I’ve never had many actual, concrete goals. I’m not a goal setter or a “goal digger” as my friend and See Jane Write founder Javacia would say. I’m more of a drifting drifter — whatever happens happens and whatever doesn’t happen doesn’t happen.
Goals were for people who were “driven” and “Type A” and said things like “pushing the envelope” and talked about “disruptors” and “deep dives.” They all dress alike and eat alike and go to the same gym and drive the same car.
And they are all so generic. I never wanted to be generic.
The goals I did sort of set for my life were lofty … and vague. Basically they were to be famous and be rich and be the boss of everything. I’m currently none of those things. It would have probably served me well to, I don’t know, set some mini-goals for accomplishing the maxi-goals. Oh well … maybe if I had “applied myself,” I could have “moved the needle.”
But my life hasn’t turned out so bad without goal-setting. I’ve made some money. I’m a middle manager. And I’ve done some cool things that I might never have gotten to do if I was on some sort of set “career path.” That’s why I happily drift along like I do.
So I surprised myself when, a few weeks ago, a real, honest-to-God goal popped into my mind. I decided I wanted to get strong enough riding my bike that I could ride to the end of the Black Creek Greenway and back. It’s about an 11 mile round trip.
Since I started biking again back in late summer, most of my rides have been two to eight miles, and twice I’ve ridden ten miles, which is almost eleven. But more than the actual mileage, I got something in my mind about riding to the very end of something — riding to the end of the line, until you couldn’t ride anymore.
I got a better bike so I could ride the rocky trail. Well, not just because of the trail. My other bike didn’t have gears but did have super thin tires. Those two things make it hard to ride on a gravel trail. Or up hills. And Birmingham is all hills.
But my new bike didn’t fit in the back of my truck like my old bike did. So I had to get a hitch-mounted bike rack. And put it together. And figure out how to attach it to the hitch.
Then it rained. And rained. And rained some more. Basically every chance I had to go bike riding Mother Nature said “Not today, missy…”
But today was sunny and beautiful. Cool but not cold. So I loaded my new bike up on my newly-mounted bike rack, and headed off to Black Creek Park.
The path is part of a Rails to Trails system, so it’s reasonably flat with some gradual inclines. It’s nice and wide. And it runs through some really beautiful woodlands along its namesake waterway, Black Creek.
Pretty quickly and fairly easily, I had the first four miles under my belt, and I started getting excited about seeing the end. And before I knew it, there it was! A wall of woods where more trail was supposed to be. The end!
Now riding five and a half miles to the end of a flat trail isn’t the loftiest goal there ever was. I didn’t cure cancer or discover a new planet. It was just a funny little thing that I got in my mind I wanted to do, so I did it. And the whole ride back to my car, I couldn’t help feeling strangely satisfied and happy with myself.
That’s why lesson 14 that I’ve learned is that goals aren’t so bad after all and that it feels pretty good to accomplish one. Even if I never become a “goal digger,” I’m a pretty good “goal drifter.” And I’m just fine with that.
(This year for #BlogLikeCrazy, I’m talking about 30 lessons I’ve learned in 2020. Read the other entries here.)