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Living Simple: Chasing A Dream

Updated on December 7, 2012
The sketch that started it all.
The sketch that started it all.
The dream as I visualize it.
The dream as I visualize it.
Bev's diorama of our future farm.
Bev's diorama of our future farm.
Another great view of our dream farm.
Another great view of our dream farm.

I readily admit to being a dreamer. I fondly remember the day I heard Robert Kennedy repeat the words of George Bernard Shaw in a speech: “Some men see things as they are and say why…I dream things that never were and say why not.” I was dumbstruck by those words and for days afterwards I repeated them silently in my mind. Someone had finally put into words what I had felt for years, that man was meant to dream; that great things only happen when man dares to reach beyond the constraints imposed upon him by society and actually attempts to reach his potential.

The obstacles to make a dream reality are seemingly endless in number; there will always be obstacles and there will always be people who tell you that the obstacles are too great or that you are not being realistic and on and on we go. In fact, possibly our greatest obstacle in pursuit of a dream is our inner voice telling us that we are not capable of achieving, that we are not good enough or talented enough or whatever else we feel we are lacking.

For years I believed those people and I believed the inner voices. So many dreams fallen by the wayside of my life because I had been convinced by others or I had convinced myself that the dream was not possible or that I was incapable of achieving it.

Those days are gone!

I was a classroom teacher for eighteen years, first in high school and later on in middle school, and I loved every single moment that I spent with my students. Interacting with kids kept me young of mind and full of hope for the future. I’m sure my students would tell you that I constantly urged them on to chase their dreams, to not settle for the status quo but rather break down barriers and go for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I am sure they would tell you that I had very little patience with half-effort, that it was a waste of talent and that life is too short to waste any talent that we have. I am sure they would tell you that I always told them that man was not put on this planet to waste opportunities and to settle for a glass half-full.

And yet I am guilty of doing exactly that!

Those days are gone!

Today I am chasing a dream!

My teaching career, although eighteen years in length, spanned three decades. I began in 1978, then took a ten year hiatus, taught middle school for twelve years, took a break, and then ended my career with two years in Oregon. Over that time I became more and more disenchanted with the education system and my concerns for that system became large enough to start me questioning whether I could continue teaching. Standardized Testing became the major objective; the need to raise the school’s testing scores was hammered into us at every staff meeting and less and less freedom was given to the teachers. What was once a job that allowed great freedoms and encouraged innovation in the classroom became a job for an accountant as greater time was spent each year pouring over past test results and determining what to teach based on those past test results. That is not education my friends but rather a controlled lab experiment using live students and teachers instead of lab rats. What I saw us producing was a new generation of great test-takers who were ill-prepared for life after the tests, and that is not why I became a teacher in the first place.

So I left teaching and yet my love for teaching will not go away. Thus, my dream was born.

My dream is to buy a farm with the love of my life and make that farm an educational farm teaching self-sufficiency and alternative energy use. During an idle time while teaching in Oregon I was doodling while looking out the window of my classroom. The doodling eventually became a sketch of the schoolyard as an outdoor classroom. You can see that original sketch on this page. From that sketch came the dream of an educational farm and that farm has become my focus for the future.

I have had people tell me that the dream is silly, that I am sixty-three years old and that is too old to be entertaining thoughts of building an outdoor classroom from scratch. It would have been very easy to listen to those words of advice/criticism and decide that the dream was in fact too lofty and unrealistic. I have chosen, instead, to believe that it is all possible and I will make this dream happen.

I am lucky enough to be in a loving relationship with a woman who is every bit as passionate about this dream as I am. She is the kindest, most compassionate and loving human being I have ever known and with her by my side we can accomplish miracles.

It is easy to dream; it is much harder to make a dream a reality. I suppose it all depends on whether you are a person who constantly asks why or a person who constantly asks why not?

To order my Lifestyle Choices book on Kindle go to:

http://www.amazon.com/Lifestyle-Choices-ebook/dp/B007ZV9G2U/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1336064586&sr=1-3

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    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sparklea, you are such a good person. Thank you for adding us to your prayer list and don't worry, I will not give up on my dream. This will happen and it will serve as a beacon for everyone out there who wonders whether dreams can become realities. Thank you my dear friend!

