Am I living my dreams?

I saw this question on Facebook the other day with a photo of a powerful, majestic black horse. The point was one day we will no longer be on this plant and our fears will not have mattered….all that would have mattered was how we lived. As I thought about this, many things came to mind.

In reality, yes I truly am fortunate to be living my dreams.

Let’s think about it though. The romanticized version of this would be I spend my days rising at a time of my own choosing or rather when our basset hounds woke me up to be fed. I would love to take a walk every morning, weather permitting. Enjoy coffee and my breakfast. Quality time with my husband, Dan, and the dogs. Meditate. Enjoy a refreshing shower and then ready myself for a day of creativity in the studio.

Sounds great? Yes.

But, the reality of that romanticized version is I would still need to market my work because I need the income. Also, a careful eye would need to be kept on my inventories (both raw materials and finished works). Maintain those healthy relationships with the galleries that carry my work. Develop new relationships in new venues where my work could be made available.

That’s not to say any of this true reality is bad. The point is any blissful notion I may have about ‘living my dreams‘ isn’t the actual reality of the situation. There’s still plenty of work do be done; the mundane tasks (yes, be honest, we each have our personal lists of what we consider mundane) to keep everything going as it should. I could not just sit at my bench for 8 or more likely 12 hours producing work. The work has to be marketed to be sold.  Oh yes and let’s not forget the tasks to maintain our homes….groceries, cleaning, laundry, etc.

So when I read or hear the phrase, “Are you living your dreams?” I think, yes I truly am.  It’s not that fantasized notion of the dream, it is the reality of it.

I have a full time job in the corporate world. That is a job I sought out by returning to school to earn a degree in Computer Science. I enjoy the security and benefits of being employed full time, doing what I love. You see, I do love doing many things. I am a software developer and I find writing code to be an art form in itself. I can be creative during the day and I am well compensated for what I do.

I also love being an artist. Working with my hands, creating things of beauty that other people enjoy enough to purchase. That is truly awesome. Would I love to do that work on a full time basis? Absolutely! Yet as many artists know, living that dream is a bit of a slippery slope. How much discretionary income are people willing to part with in order to buy art? There’s no real answer. It can depend on the economy, their financial situation, the position of the sun, their mood on a given day….well, let’s face it, the response can be as arbitrary as the way the wind blows. I get that because there are times when I can purchase art from someone who’s work I have admired and other times I just cannot.

Yes, I still believe I am living my dreams. Why? Because it is my choice to live my life as I do. I have a wonderful husband, who is my best friend. We share our lives with three adorable basset hounds. We live in a home that we designed and it fits who we are. We live in a beautiful state, Colorado, surrounded by mountains, lush trees and wildlife. My day job provides the financial benefits to allow me to create my artwork, on my terms and my time table, along with living a great life. Bonus! When it is time to retire from the corporate world, I will continue to work on my art and grow my business. That’s the reality. And that is my idea of living the dream.

What I hope you can take away from this is to know that you too may and more than likely are living your dreams. You just may not realize it. Keep things in the proper perspective and have reasonable expectations. It’s easy to be drawn into that fantasy of “living the dream” and maybe feel bad because you don’t think you are. The reality is you may not be that far from living your personal dream life and you probably are. Be grateful for how things are now and work towards how you would like things to be.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.