Liz Wolfe | vision
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I woke up yesterday angry at America. Angry at the world! And angry at my kids. Someone ate the Reese’s peanut butter cup right off my dresser, the one that I’d been saving, the one, truth be told, I took without asking right out of my son’s Halloween candy stash. Found the wrappers in the trash can, right within view, no hiding that. When confronted, neither my son nor daughter admitted to having eaten it. Could my husband, who is out of town, have eaten it? Nope, he texts me. Back to the kids. My son did his “I’m lying but pretending not to be” shrug, twice, and I shrugged it right back at him. He also claimed to have completed all his homework on Election Day – back to that in a minute – on his day off. Nope. Lying again. I looked straight at him and said, “I don’t understand why saying you didn’t eat a candy bar that I know you ate is worth defending.” At no point, however, did I admit that I had taken it right from the stash strewn over his floor. So that technically it was his. I was waiting for him to admit it first. Which being 13 he was not likely to do.

"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." Clarence Budington Kelland I saw this quote posted on Facebook on Father’s day. It reminded me of my father right away. He is a simple man, low maintenance, you might say, never wanted much more for himself or for us than to be happy, whatever that looked like. Although he did do some telling us how to live, actually, but the advice was always stemming from his love and care for us.

At the beginning of my seminars I ask attendees to share what they want to create as a result of participating. People say things like, “get a new job” or “find my soul mate” or “earn more money,” “get healthy” or “lose weight.” What I find interesting is that for the most part the things they want to create are already within their reach. Take the topic of being healthy for instance. Everyone knows how to lose weight, right? Eat less, exercise more. But if it were that straightforward (I won’t say easy) wouldn’t everyone be healthy?

I ended 2013 uncharacteristically grumpy. I felt on the brink of tears or anger for much of the last couple of weeks of the year, without really being able to identify why. I found it depressing to look back at the year, knowing I didn’t accomplish all I wanted to, finding small solace in the few milestones that I could recollect. I’m not quite sure where I think I should be by now, but my feeling of dissatisfaction lingered and made me an unpleasant person to be around.

I don’t know when time started to speed up, but in the past few years I’ve noticed that once school begins in September, the events start coming fast and furious. Just as we finally get settled into a routine for school, it’s time to start thinking about what costumes my kids want to wear for Halloween. And if Halloween is here, well then Thanksgiving and Christmas can’t be far behind.

In 2007 I was diagnosed with lymphoma. In that moment when I heard the doctor say “You have a malignant, aggressive cancer” I felt as though my whole beingness collapsed in upon itself. The coming weeks were filled with tears, visits to doctors, and a tremendous sense of fear until the day I heard my oncologist say: “You will be cured.” As it turned out, he was right, and six years later I am as healthy as I was before I got diagnosed.

When you think about your vision, do you think about what your life will look like in the future? Do you envision big houses, fancy cars, leisure time, committed relationships? Perhaps it’s a bestselling book, notoriety in a professional field, or a bank account constantly flowing with money that swims in your imagination. If your idea of your future is more low key, do you see yourself sitting around drinking coffee with your family and laughing? Going to school or learning to do something you always wanted to do?

When I was a child, we had a family friend who we would often visit on Saturdays. They had a wonderful big old house, and being scholarly types, had bookshelves full of books. There weren’t many there that were kid friendly, but one day I came upon a hardbound collection of Wonder Woman comics. I would spend hours poring over the stories of this amazing and heroic woman. In later years, when Lynda Carter starred as Wonder Woman in a TV series, I felt like I knew her personally.

Sometimes I let my vision take a back seat to my day to day life. Gotta get the kids up for school, gotta get to work, ride the subway, make the dinner, do the homework, get the kids to bed before too late, still have time to spend with my husband. Do some laundry, make phone calls I may or may not want to make, keep in touch with my sisters and father and friends, catch up on work. I barely have time for me, much less my dreams.