Goal setting. Or not.

Good afternoon everybody! How are things? How’s your week going? Are you ready for Christmas? Me neither, don’t worry. Just a little blog here for you to distract you from other stuff you should be doing (that’s what’s it’s doing for me, anyway!)

I really wanted to have a topic to talk about today, and then I forgot to try to think of one. And then I sort of thought of one and here it is. I am not so much good at this whole planning stuff out thing!

Goals. I want to talk about goals. I want to have some goals. If I want to be brutally honest with myself, I want someone to tell me either what my goals should be or a list of acceptable goals for me to have. I don’t seem to be able to think of any and every time I try, I find myself going down a well-worn mental path of wondering if what I think I want is okay or not. I’m not sure exactly who it is I’m trying to please, who’s approval I’m looking for. This is a weird thing that I think of and that I continue to try to puzzle out. I think this may just be part of the weirdness of being Kati and I’m trying to forgive myself for some of those things. I can be really hard on myself for a lot of things and I am kind of beaten down by it all. I recently asked for suggestions in one of the Facebook groups I follow. I explained that I am too easily angered and find myself constantly irritated (or worse) with everyone, that I feel like I would really like to adjust my attitude toward my life in general and certain being in it in particular (namely a certain bigger kid and a really loud dog) and that I feel like I have no control over my emotions and reactions. The people in the group (it’s a group of fans of the Bullet Journal system by the way, and a more helpful group of people you’ll rarely find!) gave me a huuuuuuge list of resources and books and things to look at to see if it can help, and one big thing most of them said was to be kinder to myself and forgive myself more. I am trying but I am not good at it at all. (Also, in case you know me really well and are concerned, I have not attempted to read and implement the entire list all at one time. I am taking it slowly and I am learning about meditation.)

Wow off topic. Back to the focus. Goals. In the same group I mentioned above, people are really in to goals. They have goals they want to achieve and they have steps that they plan out with it and put it in their BuJos and color in the boxes or mark off the squares. And I want to do that too, but I have realized something. As I also said before, I can’t seem to figure out what “acceptable” goals are, and I don’t know why acceptability is even a consideration, let alone a full-blown roadblock. I am beginning to think that I have an odd (and maybe unhealthy?) relationship to the word goals. I mean, I feel like goals should be big and important, that they should be life changing and brag worthy. And acceptable. So I try to come up with some. I want to buy a house. OK, that works. That’s a goal. I can accept that one. It’s even fairly normal. And that’s about as much as I have right there. Everything else is sort of nebulous, foggy, unfocused (sort of like this blog. Sorry.) Better this, more that, happier kids, healthier life. Not specific. How can you even tell you’ve achieved a goal if all it is is more or better? How do you quantify that? How do you attack it? And of course, is it acceptable? One of the acceptable/nonacceptable things that I have been running in to is kids. Now we have kids. Is it okay for me to have this or that as a goal with kids? Like, can I want whatever it is and have kids at the same time? This is another thing I struggle with a lot, this whole kids thing and as soon as I think I want to think of something as a goal, I get caught up in whether it’s possible with kids, if it’s worthwhile. If it’s acceptable. Like jobs. When I went back to college I wanted to graduate and become a zookeeper. I have since found out that this is very difficult to do. I have classmates that have done it and they are doing well, but there is a lot of unpaid time and probably moving involved and I’m not sure I’m up for it. Even when I first graduated I was not in the position to do unpaid internships for years to get experience, and I couldn’t find a job that would let me get experience without already having some. I even interviewed for an internship and didn’t get it. I have sort of stopped planning to become a zookeeper and I’m okay with it. But if I found the perfect job and they were willing to hire me but it was out of state, I couldn’t go anyway because children. If (and this is by no means a sure thing so don’t jump to conclusions!) we were to adopt the kids at some point, we could then move out of state if we wanted to, but as these two are technically in the custody of the state, we can’t leave with them. It’s that kind of thing, but also smaller things as well. There are things you can’t do as often or as easily when you have kids (like sleep or go out or think sometimes!) as you could when you didn’t. Goals that include those things (getting back in to theatre? Going back to school?) are much harder if not impossible in our present setup. The Carlos is still not particularly healthy a lot of the time and I can’t see leaving him alone with the kids even more than I already do to work (not that he minds of course but I can’t seem to think straight after 5 minutes with them and he has them all day long!) And I’m not sure I want to go back to the theatre or to school anyway. I would like to work for myself I think, and that could be a goal, but I don’t know what I want to do and I don’t know where to start and kids. I need to try to find another job (this one is looking more and more like it will end early next year) but I have a hard time believing anyone else will pay as much with as little disregard for lateness and missed time (kids again.) Now we have ourselves worked around from goalsetting to straight out life planning in general and I’m not good at that either at this point. And now I’m not even sure what I want or where I started or what. All I know is I feel a bit overwhelmed and so I just let go and stop thinking about it. Or I blog this random stream of consciousness at all of you and move on. Sorry about that. I hope it’s not too hard to follow.

So, yeah. I thought I was going to talk about goalsetting and I ended up talking (some more!) about how unsettling and out of control my life feels. Again. I think I’ll stop now and hope no one is too confused. And if anyone has any suggestions of acceptable goals, or what the hell acceptable means and why I want it so bad, or a way to let that go, let me know for sure. If not, no biggie. I’ll talk to you next week! Have a good one and thanx again for hanging with me through my odd ramblings.

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4 thoughts on “Goal setting. Or not.

  1. When you change the word “goal” to “plans” it might work. So would “project.” On fact, I think project is a much better word. I like to state what I want. Then I list what I have to do to get it. After that, it is a matter of what is standing in my way. So, if it is a house, I would say what kind of house I want and describe what I’d like the house to have. Then I would go about finding out how much such a house costs in the place where I live. And then, I would list what it will take to get that house, no matter how long it might take. When I wanted a university degree, I had to choose classes that led to that degree, and then I decided what I had to do in order to obtain it. It took 8 years, during which time I did not watch TV. I used vacation and school breaks to write and research, so no spring breaks or holiday breaks either. I thought I was really not smart at all and felt I had to study all the time, which led to me graduating with honors at the top of my class. Top of the class was not my goal, but learning was my goal, and the grades wee just a bonus. It always seems to help if we can use all our senses: sight, hearing, touch, and even smell to establish what we are after; to see it, smell it, write it, etc.

  2. As far as goals being “acceptable” I wouldn’t worry about what other people think or what other people are doing. You have to be happy living your life and the goals of others can be very different from your own – but that doesn’t mean either is wrong. Set goals that will make you happier 🙂 As far as vague goals such as “happier kids” or “happier life” I would brainstorm ideas about what that would look like. You could ask the kids what they would like and try to implement some things. As far as your life maybe you do some activities that are no longer inspiring or fun but feel like a chore – try to eliminate those! Do you spend time on your hobbies? Would you feel better if you got more sleep, exercised more, or had a healthier diet? Try envisioning what would have to happen for those goals/states of happiness to be achieved and you will find things to work on. Best of luck!

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