Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Easy Goals Even Old Coots Can Achieve

Sometimes the best goals are soft and squishy like an eggnog filled belly.

It’s either very late or very early, depending on your point of view. Either way, I’m sitting here thinking deep, New Year’s-like thoughts. In the other room sleeps a friend who almost wasn’t my friend anymore until we patched things last week. Upstairs sleeps my third daughter whose heart is in need of mending as her marriage comes to an end. Hanging out with dad and his friend on New Year’s Eve was either a low point for her or just exactly what she needed.

My thoughts are a warm blend of nostalgia and regret with a subnote of bitterness and peace. I am, as they say, conflicted, but I’m happy. My health didn’t interfere with the night’s festivities. We all had fun and enjoyed each other’s company. We were supposed to play video games together, but ended up introducing my daughter to the wonderful My Hero Academia. Finally, we pulled ourselves away from bright conversation and Crunchyroll to kill each other mercilessly in Sega Saturn Bomberman. We fight for the trophy, a glorious knickknack that was put together by another friend who is spending New Years with my good friend and their two children while her newest, third child hangs onto life in the NICU.

I could lie that my thoughts are filled with a deep concern for mankind and the state of my nation, but honestly, I am only thinking that I had too much eggnog. That, and I am wondering what my goals will be for my fifty-third year. This blog is now fifteen years old. The fourteenth year was a rough one on it, filled with months of neglect and shifted priorities. What writing goals do I have to look forward to? What will motivate me to make time for this blog and my writing projects?

I don’t like to make New Year’s Resolutions. I prefer to make birthday goals. They used to stress me out because they were massive in scope and as unrealistic as the dreams they were born from, but they did drive me, albeit to the edge. I stopped doing that to myself a few years ago, but then I stopped making goals. My life has been about managing my health and disabilities, as well as dealing with my disabled daughter. She has become a handful, as they say. Perhaps two handfuls. My goals are sidelined regularly as I come to a screeching stop to make a sudden u-turn or take an emergency exit. My goals are like baubles bouncing around the back of a pickup truck. If the path gets too rough, my goals end up on the side of the road somewhere.

I can’t say that I’m happy with the direction my life is taking me. Although this current moment is a nice one, I’d like to have a few more like it without all the drama. I like to have more of a say in where I’m heading. With four months of illness, however, I feel that I’ve been bounced out of my own truck, left in a breakdown lane somewhere between Exit 9 and Dissolution.

I’m wondering if I had a more concrete plan than I currently do, maybe my life would be less prone to veering off course. I am meeting all my duties as a stay-at-home dad. One could argue that I am doing everything that I’m supposed to be doing despite ADHD, Depression, and Tourette’s. Raising an intellectually challenged child with epilepsy and cerebral palsy is challenging. I’m not complaining about my duties. My daughter is precious, and I love her dearly, but I feel unsatisfied with my own personal progress.

This is why I have decided to make simple, open-ended goals that will reward effort and not require accomplishment. No matter what illness or emergency lies in wait, my loose list of goals will help me stay on course.

Things To Do While Fifty-Three:

  • ❑ Turn my sleep schedule around eventually.
  • ❑ Make more time for writing.
  • ❑ Exercise more.
  • ❑ Play my ocarinas more often.
  • ❑ Longboard in the sunlight whenever possible.
  • ❑ Spend more time praying and studying scriptures.
  • ❑ Fill my sails with hope, keep my eyes on he road, and mix fewer metaphors.
  • ❑ Be sick more often.

That last one will be a challenge, but I think I can nail it.

It’s time for me to rest my eyes and pretend to sleep for a few hours. Maybe I’ll even manage to fool myself and wake up rested by accident. I’m hoping for less conflicted feelings going forward. Less clenched teeth and panicked eyes, more satisfied sighs and smiles. In a few short hours, the chaos will resume, but for now I have clarity. This is going to be a great year.