Friday, June 25, 2010

No Life List for Me

Kristin posted a link to Maggie Mason's blog (Mighty Girl) the other day. I read that blog a lot and I think I get a lot out of it. Mostly because Maggie really is fantastic. Sometimes I think it'd be pretty great to be just like her when I grow up (except that she and I are likely about the same age). The problem is, occaisionally I get this weird nagging feeling when I'm reading Mighty Girl. There's a lot of talk about goal setting and making up a "Life List". I feel really kind of weird about the fact that I don't have one. I really don't. I think this might be one of the few eras in my life when I really could care less about goals. And I'm mostly pretty happy about that, even though I get that kind of nagging feeling when I read that practically everyone else in the world is working on theirs. Is it wrong for my one and only life list item to be content enough that I don't need a life list?

Ok ok, I know I'll get back to one eventually. I have some pretty strong feelings about the importance of continual improvement, striving for better, etc.. but right now, the best person I want to be is to be someone who isn't constantly pushing toward a goal.

I'm still ok, right?

Talk to you soon,



kristin said...

of course you're ok.

as far as i understand the point of a "life list" is not to stress you out and make you feel like you aren't keeping up, that you have to keep ticking those items off.

i think it's supposed to encourage you to think about what you want and be relaxed enough to seize opportunities for yourself should they arise or to let them float by because the time isn't right. if your one and only list item is to be content enough that you don't need a life list, that's awesome. if you decide to put other items on the list later, that's also awesome.

the other thing about all this talk about goal setting and writing life lists is that it's very public. i did write a list (surprise!) a while back. i liked taking the time to think about every harebrained and stick-in-the-mud thing i might want to do or be but my list is private and will never be shared. which is what gives it freedom for me.

i think having the courage not to have goals or even admitting to not having goals is great. we've been conditioned to think that not having a goal, not knowing exactly what you want to do and not constantly working towards that is wrong or at least not as commendable.


Karen Lew said...

You're fine. I'm fine. We're all fine. Also, the following is rambly. You've been warned.

I think it's one of those "for everything there is a season thing." Some phases of one's life are just more transitional than others. I don't have a life list either. For now, I actually want to be absorbed with the kids because I know this time is transient. Soon enough they won't even LET me spend time with them, let alone demand it. There are some things that I do want take up again -- eventually. Notably hiking. I realise though that delaying is a risk.

I think that sometimes, life-lists can be done retroactively. I think blogging is a pretty powerful tool for it. Kinda like, here are all the things I've done that I'm glad are in my life history: attend a Summer Olympics, attend Octoberfest, toast New Year for every time zone in Canada.... A lot of the best things I've done, I've chosen pretty spontaneously.

On the other hand, a while ago, when I went to see "Up" in theatres, it gave me pause.

We're working on setting some goals but this has been prompted by hiring a financial planner. (We only did that because we're fantastically lazy about paper-work. They take care of that for us. Mainly, we just need the guy's assistant who actually finds and fills out all the forms that we eventually sign.)

dodo said...

i don't see the the problem with not having any goal in you life i mean my only goal is to live this day,this moment and nothing els, so cheer up you aren't alone.