I just came across a this fable on a blog of the same name, and it immediately connected with me. I don’t know about you, but right now my life is busy. Too busy. Between my full time job, writing a book with a colleague and sending off the proposal to publishers, playing in two active local bands, playing guitar for my church band and trying to spend quality time with friends, I don’t have much time for life things like, say, going to the grocery store, cooking dinner, working out. Throw on top of all that the fact that I’m trying to date too and it comes down to one word: overwhelming.
Then, this morning, I read this:
Getting Rid of the Goat is a fable I once heard about a farmer who had a very rich life. He had four kids, four cows, ten pigs, a dozen chickens and huge plot of farmland. Despite juggling all of these things, his life was in perfect balance. One day, he decided to buy a goat in order to increase his profits. But once he had the goat his life became increasingly complicated. He didn’t have as much time with his family, the chores weren’t getting done and his life was completely out of balance.
One day he told his closest friend about his new goat and how his life had become so complicated. After the long story about how difficult his life had become his friend said, “Why don’t you just get rid of the goat.”
As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I do feel rich. Not monetarily, but that I have a life rich with good people and positive experiences. But I’m out of balance. Some days I leave for work at 8am and don’t get back to my apartment until 9 or 10pm. In the past year I’ve set much better boundaries in relationships with friends and acquaintances, but I don’t think I’m setting good boundaries with my time. And that makes me very protective of my time. I’ve found myself getting irritated lately when anyone demands even the slightest bit more time from me than the amount I volunteered.
I don’t want to be like that, so I need to find my goat. Then get rid of it. In fact, I may have a couple goats on my farm that need to go. What’s your goat?