Thursday, March 12, 2009

Simple Goals

When I posted yesterday, I thought, "Someone new to this site is not going to get why a discussion of Asperger's pertains to the concept of 'halving it all'."

I think it does, though. One of the reasons I'm searching to make life simpler and more fun is that so often my personality traits (and those of my family) make life more difficult. If my home was truly a haven, we'd all be happier, because at heart we're all homebodies. We like people, but after a while, we need quiet time alone. We enjoy going out for meals or movies, but we prefer to be self-employed rather than working with others.

If I were smart, my goals would include such things as improving my home through renovations and upkeep, building out a big vegetable and flower garden, maybe adding some small livestock to the list, upgrading my cooking skills with an emphasis on vegetarian/vegan meals (since food sensitivities run rampant in this house).

Instead my goals run to things like - world travel! Becoming a best-selling author and touring the country! Giving lectures and running retreats!

Anyone see what's wrong with this picture? My "exciting" goals are all things that would...well...make me miserable, if truth be told. It's hard to give them up, though, because my realistic goals sound pretty darn boring, don't you think? And I've grown up with the "never say die" attitude; you can be anything you want if you just try hard enough. In light of all that, focusing on my own home and family seems like the world's biggest cop-out. It seems selfish. How can I contribute to the greater good of the world if I just stay home?

Well, hmmm. What might I accomplish right here?

1. I could launch four children into the world who truly understand their strengths and weaknesses, and those of other people.

2. I may improve my family's health and put less strain on my country's health care system.

3. I may be able to learn about sustainable gardening, building, remodeling practices and so on, and pass on that information on to other people through places like this blog.

4. Ditto with vegetarian/vegan cooking.

5. Uhhh....

Well, that's a lot right there, isn't it? Creating do-able goals that leave plenty of room for creativity seems smarter than driving yourself nuts with a list of goals that would really make you miserable should you ever obtain them.

Have you ever taken a good look at your goals? Do they suit your temperament? Are they really goals? Or are they a list of things you think you should want?

It's worth taking a second look.


Ann said...

Your post realisticly depicted the illusive nature of our "exciting" goals. When our bonus baby came along, I reluctantly retired some of my exciting goals and gave myself permission to focus on simpler, more mundane accomplishments. Surprisingly, this has given me the overwhelming sense of peace and joy that I futilely chased for years.

Jennifer said...


I feel like I keep hammering on the same point, but that's because I can't get it across to myself. But I'm trying, darn it!