Posts Tagged ‘pause’
This weekend, my husband and I made a surprise visit to see my grandparents in Oklahoma. We love driving down to see them because their home is like a little retreat from the hustle and bustle of our crazy life. Tucked away in the countryside, they live in a house that my grandpa built with his bare hands, and they spend their days tending to the garden, raising cattle and horses, and playing cards.
This trip was particularly memorable because it was mine and Nick’s first road trip as a married couple. It was also the first time we’ve had grandma and grandpa all to ourselves. What really stood out were the conversations we had in the quiet of the countryside.
I was inspired by the stories my Grandpa shared. After breakfast, we were talking about his days as a railroad man. He spoke with pride about how he negotiated union contracts on behalf of management, how he did every job to the best of his ability. Retirement was a big transition for him. With the work that had defined his life complete, he was left to consider old dreams and the possibility of new ventures. A dream from his childhood soon surfaced – one that he had surpressed during his years at the railroad. He had always wanted to raise quarter horses. He had always wanted to be a cowboy. Rather than let age stand in his way, he took my grandma by the hand and they moved back to their hometown in Westville, OK and set up the B-K Ranch. Grandpa achieved his dream of raising horses and being the cowboy. He’s still pursuing that dream, with 30 quarter horses and a herd of cattle, at age 77.
My grandpa’s story made me consider my own. After decades of working hard, life finally gave him a pause called retirement. In that pause, he had the chance to re-discover his childhood dream. There’s a lesson in that. How often do we put off our dreams? How often do we go at it, day in and day out, without ever having the opportunity to know what dreams even exist in the dusty corners of our imagination? We don’t have to wait for life to hand us the involuntary pause, which often comes in unwelcome forms like retirement, illness or unemployment. We can choose to hit the pause button on ourselves every day by taking a moment to be quiet. To dream.
Believe it or not, pageant competition forced me to do just this. Sit down and look within. Consider who I was, am and will become. In doing so, I gained a deeper sense of confidence and purpose. In ten years, I haven’t lost sight of my dream. I’ve been biding my time, preparing for the moment I could pursue it. And now, I get to do so right alongside my grandpa. He’s training horses, and I’m training young ladies!
My point is, create your own pauses in life. Remember your dreams and seize the moment. Whether you are age 30 or 77, it’s never too late.