Back Pocket Dream. Everyone should have one.
An old friend and I re-connected a few years ago. She was a stay-at-home mother of three boys and during our conversation she shared about the big changes in her life: Two of her boys had gone off to college and her last was close behind. Knowing this would be me one day soon, I listened intently as she talked about going back to nursing which was her career BC (before children). Although there was sadness in her voice, I also detected a woman ready to explore new kinds of joy and fulfillment.
This conversation spurred my concept of “Back Pocket Dream.” I told her that I understood where she was coming from, and that I believed every woman should have some sort of dream, idea, concept, or inspiration tucked into her back pocket to pull out when the time is right.
After our conversation, a wave of contentment rolled over me. I found myself reaching into my own back pocket where I had been storing something powerful and exciting for years; my very own treasures, symbolic of my dreams. Treasures I see in the form of tokens, similar to the classic tokens of a Monopoly game, but mine are not the thimble, the iron, the shoe, or the horse. My tokens look like a tiny metal table — symbolic of a place to lay out fabrics and concepts where my love of design is inspired, a four-leaf clover — a token of good luck and good things to come, a sun — symbolic of the giver of life, an angel — for light and wisdom, a book — to remind me that I am a writer and that I have valuable thoughts and reflections to share, and a tiny ski — for the mountain retreat I dream of owning one day.
My Back Pocket Dreams are like having a fuzzy yellow blanket with me all of the time – a mommy blanket if you will – a blanket that offers comfort, reassurance, and excitement. The big difference between a mommy blanket and a baby blanket is that mine won’t be taken from me when I grow up. Instead it remains with me as a reminder that when I am ready and the timing is right, I have something I can call my own.
A woman’s need to feel as though she’s contributing to the world is universal, and is expressed in many different ways: Through having a career, caring for an elderly parent, going to school, or volunteering. Speaking from the place of being a long-time stay-at-home mom, I can say that being a mom comes with the automatic reward of knowing, at all times, that you are needed. Your schedule is laid out for you – your children’s needs dictate this – school, their activities, overseeing homework, etc. When your children become of high school age, they still need you, but when they are out the door, God needs you in a different way.
I say it’s time to check your back pocket to see if it is full of lint from the dryer or inspiring tokens. Would yours hold a tiny metal nursing hat, a yoga mat, a volunteer hat, or a metal square with the initials NFP, that not-for-profit you’ve dreamed of starting? Would you have a tiny metal wine glass symbolizing a trip to Italy or a computer for that start-up business you’ve often thought of?
Short on ideas? Simply ask for guidance. Your creator will respond with, “Hey there, Dear One, check in with your heart and note what is burning inside.” You can also ask yourself these questions. What have I always wanted to do? What am I passionate about? What brings me joy? Where have I always wanted to go? What lights my fire? (Pun intended.)
And here is the thing, God supports back pocket dreams. When you take something seriously, God does too. A dream, a vision, a desire that has never left you, there is a reason for this. Hold on tightly to your tokens and know that there is a time and place for them. And when the time comes you will know, because the urges will be there, and the timing will feel right. All that is asked of you is to have a little faith and be ready to dig in.
My friend is currently working as a nurse and is enjoying the variety and new opportunities it is providing her. And with one precious bird already out the nest, I’m emptying my pockets and laying out my tokens one at a time: the metal designer’s table, the book, the four-leaf clover, and…My Back Pocket Dreams are coming to life and it feels really good.
I am open to the changes presenting themselves to me,
and this can only be for my highest good.