Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Perhaps Tomorrow I'll Think About the Long-Term

Go Towards The GlowImage by Fozzeee via Flickr

Most days, I try to stay focused on what is right in front of me. Each day challenges me to figure out how to make the best of the limited energy I posses. For some time now, I've concentrated on daily, weekly or short-term goals, mostly because I remained uncertain about my chronic illnesses and their impact on my life.

I have been living this short-term kind of life for almost five years now. On many levels, living this kind of life works for me. But I am feeling like something is missing ... and that something is long-term hopes, dreams and plans.

In my life before I became disabled, I set immediate, short-term and long-term targets and goals. I asked myself where I wanted to be in five years, ten years, twenty years. I listened to my inner self and let it guide me to the people, places and things I was meant to encounter.
I dreamed about my future. I made plans.

On the one hand, among many other things, my inner self lead me to my career in social work, my house and my husband. On the other hand, health problems post cancer treatment, adding up in number and burden as the years have gone by, have dogged me along the way as well. What helped previously was using a combination of flexibility, ingenuity and persistence in the face of health problems to make my plans come to fruition. I achieved most of my targets and goals, not all, but many.

Now with managing multiple chronic illnesses a big part of all my tomorrows
, I wonder if my inner self can still lead me to the people, places and things I am meant to experience. I wonder if the hopes, dreams and plans I abandoned in 2004 can be transformed into fibro-friendly hopes, dreams and plans. It seems ironic that some of those old hopes, dreams and plans have increased in their importance to me just as my rational mind has determined that they might be extremely hard to impossible to attain.

Just as I feel myself slipping down the slope of despair, I remember this quote from Randy Pausch:
"But remember, the brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people."
You'll have to excuse me now. I need to figure out how to climb over, walk around, tunnel under or simply smash through my brick walls.

Yes, perhaps tomorrow is the perfect day to start thinking once again about the long-term.

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Anonymous said...

A great post! I've always thought that dreams don't go away, they just change a bit as do our circumstances. I won't ever realize my dream of competitive dancing. Around 5 years ago I had to give up teaching dance. But even now, I can still choreograph. So the dream has changed, not gone away. And there are new dreams now that have nothing to do with any kind of physical activity. Keeping an open mind and exploring potential interests makes dreams come true :-)

Selena said...

I agree! Thanks for sharing your perspective on this topic ... I've found it very helpful. I also found this quote today that I really like and adds more momentum to my reinitialized pursuit to add long-term goals back into my life:

"Long-range goals keep you from being frustrated by short-term failures."
- James Cash Penney