Friday, September 12, 2008

Shoulds, Dreams, Goals

I was going to post about relaxation, but Edie, Marcia, and Erica have me thinking about goals and dreams. Edie talks about this stuff a lot: she's really good at all the positive thinking, visualizing, and all that stuff.

She's heard me complain more than once that I don't dream of certain things I feel I should be dreaming of.

I remember, when I first started this blog, I was dying to get my real name in Borders. I did it. Cool. (And then I realized it didn't mean much. I'm glad I did it, but... it's definitely no longer a motivator.)

Things have changed. With DH being gone to work for months at a time, my goals changed. My overwhelming life goal, my overwhelming dream, is for DH and I to be able to live every day together. I don't want to live alone. I don't like it, it's lonely, and what is life without love? Without the person I love most in the world? What kind of life is that?

I love being with DH.

And I have some goals, like make X amount of money so DH doesn't have to go away, put X amount of money in savings so we can live our dream lifestyle, etc.

My family is DH. I want my family together. That's not a lack of independence. It's just... there are things more important than a career. People who say wanting to be with someone is a lack of independence already have love. They have kids, they have sisters, brothers, family, friends.

It is not the human condition to be alone.

So the problem comes when my dream to have my little family together overwhelms everything else. Like, I don't care how I make the money, I just want us to be together. I don't care whether pseudo or real name writes, I just want it to make DH and I be able to be together.

So I'm trying to make a dream board, trying to focus on goals, but they feel so false. I'm not in the slightest bit enthusiastic about them.  I feel like my list is things I should want.

But maybe that's okay. Maybe if I make the board and look at the things I should want, I'll start to get more excited about them and want them more.

I don't know.

Any thoughts? Ever have to train yourself to want something? Did it work? Ever feel like you want one thing so much, that you can't get yourself to care about anything else?

19 bonus scribbles:

Mark Terry 9/12/2008 06:14:00 PM  

I've thought about this a lot recently, because such a big goal for me was to get books published and to make a living writing. And then I got novels published and made a living writing, but the two things were mutually exclusive--the novels didn't allow me to make a living as a writer. And when I start breaking things down and say, "Make a living as a writer or publish novels, choose," the answer is make a living. That doesn't mean I don't want both and ideally even would want to make a good living just writing novels, but...

I don't like to scare off readers, but I was talking to a friend of mine a while back and I commented that after my last publishing debacle I wasn't sure if I was hungry enough anymore to continue with the novels as a high priority. Man, for years that was the thing, and then it happened and it's not quite the motivator it used to be.

And in order to make a living as a novelist, aside from being pretty lucky, you've got to be hungry. There's a TREMENDOUS amount of BS involved even when you don't consider the energy and time blackhole of today's novelist marketing requirements.

So yeah, I think sometimes looking at your priorities makes a lot of sense.

Amy Nathan 9/12/2008 08:47:00 PM  

The key is to never stop dreaming and striving...AND to love the life you have at any given moment.

Instead of wishing away the times that aren't stocked with dreams, I take stock of the blessings in the bullshit. And I do it all. the. time. Frankly, because life has lots of bullshit.

You have someone you love. How wonderful. Many people do not. You're apart and you dream of being together, but don't forget that you are way ahead of many people in that department, simply by the fact that you have a partner.

I have amazing kids - and a comfortable life. I have steadfast friends and a family that rocks. I dream of: making a living writing, finding someone to share my life with, living closer to my parents and family, fitting into my skinny jeans (I know, I dream big). But if I let what I want get in the way of what I have, I lose sight of today.

Don't get caught in that trap. Many people say they live in the moment but few really do.

Heather Harper 9/12/2008 09:15:00 PM  

"And I have some goals, like make X amount of money so DH doesn't have to go away, put X amount of money in savings so we can live our dream lifestyle, etc."

Me, too. And I live the lonely alone everytime my husband leaves town. When the kids are asleep or engaged in play, I feel alone. My DH is my other half. And as much as I love my kids, they can not fill his void.

I'd love to make enough money from writing to keep him near us all the time.

Robin 9/12/2008 11:22:00 PM  

I think it's very reasonable to dream of being with the one you love full time. I'll dream that you hit the lottery, for you.

Then I'll dream that the very annoying one I love, who pissed me off royally tonight, gets terrible indigestion and stays up all night wishing he were less annoying.

Edie 9/12/2008 11:30:00 PM  

I've never had to train myself to want something. I want a lot. I have big dreams. But your dream is to make enough money so your hubby can stay hom, and that's big. Something to get excited about. :)

Vwriter 9/13/2008 12:29:00 AM  

Spy Scribbler, you have the most insightful people following your blog, and its your so personal and genuine postings that bring them together.

I'm finishing the outline for a new novel tonight, and I'm going to use your posting and the comments from your friends here to see me through til the wee hours of the morning.


spyscribbler 9/13/2008 12:54:00 AM  

Mark, the choice, that's the part where I get tripped up. It's like trying to decide whether I should make a living or maybe make a living. If I should make some money writing, or maybe more or no money writing.

How do you decide such things? Is it worth the risk? For me, personally, I can't think of any goal I have worth one single extra day of DH and I living apart.

So... I don't know. I really just don't know.

