Recently a friend of mine blogged about his "bucket list," things he'd like to experience in his lifetime.
He divided them into realistic and unrealistic objectives, but as I read, I also noticed that some of them were within his power -- "Visit all 50 states," "run a marathon" -- while others were things he'd like to see happen in the world -- "true equality," for instance. (There were only three things on the "unrealistic" list, though, so he's got a pretty good shot at checking things off his list.)
I like how John writes, and his blog post got me thinking too. I came up with a few things immediately, while others occurred to me gradually.
My initial thoughts fall into two categories too, but mine are more like
1. Have a lot of money
2. Change my personality
Immediately, I thought, boy, I'd like to own a home someday. For years I've dreamed of getting braces on my teeth. Wouldn't it be nice to live somewhere with a dishwasher? If only we could travel. I wish I could get a midlife crisis sports car. Get those dental implants my husband needs. I wish I wish I wish ... these aren't things I haven't made time for or have to practice for; they're things I wish I had money for.
And secondly, I wish being shy and introverted and socially awkward to the point of borderline Asperger's didn't hold me back. Any time I'm invited to anything, every single time an online friend wants to meet, whenever there's a tweetup, anytime anyone asks us to dinner, my mind immediately starts racing, instinctively trying to think of an excuse to get me out of it. Mind you, these are things I WANT to do. These are fun things! These are going to the local ball park and having a few beers, dropping by for an afternoon cookout, meeting another couple for dinner, arranging to donate blood at the same time as a friend as a pretext for hanging out -- things I simultaneously want to do and dread. I love hanging out with people, talking, laughing, having fun. And I dread it! It gives me crazy anxiety, and I habitually weasel out of fun things I'd really enjoy.
Some of you will see yourselves -- your events -- reflected in that last paragraph. I'm being very honest. I want to hang out with you. I'm horrified at the idea at the same time. It's all true.
So I want wealth, and to be a totally different person.
These things have always been true.
The other thing I started thinking because of John's blog is that I'm really, really, REALLY bad at Goals. As in, I've never had them and I don't really know how.
I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I dreaded the question. I still don't know! I'm not sure what my strengths are. All I see are weaknesses. I don't really know what I want out of life, and I don't know how I'd get it if I did know. (see 1. and 2. above.)
I've been taking an exercise class, a small group led by a personal trainer. I'm still fat and weak by any standard, but I've come a really long way. My trainer keeps encouraging me to set goals. What do I want out of the class? What are my fitness goals?
I have no idea. I don't know HOW to set a goal. For me, a goal is more like scoring great tickets to an upcoming concert.
What do I want out of exercise class? I want to be less humiliated by my appearance and fitness level. I want to be able to keep up. I want to feel less old and obese. I want my feet to not hurt all the time. I want to lose 80 pounds! Become a runner! Buy a bicycle! I want to have the kind of body that nobody in my family has ever had and that I could never have without serious surgery! Then I will wear wonderful things! I will have clothes that fit me and look great and are easy to find in stores! They will take up a lot less space in my home and luggage, too!
And to be totally different.
Those are pretty shitty goals, man.
So even though "goals" have always been synonymous with "pipe dreams" to me, I guess I'll come up with better ones.