We all eventually give up on some of our dreams.
It is then that we place them on a shelf.
The shelf of unfulfilled dreams.
Life is often cruel.
That cute girl you loved back in the seventh grade never gave you the time of day.
On to the shelf.
The high school baseball phenom who batted .378 his senior year and pitched two no-hitters!
Until his knee blew out at training camp, ending his chances at the big leagues.
Today he's a foreman for a commercial builder.
Another ambition kept somewhere on that shelf, gathering dust.
Never to be fulfilled.
Here's a little secret about politicians, major and minor.
They all dream about being President of the United States some day.
Then reality hits.
You're too old, too fat, or you just barely have enough charisma to get past the next school board race.
Suddenly it's apparent that the dream ain't happening.
On to the shelf.
The older you get, the more crowded becomes that shelf of unfulfilled dreams.
Too old to be a cop, too old to join the military, too old for the lead role, too old to have children, too old to visit Rome.
It's a pretty sad shelf for all of us I suppose.
I think the best way to deal with your shelf is to keep two rules in mind.
First of all, don't visit that shelf too often.
You obsess over your failures and bad luck.
Those emotional chotchkies will always be there, but they mean nothing today.
Secondly, and most importantly, focus on your new dreams.
After all, we all make adjustments.
No matter what your age, experience, or history strewn with the carnage of disappointments, you can strive for a new horizon.
And oddly, as we age, we tend to find dreams of greater value, even if the glamorous plans of the past have crashed and burned.
The new dream might be to hug your estranged son and tell him you love him.
One more thing.
You may have gloriously already fulfilled a great dream, so take a moment to appreciate it now and then.
Here's what I mean.
The late Davey Jones of the Monkees sang a poignant ballad called "Daydream Believer."
It's the tale of an ambitious young man who marries the love of his life, the beautiful High School Homecoming Queen.
They get married but live in poverty. Despite that, he believes he is living a fabulous dream.
The dream of his continuing love affair with that fantastic woman.
The love is the dream fulfilled.
Billionaires are frequently lonely but the Daydream Believer feels rich, celebrating the joy of life with his true love.
His shelf of unfulfilled dreams may be crowded but he lives for something greater today.
So close the door to that closet where you keep that shelf.
I guess you can take a look at it now and then.
But be more like the Day Dream Believer, searching for new vistas and embracing the truly valuable things and people you have right now.
Life is too short to think about that damn shelf.
Davey Jones is gone, but in his honor, let's strive to be daydream believers, forgetting the meaningless paperweights of the past and instead seeking and appreciating love.