Friday, January 13, 2012

What about Bob? Goals in 2012

 I have a beautiful habit of charting out and setting incredible goals and then spending so much time and energy on the planning that the execution is tired and a little lacking. Okay, so "beautiful" inserts a little sarcasm, but one of my goals of 2012 is to set more realistic goals in 2012. Ha, did you get that?

One of the things I've learned as a seminarian and student of social work is that goals are not only 1)an awesome way to organize your hopes and dreams, but 2) they give a person purpose and meaning when there isn't much purpose or meaning. For example, I've talked about my chronically homeless client "Bob" before in this blog. "Bob" (not his real name) is an incredible soul who has been homeless for 23 years based on a seriously complicated and colorful series of events in his life. In the end, when you think that someone like Bob-no house, no car, no lapto...wait, he does have a laptop, but that's another story for another day-anyhoo, Bob--with a life that very few Americans would describe as "normal and fruitful"--is an INCREDIBLE GOAL-SETTER.

Bob has a little handheld tablet and a pen and writes down his goals for the day, week, month, year, and even decade. Being homeless can strip any sort of purpose or meaningful life from a person, but this dude has a vivacious attitude for life and growth and meaning!

Why can't we all be like Bob? 

I sit here at lunch hour in my cozy desk in my heated office with all of the potential in the world to make something out of myself. Bob is without a ton of the rich (in quality, not $$) resources and wise people that I have the opportunity to be around each and every day and, yet, he still finds the purpose of his life! Surely you and I can do the same.  

Not only is this particular entry helpful for my goal-setting, I hope it helps you (continue to) set goals for your own life. They help us discover our purpose and see the incredible joy and mysteries that happen when life goes according to plan and when it...doesn't. :)


1. Live a healthy life.
  • Food: I do eat pretty darn well for an American (prob a 75-80% vegan diet), but I eat too much! Tasting my food-versus devouring-and eating smaller portions and less sugar-based desserts are starting to become part of my daily routine.
  • Fitness: Working out 30 minutes 5 days a week. It's definitely doable with this awesomely flexible schedule that I have this semester (only 40 hrs of work a week!!), but I have NEVER exercised regularly in my whole life. Even when I was 7, I was more concerned about getting my multitude of solid-colored Keds dusty than whether or not I won Freeze Tag on the playground.
  • Reflection: This is a big one. It includes quiet time, reading for personal growth, prayer, just alone convos with God. It is hard to set aside time to do it. Oh, but when I do, the benefits of stopping everything and being in a time of connection is holy and so valuable for the rest of my day...and night...and the next day...and on and on. This is an area that Muslims take very seriously (in general) and that other faiths could learn alot from. By the way, I'm talking about consistent, daily time. I can't say it will happen every morning at 7am because I don't operate that way, but it WILL happen each day at some point.
  • Home: Our dwelling place, our home, is such sacred space. I don't have to tell sports fans this, with the TV arranged just so to get the best angle of picture during a football or basketball game, the surround sound at the perfect angle for hearing pleasure while plopped our and reclined on the cushy couch or recliner with a perfect angle for a mad dash to the kitchen for salty and sweet snacks during commercial breaks. Home is awesome. Matt and I are down from a 3-bedroom townhouse to a 1-bedroom apartment. It's a bit of a change, but I take so much more pride in wiping down the bathroom sink (daily) and sweeping the kitchen floor (every 3 days). Home needs to be safe, clean and comfortable and, without those things, other areas of our life suffer. It's taken me a while, but I'm finally getting that. So keeping up with cleaning and organizing and inviting are all a part of this year's goals.
2. Give all that I can.
  • If Bobby down the hall needs a cup of sugar, alright! (Although we don't have any white sugar at the moment, just agave syrup.)
  • When there's an extra five in my purse, why not give it to a high school band washing cars down the road?
  • After 3+ years as a grad student, I've given a lot of my time and energy to my future career. However, my giving of other resources to real needs right now has been a little lacking. But this semester and this year is a time when some of that energy has been given back to me, and I see this as an opportunity to help in different and creative ways than I have lately. This might be through my simple presence in a hospital room, a listener to someone who needs to vent, a shoulder to cry on when a coworker is just having a rotten day. I also have the opportunity to get back in touch with old and new friends and spend more time with my bestest friend, my husband.
3. Be open to the changes.
  • I am convinced that everyone breathing on this Earth has incredible commitments, activities and general "busy-ness" that consumes them at times. This year will be no exception for the hubby and me, as we finish school, move to an unknown but probably far-off land, start/continue careers, possibly do some more school, look at budgeting for kids and a home, and all of those exciting things that come with it. My goal is to go with these changes with an open mind, heart and spirit as things so very out of my control will take over and things within my control will respond.
  • While Matt and I have a desire for a new place in possibly the Northwest area of the U.S., we have to be open to a place and situation that wasn't even on our radar. Now, that could still be in the Northwest, but what I mean is that God tends to point me in surprising, unexpected ways and places that I can't even begin to predict. And we're giving God the lead on our next step, scary as that can be.
  • Graduate, take and pass my social work licensing exam, find a job that fits really well, move to said place/job, transfer social work license to that place, thrive in the learning and the giving. Look at the next steps in our life, as we move from being married students to married people with resources to grow our little family.
4. Enjoy the moment.
  •  Embrace each day--stressful or otherwise--as a real gift. Some days suck, and I'll admit that, but let my eyes rise above the junk of a day or a society and see that there's a lot of good, too. And when I can't see any positive parts of a situation, I want to know that there's always the potential of good things coming out of a horrid situation and that there's always another clean slate in a new morning and chance to start over.
5. Blog 3 times a week. (AKA 3 new recipes a week)
  • You know I love this blog, but I don't blog about what color shirt I'm wearing today, or who I saw, or throw up a slew of pictures of me and friends/family. I don't mind it on others' blogs, but I don't think you care about all of that. So, while the general format will be the same, we'll keep to what is more fun--food and stories. :)
  • Included in this is reading some fun books that I now have more time to read. Now don't you worry, there's a list.

