Dreams And Time

We all have dreams. I don’t mean of the “I dreamt last night I that I could fly” type dream. I mean dreams of what we want in this life. Our aspirations, our hopes and our preferred destinies. Some people dream of fame, stardom, or success. Others dream of keeping warm in the winter, having a full belly, being free from fear.
Often our dreams change.  They have to.  Life has a way of changing us and the way we see things. Situations  often cause this. Getting married, having children, just plain old paying the bills can change the focus of our dreams. Where once we dreamed of success or fame, we find that dream has shifted to our children.
 Another situation that can cause our dreams to change is time, or the sudden awareness of it. We get older. It’s a fact. As we get older, life throws up more obstacles to thwart and challenge our dreams. Work, marriage, divorce, children, and health are just some of the things that can cause us to change or even lose sight of our dreams.
Sometimes we even turn our backs on the dream that we’ve had for years. This is not done lightly. It usually involves a lot of soul searching and re-evaluation. It is never an easy decision and it is usually pretty painful. The end result is sadness and a realisation that perhaps the dream was never attainable or unrealistic. This happens to most people and it’s a damn shame, but it is part of life.
Time is the biggest obstacle to dreams we want to pursue. Time is fleeting, elusive and an illusion. I know what you’re thinking. How, you ask, is time an illusion? It’s simple if you think about it. When you were a child, time seemed to be an infinite thing. Remember school holidays? Summer break from school lasted practically forever. Now, if you are a parent, you’ll have noticed school summer “hols” are over almost before they begin. And although time is a constant, our perception of it changes with age. Time appears to go faster.  See? Time is an illusion.

Deutsch: Jack Nicholson bei der deutschen Film...

My daughter and I watched the brilliant film, The Bucket List the other day. For those of you who are not aware of this wonderful film, I’ll give you the Readers Digest version of the plot. Two very different men – Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson– are given a prognosis of impending death. Morgan Freeman’s character is making a “bucket list,” in other words, things to do before you “kick-the-bucket.”  The two men  then start trying to full-fill the list.  I thought of the film again today after talking about a colleague, that I have known and liked for years, who shuffled off his mortal coil suddenly and unexpectedly. He was not much older than I am.  I wondered if he had a “bucket list” and if he felt he had accomplished everything he wanted. If he had achieved any of his dreams…Did he even have any dreams.

Deutsch: Morgan Freeman bei der deutschen Film...

My dreams over the years have been folded, stapled, and mutilated. They have been usurped by marriage – twice, divorce – twice, children – twice, various job changes, and various life experiences. These are all things that, if given a choice…I WOULDN’T CHANGE FOR THE WORLD.
I  believe that even though time can be a real stinker, I can still have my dreams and pursue them. I may have to change them a bit, but, they’ll continue to live in me despite time and various other influences in my world that have tried to destroy them.
Time may cheat us from realising our dreams, but time can never kill our dreams. Only we can do that.

Bits

I realised today that the loft boards I bought for my old flat’s attic have been left inadvertently for the new tenant. I’m not bothered.  The thirty odd pounds I spent to floor a small part of my attic was money well spent in my opinion. The investment cost of the boards more than paid for itself, just in letting me store my possessions that little bit closer to where I was living. Hopefully the new tenant can make good use of them.
I’ve moved around a lot in my life. I have always rented my abode, except for one short time period where my second wife and I bought our first home. We were very proud of that house, that although it was small, was ours.  As our daughter grew, she was a baby when we bought the house, it suddenly became even smaller. That combined with a school catchment glitch necessitated selling our home and re-entering the “rental chain.”
When we left that house all our possessions came with us. Probably the only time in my rental life that I haven’t left some of my “bits” behind. Looking back at my life of renting, I realise that I’ve left literally thousands of pounds worth of bits behind. Whether it’s been odd tools that I didn’t need any longer or just loft boards, I always felt fine with leaving them for future tenants to use or discard as they wished.  Many places I rented had little things left behind by previous tenants. Some of the abandoned things were quite macabre.
My first wife and I were desperate for a bigger place in Southern California. The manager of the apartment complex next to us came knocking on our door late one night. He knew we were looking for a bigger place. He told us a vacancy had just come up. When I enquired about the timing -the middle of the night- he explained that the previous tenant had committed suicide. After the police had finished their investigations and the next-of-kin had collected his belongings, the place was ours if we wanted it. We moved in soon after and I found a brand new razor in the bathroom. I called his family and they said do what ever I wanted to with it.  I kept it and used it for years, money was incredibly tight in those days. My “dead man’s razor” my first wife called it.
I know it probably seems like I’ve wandered from the subject a bit. Worry not, I am right on track. You’ll see.
The bits we leave behind us, whether on purpose or inadvertently, are parts of us. I don’t just mean the odd hammer or bits of lumber we voluntarily leave behind. I talking about the bits of us left behind that leave an impression.  Somewhat like the over-used “carbon footprint” adverts, we leave footprints when we leave a place. It’s much nicer to leave a footprint that says, “You know he was a really nice chap.” or “I didn’t realise  how helpful that fella was.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not begging for folks to remember me well after I’ve gone or even to remember me at all. But given a choice, I would prefer that the bits I leave behind are good ones. Bits that leave a good taste in the recipients mouth, versus a bad one.

