We are not a soccer family.
We tried soccer for Becky when she was about five; while at first she enjoyed the uniforms and the chance to do something so big kid, by the end of the season the novelty had worn off.
There was too much running back and forth without having a chance to actually kick the ball. There were, however, more than enough opportunities to be kicked in the shins by the other team as well as her own teammates in the rare moments when she did get the ball.
And then there was the special boredom of playing goalie. Trapped in the box, watching everyone else chase the ball, she'd daydream or watch random clouds in the sky to pass the time. Then - ka-POW! - out of nowhere, a flurry of legs would break her peaceful little bubble, all of them trying their five-year-old bestest to aim the soccer ball over her head.
Goal keeping - be it candy league soccer or real grown up life - is never easy. As I struggle to prioritize and give definition to my own goals, my mind keeps wandering back to those few fall moments where I watched my little girl in the goalie box.
Keeping a goal - rather than just setting one - means you're in for long stretches of boredom, times that will trudge along only to be rocked like the proverbial boat when life sends storms both big and small your way.
It's hard work - how much easier it is to just find bunnies in the clouds, no?
Two posts I read this week - both excellent, by the way - have had me noodling over my own goals, ones that I've carried most of my life like pretty pebbles in my pocket and newer ones I'm still coming to understand and put into words.
So while I am at the end of my goal keeping analogy, let me send you to those posts so you can read and noodle and mull for yourselves.
First, this post over at Conversion Diary, which moved me on so many levels. Life here is just a blink; life There is forever. I worry too much about the little stuff; I really do need to let all of it go already.
Then, this post by Rachelle Gardner, a literary agent whose blog I read in that lurker-reader kind of way. She's right; it is a lifestyle and you really do have to have it in you to commit to it at that level if only in the solitudes of your own heart and soul.
Do you find yourself looking at your goals through different eyes as the years go by? Or does the passage of time - and all the events both small and big, tragic and joyful - serve as a crucible, hardening and purifying your commitment to those dreams you dreamt so long ago?