Friday, December 31, 2010

Dreaming Big Dreams and Sharing Them With The Universe

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”  Shel Silverstein

I know that I use the Shel Silverstein quote quite a bit but I think it really says it all.  

I guess you can say that I've always been a dreamer.  I've always dreamed big for my life and believed that our dreams really can become reality.  For most of my life, I've had a pretty clear idea of what I want to accomplish and I've been confident in what I need to do to get to where I want to be.  I can honestly say that so far, all my dreams have come true.  

A big part of seeing my dreams unfold has been my belief that anything really is possible.  I've focused on blocking out the naysayers and the negative Nancys in life and instead, I've believed in myself and been blessed enough with loving support and encouragement from so many dear friends and family that believe in me.  

It is just recently that I've realized the power of sharing my dreams with the universe and sharing them with confidence and belief that anything is possible.  It is easy to feel scared to put our dreams out there for all the world to see.  This can make us feel vulnerable, scared of looking like fool if we fail, and scared of seeming silly to others.  There are always those people out there that probably enjoy seeing others fail or those that feel better about themselves when they make others feel silly about their dreams but I believe that there are many more people out there that are truly joyful and supportive about our dreams and want to see us achieve great things.  In fact, I think that it is when we finally put our dreams out there on the line for all to see, that the magic starts happening and our dreams begin to become reality.  

As vulnerable as it sometimes feels to put my big life dreams out for everyone to see, I'm going to take my own advice and put a few of my life goals out there!  I also know that our big dreams today might end up changing tomorrow, next year, or many years from now.  That is part of the fun of dreaming big....anything is possible and a dream doesn't have to bind us down....dreams can come and go.  

So, here are some big dreams of mine, long long term and shorter term:

1.  I'd like you all to meet Little Cherie Lynn. 

She is the main character in the children's book that my Mom and I are writing and illustrating.  My Mom is obviously the illustrator (I can't do art like this) and I will write the story.   My big goals for the next couple of months is to read read read about the steps I need to be taking to put this thing together and send it off to publishers.  Once we get the story and pictures together, the trick will be the packaging and presentation...oh, and connections are NICE so please, if you know any tips or contacts, please please send them our way!  I think a dream has to start somewhere and so this is our start!  There is a small part of me that has those doubts that start to seep in my brain but I've got to keep shooing them away and remind myself that "anything is possible child, anything can be."

2.  5 year goal:  Start a nonprofit business focused on parent education and early literacy education.  I especially want my focus to be on helping struggling families in lower socioeconomic areas who are without resources, education, etc.  I think that it is never too early to start reading to our children and helping parents know how to help their children thrive with early literacy.  One of my ideas (an one that my friends has also had and started taking action on) is the idea of having a packet to hand out to new mothers at the hospital that includes children's books and material for parents about things they can do with their child to help them get a good head start with literacy.   Not sure how this dream will unfold but I think just putting it out here for all of you to see is a start in the right direction.  

3.  10-20 year goal:  Open my own children's bookstore.

Here are just a few of the many books on my shelves that you might find in my bookstore:

4.  Recent Running Goals:  Okay, I'm going to say it.  After my hamstring injury I spent a lot of time on the couch.  I had plenty of time to cry but more time to DREAM Big and boy did I have an appetite for some comeback action.  I started dreaming bigger than ever before.  I couldn't even walk normally but I told my husband that I was going to break 3 hours in the marathon.  Ha! Ha! Okay, so maybe I was getting ahead of myself.  Especially since that would mean a 22 minute PR.  Talk about dreaming big.  I had it all figured out as to what I would have to do, the training I would do, and I really had myself believing that I would and could do it.  Maybe someday but my dreams have already changed..see, that's fun about can dream them up and sit with them for awhile and then take a new direction.  Yes, a sub 3 would be wonderful but for now, I'm thinking just running another 3:22 would make me happy!  Very happy.   I'd like to do at least one Marathon this year that I really train for.  I've never really followed a plan seriously besides the one I was training for in October when I ripped up my hamstring.  I dream of running the New York Marathon and Boston Marathon over the next 3 years.  

