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In a new year

one often resolves to do this or that.

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Why?

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Purpose and patterns

help bring meaning

to one’s life.

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For a bit more wandering and wondering about this, use the DOOR.

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   Sometimes it helps to change the way one looks at life. For a minute (60 seconds this time) stop thinking of life a a long “dash”¹. Instead, visualize it two-dimensionally.

   I count the kitchen floor tiles from the side of the room. There are 70. The Bible says “the years of man” are “three score (60) and 10,” or a fancy way to say 70. Or by “reason of strength, “four score” (or 80).

   Look at the squares, divide up your life, and fill in your past. How many empty tiles still remain? As you look at what you have done, what do you still want to do? That done, how long will that take, and in those last years, do you think you’ll be able to do it?

   There are times in life to be especially realistic. There are times to sort out your dreams. Then look at the ones that are still possible. You still can do this and that…but not some other “this and thats.” Along with the realistic letting go of some dreams, perhaps some “stuff” can depart too, leaving room for other things…or just more room.

   Lives are finite. Am I doing what matters according to what I believe? And do I have enough space in my house, on my calendar, or in my mind–or in desire²–to do what matters and fill those empty tiles that remain³?

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   ¹ Of course, we must have a few notes like this. The “dash” here refers to the dash in two recent posts–which we think is vivid and useful–that refers to the “line” that appears between one’s birthdate and death date on a tombstone.

   ² In several posts we refer to one’s ability to choose, at least in many significant ways, as a given that is not surrendered by genetics or previous events in one’s life. And yes, some science and psychology argues otherwise but, we feel, overstates its conclusions about this..

   ³ My kitchen tiles have to run a bit more into the next room. I’m looking ahead to the 80 figure, and my empty tiles are few and my garage is full.

   A further–unnumbered–comment: The 70 tiles mentioned above have several tiles completely out of sight, covered–permanently–by an island work station, so that no underlying tiles can be seen at all. They, too, are emblematic of a part of my life that has also almost entirely disappeared from my memory. I dare say that this may also be true for others as well.