One of the things I absolutely do not miss about working are the yearly “goal-setting” meetings. Ugh. Year after year, an enthusiastic consultant would give us some variation of the “if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know you’re there?” spiel, and then we’d break into groups to spend fruitless time setting our “goals” for the year. We’d all dutifully set goals that we knew we could meet, so that at the end of the year we could say that we were “there.” Of course, at different points during the year inspiration struck, we went off in totally different directions, and the end result was that we ended up in a different – and quite often better – place.
Even though I no longer need to set “fake” goals, I have to admit that I enjoy planning our weekend activities. But the best things seem to happen when we change plans at the last-minute and just explore. On Saturday we set off for the Tobacco Root Mountains for a couple of days of long hikes. It was a beautiful spring day, perfect for hiking.
But as we passed the sign for the little almost-ghost-town of Pony, we decided that some exploring was called for, even if it meant less time for hiking. The town is charming, with a beautiful setting at the foot of 10,000 foot Hollowtop Mountain, but the big reward on Saturday was finding a bluegrass jam session and contest going on all day at the old schoolhouse. We listening to great musicians jamming all afternoon, shared a potluck supper, and then stayed for an impromptu concert that night. Perfect small town Montana, and for me, a great example of how important it is to be willing to let go of those plans.