Talking About Goals
One of the toughest lessons I have ever had to learn – aside from writing in my journal daily – was setting goals for myself. There the short-term goals that we set constantly – when to do laundry, when to mow the yard. Then there’s the medium-term goals we make: going to an event, as an example. But its the long-term goals that seem to be the most mystical, and elusive ones that I tend to have. One long-range goal that I have – finishing my Bardic Grade material, has proven to be more of a series of short-term, and medium-term goals that can be covered over with a long-term perspective. Before I started to manage it more on a short-term and medium-term perspective, just as a long-term goal, it became too difficult to manage.
But now I have a new long-term goal — to climb the 7000 steps to the top of Mount Tai. Its not really about climbing a mountain, I can easily do that here in the United States. Its literally about the entire journey. The process of getting there. Booking the airline flight, packing for the journey. What to take. What to wear. All of that figures into the planning. The cost. The itinerary. And eventually, the experience of walking the stairs. Opening my senses to everything around me. Knowing the experiences that others have had in this same journey. Being able to compare my journey to theirs. Comparing. Contrasting. Learning from the similarities and the differences. All of that will be part of that entire experience.
Over the past few years, I have made the comment that I would eventually climb Mount Tai at some point in my life. In retrospect, its merely wishful thinking. I always commented that the trip would be made when I was “ready”. That’s pure bullshit on my part. I am already ready. I was ready before, I was just never committed enough to make the trip. Not willing to endure placing this above other things in my life. In other words, it was just talk. But that’s all different now. This year, I made the commitment to be at the first OBOD Gulf Coast Gathering, an experience I will always treasure. Here in the latter part of the year, I made the commitment to be at the OBOD East Coast Gathering. Getting there was not a pleasant experience, but looking over it all – it was worth every second of that time. Not only did I experience marvelous rituals at each – I was able to meet really awesome people as well. And each of those experiences changed me in small, subtle ways. If I had not committed to going, and followed through on it – I would have missed out on so much. I would have missed those experiences.
So here I sit, on the edge of the abyss, looking down and wondering if I should. And my answer back is that, yes, I should. So I am committing to going to climb Mount Tai in 2020 or 2021. My preference is 2020, but if that somehow does not work out – all the preparation can be held over for another calendar year. There’s a lot of things to consider. Packing, clothing, finances, time off. But it will happen, that much I am sure of. I have no idea how my life will look at that point in time – but I will be climbing the stairs to the summit. The next morning I will watch the sun rise from that summit before headed back down the same stairs.
Its good to have goals…things that I can pick out of haze down in the abyss, as I start to move towards doing what I should, and not dreaming about what I could….