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When You Don’t Meet Goals

Real talk: it is February 16th. We are more than halfway through with the month and I… have not read a single book. I have also not gone to a single new workout class. I have been far more conscious of my spending and been more mindful, but I feel like a big, fat failure. Earlier in the month, I set four monthly goals for myself to achieve by February 28th. I realized today that I will (probably) not be meeting two of them this month. As a certified type A human, this has been making me feel quite bad.

It’s been on my mind all morning, and I think I’ve finally found a way to come to peace with this. Yes – I won’t be meeting my goals this month, but why? Well, we moved, and that took a ton of time and energy out of me. Like a lot of time and energy. I also started a new part time job, which has taken some time to figure out. It’s not like I didn’t meet the goals because I sat around on my bum all month. I was busy – packing, moving, unpacking, organizing – and so on and so forth.

So today, I’m here to tell you that sometimes it’s okay to not achieve what you originally set out to achieve. Sometimes, life gets in the way. Scratch that. Sometimes, life happens. It doesn’t get in the way – there is no way! So today, I’m freeing myself from the guilt of not achieving goals that I set out for myself. At the end of the day, I am doing what I need to do to be the best version of myself I can be.

I thought about it similarly to how I see workouts. Sometimes, you just can’t go all out. Sometimes you don’t have it in you because you’ve spent your energy elsewhere in life. In those instances, yoga or a walk can be more therapeutic for you than anything else.

It’s about balance, but it’s about long term balance. You can’t live a perfectly balanced life daily, where you give a little of yourself to everything that matters. It’s about how balanced your month, or year is.

This weekend is a three day weekend, and I’m going to use my time how I see fit. Sure, I could binge read books to achieve my monthly goal, and go to a new workout class today and tomorrow, but I have other things I want to do (like find where I packed my undies).

Job Snob and Presidency

I think I might be a job snob. I’ve been called a snob before, but never a job snob. I’m not quite sure how to handle this.

For the entirety of my adult life, I’ve held two jobs – both as a special education teacher. The first school I worked at was the epitome of a living hell. I would cry on my way to work, during my lunch, on the ride back and then a little more at home. I dreaded going to work everyday. The second school, where I currently am, causes far less tears. I have a fun group of kids, a great case manager and the autonomy to teach how I see fit.

I also taught in Israel for a few weeks. Definitely not my calling.

“Is this enough? Am I fulfilled?” I still find myself wondering. Yesterday, I had a pseudo midlife crisis meltdown and cried for two hours about how my professional life is in shambles. “My job doesn’t tick all the boxes,” I cried. I had written a list down at the end of the last school year with attributes my dream job would have. It would have flexible hours, great pay, autonomy and an unlimited supply of LaCroix. On top of that, it would also be aiding in the greater good of the world, challenging me daily and thrill me on the regular. Isn’t that what everyone strives to have in their career?

This got me thinking. When did a job stop being “just a job”? When did good pay, and health insurance become not enough? When did it become something that was expected to fulfill you as well? I think it might be a millennial thing. I worked a summer in a bougie office between my first two years of teaching, and everyone who came through the elevator had the same jokes about retirement. “How many more days for you Sally?” one would ask another. “Ah, you know, 452 and 2 hours,” Sally would reply. My stomach would turn, as I vowed to never be like Sally and gang.

I want a job that I am excited to go to every morning. I enjoy what I do now, sometimes, but it gets monotonous and boring to teach single digit addition on the daily. Am I supposed to get thrill from a career? Is that pretentious of me to desire? My husband made a great point – I want everything that would be found in a fulfilling life in my career. Why can’t I get the checkmarks that go unchecked outside of my job? Why am I insistent that my dream job exists?

I’m in the midst of reading the Michelle Obama book (book number 8 of the year for my self imposed challenge). She apparently had similar feelings when she was a lawyer, and segued into working with the government. She took a pay cut and lost some sweet perks of the job in order to follow her heart. Oh, and then she became the First Lady of our country. So if Michelle Obama can figure it all out, maybe I can too. Maybe if I just finish reading the book (I’m about 44% through), my answer will be there, glowing, highlighted and in bold text, on the last page. Maybe I’ll just run for president. I’m sure they have that unlimited supply of LaCroix that I was asking for. Wishful thinking, amirite?