Wednesday, April 19, 2006

someday ...

Zac was in his usual spot this morning, standing in front of the giant mirror in our living room, checking himself before he left for school.

"Mom, you know what I want to do once in my life—before I grow too old and die?"

I looked up from my laptop. "What?"

"I want to get up in the morning and put on my t-shirt, and boxers, and sweatshirt … and walk out the door … and forget my pants."

Obviously, I laughed at that. “You mean … and not realize it until you got to school?”


“But why would you want to do that?”

He grinned. “I just think that would be the funniest thing ever.”

It's good to have life goals.

Hopefully, his will change at some point. I know mine did. When I was little, my one goal in my life was to grow up and have a Volkswagon Bug-shaped car made entirely of purple plastic coils with metallic flecks interspersed throughout the plastic. That happened to be the color of my bike seat at the time, and I happened to really like coils for some reason. In kind of a serendipitous, Reese's peanut butter-smashing-against-chocolate collision, my two favorite things merged together into an image of the most awesome car ever seen. Not only would it be made entirely of purple coils, but the glove compartment would have a steady, never-ending stock of bubble gum.

I never got the car.

But that turned out to be okay. I grew into a woman who would have felt a bit odd driving around in purple coils. By then, I had a new goal--one I nurtured for years. My dream was to raise my own sheep, shear their wool myself, clean it, card it, dye it, spin it, and knit a sweater out of it. I didn't know how to knit back when this goal was birthed, but seeing as how Dave and I lived in an apartment at the time and owned nothing wool-bearing or bleat-enducing, my lack of knitting ability was the least of my obstacles. Eventually, we left the city and bought a farm. A half-dozen sheep joined us swiftly. I couldn't wait for that first spring, when I could come at them with a pair of sheep shearers. I practiced my snipping, and read up on dying techniques. A kindly someone caught wind of my goal and gave me a beautiful spinning wheel. And then ... a prowling cougar put an end to our sheep-raising. We had no hooved animals for several years, until, needing something to tackle the blackberry bushes encroaching our meadow, we switched to goats. Then--finally, when it didn't matter anymore--I learned to knit.

I suppose I could beg Dave to run down to the auction with me and pick up a couple of sheep so I could start my goal again in earnest. But somehow, it’s not as important to me as it once was.

My goals these days are simpler. They're "by the end of today" goals. By the end of today, I hope to have crossed a few tasks off my list. I hope to have made a nice dinner for my family. I hope to have laughed with one or two of my friends. I hope to have included God in all my conversations.

I don't think it's that my dreaming abilities have waned ... I think I'm just more realistic. All I have is today, but it's plenty of time to accomplish what matters.

Which includes making sure my son leaves the house with his pants.

Seventy years are given us! And some may even live to eighty. But even the best of these years are often emptiness and pain; soon they disappear, and we are gone . . . Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should. --Ps 90:10, 12 (TLB)

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13 Comment:

At 4/19/2006 2:49 PM, Blogger Bill and Glory had this to say ...

Gosh, Shannon, you have at least got me blasting giggles at the imagery of your post! From a woman who never did take Hollywood by storm, or resuscitate a handsome construction worker in a hospital emergency room, some goals truly are better left unmet.

I am thankful for simpler goals.


At 4/20/2006 6:04 AM, Blogger Reverberate58 had this to say ...

My goals are always simple and even then not too often met. But I do manage to leave the house with my pants on! I love the picture. They look like great buddies.

At 4/20/2006 10:12 AM, Blogger Priscilla49 had this to say ...

I would be content to simply remember in the evening the goals that I set for myself in the morning! I praise God if I get in bed at night and I'm still breathing and nothing aches! Thanks for the reminders, the memories, and the quiet peace you share....

At 4/20/2006 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...

Dern that cougar. Goats; never thought of getting a goat. It might help the back yard. But then again, the coyotes might visit us more often.

Goals. I need to set a goal to set goals again. But just to know I am fulfilling what God desires would be good.

Nice post, Shannon. Thank you.

At 4/20/2006 4:32 PM, Blogger shannon had this to say ...

You made me laugh, Glory. :)

Glad to hear you've got the pants thing nailed down, Reverberate58.

Thanks for stopping by, Priscilla.

You, too, Tim. And yes! Get goats. You'd love them. We haven't had any trouble with the coyotes getting ours. If the cougar comes back, though, that will be another story.

At 4/22/2006 6:34 PM, Blogger Shelley had this to say ...

I really enjoyed your entry on a number of levels.

I just loved that picture of the sheep! I am a big time knitter, and dare I say 'obssessed'? I still consider myself a beginner knitter, maybe the next level up from that. However, I do enjoy the hobby and find it relaxing.

Thanks for an enjoyable read!

At 4/24/2006 7:46 PM, Blogger Jim Martin had this to say ...

A great story and reminds me of when our children were small. That brought back great memories...

At 4/24/2006 11:28 PM, Blogger Vicki had this to say ...

Oh, Zac's comment about the pants made me chuckle. I miss my kids being that young:-) Hope this week finds you doing well.

Wanted to send a special 'invite' your way to my new writerly place at "Light for the Writer's Soul." Would love to see you there sometime! (trying to drum up some support:-)


At 4/25/2006 8:18 AM, Blogger Gina Burgess had this to say ...

Goals are what help us get places. The thing I like most about goals is that they are milestones along our journey. I had to learn that reaching a goal is not a place to camp, but they do help my sense of satisfaction. Thanks for the reminder about goals, Shannon... I needed it today!

At 4/25/2006 2:27 PM, Blogger Annette Burkett had this to say ...

I can't get past your wanting sheep to even remember what goals I used to have that were...sheep??? LOL...I can't even begin to imagine, but I'm sure my own were just as silly. Life is definitely so much easier with simple goals. It would be nice if my husband would catch on to that!

In His Love,

At 4/25/2006 2:29 PM, Blogger Annette Burkett had this to say ...

I didn't mean that you wanting sheep was silly...please, don't be offended!!! I was saying my goals were silly...oh sigh...I'm handing this one over to God.

Your sister in Christ,
Annette ;)

At 4/25/2006 8:06 PM, Blogger shannon had this to say ...

Hi Shelley! Glad to meet a fellow obsessive knitter. :) I still can't believe how relaxing it is ... and wonder what took me so long.

Glad you thought of good memories, Jim. :)

You're right, Gina. Good thoughts.

Annette! You're going to have to try waaaay harder than that to offend me. :) No need to worry! I was following right along with you. Bless you!

At 5/26/2006 3:18 PM, Anonymous Lori Seaborg had this to say ...

Don't even know if you'll look this far down for new comments, but wanted to tell you that you need to get an Angora goat, that's what I have, and you can spin the mohair (which I don't yet know how to do, but I like to have it!).

Have missed reading your blog. I haven't read many or written as much since Katrina. Life goes on, though, so here I am!

Glad you're still writing!!!


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