Summer is all about goals. Not the ones that make us feel anxious because we know they’re unattainable (New Year’s, I’m talking to you!) but the revised kind, the kind that bring joy, which happens to be the kind we don’t usually advertise or say much about. Last night I realized I had totally hit one of my three summer goals, when while washing dishes my husband actually gasped when he saw the backs of my legs. I am shockingly tan right now, so much so that he said he’s never seen me this tan, at which I fist pumped punctuating the achievement of goal #1, which was going to the beach as much as humanly possible. And if you’re worried about skin cancer and wrinkles, well, I’ve decided that since 100% of us die and none of us make it out of here alive, I’m going down with a tan.
My summer goals are good, y’all, and I’m not ashamed of it.
Listen, in order to survive this crazy world, we positively must schedule in the good stuff. Even loosey-goosey, blasé, laid-back, hippie types like me can join in the goal game! This past year was crammed full of traveling and speaking, writing, promoting, mothering, wifing, and everything in between. Sometimes I felt like I was on the hamster wheel I’m always preaching against. So when my summer schedule died down significantly, I realized I was in danger of wasting these delicious months and finding myself at the end of it wondering where the time went and why I’m so cranky.
So I spoke some goals. Out loud, to no one in particular but I heard them. Good goals that would bring peace, fun, rest and rejuvenation, a chance to expand my brain and take a break from teaching and writing. (The others are to read as many books as possible and purge and organize my house). We have to catch the wind of whatever ocean we are sailing, and go where it takes us, the good and beautiful and wild places we find when we embrace the present. Whether we are in summer school, sweating out our last month of pregnancy, working hard or hardly working, there is a time for everything and I believe that God makes everything beautiful for its time.
But before we run like mad after our goals, we would do well to revisit what we really want out of life, not what we think we want. Maybe some of us want success, a certain number on the scale, or 2.5 kids. Maybe some of us are running after more—more money, more status, more influence. Maybe others of us are running after achievement, recognition, and the affirmation that comes with it. None of these things are bad in and of themselves, and nearly all are things I have run after at some point in my life. And yet. What’s behind it all? What really matters? Break it down and it might look a little different. And after a bit of thinking and a bit of praying, call me crazy, but this is what I want: Love. Peace. Presence. Wisdom. Vibrancy. Depth. Beauty. Fun. Fun. Fun. Wellness. Purpose. Vision.
Sometimes I think the goals we are running after can misalign with the ones we actually want deep down. So I’m asking you, as a friend, sister, one who is created in the image of God, what are your goals in this season? The one today, right now, whether boring or messy or beautiful or tedious? Are your goals on hold for when you finally get that promotion or boyfriend or baby or house? What is holding you back from experiencing peace and loving your people, right now? What is keeping you from diving into the growing pains of today?
Don’t wait until tomorrow for when things finally get good.
As we stare down the last month of summer, think about what brings you life. Because tomorrow will come, then autumn, winter, spring, and so on. Our careers will fluctuate, friendships will ebb and flow, our babies will grow and addresses change. Speak good goals into today, my friend. Schedule in the good stuff so you can be strong in whatever life brings your way.