I feel as if I should be in the market for new goals.

I’ve always been a goal-oriented sort, the girl who was thinking of high school in sixth grade, college in high school, my career as an undergraduate. And along the way, an informal but important list of To Dos emerged. Places I needed to see, things I simply had to do. I think what set some apart from others was the parenthetical phrase I’d attach to them. “If I do _____, I will be happy.”

I say that the list was informal because some of the goals needed to be modified over time. Going from my tiny high school to soccer and academic success at UCLA seemed like a great idea when I was a high school freshman, but utterly ridiculous by the time I was actually visiting colleges and considering my options. A ridiculously high-paying, glamorous job in the magazine industry fell by the wayside when I realized that the two places I needed to live (and became additions to the list) were Boston and Washington, D.C. The fact that I came to realize the fiscal realities of a journalism career and my aversion to wearing heels every day also played a factor in the resulting revision.

So the list, more or less, consisted of the following:

– Get myself to Los Angeles. (Accomplished: January 2007)
– Play college athletics. (Accomplished: Fall 1998-Spring 1999)
– Live in Boston. (Accomplished: September 2007)
– Live in Washington, D.C. (Accomplished: August 2002)
– Write for a living. (Accomplished: 2003)
– Attend the O’Neill. (Accomplished: 2002)
– See the Red Sox win a World Series. (Accomplished: 2004 and 2007)
– Be a good person, family member, friend. (Ongoing, but try to accomplish each day)
– Perform in a theatrical production. (Accomplished: Fall 2001)
– Appear as an extra on The West Wing. (Failed, due to cancellation of series)
– Be happy. (Ongoing)

I occasionally lost track of the list. Perhaps I was busy chasing down one goal and ignored the rest for a time. Maybe something sprang up along the way and I’d never even anticipated that I’d want it to be on a list (Penguin Plunge – 2006; Press Pass, ACL Festival – 2006; Press Pass, Fenway Park – 2006; Stevie Wonder live – 2007).

But 2007, with its twists and turns, proved to be an awfully significant year: minus the fact that I had to accept some time ago that the signs President Bartlett threw my way were in vain (I saw film trailers in 2003 and that’s as close as I got), I’ve accomplished most of the things I’ve long said I wanted to do.

Don’t get me wrong: I still have a wishlist. I still have little things I want to do. I want to catch games at Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium. I want to visit what was Ebbet Field, then travel to the site of the first Sin-e. To see a staged reading of “Love Letters.” Dinner and drinks at the Rainbow Room and maybe a night at the Iroquois Hotel. Wander the streets of Memphis and visit that city’s zoo. I want to ride the Cyclone as much as I want to take in the sights of the Santa Monica Pier. Europe. Australia. New Zealand.

I even have goofy little fanciful wishes. I mean, come on – throwing out a first pitch at Fenway or enjoying coffee with John Krasinski might be nice, right?

(I couldn’t resist.)

And there are the larger goals. A book. A love. A family. A legacy.

But it’s nice to have those less concrete in my mind than those that I established in my younger days, the ones that would have, had I not accomplished them, would have been felt to be a bit of a disappointment, silly as it might sound. My biggest goals now are to continue to endeavor at being happy, satisfied, and okay with being me. To keep working hard and continue to push myself.

And to make myself focus on the happiness that is being in the now.

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