Is Your Life What You Expected It To Be?

I am a dreamer. I always have been. My mother says that my preschool teacher was certain that I would grow up to be some kind of writer because I was always coming up with stories. I may not work as a full time writer but I still lay claim to the title.

If I had a decent singing voice I might call myself a bard or jester. I wouldn't want to be a jester for a king. I do a good job of making people laugh, but I hate being told what to do. The first time the king pissed me off I'd stop juggling long enough to fling something heavy at his melon.

I have several evening rituals. On my way to bed I stop to check on my children. In the dark I tell them again how much I love them and then I take a moment to watch them sleep. I don't think that I sleep that way anymore. You know, that carefree deep sleep of a child.

As I stand there I cannot help but wonder what they are going to be like when they are grown up. What will they look like, what kind of work will they do etc. Mostly I pray that they are happy people of character and integrity.

And then sometimes I think about my own life. It is not that I am unhappy or unfulfilled. On both a superficial and deep level I am pretty close, but there are some gaps. I stop to think about some of the choices I have made. I look at the road not taken and wonder what else could be out there.

What if I had made aliyah. What if I had decided to go to law school or to have become a doctor. There are other thoughts there as well.

Sometimes I wonder about my choices. Sometimes I look at the challenges that I have undertaken and wonder if I have been fair to my kids. Starting new businesses involves a certain amount of risk. Is it fair to involve them? I could have taken a more stable path and perhaps made life better.

OTOH, if the risk pays off the rewards are great. Those could translate into some incredible benefits.

In a little more than two weeks I'll be 38. Is this who I am. Am I going to be this guy for the rest of my life. He is not a bad guy, but is this it. It is not a midlife crisis. My family is full of people who live into their late 90's and beyond.

Part of the reason I want to live to be a thousand years old is because there is so much that I want to do. So many skills to learn and master and so little time.

So much to see and so little time. Am I crazy for wanting more.


Anonymous said...

I have these same thoughts. I would be the last person to say you should stop yearning for things. As long as it does not endanger the people who depend on you, why not?

Shoshana said...

I'm totally a dreamer also. I think it would be sad to look at one's life and say, "Yep, I'm done, there's nothing more to hope for." I think it's the dreaming that keeps us living, really living.

The Babka Nosher said...

If you're really going to make it to 1000, you better invest in some good face cream.

Unknown said...

No, but I do think you have to live your life without looking back or second guessing yourself. It's very important to me not to sit here and wish I had more or did this or that. Regret is not a word I understand the definition of as it applies to the landscape of my life. I can't live like that.

Miss Worldwide said...

I once ended a long relationship because the guy I was with didn't want to dream. What's a life without dreams? It's nothing, it's just being in a waiting room. Dreaming is great, and combining it with doing is even better.

The Misanthrope said...

I don't think that I sleep that way anymore. You know, that carefree deep sleep of a child.

I think that once you have kids you never sleep deeply as you are always listening. I once woke up out of a sleep to hear daughter throwing up in bed when she was still a toddler.

RaggedyMom said...

I think that for the most part, things have turned out overall the way I envisioned.

I'm generally a planner, not as much a dreamer. I think I do better when things are within my control, like decisions about school and career - than with the unexpecteds.

RaggedyDad and I check the kids about a half dozen times each every night. I'm waiting for the paranoia to stop, but it doesn't seem to :) And I'm always listening while sleeping. Though will 933 sq. ft., I guess they're never that far away!

Jack Steiner said...


My responsibilities are always foremost in my mind.


I agree. Without dreams life would be dull.


I have got good genes. :)


It is important to try and live without regret. Sometimes it so very hard to do so.


I agree.


You are right. Once the kids come deep sleep is harder to come by.


933 SQF- oy vey. That sounds so hard to me.

rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Great post. I think that yearning, striving, seeking, dreaming are of the essence. I'd almost hesitate to use the verb dream in this context because it may be perceived in a somewhat derogatory light.

Rav Hutner once wrote a student who had written him about his struggles that struggling/seeking more is a good thing.

Keep on thinking Jack. Keep on thinking and feeling and doing...and writing!

Jack Steiner said...

Thanks RF.

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