Saturday, January 2, 2016

Goals from the Heart

We were there,
the top of the Empire State Bldg.
Sometimes I have to look back to see where I want to go or what I want to do.  Setting a goal for the New Year involves the same steps.  Looking back at 2015 and the decades before, I find my need for friendship and relationships with others tops my lists. For the last week in December the morning shows share ideas on how to set goals and keep them.  The lists often seem the same--lose 10 pounds; travel; exercise; eat healthy; give up sugar; organize the closets, and more.  These I label as paper goals, certainly achievable with willpower and a plan. When I'm faced with these issues, I find books like Willpower  by John Tiernay very helpful. 

These days I'm looking inward, searching  for a goal that resides in my heart, and resonates in my core.  Last year I wrote a simple mantra, as a goal, and posted it to my calendar. Every two weeks these words pop up:  See the Beauty and Grace in Everyone, rather than being judgmental. Believe it or not this simple mantra lifted my heart and brought a smile to my face each time I read it.  It also achieved the goal of tempering my words.  I'm still harsh, and blunt from time to time, but I hope that every year I'm less harsh and show more grace. So I thought, if something that simple lifts my spirits why not dig deeper and discover other beauties of the heart. 

After many hours of reading and reflecting I recalled a phone conversation several years ago from my friend
Manon Bradbury and Letty in the desert.
Manon.  Lamenting that her girls were constantly texting and chatting without ever listening or hearing the voice of their friends, she said, "I much prefer to hear from my friends by phone!"  She's right.  I thoroughly enjoy our few conversations during the year because I get to hear her French Canadian accent and the zeal with which she lives and breathes.  I can't hear that in a text. 

With a zig and a zag, my mind flashed back to that November three years ago when I began calling classmates I had not seen in nearly 50 years.  What joy to hear
Lynn Farrier, Letty  MHS Class of 65
their voices and stories.  Thanks to those phone calls I've personally reconnected with my childhood friends. Now I know their spouses and a few glimpses at how they've lived over these decades. 

This year my goal is simple but sincere.  Pick up the phone and call a friend once a week. A phone call connects us to the heart of the person, much like using a puppet to communicate. My joy of being a puppeteer came
from observing the eyes and hearts of the children as they gazed in wonder and belief at "Book Dog", "Squirty", or
Book Dog
"Frisky".  Every now and then a child would say, "That puppet's not real.  You have your hand inside of it!"  I smiled and responded gently,  "Sometimes we all need a little help. This puppet is no different than I am because it speaks and listens with its heart."

So this year, I will use the arm of a puppeteer and call someone weekly. Yes, I will continue to text and email, and oh, how thankful I am that we can use technology for staying connected. My Facebook friends know I love to chat online, and my Instagram followers see that I like photographs that offer a moment to ponder.  I will continue to send postcards from afar, because I know from experience that they remind us that someone is thinking about us.  

What will you do?

What goal from your heart could make a difference in your life or someone around you?

How will you act on this goal?


  1. Just read your post. It was great! You are soooo talented. Would love to see you again soon. drn

  2. Love the picture of you and Manon. nv

  3. You've given me a lot to think about--thanks. Hugs, ss

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  5. Thank you, for your continued positive energy and investment in promoting a sense of community. Community and its importance was one of my areas of concentration in my graduate work. cc