Thursday, July 23, 2015

The kind of woman I wanted to be

I just happened to come across something in one of my journals that I forgot I had ever written.  It was a page entitled, "I Want To Be A Woman Who:"   When I checked the date, I noticed that I wrote it in July of 2000, exactly 15 years ago this month.

So at the time that I wrote this, I had been married for less than 2 years and had just had my first baby a few weeks before. He was likely taking one of this famous 20 minute naps when I sat down to do this.  I don't remember what prompted it -- whether I had been instructed to do so by a book I was reading, or just thought it would be a good thing to do.

Finding the list this month made me inwardly groan as I was sure I was going to see all the ways I had failed to live up to my goals.  There are 6 elements listed on the page and I was sure they were going to say things like, "Love God above all else," "Be completely and utterly unselfish," "Pour self out for the good of others continually."  And I would close the book in shame and failure.

But AHA!  The very first bullet point says, ".... has lots of plants in the house."  AND I DID THAT ONE!  I have actually accomplished a goal from 15 years ago!

I am not sure why that particular goal is on the list -- I probably just wanted to be surrounded by more of nature, and while human relationships have always been daunting for me, maybe the idea of sustaining a non-human life was appealing and self-affirming.  I'm pretty sure I didn't even know about the healthy, air-purifying benefits of houseplants back then!

Regardless, over the years I have amassed several plants, rooted some even to make new ones, and have generally kept them alive.  They're not necessarily thriving, but they're mostly green.  Just about every room in our house has a plant or two in it (because they are good air purifiers I now know!)

This one was from Jen Averill -- thanks, Jen!
Now.... the other 5 bullet points on my "I Want To Be A Woman Who" list are not slam-dunks like that one.  That first one was definitely the low-hanging fruit.

Some of them are the kind that make me groan.

But, I figure if I was successful with one of the goals in 15 years, then I just need another 75 years to master the other ones... right?

The takeaway here is:  Always include at least a few simple, very achievable goals when you make ridiculous idealistic lists of personal endeavors. 

 Your future self will thank you.

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