*SPOILER ALERT!* It All Comes Back to Gratitude
I have noticed that Achieving Your Goals is a trending topic on many of the blogs I read lately. It seems a common thread in this arena is not only visualizing yourself achieving your goals, but also speaking your goals out loud to yourself and others. Talking to my friends about my goals? That’s a tough one for me. Some of my goals simply won’t blend well into my everyday conversations. Plus, now that I know I should talk about them, I’ll probably blurt them out when they come to mind rather than skillfully massage them into casual dialogue.
For example, next time I run into you at Costco, I might suddenly screech, “MYANMAR!” No, I don’t think you’ve changed your name to an exotic Southeast Asian nation nestled between Laos and Bangladesh. It’s just that Myanmar happens to be my current #1 travel goal. Please, ignore my blurt and tell me all about your latest Costco finds.
You should probably know that, while you are filling me in on the tasty new snack you sampled on the endcap of aisle two, my mind might wander to the fact that my husband has zero interest in visiting Myanmar. He spends a lot of time in Asia for work and when he takes time off, he’d much rather enjoy the Western hemisphere, thank you very much. So, as you attempt to pry open the gargantuan box wedged into the undercarriage of your cart with your house key so I can taste the organic Seaweed-n-SunButter Raisin Squares, I may exclaim, “CONVINCE ED HE IS ALSO DYING TO GO TO MYANMAR.” Please nod and keep on prying. I will be better able to focus on tasting your questionable snack now that I got Goal 1, Part 2 off my chest.
Until I realize that my husband’s aversion to Asia doesn’t change the fact that I can’t stop obsessing about Myanmar, and I will need a solid Goal 1, Part 2b to get there if I can’t change his mind about joining me. Thus, while you confess that you are buying the 87 pack of tissue boxes because it’s a great value even though you actually only need one box, I might yell, “FIND A FRIEND TO GO TO MYANMAR WITH ME AND MY THREE KIDS“. Suddenly it’s awkward because you’re not sure if I just invited you to Myanmar and you don’t have the slightest interest in visiting the sovereign state formerly known as Burma. You excuse yourself by saying you forgot to sample the free-range mayonnaise in the condiment aisle and push your towering cart away as fast as it will roll.
“SIRSASANA!” I might shout at my next victim, I mean, friend. I will apologize profusely for hollering the yoga-nese word for headstand at you (and also for crop-dusting your face with spit because of all the s’s). However, I’m not that sorry because to not quiver and flail spastically as my face turns purple is my loftiest yoga goal. I rarely get out of my upside down squat nowadays. I shouldn’t be scared to straighten my legs, even though it will probably cause me to crash into the mirrored wall. People crash. It happens. I need to get over it.
Hopefully, I won’t be typing in the quietest corner of the library when I yell, “DON’T BE A BARRIER TO MY CHILDREN REACHING THEIR FULLEST POTENTIAL“, barely pausing before adding, “ALSO BE OPEN TO THE POSSIBILITY THAT MY ASPIRATIONS FOR MY CHILDREN ARE NOT THEIR ASPIRATIONS FOR THEMSELVES“. Because parenting goals, whether they make a difference or not, are essential. Why? No one knows.
I presume I won’t be walking by a softly-speaking docent at the art museum when I yell, “FINISH MY BOOK, AGAIN,” because I haven’t yet confessed this to you, dear readers, but I’ve decided to rewrite some of it, which is the best thing to do, albeit painful, and thus, lands the book solidly back into the kingpin position on my list of goals.
The end of the day has arrived and I have done an excellent, if sometimes alarming, job of speaking my goals out loud. We can hope I will have already rinsed my mouth of toothpaste foam when I catch a glimpse of myself in the (not so clean) medicine cabinet mirror. I will nod at Me and acknowledge that there is still one goal left and it belongs at the forefront of every other goal. This is when I will close my eyes and say softly, “REMEMBER MY GRATITUDE“. Because, at this juncture, my problems and my goals are mostly of the first world variety. And while my goals are important because they keep me engaged, motivated, and sane(ish), they are neither vital nor fundamental. My goals are not FOOD, SECURITY or SHOES FOR MY KIDS because I was lucky enough to be born at this longitude and latitude to parents who valued my education, in a family and community where people paid attention to my decisions and said things like, “You may want to rethink that one, Kiddo,” or “That guy doesn’t treat you very well,” or “Stop fretting and go for it, we believe in you.” I can’t blame my problems or attribute my goals to my environment, unlike so many people in the world at this moment in time. Because of circumstances I did not dictate, I am not, and will most likely never be, a refugee. REMEMBER MY GRATITUDE for being a healthy, safe, 43 year old American who travels to far-flung places, attempts yoga, tries not to screw up her kids, and writes about it. GRATITUDE will forever be the goal that matters most.