by Dave Markwell

My daughter had a bad day. And when she has a bad day, our household has a bad day. She is a powerful nine-year old. Her moods are unpredictable and tempestuous. While my hope is that these traits will delay the inevitable “boy” stage of life, I suspect they will not. She is also beautiful and beauty will make even the most unfavorable personality characteristics highly negotiable, especially to a young boy. But, I suppose this truth carries on in later stages of maledom as well…so, I’m told…

When she is afflicted with a bad day, I go into damage control mode. I serve her and dote and laugh and dance and sing. While my singing often will not please her, I think she likes the effort. As she has grown older different mood-lifting techniques have evolved. Her mind is rich with fantasies of a life she doesn’t currently have. She wants to live in San Diego and design “fashion”. She wants to go to Paris and explore different cultures and eat cheese and bread, I guess. In response to her “moods”, I have begun asking her about these things. I inquire about what she will do there, where she will live, what her days will look like. Her mood brightens when we discuss these things. She looks forward to this life and in doing so, she forgets about how “crappy” her regular life is. And this is good for her and me and the rest of the family.

While contemplating how this works, I came to the simple conclusion that dreams make us feel good. Jolly fantasies of a life filled with wonderful experiences and good weather can carry us through our dark days. Dreams are hope. And hope is what stirs the blood. Hope fills the sail with a stiff, warm breeze and moves us forward. Hope is a universal magic-maker. Hope is as right as rain and as necessary as air.

The other morning, I stopped by my buddy, Dan’s, business for a quick visit. Dan is a very practical, structured, yet still fun guy. He is quick with a smile and his wit and I always enjoy our chats. On this day, Dan wore a special gleam in his eye. Having known Dan for some time, I have learned to be a bit wary of this gleam. He is not afraid of a bad idea and as I had a lot of stuff to do with my day, I did not want to be tempted into a bad decision. I need not have worried. Dan’s gleam was from a new idea. He explained his dream and it was contagious. I was infected by his enthusiasm. His dream lifted him above his regular work day. He was elevated and so was I. The morning turned for ordinary to extraordinary.

Such is the power of a dream. At any and all ages, dreams have the unique ability to elevate us. We can leave our ordinary, mundane lives and become more. We can become super-heroes. We can don our capes and fly. Our dreams and the hope they give are life’s color. They can transform a sad and mad nine year old girl and they can make a fifty year old man feel like a boy again. They are the well from which the fountain of youth springs. And we can drink from this well anytime we want. Within us all lies a dreamer’s heart whose beat brings us alive…and makes it all worthwhile. So…dream big and often and always. It’s what we’re meant to do and from where our greatness takes its shape…it also feels pretty damn good…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]

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