Sunday, July 31, 2011

What is your Dream-Life?

After looking at pictures of a friend's life in Africa and pictures of what seemed like a daily safari, a question crept up on me and it hasn't let me go. The question was: What would your perfect life be, Denese, if you had it to fashion all over again? I know that I am a 53 year old captive, by my own design by the way, of my family life here in Louisiana; but still, it's a question I have to ask as I go forward on this journey, which might last another 30 or more years.

Here are a few of the things that come to mind:

1. I need to live on or within steps of the water, preferably the Ocean or Gulf, but rivers and lakes will do;
2. Give me a walking/biking and skating path outside my door to trip about on in the early morning after I wake;
3. Let me walk or if I have to drive, give me an ultra short drive to my dry cleaners, favorite coffee shop, restaurant, library and bookstore;
4. I need to live within walking or mass transportation distance from cultural activities, like the theater, opera and art museums; Please save me from suburbia and/or commutes and the strip malls and concrete avenues that come with them: they depress me;
5. Let me gather with like-minded individuals who understand there is a need to focus on things that count (e.g., fair treatment and rights of human beings, poverty, racism, adequate nutrition, happiness) and not things that don't (like issues that are manufactured by isms, including but not limited to anti-gay marriage);
6. Bless me with meaningful work paid to a degree that I can support myself in the present and in retirement, with a little left over to help my kids/grandkids/friends. Even when I'm old, give me the opportunity to contribute and be rewarded for what I give;
7. And let me live in a place where "community" is possible. To know the bonds of friendship, conversation, shared food and drink over a long span of time is priceless. No matter the amenities of the physical space where I live, that's something I don't want to give up (again).

Please help me to find such a place not only in Oregon in the summer, but in Louisiana for the other 9 months out of the year. I've waited an awfully long time (18 years) to realize these dreams that are central to who I am. I've put in my time for everyone else and I think I'm due.


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