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CHASING DOWN THE MUSE:Choices -- what dreams are made of

Is your life organized around what matters most to you?

On this Monday morning, with just nine days remaining to prepare for participation in the Sawdust Art Festival, the question gains relevance.

What I was doing with these past few days "” instead of readying for the long summer’s show by producing art "” was playing with my grandsons.

What could possibly matter more in the larger scheme of things? Nothing else comes to mind in the moment. Would I regret my choice later? No way.


Daughter Kendall, newly returned to work after the birth of her second son, had to come to Southern California on business this past week.

The decision was made (more organizing around what matters most on their part?) to bring her husband and the two boys along. Here in Laguna, Mike and I and daughter Jenna were thrilled at the news, even as we were pushed to ready my Sawdust booth sooner than we had anticipated.

We constantly make choices in life. Some of them aren’t such a big deal, even as we may make them out to be so.

Others that seem inconsequential and/or innocuous end up having far-reaching effects in our lives and the lives of others.


It is always essential to proceed with our lives with attention to both possibilities. And so, organizing life around what matters is a good start, even as we know we cannot control other factors at all. Knowing and choosing what matters begins the manifestation of dreams.

For me, much as I want and need worldly dreams in the form of financial success and recognition and more, when it comes right down to what matters, family always wins.

My greatest dreams have nothing to do with the “stuff” of the world. My dreams have been more about family as I have strived to prioritize my life. Raising good human beings who treat others with fairness and respect is the basis from which to begin.

Big choices, little ones...they are all over the place each and every day. In fact, all through the weekend, I wondered how soon I could finish this column to which I am committed "” a commitment that I value "” and return to family, which I value even more.

Nap time would be almost over and I was eager to spend time with my daughter and her husband in adult time before little ones took over all our time and attention once more. “Gramma, come here, please” wins hands down every time, so this adult time is always brief.

Now, as Monday morning arrived with its Monday noon deadline for my column, I was again called to make those choices. I had only a few hours of busy packing-up time to share before they would leave.

Two-year-old Christian and I sat down with a book to read, shared a pear, talked about how he would call me from Brooklyn so we could talk from far apart.

Then, tears filling my eyes as they drove away, I marched myself into the house. I sat down at the computer to pound this out. And, while not sure I have said any of it as clearly as I could, I have made some of those organizing choices. I hope my readers will understand.


This time with family is always so precious. Another column on another day might make more sense, but this is the best I can do now with the choices I’ve already made... and will probably continue to make.

It’s like husband Mike said at the end of the day Sunday, “This was the best Fathers’ Day ever!” With those words, yet more power was given to so many of the choices we’ve both made as to what matters most.

Your life is the manifestation of your dream; it is an art. And you can change your life anytime if you aren’t enjoying the dream.

Dream masters create a masterpiece of life; they control the dream by making choices. "” Don Miguel Ruiz

  • CHERRIL DOTY is a writer, artist, creative life coach, mother, grandmother, daughter, wife, friend and more..... She can be reached by phone at (949) 251-3883 or e-mail at