It Seems Like Yesterday, Ten Years From Now
Ten years ago, I thought ahead about this day. I did not know it would get here so fast. There is an adage that says, “The days are long, but the years are short.”
I recall a few business trips to Montreal last year and the airline delays that took forever. I also think of some of those dull, boring meetings that I attended which dragged on for eternity. On the other hand, there was this family vacation that went by so quickly. And I think of my youngest daughter who it seems like only yesterday was playing soccer in grade school. Now she is in college. How time flies! Can you relate to this?
Why does time do that?
Some psychology says routine makes time slip past without notice because each day is similar. Brain research talks about telescoping. It is a process in the brain that relates to past events as if they are much more current than they are. For example, you have a ten-year anniversary on your job, but it feels like you just started there yesterday. You never thought you would be in any job that long.
Writer Philip Yaffe suggests the speed of time as we experience it has to do with anticipation and retrospection. So, we cannot wait to graduate from high school or college, and it is an agonizing process to wait. Yet, at the ten-year class reunion we cannot believe it was that long ago.
So why bring this up?
Another year is ending and another beginning. New Year’s resolutions are on many people’s minds. Most do not achieve them. And, before we all know it another year will go by and, in a blink, a decade. Will it be where you want to be? How about those lifetime goals? I recently read an article by Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. He tells us that there are three things we can do to deal with this issue of time going by so fast: slow down, meditate or pray, and pay more attention to your environment. I interpret him as saying we need to appreciate each moment more fully, invest more time in what matters most to you, and who is most important to you.
I have been sifting through many questions, three have emerged that seem most crucial. Consider these thoughtfully:
What can I learn from this past ten years?
Someone once told me, “Experience is never the best teacher unless you truly learn from it.” In my consulting practice I see managers making the same mistakes repeatedly. I do that in my personal life, and sometimes I do not slow down enough to learn how to love and care for my family, friends, or colleagues with more appreciative depth. How about you?
How do I want things to be ten years from now?
My life today is not exactly how imagined it ten years ago. Some areas of my life are, where I paid more attention to them. Other areas, I think, “How could ignore them like I did?!” So now I am dreaming and planning, I hope, with better intentions. Where do you want to be in the future? I believe how we see ourselves today determines our tomorrow.
How can I live more fully-today?
I have been learning that mediation and prayer gives me a breadth of clarity I never had before. Life is no dress rehearsal. I am focusing on gratitude, enjoyment in all things, and not working for a living but working for giving. Author Charles Richards reminds us, “Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.”
Einstein gave us all a clue about time: “When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it is longer than any hour. That’s relativity.” My wishes for you are time filled with exquisite experiences and memorable memories.
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