Tuesday, February 07, 2012

What have I done, and what do I want?

"If you don't know what you want, you're never going to get it."  That's one of those "things" people say, one of those things I usually blow off because in the past, I've been so goal oriented, I've never had to think about it much.  But I'm "mid life" now, so it's time to re-set the goals.  (Really?  Do I have to?  I'm too tired.  Can't I got back to bed?  NO!)

Okay, then let's make it easy. Let's start by creating a list of what I've accomplished in 42 years of living.  This is always a feel-good exercise, and I highly recommend it to those who think they've done nothing.  Everyone will have a different list, but that's kind of the point.  (Hey, I might have my class do this exercise--good vocab and writing practice as well as a way to remind ourselves that no matter what, we've had victories and have things to be grateful for.)

To make it easier, I won't even put these achievements in chronological order.  Victories are timeless, so who cares when they happened?

  • I survived my own breach birth, cord wrapped around my neck, several minor-mid serious surgeries, trauma, depression, an eating disorder, super-duper stress and other physical ailments.
  • I've raised two gorgeous, smart kids who show no indication they wish to dominate or blow up the planet.
  • I've married a wonderful man who is a great husband and dad.
  • I am living in a house, something I didn't think would ever happen.
  • I have been living in the same state for 13 years, the same house for about 9, two other things I never thought would happen.
  • I've been working in education for 20 years.  (OMG...that means I've also lived long enough to do that!)
  • I've had things published just about every year for the past 19 years.  (Holy crap!  Really?)
  • I've published three books.
  • I've somewhat created and have seven websites/blogs.
  • I have awesome pets, two of them around 16 years old, one of those two whom I've had since she was a puppy. (Hi Shiba!)
  • I'm no longer living under the poverty line.
  • I have a car that's paid for.
  • I teach in a jail when I didn't really expect to be around law enforcement, which was an interest of mine.
  • I survived and recovered from rape, and now I teach sex offenders.
  • I earned a Masters degree.
  • I've volunteered in organizations that make a difference.
  • I've worked for myself in money making and non-profit ventures.
  • I've visited countries and states in North America.
  • I've driven across the U.S. and with babies, to boot.
  • I've lost 70 pounds. 
  • I've developed and lived my spiritual beliefs.
  • I've made needy people laugh.
  • I've survived decades of having my period.
  • I've had numerous vacations.
  • I've laughed every day of my life.
There are more, but these are the accomplishments I remember right now.

Next is a to-do list with some short-term and long-term goals.
  • become proficient in Spanish
  • travel to Central America and India (maybe more, but for me, these are the biggies right now)
  • learn better teaching techniques
  • teach more courses in the jail
  • stress less, laugh more and make others laugh
  • enjoy exercise more
  • maintain a clean house with significantly less laundry
  • get a floppy eared goat
  • seek and live adventures
  • kick the eating disorder once and for all
  • continue to develop and live my spiritual beliefs
  • worry less
  • develop more patience
  • deal better with depression and stress
  • maintain a sex drive
  • publish more
  • wipe Union Institute off the face of the planet without hurting the innocent (aim high, right?)
  • be instrumental in creating social justice
  • leave a big, beautiful footprint on the world
  • help the offspring achieve their own goals and reach fulfillment
  • nurture love between me and my husband
  • bond more through shared experiences, adventure and fun with my husband
  • never be too old that I can't act like a kid
  • never retire
I actually didn't think I had so many new goals, believing I had to seriously re-set.  Apparently, I just had to think about it.

Anyway, so ends today's not-so-academic exercise.  Maybe I will get more physical exercise later.
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