The American Dream is Missing From the News Like a 20-year old Man at a La Leche Rally.

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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We live in a forbidding time.

It seems like every time I turn around the news is talking about foreclosures and job loses.

Financial consultants argue the commercial real estate market will be the next to fail, politicians fight about everything down to the color of dirt, while families hang on by their fingernails and boiled rice.

Add to this the news of the man who flew his plane into the IRS building in Austin Texas, and I wonder exactly when things will get better.

Where is hope, America?

Hope across America is missing from the news like a 20-year old man at a La Leche rally. I even wonder if I can keep hope alive for myself, let alone other dreamers. Is it silly to hope, or have big dreams during these times?

And how close to the edge are we willing to go for our dreams, before we must admit defeat, and are forced to move on to something else?

It’s hard to turn a blind eye to the negative press and remain focused on our dreams. Every now and then “what ifs” enter into my thoughts and surround my dreams. I do worry. I worry about all of us. There are days it takes everything I have to believe in the future occurrence of big, wonderful dreams.

Especially when there are setbacks.

Then along comes the 2010 Winter Olympics, with it’s thrilling moments like Lindsey Vonn’s, where I watch her ski (fly) down a mountain on an injured foot, in obvious pain, to claim her dream of winning gold. Witnessing her sobbing in her husband’s arms, we sense she has overcome many challenges to claim her dream.

Or, Apolo Ohno, whose father raised him.  He did not have an easy time of it growing up. They sacrificed everything – almost their relationship to achieve his Olympic dreams. They openly discuss just how hard it was, and how they almost gave up on each other.

Or, the Luge Olympians who returned to the luge track after a fellow athlete died a horrifying death.  The first runs down the luge track, I’d close my eyes and ask my son if they were making it.  Each wobble of their board sent my heart to my throat.  I am still amazed that they raced.

I always loved the Olympics.

They take me back to the time when I was a young girl, where I would lay on the floor watching the athletes on our picture-tube TV. My father and brother would yell at the television for their favorite American athletes, and my mom, being nervous for America, would shuffle back and forth between the kitchen and the living room.

In 1980, when the American hockey team won against the Russians, my brother, mother and I screamed as we jumped up and down in our family room. My father was dead just two years, and we were still recovering from our heartaches. I remember that moment – how happy the three of us were for the first time in so many years, and how we cried tears of joy for their victory.

We felt hope.

For we were cold war children, who were told growing up to hide under our school desks when the bomb drops. We lived in constant fear that America and Russia would start World War III, and all would be lost. In a moment in Olympic history, over thin, frozen ice, all that changed with the shot of a puck.

They called it an impossible dream come true.

This dreaming thing is not for the faint of heart.

It takes determination, will, tears, and most of all hope. It is our burning desire topped with the expectation of obtainment.

And I remember how much the news told me growing up that we were all going to die by a bomb from the Russians, just like they tell us now how awful everything is these days.

So I think I’ll keep on dreaming, sprinkled with a great deal of hope and an impossible dream.

The Olympics helped me to remember this.  What about you?

Keep dreaming –



  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Kim – thank you. I wonder where they get their fearlessness. Holy cow. I used to think I could jump out of an airplane but now I am not so sure.

    I love their stories, and Sean White is a wonderful person and a great idol for teenagers.

    Thanks for your comment!

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    I am limiting news too, but with the Olympics on, NBC likes to update us (aren’t they just peachy) and I find myself sucking wind.

    It’s a tender area because I come from real estate and mortgages and I have seen what this time has done to so many of my dearest friends.

    I just have to get up everyday and continue to work on this dream. Thanks for your comment Wendy.

  • Wendy

    Our press does live on negativity and it is hard not to be overwhelmed by it. I find myself limiting how much news I watch and you know for every horrific story there is something beautiful and amazing happening at the same moment. We need an attitude adjustment. All the news is just fueling the depression/recession.

  • Kim

    You’re posts are always inspiring. You’re a great motivator! I’m always in awe of the olympians. Where do they get that drive!?? I have that missing gene apparently.

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    I agree. I don’t know what I’d do without the support of Heather and Ray and this group. It’s a daunting task we’ve taken on.

    It’s like today’s Twitter post, “There is no security in this life. There is only opportunity. ”

    Thanks Lisa ;-)

  • Hi Cath, love the story about the Olympic hockey match and what a pivotal moment it was for your family… I am always in tears watching the Olympics, seeing people give it all for their dreams!

    I think living our dreams is ESPECIALLY important in times like these. We have to keep the torch burning, both for ourselves and for future generations! Thanks for being a part of that, brave-hearted one! :)