Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

Dreams and Goals

1. My Life Planning class at Hollins University on Tuesday night focused on goals. As we worked, I started wondering what the difference is between a dream and a goal. Are they the same thing? Mutually exclusive? Does one become the other? I dream of writing a novel . . . it needs to become a goal and then a reality. What are your dreams? Are they different from your goals? Are your dreams and goals different from your reality? Can you change that? Do you want to?

2. My brother told me he has lost 25 pounds in the last three weeks on some diet that involves seeing a doctor weekly and taking vitamin shots. While I am pleased that he is losing weight, I worry about his health. Everything I have ever read about weight loss says it is not healthy to lose weight that quickly. His goal is to be a slim and svelte and he's taken action to make it a reality. I admire that, but still. Be healthy, folks!

3. When I was young, I wanted to be a writer, an archaeologist, a historian, a geologist, a musician, and a teacher. Of those, I am a writer and an amateur historian. I suppose I am a teacher sometimes through my writing and I once spent a year as a substitute teacher in the county schools (I will never do that again!). I once played the guitar professionally in a Top 40 band, but that was when I was in high school. Being an archaeologist and a geologist was never more than a dream.

4. I always wanted a college degree and I really wanted it from Hollins. It took me eight years to get my four-year degree, but I did it and when I had the sheepskin in my hand, it was also completely paid for. Graduation was my goal and I achieved it - with honor!

5. I began working on my Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies degree, also at Hollins, but 18 years later, I am still four classes and a thesis short of having it. This was never a solid goal and I could not - and still can't - figure out what good it would do me to have it so I stopped pursuing it when money became tight and didn't go back.

6. I don't know a single woman who has ever retired to go play golf or sit around and whittle or whatever. Every retired woman I know works her butt off keeping the house clean or volunteering or keeping the grandkids. I have no goals to retire, since that is the case.

7. What's going on in the nation with regards to the health care bill is rather scary, I don't care what side a person is on. Understanding this is an immediate concern for me. I urge folks not to listen to the propaganda from the media on either side. Read the thing for yourself and then make up your mind. You can read the main bill here and then reconciliation changes here. Yes, it is long and it legal language and it can be confusing, but if you live in a world of truth and reality, as opposed to one of propaganda and half-truths and distortions, I urge you to take the time to try to sort it out. I haven't plodded through it all yet but I am slowly moving through it. It is a goal.

8. Some days are so difficult to plod through that the shower at the end of the day becomes the goal. Other days are so wonderful and inspiring that the goal is to never let it end.

9. Making loads of money has never been a major goal for me. I have always been pretty happy with "just enough," whatever that is. I wonder sometimes if I would have gone further in life if I had been a little more greedy, but then I look at greedy people and am not unhappy that I am otherwise.

10. I would very much like to travel to California to see my grandmother, who just turned 90. For a number of reasons, I cannot make the trip. Is this a dream or a goal? Or is it something else, like a desire, that I haven't even touched on?

11. I have a weight loss goal which at present is elusive. I haven't found the magic combination of foods that keep me feeling okay and yet able to lose weight. I am not sure there is such a combination. If a goal remains unattainable, does it then become a dream? If I decline to follow my brother's example, for instance, because I think it unhealthy, does that mean I am not sincere in my goal? Is this goal also just a dream?

12. Recently I dreamed about neon green spiders, dungeons, and my husband. Those types of dreams are really just dreams. Except for my husband. He's pretty real. Except for when he is in my dreams. I'm getting confused!

13. You are what you are. You can make it hard or you can make it easy; you can chase after dreams and pursue goals, you can run races or walk fast and still get to the same place. The journey is up to each of us. Pursue your dreams, set your goals. Embrace life.

That's all for today!

Lots of people play Thursday Thirteen. You can read about it here. My other Thursday Thirteens are here. This is number 132!


  1. Good post. I find most retired people I know work hard and volunteer like crazy. I hope when I reach retirement age I embrace life too.

  2. Stop dreaming... Start writing!

    25 pounds that quickly. If I were him I would run away from that doctor as fast as I could since that kind of weight loss is in no way normal unless one is starving themself.


  3. I'm busy trying to live my dream, which is similar to yours.

  4. I think a goal is something I'm more likely to make happen and a dream is sometimes just for fun. I don't often set goals but I like to brainstorm in a mind map way every new year when I review and reset intentions.

  5. I especially liked the last one on your list. This is one that I'm working on too. :)

  6. Great list, it is so important to remember #13, you can't just dream and plan you need to live life.

  7. Good post, I especially liked #13! I'm terrible at setting goals, always have been. Neon green spiders are nothing compared to some of the crazy, active dreams I have.

  8. Very well written post. Writing about several random topics usually comes out as kind of a hodge-podge, but this was very enjoyable!

  9. Hmmm...a thought-provoking list. For me, a dream is something rather nebulous that is in my mind only. Some of my dreams are realistic and possible and some are highly improbable (which I suppose might be called fantasies because they involve money I'll probably never have or famous people I'll probably never meet). Occasionally, my "possible" dreams become goals, at which time they become more well-defined. I then have a true commitment to them, and I set smaller goals (that are easier to attain in the short term) for the path I'm taking to reach the larger goal. So I guess what I'm saying in my rambling, somewhat incoherant way is that my dreams becomes goals once I have a commitment to them.

  10. I think of a goal as a step towards a dream. Writing a novel is a dream. Getting an idea for a novel, finding time to work on a novel or writing a short story would be possible steps towards that dream. I've always found that the hardest part of reaching any dream is taking the first step. After that step, things often move along faster than expected.

    My TT: Totally Obsessed

  11. smiled at no. 12 :)

    Archeology is one of my side interests.

    Nice post.

  12. My brother has a similar goal and I agree, it's not healthy. But he gained a lot of weight in anticipation of retiring from the military and it ended up he can't get out until next year. So off comes the weight by April 15gh or he gets kicked out! Yikes!

    Great TT!

  13. #6 made me smile. It's certainly a good reason not to retire.

  14. To me, one of the important things is how you frame it. So our goal isn't to have lots of money, it's to be able to spend lots of time with our kids and having the extra income means we aren't dependent on working. My goal changed from losing weight to living a healthy, balanced life, and there went the weight.

  15. That is awesome that your grand mother is 90! Great list.

    Have a great Saturday!


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