Give Me a Kiss to Build a Dream on…And My Imagination Will Make that Moment Live by Sherrie Hansen

Forgive me for being momentarily morbid, but I’m in the middle of another long, dreary winter, and it’s time I did something to cheer myself up. Perhaps I’m being overly sensitive because my birthday is coming up, but it seems like every time I open the newspaper, someone very near my age has died. So my assignment for today is to take stock – to think about baskets full of blessings and all the things I have to look forward to. If I have to give a nod to the fact that I’m in my late fifties (which my young nieces and nephews assure me is very old), and that the end gets nearer every day, then I’ll write a bucket list one day soon.

Sunset 2014 Grass

What memories do I most cherish? What do I most regret? What do I have to look forward to?

Promise you won’t laugh. Writing about Shy Violet (my work in progress) has made me realize that I’m the one who is typically standing on the sidelines encouraging the people who are actually doing the things I want to do, perhaps even taking photos, or filing away observations for future characters, dialog or plot lines for my next book. Instead of entering into the merriment of the occasion, I hang back and let others have all of the fun.

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Some of my best memories are of the time I lived in Augsburg, Germany, when I admittedly went a little wild and acted like a crazy person, probably because I drank a wee bit too much Liebfraumilch. Among other things, I took disco lessons (you promised not to laugh) and danced many a night away to ABBA and the BeeGees, learned to soul dance with a big black man who taught me moves so smooth I can still feel them if I try, called a 3 star general on the phone and told him what I thought about what I perceived to be a bad decision on his part, took my dog, Ginger, and went on volksmarches by myself when my fuddy-dud husband wouldn’t budge off the sofa, and drove myself to Holland and the Italian Riviera and wherever else I wanted to go, just because I could.

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By the time the 80’s arrived, I had been hurt. I’d gone too far on a couple of occasions and realized certain things were very, very bad ideas. I retreated back into observation mode, sitting on the sidelines and watching as my friends lived out their fantasies, afraid to even say what I wanted, and more importantly, to follow where my heart led.

sherrie - pikes peak

For whatever reason, in the 90’s, I went a little wild again – I climbed Pikes Peak and almost Mount Massive, left Colorado Springs and moved to Iowa to buy a house everyone else though should have been bulldozed, opened my own business, and participated in a few adventures so reckless and unthinkable that I really can’t talk about them here. Have to save something for my tell-all memoir…

Bicycle2010

But alas, when all was said and done, my soul once again felt singed. I was afraid of being hurt. I stopped riding my bicycle because my muscles and my heart ached, and I didn’t climb any more mountains because I stopped believing I could. I let myself be talked out of going to the Gaelic cèilidh on Iona when we were in Scotland because it might get too late and I didn’t insist we cross the bridge to Sweden because we might not have enough time, and I didn’t go on the side trip to take a dip in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon when in Iceland because it cost $45 extra per person. I let so many opportunities slip through my fingers, And the more I stopped doing, the more depressed I felt, and I was always tired. I passed by opportunities to have parties or be social because I was too timid to pick up the phone and call people or because my house isn’t tidy enough, or because I weighed too much or didn’t look the way I wish I did anymore. Or because I was afraid people would reject me.

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I let my light fade. In my third book, Water Lily, I wrote a scene where Michelle chooses not to join Jake and his boys in the swimming pool because she’s embarrassed about how she looks in a swimming suit. This scene is so typical of my life it is ridiculous. It is so hard for me to let go and let loose – except in my books, where my imagination takes those moments and makes them live.

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So I’m in my late fifties, and I’ve had a great life. I’ve gone places and done things that many people only dream of. But to be frank, I’m at that stage of life where if I plan to do anything else, it’s now or never. It’s time to start wishing again, to go to the places I dream of seeing and – more importantly – experiencing. It’s time to live life to the fullest and seize every opportunity – because a kiss to build a dream on is fine, and I do have a great imagination, but sometimes a kiss isn’t enough. Sometimes, I want wild, passionate lovemaking all night long. I want to live. I want to fly – to be the one in the picture instead of the one holding the camera.

Sherrie - dreads

So my husband just came home from working over at the church and asked if I wanted to go for a ride and take in the sunset. At first I said I needed to finished my blog and then call the computer guy, who is waiting to do a backup on my new laptop. But then I said yes and went out and got in the car. It’s a start.

Sunset 1-2015

11 Comments

Filed under blogging, books, fiction, Sherrie Hansen, Travel

11 responses to “Give Me a Kiss to Build a Dream on…And My Imagination Will Make that Moment Live by Sherrie Hansen

  1. Ann Chandonnet

    Dear Sherrie, One can’t take all the roads at once; there is always a crossroad! Enjoyed your musings on travel, life, and getting old. My granddaughter, 7, tells me that she and her classmates feel 40 is ancient; I am about to be 72, and that is such an advanced age that she cannot really comprehend it! As to drinking too much wine, I worry more about drinking too little.

  2. You’ve got the right idea, Sherri. Go ahead and live life to the fullest. As we get older, we realize just how short our time is here and it’s important to do what fulfills us while we can. Worrying about others’ perceptions is nonproductive. We all have hang-ups. I encourage you to explore all you want and live YOUR life. Happy journey!

  3. I envy you your wild times. I never was wild. Don’t even know how to be, but I am learning to be bold, to embrace my untamed soul, which is a good alternative — fearlessness without recklessness. Wishing you many more sunsets and a plethora of rainbows.

    • Thank you, Pat. These days, it’s like I’ve gone back to square one and have to remind myself to relax and try to have fun once in awhile. I think a good part of it is that I’m either in boss mode or pastor’s wife mode most of the time. I wish you the best, too – you almost have the chance to reinvent yourself right now… I hope you find many good things in the days ahead.

      • I really do have the chance to reinvent myself, which is as exhilarating as it is daunting because I haven’t a clue where to start. With a single step, I imagine. I’m still cleaning up my old life but one day, the whole world will lay at my feet, and then, who knows . . .

        I hope you don’t mind: https://ptbertram.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/wishing/

        • Thank you, Pat. I’m sure it’s no fun reinventing when you never wanted to do it in the first place and didn’t set out to do it but it’s still an opportunity and I hope you will find many things that make you happy in the course of your journey.

  4. Pingback: Wishing . . . | Bertram's Blog

  5. I’m so glad you said yes to that sunset. I keep feeling tempted to retreat as well; too old, too busy, too concerned about what might happen next. But we were brave once; we emigrated.

    Oh, and my mum has a friend who lives in Augsburg! Fun to see you’ve been there.

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