Values.

I have started an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Skills Group. I have been given a series of exercises, including values and goals. The goal for this week is to write for forty-five minutes four days during the week. Oh, boy.

I have been told — and actually believe — that the way to become a writer is to actually write every day. I don’t do it. I am not sure why — I don’t think it is laziness. I think it is the belief that I need to have “something to say.” Something worth saying. I usually feel that whatever I have to say is not worth other people’s time.

But here I am, typing away. Perhaps I should talk about one of the things I am supposed to be working on.

Goals arise out of values, ideally. What you value should determine what you do. You can’t “complete” values — they’re aspirational. Goals, on the other hand, are supposed to be targeted actions that you can complete, like determining to brush your teeth twice a day every day or exercise for twenty minutes a day.

Or write for forty-five minutes at least four days a week.

My last post was easy: I had something to talk about, my account of my trip to Georgia, and my thoughts on living and dying. Today, not so much.

So what are my values? And how can I work towards them?

Creativity. I can work towards that by writing more, and by beading occasionally. (NaNoWriMo starts in a little over a week, perhaps I can do that? It would require me to write 60,000 words in the month of November, which becomes a little tricky around Thanksgiving.)

Working towards a better society. I can be engaged in political and civic causes that will make the country better. (The hardest part of this is to not get incurably discouraged. Things look pretty dark right now.) I can follow the news, to the extent I can without exacerbating depression. Sometimes this value can be in conflict with the next value.

Not being a burden to my family. This means working towards better health, both mental and physical. Right now, that also means not being cavalier about COVID-19. I hate wearing masks. (One way I work towards making life better for my family is cooking, and fall is my favorite season for that — Thanksgiving dinner and Not Quite Fruitcake, to name two. This also falls under the rubric of “Creativity.”)

Learning. I need to keep learning, either by reading or taking online classes. Helping others to learn matters to, hence my Facebook Art of the Day. Most of my friends like to learn new things. (This is also why I have trivia, both bar trivia and Learned League.)

So there are my values. I suppose I do have others, like care for other people, and compassion generally. I find that most of my social and political beliefs arise out of these values.

So there they are. Who I am, in a way.

What do you think?

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