Monday’s Meditation: On The Next Two Hundred

Today is Monday, despite how discombobulated we may all be from last week’s midweek celebration. And today we’re meditating on The Next Two Hundred.

I was recently having a conversation with a couple of very dear friends– one bitty o’ mine happens to be perplexed about her next life move– and the three of us sat in the corner of a charming cafe, drinking iced coffee and weighing endless lists of pro’s and con’s. And somewhere in there one friend said to another,

“Will you be happy with this decision thirty years from now?”

The question slid down all of our throats like the tricky, slippery ice cube that you inadvertently swallow whole, and that, for the few milliseconds before the ruby heat of your throat has melted it, causes the unmistakable panic of choking.

We may have paused for a moment, lingering on the tantalizing, tempestuous nature of the question. For a moment, we may have all three fallen down the well of wondering about the answer, trying our best to picture the future. I don’t recall what the response was, or where the conversation immediately shifted from there, but it doesn’t matter. The only appropriate answer to a question like that is, “how in the hell should I know?”

See, planning is great. People swear by plans, or so I hear. But sometimes the pressure to have it all figured out, and to comprehend how one decision made this Tuesday will affect your life just three years from now is overwhelming.

Most of the time, trying to see all the way to the destination right now is near impossible. It may be that you’re cruising around what feels like aimlessly, without an inkling as to where you’re headed in the end. And it may be that you have a picture of your final destination sitting on your dashboard, a crumpled print out from google street view. Either way, and in every case, you won’t and can’t know what the road there looks like until you drive it.

You aren’t responsible for knowing the route ahead of time, and no one will be disappointed in you if you don’t anticipate the turns way off in the distance, in the darkness. Your job is to steer your car as smoothly and as carefully as you possibly can through that two hundred feet stretch directly in front of you.

When you feel your head start to swim with worry thoughts, your heart start to palpitate to an anxious beat, remind yourself of that car navigating through the night. Think of that stretch of road immediately in front flooded with headlight, the light moving forward with the car.

The car is connected to the light. Where it goes, life will become illuminated.

Image credit: Retrofairygirl

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Comments

  1. What a lovely and thought-provoking post . . . for anyone of any age . . . thank you! :)

  2. I’m new to your blog so I don’t have the benefit of history to know if today’s posting is typical for your writings. The name of the blog alone attracted my attention as I strive to simplify my life. It was a nice surprise to have discovered this insightful positing this morning from what I thought would be a practical-daily-operations sort of thing. Your words are wise and true. For highly motivated and organized people, the inability to plan life can be frustrating and disappointing. I have come to not only accept, but enjoy and relish, the twists and unexpected aspects of life. The best part of the unexpected is that it allows (forces) you to try different things in life that you couldn’t even imagine. I still keep a ‘lose’ plan for life as I am far too neurotic to not, but I am not devastated over the unexpected any more. But, it took me many years to get there. Kudos to you for knowing it, too.

    • Thank you so much for the incredibly thoughtful comment Ronda! During the rest of the week, I do tend to post more day-to-day organizing tips and tricks, but Monday’s I reserve for some more abstract thoughts — though still what I consider to be under the umbrella of “Live Simply.”
      I loved reading how you approach the unexpected– I do think that way is the healthiest– having a rough idea, but not being committed to the exact way to get there.
      Anyhow, thanks for the comment, hope you’ll be back!

  3. That’s exactly how I try to live my life. I’ve been through so much change, twists and turns that I just try to stay the course and keep things steady throughout it all. Such a fabulous post, Annie. I so missed you! :) xoxo

  4. wonderful post! “Will you be happy with this decision thirty years from now?”

    happy Tuesday

  5. This is such a great way of thinking about things when trying to make a big decision – whether or not you will be happy with the decision in 30years -I’m so going to do this from now on! xx

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