Discussion: To This Point… This Was Not What I Planned!
October 16, 2020
To my 60 and over group, I wish to ask a few questions regarding your current station in life… right now. I invite those who are under 60 years old to listen in on our conversation.
What do you notice without thinking, when you glance back over your life? What is the first picture in your mind’s eye?
Now holding a deeper view, did your life unfold as you planned? Were there only minor hiccups or is the life you proposed still not in view?
Life is continuing to happen with or without plans. Our expectations and prayer are that our life parallels the picture in our head in some form. For many it does, but for some it only just a dream… for the moment. We discover ourselves repeating, “I thought I’d be here by now or have this by now.”
We measure our life by time. This is a statement we should consider. This consideration could be for us at the earliest of ages. We expect babies to follow a schedule to perform specific actions by the age of one. We follow these expectations/stages until we die with regard that in a particular time we should be here or there and done this or that. Many lives shows to be “on point” with the developed timetable they have handed us. For those who are not, we often label them “slow” or with a disability or pressures denoting they are behind time. With this in mind, many set out in life envisioning who they want to be in life, but unfortunately upon hearing the words of other find themselves redirected and following someone’s view of what they deemed them to be in life.
They box our education, starting from kindergarten until our degree shows the vocation that directs our life’s course. Then we have to stay alert to the time frame of marriage and children to keep from being frowned on. The proclaimed Guardians known as family and friends nominate themselves to keep us on track? They have their mental questionnaire ready to keep you and those around you on what they believe your current status should be. In their mind (and it comes from their mouth) certain things should have happened by now, “when are you getting married, maybe your standards are too high, you’re not getting any younger, you know?”
The Guardians remind you of careers and how will you take care of yourself in life? They need to know when you are going to get a good job (not just a job, but a good job). Then we sometimes make the fatal mistake of sharing our dreams. Once they recuperate, their response normally is “you have a dream to do what?” As they then tell you it’s ridiculous to chase your dream or its foolishness. Remember now they are speaking of your dream. Let’s be truthful we measure our life by time and sadly by others’ reactions. Maybe not as the time Guardians do when monitoring us, but we do. We don’t need them beating up on us because most of us perform a good job of beating up on ourselves!
I don’t know how long it would have taken us to take to the sky by airplane, if it hadn’t been for the Wright brothers carrying out their dream. They were aviation pioneers credited with designing, building and flying the world's first successful motor-operated airplane. People stood around laughing at them, writing about their failed attempts and scrutinizing them. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard University to create Microsoft with Paul Allen in a tiny Albuquerque garage, with room for barely two people to fit into. Let me stop here, because I wish to stay on course and not wander off regarding dreamers. Dreamer’s or a term I like better, Visionaries contributions to the world have been life changing because they took a chance. Now back on this discussion...
We have to be mindful how we measure time and our life against it. Age shouldn’t provoke us to consider and conclude that we have missed our mark in life. It may mean we need to pause for a moment and take a meaningful look at our road. It has consistently been my conviction that we did not put our picture in our mind. It happened at birth and it’s up to us to cultivate it throughout life.
A seamstress uses a pattern to complete the finished design. They lay the pattern on the material. Then with the help of stick pins to keep the pattern in place, the cutting begins. Next comes the sewing of the various pieces together and afterwards there may be a few modifications leading to the finished design. I conclude it gives us a picture of our place in the world where we are to develop and make adjustments. The world is the material and we are the pattern.
Across the world we are patterns and life is the seamstress, pining, cutting and making alterations to show our place. Whether it’s a truck driver, a dancer, train conductor or orchestra conductor, a file clerk, a nanny, or network marketer, we fit in this world. There are some whose picture shows a $150 thousand home where someone else a $15 million home. Some of their patterns call for designer clothes and still some don’t even think about designer wear.
We have individuals in the same family who may not be financially secure while we class other members of the same family as wealthy. When we see ourselves compared to others, we must remember, we don’t see their mind picture or life timetable. Possibly we may not have arrived to the place we are striving to reach, which ease comparisons. We can’t give up on ourselves. The pins and cutting of your pattern may have been more difficult than the other persons. Our pins and the scissors used may have been sickness.
There are ones who have sought the path of alcoholism and/or drugs addiction, now causing an alteration in their life. Different abuses (mental, verbal, physical and sexual) they encounter, yet none of this erased the picture they bear inside. No one can occupy your place. It’s tough to keep moving, yet your place in life designed for you with no apprehension that you could do it. Develop the picture.
I realize for myself; I am still reaching and endeavoring to fulfil the picture in my mind. Life will appear to force you off course; by causing you to conclude you are too old. Subsequently settling in the notion that there is no way you can make it to that place you see virtually every day in your mind's eye. History has offered us through the stories of others that we can. Not only make it there, but even have time to enjoy being there. So far, life may not be as you projected. The interesting thing about life is if you are reading this, means you are still breathing. As long as you are still breathing, you can continue moving towards your goals and the life you see for yourself.
Thank you for joining me for Friday at Sundown. Remember… Just Breathe!
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