Jan 1, 2017
I’ve been thinking a lot about goals, both their triumphs and pitfalls. Goals can be deeply motivating & empower us to reach past our own self-imposed mediocrities. They can free us in a beautiful way. But goals can also tie us down, especially when our circumstances change & we know our initial intentions are no longer realistic, but we don’t like the feeling of giving up.
And in that way goals can be paralyzing. Waffling over whether to set ourselves up for possible failure or to make the mistake of being content with a lack of growth.
I’ve been feeling this poignantly this New Years as I consider whether it’s healthy or wise for me to even make any resolutions. I’m three months pregnant with our third child and already beginning to feel the many limitations that come with that. I’m also conscious of the way each new child shakes our world up and leaves it rearranged in a way that never quite goes back to our previous normal. The idea of setting goals in the midst of so much unknown feels a little like embarking on a journey to the new world and resolving to fit in some time every day to paint. A lovely idea and time well spent, but it may very well be that you spend months planting and growing crops and building a house while the paints sit unused in a box somewhere.
But goals can also be grounding. Sometimes it’s the challenge of making time to paint even with everything else going on that gives us the consistent opportunities for growth that we need so much in our lives. Technique that grows slowly better from one day to the next. The willingness to work hard at something and yet still remain so vulnerable to it.
There are goals I know I can’t make this year. My own health and sanity and the health and wellbeing of my family come first and me feeling guilty over arbitrary things just isn’t helpful to anyone. But I’ve been giving it a lot of thought and, aside from quietly continuing many positive things I enjoy, I’ve decided to make this one goal for 2017: to write for my blog every day this year.
I’ve considered some possible roadblocks to this goal and decided that writing the day of and posting to the blog once I have access to a computer I can post from again is fair game. Likely some posts I’ll write on my phone from a hospital bed or from a couch while I’m nursing or my bed just before falling asleep and that’s fine.
I considered making a goal to post on Instagram every day, but the pressure to take reasonably decent pictures every day was just unrealistic for me in this phase of life right now. Writing is different for me. It’s work I enjoy. And work that always leaves me feeling improved in some way. To let my thoughts free or share an experience or even just to enjoy the personal accomplishment that comes from making the effort to write well.
Actually I assume that most of what I write won’t be much of anything at all, to myself or to anyone else. It may be interesting to write or read that day & then leave both you and me to move on to other things. The point isn’t to become rich or to become known, but to become better. And to trust in the idea that some days there might be something of value there after all, something that might have slipped away had I not already been in the habit of taking time to stop and write it down.
So today is the start of that, of this. I’m writing it now in a note on my phone while I sit by the fire in my in-laws’ living room. Either I’ll figure out how to post from my phone today or I’ll post it tomorrow when I get back to the computer. Either way, I’m looking forward to a new year and a new goal and wishing you all the best as you think over & embark on your own.
P.S. Figured out how to post from my phone. Already growing from this new goal. Ha!