Dreaming after 40

What’s left? I’m 41 years old and I don’t know what I have to dream about/for? A house? Kids? Travel? I doubt I’ll have any of those things. The house is the only possible thing that could happen. But what then? Once the papers are signed, you have the keys, and you’ve moved into the house, what’s there left to do. I’ll definitely be proud of myself. The house will be my land, my property, my domain. I won’t have answer to landlords or landladies. I can customize the house all I want. But that’s it. Yes, that will be nice. But that’s it. As for other things, I don’t think I’ll ever achieve any other dream or aspiration.

I have this idea for a bookstore in my head. I would like very much to own my own bookstore and be able to sell books to people of every stripe under the sun. I love the written word. It can inspire. It can make you smile. It can make you cry. It can make you think. I love fantasy and science fiction as my favorite two genres of writing. Fantasy is where I can subsume and shed my normal life and live in a world populated by heroes & villains and watch adventures unfold before me. I love science fiction because it gives me hope that somehow the human race can achieve greater things. We can rise above our petty wars and hatreds and finally come together. But those are books not reality. And I know i’ll never have children of my own to read to and to help inspire their minds. So I thought with a bookstore I can still do that and so much more. Although I feel that dream is slowly turning to dust in my hands. I’m getting older and what bank in their right minds would loan me money to open up a store. Plus, will I make any money to be able to sustain myself and my household. I can’t jeopardize the sense of stability we have right now for a whim that may or may not succeed. What if it doesn’t succeed and I’m forced to close my doors and let the bank take it away? What would I do then? How would I feel? What’s left to feel after that? I would try to strive to make a dream come true and it falters. Dare to dream you say? Come down to my level and live in my shoes for awhile and then tell to dare to dream. Yes, there’s slim possibility that it would succeed. But how can i risk all that I have on it? Dreams like that are for younger people who have very little to lose. I’m trying to hold to what I have because I don’t want it ripped away from me because of doing something so drastic and so risky. Dreaming about all of these big things has been inside my head for my whole life. We barely sustain ourselves and keep a roof over our heads. We can manage a purchase here or there. But how could I risk so much on a pipe dream? I know I’m typing in circles. It is just the truth.

Sure you could tell me to go for it. You’re not that old. There have been far older people that have achieved so much. That may be true. But those are just words. What could you do or say to make me believe in my dreams again? What would be something you could provide that would make me see?

For example, tell me how I could have kids of my own. My husband is barely on the fence about children. He talks about some days and some whens. But I don’t think we’ll ever get to the point of having our own biological offspring or even adopted children. I’m 41 and he’s 36. How much longer do we have to take care of children? Leaving out the issue of money for one second. Children take a lot of energy to cloth, feed, make sure they do their homework, and so on. I barely have enough energy to move about and to go to work & back. I don’t think I could run after a little boy or girl for very long. Would that be fair to that child? When they graduate high school, I’ll be in my 60’s. I’ll be more of a grandfather than a father. Then if you do factor in the money, Cliff and I would be working our asses off just make ends meet and make sure that we can provide for our kids. Our kids would be why we would be working. Yes, that’s what all parents go through. Are we ready for that? Should we do that? I have wanted children for as long as i can remember. Now, I’m not so sure.

I told Cliff that if we don’t have children, I would like to travel. Boy, was that an empty sentence. We barely can keep our house hold a float. We have no money to go to Europe or Asia. Now with Covid 19, traveling will even more scrutinized and guarded. Maybe after they have found a vaccine for the damn virus, it might be a possibility. I don’t see us traveling a lot. Maybe one big trip and that’s about it. I try to suggest day trips that we can go on. But Cliff has had many mental health issues lately that demotivate him and often immobilize him. I can barely get him to come with me to Walmart to go grocery shopping. Now I understand what he’s going through and I know those feelings all too well. He’s not addressing them like I have. I have a drug therapist and a counselor. He is just barely addressing his physical ailments let alone his mental ones. So regularly hiking or going on day trip car rides seems so impossible right now. And I don’t want to go alone.

So what do I have to dream about or for? Our money situation is the largest factor in all of our decisions. Our collective mental health is not the greatest. So motivation and/or ambition to do anything worth dreaming for is next to nil.

That’s why I am thinking I’ll live out my days in a boring menial existence. I won’t feel alive or like I’m truly living. I’ll fake it but I won’t make anything happen. This is it. Nothing more. A long dull thud.

I was a man filled with dreams and ambitions once when I was walking out of college. I was so hopeful for so many things. But the years rolled on, life ground me down, and here I am. Stuck at 41 just trying to get by before I die.

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