Daydreaming Revisited

Almost two years ago, Mike and I wrote an article about Daydreaming and planning for the future life you want. In our case, that was a roving retirement, most of it in exciting foreign locales. The nomadic lifestyle certainly works better when governments don’t impose lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. But honestly, who could have predicted what the last year has wrought. Originally, Mike said he wanted to be a ‘citizen of the world’ but we seem to be having a hard time with that right now.

But even if you don’t want a nomadic lifestyle, it is vital to daydream about how your life could be better. While most of you have been locked in your house for nearly a year, it seems even more important to take some time to picture things you would like to do in the future. Some people are predicting that the next decade could be like the roaring ’20s were after the 1918 Influenza pandemic. Why not consider how you might want to catch that wave?

The Reality of a Roving Lifestyle

As I sit here looking at the list of daily blahs that we had two years ago I want to laugh.

Here is our former list of daily blahs?

  • Working regular hours

This is funny because while it is true that we don’t have to work regular hours, we have committed to publishing an article every Thursday. Frequently, this seems like work and takes considerable time on both our parts.

Mike’s office
  • Maintaining a house

We no longer take care of a house, but we do spend considerable time figuring out where we are going to sleep each night and how we are going to get there. Planning trips is what most people do for fun and is an integral part of Daydreaming, but it gets to be more like a job when you have to do it several times a month. It has also been challenging to figure out where to be during the pandemic.

  • Dealing with mail

We do still have to deal with the mail, the bills, the insurance, our investments, and of course taking care of the family. Many years ago, I picked up and moved myself to France. During the six months I lived there I was surprised to learn that every day wasn’t the most wonderful day ever and I wasn’t always in a good mood. My takeaway was, “no matter where you go, there you are.”

Things We Never Thought About

We never thought of what it would be like when one of us got sick or hurt. I can tell you truly that I yearned (whined, really) for “home” when I was miserable after my recent knee surgery. We had to move to a new condo on day five after surgery and I was miserable. The bed was so high I couldn’t get in and out without help.

It also turns out that we have to daydream all the time to figure out where we want to go and what we want to do. While our possibilities are more limited than planned, we spend time each week talking about where we will go next and what we will do while we are there, even with all of the current limitations.

Continue Daydreaming

So, we are encouraging all of our readers to just sit down with their favorite beverage and daydream about things that make you want to get up early in the morning. For us, that’s travel, skiing, and golf. Ask your spouse/SO to do the same and then compare notes.

Here are some suggestions/prompts to jumpstart your daydreaming sessions:

  • Start with areas where your interests align with your SO.
  • Dream big. What would be really great?
  • Want to visit Italy? For a week, for a month, a year?
  • What would you do if you did stay in Italy that long?
  • How would you pass the time? At the beach, museums, language or cooking school?
  • All of the above?

It might seem hokey but, write down your dreams and put the piece of paper away until the next time you try the daydreaming exercise. Sometime later (1 week, 1 month), do it all again. What if any differences do you note from the first time you did the daydreaming exercise, what is the same?

Over time, your challenges will change (no more pets, so no problem there), but themes will emerge. For example, two years ago Mike said “I learned a long time ago the beach won’t hold my interest for more than a month.” But because we need to stay in the US right now, and I’m rehabbing, we are planning to spend a few months in Hawaii. Neither of us saw that coming, but we are more comfortable there than in Mexico while we wait to get vaccinated.

Stay Strong in this Challenging Environment

So, don’t get discouraged by delays and changes in the world scene. Many things are out of our control right now and your priorities might have changed voluntarily or not over the last year. But keep on daydreaming and don’t forget to plan for life after the pandemic. It might take a number of years to get to a new normal, but people will still want to see and do new things and create new ways of working and living.

Most importantly, don’t forget your financial planning. Our approach has long been to envision where we would like to be in 5 years. Doing so allowed us to start preparing our finances to be able to support the lifestyle we had in mind.

We all know that every plan will require changes. Life would not be interesting if everything was predictable. We really want to hear from you about today’s questions.

What kinds of things are you daydreaming about now? How have your future goals changed in the last year?

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