My friend Jana, writing about the twists and turns of 2017:

While the general social and political climate was stressful and hard to deal with on a daily basis, music and opportunities for my world were actually…incredible. Things I did not have on my radar at all happened, and opportunities I had only dared dream about came to fruition in “screaming color” as T-Swift would say.

I’ve been thinking about this, too. A few self-discoveries this year startled me, such as rediscovering a niche in my speech pathology work which had been dormant, and realizing I have a knack for combining it with my current caseload. It’s had me asking new questions, trying new things, and discovering new challenges to tackle.

Then there’s this gem:

I envision goal-setting as more like keeping a balloon afloat in the air. You have to kind of boop it along…follow it when it takes a weird turn, stay nimble and flexible while you guide it to where you want to go. Tiny little shifts in direction can send you off to a new direction entirely.

This gets to the heart of what I was thinking about yesterday. I tend to not think much about goals, other than very abstractly. While I don’t see that changing too much, I have realized that having a vision for how I want to live my life is important. I so often consider quality of life for my patients, and consider it less for myself. How I spend my time is how I spend my life, and I want to be able to enjoy it.

At the same time, I’ve appreciated this sort of curve for how I’ve followed the balloon(s) in my life, and in more recent years let myself follow their path. What struck me recently was that one of my balloons had me standing in one place, while the others were starting to float just out of reach.

The epiphany was that I wanted to go chase down those other balloons.