My daughter-in-law Kayla gifted me with a beautiful journal when my husband Denis and I took possession of our waterfront cottage. She suggested that I journal the experiences of owning our cottage. I loved this idea.
Coincidentally, the front cover of this beautiful journal was inscribed with my favorite quote by Henry David Thoreau, “When one advances confidently in the direction of their dreams, and endeavors to live the life they have imagined, they will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” To me, that quote is like the formula for success.
The reason why this gift was so perfect is because the manifestation of this waterfront cottage was a dream that I held steadfast to for many years. I endeavored to live the life that I had imagined. I advanced confidently and did meet with success but it wasn’t without bumps in the road and some challenges.
For close to 40 years my parents owned a waterfront cottage in the Muskoka Region in the province of Ontario. My best childhood memories are from the family times we enjoyed at our cottage. My granny’s cottage was next door to ours and we enjoyed some quality time with her as well. I recall playing tippy canoe flipping the canoes over and splashing about trying to get them flipped over, hide and seek in the woods and kick the can. On the rainy days, we stayed inside and played card games like 5 card draw poker and crazy eights. Every evening we sat around the campfire and told stories, shared jokes or sang songs. Many of the songs we simply made up. There was plenty of laughter.
As a child, our home life wasn’t quite as joyous. For some reason when we were back at home, reality of life sank in and my parents seemed to be stressed out most of the time and in bad moods. That peaceful and relaxing spirit of cottage life seemed to elude them. Memories of home life didn’t have the same joyous feelings invoking happy memories.
I believe there is something truly peaceful and serene about being beside the water. I loved waking up at the lake. I loved the smell of nature. I loved hearing the birds sing and hearing the call of the loons.
As an adult, my desire was to buy a waterfront cottage. To have a sanctuary where we could go and escape and experience the same joys of nature that I had experienced as a child, and help create wonderful memories for my son and grandson too. The goal of having a cottage became something that I declared as an intention, but there was one challenge. My husband Denis did not share this dream. He had no desire to have a cottage. He hadn’t had any childhood memories of a waterfront cottage, nor did he want to take care of two properties (our home in the city and a place on the water). As far as my husband could predict, owning two places sounded like a lot of work, double the expenses, more things to be concerned about and no enjoyment. I offered to hire the experts to take care of lawn maintenance, grass cutting and anything else so that it wouldn’t involve more work for him. No matter how pretty I painted the picture and the benefits of owning a waterfront cottage, he wanted none of it.
Respecting his decision, I simply let it go. Meaning … I let go of the discussion but did not let go of the dream. Rather than attempting to convince him of this wonderful opportunity, I decided to visualize my husband being totally on board with the idea and thrilled with the result. Silently, I affirmed that we (my husband and me) loved owning our waterfront cottage and we enjoyed it with our family and friends. I envisioned sitting by the water and watching the sunset. I heard the birds chirping in the morning and heard the call of the loons at sunset. I saw us sitting around the campfire sharing stories, telling jokes and singing songs. All of this was done in my imagination. I didn’t fight against it when the thoughts of “how” would come up or if I remembered that Denis wanted, in his words, none of it. I allowed the idea of owning it to permeate my consciousness until it became vividly real.
One day I returned from a business trip and my husband was sitting in the cabana beside the pool in our backyard. He said, “honey, I want to talk to you about something”. And, I said, “Certainly my love, what’s up?” He said: “I think it is time.” And of course, I responded with, “time for what?” and he said: “Time to buy a waterfront cottage.”
Well, I sprang out of the chair and raced into the house to get my laptop. I opened the real estate website of homes for sale and combed the waterfront cottages for sale. Before the hour was up, I had booked an appointment to see a place the following day at 2 pm in the afternoon. The cottage I found was on a beautiful lake that was relatively close proximity to our home. Because I had previously been in the spirit of “acting as if”, I knew all of the lakes in the area and really understood the waterfront cottage marketplace. The one I chose had a nice flat lot and faced west (which meant sunsets every evening). The cottage was also empty as the owner had been transferred out of the province and moved out. The seller was motivated to sell.
The next day Denis and I went to visit the property and when I stood on the lakeside of the cottage I had a head to toe goose bump experience. I knew we were going to buy a place on this lake. I wasn’t convinced it was going to be the cottage that we were visiting, but we loved the area and we loved the lake.
We negotiated a deal to stay in this cottage for a year while we sought out the perfect waterfront cottage. We decided not to buy that cottage, but we did buy the cottage that was situated at the end of the road; on the point. The cottage on the point was for sale by owner and the only way anyone would have known about this place was if they saw the sign (it wasn’t listed on any of the real estate websites). This place was almost surrounded by water and the property was spectacular. The cottage required renovation but I saw the renovations completed in my mind.
We bought the place on the point and we now own it. I write in my journal regularly as we enjoy the most amazing experiences there. I know we are creating memories for my son and grandson, as well as we are creating our own magical memories. The best part … my husband Denis is absolutely, totally, completely in love with our cottage. Many evenings when we are sitting on the deck and watching the sunset, he turns to me and says “thank you”. Of course, I reply with “thank you for what my love?” and he replies with “thank you for holding on tight to the dream”. This was one of the best decisions we have ever made. Some days it is a challenge to get him to head back into the city when we go to our other home. He loves everything about cottage life and especially enjoys fishing and watching the sunset. I love having my morning coffee on the dock as the ducks swim by. I call our cottage “our sanctuary” and it has now become our favorite place on earth.
My suggestion is to pursue your dreams even if there isn’t any evidence of the result manifesting for you. I could have easily let that dream go but decided to hold on tight to the dream, and even though it took some time, it is now a reality that we live, love and enjoy.
Peggy McColl is a New York Times Best Selling Author of 12 books. She offers a free Morning Money Class series. Every day, a short video (generally 3-5 minutes long) is delivered to your inbox with some of the most valuable money tips free of charge. To receive a free daily email video lesson about simple ways to attract more money into your life, sign up at http://morningmoneyclass.com