It’s the time of year where we not only have jammed schedules- holiday parties, end of school year tests and activities, family commitments, and the pressure to make this “The BEST holiday ever”- but are compelled to look at our progress, to see how far we’ve come this year. By no means am I anti-goal setting, or the awareness of progress. In a few weeks like most of you I will sit down and think about what I’ve accomplished and what I want to get done next year. Progress will be measured, perhaps tactics reassessed, maybe goals changed. I’m not against this. What I do have a problem with is our (okay, maybe my) tendancey to use the last few weeks to beat ourselves with the measuring stick, to look at what we failed to do instead of our accomplishments, to try to cram someting in just so it can be crossed off a list.
Some goals are hard- they take longer than we thought, meander in a crooked line. Sometimes new goals pop up and we accomplish things we didn’t set out to. Sometimes life gets in the way and getting by is all we can do. I hold myself to a high standard but in the past week I’ve watched friends and loved ones use the winding down of the year to beat themselves up over “yearly goals”. And that’s not a holiday tradition I want a part of. Yes, let’s reach high, but let’s recognize that slow progress is progress. That sometimes enjoying yourself on the journey is just as important as the journey.
This year one of my goals was to paint more,I’ve had this canvas for months, know what I want to do with it- and yet it’s blank. This week while fighting a bad cold, determined to make perfect posts, decorate the house impeccably, and have the “best holiday ever” I felt pressure to get it done- if nothing else just to have it done. I resisted (clearly) but there was some guilt. Then I was forced to do nothing for a day but take cold meds and I was really able to take stock. Yes, I have goals and paintings to do- but if they don’t get done in the next 3 weeks no one will die. It won’t be counted against me.
That maybe the way to make progress is to let go of the measuring stick and live. Enjoy the holiday season, which will in turn make it the best! To do what progress we can, realizing that working toward the goal is part of the goal. And if that means canvases stay blank for a week longer,so be it. In progress is not a bad place to be.
Wishing us all a week of joy and amazing shoes! XO RA