3 Things I Want to SHOUT at Shonda Rimes

Twelve seasons in and I still watch Grey's Anatomy. I made it three seasons, lost steam for another 3, caught up, then watched another 2, then lost interest again, and since season 9, it's the only show I watch every Friday morning on my sister's Hulu account. I can't count how many times friends and strangers have said 'I loved that show, but I just can't do it anymore.' I myself have almost stopped watching a number of times. But I can't! Even though I regularly want to shout out the following things to mastermind creator Shonda Rimes:

1. Not every relationship is miserable.

Seriously. The ones who are happy are happy for five minutes until Shonda rips it apart. I get that relationship drama makes for good TV, but you know, Shonda, not all drama has to be couples breaking up, cheating, or pining. Sometimes couples are just happy couples who fight sometimes. In fact, that's more relatable than everyone breaking up. I must not be the only one begging happiness, please!

2. Death is not the only way to end a character

So she hasn't killed everyone. Izzy (miraculously) didn't die but ran away (and good thing. I like Alex with Jo much better), Burke left for Switzerland, and apparently Callie is off to New York (a fact that annoys me because of #1. She and Arizona were so great together! But whatever, at least it's open-ended). But freaking everyone else who disappeared- George, Mark, Lexie (and both her parents), Derek, all those Mercy West docs... Noel from Felicity and Denny get a fair pass since they were basically terminal patients to start, but wouldn't it be great if one of these adorable dreamboats... LIVED?

3. Surgeons date non-surgeons!

With the exception of Richard and Adele and a few relationships with dying patients (Izzy and Teddy, see above) and a few flings (Derek with the nurse and Miranda with the nurse), everyone only dates and hooks up with surgeons. Even when Miranda was dating dating Ben, an anesthesiologist ended up going back to train to be a surgeon, because apparently being an anesthesiologist isn't hardcore enough. Whatever, the show is about surgeons, but there are tons of other people with interesting lives and dynamics and it wouldn't kill the characters to interact with them in a meaningful way (or maybe it would... see #2).


3 Questions to Ask When Making Goals That Matter

Some people don't like the word resolution because the common assumption and water cooler joke is that most resolutions get broken by the end of January. So goals it is. I think a lot about goals. Make them less frequently. Accomplish them so sporadically I can hardly chalk achievement up to anything but the power of passively having thought about the vague notions of what I want to be or do without any further planning or execution. There's a place for mindset in goal achievement, but if you're actually looking to accomplish thing, it's best to not count on it. Thinking your way to success isn't recommended by any life, success, or become a millionaire motivational quotes I can find. I'll keep looking, though, because I do think there's something to the inching along that comes from just thinking about it.

ANYWAY, to be more proactive this year, I've made and followed a goal-making process (and blogging it because that makes it real)- one I've amalgamated from dozens of goal experts and fakers on the internet to suit my needs. It involves asking yourself three involved questions:

1. What is important to me?
You can make goals for anything. And if you think goal-making is time-consuming and exhausting, the regular expression of actually following through on said goals is even more of at time and energy suck. Fact is not all categories of goals are most important to you right now. Best to pick categories, weed out ones that don't feel as important (or combine, as seems to make sense), and rank them in order of weight. Ties are allowed. Some categories to consider:
  • Family 
  • Friends
  • Marriage/relationship
  • Parenthood
  • Health
  • Beauty
  • Spirituality
  • Service
  • Career Development
  • Personal Development
  • Creativity
  • Wealth creation
  • Fun and Exploration
  • Lifestyle
  • Productivity
  • Travel
2. What do I want to become? What do I want to achieve?
This breaks down two pretty standard types of goals: Outcomes and Processes. Outcomes end up fitting nicely onto a to-do list, some items checked off in the near term or long term (Hike Mailbox Peak, Write and publish a book). The other type is much more amorphous and harder to set goals around because it's things like 'Be a good person' and 'Place the right amount of emphasis on things I deem important'. SMART goal junkies hate these goals because setting measurable outcomes is almost impossible and when they are possible, picking apart outcomes often dilutes the more potent meaning of the goal in the first place. 

I've heard it recommended to think about what you want written in your obituary. Or how you want to look back on your life at retirement. Or next New Years Day. Take your pick. Focus on character traits, accomplishments, defining characteristics. Who do I want to be? This is where the categories from question one come in handy. Otherwise there's just too much life to be picked apart. 

Over and over and over: "In regard to my Marriage (or whatever category you're on), I want to be someone who is/has ______ " until every category is exhausted. Or you're exhausted. And if you're the exhausted one, skip it and come back for more later. 

3. What can I do in the upcoming month or year to become that person, to do those things?

Coming back to the whole mindset idea, I'm a firm believer that just having thought about where you want to be going and written something down about what that means for your day-to-day, you're more likely to make some sort of progress. So the final part of the process is figuring out what the year should be filled with to move you closer to that person who has done whatever and has become whatever. Things, activities, attitudes, don't hold back. Don't get too hung up on measurables, timing, and all that "This is how you actually succeed at goals" business. You can't do that for every way you want to be better and if you try your brain will explode or you will have a mental breakdown. It's just too much and then you can't focus on the big picture of personal progress.

So it's just a brain dump.

I do recommend taking 5-7 of the 'how am I gonna get there' items and really dig into the how, when, why and all that SMART jazz. But we've all gotten that tutorial before, and this is bigger and better than that (so I keep telling myself).

3 Observations from watching Cold Mountain

1. War is just the worst. It brings out the worst in people and makes living the worst for those who stay good.

2. People in history must have just been cold all.the.time.

3. Watching babies cry in movies is waaaay more traumatic now than before having a kid.

Case in point for all three, this scene:

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