Posts Tagged ‘life’

Long-term Goals

The question came up in a 1:1 meeting with my manager today: What are your long-term goals? Where do you see yourself in three or five years?

I’ve been at this job for just over three years. I was hired shortly before my one-year anniversary as a widow. Taking the job was a big deal for me. It was an acknowledgement that I couldn’t linger on the island of grief forever, that it was time to get back to real life and try to be a responsible adult again. It was hard. Just making myself get out of bed every morning when the alarm rang took a Herculean effort for a while.

I took this job because I had decided I wasn’t ready to give up and die, and I needed money to live on. There really was no plan beyond that. Long-term goals? Are you kidding me? Every plan I had for my life died with my husband. Every dream was gone beyond recalling. My goals were things like getting through the day without crying at my desk and sleeping through the night without doping myself into oblivion. The furthest I would allow myself to look into the future was a few months. I could look forward to specific plans I’d made with friends, to taking some vacation days to visit my mom for the holidays, things like that. I couldn’t bear to contemplate a long-term future that didn’t include the only man I had ever loved.

If someone had asked me that question — where did I see myself in three or five years? — back then, I would have laughed. Or cried.

When my manager asked me today, I still didn’t know how to answer her. (I don’t think “I see myself winning the lottery and never having to work again” would have gone over very well.) I’ve drifted through these last three years, taking it pretty much one day at a time, with no particular direction — just letting the current carry me where it would. But in the last year I’ve started taking steps to pay down some of the debt that my dear departed husband left me with (and, by the way, if it turns out there is an afterlife, we’re going to have a chat about that someday), which is sort-of a plan, right? And I’ve realized that I do want to stay with this company and maybe, just maybe, I don’t want to be an admin assistant for the rest of my working life.  So perhaps it IS time to start thinking about long-term goals again.

And as I mull this over, I find that contemplating a long-term future on my own is not the problematic part anymore. The thing is, I have changed SO much in the four years since I lost my husband, I’m no longer the same person I was before he died. And I know I’m not done healing and growing and changing. So who the hell knows who I’m going to be five years from now or what that person will want to do for her career? Ah, if only I had a working crystal ball.





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We just met yesterday and he’s already moved in with me. And no, I don’t think I’m rushing things. The minute I saw him, it was love at first sight. Sometimes you just know… y’know?

Isn’t he handsome? 😀

He was a stray, rescued by a friend of a friend who couldn’t keep him because she already has too many cats. I saw his pictures on Facebook and, I don’t know how to explain it, but I just *knew* he was my cat. It was almost as though I recognized him. When I went to meet him in person, there were five of us sitting on the floor playing with him, and he flopped down next to me and leaned against my knee to be petted… just as though he knew, too, which of these five people he belonged with.

We think he’s between 3-5 months old. Hopefully the vet will be able to give me a more accurate determination when I take him in for his shots. He’s very affectionate and super calm, one of the most gentle and serene kittens I’ve ever met. He seems happiest when we’re snuggled up on the couch together.

I’ve always wanted a cat, but hubbby was allergic. I’ve been toying with the idea of adopting a cat for the past year, ever since my brother brought his adorable kitten (also a gray tabbby) to visit me… but the time wasn’t right, until now.

I’m so happy this little guy found me. And even though I wasn’t prepared to adopt a pet right now, everything is just falling into place. I’m going out of town the next two weekends, but I have friends who are willing to stay at my place and “babysit” while I’m away. I have to pay a $250 pet deposit to my landlord, and it just so happens I’m getting a small bonus with my next paycheck that will cover it. Everything I thought would be an obstacle has been easily, smoothly overcome. It was just meant to be.

It was like that when I met my love. I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but the very first time we met, it was magic. My new little guy is reminding me to trust in those moments of synchronicity, of connection… reminding me that the right one will find you when you’re not looking.

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I’m reading a book I checked out from the library, a short story collection by one of my favorite fantasy authors, Charles de Lint. One of the last stories I read was about second chances, about actually being given the opportunity to go back in time to the place where you made the wrong choice and live your life over.

If someone had been able to give my husband the gift of a second chance, I know exactly which moment he’d have picked to go back — a moment during his college years where he gave up on his dreams and settled for a relationship that never was good for him. He used to talk about how strange it was to be able to look back and identify the precise moment where his life had taken the wrong turn. If I’d had the power to send him back in time, to give him a “do over,” I would have done it in a heartbeat… even if it meant that we would never meet in this lifetime. I can live with the bad choices I made, the years I lost. He couldn’t. And I would give up ever having known him just to know that he was walking around on this planet somewhere, happy and whole and free.

But that line of thought gets me nowhere. It just opens up a big gaping hole inside me and makes me miss him so very much.

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