Posted by: ritagone | August 9, 2017

What I Now Know!!!

On my recent trip with Michael to New York (coming and going) and to Ireland, there were a few realizations that I had:

I won’t live in New York City ever again.

I may visit New York City, but I most likely won’t own my own residence again, like I have done in the past.  Those days are over.

And that’s okay.

When we were at Ashford Castle in County Mayo on the West Coast of Ireland, taking the boat cruise around the 377 islands in Lough Corrib, the largest lake in Ireland, I found myself fantasizing about living on one of those beautiful islands, although a law had been passed several hundred years ago that man couldn’t build there, which is why the lake water is so pristine and clear.  In fact, it’s one of the clearest lakes in the world, because it has been so untouched by human enterprise.  But still, a fantasy is a fantasy, and I saw my little cottage clearly, smoke coming out of the chimney, comfortable, cozy, welcoming, serene, peaceful: everything, in short, that a fantasy cottage on an island in a lake in Ireland could and should be.

But I will never live there.

That’s also okay.

When you’re young(er), you think about places you’d like to live in, cities, countries that grab your attention for whatever reason, where you see yourself residing for weeks, months, even years.  I had always imagined myself in England because of my love for British literature.  I remember when I was in college, having had a major in British literature, I knew for certain that when I finally got to London, everyone would be walking around with a great work of British literature in his or her hands.  That turned out to not be the case.  Far from it.  But still I pictured myself eventually living in London, in Cornwall, in the Lake District.  That also never happened.  Oh, I visited those places on vacation.  But never more than a few days at a time, never actually residing there, because my real life was far, far away.

And that was okay.  There was still plenty of time for that to happen, I kept telling myself.

So I dreamed on and fantasized on, and life went on, years and decades went by, and here we are today.

The realization has come to me boldly and definitely that these places that I have dreamed about will never be my home.  Instead, I will live out my days – if I’m fortunate – in my wonderful home in beautiful Westlake Village, near my children and grandchildren.  And that’s not half bad.  It’s not what I thought about 40 years ago, but it’s not bad.

Like many of the dreams and fantasies we had when we were younger, most of them won’t come true.  What did you dream about that you are just now realizing will never come to fruition?  Maybe it’s a career you thought you would have time for.  Maybe that book or novel you envisioned writing when you retired.  That hobby that was going to make retirement so fulfilling.  The love of your life walking into your life…finally.  Whatever it is, it just may not be happening.

So what?

What does it mean when your dreams and fantasies don’t come true?  Does it mean your life is a waste?  Unfulfilled?  Or does it mean that you switch gears and find other things to make you happy and feel satisfied?  Well, it had better be the latter, because if it’s the former, most of us are in for loads of disappointment and sadness.  And what a waste that would be: to spend the last years of our lives regretting that what we thought was going to happen didn’t, for one reason or another.

I didn’t get to live permanently in New York City for any length of time, but I did own an apartment there for three years with two other couples, and that was a fantastic experience.  I didn’t live in Ireland, but I’ve visited half a dozen times and loved each experience.  And England is one of those places where I feel right at home, no matter how long I stay or where I go on that island.

And then I’m fortunate to come home to a place that I love too, with people who care about me and family nearby.

And fortunately that’s not fantasy: that’s reality!!!  So I consider myself pretty darned lucky, when all is said and done.




  1. Love this post!

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