“All experience is an arch wherethrough gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades for ever and for ever when I move.”

Alfred Lord Tennyson

(I enjoyed encountering this quote on a park’s memorial bench on which I meditated this weekend).

Oregon Trip 045

Goals, shmoals.

All my life, I’ve not liked to make lists. I suppose checking off some box is less fulfilling than the experience, and the items that are not checked off stare at me at the end of the day whispering “you have failed.”

But watching the 2016 Summer Olympics, seeing all those goal setters arrive at their destination reminds me of the importance of looking at the horizon.

To that end I’m jotting my current goals here looking at a 3-year horizon:

  1. Pay off all debt.
  2. Build a cushion for self-employment taxes so I’m working on the year ahead instead of the year ago.
  3. Give my 17-year-old “peacemobile” (bumper sticker says “Peace: An idea whose time has come”) to my child as soon as she can pay for insurance and fuel.
  4. Continue to support all my child’s activities until she graduates high school and/or she is financially independent or in full-time school.
  5. Buy a new, efficient, small car.
  6. Relocate to a location with lower cost of living and find a tiny comfortable space to live.
  7. Attend my first 10-day silent retreat.
  8. Take steps toward enrolling in a two-year mindfulness meditation teaching program like THIS or forest therapy guide training THIS, with the goal of learning skills to help others and myself along the way.
  9. Alternatively, take steps towards a degree in Environmental Conservation. Which means retaking community college math courses I took 5 years ago. Joy. (sarcastic joy)
  10. Save toward a trek like THIS if I can find one that doesn’t include horseback riding since my allergies can’t work with horses.
  11. Buy a tent, sleeping bag, and backpack.
  12. Goal set B: Stay put should anything change my parents’ good health, in which case I will put caring for them first.

7, 8, 9 & 10 involve spontaneous community, the power of which I lived firsthand a decade ago and long to experience again, to contrast my current solitary work and life that feels necessary now to maintain if I am to reach these goals.


About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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