A shitty start to a new decade before things got way better
Today is January 1, 2020. My day started shitty, which means my year started shitty, and also my decade. It got better, which means everything has already improved.
When I started writing this it was only 10:30, and I’m already living in a better world than the one in which I woke. How cool!
And now (or soon) I will have posted it. Could life get much better?
Things will get worse
Things could get worse, of course.
Check that. Things will get worse. As far as I know, being dead is worse than being alive. I’m 77 and getting closer to being dead every day.
Optimistically, I’ve got another 20 years left. Optimistically, most of my years will be good ones. But let’s be realistic. The odds that the I’ll reach 100 more-or-less intact are close to zero.
My good life, right now
Still, life is good.
Right now, I’m in my bright living room. There are sliding glass doors on the left and right. I’ve got views to the outdoors through a window in Bobbi’s office and through a glass door that leads to a side porch both ahead of me. I can see the Salt Pond to my left and woods in every other direction. Our Christmas tree stands before me and to the right, covered with lights and memories.
Life is very good.
But before I remembered that, life was kind of shitty.
My shitty start
Who knows why this shit happens.
I woke up regretting the imagined decisions of the past that could have led to a life that I imagined would have been better than the life I’m living today.
It took a while, talking with Bobbi, to turn me away from resentment and back to gratitude. Thank you, Past Me! Special thanks to the Past Me who wrote that post reminding me to be grateful.
That led me back to the present.
Right now things are…okay
Some things will get worse. Check that. Most things will. But on the way to things getting worse, some could get better.
I might be able to improve some things. But I probably can’t improve everything that I’d like to improve.
And what I do improve won’t improve fast enough.
And that’s shitty.
Or it will be shitty if I let it happen that way.
So let’s see what I can change.
My current state is good. My current trajectory is not terrible. Probably better than not terrible.
But I’d like to be on a “better” path and I’d sure as hell like to improve my speed.
Position fine. Velocity (speed and direction) to be adjusted. And how about more acceleration? That would be nice.
Newton’s laws apply. Psychological systems at rest (or in motion) tend to remain at rest (or in motion) unless acted upon by an outside force. The friction of aging will slow me. And the gravitational pull of death will ultimately bring my existence to an end.
Outside forces are possible.
Catastrophe will change position for the worse and will alter velocity—possibly for the better, probably not.
But can I find fields of forces that pull me up and away? Can I cause those fields to act on me? Can I find portals that lead to other places and better velocities? Can I step through those portals?
Let’s suppose the answers are affirmative.
The questions that follow, then, are “where?” And “how?”
Attractive forces, propulsive forces, and portals
If I don’t change my velocity or rearrange the forces that act on me, my life will change in the way it’s currently changing.
Except for portals, of course. But let’s hold off on portals just now. Let’s go with attractive and propulsive forces.
Experimentally and imaginatively, I can create a Future Me toward which I might propel myself by intentional acts.
What’s the difference between the person that I am, Present Me, and the person that I aspire to be—Ideal Future Me? Much of the difference is our habits and competencies. Present Me has terrible habits that Ideal Future Me has abandoned. Ideal Future Me easily, naturally, fluidly does things that Present Me does with difficulty, if at all.
Where Present Me is either consciously incompetent or competent but only with continuous conscious effort and attention, Ideal Future Me is unconsciously competent.
The more clearly I visualize Ideal Future Me, the clearer the directions in which I would need to improve to approach it.
I’d like to not just propel myself toward that me; I’d like to be drawn to it as well. I want the attraction to be mutual: I will pull myself to it, and it will attract itself to me.
The more I visualize that Ideal Future Me in detail, I hypothesize, the higher its attractive force.
The more I imagine that there’s an attractive force between Present Me and Ideal Future Me, I conjecture, the more effective the force.
This doesn’t happen automatically. Intention is necessary, but by no means sufficient. I need sustained intention and the intention to take action.
Is that enough?
Maybe a portal as well? I’m looking for a portal
A portal to Ideal Future Me
I imagine a portal, a doorway.
On one side of My Portal is Present Me fitted with abilities and weighed down with baggage. There’s the weight of past error, still being carried. There’s the burden of bad habits. There are stones of resentment.
My Portal lets me pass through, but not my burdens.
As I step through My Portal, I become lighter—a step closer to Ideal Future Me.
I can create My Portal wherever I want. Doorways are handy. That doorway, right there, looks like a good one.
I’ll step through it, and then I’ll post this.
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