5.  Ironman.  Enough said.  A dream for another day.  

1.  What are some of your BIG dreams?  I'd love to hear a 1, 5, or 10-20 year dream!

2.  Do you get scared to share your big dreams with people? You know the goals you have for yourself that are most near and you ever get scared that others might think they are silly or beyond you?  

3.  Who are your most supportive people in your life...the ones that make you believe that "anything is possible child, anything can be"?  

4.  What is your favorite book?



  1. Great goals and dreams!!! I think you are well on your way.
    This was a post to get me thinking.

  2. Fantastic dreams Amanda and the best thing is that they are all attainable! Can't wait to read your children's book. Happy New Year!

  3. Little Cherie Lynn is awesome! I love what your mom did with her hair. haha :)

  4. Man-I LOVE your dreams and I LOVE how you put them out there! I will be FIRST in line to buy that children's book! Also, I just loved that Shel Silverstein poetry book when I was a kid. The Twistable Turnable Squeezable Pullable Stretchable Foldable Man-I had that thing memorized and could say it SO fast!! Actually, I still have it memorized and can still say it pretty fast!

    I think you are well on your way to acheiving many of those dreams!! I need to think about my dreams here a bit-they are fading in the crazy busy present....I don't always share a lot of my goals because I'm afraid of failing. A bit of a coward... I also always set goals that I KNOW I can acheive-time to challenge myself a bit I think.....

    Great Post Amanda-I'll refrain from turning this comment into a chapter book! Happy New Year!

  5. WOW you just blew me away!! Your an author too!!!!! That is so beautiful what you and your mom are doing. What a blessing those books will be.

    I absolutely get scared to share my dreams. I feel that I almost jinx myself when I do this and I fear what people think truly, that I can't do it.

    I'd love to write a book someday, be a trainer, nutritionist etc.

    I'd guess my husband is my most supportive, I keep my life pretty quiet for the most part.

  6. #1. My dreams for the next year are to complete a marathon, at least a sprint triathlon, and an adventure race. I have the first and third chosen and plans in place to begin training/learning necessary skills.

    #2. I don't mind sharing my big dreams, but I don't always detail all of my goals. For example, when I did my half, everyone who came into the vaguest contact with me knew that I was running it, but almost no one knew that my "a" goal was a sub-2:00 finish. That time was a real reach for me and not particularly reachable when I started training. Towards the end, when it was possible though still not likely, I kept it to myself bc while it was a goal I'd be thrilled to achieve, it wasn't the one by which I'd measure my race as a success.

    #3. My brother and blog friends are definitely my biggest support with my running and biking. My husband tolerates it, but mostly with an attitude of "I don't know why you'd want to do that". My brother, who does this type of thing, is always up to share a challenge, and seeing what so many "regular" people are able to achieve is infinitely inspiring.

    #4. Kids picture book: The Giving Tree. Kids book: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Grown-up book...The Stand has been a long-time favorite, but I loved The Help as well.

    And I apologize, bc my comments are always nearly as long as your blog!

    P.S. The pictures are adorable. I can only imagine how wonderful your book will be after knowing your passion for books and literacy and seeing how creative you are with your own kids. What a great experience to create a book with your mom!

  7. Wow. Your Mom is a real artist. Good luck with the new book. It looks like it will be great!

  8. Great goals Amanda! The book looks great. It is true, there are a lot of negative Nancys ou there that enjoy seeing other people fail.

  9. I just sent you an email. Funny then to read this post about dreams! I ABSOLUTELY believe in "dreams". Or more like setting up your future. You have to put it out there, even if it is just to a select few. Failure is a scary beast but I think there would be no bigger regret in life than to not attempt ones dreams. Futhermore I believe it sets a good example for our children. So GO FOR IT!!!!
    And I love your statement that "dreams change".

