Thursday, December 26, 2019

2020 – A Year of Seeing Clearly?

Yes, it is a pun, a play on words with the year, something we all might be tired of hearing by the end of 2020. However, I am going to start out as if I am the only person who has thought of it, and it is a perfect year-long vision statement for me. I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist one more pun.

Back when I was in my 20s, the future appeared to me as fog-enveloped road. I knew the trip was a long one — at least I hoped it would be a long one — but I couldn’t quite see very far ahead of me. As I made my way along this road, there were days when the fog lifted, revealing stunning vistas. Other days, I could barely inch along. In addition, the road was ever-changing; smooth, level, and wide at some points; full of potholes, detours, and even the occasional fender bender at others. Sometimes I traveled with a full load of family, friends or coworkers, sometimes it was just me and a poorly plotted map.

In 2020 I have a significant birthday. Yes, I’ve passed these artificial milestones before. However, this next one has been held out as the “big one,” not only for the mileage I’ve covered, but all the things that culture, society, and tradition expect of me. Things that generally fall into the “should have done by now” category. I should have reduced my indebtedness and obligations to barely anything by now. I should have squirreled away a huge retirement fund for the “golden years.” I should have already experienced the highest pinnacles career-wise in anticipation of “taking it easy.” To remind me, my snail mail and my email is full of solicitations for Medicare supplements, reverse mortgages, hearing aids and cemetery plots. But in my head I am setting fire to all this, while the voice of Dylan Thomas is screaming at me “Do not go gentle into that good night!”

The detours along my road have been long, circuitous, and costly, both in matters of finance and time. I’ve reached a point in my life where the expression “return on investment” has come to be a consideration of where to invest myself. So, it is almost a message from the universe that I approach a year whose number is so closely aligned with vision and time. As  I prepare to rage against the dying of the light, my answer to the question, “How will I clarify that vision, and where will I spend my time?” is: “We’ll see.”