Monday's Musings: Do You Have Dreams or To Do Lists?

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

Recently, I saw a friend's awesome looking diagram of her dreams and how to get there. It's called mind mapping. She's going to share her knowledge with me and I can't wait to try it. 

So I decided to get a head start. 

I wrote a To Do List instead of my dreams
The idea is basically this: you start with writing out your dreams and then figure out how to get there. You write out all the steps and actions to take.

Simple, right? 

Apparently not for me! 

You know what I wrote down? 

A To Do List......a boring, mundane To Do List. 

It wasn't until later that I realized what happened. 

I didn't have any dreams listed. Just chores, jobs, items I needed to take care of. Some important stuff for sure. But it was still just a To Do List. 

That's sad to me. But it doesn't have to be. 

You see, I feel like I'm waking up from a long slumber. The grief of losing my precious mom and father-in-law two years ago, May 1 and May 18, has been hard. 

Some dreams are covered by the messes of Mary Denman Photography
My mom was such an encourager to me. We were expecting my father-in-law to pass away since he was in hospice care. My mom wasn't in hospice. She was doing fairly well. 

Unfortunately, her death came quickly, surprisingly, and while I was out of the country. Before my father-in-law passed away. I was in shock. Two funerals in two weeks. And my daughter's wedding two weeks after the second funeral. Sounds like a bad movie title. . .Two Funerals and a Wedding. But that was my reality. (I was so happy for my daughter and her husband, but it was so bittersweet

Is your dream fading? by Mary Denman Photography
But if there's one person who would want me to dream again, it would be my mom. She said that as a kid I walked 6 inches off the ground. I was her dreamer. I loved to dance. I was optimistic. 

I need to be that again. To dance when no one's watching. To get excited about what life has to offer still. To be a great writer. A  great photographer. 

Dare to Dream Again! by Mary Denman Photography
My dreams had started to fade. I just sort of accepted where I was in life. 

But I'm excited about life again. Ready to actually start dreaming again. To start hoping. Planning. Having a great purpose behind my To Do List. 

Where are your dreams? 

Do you have any?

Have they been covered with the messes of life? 

Or are they calling to you, daring you to dream again?

I truly hope they can surface once again and get you excited about your life!

Here are a couple of mine that are coming back to life. 

1) Have my medieval fantasy novel published.
2) Have a photo published with National Geographic, somehow. . .

And I would love to hear about your dreams! 

TWEETABLE: Do you have Dreams or a To Do Lists? (click and tweet)


clairejustine Keeping It Simpleparty  The Chicken ChickLive Randomly Simple LIFE IN BALANCE


  1. Great post, Mary....we do tend to have more tasks than dreams, don't we.

    1. I sure do, but that's about to change! :) Thanks for stopping by Linda!

  2. Great insight! I'm going to have to take another look at my list!

    1. :) I think you have a couple of dreams in there....but you know you can dream even bigger!

  3. Mary, I am so happy to see that the real you is coming back to life. I've never been much of a dreamer - I should let you teach me :)

    1. I truly understand Sherry, I'm married to a rocket scientist!!! Let's spend some time a Blue Ridge talking and brainstorming and finding your dreams!

  4. I've been creating full moon dreamboards and seasonal visionboards for some time. They really do focus me on my dreams in a visual way. (Here's my latest from yesterday -

    1. That is so cool Beverley! I love the colorful visual aspect of it!

  5. Great post Mary! So much to do in a day with family, housework, blogging I forget to make goals and rach my dreams. I need to make plans again after drifting from my running...

    Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays...

    1. Let me know what you decide to do Claire! I'll cheer you on from this side of the pond!

  6. (((((Hugs))))) friends. I know how hard it is to attend funeral after funeral of closed loved ones. I actually attended one about a month or so ago of a close friend and it was so hard on me and the weeks that followed were even harder. I will keep you in my prayers as I can understand how May will be a hard month for you.

    I do have dreams and goals and plans. I don't have the written down on my actual to do list, but I have a journal. I write about them in my journal and what I need to do to achieve those things and then I transfer those task to my to do list. I like to revisit my journal at least once a week to see how I am doing on my short term goals so that I can achieve my long term goals.

  7. Thank you for reminding me I still need to pay attention to my dreams - even in the midst of crazy family life. Sorry to hear about the passing of your family members. I hope you hang on to the good memories!

  8. Oh Mary, your post rings such a big note with me. I, too, was dreaming, creating, painting, singing as a kid and teen, but then... I, too, have quite recently started to try and go back to what I loved back then and have not done in a very, very long time i.e. painting. And it felt oh so good. I have also started meditating and yoga (which about a year ago seemed impossible to me) and am also participating in a art, painting&photography, course called radiantheart with Alena Hennessy and Susan Tuttle, which is pretty much soul searching and liberating. To share our feelings with like minded individuals is helping immensely.
    I hope that you find your inner dreamer again. Be positive. Always. And I will keep my fingers crossed for the photo in NG!
    p.s. have you already finished writing your novel? Have you given it to other people, friends, family to read?

  9. I'm loving this! Pinned and tweeted. We appreciate you taking the time to party with us. I hope to see you on Monday at 7. Happy Mother's Day! Lou Lou Girls

  10. Thanks for sharing this post at Create With Joy! It's one of my favorites of yours to date!

    Be sure to join us for Friendship Friday this week, where I am making dreams come true! (smile)

    Have a wonderful week!