When I was little I had strong goals. To go to college at what is now my alma mater. To get a PhD at Purdue. To own a house by the time I was 30. I did all those things.
Then, I confess, my life changed. I got married, something I hadn’t planned on, and then I had other things going on in my life. For a long time I felt that I couldn’t have any goals because my life was not my own, it was my family’s. That was not a good choice to make, because it wasn’t true, but as long as I thought it was, it looked like it was.
I am now 41 years old, almost 42. I have been, in years past, closer to some of my goals than I am now. In fact, at times I have reached goals I had and/or still have.
I did go and graduate. I went to Purdue and got a PhD. I owned a home when I was 30. I went on the mission field. I learned French and Spanish. I learned to cook. I’ve danced in public without embarrassing anyone. I’ve written the first draft of a novel.
But I still have goals that aren’t in the here and now.
I want to be out of debt. For me, that always meant any kind of debt, including house and car. I am willing, at least right now, to suspend my belief that all debt is bad and look into the possibilities of “good debt,” investments which others pay the mortgage on. Part of why I am working two part time jobs is to get out of debt.
I want to educate my children well. I am a homeschooling mother and that requires a tremendous amount of responsibility. For me, it means moving beyond the easy. It is another reason I have two part time jobs instead of a full-time job. Working part time I can set my own hours and that means I can be home with my kids.
I want to be healthy. This sounds like a general goal, but it isn’t. I have very specific things I want to do to be healthy. Just last year I was closer to this goal than I am now. I gave up doing what got me that far because it wasn’t getting me any farther. Now I realize that as far as I had gotten was good. Maybe I won’t make my goal, I am not sure, but I want to be closer to it than I am now.
I want to exercise whenever I am depressed and upset rather than eat. Last year I was doing that, but in the course of the last year I have dropped that habit and re-gained an old habit.
I want to eat well. I want to eat things I am not allergic to which will help me lose weight. For me that is hard. Many of my comfort foods are things I am allergic to. I need to gain more comfort foods.
I want to find a way to try the medicine which made my mother well when I was the age of my youngest son. If it works, I want to find a way to keep getting the medicine and taking it. I want to be healthy.
I would love to wear a size 8 and be fairly muscular. Last year I wore a small size 10. Now I wear a large size 12. That’s not where I want to be. I am aiming to get back down to a small size 10 and getting rid of all my size 12s. (I got rid of all my 14s and 16s and I am never going back.)
I want to finish my book, rewriting it, and send it to either Baen or Ace. They’re the publishers whose books are my favorites on my shelves. I also want to finish my second novel by the end of 2004. I think that’s a very high goal, because I will still be working and homeschooling, but I think it can be done.
I want to find the $1000 it turns out we owe the IRS without endangering our debt-relief plans. I think I can do it. The question isn’t “How are we going to ever be able to manage?” The question is, “How can I get this done?” I have a few ideas. Use my allowance. I have a spending budget that I don’t really need. Another idea is to use my birthday money. I was planning to use it to fix my car, but that can probably wait. Supposedly it’s only noise, not something that will hurt my car. Maybe I can work on my tutoring on Fridays and get students in to work on the things they really need help with. It’s a possibility at least.
I am sure there are other goals I have right now, but those are the ones that are in the forefront of my mind.
My mind figures out the way to get what I want. I just have to know where I want to go.