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Friday, September 2, 2011

When Dreams Die

My local paper (published twice weekly) recently ran a column titled "When Dreams Die, Find New Ones." That started me thinking and prompted this blog entry.

As a youngster, I don't think I had any big dreams, other than one day living in California. I remember watching the Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day, and being so envious of the people along the parade route in short sleeves. I was living in suburban Chicago, which was always cold, snowy and usually gloomy at that time of year. I have always hated cold and snow, and I still do.

That dream came true when I and my then-husband moved to the San Francisco area in the summer of 1980. I lived in California until 2010, except for three years in Houston, which made me realize I did not like living in hot, humid Texas. In 2010, I retired and moved to the Albuquerque area, which is hot and very dry. But I like it here.

I didn't really dream of a career in a certain field, but fate stepped in and provided an interesting career path for me anyway. I worked for the National Security Agency as a linguist for three years, for a very large humane society in California for eight years, and then I was hired by NASA, where I worked for 20 years. Along the way I got to spend time working in the Russian Mission Control Center outside Moscow, visit the highly controlled Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center and get a private tour of the space museum operated by the S.P. Korolyev Rocket and Space Corporation (Energiya) in Moscow. 

Since retiring, I have created some modest dreams for this phase of my life. These dreams -- three of them -- all reflect my increasing desire to express my creative side. They are to:
  • finish writing the book I started two years ago and get it published
  • sell enough of my photographs to, at a minimum, cover the annual cost of my Web site (http://desertmountainphoto.smugmug.com)
  • increase the number of people who follow my blog to a minimum of 25 from the current total of 15. I would love to have even more followers so I don't feel as if nobody ever reads what I write.
Those dreams are pretty modest and they should be attainable. I know the book will be finished; I am wrapping up my review now, and my co-author will soon resume writing her part. Several people have expressed an interest in purchasing a copy. I believe it will find a good market among adoptive parents and prospective adopters. Besides, it's a story about overcoming obstacles and finding hope where there appeared to be none. That should make it appeal to even non-adoptive people.

Promoting my photography site and blog are a bit more difficult. I've never been good at self-promotion, but I am gradually doing more to get the word out about both my blog and my photography site. I have sold 10 photographs so far, but I am still a very long way from being able to cover the annual cost of the Web site.

After first believing I had no creativity, and then ignoring and even denying my creative side for many years, it feels good to at last have some creative outlets. The next question is, what will I write about once the book is finished?