• howardshipleyauthor@gmail.com
  • Nature Coast, FL
From the Writer's Desk
From the Writer’s Desk

From the Writer’s Desk


What are your dreams? Your true greatest goals; in an idea world or situation, where do you see yourself and what do you see yourself doing?

These thoughts have pushed themselves to the forefront in our own family’s life over the past few months. I don’t feel that we are alone as I have noticed several others hinting at the same discussions. While our bucket list has several entries, the one topic that has continually been discussed since my wife and I got married has been a desire to not simply visit but to live in Florida. We acknowledged the obstacles and the challenges such a move would pose. Each time the discussion came up–and it came up quite often–we would table the idea under any number of excuses. We would wait until all of the kids had graduated. We would wait until we had saved enough money. We would wait for this or that. The list continued to grow and we were getting further away from our goal instead of closer to it.

Then came the year 2020. This was a devastating year for most with the Covid epidemic. Our family suffered additional trials with my hospitalization for what turned out to be a septic bone infection that nearly took my life. After battling back from multiple infections and surgeries that removed 2.5 inches from my left leg, our discussions began to take a different turn. Our own mortality had taken a central seat. We decided that we were on the verge of working ourselves out of our dream.

Already, we would have to experience it differently than we had intended with my new mobility limitations. However, the bottom line was that God had graced us with a second chance. I was alive and we begin to realize our dreams even with the changes if we were only willing to step out and make it happen.

That is exactly what we did and within two months we had sold most of our belongings and relocated to another state. Was it difficult, sure. Did my challenges make it harder, at times, sure. But was it worth it, absolutely.

The point is that we can get comfortable in our status quo bubble. No matter how big our aspirations, they will never become reality if we fail to make that initial step of activity. Is is scary, yes. But it is worth it. You can sit on your laurels and make every excuse in the world to wait until you are buried under a pile of excuses that will last your final days on this earth. Or, you can act and chase your dreams. They may not turn out to be a carbon copy of what you thought, but you won’t know until you try.

In other words, either be ready to play like the big dogs and chase your dreams, or stay on the porch and watch everyone else reach their dreams.

Thoughts? Comments? Bring it. Sure it’s Chaotic out here, but we love it.

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