Even though I'm not a kid any more, I still have a lot of fantasies. I'm not sure that my middle-aged fantasies are all that much different from the fantasies of my youth. I still have fantasies about what I might be when I grow up, for instance, and the kind of house I'll live in and how much traveling I will do and all the new things I'd like to learn and do and how I'd like to be.

The difference is that while my youthful fantasies tended to spring out of ideals and wishes collected from books, movies, fashion magazines, and late night telephone conversations, my middle-aged fantasies are born of a certain knowledge I did not have when I was young. I know now more about what I would like to have or to do or to be based on actual experience. Or, as is sometimes the case, based on the absence of some experience or another. My fantasies at this age have a slightly more desperate edge to them, as well.... time may be running out for some of this stuff, after all.

Does this mean that I am unhappy with my life so far? By no means (as St. Paul says)! It means I think I am still growing, still finding my way, still think about the future and live in a state of hope. It means I still have ideals and wishes that I am not living up to yet but have hope that I still may do so.

Of course, some of my fantasies, the ones in which my house stays clean and neat, the gardening is done regularly, my plans to get/be/stay in shape without changing a lot about my eating and exercising habits, and that crazy fantasy about cooking fantastic meals every day with the help of my family do entail certain unrealistic/unreal components.

But others are realistic. Meaning, I know life can be this way at least sometimes: the fantasy that I will be calm and listen carefully when someone needs me to be there for them; the fantasy that I can write stuff that people find entertaining and/or meaningful; the fantasy that I can enjoy an evening of friends and family and food and drink and stimulating conversation; the fantasy that I can partner with others to make at least my little corner of the world a better place.

What are your fantasies? Do you still get excited about future possibilities? Do you know enough about yourself to know that some fantasies are life-giving while others are actually not all they are trumped up to be? Is there such a thing as a realistic fantasy or is that an oxymoron? Things to think about as the summer comes near.