A few months ago, I was talking with my Japanese student, Nozomi, about setting goals. He, in his late 30s, was feeling a bit stuck in his job and wanted to make moves that would bring some of his dreams closer to reality. I — in my mid 70s (Yikes) — thought it wasn’t a bad idea if I did the same if for no other reason to quiet down that tick-tock of time.

I — being the teacher with some rights — gave us each two weeks to produce our Goals for the Next Five Years in any form that we chose. Having tried this “goal setting” numerous times in my life when I felt stuck in whatever quagmire I was inhabiting at that time, I didn’t have much confidence that this time around would be different. I did not share my pessimism with Nozomi. No reason to dampen his enthusiasm for the exercise.

I vividly remember one of those goal setting challenges I failed. I had gone across the Duke Ellington Bridge, past Mama Ayesha’s tiny restaurant where she would read your future in your tea leaves for free. I should have stopped by for a reading before I trudged on to Connecticut Avenue. I was having tea with my friend, Christina’s dad. His daughter and I had walked through the Black Forest together a year or so before so I had heard stories about some of his adventures in his life. Would someone who had been a conscientious objector during the war, be put off by my wishy-washy political stances?

Leo was a very gentle soul and very smart. He asked what were my plans for my life. I started to get nervous having made no plans past the temp job I was working at for the moment. He suggested I might want to set some G-O-A-L- S for myself so I’d know when I got to where I wanted to go. Having no idea whatsoever and having zilch confidence in me and my abilities to get there, I felt cornered by this lovely man. I was sure, as I walked back across the Duke Ellington Bridge, that he was back in his apartment shaking his head at my wasteful, uninteresting and definitely not goal-oriented life.

Fifty-odd years later, here I am enthusiastically setting goals. May I have a drum roll, please: My goals for the next five years are Laugh More, Love More, Walk More, Write More and Learn More. I decided I couldn’t just write them down on a piece of paper. For sure, a month from now I’d find it and wonder, “What the hell is this?” No, I’d go with visuals. Trouble is, I’m not artistic at all — I have good ideas but not much talent. But cest la vie the banner above is my end result and I’m proud of it. I meant to go back and create a new Learn More since it didn’t get much love but it’s done now. Hmmm, I wonder if my learning will be affected???


This post is dedicated to my social media and all things technical Guru, Sarah, who got me started today