Do you know what that means?
Planning your life looking backwards is like starting your life with the end in mind, with that end changing as you age and achieve or alter goals along the way. I’m turning sixty this year and now that I’m nearly that mark, it seems such a young number. Yet, if I look at it realistically, I know I have less time left on this earth than what I’ve already had. Planning becomes ever so much more important when you know there’s a deadline pending.
Reflecting on my Plan
Years ago, I realized how much smarter, positively brilliant (ahem) I am six months after any given date. If only I could time travel, vaulting my thoughts and perspectives forward and then yanking them immediately back again. Maybe I wouldn’t make as many mistakes or miss as many opportunities.
How many phrases along this line have we heard time and again?
- Hindsight is 20/20….
- In retrospect, I would have…
- If I only knew then what I know now…
- If six months ago I had known ______ about today, what would I have done differently?
Maybe, in the last six months I would have held my tongue more frequently. Not in an effort to sound less stupid at times (that will keep happening), but in case I was hurting someone’s feelings or trying to leap over their words to get a word in. Hopefully, I would listen and nod more, giving more understanding than I was trying to get.
Changing My Perspective
What do I want to accomplish now that in half a year I can look back and say: I’m happy I did ___________.
How many of us live life with forethought and planned objectives? The people I lean toward are those constantly moving with their actions, pressing on, growing into what they’re destined to become. I strive to go forward, allowing for a few sideways strolls here and there, after all I am a Cancerian June-baby Crab. There’s no direct path to where we want to go—there are several and we swing back and forth trying each of them in turn or sometimes at the same time. Despite the veering, I’m always proceeding onwards. I don’t like stagnation, which is akin to boredom, and boredom is like suffocating a slow death.
Circumstances have to change in my world because, well, because they can and they will whether I welcome them or not.
Breaking Patterns from Our Youth
When I was a teen, I left home for a college three hours away because I knew if I went to the local university and stayed in proximity to my dad, I’d never leave him. Does that sound too weird? Too corny? It can’t be helped if I’m being honest. I was planning ahead because Dad was one of the coolest, most interesting people I’ve never known.
With me being a difficult red-headed, therefore temperamental teen, Dad was the one who understood, embraced, and nurtured. Mom—with cause—frequently wanted to ship me off to boarding school or the stockade, depending upon her frustration level. Dad was the pillar of support, my rock. I had to break away from his orbit the first chance I could or I’d have never gone. In leaving, I was able to have the life adventures I was destined for, that my heart craved, and my soul needed. I was able to come home again and be a better daughter when it counted the most.
Changing My Perspective in Simple Ways
Are you one of those people who frequently rearranges the rooms in your apartment or house? I do so often and with great determination to find a new layout. The living room, TV room, bedroom, my office … poor Alex. I think he’s happy I can’t move the kitchen cupboards! Although, I have found minor ways of rearranging that room as well—turn the table the other direction, move the baker’s rack in or out, relocate the Nespresso machine….
Sometimes Alex walks into a room and finds me lying in the middle of the floor, the edge, the corner—splayed out like I landed there after some kind of weird tumble gone awry. That’s not an impossibility with klutzy me. “What are you doing?” He logically asks. “Changing my perspective,” I reply with what I think is a totally reasonable answer. My engineer rolls his eyes, laughs, and goes on about doing his next logical thing.
I’m trying a new plan, a new way of seeing the same old same old around me.
Keeping My Plan Consistent
With my constant changing, I’ve tried to maintain friendships with people in the places I’ve lived and places I’ve traveled, intending to hold onto them for as long as possible. Thankfully, I have wound up with valued connections across North America and Europe. When the internet came along, it advanced friendships that otherwise may have faltered because of the cost of phone calls and the delay of snail mail.
I intend to continue my travels and to keep building friendships anywhere I can. People, those good influences I welcome into my hopefully captivating orbit, push me to venture ever onwards. The goal is to maintain those relationships that make life worth living.
Living my life backwards may not be a bad way to approach going forward, toward that sixtieth milestone. I don’t want to get to the end of my time here and have finished the list of things I’ve desired doing … nor do I want to get to the end and say with regret that I wish I had done __________.
What’s on your list that you want to look back on six months from now and relish that you experienced that very thing?
Let’s live a little bit backwards together.
Read: Going Forward
I truly enjoy reading your posts RoseMary. You inspire and encourage me. You have a fun loving nature which oozes out of your posts.
I like movement and progress and can become frustrated when life feels as though it is standing still. I do not move furniture around much and this is due to the fact that our house is very small – our sofas can only be arranged as they are and our beds are in the best position at present.
I like to lay and think and usually do this on my bed. On occasion I lead evening devotion with the family whilst laying on my back. I feel most comfortable and safe in our home and being close to my family. My 5 year old son is going through a phase where he runs away when I try to kiss him!
Thank you, Phoenicia! I try to have fun every day–being serious is so draining. You would have really laughed at me moving furniture around in my 800 square foot apartment. Admittedly the lone bedroom stayed the same–but only because the dresser was too heavy to move. The tiny living room, though, was often at the brunt of my decorating whims!
Your son–I remember when my brother went through that phase. Luckily, he grew out of it as will your son. Feeling safe at home and doing devotional that way sounds lovely.
RoseMary, this may just be your best post yet! I love how you told us you lay on the floor to “get a different perspective.” And how you keep rearranging furniture. I confess to never doing either of those things. I’ve lived in the same house for 12 years and have never moved/changed any of the furniture. And I’m quite happy about that. Where do I see myself/what are my goals for 6 months from now? I hope that I will continue to enjoy my work. If so, I will continue to work hard as ever. But I do hope it becomes easier, as I find I never have enough hours in a day. As someone who lives every day to the fullest and truly lives every day like it might be my last, I have no regrets and no big dreams I have yet to realize. I learned that spontaneity from having to live life without my mother from the age of 13. That really helps you understand the importance of living in–and for–the moment.
Thank you, Doreen. I know folks who rarely rearrange and that my constant movement makes them laugh. I’m okay with that! I have to have a different viewpoint or go a little crazy. 🙂 In fact, my office has been the same for entirely too long and may get some movement this weekend.
I love how content you sound with where you are in life and what you are doing. It is a wonderful, wonderful attitude and one you convey with joy!
I reported in to Jacqueline offline and have to copy it here:
1. Created the blog Casual Conversations about Faith. I’m building readership, but it’s going well.
2. Nope; haven’t done a thing with this article.
3. Yep and the Pittsburgh novel is coming along nicely. It’s great fun writing and I’m eager to finish and search for a mystery-loving-agent.
4. Yes; I’m getting paid for some of my writing; working on a marketing plan to expand that as well as sales of the Knight booklet.
5. Yes to the October workshop being a success, and working on more workshops for the HCA owner. FranklinCovey, Ethics, Harassment–lots of titles.
Now, what will we report on in 6 more months? 🙂
1. I fell off the exercise wagon and need to get back on.
2. Weed the flower beds.
3. Find my old cake recipe and try it with praline flavoring. Yum.
4. Wash the windows in the house.
5. Finish reading Anne Frobel’s Diary of the Civil War.
I’ll be checking with you in April!
1. Get running again. Had to take a break…. 3 half marathons in 4 months was WAY overboard.
2. Connect on a more personal level with the moms in my MOPS group. Still scared of being in charge.
3. Read Erasing Hell – Francis Chan.
4. Enjoy the fall before the snow flies.
That is enough for this busy mom! Love you!