The subtitle of this blog is “Panic at 26,” and that’s where I am right now. Unfortunately, time marches on, even if I’d like it not to – I’ll be 27 in 100 days.
Birthdays and New Year’s Day are unified in that they are days where people make grandiose promises about what will happen in the next 365 days. I’ll lose weight, stop smoking, stop screwing around on the internet,write a symphony, achieve world peace, and perhaps stop snacking after midnight. Maybe. If I get to it – can’t you tell how fucking busy I am, what with the world peace on the plate? Geez.
In 100 days, I’ll have completed my 27th year on this planet. Not that I’ve screwed up the first 256 days of my 27th year, but I feel like now is the time to get serious, turn the screws, and go all out to finish strong. What would finishing strong entail, though? What would I have to accomplish before July 11th, 2011 to make me feel like the earlier parts of that year weren’t just a complete failure?
This is generally where the grandiose promises begin. Less Internet! More outdoors! More reading! Less TV! More academic stuff! Less procrastination! It’s all well and good, but if I don’t deal with the root of all that, any sort of personal resolution is going to be about as effective as a UN resolution.
Right now, I have about 30-40 articles in my bookmarks about meeting your goals and conquering your future, etc etc. They go unread, though, and instead, I read more AskMefi. I collect self help books, I have tons of unfinished, out-of-date lists that were supposed to be my turn around point. The first day of the rest of my life. Unfortunately, tomorrow was always a continuation of what was before.
You Are Not So Smart had a great post a while back about procrastination, and the gist of it is this: I download these articles and buy the books so that future Me can read them. Future Me is a stand up guy – he reads books, articles, writes papers and essays and loves every minute of it. Current Me, though, is a bit of a lazy fuck. He’d rather pontificate in a 700 word blog post than knock something meaningful off of his todo list. Good thing Future Me will pick up the slack.
Unfortunately, that guy is actually Current Me. He’s not some special rockstar that wants to get everything done; he’s just me, down the road, as uninspired as I am right now.
I want Future Me, that Me on July 11, 2011, to be different than the guy right now. I want him to shake at least some of the God awful habits that I have, and I want him to come to terms with some of the other stuff he can’t change. I can’t just hope that he’ll be smart enough to do that, though. He’s me, and I know that if I do it like I always do, I’ll get to July 11, be depressed, and bemoan how I never change anything.
100 days is a lot of time for anything or anyone. I have a bunch of stuff between now and then, but if I can put things in place now, Future Me will be a better person for it.
What needs to be in place? What do I want Future Me to look like? What are the end goals for July 11, 2011? There are five basic areas I want to improve on in my life.
I’m not sure exactly what I want to do in each area yet. I know I need to read more journal articles, but how much more? I know I need to run more, but how much more? I know I need to meditate more, but when? How?
I’m going to resist making today the grand beginning of something. Instead, today is where I start thinking about where I want to be in each of those categories, and what I can do to get there. I’ll be thinking out loud about this for a while, and hopefully within the next week, I can get some concrete goals I’d like to achieve for the beginning of my 27th year.
The first step, I think, is to delete all of those “How to fix your life” articles and actually start taking steps to fix my life. The steps don’t have to be perfect, but they have to be in a forward motion.
Can I turn “Panic at 26” into “Placid at 27?” Probably not. But can I take a few concrete steps to help Future Me suck less? Probably.