I’m generally a good sleeper, but I had an unusual experience Thursday night that I can’t shake. When I awoke in the middle of the night, an odd question popped into my head: “Another week of my life nearly gone, what did I accomplish?” I had helped a couple of friends on job searches. I had several meaningful conversations with the girls, always a victory with teenagers. And I visited my parents. A good week, is what flashed through my head in the dark, but not terribly impactful, leading instantly to a more difficult question: “How do you wish you’d been able to answer?” The. Silence. Was. Deafening.
All through my life, I’ve asked myself the question that I assume most of us ask ourselves…what should I be doing with my life? A difficult question to be sure, but one which hasn’t been distressing to not be able to answer. It’s been easy to let myself off the hook with that one. I mean, who expects to know what they’re supposed to do with their whole life, after all. But a single week? Not having that answer was astonishing.
Of course, the irony is that our lives are made up of individual weeks and days and moments. As an organizer and planner, I am fully aware that not having near-term goals makes it less likely that I’ll achieve my longer-term ones. Yet for some reason, I’d never thought about breaking down the enormous meaning-of-life goal into achievable chunks. I don’t even know where to start. But it seems important enough to start figuring out.
“A year from now, you will wish you had started today.” –Karen Lamb