Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I've been reading http://denofchaos.blogspot.com/ and it's been making me think of goals. (it's also both fun to read, mildly educational, and very good birth control, a winning combination if you ask me)

I have never been a 'goals' type person. This was a problem in school days, when you were required to list them: three things to do this quarter, three things to do this year... I made stuff up that I figured I was going to end up doing anyway, so then I wouldn't have to worry about it.

I don't mean to say I was irresponsible about work (though I was probably an underachiever, I slacked very creatively, constantly aiming on that results/work sweet spot as opposed to 'my best').

It's sort of like that 'process knitter' vs. 'product knitter' I think I'm definetly a process achiever. I got good grades because you're supposed to - not to hit some mystical number which would get me into a particular major at a particular college. I always figured to do as good as was reasonable (see 'sweet spot' above) and make do with wherever that got me.

Which is strange, because I never did anything *else* because I was supposed to. I gamed the rules so I could follow the letter but not the spirit. Still do, though at least now I'm aware that my rampant passive-agressive tendencies are not, in fact, a virtue. Yet somehow, long-term, barely tangible 'supposed tos' are cake for me.

I think I need to say also, that I've been very lucky. I'm, modesty aside, smart. Grades weren't terribly tough for me. My parents also managed to put enough aside for my college that everything was covered, plus, due to my relatively bargan-basement choice, I had money left over. I currently have no debt. Completely. I rent, so no mortgage, and was able to pay cash for my pretty-decent used car. For all you parents out there trying to do right by their kids and thinking it's not appreciated, it is. It wasn't until after I graduated, but now, it definetly is.

Now, I have my first ever goals in life. I want a house, or, more specifically, a large dog and a garden, which translates into owning a house. I want to, eventually, have children and stay home with them, because that's another one of those unappreciated things my parents did that really mattered to me.
I think that those are really, truly, my tangible, controlable wants in life.

Those are really vague goals for a 3rd-grader. I think my teachers were much happier with whatever I made up about reading a book over 100 pages than they would have been with that.

They're also, maybe 10 years within reach. The first one, maybe even within a year. I've only realized them in a 'concrete action & decisions' sense within the past year. I've started thinking about the 'after that' side of things.

So then what? Start maxing the 401ks, and saving for college, 'cause you're 'supposed to' and after a brief fling in goals-land, return to my natural state as a process achiever.

Yes, we'll spend a little, but we're living way below our means now, in order to achieve 'house-asap', Getting things like a dog, garden, vacation, t.v., laptop, bed (currently the 'sub-goals' list) don't look like major issues, particularly since we're not going to get them *all at once*.

Maybe it'll change. Maybe there will always be something else on the end of the list, and I'll look back at this and laugh laugh laugh. But I guess that's what I'm writing it for. Everything other than the house is on more of a 'plans' list (as in, 'I plan to do my homework' not a valid 3rd grade goal) than a goals one. The only other big thing I can think of is that I'd rather own horses when I got old than live on a golf course. But that's about as concrete as a 3rd grader saying her goal is to own a house.

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