For me Goals are like plans, when you make em, God laughs at you.  I think its because goals and plans are made in your head, and your brain is only a third in the equation of how you are going to achieve any of them.  You have to take into account your body and spirit as well. 
Mind - Hinengaro
Body - Tinana
Spirit - Wairua

When I was young...

I made great plans about all the amazing things I would do when I was older, when the kids were grown, and I'd have plenty of money and time for myself, but no, that did not happen, my body decided to pack up and I got a whole host of injuries, diseases and syndromes.  
That was something I didn't count on when I was young and working crap office jobs, that were way beneath my academic ability, to put bread on the table.  
If I knew all that was going to happen I would I have wasted my younger years doing stuff I was no good at and didn't enjoy?  Would I have stayed at home with my kids?   Would I have led a way less stressful life?
There is the "RUB" as Shakespeare so eloquently put it.  
If I had stayed at home with the kids, Nathan and Jenna-Rose wouldn't have grown up to be so independent, self reliant and resourceful.
If I'd led a way less stressful life I wouldn't be able to deal with really difficult situations when they turn up out of the blue and shock the crap outta me.
If I hadn't done all those crappy admin, data entry, phone answer-y, photocopier-y, putting things in alphabetical and numerical order sort of shit jobs I wouldn't have the wealth of characters for my future books. 


The lady the sat in the cubical next to me and arrived every Monday with a new "I fell into the door handle" injury......

The Accountant I worked with who hated Japanese people.  His father had spent two years half submerged in water in Changi prison during the second world war...

The bitch cow of a boss I had who made my life a living hell, every day, with the sheer breadth of her sociopathic nastiness.  
Footnote: She turned up later in my life looking for a place in one of my art classes, oh Karma is a wonderful thing.  

Another boss, a very respectable, greying at the temples, married, older guy, who offered me a ride home from a work function and jumped me.  He got a knee to the happy sacks for that and I never got promoted again EVER.  (although that may not have been the reason, as I am never very good at a job I hate)
Footnote:  I see him around sometimes hes in a very prominent local government position, decrepit and creepy.  It was like getting a peek at Dorian Gray's portrait.
And many, many, more...  

Goals I had... 

When I was in my teens my only goal was to see the "Bay City Rollers" which I never achieved.

Bay City Rollers
When I was in my early twenties my goal was too get through the day without murdering my ex husband, who is actually a really nice guy, which speaks more to my state of mind than him...

...I managed that....only just...

In my late twenties my goal was to not drink so much that I passed out in strange places...(I didn't achieve that.)

In my thirties...My goal was to make a good living, change the world and bring up happy healthy kids.  
Footnote: All those goals were shot to hell by circumstances beyond anyone's control and then the goal became getting through each day, intact.  Sometimes I didn't manage it.  This day to day existence went on and on.

In my forties and fifties
I don't set goals at all. I just decided that if I started something I would try to finish it if I could.   I knew what I wanted, but I couldn't bring myself to set them as goals as I know what it is like to have reality crush the life out of your dreams.

So, I just started things and this is what happened...

I wanted a degree

I wanted to have a piece of my Art exhibited here and overseas...I've had many pieces of art exhibited here and overseas, unaccompanied by myself, as I could never afford to be as glam as the stuff I create :)

I wanted to write a novel all the way to the end...Done it, in fact, I've written quite a few.

I wanted to publish a book...done that, so far I've published seven

I wanted to design costumes for a stage show...I've designed for six different stage shows including a ballet, which was way more than my imagination could dream up.

I wanted to learn a different language...does Latin count?  My brother Johnny and I have been conversing in hilariously bad Latin for almost thirty years, it's our fun thing...hic noster felicitus est...and we love it...amamus illud :

I wanted to teach
...I do that, when I feel like it, luckily I'm not a full time teacher, I could never EVER do that, way too stressful.

Goals caused me way too much stress. Every day is challenge enough without looking at the stuff I haven't achieved and feeling shit about it. Life just kind of happens to me and I view every single day just grateful to be here.  If I do have any goals, they are the amorphous ones of happiness and health for my kids.
Now,  as I said in the beginning I believe setting goals is something you do with your brain, trying to achieve them is something you have to do with your Mind, body,spirit - Hinengaro, Tinana , Wairua - and they might not agree with each other and have a whole other plan for you.

Amor aeternus - Love always
Olivia xxx

P.S:  this is a short story which may or may not end up in my anthology 'A bag of Stones.'

Me and Jesus

I fell in love with Jesus Christ when I was 11 years old.  It was an instant passion, and had nothing to do with ‘…because the Bible tells me so…’

I’ve always been a weird dreamy kid.  Not that anyone noticed I also felt a bit invisible, which was crazy as I was quite a sturdy child and hard to miss.  We were a weirdly religious.  Mum was totally Churchified, which meant I was christened, and sent off to Sunday school in Petone with all the other Anglican Māori Kids from Wainuiomata, on a bus. 

I remember seeing the ferry the ‘Wahine’ post disaster while I was on that bus, or I thought I did, someone said they saw it and all us kids agreed with them.  That’s what kids do; not a good thing to ever be original. 

Our Dad hated any formal religious practice.  He’d been Churched out to the max at Boarding School, a torturous environment, Chapel every day and two times on Sunday.

At home we had a big white book, bound in leather with gold writing on it called Children’s Bible Stories.  I actively avoided the Jesus stories; he seemed a bit of a drip.  Abraham, Noah, Samson, Delilah, King David and Bathsheba, and the very wise Saul who threatened to lop a baby in half were much better tales of betrayal and bloodshed.  My favourite was Salome, although I couldn’t look at the head of John the Baptist on the platter.

But then, on the day our school, Wood Hatton Primary, got to go all the way over the Wainuiomata Hill to the Prince Edward Theatre in Woburn, I sat in a dark room with hundreds of other children, staring up at a big screen.  

Then the most beautiful man in the world, with long blond hair and big blue eyes, dressed in long white robes grew bigger and bigger on the screen.  I was mesmerised all the way through, to the point a Choir of rag tag hippy Apostles began to sing.

 ‘Jesus Christ…Superstar…’