Wasn't that a Steve Martin line? But it turns out to be true. Since winter I have dropped about 5 or 6 pounds. With a major pilgrimage/hike planned for next month, it could go even lower. For a guy who weighed 240 at 17 and now weighs just over 180, getting small is fine.
But I am getting smaller in other ways, not so welcome ways.
- Twenty years ago I could squat 390 pounds. Last December I was leg pressing (something not as difficult as squatting) that same weight when a twinge in my inner right thigh told me something wasn't right. I am still twinging most of a year later, and pressing only 100 pounds. My dream of bodybuilding glory is clearly over.
- A manuscript I took three years to write - and failed to intrigue the publishers I queried - deserves a re-write. But now, a year after trying, I am not sure it is worth that effort. I am not even sure I want to read it again. And the one I am working on now that seemed promising a few days ago, well, I recorded some portions of it for pod casting and realized when I was done that it too needs major work and I wonder if it is even worth it. My hope to be a respected author may be extravagant.
- Once, I hoped to make a mark by building a new church building for the burgeoning congregation I led. In my thirty plus years years of clergy life I have built nothing either physical or organizational. Fantasies of clergy fame and honor are failing fast.
If our dreams are what we imagine about ourselves, then no wonder I feel smaller. But must I feel bad? If losing weight feels good, and seeing my children grow up and move out (yielding a smaller household) feels good, then must the falling away of dreams feel bad?
Dreams are not made of stone. They can change, as I have changed, and even get smaller and still be dreams worth dreaming. I am working on composing something. When I was in college that was my dream, to be a symphonic composer. Gave up on that one early when I realized what kind of talent that required, but recently some words I love started to feel musical. Is this a new dream? Not sure. I am going to hike Hadrian's Wall next month, a fantasy of mine for years. Not fame or fortune, but something hoped for.
I am feeling a little sadness right now not because the new dreams are small but because they have not yet formed though the old ones are clearly vanishing. One might say that this is when one's faith is tested, because at the moment there is no-thing I have faith in. It is hope without a particular outcome. Talk about small. But as I too am shrinking, this is probably OK.