book. It’s never too late! Those darn socks…… where do they go to anyway? We have come to a conclusion that there is a place in the house called ‘the black hole of socks’ where all the odd socks end up and never to be seen again! haha Love your post!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

      It’s good to know I’m not alone in the dilemmas I face! And yes, I know about that black hole. Very strange. Perhaps if the cleaning fairy every flies my way she’ll know how to access that hole. A girl can dream, yes?!

      • gmariclay77 January 8, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

        Nope…. No one has ever solved the mystery of the missing socks….. it’s a mystery of the universe that will never be solved in our life time I believe! ha! Trust me, I moved from my old house and turned the house upside down and never were the socks to be found anywhere. I had a big pillow case full of odd socks….. that’s crazy isn’t it?

        • Gretchen O'Donnell January 9, 2013 at 6:34 am #

          Totally crazy, yes! I lost three kitchen knives…small paring sized ones over the years. I finally reaized that they’d probably been left in pizza boxes when my kids were small and I’d be cutting their pieces smaller. But those socks…totaly mystery!

  4. afterthekidsleave January 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Dreams are amazing things…and yours are lovely. Best of luck!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

      Thanks so much! And thanks for stopping by and commenting. I promise to reciprocate! (I already like your blog title…)

  5. debdundas January 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Everyday dreams are the best dreams … and happy birthday.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 8, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

      Yes, you are so right. I like how you phrased that…”everyday dreams”…yes, that’s best for sure!

  6. hotlyspiced January 8, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    Happy Birthday! I guess your birthday must be around the New Year? What is the book you are writing? Is it fiction or a biography? I have so many of the same dreams – I have a stack of about 30 odd socks in my laundry that my husband says, ‘Just throw them out’ but I keep thinking that in the next load I might find some of their partners. And so the months roll on xx

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 8, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

      LOL! I used to keep them to make sock puppets out of. Now I just throw them away! All the sock puppets we made were pretty pathetic.

      My book is fiction – for kids. Almost done with it!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 8, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

      Oh, by the way, my birthday is the third…so close to New Years, but not quite there!

  7. treadlemusic January 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    A very happy birthday to you and many more. Your post is lovely….and dreamy! But living without any dreams is so dreary! Hugs, Doreen

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 8, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

      Yes, I suppose that all kinds of dreams are necessary – the “everyday dreams” – and the unreachable dreams, too. Right now I just crave nighttime dreams. I’m exhausted!

  8. whatimeant2say January 8, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    Happy Birthday! And now I’m back to replaying “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miz in my head. Thanks 😉

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 8, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

      Oh, that’s not good. I’ve been singing Les Mis songs since Saturday and can’t get them out of my head AT ALL. Though, to be sure, for a brief time today I had “Karma Camelion” in my head…not sure that was better…

  9. gardenfreshtomatoes January 9, 2013 at 5:41 am #

    Wonderful world you’ve dreamed, Gretchen…When you find it, give me the coordinates, and I’ll pack-up and join you!
    I solved the ironing thing – I don’t buy anything that needs it, no matter how cute it is 😉

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 9, 2013 at 6:35 am #

      THAT is exactly the issue: cuteness!!!! Thankfully now that my girls are older, it’s not quite such a problem – there are fewer cute things for older girls!

      And yes…I’ll totally send you the coordinates!

  10. Clyde of Mankato January 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    January’s child is full of, of ,of, how shall I say it, faint hopes.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

      And to top it off I was born on a Saturday…so I “work hard for a living”…ugh!!

  11. vyvacious January 10, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    I wholeheartedly agree with you dream of the news as well as the second to last dream 🙂 well a very happy belated birthday to you and I hope some of your dreams come true 🙂

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 11, 2013 at 6:34 am #

      I think that, as a parent, I want to insulate my kids for all the garbage on the news…which I know isn’t even good, in the long run. It’s just so very awful some days that I have to turn it off! And as for the toothpaste…I have a feeling that any parent can relate to that one! (Or roommate, maybe!)

      • vyvacious January 11, 2013 at 6:44 am #

        To be honest, I think it’s great to openly discuss topics that happen in the real world. In fact, I think it’s necessary. However, I cannot support the news because literally all they spew out (I don’t care what freaking channel…) is negativity. I know that’s what happens but a lot of times I feel like they blow it out of proportion or don’t even bother to focus on the good that’s going on in the world too.

        Haha yes, the toothpaste thing can get annoying amongst roommates and friends 😛

        • Gretchen O'Donnell January 13, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

          Yes, we can’t isolate our kids, that’s for sure. I think what bothers me the most about the news is that these huge issues come up and we don’t have time to discuss them properly when getting ready for school in the morning…I want to be able to discuss things when I WANT to discuss them and have time to do so! Picky, I know. Too bad the world doesn’t always turn the way I want it to!


  1. Do you say I would love to do that but …? « Athena Brady's Blog - January 9, 2013

    […] I Dream of a World… (afinedayforanepiphany.wordpress.com) […]

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