As a product of the rock 'n' roll generation, I've drawn inspiration from the writing of many of the genre's icons.
That includes Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Paul Simon, Tom Waits and John Lennon, among others. One of Lennon's lines, from the song "Beautiful Boy" is particularly memorable, I think. Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
I think this is important to remember as we work on our own family histories. Whether reflecting on our own personal history or interviewing others, it's a valid question to pose: What were your hopes and dreams at various points of your life? How did they change?
After all, it's not just the things that happened in our lives that shaped us into the people we've become. Sometimes it's the things that didn't happen that have the biggest impact.
Here are a couple of people who have written recently about hopes and dreams and how they intersect with real life. Writer Susan Henderson writes about the joy of a book deal and the sadness of the passing of a relative. Eric Brown, a West Coast transplant and long-time Mets fan, writes about his experiences at a Mets fantasy baseball camp.
So, how have your hopes and dreams affected your life's journey?
AARP Iowa volunteer Larry Lehmer is a retired Des Moines Register editor and author of The Day the Music Died: The Last Tour of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens. He is currently working on a book about the Philadelphia years of American Bandstand. You can read his Bandstand blog here.