I think you're right about the hunger, Mark.

spyscribbler 9/13/2008 01:35:00 AM  

Amy, I try. Those are good words. For me, right now, I do count my blessings. I'm grateful for what I have, but without noticing, I found myself with a lot I didn't want. At this moment, I have to make big changes to make sure this present doesn't become anything that's going to stick around long.

spyscribbler 9/13/2008 02:05:00 AM  

Heather, he does? I didn't know that. Wow, you know, just knowing someone else out there struggles with the same thing makes me feel less alone.


Christa M. Miller 9/13/2008 08:34:00 AM  

Spy, we're in similar places. Sort of. :) I have all but lost interest in fiction, but I keep working at it because I feel like I've come too far just to give up.

Still... my husband keeps talking about wanting to quit his job (like this year) and as risky and scary as that would be, part of me would love for him to do that - I have some great prospects but limited time to really "grow" them. I would love to do that - these are people I want to get to know, work I really want to do.

It is starting to sink in, incidentally, that much as I dislike having things up in the air, that is much of life... something just about gets settled when another thing becomes unsettled. Sigh.

Angie 9/13/2008 09:40:00 AM  

I don't know that it's possible to make yourself really want something. :/ All the shoulds and guilt in the world might be able to change your behavior, but they can't change what you really want (or think, or believe). Not really. There'll always be things we should do, should believe, should want, and that pressure tends to come from our need as social animals to fit in and be approved of by someone else, whether an individual we greatly admire or a group or whatever.

I've never heard of anyone ever being able to force themselves, with "should" as a hammer and "guilt" as a crowbar, to really and truly change how they are about something like that. You can change what you do or say, to better fit in with expectations (even if only your own), but I don't think it goes much deeper than that. I think you'd be a lot more likely to be successful if you focused on what you really do want, rather than what you think you should want. {{{}}}


spyscribbler 9/13/2008 11:02:00 AM  

(Hey, sorry guys, I fell asleep while responding to your comments!) My own words bore myself, LOL!

spyscribbler 9/13/2008 11:03:00 AM  

Robin, I forgot to play the lottery! Can I still dream? Awww, about hubby. When DH is so far away, it's easy to forget how annoying men can be, LOL. ;-)

spyscribbler 9/13/2008 11:12:00 AM  

Edie, you're right. When he comes home, I'm hoping I'll be more motivated to worry about other things. I don't know. It's been bothering me for quite awhile.

spyscribbler 9/13/2008 11:13:00 AM  

Vwriter, I hope it went well! A new novel sounds fun. I love the beginning of a new novel. I'm mired in endings at the moment. Blah!

spyscribbler 9/13/2008 11:15:00 AM  

Christa, I agree. DH always wants to wait until "all our ducks are in a row" for whatever. I'm always telling him, I've never had all the ducks in a row in my life! If we wait for that, then...

I love writing fiction, and I do wish I could write non-fiction better! More money!

I hope you and your husband can work things out so that you can live the way you want!

spyscribbler 9/13/2008 11:18:00 AM  

Angie, yes, I believe that, too. It's just, all I want write now is to be with DH. I used to want other things, but even when good things happen, I'm completely ambivalent about them. (Ambivalent using the common definition and not the true definition.)

I don't know whether it's that I'm so focused on that, that the other wants don't register, or if I don't want the other wants.

So I guess I wonder if I make a dream board, if it will make those wants stronger again. I don't know.

Zoe Winters 9/18/2008 09:34:00 AM  

I think there is a lot of pressure for women to be "independent" and "not need a man" Cause if you "need a man" it's "pathetic" and "non-feminist."

Well screw feminist. I'm an individual human beings with my own individual wants and needs, I'm not sacrificing that for the group cause of feminism.

Like it or not, MOST women are biologically hardwired to NEED a man. It's how our species survived through all that evolution. Women being the physically weaker side, NEEDED a man to protect them and take care of them.

Now a biological drive is seen as "weak" because we don't have the same needs from an external focus. But internally our wiring is still very much the same.

Most of us, like most female mammals will NOT mate with a weak male, period. And those of us who do become miserably unhappy. We seek a strong alpha male protector type. And we seek to make him happy. In return we get those warm glowy happy feelings and that sense of safety, love, and security.

This isn't "weak." What is "weak" is thinking females are "inferior" if they aren't carbon copies of males. The sexes are different, and while we should never shoe horn individuals into proscribed roles that may or may not fit them as individual human beings, basic tendencies are basic tendencies.

Some of the leading ball busting feminists who are now in their 40's and 50's are desperately unhappy, wishing they had a man. Sara Gottlieb, is/was one of them.

As for myself, I know what I want and what I need in my relationship. I refuse to fight my biology, because my biology IS the standard evolutionary biology. Dominant male, submissive female. Anyone who doesn't like it or doesn't think it's "feminist" enough can bite me.

spyscribbler 9/18/2008 04:44:00 PM  

As you say, it's all about freedom of choice. And respect for anyone who goes and chooses their path.

I remember, last summer, one friend asked me if I was "proud" of having made it for three months without DH.

I was stunned. Why would I be proud of that? Was she proud when her dog died? When her mother was sick?

I hate the bias that you're a better, stronger person if you're alone.