Goal Setting; New Habits
I’m working on becoming a patient person. I’m also working on prioritizing. I’ll elaborate.
I do have a certain degree of patience. I can sit down and patiently do work. I can wait for someone to arrive. I can patiently follow an eating plan for a certain amount of time to accomplish a clearly defined (short term) goal. I am NOT patient with other things. Having everything figured out and being settled NOW. Figuring out how my (ever changing) body is reacting to food NOW. Giving myself mental space to deal with all of the huge changes I’ve been though this year. That’s a big one. I am really not patient with myself. This is not new. The difference is that, as I’ve become more self aware, I’m more cognizant of how impatient I am sometimes. I would never expect one of my friends to be in the place that I expect myself to be at.
There are things that I want to do, goals I’d like to accomplish and benchmarks that I’d like to hit. Occasionally, I find myself beating myself up for not being farther along with respect to some of these goals. Yesterday it was work. Why don’t I have a more varied class schedule? Why haven’t I started dropping into yoga studios with my resume? Taking more community classes? Developing a more regular home practice, finding an agent, checking out some local theatre, doing more writing workshops, et cetera and on ad finitum.
I’ve been a tiny bit better about catching myself and reminding myself of the goals that I have accomplished and the ones that are already in progress. I just finished studying for and obtaining a huge certification and I’m in the process of studying for another one. Dean and I set a goal of attending two boxing classes a week together and we’ve been going at it! I have sent writing that I’ve been working on out for feedback (scary!) and I’m in the process of checking out a writing workshop in September. (I’m going to register, I just have to get a few things together to submit first.) I’ve recently started a daily (tiny) mediation and a daily (tiny) home practice. Dean and I are hanging out with friends. We’re on a meal plan again. We still looking around on the job market for more opportunities. We ARE doing it. Why is it so difficult to remember?
I think that part of it is the comparison game. It’s difficult to look at the things you were doing a year ago (when you were established and a younger and completely different person) and not ask yourself to get all of that back again. I’m not sure why it’s so easy to dismiss work already done, especially when it was real, serious and hard work! When I sit down and truly think about it, I have always done this.
I have always measured myself against someone more accomplished and pointed out how I’ve fallen short. I wonder why I don’t have X when this person over here, who is my age or younger or whatever has X and Y. I had a moment a year or so ago, when I actually looked back at everything that I have done. I have done a lot of things and done them well. And that’s part of it. My interests change, grow and evolve and I have always let them. I haven’t spent years of my life concentrating on one single thing. There have been through lines and patterns, yes, and there are things that have been consistently in my life, but my focus shifts. You can only be really good at one or two things at once.
I remember one day I was on the phone with my mom, talking about things I wanted to do and trying to figure out how to fit them in. At the time, I was a competitively active fighter, something that I was very aware had an expiration date attached. I was also active in the theatre scene, something that I thought had an expiration date attached. (Remember when there were no good roles for women after the age of 35? It’s getting better, but we have a ways to go.) I remember, in that conversation having one of those epiphany moments that’s like being hit by lightening. “Momma… I don’t have time to do everything that I want to do in the time I want to do it in!” I was truly shocked. “Well, no, Meredith, you have to choose,” she said to me. I was sitting there processing this, with this new awareness of how short life was and she continued, “besides, it would be boring to do everything right away. What would you do later on?”
I am getting better at this, but it takes constant reminders from myself. “Why am I not busting down studio doors yet?” “You know that certification you’re studying for every day and those two boxing classes a week that you’re trying to fit in and that race you’re training for and those two jobs you have?” It’s a constant reminder to be patient. Keep the goals in sight. Keep plugging away at the ones in the works. It will all happen when it’s meant to happen.
There’s not enough time to do it all at once.