Hidden Treasure

200 px
200 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While putting stuff in the attic of our new house I came across a hidden treasure.

Lying on the attic floor, face down, was a cardboard cut-out of Buzz Lightyear! I mean, seriously, how cool is that?

Okay, maybe I’m a little old to get so excited about what is obviously an old video store sales promotion sign. But I have to admit to loving Buzz, Woody and the gang from the Toy Story Trilogy. When I showed Meg the “free-standing” Buzz she was, quite possibly, just slightly more excited than I was.

Buzz is now down in the house with us, taking pride of place in the living room. He is smiling at me right now. Peering past the edge of the dresser where he is temporarily propped up till I can get him standing independently again.

We had belated birthday cake this evening with Buzz in attendance as guest of honour. I was thinking while Meg cut the cake, how odd that Buzz was in our attic. Was it serendipity that two of biggest fans of the Toy Story franchise would find this hidden treasure? Or was it just a lucky fluke? I don’t really know or care for that matter. It is just one of those nice things that can happen every now and then.

Despite being in a huge rush to get things sorted in our new home, I still couldn’t resist looking around the new “empty” attic. If I hadn’t looked twice at the floor coloured shape, I wouldn’t have found Buzz at all.

How often, I wonder, as we rush through our daily lives do we miss hidden treasures? I’ll bet that if we all just took a second to look around, both literally and figuratively, we’d find a lot of hidden treasure. Try it and  see. You just might get lucky and find something really great.

Sheriff Woody
Sheriff Woody (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who knows, you just might find a Buzz or even better a Woody.

Happy Birthday Meg!

On this day 22 years ago, my daughter was brought into this world in a hospital full of foreign extraction. When I looked down at her, I burst into tears and said, “She’s a girl and she’s beautiful.” The nurse who was helping to deliver her looked at me and said, “Wat seg U?”

Meg started talking early and she hasn’t stopped! Unfortunately she gets this from my side of the family. The American side of her family all love to talk and if we are excited or passionate about a subject, well, Katie bar the door!

I’m celebrating this day with a little reflection of her personality traits that make loving her so easy and keeps me cheering her on in her endeavours. She’s super:  imaginative, creative, passionate, funny, pretty and most of all she’s my daughter and my best friend.

She’s my movie buddy – no one else in the world shares my love of cinema like she does. She’s my gaming buddy – although we squabble like children when we game together (usually with her telling me off). She’s my cheerleader, constantly cheering my little pursuits. She also tells me off when I need it – usually when I have my grump ass on.

Meg is slowly carving her path in the world and despite a few set-backs she is still marching resolutely forward in her pursuit of a career. Even though I know that we will keep in constant touch when she leaves home and starts her life path, I will miss her. She has been a constant factor in my life for 22 years and her presence has kept me young at heart.

So this is my Happy Birthday Ode to my daughter. I hope this day is indeed special and that despite having to spend it with grumpy old me, that she continues to be herself.

Oh and one last birthday wish. I hope she doesn’t develop any of my bad habits!

Happy Birthday Meg!!!

A Post A Day…


I decided not too long ago that I would do a post a day to my blog.  The reason for this was three-fold; first, I would get in the habit of writing something daily and second, this daily writing exercise would get me in some kind of shape to start re-writing an old screenplay I’ve had kicking around for years and third, as I haven’t had time to do any videos for ages, this seemed like a good “trade-off.”

Well suffice to say, I never run out of things to write about. Whether I am complaining about the everyday mundane irritants that life can throw in my direction or the odd epiphany that I’ve been privy to.

Sometimes though it is just nice to ramble. I’ve had nothing really irritating happen today nor have I been blessed (or cursed) with any sort of epiphany. It has been, all said and done, a fairly productive day. I put together two more bits of furniture and I am now feeling the strain in my muscles and brain.

Ah! About the self-assemble furniture. Who decided to make all the directions pictures? I’m sure that someone somewhere thought that utilising a picture diagram of the assembly was an ace idea. In my humble opinion though, I beg to differ. In the old days (when I was much younger and presumably faster) I could  put a medium piece of furniture together in about an hour.This was of course using the “old fashioned” directions.  Not now. It took me the best part of a day to put together a wardrobe and a chest of drawers!

I refuse to believe that this is because I am older and *cough* slower. Instead, I am going to blame the stupid pictorial directions. Hmmm. I wonder if this counts as an epiphany?