    Favorite Book. Thats a tough one but:
    Caps For Sale comes to mind.

    Whatever you do...Have no regrets! And best wishes to you, your family, and your dreams!

  10. Great blog Amanda! I know you can obtain your dreams. To quote Walter from 'The Big Lebowski,' who was quoting someone else, 'If you will it, it is no dream.....'

    My dreams for this year are to run the Macdonald Forrest 50K again, lift more, do the boys speech therapy hmwk and start my private practice. If our long run paces match, let's hit the trail for a run.

    Happy New Year! Love and warmth to your family,


  11. keep me on the list to read the book and help you promote it the best I can!!

    I want to keep bees and to run an ultra :)

  12. I love your big dreams! They are all amazing! You should definitely pursue getting that children's book done and published! I would totally buy one from you! :)

  13. Yours are so cool! I can't wait to go to your bookstore. You'll be like Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail!!

    My biggest dream for 1 year is to be awesome at my 1/2 marathons. I had 2010 as practice for 2011. But the big thing I have to start getting serious in the next year is my child. Leave it to me to enjoy being single! So now I have to actually follow through with my whole donor plan so I can finally be a mommy!

    I haven't even thought much farther ahead than that!

    I actually share more of my dreams of things on my blog than with people in my day to day life. I don't need to be laughed at to my face when they think I'm being silly or joking. I've had my donor idea for years now and I can't tell you how many people told me it is impossible to have a child on your own and that I "NEED a man." HA! Really? Because I disagree!

    My mom and my grandpa are definitely my support structure. Heck, my mom is ready to go get a turkey baster as we speak! But overall it has always been those two. Good thing since I'm named after my grandpa! :)

    My favorite book, well, I don't really read many to be honest. I find that strange because I really love to write, too! But the two that always stuck with me were Huckleberry Finn and Catcher in the Rye. I'd re-read those two any day!

  14. Thank you so much for all your support and for sharing your dreams with me!! So empowering! Funny how if you asked me even a year ago what my dreams were I probably would have said:
    1. Get my doctorate
    2. Become a professor of education at a University with my focus on literacy, research teaching our youngest readers and writers
    3. Write a book about teaching reading and writing and inspiring kids to read and write
    4. Running goals the same. :)

    Love how our goals and dreams change over the years. such a beautiful changing life we live, long as we keep growing then life stays interesting!

  15. Wonderful dreams! It's great that you're working on a book with your mom! I'd really like to BQ someday.

  16. I am so mad because I wrote like a one page comment and it didn't save boo. Anyway...... this post is amazing. You are so inspiring and your optimism and hope is so contagious. You are helping so many people to reach for the stars. I will be the first to buy your are so talented. I am excited for your marathon and an IRONMAN!!! WOW. You WILL get all of these things because you are such a dedicated and hard working woman.
    Some of my goals are a sub 3 marathon, starting a family, going to culinary arts school and writing a book (who knows what it will be about, ha). Happy New Year Amanda!!

  17. I love those pictures! One of my dreams is to make little story books for each of my nieces. That's as big as I dare to dream these days, since I have so much else on my plate.

  18. What a great post. You have some wonderful dreams. I love that you and your mother are writing a book together. Favorite kids' chapter book - Kavik the Wolf Dog. Favorite kids picture book - I think I have way too many. Maybe Cross Country Cat by Mary Calhoun. And adult - one of my top five is Pillars of the Earth.

  19. Wow. So this is really dumb but... I have a sister named Amanda and when I saw that I had another 'follower' I thought it was her... I AM SO FLATTERED that you're 'following' me and YES I want people to read what I write. And I love your blog. I just spent 30 min reading.... Anyway, I've probably embarrassed myself enough. Happy New Year!

