One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
‘Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox, from Tis’ the Set of the Sail, poem, 1916
Tis’ the Set of the Sail
In the summer of 2011, I stood at the edge of the Baltic Sea and watched sailboats tap into the violent wind and virtually fly across the water. The Swedish blue of the sea, the unfiltered colors of the land, the richness of the contours as they rushed out to the water still linger in my mind. The sailboats, though, had their own kind of beauty. They flew flags from most of the surrounding nations: Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Poland. When the boats crossed paths, they looked as if they would strike each other, from my perspective at Sandhammeren. Their sails billowed and flapped furiously in the wind as they changed tacks. The sea seemed wild, choppy, uncharted, until the sailors adjusted their sails, tapped into the wind, and once again raced across the water.
As I reflect back on this year, I realize I’ve been sailing that wild, uncharted sea. The wind has blown with gale force and made 2013 a wild ride.
My family and I moved back to our native US after almost 4 years in Prague, which, of course, has been huge in every way. But now, after much work, we’re feeling settled into our new home. My sons are ready for a new school year.
I feel as if I’m standing at a new threshold. My goals for 2013 again seem possible and within reach.
It is a delightful feeling.
No matter how achievable our goals may seem, the reality is that life is busy. The claws of activity, worthwhile or not, sink into our skin and pull us, quickly, from our goals …
… unless we stick to them, like anchors in the midst of the wild sea.
I’m sticking to my goals …
The Importance of Goals
There is still time to reach our destinations this year, and reach the markers we’d hoped to reach in 2013. Without realistic goals, it’s easy to get pushed off course and become overwhelmed with busyness and distractions. It’s impossible to reach a goal unless we’ve set one, right?
My 3 Big Goals:
- My novel. This novel I’ve been working on for 1+ years is so important to me. I love the story. I love it so much, and hold the goal of getting it out into the world so dear, I’ve been getting up since May at 5 am every morning to write for several solid hours before my house turns to chaos. It’s getting close. The title: The Golden Willow. My goal: to get it out into the world, to esteemed literary agents, before the end of the year.
- Physical. Movement is important to me. For many years, I’ve set a mileage goal and achieve it, step-by-step, day-by-day. This year is much of the same. 800 miles. A few thousand pushups. Several thousand situps. Some swimming time and some group fitness classes. Fitness is bliss now back in the US. One day at a time, I’ll get there again, and will feel energized each day. The benefits are endless.
- Mental. Reading. 50+ books in 2013. I’m on my way … here is my reading list. Also, GreatNewBooks.org is going strong and growing. That was a huge goal for 2013, and thanks to Nina, Jess, Lindsey, and Hallie, we’re on our way! Have you seen our list of guest authors for the coming months?
- +1: my manifesto
I’d love to hear about your goals, and how you plan to reach them … What are your goals for the remainder of 2013?