According to a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair survey, the “American Dream,” is NOT the white picket fence home. The ultimate dream for the majority of Americans, is to provide their child(ren) a better life. How would you describe the American dream?
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Well, back when I used to be more of a dreamer, I dreamed of creating an educational system that would improve outcomes for kids who struggle. To be a sort of modern-day Maria Montessori. I went back and forth on whether I cared that my name would be known, versus just helping as many kids as possible.
At some point, I changed into a person who doesn’t think big dreamy thoughts very much. I don’t see stuff like that as being truly possible, so I don’t feel like spending any time working toward even a part of it. Maybe that’s what happens when you’re over the hill. When the bear got over the mountain, all he saw was the other side of the mountain. Or is my creativity just on hold because my kids take up all my free mental energy nowadays? I don’t know.
As far as my “dream” for my own self, I really just want security, as in, knowing I’ll always have food to eat and a place to rest my head. Preferably someplace where there is a lovely natural view.
And for my own kids, I really just want to see them launched into a successful life. I don’t have “material” hopes for them, except that they also always have food to eat and a safe place to rest. I hope they find what makes them happy in life and have the opportunity to pursue it, whatever it is.
It would have to include pie!
Warning: funk ahead…
I think this is *why* I’ve been in such a funk lately. When I was a kid, my fantasy was to live in a place where I had enough land so I could have horses. I would love them and train them and ride them (and I would call them George). Well, here I sit, in the middle of four acres that I can’t take care of, playing host to other people’s horses that I don’t own and can’t ride.
So I’m in a transitional period, I guess. Trying to recharge and regroup, and realign what my American Dream looks like now. I’m trying to make myself “employable” again, and trying to figure out what comes next.
Overall, I guess you could say that my dream kind of matches SKL’s – financial security (I don’t need to be rich, but I also won’t refuse a ‘sure win’ lotto ticket), and the ability to give Josh the tools to succeed at whatever he does.
Laura… (personal opinion ahead, read at your own risk)
I can only glean what I know about you from reading your previous Blog and this one too.
You have the innate ability to see all the wonderful (and not so wonderful) possibilities in other people, yet you frequently sell yourself short.
When things (for your family) seemed dark and almost insurmountable you chose to fight the good fight. Many women would have chosen a much, much less challenging course. Not you. You determined to research, retrain, regroup, refocus and too demonstrate to others what true love, commitment and compassion looks like in a harried life.
This “season” in your life may seem almost cruel that you are sort of sitting on the sidelines watching others enjoy their American Dream, enjoying their horses on YOUR land, etc.. But it is just a season. Seasons come and seasons go. Who is to say that, through your steadfastness, you too will not see your youthful dreams come to fruition?!
In today’s America the so-called American Dream has morphed into a big house, lots of land, plenty of toys to play with, surgeries to make you look like a magazine model and on and on and on; as long as it’s all about ME!
In the early years of America it’s citizenry was all about family. That was everyones dream… to have a family, committed to each other through thick and thin. It didn’t matter if cattle rustlers took all their livestock. It didn’t matter if Indians attacked their wagon train and burned all their belongings. It didn’t matter if small pox killed their ma or pa. As long as family was together they would be happy and love life… THAT WAS THE REAL AMERICAN DREAM!
It may not seem like you are living the American Dream but can you imagine the nightmare of not having your family?
Laura, I dare to say that you are an inspiration to countless people. It may not seem like it and I am certain that at times it can be unimaginably challenging but really YOU ARE someone’s American Dream.
I love that, MSSC… sometimes it takes someone looking in from the outside to remind you of the important things.
And I do believe you’ve ‘hit it’ for me: I feel like I’m sitting on the sidelines watching everyone ‘get theirs’. I’m just impatient – I don’t want it to be a ‘season’, I want it to be just a minute!! 😉
I’ll get there. Like I said, I think this is just “regroup” time. I just have to figure out how I’m “regrouping”.
But thanks for the kind words. I needed them.
(I am sitting here clapping!!!!) How very on target your response is mscc!! You have amazing insight and you’re completely right! For myself, my “dream” has been to be the best person I can be (which changes with every passing season), helping my family grow, and aiding when necessary but being smart enough not to interfere. Which is a tough balance.
I guess my American Dream is to just have good life, simple and happy. To be healthy, to have a healthy, smart, well rounded kid. To own our own home, and not be house broke. To enjoy our lives. So, my American Dream isn’t all that far out of reach. We’re almost there. And in other aspects, we’re already there. I can’t complain, we’ve come along way.
Oh, and for our son to be successful in whatever he decides to do with his life, and to be happy!
I think I got my American Dream. I got the two kids. Picket fence. Dog, station wagon. A good man and I was able to stay home until my kids started school and now I’m reaping the benefits. Two wonderful daughter’s that I didn’t give birth to and the most wonderful, smart and beautiful 3 grandchildren anyone has ever had. What more is there?
There is nothing more. 🙂 And thank you, I think you are just as wonderful.
Nikki, your nose is looking kinda dirty… 😉 (But I think you’re great too, mum!)
My dream is to be happy and we are there. Yes, we’d love to build a house someday and have no debt, but you have to be happy along the way. We have been VERY fortunate that we have family so close b/c they have always been there for us and are a tremendous help. I want my kids to go to college and be successful and love whatever it is they decide to do. I want to grow old and gray with my husband and be able to look back on our lives and know that we did the best we could with what we had and be happy with that.