“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
Louisa May Alcott
“If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.”
Tonight I saw a house on the beach. I saw several actually, but I saw one that I could happily live in. It was small and probably more than I can afford right now, but it was cute and clean and I could hear the ocean from the front yard. Is this the one? Probably not, due to my current financial situation, but I’m going to pray about it and call the landlord back tomorrow.
Actually, she wasn’t the landlord; she was just helping the landlord. Her name was Susan (not her real name) and she appeared to be about 70 years old. She had a great smile and a handshake stronger than I expected. She lived next door to the place and surprised me by offering to let me see it even though it was 6:00 on a Sunday evening. It was part of a duplex. It had two bedrooms, a gas stove and a storage shed. There was no parking and that could be a problem since it’s so close to the beach. And those bedrooms were pretty small. But it would be amazing to go home there every night.
It’s also close to a 7-11, which makes me very happy because 7-11 makes the best coffee. Best of all, of course, it’s right by the beach. I could walk to the beach every night and every morning. I can hear and smell the ocean from this house. The more I’m writing about it, the more I want it. Again, this may not be the right time or the right place. I need to see what my Muse says.
Sometimes the fulfillment of a dream is about the right timing. I was in Imperial Beach to look at another house, for sale, not for rent, which coincidentally was right across the street from the rental. I went to the house and it was nice, but I’m just not ready to buy a house. So I left and drove around town. I found a rental place, but when I called the number on the front yard, I was told it had been taken. The office, however, was nearby. So I went to the office and was then directed to another house. That was not the house for me. It was too far from the beach.
Then I was going to leave, but I decided to go back to the beach to walk and read. I parked my car right in front of the house for sale, though by now it was no longer being shown. I went to the beach to walk and read. After about an hour I went back to my car and there was the rental house and that brings me back to the beginning of my story.
So am I going to get it? As I said, probably not. As much as I want it, I want to be wise with my money. This doesn’t discourage me. In fact, just the opposite – it tells me that what I want is there. Maybe this is the one. Maybe I’ll miss a great opportunity if I don’t get this one. More likely, another will come along at the right time if this isn’t the one.
What’s important is not lose sight of my goals.
There are two possible outcomes. One is that I will not get this house for the reason stated above. If that’s the case then I will keep pursuing this goal. I will keep doing what I need to do to reach it. In pursuing this goal I will enrich my life and give it an added dimension. The creation and pursuit of goals make life worth living. I’m not saying life is not worth living without goals; it’s just that life is far more interesting with them.
This leads to some important questions: Do I have goals for each area of my life or am I just allowing things to happen? Do I have goals for my personal life? Do I have goals for my job? Do I have goals for my spiritual life? Upon reflection, I believe I could stand to reflect some more. I may be guilty of letting life happen and then reacting when it doesn’t happen nicely. Worse, I may look back one day and wish I had planned better. I may need more goals than just a house on the beach. Or maybe my house on the beach encompasses several goals at once.
What if, then, I say yes to this house? What if I looked at the details and I was able to do it? What would I do?
I’d move in. I’d set up the place with bookshelves and a desk to write on. I’d buy the necessary furniture.
Then I’d create a new goal.
That new goal would be just as difficult, if not more so, as my house on the beach is. It would be a fun goal, something to look forward to, something to strive towards and work for. I don’t know what it is yet, but I will when I get that house on the beach, either this one or another one.
Either way I will Get Started and I will Keep Going.