Monday, January 07, 2008

A good telescope

I’ve read through a lot of posts about resolutions and setting goals in the last two weeks. And, a lot of retrospectives about 2007 and thoughts for the year ahead.
I’m having trouble getting settled back enough to think of either. Even the sitting down at the keyboard part to write it is sort of painful (I’m starting to wonder if it could be carpal tunnel, or something else, actually. So, yes, it is indeed a real pain). In this time of renewal and cleaning and rededication, I’m in a funk. I’m wondering, too, why blog?

Want some cheese and crackers with this w(h)ine?

I did commit myself to trying to set some kind of focus. There are all these different approaches to resolutions: long lists, themes, one-word mantras, deadline-based, measurable results.. All in creative artist blogs. OMG. Resolutions. Goals. Mission Statements.

The day before we left for Hawaii, I went with J to see a retirement specialist. The thought of (his) retirement in a handful of years makes goal-setting more pertinent; smacks you on the head, pretty much, doesn’t it? What I thought of was a quote from one of the videos I used to show in class, that what we need aren’t MAPS that tell us where we’re going, but that we’d be better outfitted with a COMPASS, so at least we are able to navigate through whatever comes our way. I’d been happily working on a compass, but, okay, where the heck are we going? What’s really, really important?

In my business practices class, we also do several exercises writing missions statements. It’s easiest for me to work with mission statements in the general form of: “I want to achieve somethingA by doing actionB”. So, I revisit my own mission statement with every semester, three times a year. It seems to come back to this, quite reliably: “Support design and creativity by practicing, learning, teaching, or encouraging it. Every day”.

This might work as a compass, I'm starting to see, on a hand-waving / spiritual level, but between you and me, I’m starting to feel like I need to paddle harder and further, or set my sail to catch another tradewind. Mulling over the stars that I navigate by (lying, staring up into the night …) has been good, but I want a good new harbor to plan to set sail for. As I typed that, what’s telling is that the word “new” came out, quite plainly and clearly.

Actually, it's more like that squirmy feeling when you've sat too long, past the point of where you've lost interest in something. And you want to swat at someone that comes to tap at your shoulder, whispering to sit patiently. More like that.

So maybe not a compass or a map ("looks good on paper...") , but a good TELESCOPE.


In spite of all this funk-ness, I did mull over resolutions enough to have thought of a direction and words to share and be accountable for. And this year, I need a mantra, not a heady list of things. Think: a Cesar Millan “Psssht” to get my attention.

Actually, I’m going with a short phrase, because I couldn’t decide on just one word:

Run Fast and True

Run, in particular, as in:
(1) to go quickly by moving the legs more rapidly than at a walk and in such a manner that for an instant in each step all or both feet are off the ground, and (2) to be in operation

Fast, in particular, as in:
(1) quick; swift; rapid and (2) firm in adherence

And True as in:
real; genuine; authentic; Sincere, firm in allegiance; loyal; faithful; steadfast; Accurately shaped or fitted (a true wheel); Accurately placed, delivered, or thrown; Navigation (of a bearing, course, etc.): determined in relation to true north.

Run Fast and True



Karen said...

okay, no help to you, but i feel better knowing i'm not the only one feeling funky. ;-)

Toni said...

I was feeling funky but I am slowly coming out of it. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it Don and I are going through some major changes here. His job is ending so he will be going back to school. Never thought we would be doing this at our age. I will most likely be posting something about it in the near future.
In the meantime just follow through on your intentions. Whatever they are at the time.

Wendee said...

@Karen - misery loves company. ;)

@Toni - Thanks. Boy, what life throws at you, huh? We will be thinking about you and Don and sending warm, encouraging thoughts.