I read somewhere a long time ago that the happiest people were the ones who could look at their accomplishments and be proud of them. This seems simple, right? You set a goal for yourself and then check it off your list once you have finished with it. I find the idea of this is appealing but the actual process seems to become more difficult. First of all, how do you decide what is a worthy goal? This part always gets to me. I compare my goal with other accomplishments in the world like maybe the Mona Lisa, or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. perhaps the Polio vaccine or the invention of sign language. Ridiculous, right? Why in the world would I even begin to think in those terms? That’s what I used to do when coming up with my own goals. Now that I have advanced in age I have changed my approach. I use smaller and less grand measures to evaluate my goals and try to keep them in perspective according to my own life. Like maybe the Golden Gate Bridge!I still find it hard to feel pleasure in my own accomplishments. I think all of us who are hard- wired to be filled with self-doubt feel the same way. No matter what it is we accomplish in life , it is never enough to make us happy. Sometimes we do feel happy but not that deep-seated sense of contentment we all long for. I was talking with a friend the other day about how we miss so much of the present by focusing on the future. There is always something better out in front of us than what we see at the present moment in time. I have missed the most magical things by having these types of thoughts. Once I caught only the tail end of a flight of pelicans leaving for the winter, suitcases packed and in their mouths, flying south. After that I decided to start practicing being in the present moment. It is not always easy. Sometimes when the present moment is stressful I tend to wander off. Not in the physical sense but definitely in the mental. I am going to work on completion this year. Completing my poetry book , completing my novel and completing anything I find not completed in my life. This may also mean completing relationships that have been left uncompleted. Harsh words hanging out on a line. Angry thoughts still present when a certain face comes to mind. I used to think superficial relationships were useless but now I have changed my mind. We sometimes need superficiality to balance those other relationships which may be very intense. Sometimes it is a good idea to just be nice to someone if it means you can avoid any feelings of ill will. Yikes! It has taken me a long time to realize this.
The best thing about life is hanging on to the right to change your mind about anything and everything.