As a younger woman, I dreamed of a lavish life, filled with travel, French perfumes, designer shoes, and antique jewels.
I was a young, single Mum for many years, and that life seemed, for a long time, unreachable.
But that didn't prevent me from keeping my scrapbooks, and poring over Vogue and Harpers Bazaar and Gourmet Traveller, keeping that dream alive.
This was pre-internet and pre-Pinterest days, so back then, I kept a three ring binder of pages full of ideas for how my life would be one day.
I labelled the first section, 'My Home' and filled it with pictures of beautiful traditional family homes, rooms furnished in the style I liked, and articles on how to grow roses and lavender and fruit trees and herbs.
In the section notated 'Personal', I kept advertisements for Chanel No. 5, gorgeous shoes, antique jewellery, and women I admired whose style and grace I hoped to emulate one day.
The 'Travel' section was chock-a-block full of views of the Eiffel Tower, the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, shows I wanted to see on West End and Broadway, the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean, chateaus in France, castles in Italy.
It took forty years, what I hope is less than half my life, but eventually I saw most of the pictures in my 3-ring binder come to life.
By the age of 40, I had found my true love, completed my family with a daughter after three sons, and bought a home that we sculpted into our dream with our own hands.
My darling showers me with the jewels (both real and faux), shares my love of travel to far flung destinations, and enjoys seeing my face as each small dream is realised. He too, was in my 3 ring binder. Not as a picture, but as a list of qualities. A man who is kind, gentle, creative, and sensitive. A man who is not afraid of hard work or hard times. A man who loves me for who I am, not how I look.
How can you fulfill your dreams, if you don't know what your dreams are?
Pinterest is a wonderful modern day tool, but for me, that 3 ring binder was my slender cord to the life I wanted, and with patience, perseverance and focus, it has all come to pass. Do not underestimate the power of a book that you can hold in your hand and leaf through each day to keep you on track and focused on what is important to you.
Don't be afraid to say no to people or things that do not fit with your long term view of how you want your life to be.
Each day brings you closer to the life that awaits you.
These photos are of some of my more tangible treasures. Some real, some vintage, some faux, some hand made. I love them all.
Of course, the real treasures are my husband, sons and partners, daughter and grandchildren. And believe it or not, they are the most unexpected jewels of all.
Dream big. Set it down somewhere where you can view and review the dream constantly. Then over time, your dream will find you.
Find that 3 ring binder, and fill it with images of the life you want. Then lets work together to see it to fruition.