the dream jar

May 6, 2011

I’d like to introduce to you The Dream Jar.

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I’m not sure why I just called it the Dream Jar — since no one has actually ever referred to it as the Dream Jar until just right now. However, it makes sense. Last July when the Husband and I got married, we started dreaming of another vacation when we returned from our honeymoon. Somewhere warm, tropical, and relaxing — perfect for a new couple who had been spending their time getting use to being married. And yes, friends — you do have to get used to it.

For the last year, every evening, we empty our pockets. I empty my far too disorganized purse that seems to hold more gum wrappers than dollar bills, more coupons than lip gloss, and more tissue than gift cards. I am also not proud enough to turn away free change — like when I’m out to lunch with my mom. Somehow her change purse always seems to empty out into my hand. I’m also glad my brother doesn’t read my blog because he would be very upset to hear Mom has been handing out her change to another child.

Every evening, all of that change gets dropped into The Dream Jar, hoping someday it will add up to something significant — something huge — something worth talking about.

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At first, it didn’t seem like much. The first few months were painstakingly slow. The jar seemed to be a bottomless pit. The jar was laughing at our efforts to reach for something that seemed impossible. In fact, if it weren’t for the Husband, I probably would have cashed in this change months ago, when the winter seemed too long and money was tight — not shopping this winter was tough. I could have done it with the help of the jangly coins in the bottom of this jar, but I resisted, only knowing what our final goal was.

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Slowly but surely, the change jar started to fill up. In fact, I can’t even remember when it went from being painfully empty to almost full. I can only remember that one night when I went to pilfer the change out of the Husband’s office, I could barely lift that Dream Jar up. Over the course of living, a change had taken place under our not so observant eyes.

While the Dream Jar is not going to pay for a vacation in full, it will be the spending money the Husband and I take with us when we go on our vacation this year. Yes, I will be cashing it in before that. Do you honestly think I could reach the fifty pound limit with this change jar in tow? I can barely do that when I put all my toiletries and shoes in the Husband’s suitcase. This summer when we are relaxing on a beach in Punta Cana, I will look back and smile on how something so small, so insignificant, added up to something far greater than we realized.

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Everyone has their own Dream Jar. A goal, a change, a dream that seems so far off it doesn’t even seem worth it to work towards it.

You may be frustrated with your healthy food choices — wondering if in fact eating whole unprocessed foods is actually worth it for the long haul. Talk to me in twenty years and let me know if you are grateful that you took the higher road to health. Think it doesn’t matter? Start filling up your dream jar.

Perhaps you are not at the place in your life you thought you might be at XX years old. You would be more accomplished. You would be married. You would have had children. You would be on the top of it all, taking life in stride one day at a time. Not there yet? Start filling up your dream jar.

Maybe you had a fitness goal you wish you had accomplished. Seeing many other accomplish races, marathons, triathlons is getting you down. There was only one way everyone else got to that point. They started filling up their dream jar each and every night, slowly making their way to that point.

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Dream big. Start small. Watch it all add up.

I’ll see you in the Dominican Republic in July.

Question: What are you filling your Dream Jar up with?

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