On Reaching Goals

I get giddy when I reach a goal. And then I am rudderless without another one. Goals motivate me, stretch me and get me planning. Goals reached are relished for the day, then get me wondering, “what’s next?” I remember when my goal was to walk down to the end of the block and back after my mastectomy. It seemed an impossibility when my traumatized body was formed to the sofa. But, step by step, that goal was realized and I’d set another one – to walk a mile, then 2, then 26.2 followed by 13.1 the next day (Avon Walk). Crossing any finish line for me is bittersweet as it means the work training for the goal is complete. The glory of achievement is fleeting for me as I’m already looking ahead to see what’s around the next corner.

Sometimes I wonder what’s wrong with me.

My wiring must be all messed up. Why can’t I be happy just “being” or living in the moment? Mindfulness is something I am working on this year but most days I’m failing in this inner search. Too many times I’m running on all cylinders being “busy” and forget that each day is a gift. Tomorrow is not promised; cancer and illness have taught me not to take anything for granted. Maybe that’s why I’m driven.

ribbonLast week I completed a really big goal – one that took three years and four months to reach (opening the first secondary school innovation center pictured above). As I sit here outside on our front porch opening day, spring is bursting out and my winter restlessness seems to be lifting a bit. Perhaps I have seasonal restlessness disorder. I guess it’s just my nature. It is nothing that a day doing yard work and gardening can’t remedy.

Perhaps this is my mid-life crisis. Or maybe spring fever. I guess there could be worse things. Maybe I’ll self-medicate with a pedicure or a massage and take a long walk to witness spring’s promise. Yes, there could be worse things. Alas, my soul is forever reaching out to the future yearning to build something to leave behind my thumbprint. It is part of my being and feeling human.

So, right now I’m without a goal. And I’m trying to be OK with that. In the absence of that next goal, I’ll grab a glass of wine, listen to Prairie Home Companion and watch life go by from the front porch.4

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  1. adrienne May 25, 2017 at 2:47 pm #

    I don’t know your whole story, but I’m assuming your two-year and four-month goal achieved was chemotherapy? Congratulations and I hope this comment finds you doing well.

    • Britta Wilk McKenna May 27, 2017 at 8:36 am #

      Hi Adrienne,
      The goal I reached was opening the first secondary school innovation center called, “IN2.” It was not chemotherapy – DCIS protocol was lumpectomy followed by radiation or mastectomy.
      Britta

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