It’s the day before I move, and I’m both exhilarated and exhausted. I think I’ll probably feel this way for months to come.

Sometimes dreams include new bamboo floors.

Here’s the thing that both the farm and the book have taught me – dreams take consistent persistence. They aren’t done in one day; they take perseverance and time, sometimes months and sometimes years, to come to life. This is the way of dreams.

We are a culture of the bucket list, it seems to me now. Many of us have long lists of things we want to do before we die. Mine includes “See the Northern Lights” and “Visit Johannesburg.” But these are things that happen and then are over, things we can scratch off a list and feel accomplished, much the same way as I add things like “Take out trash” to my to do list just so I can have one easy thing to do. There’s nothing wrong with our bucket lists, but typically, they aren’t the foundations for our lives, as life-changing as they may be.

It’s our lists of dreams that fill us up, that push us through each day, each week, each year. Sometimes, though, it’s much easier to choose the bucket list than it is the dream list. It’s so much easier to take a trip than it is to build a life.

I have traveled and experienced a lot in my 37 years – strolling across the Golden Gate Bridge, attending Vespers service in St. Francis’s monastery in Assisi, Italy, walking through the Lake District of England – and I can check all those experiences off my list. They are great memories, ones I wouldn’t trade, but they are not what I can build my life on.

Instead, I build my life on my dreams, and dreams are daily. A farm with dogs to walk and chickens to feed, a book to edit chapter by chapter, friendships that last my life, the chance to see my friends’ children become adults with dreams of their own. These are the things on which I perch my life, not trips, or the opportunity to swim with dolphins. The daily, the moments with friends by bonfires or hours spent painting walls while my dad trims out windows. These are dreams coming to life, every day.

So today, as tired as I am, as much as a nap sounds like the best thing on earth next to, perhaps, an hour in a hot tub with a good book, I could not be happier. My bucket list is there, and I hope to check off each thing. But I’ll bank my joy and my life on the dreams I have been given to live. Every day.

What’s on your dream list?