Monday, February 02, 2009

Making Goals: How Alive Am I Willing to Be?

"You can't make footprints in the sands of time if you're sitting on your butt. And who wants to make buttprints in the sands of time?"
Bob Moawad

As I've already mentioned, last week I wrote up two things: (1) my To-Do List of Doom and (2) ongoing and specific goals for various aspects of my life.

The first is pretty much what it sounds like: things that have to be cleaned up, cleaned out, fixed up, organized, and checked off in order to get our house on the market and get moving toward moving, as well as some paperwork type things like readoption and taxes and--oh joy! welcome back to my life!--FAFSA forms.

My personal goals are a revival of what FunnyWriterMommy and I used to work on together when we had our pseudo-accountability (pseudo because who are we kidding, we were still slackers) and writing times together. We'd taken ideas from a couple books we'd read and made it into this process of writing personal goals for all aspects of our lives: spiritual, physical, relationships, vocation, use of time and money, and so on.

Some of these goals were ongoing every day, week, or month: drink so much water a day, take a sabbath day each week, go on a date with husband once a month. Some were more specific tasks to be done in a certain time frame: this month I will finish reading X book, make gift for so and so, clean closet and donate old clothes, outline X writing project.

Then every quarter we'd get together and admit how much we sucked at meeting our goals.

So I figured, hey, I don't need FunnyWriterMommy around to suck at meeting goals!

Last week I finally actually sat down and thought through those areas of my life and prioritized some goals. And wow, do I have a lot of room for improvement.

I'm trying to trim the fat from my body and our budget.

I need to get the house ready to show, get control of my inbox, and get more productivity out of each day.

I'm confessing that I'm a freelancer who doesn't market, a writer who doesn't write, a youth worker/youth pastor's wife who hardly ever reads the Bible, a stay at home mom who barely plays with her child more days than not.

Hey, I'm a picker, I'm a grinner, I'm a lover, I'm a sinner . . . and I bet you are too. We pick and choose what "disciplines" we adopt. We grin and say everything's fine when we meet those acquaintances in front of the store, even if we're overwhelmed by what we left behind closed doors. We love to be loved, and we sin to be sinners, because the truth is we really like that truism that everyone has their weakness, because we really love having ours.

The thing is, a discipline is not a discipline if you only do it when you feel like it. That's a hobby. As my crazy drill sergeant math teacher would bark, "Discipline is doing what you are supposed to do, when you are supposed to do it, even if you don't want to." It's that last part we all make an art form out of denying.

But confession is good for the soul.

Discipline is good for the life.

I confess I've had too little of each, but I'm starting over again.

And I'll need you to help me do that again too. Again, and again, and again.

Because to fail at my goals? I can do that on my own. But to move forward, I can't walk alone. And I want to live a life that's not just keeping up but really going somewhere, whether I can see what's ahead or I'm feeling stuck in between.

"How alive am I willing to be?"

I wanna see miracles
To see the world change
Wrestled the angel for more than a name
For more than a feeling
For more than a cause
I'm singing 'Spirit, take me up in arms with You'
And you're raising the dead in me

It was a beautiful letdown
When I crashed and burned

When I found myself alone unknown and hurt

It was a beautiful letdown
The day I knew

That all the riches this world had to offer me
Would never do . . .

Easy living, not much like your name
Easy dying, you look just about the same

Won't you please take me off your list

Easy living please come on and let me down

We are a beautiful letdown,
Painfully uncool,
The church of the dropouts

And losers and sinners and failures and the fools

Oh what a beautiful letdown

Are we salt in the wound

Let us sing one true tune

lyrics from Switchfoot, "Twenty-Four" and "Beautiful Letdown"

*quote from Anne Lamott


Anonymous said...

Friend, I needed this today. I struggle, really struggle, with being motivated and accomplishing things. I have issues. Right now my meager goal is to just get control of my kitchen. That quote is being printed off at my house!

(Oh, and btw - my Life At Home blog is non-existent now. When you get a chance, can you change my linky?)

Have a blessed day!

Anonymous said...

Bless you in your mission Wendy! It's a lifetime mission! Alas,prioritize, make lists, postpone the fun till the work is done! But all work and no play makes us dull girls! And hush now the dust; Dirt, go to sleep, For children grow up and babies don't keep! love you!!

Anonymous said...

thanks friend!
your touching words reminded me of parker palmer's book, let you life speak (

thanks for your honesty & authenticity!! you shine your light of hope to those who follow behind by being honest and genuine...perhaps we can do so as well. you have inspired.