My Biggest Goal

    The latest prompt in my journaling adventure is to describe my biggest goal in life. An interesting question because my “biggest goal” has changed at different points in my life due to circumstances, or to achieving the goal that was there at the time.

    As I sit here in mid-January 2020, waiting for my birthday, I had to take some time to think about the biggest goal in my life right now. Several things come to mind, but one does stand out from the rest.

    I want to retire overseas with Hal and The Stooges. I have no close family left to hold me here, and I love to travel. The cost of living is also much lower in most of the world, so why should we starve here when we can live comfortably overseas?

Take The Time

Yesterday was OK so far as work was concerned. I got everything finished that needed to be done at work this morning, conducted my weekly meeting without incident, and then attempted to settle in for some computer-based training. Alas, the training website was down so I wasn’t able to make any progress there.

     Each day I learn to stop and detach myself from whatever daily tasks life has thrown at me and just live for a few minutes. Often I am rewarded with a picture because I am looking for something that catches my eye, rather than something that fits with the daily crisis. 

     A good example happened the other day. I was walking to the kitchen on a break from work when I looked down and saw Jax The Cat laying on some sheets that were in a pile ready to be washed. The color contrast was stunning and I immediately snapped a picture of the event.

     Don’t let a beautiful moment pass by. Take the time to enjoy it. 

Chaos

I’m sure that I am not the only person in the world who feels a sense of chaos when thinking about the future. Have I planned well enough for retirement? Have I made any critical mistakes that will impact my future?

Chaos is always lurking around the corner. It is as close as we allow it to be, and its influence is proportional to how much attention we give it. Chaos feeds off our fears, it grows stronger as uncertainty grows.

Chaos is the by-product of modern life. With all of the distractions, we lose track of the small things and allow ourselves to be manipulated every day. When we try to take control back, we realize how much we gave up in the first place. This is chaos.

Top 5 Fears

I spent much of my life dealing with the fear of being alone. Loneliness is a terrible thing if left untreated because we are all social beings. My attempts to cure loneliness were often unsuccessful because I was raised so differently from the other kids I grew up with. I had two great parents who took an active interest without the “helicopter” approach that seems to be all the rage now.

I made friends easily, but most friendships didn’t last that long because I was seen as opinionated and arrogant. FOr my part, I thought of so many people as shallow and insincere, willing to follow whatever mindless trend dominated the moment. I felt that I was held to a higher standard by my parents, not necessarily making me superior in any way, but making me more mature and honest.

Romance was difficult as well, and this highlighted the loneliness. I seemed to be unable to find the right person. It wasn’t until I realized that I was never going to meet the “right” person that my loneliness started to ease. When I met Hal (person), I was mature and experienced enough to not try to rush into anything, and neither was he. We had shared experiences that brought us together, and that is where the first bonds were formed.

I no longer fear loneliness. I have spent a lifetime dealing with it and overcoming it.

Who doesn’t fear failure? I struggled as a child to do my best to live up to my parents’ expectations. Thankfully, both of them told me that there were no standards that I had to meet other than being honest and to be myself with them. I had a great deal of trust from my parents, and that added to the perception that I was aloof and arrogant as I mentioned earlier.

I learned that failures are what we build upon as we go through life. No one likes to fail, but those who never fail have never tried.

There is a trend here because the next fear is rejection. The hardest lesson I ever had to learn was that not everyone will like me, regardless of what I do or say. The struggle to gain acceptance can cripple us emotionally. I eventually learned that the people who would demand that I meet their expectations were the people who wanted to exercise that level of control over me. I refuse to give my life to someone else.

If you ever saw the movie “The Replacements” about a football team, then you will understand the reference to quicksand. It is the fear of getting into a situation where you feel that there is no way out and that anything you do will only serve to make the situation worse. Eventually, you decide to stop struggling, knowing that you will sink, but afraid that trying to change anything will only make things worse. If the outcome is predetermined, then struggling is not going to make a difference. I refuse to accept that there are those situations. It is always better to strive to improve things rather than simply accept them as they are because the choice to accept is more comfortable.

I used to fear being ridiculed. I overcame that one, so go ahead, I can take it 🙂

Unconditional Love

     Sometimes when I get so wound up with my own problems such as insomnia, I lose track of the important things that are happening all around me. As I was sitting here feeling sorry for myself, Stevie Nicks showed up at my feet. 

     After I greeted her, she jumped onto my lap and began rubbing against me, almost like she was telling me that everything was going to be OK. Her purring soothed me and I managed to get the following picture where her expression is one of Unconditional Love. 

     Soon after taking the picture, Stevie Nicks jumped down and wandered off in search of a snack. Her kindness still lingers with me.