Reunions and Goals

It’s always fun to have a little time to reset. I’ve spent the past week at Squam Lake, enjoying the swimming, the people, and the house. It’s been a family reunion of families directly related to the property, and so it’s been wonderful to see all of my cousins, many of whom I haven’t seen in years. It did mean I missed Hack Week back at work, but sometimes that’s just the way things happen. It sounds like they’ve been having an awesome time as well.

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what’s important to me, and what sort of environment I tend to thrive in. I’ve got a pretty good handle on it overall, but it’s still nice to pause and reflect every so often to see if things have shifted. When I turned 30, I took some time to figure out a two year, five year, and ten year plan. I managed to hit my two year goal largely on time, and I’m feeling pretty good about hitting my five year goal as well. The ten year is still too far out to tell, but I do feel like it’s still obtainable, so that’s good.

My ten year goal is a hammock. More specifically, sipping iced tea or lemonade in a hammock, while reading a book, nestled in a rambling garden outside a house. A significant other is doing what they want to be doing (maybe reading, or playing a game, or gardening, or painting, or whatever they enjoy doing), while the children play.

It may seem weird to think of a specific vision as a goal, but consider it for a moment: to achieve that, I need to be financially stable enough to afford a house and have the time to enjoy it. I need to be in a romantically stable relationship with someone who is interested in similar goals and lifestyle. I need to be emotionally stable enough to enjoy all of these things.

So if that’s where I want to be when I’m 40, how do I get there? Well, my five year goal is my litmus: if I’m starting to have a good handle on the financial, emotional, and romantic areas at the halfway point, I’m likely in good shape to achieve what I’m hoping for (and if not, it’s also a good point to do any course corrections). So, the five year goal is to have had solid progression in my career (in responsibility, pay, and flexibility), to have my personal life together, and to be in a solid relationship that, if not married and having kids, is at least on that path.

My two year goal was to have progressed in my career, where I’d be working for a company I respect and value, with a steady improvement of pay and advancement, and where I could see myself working for another several years. I managed to hit that right around on target (give or take ~6 months).

So… yeah, goals. It’s weird. When I was younger, my goals were things like “become a published author”, “have a gallery show”, “write a graphic novel”, or “design and produce a game.” Those are all still things I want to accomplish, but they didn’t really click as a goal, because while the goals were concrete, the paths were tenuous. My goal now is just an idea, a vision, but the path is clear, and I may end up achieving some of my other aspirations along the way.