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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Future

I've never been much of a future thinking person. I don't care much about the past either. I pride myself in staying in the present most of the time (generally don't look forward more than a couple of months). I think it helps keep me happy. I don't dwell on the past mistakes and I usually don't worry about what might happen in the future.

However, having to sign up for an Ironman race a year in advance does make one look a little further out. The problem is I can't see what comes next after that. I tell my job that I'm only going to do one of these, but what if one isn't good enough? My friend Rob is considering doing three Ironman races next year. He just did two races this year. Is he nuts? Yah, probably a little, but I know he will perform well at all three and every other smaller distance in-between.

But, back to my dilemma. What comes next? Do I try to be the best employee ever and build a fabulous, professional career as a consulting actuary? Not really my style, but my new company believes in me and would love for me to go there. Do we start a family? I'm 35 now and don't know if I can even have kids, so don't want to stress out about that yet. Do I allow myself the thought that I can do Ironman again, but just not as frequently as once a year? Maybe, that is the ticket. Got to get through the first Ironman before entertaining those thoughts.

I guess this present thinker needs to get back to the present and stay there. Whatever comes next, comes next. Life is too short to rush through. I'll close with my motto and favorite saying:

There is no better time than right now to be happy.

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

So work like you don't need money,

Love like you've never been hurt,

and, dance like no one's watching.


Blogger Jodi said...

I love that saying and totally agree! I don't like to look farther ahead than a year either. It really bothers people that I don't know what I want to do with my life. I think- why the hell would I plan out my future so far ahead? You never know what life is going to throw you. So planning for right now is the best way to go!


10:17 AM

Blogger Papa Louie said...

I love that expression: dance like no one's watching. Now, that's not worried about how you look or what people think while you are having FUN dancing!

2:44 PM

Blogger Lloyd said...

1971 is a good year, eh? Happy Birthday, belated!

I'm all about living one day at a time. At this stage in my life, I don't know any other way.


There are goals in 2007. They are out there. Almost too far out there.

I think you're on the right track.

Let's just try to make it to November, k?

11:17 PM

Blogger E-Speed said...

I think this is one of the reasons I haven't signed on to the Ironman. It is such a long time to plan ahead for and so much can happen in one year!

10:54 AM

Anonymous Jen said...

What a great post!

And, I agree with you completely about being happy today ... if you're always looking ahead to plan for the tomorrows, then you'll miss seeing the joy in today!


11:48 AM

Anonymous Sam said...

Jen--great post!

I think I'm one of those who USED to look day to day then got too caught up in looking to the future.

So yes, IMLP is a ways away, and I'm already nervous and sometimes doubtful, but it's a good reminder to just take it one day at a time, and just keep putting one foot in front of the other! Eventually we'll get to where we're supposed to be.

12:40 PM

Anonymous Matt said...

The wonderful thing about challenging yourself with doing the "impossible" is that at some point it strips everything away - all your preconceived notions about who you are and what you think you can do. That's scary for a lot of people, but for many it helps them see, for the first time, all the possibilities out there for them. It's like a mountain climber who - after a long struggle to get to the peak - for the first time looks out and sees all the other peaks beyond the valley below. This is why we need things like Ironman. It's our version of the mythic hero's journey. A journey where what we learn about ourselves and our place in the world is even more important than the physical journey to the finish line.

5:13 PM

Blogger Deirdre said...

Beautiful, Jen! I like your philosophy!

3:46 PM

Blogger Charlie said...

You probably have, but if not check out the writings of Thich Nhat Hahn. He is a Buddhist monk from Vietnam. You would really like his works.
I Look froward to following your joourney and rooting you on as I begin my taper next July.

10:50 AM


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