Good Tidings — Present-day you meets 10-years-ago you for coffee. Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to.

Ten years ago. Like — 2004, right? It hasn’t been an upbeat decade, I fear … but all is not lost.

Garry Kaity Divot RiverBend

I suppose I need to tell me that my health isn’t going to improve. No matter how sick I am now, it will be worse in years to come. Each ailment will be more threatening and disabling than the one preceding it. You will nearly starve to death as your damaged digestive system collapses and before you fully recover from that, you’ll have bilateral breast cancer.

A couple of years later, massive heart problems will follow. The arthritis and bursitis get worse but everyone will tell you how well you’re doing — and how lucky you. Sometimes, you will wonder what they mean by “lucky.”


You’ll work hard, but be unable to continue. Too ill. Anyway, the high-tech job market will collapse, so by the time work starts to trickle back, you’ll be too tired to seize the day.

Your book will be praised (you’ll finally write one), but it won’t sell.


Rewards? You won’t get a Pulitzer or a big movie contract, but you’ll keep on keeping on. Your husband will stick it out with you. He’ll be inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of fame and grow to be the person he always had it in him to be. This will mean everything.

While most old friends fade, a few re-emerge and others will become ever more important. You’ll find new people where you least expected to find them. They will support you when you urgently need it. It will remind you there is still kindness and generosity in the world. A layer of your cynicism will wash away … which is good because old layers of cynicism get pretty crusty over the years.

Life won’t get easier, but you will make the best of it. You’ll finally ride two of the biggest, baddest roller coasters on America’s east coast and it will make you howl with glee. You’ll see the Grand Canyon. Your dogs will make you laugh every single day and smile, even when they aren’t around.

Superstition Mtns Arizona

You’ll learn there are worse things than being alone, realize your own company is better than you imagined. You’ll write a lot and you’ll have a bigger audience than you hoped for. Your photography will keep getting better and you’ll get immense gratification from it.

The Red Sox will win three World Series.

You’ll fight illness, poverty, loneliness, and pain. Successfully, for the most part. You’ll beat back despair with a big stick and battle the Grim Reaper to a stand still.

You will survive and won’t end up living in your car.

Deep in your heart, you’ll always harbor a foolish dream that the big lottery hit will rock your world. Because it’s not impossible, merely unlikely. So many unlikely things have already happened, why not one more? Maybe a good one this time.


Our dreams change and some vanish. But we are what we are and thus invent new dreams. The canvas on which we paint is smaller, but our brushes are sharper and the colors stronger.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

40 thoughts on “MAYBE NEW DREAMS”

    1. Yes, Garry is impressive … but he’s a shy, quiet guy most of the time (unless he’s angry, in which case he’s … well … angry 🙂 ) With very good manners and an extremely good listener. But he’s also a husband and does all sorts of annoying little husband things, just as (I guess, though I believe I am essentially perfect) I do annoying little wife things.

      I wish you didn’t live on the other side of the world!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The nice thing about husbands is that we wives always know what they are thinking before they know it themselves. The one step ahead theory. I also wish we could part the ocean, or have a warp machine. I am sure we would have fun.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bette Davis was right about fastening our seatbelts. But the ride has been longer and bumpier than expected. However, we’re a long, long way from the end credits.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. This is a moving post that can talk to each of us, regardless of age. Ten years is a long and short time in an adult life. Important events happen (some of your life and your husband’s are pretty impressive and significant). Many small moments that we have forgotten will have also been lived. Despite being small they shape us too.
    Your three last sentences say everything about dreams and the passing of time.
    To me the best about getting older, year after year, is to be less cynical, more accepting of my mistakes and of other’s mistakes, too, and more risk-taking without fearing people’s opinion as much.
    Lovely post, Marilyn.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. This took me longer to write than anything has in a long time. I really had to think about it. This last decade has been terrible and wonderful and frightening and fulfilling. The canvas IS smaller, but I think I need less space to show my story …

      And if age has one big super duper huge blessing, it is that we are less concerned with what others think and far more willing to trust our own instincts.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. How/ can anyone not love this post? You’ve covered it all in a few short paragraphs. The fun parts are the details between the major events. Your education into values, morals and the road to happiness. When we’re young our lofty ambitions give us a totally different perspective on what adult life is all about. As we age wisdom takes over and the really important stuff reveals itself and we become surrounded by what we know will ultimately bring us contentment and happiness. Life is a wonderful journey.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It made me write then throw the whole thing out and start over. I didn’t even try to be inspiring. Ten years ago me didn’t need inspiring; she needed a swift kick in the butt and a wake up call. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed reading this,beautifully written words, though it made me realize it is better not to have that crystal ball to know the future, because of what it can hold- good and bad. But in the end you are with Garry and together you get through it all.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This was such an interesting prompt and I love your answer to it. So many ups and downs can occur in a decade. Our dreams are constantly changing in accordance to life’s situations. Like me, you are very lucky to be going through life with a sweet caring husband. My Gary has only one “r” but he’s given me the best past 10 years ever!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, and the Patriots played some good football, too. I think for both of us, my habit of nearly dying every couple of years put a bit of a stress on our lives. I would like to believe the worst is over — I don’t know about anyone else, but I need a break.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Hah, YOU nailed it Rich! THREE WS championships. Who wudda thunk? I still remember the NY Post ’04 front page — picture and caption “Hell has frozen over”. Yessssss!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. And on the way you will meet one soul too who has come to this conclusion that you have seen enough in this one life, emerged as a stronger, practical and successful woman…..a lady with courage of steel and a heart who beats for her shy husband. God bless you both. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I waited to read your response to make sure I wouldn’t have any interruptions because I knew that yours was going to be a true-grit response, and it was. Congratulations to you for overcoming so many illnesses and keeping that damn Grim Reaper at bay and for writing a book! Congratulations to Garry for his honors and awards and to both of you for keeping on keeping on. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  7. HELL of a piece, Marilyn. I was one who urged you to fight and not give in. I know it was very difficult. But Garry, I and all your friends as SO GLAD you did. In The Shootist, my favorite JW film, Books says”You said I was strong as an OX..” Jimmy Stewart says, “Even an ox dies”.As we all know everything does. I hope to enjoy what time I have left. With Garry by your side and all your friends……..I am certain you will also. Hugs to all, KEITH

    Liked by 1 person

      1. So, you are taking a small one. If it helps…………take a bigger one. If it is truly time to stop fighting, then DO. Enjoy life as much as you possibly can. I had to face your decision once. I did and was lucky. But you have gone farther than I had to. Folks can say, “I would do this or that”…………but they don’t really know……….do they? The decision is yours….not even Garry’s, although he certainly deserves consideration when you make it. I am here for you always. WARDEN@YADTEL.NET OR 336 244 4342. If you don’t have free long distance……..I DO……MESSAGE ME YOUR NUMBER.AND i WILL CALL YOU. i have gone through this with three very close friends. I am not a stranger to your thoughts……eventually they all came to the same thing. I wish you and Gar as much fun as you can squeeze into the time you have taken. And PLEASE make sure he forgives me. I have been telling folks he won AN EMMY……………had no idea it was THREE! You two are a super pair. HAVE FUN. KEITH.

        Liked by 1 person

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