So, months have passed while this blog lies dormant. I’ve had a few twinges of regret about not writing, but I’ve successfully squelched them by letting myself become consumed with election season angst and devoting an increasing amount of time to online media and social media, interspersed with other fragmented or mindless pursuits. Exercise has pretty much fallen by the wayside. My daily goals, so modest, yet so pleasing, have been neglected for weeks. We’ve been dealing with some pretty major financial stress, and the “homework wars” still rage on. These personal challenges, combined with my unease about the election, created the perfect conditions for just kind of letting things slide. But now the election is over, and I have no excuse not to get my act together. And so, I begin. Tonight.
To begin, I need to go back a bit. Back to June, when I reflected on the school year that had been the original source for this blog and floated the idea of, “what next?” I had an inkling of what I might write about, but I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. The topic was more personal and probably less interesting than writing about parenting. So I pushed it off. I hee-hawed and ho-hummed. Time passed, and a critical date came and went. I didn’t broach the topic that was on my mind.
The significant date was my birthday in October. I turned (gulp) forty-nine. Crazy, right? How can this be?! As several friends who are a year ahead of me turned 50 over the past year, I watched. I took note of what they did and said, and how they said they felt. I began to formulate some thoughts on what I wanted for myself from this milestone. A few ideas began to emerge. First, that the day itself needed to include some serious pampering (for which I better start saving my money now!). Probably not a party. And definitely not a surprise party. You heard me, people. I am not a suprise party kind of gal. The last thing I want on my big day is to feel self-conscious, embarassed and silly. Which is how I think a surprise party would make me feel. No, I’m thinking spa day, healthy hike, intimate meal somewhere relaxed but elegant with incredible food. You get the picture. But this is just the superficial stuff. And there’s plenty of time to figure out the details.
The trickier part of my birthday plan was an idea I had about accomplishing something great in the year before I turned 50. I wanted the whole year to be a project — a fun, interesting, challenging, worthwhile project that would have me feeling satisfied, invigorated and accomplished when I turned 50.
But what would it be??? I pretty quickly had some ideas, but I found that I was afraid to say them outloud. I’ve talked before about setting goals. My formula for the short-term goal: 1) pick a goal that is reasonable to accomplish in a finite period of time; 2) announce your goal; 3) break it into parts; 4) write about it; 5) stick to your plan. I felt quite smug when I wrote those words. Easy-peasy.
But were my year-before-turning-50 goals “reasonable to accomplish”? What if I said them outloud and then I didn’t do them? What if people thought my goals were weird or silly? What if I lost interest, was lazy or afraid? What if factors beyond my control interfered with my plan and kept me from my objectives? Did I really have it in me to stick to a year long project?
Hmm… getting late… on that note, I leave you for tonight. (on the edge of your seat, I’m sure!) Tomorrow (if all goes according to plan), more about these so-called goals and how I will accomplish them.