The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.

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How Do You Know What You Want?

I opened up an ebook that is mostly about goal setting for the year. The first question in the first exercise completely stumped me.

“I’d like to experience ______”

Well I have no idea what I’d like to experience. I feel like I know nothing, there is so much out there, so many options, how can a person choose? It’s not that I want to experience it all, but not making a choice is like choosing nothing, and I don’t want to come to the end of my life without experiencing anything.

Now some things I’ve done. I’ve given birth, that’s a biggie. I’ve been married and divorced. I’ve been in love and I’ve truly hated someone (just one). I’ve lived alone and I’ve lived with people. I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. I’ve eaten great food, and I’ve eaten hot dogs and ramen. I don’t feel like I’m deprived in any way, I’ve experienced a lot.

I want to go to Alaska, but I will do that one day. Or Elcie and I will. Just like we’ll go to Japan. But that doesn’t seem right. I feel like that doesn’t answer the question.

I’m thinking I’d like to have a relationship again. It’s been, what, 10 years now? I’m a little tired of being single. Though I don’t know where in my life I’d fit a relationship. I feel like life is pretty full most of the time. I have roommates, friends, a daughter. There sure are a lot of people in my life. I want to be special to someone, though, and I want to have sex again. Not random sex, I could do that pretty easily, but meaningful sex. Connection.

I guess I’d like to experience love again, but that seems like a facile answer. And there really is a lot of love in my life, just not the romantic kind.

A friend of mine suggests I’m overthinking, that it could be something as simple as “I want to experience walking in a warm rain.” Which is another thing I’ve done, actually. But I get her point.

I can’t achieve a goal if I don’t have a goal. I just never thought much about goal setting and now, well, I don’t know how to do it. I’ve spent so much of life learning to just accept what happens, I’m well past the age of developing agency but here I am.

I’d like to experience the certainty of a clear path.


Can I Do This?

Last Monday, I facilitated a group.

On Monday afternoons, I attend the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance support group, because I have bipolar II, which I’ve mentioned before.  I’ve been going for about 3 years now.  I’ve worked through the book more than once.  I know the answers, haha, as if I could know the right answers to mental health when it’s different for everyone.

The regular facilitator was having a hard day and asked me if I would lead.  None of this is surprising, since he is a peer and the group could be led by any peer.  I said yes, and I was happy to do this favor for him.

It went surprisingly well.  We worked our way through 2 pages in the book.  That may not be much but it included some conversation and it was the end of a section.  Didn’t make sense to start a new section with only 15 minutes left.  The group appreciated the chance to chat during the session.  It was a little more active than the usual facilitator likes, but we have different philosophies.  He is trying to get through the book, whereas I use the book as a jumping-off point.  Nothing wrong with either one, just different.

At the same time, I have been hearing about women who lead seminars to help other women.  I think I could lead one about vision boards and creating goals.  It would be maybe 3 hours, give or take.  Part of it would be about setting goals, where do you want to be in, say, 5 years?  Or indeed, ever?  Part of it would be making the actual vision board.  And part of it would be about sharing our dreams and visions.  I think I could manage about 10 women, and they would have to bring their own scissors since I don’t own that many pairs.  Glue and magazines I’ve got, scissors not so much.

So I am looking for goal setting exercises.  They are surprisingly hard to find.  There are a lot of sites devoted to professional development and goal setting in that regard but really almost nothing about personal goal setting.  The principles must be the same however so I just need to tweak them.  Of course I would need to tweak them in any case to make them my own.  I’m about being inspired by other people, not stealing their work.

I believe I can do this.  It seems very do-able.  It also doesn’t overlap the government job so there should be no conflict of interest.  The first one or two would be free while I get my feet under me, then I would have to start charging.  I wonder if I could even do it monthly.

Words of encouragement and suggestions only, please.  I have enough nay-sayers in my own head as it is.  I could stand some support around this idea.