We’re in the second week of a new decade. The fresh start is freeing, but for planners like me, there can be a bit of anxiety. A decade—even a year—holds so many unknowns, which has a positive and negative side to it.
With the completed picture of the 2010’s, I can now see how many different landscapes formed in my life throughout the years. I suspect we all could say if we made a chart of our lifetime, it’d be arced here and there, where highs and lows occurred. In my case, my chart of this past decade would peak just before the halfway mark, before sloping off towards the end.
Because I finished while on a somewhat downward pattern, it’s tough to look ahead with the anticipation of brighter developments ahead. It’s easier to see the bleaker turns of events. Even if you’re an optimist at heart, disappointments can make you want to keep a constant shield up to protect yourself from pain.
In the course of a decade, negative, even heartbreaking changes are almost certain to take place. Over the past ten years, my family has lost several loved ones, suffered a couple serious health diagnoses, and endured various difficulties in between. I wouldn’t consider us an exception, as I know others encountered those incidents and worse.
But, I’ve decided, always bracing yourself for more letdowns in order to soften your fall isn’t living; it’s existing. It brings to mind bracing yourself for impact on an airplane. Sure, it’s a necessary action when you’re told to do so. How much would you enjoy the flight, however, if you stayed in that position from takeoff to touchdown? Besides having a very sore back, you’d miss out on all the beautiful clouds, lights, and other sights to behold.
Similarly, covering your eyes to avoid the painful moments will make you lose out on the joyful ones you don’t expect. While there’s no way to plan for the unfortunate turns we may undergo, we also can’t map out the happy surprises that are in store. When you make an objective examination, you may find that the two pretty balance out each other. One relationship might have cooled without warning, but another one warmed without an apparent reason; you may suddenly lose a job, only to stumble upon a career that better suits you.
Hence, leave room for surprises in your ten-year plan. For those of us who have Type A personalities, it goes against our nature do so, but it’ll be worthwhile. Some may come as punches in the gut, but others will brighten your day, week, or—every so often—your life. For the duration of the 2020’s and beyond, then, sit back, open the window shade, and enjoy your flight!
Ugly Changes Lead to Beautiful Transformations
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