First of all, I don’t intend to answer the question, I just want to consider it for a moment. There was a time not long ago when I was completely focused on riding my bicycle across the country. That was 2019, then, shortly after completing that goal in November, things changed dramatically. You have all lived through what I’m talking about now. When the Pandemic hit us, I threw myself into a remodeling project. That kept me busy and focused outside of myself. It feels like I have reached a point in my recovery where I can start thinking about other things, let’s just call them self-actualization goals for want of a better term. I enjoyed the remodeling project, and there was a good bit of satisfaction gained from the effort, I will probably even look back on it as a significant accomplishment, but it feels like it was more of a coping mechanism than a self-actualization goal.
I do like to set goals for myself. I currently have a goal to write a poem a day for one year. That will be 365 poems (I can still count). That goal will be completed (if I am successful) in early October of next year… I can only think of two epic goals I have set for myself and accomplished in my life: building a house (I pounded every nail) and cycling across the country. (Once the Poetry Challenge is completed, it may also become epic, it’s too soon to tell.) These don’t feel like enough to me.
Of course I have some long standing interests that might be considered goals: cycling, skiing, overland travel… but no plans currently to make any of these epic in nature. My struggle appears to be with the word epic. Perhaps I should look at goals in a less dramatic way. I think the real problem here is my struggle with the need to define goals for myself. That may have also been more influenced by the Pandemic than I realize. Are we finally entering the aftermath? What will it be like a year from now, if indeed we are going through the aftermath right now? Will I look at my life in a less “goal oriented” manner once the Pandemic is behind us? I don’t know.
I think the real message here is, I don’t have the feeling that I have attempted enough at this point in my life. Perhaps I should be more satisfied with the accomplishments that I can point to, but that doesn’t feel like the right answer. The answer may be that having goals is a peculiarly human characteristic, one that provides us with the answer to the question, “have I accomplished enough with this life?”
Here is what I know: I’m happy, I have found love, and I’m still ambulatory, so take that Father Time! (I just can’t figure out how to ski with my knees apart.)