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Consider This - April

By LC Van Savage

Give Us This Day Our Daily Goals

Do you bound out of bed every ayem with thoughts of a brand new goal-of-the-day churning in your head? Or, saying it another way, do you actually have a new or used goal to meet or find or achieve every day? Youíre expecting me to say "me too!" just about here, right? Well, I donít. I hate goals. To me they seem like bright and very pretty balls, always rolling quickly away from me, round and fast and so impossible for me to catch I donít even start running toward them.

Now donít get me wrong; I think people with daily goals are to be lauded. But what are they? The goals I mean, not the people. Were I to have daily goals myself (and I find even vaguely thinking about having them gives me the adjada) I can assure you they would be so far from lofty, that lofty would be but a partial, rapidly dissolving atom floating about on a distant horizon. No, theyíd be mundane goals, normal ones, you know---your every day kinds. Boring.

For example, one of them might be the decision of what to wear that day and that should of course include earring selection. Another goal might be getting this column written during daylight hours as opposed to 2 AM as I usually do and am doing now. And another goal; stockpiling these columns so I can safely take that month-long trip to Paris. Paris awaits.

Now Iím really starting to think about this. For example, what goals do or did the great brains of our world think about as they rolled out of their beds? Was Aldous Huxleyís first ayem goal to knock out a few more pages of "Brave New World" before lunch, and then did he go and do them? As Albert Einstein strolled to the loo in the ayem, was his planned goal that day to conjure a brand new theory of something else? As George Plimpton chowed on his Eggos, was his goal that very day to do just one more oddball thing before the sun set to add to his repertoire of all those out-of-character and often difficult Paper Lion-ish things he joyfully tried (and succeeded at) in his lifetime? Wonder what they were.

Do mathematicians have number question goals they must have solved by dinner? Do birders awaken and have a goal of finding the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker that day? Does some aging FBI agent somewhere start his morning ablutions staring at his reflection while chanting, "Today I shall find Jimmy Hoffa!"?

Did Ernest Hemingway and Teddy Roosevelt squint out at the new day and decide to go out and slaughter as many large American or African animals as possible before their bullets ran out? The historical records will show this is pretty much exactly what they did.

And did Bambi leave the side of his warm, loving mother with the goal that day that heíd finally stop falling on that icy lake? And could it be that that splendid gentleman, Dr. Hannibal Lechter would rise from his bed, carefully planning a lovely dinnertime disemboweling as his goal that day? Maybe.

I dunno. I think this whole goal thing is way overrated. Iím discovering that as I schlep through my day itís the schlepping I find to be the most fun, and the goal I never achieve eventually seems to be a great bore anyway.

A wise man once told me that the goal of getting to the very top of a mountain is a good one and that if itís what we must do, then do it. But the paths getting up there, he said, are the most fun and important; full of beauty, scenery, flowers, clear air, wildlife and trees. Once up there, the mountainís summit he said, is bare, bleak and boring.

Guess Iíll just hang around those paths. Seems sensible. Seems easiest. Seems doable.  

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