How did I get here – to this point in my life?
I’ve never quite figured it out. Did I follow too many tangents and lose my direction? I have been told I simply just ended up here – through inertia.
In his book, The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die , John Izzo stresses the importance of taking time to reflect on your life, especially those times when you paused at one of life’s many crossroads and then picked a direction. (“Reflect. Reflect. Take time to reflect.”)
Like a sports team after a game: Did we win? Why not? Did we meet our expectations? In what way? What didn’t we know about the other team’s playing style? Did we make any wrong assumptions? What unexpected things did we come up against? What did we learn so we’ll do better next time? What will we do differently?
But haven’t I done that all along? I certainly thought I did. Look! My blog even has the word “reflections” in its tag line.
Glancing back over it, I see that my blog has included a lot of observations. Maybe a few superficial reflections. That’s fine. I like sharing things I’ve seen and thought about. I haven’t done any real reflecting in it though. That’s OK too. I don’t know you all that well. You understand I might want to be a little guarded.
But I’ve come to the horrifying realization that it’s no different in my personal life. Even with myself, my times of reflection have been incredibly shallow.
With a sports team the goal is simple: win the game. When I look back at the many crossroads in my life, I realize I didn’t have a clear goal when I chose my directions. Sure, I always had some plausible rationalization for the choices I made and I often (too often) came back to judge them or, more accurately, judge myself – usually in a broad-strokes self-diminishing way.
It’s difficult to go back to see if my life’s choices fit with my expectations if I only ever had the fuzziest of goals, if I wasn’t sure what I expected or even hoped would happen. How could I measure my success or adjust my direction next time?
How would I know to celebrate my brilliant choices? How would I recognize that a poorly chosen direction would cast a shadow over my life that would affect how I make choices for a long, long time.
I feel as thought I’ve been walking around and around the house that is my life, never stopping even to peek in the windows to get a glimpse of what’s inside.
It’s time to go in the front door. Scary!