Friday, January 1, 2010

Goal tending...

So here it is. The end of the first day of the new year and the new decade.
I’m older – I turned 40 last year – and consequently, hopefully, a little wiser. I have learned to keep certain opinions to myself and to more judiciously pick my battles. I also know that it’s foolish for me to set unreachable goals for myself because doing so is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I set a goal I can’t meet… well, you do the math. So I’m trying to set goals that can be met.
Six years ago I attended a Jewish leadership conference (where I met Gary!). During the three-day event I attended a session on the evils of gossip or, in Hebrew, Lashon Hara. After the conference ended, I returned to my job at a Jewish school and told my colleagues that I was committed to only engaging in 50 acts of Lashon Hara a day, instead of 100. Everyone laughed, but I said that if I could reduce number of times I gossiped by half, that I would be well on my way to being a better person.
So here I am six years later. Ask me how I’m doing. I still gossip, but I’ve finally started to recognize how purposeless it is. That brings me back to setting goals that can be met.
I don’t think I can go cold turkey on talking about others, but maybe I can cut back or try to make the talk positive? I also don’t think I’m going to love every moment of life, but maybe I can dwell more on the positive than the negative happenings?
I think it can be done. It just takes realization.
A lot happened in 2009. It started with a bang – Gary and I went to an inaugural ball (see pix), took a trip to the Bahamas and traveled to St. Louis for the NCAA Wom
en’s Basketball Final Four and I got to visit with some Washington University professors who I hadn’t seen for nearly 20 years. So much fun!
Then, as the year progressed, life took a turn for the complicated. I left a job I’d started the year before, I had multiple visits to the doctor about a leg problem, I got disappointing news from a friend about her family and I discontinued membership in organizations I’d previously been excited about.
But as a consequence of leaving my job and the organizations that didn’t work, I found time for new pursuits that did and do work. I’ve taken up the study of Italian more seriously, I attended lots of basketball games and have come to love the sport, I found a calming influence in Dhammakaya (Buddhist) meditation and I’m volunteering and possibly pursuing a new career path.
So the goal I’m setting for myself in 2010 that I think I can meet is to remember that life is balanced and that there will be good and bad moments along the way, all of which I have to accept with grace and gratitude. As I said, I think I can meet it.
If I do, it’s sure to be a happy and successful New Year.