Long before GPS devices were invented, I enjoyed mapping our travel routes using state and regional maps. Joyce and I used yellow hi-liters to mark our six week tour of the west in 1978. It was fun to unfold the maps, put them on the dining room table, and plan our entire road trip. With the exception of a few detours, we followed the map at every major turn. I would sometimes ask Joyce, Where to from here? Only rarely did we deviate from our plans.
Would life be easier if we had a map with clear directions of where to go from here?
As we age, it would be helpful to know all the details of our coming years. Will we lose our sight? Will we be able to get around with relative ease? Will my spouse precede me in death? Or will I precede her in death? Because of our inability to do anything about them, these questions will remain indefinitely. None of us know how our final years will unfold.
The question, Where to from here? is about the plans I may have for the coming weeks, months, and years; plans that will help shape who I am in this world. My fellow blogger, Glen Miller presented his current seven goals (79.Tumbleweed) several months ago. I am aware that he has already met several of those goals. This prompted me to consider goals for the coming year.
Why would we want to have goals at this time in our lives? The short answer is: So we may live intentionally. I see this in friends who go to a warmer climate during the winter to do volunteer work for programs such as the Mennonite Mission Network SOOP program. They are enjoying better weather, working to make a difference in the community, while at the same time they have time for rest and relaxation. It is a good mix.
I prefer to be fully engaged in life. For me, this means making deliberate choices regarding those activities in which I will participate, from volunteering to gardening. Engagement also means nurturing my own well being by allowing quiet time for myself, to refuel, rejuvenate, and energize my living. Some would call this living intentionally.
With this in mind, the goals I have for this year are these:
- To choose activities that are life-giving. I do not need to say yes to every request for involvement.
- To learn all I can about white privilege and the black-lives-matter movement.
- To become intentional about my interaction with our grandchildren. My specific aim is to write each one of them a personal letter this year, telling them about why I am a person of faith and how I see each one of them as special and unique.
- To continue to learn more about the spiritual part of my being by reading, walking meditation, and listening to music.
- To continue writing a weekly blog, thereby increasing my intentionality.
- To continue to celebrate and give thanks for each day I am still on this planet.
I know that some of these goals are broad and difficult to measure. What are the objectives and how do you know when you have reached those objectives? My response is that if we do not have any stated goals, we will not have any chance of reaching them. If the goals are stated in writing, they can be reviewed from time to time to estimate the progress one has made.
If I do not know where I am going, it is impossible to know when I have gotten there, or as Lewis Carroll said,
If you dont know where you are going, any road will get you there!
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