Projecting 2011

4 January 2011

So here we are, four days into the new year.  I’m sure that you or someone you know has made some “New Year’s resolutions,” statements on how you’re going to do things differently in 2011.  Maybe you’ve even broken one or more of them already.  Me, I don’t really do those anymore, for two reasons:

  1. My tendency is to constantly make resolutions for myself year-round, so setting aside one time of year for them would just be excessive.
  2. It doesn’t work all that well.

I look back at my resolutions for 2009 and just laugh — what with my son Sean’s Leigh’s disease, my mom’s death and my lack of willpower, none of them lasted to Labor Day.  It’s just like the bit in James 4:13-15 — you can make all the plans you want, but if God has other plans for you, your to-do list is dust in the wind.  So, no N.Y.R.s for this little black duck!

However, I’m not the type who can simply burrow through the days with no measurable long-term goal.  I used to get those from my job(s), but with being Sean’s full-time caregiver/physical therapist/doctor wrangler, that’s simply not in the picture at present.  And you can’t really set personal goals for someone else’s medical recovery, especially when said recovery is as off the charts as Sean’s is (and hopefully will continue to be).  So I realized as 2010 wound down that I needed some projects, some things that could provide goals (however unimportant) to keep the goal-shooting-for part of my personality occupied and out of trouble.

And given the events of the last couple of years, I figured picking them myself was probably the wrong move.  So I needed to talk to God and find out what He wanted me doing.  Only I wasn’t quite prepared for what He had to say …

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It’s 2009. Cope!

1 January 2009

It’s good to have goals.  Otherwise, you’re like the fellow in the audience at a Howie Mandel concert, whom Howie asked, “So, what do you do for a living?”

The answer: “Nothing.”

Howie’s response: “How do you know when you’re finished?”

See, I like the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing something.  I even like knowing just how far I’ve gotten through a project — 30% of the way, 50%, 72%, whatever.  It’s a good feeling, knowing that you’ve achieved something concrete, measurable … being able to look at it and say, “See?  I have done this!  I have built this building, sold this product, cooked this soup, read this novel, trimmed this beard!  I am Man, shaper of the earth!”  (Okay, sorry to get all Nietzsche on you.  Where was I?)  And if you don’t have a goal — the grand opening of the building, the end of the novel, facial hair that doesn’t make you look like a molting cat, whatever — you’ll never get to where you want to be.  With anything.

With that in mind, and since it’s 1 January of a new year, I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to accomplish in the next twelve months.  (Notice, please, that I am not using the R-word.  R-words tend to get abandoned because they’re usually less goal than wish.  If I wanted to wish, I’d buy a well.)  I came up with six things.  Starting with the sublime and progressing to the ridiculous:

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