I’ve never made a new year’s resolution.  I’ve had a lot of goals.  Some I’ve achieved, some not.  Every time I see a new Pixar movie I get a huge desire to work for them.  I so admire what they accomplish.  They never grow tired of pushing the technology.  I long for creative inspiration.  Somehow, I doubt Pixar will ever happen for me, since  I’m not a graphics coder.  All my experience is with utilities.  Truth be told, I have limited math skills.  Still, it makes a fun fantasy.  I’ve learned to separate my fantasies from my realities.

In my cube at work, I have a very nice ornamental box that someone once gave to me.  I put things in it that have strong symbolic meaning to me.  The meaning of some of those items is obvious.  For example, I have the tags from a dog I had for 18 years.  Other things are not so obvious, like a dead watch.  You might infer that it has sentimental value, but in reality I keep it as a reminder.  That watch stopped the day of a huge layoff at my company many years ago.  Up until that point, the company seemed like a family to me.  It taught me something about business.  The strangest item in the box is a small metal strip of pipe.  It was also the first item I put in the box.  I keep it to remind me that it isn’t enough to dream pipe dreams.  You have to work for the things you really want to accomplish.

“Cast your bread upon the waters,
for after many days you will find it again.
Give portions to seven, yes to eight,
for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.
If clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth.

Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
in the place where it falls, there will it lie.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know the path of the wind,
or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.

Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let not your hands be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that,
or whether both will do equally well.”

Ecclesiastes 11:1-6

I’m not sure at what age they start referring to your heart’s desires as a bucket list.  I don’t particularly care for the term.  I can appreciate that life is finite, but my Dad always told me, “Swing through the ball.”  If you pull up short with the bat, you won’t drive the ball as far.  That’s one thing the young grasp naturally.  Their dreams are all fresh and they have hope in accomplishing them.  They are driven to swing through the ball.  As we age it is tempting to rest on things we’ve already realized or give up having any dreams because of the trials of life.

My goals today are certainly different from my goals 20 years ago.  They are more realistic.  That’s a good thing.  I have better judgment for measuring them and a much better shot at realizing them.  Dreams are only pipe dreams if you fail to include the stops between where you are and where you’d like to go.  Dreamers imagine accomplishing goals.  Visionaries work towards their dreams.  I may not realize every dream I have.  That’s OK.   But I certainly don’t plan to realize none.

Here are some of my goals that I fully intend to realize, Lord willing.  It’s not a bucket list.  It’s a list of current goals, in no particular order:

1 – See the northern lights.  Alaska or Norway will do.

2 – Live in another country for a year and be immersed in its culture (not likely to happen for 16 years or so).

3 -Take my kids to Disney World.

4 – Create an interesting iPhone game.

5 – Get my younger two into Christian schools.

6 – See my oldest through college.

7 – Visit Second City Mainstage in Chicago again.

8 – See the White Sox play in Chicago.

9 – Read an in-depth book on some subject I’m never delved into before.

10 – Take my kids to see NYC.


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