This past weekend I went out of town to spend Easter with my two daughters and two grandsons; one who is 7 and one who is 19 months. Of course, an Easter Egg Hunt was on the agenda. We did something different this year and went to an event in another town where they had a variety of Easter festivities that started with breakfast with the Easter Bunny and ending with the hunt. Over the years I have been to my fair share of these events and for the most part, they are all the same. They line the children up by ages, take them to their designated spot and let them loose. The organizer of this particular egg hunt, however, decided to mess with the formula; and oh what a mess it was!
Instead of having the children just go find the eggs, they chose this year to gather them by color. They were to line up, go find a specific color of egg and return to the starting line. Now this concept might have worked on the older group, even though that was also a flawed system, but to expect the 1-3-year-olds to gather eggs by color was never going to happen. To begin with, my 19-month-old grandson doesn’t know a pink egg from a green one, and I never even thought to restrict his roaming and collecting of eggs. He had my permission to gather at will. I promise you once he had picked one up and put it in his basket, he would not take kindly to having it removed. In fact, that scene played out all over the grassy field as parents were forbidding their children from picking up the wrong color egg, or worse, making them remove the bounty from their basket. There was one meltdown after another! I have never seen so many miserable and confused children at what should have been a fun-filled event. I have no doubts the organizers got quite an earful when all was said and done and I highly doubt they repeat this procedure ever again.
While I was watching the mayhem unfold, the thought came to me how our goals and dreams can sometimes resemble those brightly colored eggs placed carefully in those beautiful baskets.
When we set out on our life’s journey, we gather hopes, gifts, talents and dreams all along the way. Some we are born with and others are triggered by events, influence or even chance. Regardless of their origin, they become special to us and we hold them close. Some of us do not share them right away, choosing rather to wait until we are sure, or have a plan. Some are unable to keep it to themselves and tell everyone they meet about their future goals. There is no right or wrong way to express or share your hopes, but I do want to warn you that not everyone will be happy with your choices.
Just like those parents who were trying to ‘help’ the kids follow the rules and made them remove the blue eggs on the pink run, you will talk to people who will insist you need to remove one or more of your dreams from your life’s basket. It may not necessarily be parents at this point in your life (even though we never really stop being ‘Mom and Dad’), but maybe friends, your partner or others who believe they are providing guidance. I always believe it is good to listen to wise counsel. If someone has attempted (or succeeded) down the path you are walking, hear them out. They may have sound advice that might help you avoid pitfalls or obstacles. But keep in mind, your journey is not like theirs, and neither will your outcome.
You may even run across people who willfully attempt to discourage you. They may be jealous and lack the drive to pursue their own way and do not wish to see you succeed at yours. And unfortunately, there are just certain people who are negative or experienced trauma and do not see the value of such endeavors. Regardless of their motivations, I encourage you to ignore the naysayers. Be polite, of course, especially to those who mean well, but never, and I repeat, never let anyone talk you out of your dreams. Yes, there may be struggles and setbacks. You may even have to set it aside for a time to take care of life, family and responsibilities. I am not suggesting a reckless charge. But I do want you to always keep your basket handy and I want it filled with the ideals and goals that are specific and meaningful to YOU!
My Hopefuls, we only have this one glorious ride called life. There are no refunds and no do-overs. You know what inspires you, delights you, and motivates you. Pursue that! Relentlessly! Do not buy into the ‘normal’ or ‘cannot’ or ‘are you sure’. Own who you are and collect as many awesome eggs as you want in as many colors, shapes and sizes as you want. I believe in you and know at the end of this life’s egg hunt, your basket will be overflowing with accomplishments and pride. Until then and always…..
Hope With Abandon
You may also be interested in my blog from last year called "Price Of A Dream"