Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Over-Focusing and Re-Focusing on 40 Before 40
If you've been reading my blog, you know that I decided to set 40 goals for myself to accomplish before I pop the cork on my fourth decade, which takes place on March 18th. I've made some progress toward these goals and have also happened upon a bit of an aha-moment to boot. Those of you who know me pretty well (and still haven't run screaming) know that I'm what you'd call a goal-driven person. I'm most comfortable around lists, routine, and focused behavior. I love this part of myself, but it sometimes makes me crazy because I begin to feel inflexible and anxious when plans don't flow exactly as I'd imagined.
Number 11 on my list is my intention to meditate more consistently. On and off over the years, I've been very diligent about my meditation practice and know I feel better and more relaxed when I do this every day. Since January 1st, I've meditated most every day and have felt significant changes in the way I move through the moments of the day and roll with the changes that are certain to appear. One of my favorite benefits of meditation is receiving insights about myself. These are things that perhaps I really already knew, but just needed additional affirmation and time to process it all. Anyway, the insight I most recently received is that maybe I'm too attached to this 40 Before 40 list and I'm sprinting after all these goals because I said I would and am not necessarily enjoying the experiences along the way. I realize this because I recently looked at the list and felt nervous that I'd never meet these goals by my birthday. So...I still plan to use this list as a basis of things I'd like to accomplish, but will enjoy myself along the way and *not* fret if I don't meet all of them by March 18th. With that in mind, here's an update of my progress:
#14: I've been working on a better budget for our family -- last week I spent three hours with my face in a calculator. This is not what I'd call 'fun,' but something that needs to happen and I definitely feel accomplished.
#23: I'm reading a really great biography about Jack Kerouac and loving it.
#26: I've already been to the library twice this month. It's just plain silly that I don't spend more time there.
#28: Yesterday I bought a cinnamon Yankee candle. It was even on a clearance shelf. Double score!
#34: I bought purple glitter nail polish, but have not yet applied it....pics to come of my fancy new nails!
#37: For the past week I've written in my journal every day. This, along with meditation, has made a tremendous difference in how my days flow.
#29: I found a really great recipe for white chicken chili and a friend offered me another one. Double score again!
It's funny how things work...in my effort to meet a list of goals, I discovered (through my meditation goal) that staring down goals with determination should be tempered with the softness of gentle delight, savoring the moments of each experience.