Tuesday, July 18, 2006

When Accomplishments Rule Your Life

I'm a "check-list" fanatic... a freak really. Once I set a goal for myself, I either go all out to accomplish it, or I don't even bother trying if I know I can't achieve the goal. Maybe it's perfectionistic, or maybe it's just ridiculous.

Case in point: I'm supposed to leave on August 8th for a 105 mile hike with my father-in-law through Shenandoah National Park. There is a section of the AT that runs through the park and it's supposedly beautiful. It'll take 5 hours to get there and probably 4 to get home, which is worth the trip to me as long as we can accomplish the goal of 105 miles. After talking to some people much more experienced that I am about how many miles are appropriate per day carrying a 45-50 lb pack (we thought 14-16, "experts" say 6-8), I am all of a sudden reconsidering the validity of the hike altogether. Doubts spring to life in my head: "what's the point in driving so far if we can't even finish the hike?" "6-8 miles?! That's hardly even worth it!" "Why don't we just pick a hike that we're actually able to accomplish?"

At some point in my life I traded the "fun of doing" for the "fun of accomplishing." All of a sudden, because of my own reservations, I've almost talked myself out of the hike altogether. Rather than enjoying the number of miles we are able to hike, I'm more focused on the number of miles we won't be able to get in during our time in Shenandoah. I'm looking for advice on how to overcome the burden of accomplishments, while still being driven to succeed in life. Is there a fine line to balancing the two? How can you consider yourself successful in life if you're always ok with not achieving the goals you set for yourself? Am I alone in this self-inflicted tension?

Check out the hike in its entirety... and stay tuned for what actually comes of the hike in August.


Anonymous said...

Oh man, I can relate to you on this!
I had it all planned out. Every detail. And the time frame it would all happen in, too... Lol
You can imagine that I started questioning God what! why? when His plan for me did not always involve my plans or my time-frame.
For me, it was all about submitting myself to God's will for my life and not mine. I had to lay some things down that would have taken considerable time away from the primary calling God had for me in these seasons of my life, motherhood and learning how to be a good help meet as a fairly newly- married woman. He taught me about what he considers important for me, and even if I don't accomplish all I set out to do I know that as long as I have followed His will for my life, I have done good. Still working out my attitude in flesh- pressing situations though Lol!
That's all just been me, but I bet each of us has this feeling to one degree or another. Right there with you, sister! :)