Happy New Year!
2020. It sounds like something far off in the future. Except, it isn't. When I was a kid, I used to sometimes think of what year it would be when I was old... I hate to admit it, but we're really getting into those numbers now. I recently heard someone so eloquently describe realizing you're getting old when you find yourself "closer to the graveyard than to the playground." Ahhh! Excuse me for a moment while I go bury my head in the sand...
To summarize in a very primitive nutshell without getting into all the particulars of the field of ophthalmology, 20/20 vision is "really good." It's when you can see very clearly - at least in regard to physical sight. But I couldn't resist the play on words by thinking of "2020 Vision." Like I mentioned, as a kid, I thought of it as some distant date in the future. I imagined all sorts of amazing inventions. Maybe we'd all be flying around in our cars like the Jetsons. Maybe doctors would cure people's ailments by waving a device over them like Dr. McCoy did in the original Star Trek. Maybe there'd be supersonic jets flying across the ocean in an hour, or high-speed rail that went across the United States in a few hours. Maybe cars would run on something other than gasoline. Would we all be living to 200 years old?
While we have made many incredible advances in technology, medicine, etc., if you were to get away from flat screen TVs and computers and drive through many places across the United States and elsewhere, it could easily be mistaken for twenty or thirty years ago (if you didn't notice the absence of pay phones, that is). What happened to the rate of progress that took us from the horse and buggy era of 1900 to the Internet and technological age of today?
How about in your own life? Did you picture yourself being somewhere other than where you are when the calendar hit 2020? Maybe you'd have that dream job with a bursting bank account. Maybe you'd have met that perfect soulmate, and you'd be enjoying life with them in some place you always wanted to live. Maybe you'd have quit that nagging smoking habit, or lost that extra thirty pounds you wanted to shake. Maybe you'd finally be more at peace and filled with all sorts of wisdom. Maybe.
It's often said that you're where you are for a reason. One of the favorite sayings of the "they people" is that "you're exactly where you need to be." Religious people might say you're where God wants you, especially if you open yourself up to His will and plan for your life. Those who aren't necessarily religious but who see a higher spiritual purpose and meaning to life might say that on a deeper level, you chose to be exactly where you are for some specific reason. Both might say that all of our lives are interconnected, and impact each other at specific times and for specific reasons, such as growth or other reasons we may not fully understand until after we move on to the next realm (check out "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom).
The non-religious, non-spiritual, non-lofty thinkers might say you're where you are simply because of the choices you made in the past. But the positive lining in that can of worms is that if the past could affect today so powerfully, then you can make choices today to lead to the tomorrow you want to experience.
Honestly, while I might be able to share these possibilities and give this encouragement to others, when it comes to my own life, I tend to struggle with this stuff. I often have a hard time letting go to God's will, or my soul's purpose and spiritual growth. I'm more than happy to beat myself up about some of yesterday's choices. I tend to overlook some of the small, important things I may be doing right now, instead focusing on my own visions of where I should be at this point in time. So, if you're in that boat, I'm probably the guy sitting next to you, furiously rowing to get somewhere. If you've moved beyond that type of thinking, and are truly at peace and enjoying every step of your journey, than I commend you.
I'm not saying it's bad to have dreams and goals. Those are great to motivate us. But maybe sometimes we get too caught up in them and lose sight of the big picture. Christina, my wife, who has an uncanny ability to know what's going on inside my head, serves as a voice of logic and reason in my life. Trust me, that's not always comfortable or warm and fuzzy! She'll often point out the times when I tend to get so wrapped up in where I want to be that I overlook the present moment. Many well-known thinkers from both the religious and spiritual persuasion, as well as more secular ones, have often spoke of the importance of being in the now. I'm blessed to have such a loving, insightful wise thinker for a life partner! Haha and someone to whack me over the head with the proverbial two-by-four when I need it.
So my 2020 vision, my New Year's resolution, is to try and enjoy the journey a bit more. I need to stop selfishly getting caught up on however I define success and try to see the bigger picture. I need to try to be more present in the moment. It would also help to make good choices that lead to awesome tomorrows. Most of all, I need to be more trusting of the Divine plan and how all the pieces of the puzzle may fit together in ways I can't see right now.
What about you? What's your 2020 vision? If your life isn't exactly where you thought it would be by now, or if you feel like you somehow failed in the pursuit of your dreams and goals, take it easy on yourself. Take a breath. Enjoy where you're at. Try and laugh more. Never stop shooting for the stars and pursuing your hopes and dreams. Set realistic goals along the way, and work to meet them. Most of all, enjoy the journey!
If, however, you find you need to sneak out back to take a hit off the pipe of Type A, success-on-my-terms-or-no-terms-at-all-and-the-frantic-obsessing-and-striving-to-get-there that comes with it, chances are you'll find me out there doing the same thing. Just give me a heads up if you see Christina heading my way carrying a two-by-four....