So those are my goals. Some are concrete and others are not so much, but such is life.

I do hope you have a wonderful weekend! Matt and I have had some serious fun exploring Dallas these last two weeks and look forward to more cheap eats and activities around here!

Here's what we did yesterday:

  I took Thursday as my day off this week, so we had a L-A-Z-Y morning and ended up at Cafe Brazil for a 3:30 lunner. I've heard it's a good place for get-togethers but hadn't tried it. A 2-for-1 coupon sealed the deal, and Matt & I headed to the one nearest our house. He ordered an ultimate quesadilla with spinach, cheeses, chx, and bacon. I ordered the veggie tacos with egg whites, bell pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, cheddar & feta cheeses and breakfast potatoes on the side. The cafe has a really extensive menu, cozy atmosphere, and the food was tasty. A BLT with salmon sounded like a must-try next time, as well as a fancy coffee, of course. And maybe the chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, too. Yum. It was a fun little place that we'll def go to again.

Then we went to:

As you might know, there's a little competition between my hometown of Houston and Dallas. It's mostly Dallas' doing, of course. Either way, it's all silly. But, Houston, we have a problem. Dallas' Museum of Art (DMA) might be better than Houston's. Maybe not, but Matt and I were pretty blown away by the huge spaces and extensive European art. (We only had the energy to go through two of the four floors, and not even two whole floors.) It was pretty awesome.

On Thursday nights, it's free for all students, so we had a free date night (except for the pricey parking, argh). Right now, they have a Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit, which was an extra charge. Sighing, as I passed up the chance to see Madonna's famous cone-bra corset, I certainly didn't feel deprived as the general collection is incredible. Included was an awesome collection of Mark Bradford's recent works, including the ENORMOUS ark that sat in 9th Ward New Orleans post-Katrina. Each piece was heavy on the social justice and American advertisement side, and it was really neat. There was one piece about the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, where the wealthiest African American community in the country was burned to the ground, 35 blocks total. It brought tears to my eyes in its power of how hurtful people can be to each other and in the hope that nothing like this will every happen again as we move to get to know people better and open our minds and hearts to all.

The other thing that struck me the most was some of the Greek art. There was a lovely collection of gold jewelry circa 2nd century B.C. and up to the 2nd century A.D. It was awesome to see necklaces and bracelets with clasps and design that you could find in a department store today! It just shows the genius of construction and incredible fashion sense that ancient artisans had, even before Jesus walked the Earth. Craziness. I asked Matt to pick up one of those pairs of dangled earrings for my upcoming birthday, but he informed me that the 2,000 year old pieces weren't for sale. Darn.

  Okay, enough typing. Enjoy the weather (hope it's sunny and not too cold wherever you are). If you're ever in Dallas, check out the Museum of Art...what a gem.

Happy weekend!

No comments:

Post a Comment