Goals vs Dreams

"Is the choice you just made going to get you closer to your goal?"  

That was the question Grant Kollet, Director at University of Washington asked us yesterday, at my youngest daughter's college freshman orientation.  Its wonderfully ironic when being a parent teaches me.

Kate starts college at the 'U' next month.  She is my third kid.  So I got this, right?  Yet, that sentence hit me like a ton of bricks. So simple, so logical, so easily applied to all of us at any stage of our lives and so easy to screw up!  I admit, I've learned the hard way, although sometimes life happens and we have to adapt.  But if we ever want to achieve our goals we can't forget them. What's more, we actually have to have them in the first place.  I grew up in a reactionary household so goals were not in my vocabulary.  I didn't understand how to follow through even with all the creative passion I had for everything around me.  It took years and many lost opportunities to understand.  However, hearing Mr. Kollet's words made me realize how far I've come.  I have goals!  I have dreams! And, I am moving forward in achieving them!  The simplicity of the sentence helped put all these things into perspective. The tricky part is in letting things go if they aren't keeping us on track while constantly re-evaluating our said goals and modify when necessary.

I define myself as an illustrator, a children's book illustrator to be exact.  And yet, it's only one component of who I am.  I have to balance between my role as a parent, partner, sibling, and community member, not to mention hold down a real job because book illustration is not exactly the mecca for income.  So, it was good for me to hear that sentence and bring back my focus.  I have had to make some tough career decisions recently.  But with that, I have had new doors open that I might have missed.

Back to the parenting component, it's pretty universal.  We want more for our children than we had. But it's a fine line;  if you give them too much they won't appreciate it,  if you provide too little to avoid 'privilege' you have a child who may not think they deserve what they have or want.  Entitlement versus low self-esteem, a parent's balancing act.  I am excited for my daughter to be in an environment at this point in her life that will challenge her to think, to take risks, and to live outside of her comfort zone.  All three of my children are light-years ahead of where I was at their age.  So, I guess I'm doing something right.  The next chapter in our lives is here and I am so excited!  Mr. Kollet's words will help me in all of my roles to do better and stay on track.

Good Luck Katy Bug....  I can't wait to see what you do with this new adventure! -Momma


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