For the Goal


[Image Description: A green pen is on top of a yellow sheet of paper. The paper is a list  written in green ink, and parts are crossed off.]

Yesterday, I was defeated by a to-do list.
It still remains, technically unwritten;
but piece by piece,
and point by point,
it chiseled itself into my brain.

Do this, then –
Do that, then –
Achieve this, then –
Accomplish that.

It hammers.
It sculpts.
It hardens and solidifies.
Pristine and chiseled,
it presents itself complete and paramount.

And it does all of this. . .
For The Goal.
(Or at least, that’s what I’m led to believe).

Instead, this to-do list,
this master carpenter,
becomes a goal in and of itself.

If I’m not careful,
my thriving will diminish,
my playing will diminish,
my living will diminish,
my toiling,
my striving, and
my working,

Forget the real goals!
The living,
The playing,
The thriving!
Suddenly, these are less than a host of check marks,
Suddenly, these have less value than solid lines marked through words.

become more
than LIVE and LIVED.

Well, today, I turn a corner.
I will not cross LIFE off some oppressive list.
Peace and pleasure will permeate my work,
and no lines will run through

Yesterday, I was defeated by a to-do list.
Today, the goal shifts.

Renee Roederer

4 thoughts on “For the Goal

  1. Beautiful way to express a profound truth. We Americans are taught in many ways that it is only the result that counts, which ignores our being. Yet we never truly love another because of their “results”. It is their being we hold dear.


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