Earlier this year, as our family sat around the table after dinner, we opened up our box of Table Topics and someone drew out a card. Table Topics is a box of cards each with a question designed to promote conversation. Our version, the family version, asks questions such as, “Who do you sorely miss?” and “What’s one thing you’d like to know about the future?” On this particular night, the card drawn asked, “What one goal do you hope to accomplish this year?” It was January and we’d all been thinking about resolutions, so this was a good question. We went around the table answering the question. I purposefully called on others to answer, leaving myself until last. I’d just started writing my blog, which, in itself, was a huge step out for me, but I had an even bigger goal that I was a little afraid of stating out loud.
I’ve accomplished a lot over the years, but I’ve always been a little afraid of making my goals and dreams known – what if they didn’t happen? I thought I’d feel embarrassed if I tried something and wasn’t successful. So the thought of stating my personal goal to everyone gathered at our dinner table made me a little uncomfortable. However, this is the year of my “big” birthday and I realize that if I’m going to accomplish goals, I have to make the effort to get started on them. So, when it was finally my turn, I took a deep breath and stated, “I want to have something published this year.” There, I’d said it and, a little to my surprise, my family was extremely supportive of my goal. One of the kids pointed out that writing a public blog is, in a way, being published, but I wanted to be published by someone else; by someone else reading what I’d written and finding enough value there to print it.
Last night I came home from dinner out to find my older children waiting to show me something – a page from the April 2nd edition of our local newspaper, The Columbian, delivered while we were in Europe. On this page was a picture of me taken when I was about four-years-old and a story I had submitted for the paper’s Everybody Has a Story feature. I was shocked and thrilled! Of course, I knew about the story – I’d submitted it. And I’d known they’d liked my story because they’d written back and asked for the picture, but I hadn’t known that it had actually been published. I felt like I’d been lifted onto a cloud. Sure, it’s a limited circulation (apparently only one person I know actually saw it and that’s how I finally found out about it) and I didn’t receive payment of any sort (other than the incredible feeling of accomplishment I’m experiencing), but I did achieve my goal. I stated the goal, I took action to accomplish it and the goal was achieved. I’m happy and now I’m excitedly asking myself, “What's next?”