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Billybuc: What an honorable, terrific dream! Never say never and GO FOR IT 1000%! Age is NOTHING, Spirit is everything! I will add you to my prayer list! It is wonderful to get up each morning with a purpose. LOVE the pictures! God will honor your dream as I can see that you are, by your writings, a sincere genuine terrific individual with a big heart. It would be worse to never ever try, so keep it up! Best to you and your wonderful lady who shares your passion! Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vinay, I completely concur; we are all chasing dreams, consciously or not so. Thank you for that insight and for following along on my journey in search of dreams.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      Freud said lots of things, but of all I like his dream theory. He said we are made by dreams. All our life we chase dreams, even though some of us may say 'I'm not a dreamer.'

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shimmering Dawn, I have no doubt that you are a dreamer but a dreamer filled with action. I have read several of your hubs and I am pleased that you liked this one. Thank you for the comment, the beautiful wishes at the end, and may you find peace and happiness always.

    • shimmering Dawn profile image

      shimmering Dawn 5 years ago

      I am a dreamer.. I make sure that go after my dreams with a force, I am no idle dreams... Most of my dreams have been realized or on their way to be realized. Go after your dreams.. Dream big... Lovely hub here .Inspirational! Have a peace filled day!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      mvaivata, it is always nice to meet a fellow writer who has passion for the craft. Thank you for your kind comments and don't forget that lavender hub! :)

    • mvaivata profile image

      mvaivata 5 years ago

      I felt incredibly touched after reading this hub. It is truly inspiring to see someone actually go after what they want. Your idea is not silly or far-fetched, and I absolutely hope that you and your love are able to make your dream a reality -- though, I have no doubt that you will!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      enlydia....I totally agree. We go from dreaming constantly as a child to being too practical to follow dreams as an adult...I think I'll change that pattern in my remaining years...thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Enlydia Listener profile image

      Enlydia Listener 5 years ago from trailer in the country

      Dreams are wonderful...they are only impractical to those who can't see your dream.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      girl....too funny...must be one of my students...where else would I throw a tennis ball? Glad you enjoyed it!

    • profile image

      The girl who almost got hit by the tennis ball that you threw 5 years ago

      Wow. That's a wonderful dream. I wish I had that kind determination to accomplish my goals. In person, you seem much different. But in your writing, you are very inspirational.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aisla...thank you; I am an incredibly lucky man.

    • Aisla profile image

      Carolyn Mikkelsen 5 years ago from Norway

      Good luck with your venture and take care of each other, you have something many will never achieve or be able to give.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      All it takes is determination and money...the determination I have so now for step number two...thank you!

    • carozy profile image

      carozy 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Go for it! My friend made a documentary about education and the issues you bring up here. It was prompted by the suicide of a 13 year old who felt the academic pressures too much to bear. Good luck with your organic farm.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't know of an educator who believes standardized testing is the cure-all; having said that I'm sure someone will soon post a comment claiming to be that educator. Thank you for reading and your comment and best of luck to you in the classroom.

    • Joelipoo profile image

      Joelipoo 5 years ago from Ohio

      As an educator, I completely agree with you on standardized tests. They sicken me, and our education system is in need of a serious overhaul. As a country boy at heart, I completely support your farm idea. Go out and follow your desires. Thanks for SHARING.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We are in total agreement: our children are our legacy. Thank you for reading and commenting. I wish I was younger and I could push against more windmills but the system is too big for me to change so I'll find an alternative that I can thrive in.

    • jeyaramd profile image

      jeyaramd 5 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

      Thanks for sharing this. I never realized how much of an impact standardized test make on the quality of education. Its great to get those scores. However, compromising quality education that will prepare children for the future is saddening. I can see why any teacher with noble intentions would not want to stay around. Thank you for sharing your wonderful insight as a teacher. I hope the education system receives your message. I truly hope for a better system. Our children are our legacy. Thanks so much.