Memorial Day weekend, for many, signifies the unofficial start to summer. Last weekend as I was sitting in my backyard looking at my swimming pool, I began to think about how I felt two years ago when I was able to make a dream a reality.

Two years ago, friends and family had to listen to me ramble on about the pool I just added to my backyard. Hearing me, one would have thought that I had the most beautifully designed masterpiece installed. In reality, it’s an average oval-shaped, above ground pool. Nothing spectacular or particularly enchanting, and yet, the excitement poured out of every inch of me.

Growing up, my family had a pool and it was something that I always wanted as an adult. But, my ex-husband didn’t share in my vision, and so I conceded. For 23 years, in an attempt to make another person happy, I gave up on something that would have given me joy.

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Since my divorce, I had dreamed about getting a pool. At first, I was in no shape emotionally to take on such an endeavor. Then, my finances didn’t allow it. When I was finally able to afford it, I was scared of the care and maintenance, as it would be my sole responsibility.

Then, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a pool. I had no idea what it would entail or how I would maintain it … I just did it!

Even though the installation process was a nightmare – my best laid plans were disrupted by less than reputable contractors who offered broken promises and uncompleted work – I handled every detail of the project by myself.

When everything came together, the evening of the pool installation, I stood in my yard and felt this incredible sense of pride and fulfillment. I didn’t sleep all night – I kept repeating to myself over and over, “I can’t believe I have a pool!”

It’s difficult to describe the satisfaction I have felt as the result of making that dream come true. I spent so many years believing that my life would never be back on track or that I would never be able to have the things I wanted. I spent so much time feeling inadequate and incapable. And now, looking at this object, I believe that I can achieve anything (as we all can)!

So, when others look in my yard, they see a pool. When I look in my yard, I see hope, possibility, independence, and power!

I bought the pool (and you can too)!