Last Saturday night I went to see "Man of La Mancha" at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis. A very generous friend had an extra ticket and invited me watch the play with her.
When the entire cast sang "The Quest" ("The Impossible Dream") reprise at the end of the play, I got chills--on top of the ones I had in the rather cool opera house.
Since then I've been singing "The Impossible Dream." Off-key and softly, except when no one is around I sing loudly--like in the shower.
The play and song got me to thinking about my impossible dreams.
As an adult, my first was to get my college degree. I started off as an 18-year old at night school at UMSL, while working as a civilian clerk-stenographer for the Army. I quit college when I got married and moved to Illinois. More than a decade later I returned, again at night, after my children were in school. It wasn't easy, studying, raising a family, working full-time. Then my husband's job moved us around.
In Sierra Vista, AZ, I enrolled in Cochise Community College. Love the name! After less than a year, onto Germany and classes with the University of Maryland. After three years of study I needed 12 credits to complete my BS in Business and Management. Then we were moved again. I finished up my last credits with Park College, which held classes at Fort Bliss, TX. Those last credits transferred to the University of Maryland so I could complete my degree requirements. In 1986 -- 20 years after high school graduation --I received my college degree. Impossible dream accomplished!
My second impossible dream was to get serious about my writing. Dare I dream to one day get published and paid for writing? That happened in the 1990s after my children were grown and I joined a critique group. I met a great group of writers, many of whom I'm still friends with this day. Their encouragement, love, and sharing of wisdom and knowledge helped me achieve my writing dream.
For the past nine years my most important and most personal quest has been to raise my grandchildren to become happy, healthy, and self-sufficient adults. They were ten and six when they came to live with us after their parents had their fatal accident nine years ago this month. My grandchildren have grown from grief-stricken orphans into loving and caring young adults. I'm sure their parents would be proud of them; I sure am.
I've chased a few windmills and slain a few monsters along the way. Perhaps, like Don Quixote, I've even acted a bit mad at times during my quests. But it all has been worth it!
How about you? What impossible dreams have you accomplished?