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  • Writer's pictureLJW

When Dreams Don’t Come True

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." C. S. Lewis

What now? You are in your 60’s, 70’s or older and things have changed, dreams have fallen apart, and you have that crippling feeling that there’s not enough time to begin again.

When a lifelong dream dies, it feels impossible to begin to dream a new dream. You and your husband talked and

dreamed about travel after retirement. He’s not in the picture now for whatever reason, and that dream has died. You hoped to enjoy grandchildren often, but your son’s job took them out of the country. You saved money to be financially safe after retirement, only to find that you were scammed out of it by a bad business deal. How can you dream now? What would that dream possibly be? The gap of having nothing ahead to look forward to brings this dull sense of a life spent spinning your wheels without a purpose.

Consider this:

1. Could the death of the dream turn out for the better? “Everything happens for a reason,” some would tell me after my marriage fell apart. At the time, I wished good intentioned people would keep that thought to themselves! What could possibly be the greater reason a solid marriage died? Those pat answers and well-meaning comments hurt instead of helped.

Now, years later, I see that that time of despair made me turn and take a new path I never would have taken on my own. I learned to have a voice and speak up for myself. I found inner courage and strength where I used to rely on my husband for strength. I expanded, grew, and became who I am today due to my marriage falling apart. So, would I change it and have my marriage endure and stay together? Yes, I would. But the fact is the marriage didn’t endure and never could have.

I don’t believe this is the REASON my marriage ended, but the RESULT is that I evolved to be a courageous strong woman. With your dream dying, can you imagine a result that could be better?

Quote: Grateful for not only the good but for the bad also…as it opened a path that would not have been opened before.

2. Do you need to let the dream go forever?

There are times we need to turn our back to the dream. Let the damn dream go. It wasn’t realistic. It was formed by what our parents wanted, or our partner thought we should do, or what we saw on media. Is this your case? What if, right now, you started to think with your own thoughts and feelings to come up with what you really like and want. You begin to explore something that sparked an interest when you read about it. You decide to investigate when a new door opens. Remember that if others, or media, or a social norm has always dictated what you do and what you dreamed to do, your inner peace and future has been in the hands of someone or something other than you.

How about we leave closed doors closed and enter those that are open? There’s a vast world out there with countless possibilities. With enough courage, we can form new perspectives, walk down unknown roads, enjoy life, and live it in ways that suit us…

3. Can you modify the dream and keep it?

If you wanted to have a loving caring family, and things didn’t go that way, what could you do for the same feelings to come through different avenues?

Many women have adult children who don’t speak with them anymore. I’m sure they had the dream of growing old with their children part of life. It’s heartbreaking when dreams are shattered like this. Is there another way that you could have a feel of family and love? What ideas do you have to answer this question?

Let’s face it, we have trouble coping with not getting what we believe is our right to have. We become disappointed because life doesn’t give us our entitled expectations. Time to adjust our expectations in life. Here’s what some have done. A. found a family in need and helped them with food, school supplies, or other basics. B. work or support a shelter to give love where it’s needed. C. Volunteer in a school to help a child learn to read. Is it time for a new start? Sometimes the new dream and the new direction can be found in the most unexpected of places, but that’s what a new start is all about.

4. Things to consider in setting a new dream

Sometimes the new dream and the new direction can be found in the most unexpected of places, but that’s what a new start is all about. You’ve heard, “age is just a number.” In some cases, age is a number to pay attention to. Our age can limit what our dreams can be. At 68, never devoting myself to running, I’m not going to try to run a marathon. I’m limited by a body that isn’t going to agree with some of the wild dreams I can come up with. It helps to focus on what I can do and take some steps toward that. In my case, walking at least 10,000 steps a day, every day, is an accurate and worthy dream to help me stay in shape!

New dreams help you feel that something is possible for you out there. It opens something within you that starts a spark of hope that you could attain something. Pulling you forward into tomorrow and beyond. I think we all need to dream for our individual lives. Just remember to have a dream (or better, lots of dreams) to shoot for as you zig and zag your way through life.

If you are having trouble letting the dream go...if you need someone to come along side you to help you build a new dream, consider Courage Daily Coaching. Let's work on this together for a brighter focus and future!


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