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The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bucket List

Hi All! I am beyond thrilled to be back, but I have to tell you, even more thrilling was crossing a goal off my list (to relax more often). It reminded me of this recent article: http://www.socialworkersspeak.org/cheers-and-jeers/doing-the-bucket-list.html

So now I’m wondering about bucket lists… from the time I was about 6 years old, I’ve had a “life goals list.” I’ve kept it written down and have added to it and crossed things off. It’s funny to read what my priorities were at different ages and it’s been a nice gift to myself that every goal has been attainable. Whether it’s “have my own room” or “complete a Master’s degree,” it’s been very rewarding for me to achieve and, to be honest, finally having my own bedroom at age 19 (first college apartment) felt just as monumental as graduation day. There’s just something about reaching a new milestone!

The longer I am in this post-school world, the more I realize how important this goal-setting process is. From our first moments post-conception through our final graduation, we have goals that are set for us; how many weeks along we’ve reached as a fetus, at what age we began to toddle, each report card in grade school, each term’s GPA in college, graduation. And then the abyss… or rather, the potential to feel as if everything else is just one day after the next. It’s been tricky for me to get the hang of, I won’t lie.

Here I am now, learning… learning to create new challenges and goals for myself, learning to find ways of not measuring myself by quarters or semesters or report cards or GPAs, learning to strike a new balance. For example, on my first day back from vacation, my goal was to meet with each staff member to check-in and to return emails and phone calls. Sure, I could have let myself be overwhelmed with the mounds of paperwork, but I could step back and recognize that as a goal for another day. At the end of the day, I walked out with all three of those goals met. I didn’t save the world or alter anyone’s life, but I felt pretty accomplished. Now? Well, now it’s onto that mound of paperwork! Tomorrow? *shrug* I’m thinking either sky-diving or reorganizing the office supply closet.

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