As part of the post mortem of my vacation, I am working on some of the lessons observed/learned. Namely I need and want to get organized both professionally and personally. I want to start the month of August feeling organized, somewhat in control and ready for action. I always imagine my life like swimming: I want to feel that I am on top of the waves, able to withstand changes in the current intensity or wave height and feel that I am moving forward toward a destination. I don't want to feel that I am being pulled under by the current of excessive things or unrealistically tight schedules and the struggle that I am always trying to keep my head above water.
I just finished going through my office- culling out my book shelves and files. I found two boxes of filled journal pages. Some of the journals go back to elementary, junior high and high school. As I glanced through them and reread some entries, it was a good exercise of reflection. For one, if there was any doubt about my desire to write, I know now that I was itching to write from the time I was younger.
The thing that really struck me was that I have not really changed since junior and high school. I have pretty much the same views about life and the same fundamental principles. I have always felt that I was an old soul when I was younger. In reading through the journals I realized, I was.
But the thing that really grabbed me was that I have not really changed since junior and high school. So many of the same things that I struggle with today, I struggled with back then. Have I not learned and retained anything?!!
On one hand it is very distressing, disappointing and discouraging. Many of my struggles are in the refrain of wanting to do something significant. After all these decades haven't I done one smidgen of something significant? And then I wonder why do I put such weight on trying to accomplish that? Shouldn't I have a wiser and more mature view of life?
Perhaps I am looking at the question incorrectly. As with all reflection it involves one's self. I am looking at things that involve and that are controlled by me. Perhaps I need to ask if I learned anything in my faith journey? To ask if I listened and was obedient to God throughout those decades? On that front I have tried, but I still am a slow learner. Certainly if it takes me many decades to "get it", I am in good company. Most of the individuals in the Bible took a while to "get it".
Even so, I realize that it is time to get my act together. I am tired of half done goals, thoughts but no action on self-improvement and the same lament year after year. I am ready to finish or forget it and move on to something else. Either way, I do not want to look back in another four decades and see that I still am writing about the same old complaints, anxieties and issues.
What about you? Have you ever traveled back in time via old journals or papers? What had you noticed about your former self and your current one? Have you ever set out with improvement goals and met them? How did that make your feel? If not, do you want to? How would you go about it?
I keep imagining what it would look like if I dedicated the next year to finishing the things that I have focused on for all these years. What would it look like if I actually did make changes that I think need to happen?
The thing with a post mortem it explains the cause of death or literally "after death". There is no reviving the body and getting a do over. How fortunate we are that in reflecting on the past and moving towards the present, we are able to put an end to all the angst over unfulfilled goals and dreams and move on to other things in life.