  20. This is a terrific post. I LOVE your big dreams, and I'm so inspired by them! All of them. I think it's amazing that you have all of these different skills and passions - not many people in the world can write children's books and run a 3:22 marathon! I wish you all the best with your big dreams in 2011 and beyond!
    1. I have really big dreams too. And so many of them I have to categorize them by area of life and year. My biggest fitness dreams are to complete and Ironman (2012, maybe?) and BQ (one day). My other big dreams include writing a book, adopting a dog and traveling the world.
    2. I'm sometimes scared to share them with people - especially people who are really good at the things I want to be/do. I'm shy in person.
    3. My mom, my little sister and my bff make me believe that anything is possible.
    4. My favorite books are Anna Karenina, The Unbearable Lightness of Being & Everything Is Illuminated.
    And thanks for your sweet comments on my blog!! :)

  21. Happy New Year!
    Love seeing the book in the works! How cool!

    I've got me some 1, 3 and 5 yr goals in all the dif roles in my life. ;-) Biggest ones for 2011 are more date nites w/DH, pushing my comfort zone, more daily meditating.


  22. Time to get crackin' on some 2011 goals/plans, I guess ;-) Looks like I may be odd man out!

    I LOVE this post. It is so soul-baring to share one's hopes and dreams. I have a hard time opening up that part of myself to others. I've nearly always been met with a whole lot of pooh-pooh-ing. And I've always forged onward. :)

    My dad was always my number one fan... but he is long since gone. My husband works hard trying to fill those big shoes.

  23. Great Post (And BLOG!!)!

    The last 14 months for me included major foot reconstruction on my right foot followed by 9 months of pregnancy. So needless to say, I feel like I'm starting out as a brand new runner all over again. Since longer distances are pretty much out of the question since my surgery, my new running goal is to run a 50 minute 10k. It's not super fast, but I guess I have to re-start somewhere!

  24. Happy New Year. My big dream is to be able to retire in ~6 years. :-)

  25. This was a fantastic post!
    Your kids are very lucky to have such a great mom!
    There is nothing better than to teach our kids to believe in themselves and that they can accomplish anything! I'm impressed!
    I love all your goals...and I will be your first customer to purchase that book. I love children lit.!!!!
    I have No problem sharing my Big goals....accomplishing them is a whole new issue...
    Every stage in life has had it's strong areas.
    Right now motherhood is taking priority...
    I believe I can do and be a here it goes 2011!!
    My best support system is my husband and kids!

    Happy New Year!

  26. i LOVE your goals. i'm kind of jealous that you have such a distinct goal/plan! i on the other hand have no idea what i want to do...

  27. love this post and so happy I found your blog! the video is super cute!

  28. Dare to dream BIG!

    I do...but i get scared of sharing those dreams because I don't want to look bad if i fail.

    I'd rather stay quiet and suprise everyone when i do something amazing...except that then you miss the opportunity for others to support you on the way!

    You have some super goals! I love your book store idea and think it would be a hit :)
    A book you need: The War Between the Vowels and the Consonants. Have you ever read it? My son loves it!

    I think my goals keep shifting. One of them is to take a half hour off my marathon time, another is more long term. Eventually I might like to coach distance runners, but not sure if that would be locally or on-line or both. Definitely in a different season of life and only with hubby's support.

  29. OK- after re-reading your part about the non-profit business...Have you thought about maybe using the local library as a contact? Or even starting by going through them or a local relief nursery? Not exactly a business thing- more a volunteer one, but I bet you could assist in a relief nursery by offering to read to children as moms come in to pick up items, or by providing literature there..Just thinking....out loud

  30. Amanda- thanks for linking this post on my blog. I hope u get your book published, id buy it! As far as the agency working with fams, a few years ago I did volunteer work with a local hospital
    That did something similar. Its nationwide though and its called reach out and read. You should look into working with them with the potential of doing it on your own (maybe working in affiliation with them) ps- if you open your own children's bookstore can I please come work with you? Hehe :)