Dreams Are Not Meant to be Practical

I’m going to fly to the moon this afternoon.

Wendy Richards
Crow’s Feet
Published in
6 min readMay 28, 2021


Photo by author

Do you ever find yourself editing your dreams to make them more practical? Spending hours figuring out the logistics rather than just letting your fantasies flow? And after you’ve installed all those hurdles, you conclude it isn’t feasible. When did we stop having that childlike ability to say, “I’m going to fly to the moon this afternoon” and not concern ourselves with the mechanics of just how we plan on doing that?

By the time we reach adulthood, our curiosity, imagination, and creativity have been squashed, beaten out of us, replaced with limiting hopes and dreams, and accepting what is directly in front of us.

  • Stop daydreaming! There’s only one Mikhail Baryshnikov and you're not him.
  • Stay focused! Investment banking is the only way to become wealthy.
  • Don’t be ridiculous. You can’t become a marine biologist — we live on the prairie for heaven's sake.
  • You can’t do that! That takes someone with real brains.
  • Be realistic.

Still a believer of dreams in my 50s, I let down my guard, confided one of my aspirations to a well-heeled friend, and was devastated when he laughed at me. That simple offhand reaction had a profound effect and planted a seed of doubt in my mind. Maybe he was right and I should stop dreaming so big. I was probably too old and unworthy of such a desire. It took me a long time to convince myself that he was wrong — my dreams were mine and I permitted myself to believe I could do and have anything. To this day, I hold my ambitions a little closer to my chest and share only with other believers.

“People will kill you over time. And how they’ll kill you is with tiny, harmless phrases like ‘be realistic’.” ― Dylan Moran

Negative Nellys always have a reason why you can’t become an astronaut, prime minister, deep-sea diver, Broadway star, own a yacht or a luxury car — all these things are simply out of your reach. Then the pattern is set in stone for you to carry those beliefs the rest of your life.

What if Michelangelo’s parents had taken away his crayons because he was drawing on the walls and making a mess? Or Fred Astaire’s dad told him to stop all that silly dancing around because you can’t make a living at it?

“The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau”

As a kid, I was addicted to movies in exotic destinations, especially Tarzan! When I was 12 years old, I saw the movie Around the World in 80 Days with David Niven and told myself that someday I would travel to Africa with the handsome Phileas Fogg in his hot air balloon. I didn’t know when — I just knew it would happen! It’s not always obvious when or how your dreams will show up — sometimes you have to be patient and just have faith.

In my mid-50s and forty years after I dreamed of Africa, I dismissed the well-meaning advice of friends and family and went back to college full-time (went part-time at my day job) to become a Travel Consultant.

  • Don’t you think you are a little too old?
  • It’s too expensive to go back to school,
  • Who’s going to hire you at your age? …

My new career was an eye-opener in perseverance and salesmanship — nothing liked I’d envisioned — but eventually, it paid off and success bloomed. Educational trips were frequently offered to travel agents and the day came when an invitation from South Africa Tourism landed in my inbox. Would I like to join other advisors on a trip to South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe? Yeah, I would!

When I phoned my mother to tell her I was going on an African safari, she said, “I bet you never thought you’d be going to Africa?”

My response was immediate, “No, that’s not true. I always knew I would. I just didn’t know when.”

Two months later, I was on a flight to Johannesburg as I had promised myself all those years ago. Unfortunately, David Niven had passed away so he couldn’t come with me.

I have never shied away from investigating numerous careers and money-making hobbies. To be truthful, my adventures have not always been a blessing nor in the form I thought they would take, but they came my way.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Now I’m not completely oblivious to the fact that some dreams are just that: dreams. I would love to have become a CSI investigator. Not because I don’t think I could — I just don’t want to devote the time and money. But that’s okay because my list of other dreams is very long indeed. Private investigator, owner of a hobby farm animal rescue, Peace Corps volunteer. I’ve even given myself four years to buy a Can-Am Spyder and join an over-50 motorcycle club. I get excited just thinking about it!

What about you? What are your dreams and ambitions? Attaining them will require courage, letting go of limiting beliefs, and embracing that “itch to give it a go.” You may have once dreamed of being a famous clothing designer but if that is too much of a stretch, you might try a modified version to create and sell your designs on Etsy. That’s what they call “thinking outside the box.”

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I have lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” ~ Diane Ackerman

Be like a weed: The life advice of a 102-year-old painter

Trudy Smith always dreamed of being a painter but didn’t get her start until she was 85. Due to a mixture of loneliness and the passing of her very critical husband, Trudy decided to give it a go.

“It has taken quite a while but suddenly I have realized that it is lovely to be free of everything,” said Trudy. Read her inspiring story originally published on April 30, 2018.

The “Godmother of Drumming”

I wonder if Dorothea Taylor ever envisioned herself playing covers at the age of 56? Also known as the “Godmother of Drumming,” she is a grandmother and drum instructor who embodies the belief that dreams really do come true. Dorothea started playing drums at age 13 and is still going strong. Check out her Instagram page. Better yet, watch Dorothea crush “Down With The Sickness” by Disturbed. There is no age limit on badass!

You are never too old to reach for that brass ring or pursue that elusive dream. It doesn’t matter whether you are 5 years old or 105, human beings are blessed with the extraordinary power of imagination. If you just stop censoring your dreams, you are already halfway there!

Feel free to follow me on my journey of eternal youth! College student, travel consultant, blogger, aspiring author, and entrepreneur, all after my 50th birthday. Aging oh so slowly and living life on my terms — fearless, exciting, and eclectic. You can visit me at my websites wendyrichards.ca and FortunateFewTravel.ca.



Wendy Richards
Crow’s Feet

Wendy debunks the myths of aging as she plays Life’s Back Nine. College student, world traveler, writer, author, and entrepreneur, all after her 50th birthday.