Have You Ever Dared to Dream?

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Have you ever Dared to Dream?

INSIGHT OUT By Adina Morris

Have you ever dared to dream to add something to your already full schedule, but just assumed you could never find the time? That was me for a very long time. We lead very busy lives my husband and I. Between family, work and volunteering in between there just never seemed to be time for much else.

One summer when I was expecting our fifth child, my husband and I were at a weekend conference for communal Rabbinic and lay leaders. One of the lectures and workshops we attended that weekend was on positive psychology. The speaker, Tal BenShachar, gave an excellent presentation with fantastic insight. The best part of the workshop for me was at the end when he asked each of us in the room to write down in our notebooks four things we would like to see happen in the next week, month, 6 months and year.

Well, dare to dream! I thought for a bit and came up with my four things quite readily. There was the, Oh I hope to read a book a month on self development, and attend a weekly shiur for myself… but then I hit upon something that must have been festering for a bit as it gave me pause. What I really wanted? I wanted to spend time with my husband on a weekly date.

Now don’t get me wrong! My husband and I do spend time with each other, it is just that, well, time off and alone together, had seemed to been put on the back burner for quite awhile. At first I thought, how could I write something down that most likely would not happen not only in the next year, but probably not in the next 10 years? But then I looked at my list again. My list consisted of activities that carved out time for self development. What about the maintenance of us as a couple? Was that not as important, if not more important? So, I wrote it down. I want to go on a weekly date with my husband.

The presenter than asked us to turn to the person next to us and share our list. So I turned to my husband, curious to see his list, however, more curious to see his reaction to mine!

What happened next changed our lives I hope forever! He looked at my list and I looked at his list. We both looked up smiling and quietly chuckling. Then we both started at the same time, “I didn’t know you wanted to spend more time together!”

You see, we both had made the same request on the list! We both wrote down, go on a weekly date with our spouse!

Well, now that we both had made the same request, how could we not try to make it happen! Over the next two days of the conference we talked about how we could make it work. Afterall, we were heading into the last part of summer when we both took a few weeks off to be with the kids in the Catskills before heading back to reality, school and work. For us, the Elul/Yomim Noraim/Tishrei Zman is probably the busiest and most stressful time of year, even more than Pesach, if you can believe it!

We decided to go one week at a time. It was easy in the bungalow! The kids were in day camp and we could have a date every day! Now, you could say, rest on your laurels, if you skip the next month it is ok because you had all of that time in August. But it doesn’t work that way. You can’t spend three weeks of solid time together and hope it lasts you until next August! That is like saying, eat all you want this month and starve for the next 11! You have to continuously feed your relationship or it will starve and Chas V’Shalom begin to wither away. We spent that August going on dates, of course, but we also spent the time carving out a plan of how we can keep up our weekly date, and especially in the face of the oncoming busy season.

It almost seemed liked the Yetzer Hara was trying to trip us up right from the start. I could almost hear him saying, oh sure, enjoy it now, it will never last once you return home! School is starting, you’re both back at work! Your lives are overflowing with responsibilities this time of year. Wait until November when nothing is happening!

But we put a sock in his mouth and kept planning. Yes, in the busiest times we had shorter dates, but we still went out. We got creative and went out during the day at lunch time or when we both had a quiet spot at work where we could escape for a bit. But we did not miss a week, not during that first Elul Zman nor the proceeding ones.

Recently, we were discussing my husband’s new schedule for the coming year and I said, will Tuesday afternoon’s still be open? I don’t think I could survive the year if we didn’t have our Tuesday afternoons!

It then dawned on us, it has been 7 years since we made that commitment to spend time together on a weekly basis! We realize now, how that weekly commitment of sometimes just even an hour, has made all of the difference in our marriage. It has become a sacred time for us, not to be skipped or forgotten. Someone dared us to dream. Such a small request. What we both wanted in our hearts, but never thought could be realistic. A lot of planning and arranging for one small hour a week has made a mountain of a difference over the last 7 years.

As the Yomim Noraim are upon us once again, it is an amazing time to take stock of the values that you hope you are living your lives by. Dare to dream, write it down and make it a reality. Do it today and you too can laugh in the face of the Yetzer Hara this time next year! Wishing everyone a wonderful year to come with only good health, happiness, joy and blessings. #daretodream #dreams


P.S. Some of you asked how my summer intentions turned out, so here goes:) It rained quite a bit for the summer and the first few mornings any one of the members of my family would come to me and say the weather forecast looked terrible for the next few days! On the second day I told everyone that I was not interested in the 10 day, 7 day, 5 day or even 2 day forecast! I will take each day as it comes, rain or shine and then decide how to best spend my day. I however refused to be glued to the forecast and therefore ruin our vacation. It mostly worked! A few times someone would moan about the upcoming rain. I would say, it could change so there is no point in worrying about it now. And the main point, there was nothing to be done about it. So you might as well enjoy what you can in every kind of weather! And we did:) I hope all of your summers were wonderful and full of realized good intentions.