Person running with scarf
December 12, 2022

Your dreamer and your realist can work as one

By Sherrie Frank

There is something inherently special about the beginning of a new year. It’s like a blank canvas or a newly tilled patch of soil waiting to be planted. I love getting out my new planner (this year it’s yellow) and asking myself questions that begin with What? Where? When? I like dreaming and possibilities, and yet there is another part of me at odds with the dreamer. This part of me—I call her the realist—wants to be present and accept myself and reality as it is. She sees the longing for more as a problem. I have been aware of this internal conflict for a while, and this year I think I have finally brought them together. It started with the poem “Big” by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer.

As I read her poem this past week, I could feel these two parts of me rising: the dreamer doing a happy dance and the realist sighing, “uh-oh.” And I wondered how I could be both dreaming and longing for more and fully accepting of myself and life as it is right now. As I pondered, my daughter Anney and a story she shared with me came to mind. She is a teacher and sometimes creates these little table “stories” after her students leave for the day. For each table, she gathers toys and objects from around the room and puts them together in ways that provoke the imagination. When the children come in the next morning, they are drawn into “the story” and begin to explore and engage. Her displays provoked their curious minds.

Like those little kids, without provocation to look again we tend to get bored with our toys and start thinking we need new ones. Only we’re not longing for more stuff or a better self-image, we are longing to be enraptured by reality and to be deeply engaged in the present moment. The dreamer and realist have this in common and have been working together all along to make it happen. The dreamer focuses on the rapture and the realist the deep engagement with reality.

So, this year, I invite you to join me in dreaming big, rapturous dreams and to sink deeply into the present moment where reality and our dreams meet. Yes.

Xo -s

P.S.: Here is the poem by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer. You can find it in her book of poems titled Hush.


This is, perhaps, the year to learn to be big.

Spruce tree big. Cliffside big. Big as mesa,

as mountain lake. Big as in cosmos, as in love.

Being small has never served me—constricting,

contorting, trying to fit into a room, into shoes,

into a name. Let this be the year to escape all those little

rules, with those little shoulds, all those little

cages with their little locks. Time to make of myself

a key, time to lean into immensity. Time to supersize

communion, time to grow beyond self. Time to

open, to unwall, to do as the universe does,

accelerating as I expand, not rushing toward

something else, no, but changing the scale

of space itself.

Leave a Reply