Juggling Balls, why not?
The whole thing was a fluke, really.
I didn’t realize back in 1999 that I’d be here now, opening a Time Capsule.
When you ask me — where do you think you’ll be in ten years? I tend to give you the default answers: the resolutions that are trotted out each year and then set aside in a few months due to lack of follow-through.
Way back in 1999, there’d been lot of talk about computers failing in the year 2000. Programs weren’t designed to store enough digits so the year 1900 and the year 2000 would be mixed up.
I wanted to mark the date in a special way, so I created a time capsule.
My two sons were seven and five years old, so it was a stretch for them to imagine. I thought it would be fun to write a letter to each of them with my predictions for the year 2010. It was a success so we did it again.
By the way — the capsule was nothing fancy. Just an old cookie tin that was duct-taped shut. It’s lived in the back of my closet all this time.
Fast forward to 2020:
We’ve just opened the time capsule we created in 2010.
Everyone gathered around the living room, eagerly waiting to discover what they’d written. It turned out to be a fun and somehow random experience.
One of my sons had put in some juggling balls and an application advertisement for a Circus School. Another one put in a letter to himself that predicted his future career. My mother mentioned a small tremor in her hand that has since developed into full-on Parkinson’s.
I wrote a lovely note to myself, talking about how I was in a temporary VP position, confessing that I wasn’t applying for it because I didn’t want to start scaling up. I was happy to stay a Manager and secretly hoped I could retire before the 10 years was up.
It was a cheery letter, where I noted that Obama was president and world power was shifting from the West to the East.
I was hopeful that the retiring Baby Boomers would use their power and knowledge to revert to their hippie ‘love and peace’ dreams from their youth and solve: world hunger, global warming, and international relationships.
Huh. Guess some things didn’t resolve the way I thought they might.
It was interesting to reflect back and somewhat depressing to realize that some of the things we had planned didn’t pan out. It was also kind of cool to notice what had happened instead (speaking personally).
As for hopes and dreams in my personal life, let’s just say that I was a bit over-ambitious. I did cut myself a bit of slack by wishing future me the best of luck and sending love.
I had no idea what the last ten years would bring.
Here are some personal highlights that weren’t on the list.
- I took stress leave from work and never went back.
- I joined an online writing group and some of us ended up publishing a poetry anthology. That was pretty cool.
- I wrote a blog — two in fact. I started sketching. I met some really good friends. I even met some of them in person.
- I stopped writing the blogs — they were going nowhere.I was published by Chicken Soup. Cheesy, but somehow satisfying.
- We traveled a lot. Mostly Asia.
- I broke my arm on Crete at the top of Mount Ida. I think I angered the gods.
- I had heart surgery in 2018. It sort of worked.
- I discovered that all of this history is just my past story and not my future.
- I let a whole bunch of things go.
- I went on a one-week meditation retreat.
- I saw whales close up in a small boat on the west coast.
- I grew my own peaches, ate figs from my garden and planted an olive tree.
- I was in an earthquake on Crete. The earth literally shook under my feet.
- I studied Forensic Anthropology. Peer pressure, what can I say.
- I became a senior. Seriously. I should have seen that one coming, at least.
I’m sure there’s more. Ten years is a long time as it turns out.
Here’s the thing.
When you ask me — where do you think you’ll be in ten years? I tend to give you default answers. The typical resolutions we trot out each year and then set aside in a few months due to lack of follow-through.
These are the off the cuff answers — the ones I always give when I’m asked that question.
I call them the ‘Cheesy Easies’.
· Exercise every day
· Practice self-care
· Learn to play an instrument
· Drink less and eat better
· Write every day
The more difficult ones are the things I’d like to try but want the option to back out of later if I decide I don’t want to do it anymore.
When faced with the decision to try something new, we often consider the fact that we can choose something and then we can ‘unchoose’ it.
We can choose something else.
In fact, I like the idea of dancing through life, choosing things on a whim and then deciding to choose another thing.
I’d like to leave a string of unfinished projects behind me with no expectations, no guilt and no need to return.
That’s not my normal M.O., just so you know. In my house, they call me the Queen of Follow Through. It’s an earned title.
I’ve been working on letting things go but it’s not been easy.
So, if I was in a dream, and could choose anything I wanted, I’m more likely to choose things like this:
- start a meditation group
- enter a Triathalon
- learn how to put on tire chains
- ride a horse — I’m afraid of horses
- go to the airport and take the next international flight — randomly
- buy an air horn and use it
Just knowing I don’t have to follow through makes it easier to choose something different for myself.
And I love that!
If you were creating a Time Capsule to be opened in 2030, what would you include?
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