Welcome to the new year. Another 365 days presented in the form of weeks, months or seasons depending on how we want to visualize the coming timeline. We have 24hrs in each day. 1440 minutes. 86400 seconds captured by the clock and deducted from our lives in little, tiny, increments.
I like thinking about eighty-six thousand seconds. It seems like a lot.
How excited are you that another year is on the books? Is the last year saved as memories and tucked away to call on as “experience,” or is the past year clinging to your back and being dragged around as a weight, carried heavy as a sack full of regrets?
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t add a few regrets to my sack, but I added some experience too.
I took the picture for this post early last year. It was bitter cold and while traveling, I woke to my world covered with ice and a layer of fresh snow. The visuals were stunning. The temperature, however, was far from inviting me to spend time outside wandering around.
I’m a beach and warm weather person. Cold is not my chosen climate for comfort.
I guess I could have just stayed inside and complained about how cold it was out in the world. I may have found other people who felt like I did and we could sit around inside where it was warm and listen to each other come up with things we wanted to do but couldn’t because of the cold. We would be able to validate each other and our dislike of all things cold and miserable and feel good about how we all shared our suffering and disdain as a commonality; our grouped distress allowing us to feel superior together to those unfortunate souls who in their wretched confusion somehow find the cold weather appealing. Poor misguided individuals.
I could venture out into a world I felt was out of my comfort zone and see if there was a view that I found worthwhile. I could try to find a way to understand the perspective of the cold-loving fools who beckoned me to just take a chance and see their world for a change.
Of course, I did, and the picture and the many more I took that day also became my memory of an adventure that while cold, was one that I will never forget. The experience was positive in many ways.
…and a few months later, I happened by this same spot. I don’t have a picture to share, but the trees were green. The water was calm and dark greenish-blue. The air was warm. The world around me was back within my comfort zone. The view, however, was much less stunning and much less of a memory. Interesting thought that I needed to be outside my typical area of comfort to maximize this leg of my life journey.
It dawned on me that our world will change and while we can choose to sit in the same spot and always maintain the same perspective, this choice will not slow the rate or the degree of the changes that go on around us. We can consider alternatives and take a risk with a change of our perspective; or we can remain steadfast, even in our own ignorance of the vast opportunities we may forfeit.
The choice is not to compromise our values or weaken our integrity. The change of perspective is more one that allows us to demonstrate that we are strong enough to understand the true meaning of empathy. We value each other enough to want to understand how a different viewpoint can carry with it such a strong passionate opposition to our own.
Welcome to a new year. If each of us is fortunate enough to survive our objective measure of time for another 365 days, how will these hours be viewed in the coming hindsight?
Once we reach that view, we can’t make any more adjustments. The value of knowing the concept of time gives us the responsibility to chose in advance how we might want to enjoy the privilege of hindsight.
Experience or regrets. We need to choose now because life doesn’t give us the gift of trying again.