Years ago I lived with my brother and his family for almost a year (2013-2014). At times it was a hard year. But sometimes when I am trying to decide on something, I still think back to that year. Well actually I think of my brother and try to imagine what advice he would give me in whatever my present situation might be.

Today my niece told me that she is moving to Japan to work. I am excited for her, because that has been her dream since she was in high school or maybe longer. Obviously she learned how to set goals and achieve them from her dad.

My niece started her schooling in Japan, while my brother was in the military. She went to a Japanese school not an American school. So her love for anything Japanese is normal in my opinion. So after graduating high school in American and finishing college in America, she finally got a teaching job in Japan. At the ripe ol’ age of 23, her dream of living in Japan again has become a reality. For this, she is my hero and my inspiration this week.

My brother used to think that everyone should have at least a “5 year plan” and a “10 year plan” would be even better. Well I can’t tell you what I will be doing 10 weeks from now, so how the hell do I make a 10 year plan that I can actually stick to?

I used to compare my brother to a race horse. I have seen a few races and most of the horses had shields (or whatever they are called) on the sides of their head. Something to block out distractions around them. All they could see was what was ahead of them like the finish line. Which for a race horse was their goal. They just needed to look forward and reach that goal and every step they took helped them get there. My brother is the same way. It doesn’t matter if his goal was another college degree, a promotion, building a big house, losing weight or learning something new like tapping his trees on his property to make his own maple syrup. Sometimes I really wish I could be more like a race horse.

When my brother retired from the military, everyone met in Washington DC to attend his retirement ceremony. I shared a room with my niece (I think she was in jr high at the time) and we spent an entire night trying to figure out my “dream job”. My niece started making a list of careers that I was interested in, then we looked them all up online to see

#1. How long college was required for each profession.

#2. What the average pay was for each profession.

#3. Future job growth for each career across the country.

Making such a list is something my brother has told me to do on many occasions over the years, so I had to laugh while I watched his kid do the same thing. Even today, many years after that night, I still have to lists of the pros & cons for any decision.

Most of the jobs/careers we looked up were in the medical field. While I am still interested in that I will probably never finish school and/or work in those jobs. College costs to darn much and would take me (maybe not you) to long to ever finish. Seeing as I have a past student loan in default from 30 years ago, if I wanted to go back to school then I would need to pay for school myself. Seeing as I never live in one location long enough to ever finish, it would almost be a waste of money to even start.

In order to go to school and work, you usually need to live somewhere so that you have a place to sleep and eat. ( yes you can find stories about homeless people going to school) You will need somewhere to do laundry so you have clean clothes for work/school. Well all that takes money and rent is outrageously expensive all around this country. If I ended up spending so much time working to pay for food, rent, utilities and school, then I would be to exhausted to actually focus on school. So that old dream is basically in the trash can.

When one dream or goal ends, you are supposed to make a new one. Well seeing as my location has been known to change a few times a year, I need to set goals that can be reached within 3- 4 months. Even a goal such as losing an “X” amount of weight isn’t totally realistic, if you move to a location that supplies a single shared dorm room with no fridge, or any way for you to cook your own food. Your only option for eating is whatever the company serves for meals in an employee dining room. There isn’t different foods to choose from either..just 1 entree, so your choice is to take it or leave it. I guess leaving it would help more to reach a goal of weightloss. And with the outside temperatures over 120° there is no way I am dragging myself outside for any exercise.

A goal should motivate you do to something special in your life, even if its only special to you. It has been said that without goals then life becomes meaningless and depressing. Lately my goal has been to just survive from 1 payday to another, without getting fed up with a roommate, quitting another job and just driving away. This week I have 2 days off from work. My roommate and I both have tomorrow off. So today I will be driving up to Beatty…because I need time away from the roommate. There is no way that I am spending almost 40 hours in a room with this lady. (Will complain about the roommate another day…so Kathleen, you gotta wait).

But yes I am bringing my notebook with me today, to make lists (and more lists) for the pros & cons on every decision/direction I can think of for handling my present situation.

Picture above is my brother and his mini-me at his retirement ceremony in 2010.

Taken when we all went out to eat at Golden Corral.

You don’t get all those ribbons and pins without learning how to achieve a few goals.