When I was little, computers were big and clunky and pretty scarce. We always had one, because my dad would build them. He always had a computer room with tons of projects that were in various stages of creation. There were wires and motherboards and so many other things that baffled me. Whenever something broke in the house, my dad would disappear into his “lair” and fiddle with it until it worked better than before.
One time my mom wanted an alarm for the house. Instead of hiring an alarm company my dad built our alarm. His alarm was not your typical alarm. It blasted barking Rottweilers when set off, had a mechanical voice that blared “Intruder Alert”, made all the lights in the house blink, and unfortunately needed his expertise to turn off. I remember helping my mom stuff the speakers underneath a mountain of pillows to try and dull the thunderous noise. We even took the batteries out of the contraption, but it never stopped. To this day, I’m not sure how he pulled that one off. In my mom’s opinion, this was not one of his most successful inventions.
My dad never let failure dampen his spirit. If something didn’t work as planned, it just meant that you needed to tweak your thinking and work around the problem. He never gave up.
When I was 16, my dad was given 6 months to live. He had numerous heart problems; however, he didn’t let that get him down. He had a positive energy that refused to be put out. When he was given this dire diagnosis, heart monitors were not worth much diagnostically. The monitors he used were never able to capture his arrhythmias. Rather than accept this, my father decided to build his own machine.
And he did. He created his own heart monitor that would monitor his heart continuously. Believe it, or not, his monitor captured several arrhythmias that the doctors were then able to treat. They told my dad that they wouldn’t have found those arrhythmias without his contraption. My father kept himself alive with the strength of his dreams.
My dad lived until I was 29. He lived 13 years past the doctor’s prognosis. He dreamed big. There are so many other “mad scientist” experiments that I can recall throughout my childhood and growing up. My dad taught us through example. He wanted us to dream big.
I am telling you this, because, most of the time, I am the opposite. I am so rooted in “reality”- my perceived “reality”, that I forget life is what you create. I forget that I can push reality to mimic my dreams.
I want to emulate my dad. I want to grab hold of my dreams and let them take me to the stars. I want to give my children the gift of magic, of believing that anything is possible. I need to remind myself that reality is perception. I want to create a reality that nourishes dreams and turns the impossible into possibility.
I married a dreamer. He is a lot like my dad in many ways. He sees obstacles as interesting pieces in a puzzle yet to be solved. When he comes up against a problem, it just means that he hasn’t found an answer yet. I love his perseverance. Frustration is channeled into creative thinking.
I am a closet dreamer. Dreams exist inside me, but sometimes I can not even hear their whisper. They have been silenced by my “practicality” and perceived reality. I want to turn up the volume of my dreams- to let them shout their joyous hope into the universe. I hope to keep learning this from my dad and my husband.
Dream big. Don’t stop. Always try. As a teacher, I always said these things to my students. As a mother, I say them to my own kids. Each day, I will try and really hear them. I will work to create this perseverance in myself.