Another time. Another place.
Did you ever wonder how you got here? I don’t mean here as in location. I mean the twists and turns that your life took to get you to your place right now. Right this minute.
Lately, that’s what I’ve been doing.
It started with the koan, “learning.” That is my word for the year. I wasn’t sure exactly how that word would work since I’m a lifetime learner. I try to learn just a bit from everything and everyone. It might be just one teeny tiny thing. That adds to my body of knowledge.
Then it came to me.
Learning meant from the inside out.
That’s fine as far as it goes. And, it goes on forever.
Then, something started to change. I started wondering how my life got to the place where it is today. Everything seemed to be a cue. Music. A bit of an old television show. A movie clip. An old photograph. A smell. A road less traveled.
So far, not so good.
Oh sure. I’ve had a great career. But, not the best. My personal life has been okay, but it could have been better. And, so on and so on. I’ve let too many opportunities pass by. Even those that were a sure thing. We all do it. I did it.
It’s easy to get worried or even depressed using this line of thinking. I’m not that guy. I know that the past is the past. I can’t do very much about it. Nobody can. I can really only live in the present. But, I can be my best self in the future. The question isn’t why. It’s how. It’s where. And, it’s when.
After all, no one person can do everything.
I think you make life choices based on priorities. I can work those as far as they go because there aren’t many. Likely, they mostly flow from one or two very important cares or concerns. Working with those takes time, effort, focus and maybe even a little money. It may take a plan. How do you get from point “A” to point “B?”
That’s where I am right now.
My thinking may be easier than other people’s.
I reckon, even in this age of high end medicine, medications and procedures, I’ve got about 15 years or so. That’s not discouraging to me. We all pass off this mortal coil.
The question is how well do we live out our time.
I do not want to do what my dad did. After he retired, he and my mom moved from Long Beach, California to Reno, Nevada. There is so much to see and explore in, and around, Reno. My dad mostly stayed at home. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. For what?
You know for what.
I’m not doing that. Not now. Not ever.
That’s another way of learning. Sometimes you learn what you don’t want. What you don’t want to do.
The picture. You can learn a lot about light if you look closely. You see that big power pole? You see what’s next to it in the sky? Do you see what happens to the white clouds directly next to that? It’s all about sunlight bouncing off of the whiter clouds, hitting that the clouds around it and reflecting and refracting its own light.
That is a great example of one thing I usually say. When you are looking at the great sunset that you want to photograph, you should turn around and see what that wonderful light does to the scenery behind you. For sure, photograph the sunset if that’s your thing. But, look around as well. You may be surprised. Pleasantly surprised.