In the end, it all works out in my favor.
This is the conclusion that I have come to through 2020, and all the years of my life before, that carried with them setbacks, delays, and disappointments.
Every day it seems we get more reminders of death and the spirit of life. If it isn't from someone choosing to take their own life to escape unbearable pain, or an illness that medicine could not cure or from the selfish, recklessness behavior by another, that we get reintroduced to the gift of time that living is.
These days I am satisfied by my safety and the safety of my loved ones and coworkers. These days I am inspired to wake up to another chance to leave someone better than I found them or to teach someone something useful, especially when the audience is my own kid.
In America we grow up learning that the ultimate purpose in life is achievement, defeating the rat race, and outdoing everyone (including ourselves). It isn't wrong or bad to want to be "the best" or "the first" but it is also not always a healthy perspective, particularly if you start comparing your own progress against people who have a completely different set of circumstances than yours.
The year 2020 affected billions of people worldwide and it seems that the ones who have been able to mentally thrive are the ones who were able to adapt their expectations of productivity with the reality that some things aren't really as much of a priority as they thought they were. Family and friends became more important. Passions became more important. Rest became more important. The best outcome? For many, community became more important.
I have always wanted to achieve a high level of success and have always carried dreams that seem unattainable or 1 in a billion. To me though, impossibility doesn't matter and I could always be that one. I have been forced to change my approach though and I feel that I will be better off, at least for awhile, to not feel that I have to get "everything" done or should feel guilty for not making something my problem that is really just a distraction.
I am usually driven by wanting to help people, but even I have had to accept that you can only help those who are interested in helping themselves. "Trying" with people who don't want to try only depletes your own energy and creates an inner conflict of self doubt as to why you don't have enough power to "change" them or get them to care more.
Grown ups still walk around in public places forcing store employees and businesses to "parent" them and remind them to wear a mask properly, even after all this time. Parents still walk out on their kids and don't make the effort to provide for them or nurture them. Businesses still overlook top talent they say they need because that talent doesn't fit into buzzwords they created. People still flock to negative news or celebrity weddings rather than volunteering with an organization or supporting livable wages for their neighbors.
I have championed the concept of personal development ever since I can remember. I made sure to know all my ABCs and numbers before I started school and I learned reading early. I enjoyed playing with the kids at school who were in the "special education" classes because I thought they were cool and interesting. I learned astrology, tarot, psychology and other methods of understanding myself and the others around me. I am self-awareness on steroids!
Now, though, I am taking my self-awareness in a new direction. I no longer want to do anything or make any choices based upon the level of "achievement" that I may expect from it. For the past few months I have been waking up and giving thanks that people I care about are still around to share experiences with. I have been able to satisfied that I got 2 out of 3 things done on my "desire" list than kicking myself for not completing the third.
And yes, I am shifting my focus onto what I desire rather than what I feel I "have" to do. We will always have obligations but when people say "it's about the journey, not the destination" part of what that means is focus on today and focus on now instead of putting so much pressure on a particular outcome or reaction. The importance of planning is so that we can limit wasting time, not to fill up the planner and never accomplish any of it because we're piling on too much.
I'm putting a lot less on my planner. I am narrowing down what do I really want to be doing? I have had part of this post in my draft folder for six days. My current work schedule has been a hindrance to my passion productivity and I have been slowly making adjustments these last few days to make time for the things that are fulfilling to me and self-guided. Changing lifestyle is a process and you can't change it until you figure out what no longer serves you.
What no longer serves me is "trying" to do the things I want to do or "trying" to be around people I want to be with. The new lifestyle is morphing into "I will do" the things I want to do and I "will experience time" with the people I want and damn anything that is getting in the way. The news flash life has given me is that the luxury of time is not only reserved for the wealthy or people who aren't caretakers. We lose time because we have decided to clean up other people's messes or be involved in conflict that is ongoing or haven't been selective enough with our attention.
"We should get together" has to become "we're getting together on x date" or no backing out of previously made plans to have fun because work was stressful. No consistent setting aside of personal plans to accommodate a business need that can wait or is someone else's responsibility. It's time to stick to plans of bed at a particular time so that I can rest properly and establish the routine that has long been missing the last 4 years.