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Different Goals at Different Times

Sometimes I feel that as I get closer to retirement the things I want to do or where I want to be in my life doesn’t happen quickly enough for me. The thoughts usually start with why didn’t I do this 30 or even 20 years ago. Specifically, why didn’t I continue with my photography, that I began in high school. Because now, everything seems like it takes longer to do or it seems I take one step forward, two steps back. Even so each day I get up determined to keep moving forward and doing at least one thing that pushes me closer to my goal. For example in the morning before work I watch Photoshop videos and practice my editing skills; on the way to work I listen to sales podcasts; at lunch I read business books; and in the evening I edit photos. And I love every bit of it, but the negative thoughts of having goals at this age persist.

First goals. It finally dawned on me, when I was younger, I had other goals centered around having kids and getting a bachelor’s degree to work in the corporate world. I planned and worked toward these goals and I have three beautiful children that make me proud every day as I witness their own accomplishments. It took nine years to get the degree, but I remember going to work my first day and walking toward the impressive EDS building wearing the official navy-blue suit, long black wool coat and carrying a new burgundy briefcase. I recall the sense of accomplishment of reaching my goal after so many years. I was blessed to have 25 years at a corporate career that let me try new things, travel, meet others from around the world and make money while doing it.

Unexpected goals. There are planned goals like getting a degree and then there are the ones that happen when you least expect it. One day sitting at the orthodontist, waiting for one of my children, I saw an ad to send a writing sample to the Institute of Children’s Literature. This intrigued me so I sent in a sample to see what would happen and to my surprise I was accepted to the school. I now wanted to get my writing certificate and get a story published. The next 2 years working with an instructor through email, I studied, wrote, and received my certificate. It wasn’t easy but I found I liked writing children’s stories. Now getting published is a whole other story, pardon the pun. After submitting to multiple publishers, I did get content from one of my stories into a children’s magazine. It was a thrill earning my first dollar from writing, but it would have been even better to see the entire story published. Even though my goal wasn’t fully realized, I’m proud of my accomplishment. While writing was a dream, more glamorous in mind than reality, it was tough to work on a computer all day at my job and then come home and spend hours writing stories on my laptop. So, I stopped writing. The urge never left but a few years later I found another outlet in writing a blog for my website. It’s been stop and go but now I try to blog two times a month and I’ve found this satisfies my need/goal/dream of writing.

Life changes, goals change too. In 2011, I became disgruntled with the corporate world, but with too many years to leave or look for a new job, I needed something to excite me again, possibly a new hobby. That’s when my thoughts turned to photography and the idea to purchase my first digital camera. The last time I shot with a camera, it had film, which is quite different from the digital version. I now had a new goal to learn everything I could about using a digital camera, but I never dreamed it would turn into an all-encompassing passion. I jumped right in going to workshops learning all I could about my camera, composition, posing, lighting, editing, and everything else that goes along with it.

Your goals grow with you. Fast forward a couple more years when I joined Sue Bryce Education and my training really took off. I even flew to Palm Springs to attend a 3-day conference in 2017 and it turned out to be one of the best experiences for my photography. It was the climax to a year of virtual training via live webinars and videos. It included everything I needed to know about photography and the business of photography, which launched my latest goal – to be a successful photographer and an entrepreneur.

What I realized is that as I got older, I changed, and my goals changed along with me. I no longer kick myself for not picking my camera up earlier because I was living my dreams and pursuing other goals. There are facets to my life as I am sure there are in yours. Embrace them and keep moving toward your goals of today, the ones that satisfy you at this time in your life. The photo included is of my mother, who at the young age of 86 doesn’t stop. Early on she had a bank career, had a family, owned a business, played sports, and traveled the world with my father. Today, she keeps active with her friends playing cards, seeing shows, taking trips and seeks out new adventures whenever the opportunity presents itself. She has many facets in her life, which she embraced as she’s lived her life and continues to live it every day.

Don’t beat yourself up if your latest goal hasn’t been achieved, but rather enjoy the journey of this time in your life and come to believe what CS Lewis said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” #goals #timesofyourlife #photography

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