Thursday, April 7, 2011

Living the Dream

Thom is a huge advocate of writing down your goals. They are easier to achieve if you are frequently reminded of them. I think I need to write down my goals, more concrete things than live happily ever after with Dave and The Pinks, leave the world a better place and learn to make dinner so that everything is done at the same time.

I had lunch with a friend last week and in four years her husband will retire. In five years their youngest will be out of the house. She has a clear plan for the next phase of their life. I like that.

My brother's college buddy lives in Truckee. He worked hard to live his dream. He convinced his ultra-conservative San Francisco employer to let him work from Tahoe. He married a woman who supported his dream, perhaps even shared it. They have a child together (named Sierra, duh!) and ski a lot. And he often posts beautiful pictures on Facebook, ones that make me smile ear-to-ear on the most frenetic of work days.

One of our Tahoe neighbors has a son who wants to be on the US Ski Team. Although they have a house in the Bay, they live at Squaw and the 16-year-old trains and skis year-round. The son is living his dream.

I feel sorry for my children. They have no concept of how good they have it, how much they are living the dream. If not their dream, many people's dream. From the top of the Shirley Lake chair, on the most glorious of Spring days and overlooking the lake, I gave this considerable thought. Our children have coordinating, brand-name ski clothes. They ski on good equipment with sharp edges. When they forget their gators we pull out our credit cards and buy them new ones instead of letting them suffer for their oversight. For lunch at the mid mountain restaurant they eat overpriced, over-salted hot dogs and drink not-very-hot chocolate made from water and powdered mix.

If these kids are to continue to ski, I need to give them some tough love. They need to know that skiing is not always ski in, ski out. Here's my plan:

1. They will be woken at 4am on Saturday mornings and have their sleepy bodies thrown in the car for day trips to Sugar Bowl.

2. They will carry their own gear from the far reaches of the parking lot to the lifts!

3. They will know the fear of driving to the mountains in a rear-wheel drive station wagon.

4. They will do this drive without a DVD player, iPod or DS.

5. They will eat McDonald's pancakes for breakfast in Auburn.

6. They will put on their boots while sitting in the back of that station wagon.

7. They will take them off in that now-really-cold-station-wagon at the end of the day, without a warm, cushy sofa to kick back on and someone to hand them a bottle of water.

I predict this will aid their character development significantly.

Back to living the dream. What's yours? How are you going to get there?


Anonymous said...


Celia Fae said...

We prefer the mc donalds in grass valley. Quicker on/off.

I need a sta wag. Thanks for the idea.

Anonymous said...

May I suggest some different tough love ideas. All wheel drive is just plain safer. And start from home with the smaller stuff. Lunch can always be prepared by themselves and ahead of time. Xxx

Postcards From The Hedge said...

This so resonates with me - I have been blue and no clear goals is [art of the problem.

Funny how comments so far are all about how the kids will react to the real world you're going to show them, and not about goals (ours) and how to get there...

My friend's daughter, Dr Christine Carter, wrote a book called Raising Happiness. Get it. We all want our kids to be healthy and happy - we know how to do healthy, but happy, not so much. I think her happiness habits are also goal-setting habits...

Paige said...

goals/schmoals. Turns out you can plan but not control your life.... and that's OK.

Sugar bowl- we like it because you can drop your stuff off when you arrive at 9 am after your early morning drive from East Bay. Otherwise your goal is lofty but doable, save the station wagon. You make me laugh.