When You Reach Your Goal

I am a very goal-oriented person. That’s part of the reason that I started working at age 10, and I’ve been to 22 countries. I prioritize savings for my objectives over instant gratification or fancy electronics or a nice car or the latest smart phone. I never started smoking, not only because it’s a disgusting, life-threatening habit, but also because I had other plans for my life and my money.

And there is nothing, nothing at all, like the high you get when you achieve a goal that you’ve shed blood, sweat, and tears for, over an unbelievably long period of time. It’s better than winning the lottery, because it’s your sacrifices that make it happen. It’s like standing on a mountaintop, enjoying the view, after having crawled up there inch by inch, month by month, all on your own. There is no more beautiful view than that. Excelsior!

Recently, I achieved a goal that I had all but given up hope on. My little free library was made into a pokestop on the Pokemon Go app. This might seem trivial to many of you, but after having achieved the goal of having that library, I then wanted to draw as many children to it as possible, to encourage reading and literacy. Pokemon Go is very popular with young people. To play the game, one goes to pokestops in the real world. If my library is one of those pokestops, more children will visit it.

Achieving this goal took many months and hundreds of hours of dedication. I figured I’d have to play the game to suggest the pokestop, so I put the app on my phone and started playing. Then I found a suggestion form on the Niantic website (the creators of Pokemon Go), and filled it out. They responded, politely, that you have to be at level 40 in the game to make a pokestop suggestion, and that they only choose a few countries at a time, and that at present the US wasn’t one of those countries. I was crushed.

But I figured that I could at least work up to level 40 in the game so that if the US gets chosen, I’d be ready. Well, I’m at level 32, and that took forever. And each level takes longer to achieve than the last.

Meanwhile I figured that my suggestion had been discarded. Well, recently there was a Pokemon Go upgrade, and I installed it, and blink! My pokestop was there! Just like that.

But after going back to the Niantic website, and reading the requirements for pokestop suggestions, it seems that I may have just gotten lucky. Some level 40 person must have made the suggestion for me. And in retrospect, the description attached to the pokestop is in different words than I’d have chosen.

But still, goal achieved. Woo hoo! I’ll take it!

But after that “Excelsior!” moment, I experienced a little bit of a letdown. I had been working toward this goal for so long. Now what?

Once a goal is reached, especially if it’s reached so unexpectedly, you kind of go through a period of mourning. Life will be different, now. You have to find another purpose. You have to let go. You have to move on. Change. It’s really disconcerting.

And then there’s the awkwardness of knowing that I’m now addicted to Pokemon Go, and I no longer have a “legitimate” reason to play, other than the fact that it’s fun.

That should be enough, right? But it was ever so much nicer to have a loftier purpose. Now I kind of feel like a creepy adult who refuses to grow up.

I’m sure I’ll get over it, though. At least until I focus on the next goal, whatever that turns out to be.I guarantee there will be one. For me, there always is.

Maybe I should continue to try for level 40, and then suggest that every little free library I come across as a pokestop. That would increase literacy, too. Hmmmm…

My Pokestop
My very own pokestop! Woo hoo!

I wrote an actual book, and you can own it! How cool is that? http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

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