Monday, September 23, 2013

My Favorite Four Letter Word: Goal

At New Year's, I always ask my friends if they're setting resolutions. Some say yes, some say no. Some decide that the year is going to be all about one thing. And then they ask me in return. I say no.

I set goals. I am all about goals.

I used to set super specific goals. I would set goals for a month, for six months, for a year out. I've looked back at what I wrote in 2012. It's not an embarrassing "Dear Diary" situation. But there is a pattern.

I was setting goals to fix or remediate existing situations. They were still goals and that's great because they gave me something to reach for and they gave me measurable ways to get there.

But where were they going to get me? I'm not really sure. And were they going to get me somewhere that I wanted to be? I don't really think so.

I've been thinking, writing, and talking about goals a lot recently. I feel like I'm tweaking my goals a bit everyday. If you've ever been to a ballet or yoga class, the instructor will come around and make adjustments to your form. More often than not, I really like it. I like alignment and I like extending a pose more deeply. That's what my thought process is like these days. A little tweak, a little adjustment, a little extension.

And what I am tweaking and adjusting? My idea of my best life possible and my goals, but only as they pertain to that idea. What I want and need to do today, tomorrow, next week, next month matters a lot more and makes a lot more sense when I know where I want to get to.

And once you've figured out what your best life looks like? Folks, there is no backing down from that. It won't look like anyone else's best life and it makes today's decisions real easy.

But I guess the tricky part of all this goal stuff is that, if you're constantly working towards a goal or a vision, then you feel like you're striving. And if you feel like you're striving, you may miss out. You may miss out on the present. I'm definitely guilty of this. Definitely.

And there is so much beauty in the present. Last Saturday, JJ and I walked all over the place. We bought strawberries and potatoes at Haymarket and jeans on Newbury Street.

We shared a bagel at Pavement (and it was a very tasty bagel) and, when we wanted a treat, we went to the Cookie Monstah truck, parked at the Public Library. We turned around and JJ recognized the people behind us in line. She had met them during her honeymoon in Thailand. That's what I call serendipity.

We walked down Boylston with our ice cream and then I saw these giant letters leaning against the Public Garden fence. J-O-Y. Just hanging out. So casual. And I don't know who Joy belonged to or why Joy was there, but no one seemed to notice it. I couldn't believe it. We had stumbled upon it, but everyone else was walking straight past it.

There is no goal or plan that can get you to Joy.

So I plan on walking that very fine line. I will keep on setting goals and refining my idea of what a good life is. And when joy pops up in front of me? Well, I hope that I will always stop and tug on my friend's sleeve and point it out and smile about it. And then take silly photos.

1 comment:

  1. Just love this post! Love the JOY photo! Love you....