Friday, December 21, 2007

What about tomorrow?

Much of my career involves managing people to get a task done. I have worked in manufacturing for over 25 years. Therefore much of my time has been spent analyzing the past to learn from, and planning for the future to succeed. I am in my early 60's and my career has changed to industrial training so I still stay in contact with that line of work I am most familiar, only I don't have to responsibility I once had.

I find however, my mind still turning to the what if's and oh shoots. In other words I still find myself thinking about the past and planning on the future. However my thoughts have been turning more personal than business related. In this year about to enter the record books, my health has been challenged, first by cancer, then by an irregular heart beat, then I had my gall bladder taken out in November. With the year coming to a close, my health problems behind me I have been spending a lot of time taking stock of my life.

One thing I do know is that I have fewer years in front of me than behind me so planning is now taking on a different meaning. Lately an old saying I learned in AA has been rolling through my mind: "You have to learn to want what you have, not have what you want." I have a lot. I have a lot of stuff that has accumulated through the years and I don't use but I haven't disposed of it. I have a lot of memories that sometimes haunt me and other times give me pleasure. I have a future that looks like I will retain my health for a long time to come, if you consider 20 years a long time. Still I find my self worrying about the future.

Frankly, the future is determined upon birth. We shall pass from this earth. We simply don't know when. Frankly I don't want to know when. Yet I find myself worrying about the length of time I have left. So, I have been discussing this with a power greater than I for the past few months and it has lead me to some conclusions that I am taking into my heart.

I need to learn from the past. I've made some mistakes both important and not so important. I need to learn from them to prevent having to go through those experiences again. However, to dwell on them distorts the present and can cause me to take actions that are not necessary. I cannot do anything about the outcome of the future, but I can do things that may pave the way to an enjoyable old age. What are those things, I can save money, I can be aware of my health, I can eat correctly, I can exercise, I can have an open, loving relationship with those about me. All of those things that contribute to mental and physical health are worthy of action now. What isn't worthy is obsessing about the future because it shall surely come whether we worry about it or not. I've always liked the line, Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you come to the end the faster it goes.

So I resolve to live in the moment. I resolve to try and look at my surroundings with new eyes each day. I resolve to try to be at peace with my self, yet avoid complacency. Life is no fun without commitment. So I resolved to study, learn, and voice my concern over issues that effect me, society, and this old planet we live on. Perhaps my time on earth shall pass too quickly for me, but if I sit and worry about it, my future time will be poorly spent.

Merry Christmas, 2007

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