I read a long time ago that life is just a story that we tell about ourselves. That no one knows what the future holds so why not tell a story about yourself that you enjoy. It works on the premise that you will see what you are looking for and when you notice something that you recognize from your story, you will naturally gravitate toward it, and it becomes real.
At the end of every year, I enjoy writing a prophecy letter about the next year. I date the letter one year in the future. So, it would be December of 2021, and I imagine all of the events that shaped my life in 2021 and I write them down. I try not to be too specific, because I have learned that letting go of the details makes it easier to feel when something matches up. Here is part of my letter so that you can see an example of how it works.
It is truly amazing what a difference a year can make. I can remember in April of 2020 when my friend Rob in New York called and let me know that he had a fever of 106 degrees and that his doctor told him not to go the hospital, that he was safer by himself at home as long as he could breath. Fast forward one year and by end of spring almost everyone had received the COVID-19 Vaccine. I remember the day Derek and I got our shots. It was busy, but well organized and it didn’t take as long as we thought.
Oh, how wonderful it was to be able to travel again. To get back on an airplane, to get back on a cruise ship!! Seeing our exchange students, Michi and Lotta, in their home countries of Italy and Finland was definitely a highlight of the summer, heck, the highlight of the year! Even the small trips were great. Getting out on the bicycles, paddle boards and going on hikes. Fresh air is a wonderful thing.
The best part of this year though was watching people re-engaging with each other. Meeting more of our neighbors and realizing that we have more in common than we ever thought. Seeing homeless families that we supported last year through Rotary are doing so much better. That we were able to deliver Christmas gifts to an address this year and not a shelter. A roof might seem small unless you don’t have one.
If I learned anything this last year, it is that keeping us separate did keep us safer. It didn’t necessarily keep us well. We need each other.
Awhile back, my friend Mary told me that her adult daughter had called and reminded her that when she and her siblings were young and misbehaving, Mary would imply that she would be happy to knock them into next year. Her daughter was just checking to see if the offer was still available. At this time, it wouldn’t be a long knock, next year is right around the corner. Since it is so close, let’s just start expecting the best right now. Writing it down is just a trick that makes it easier to feel it when it shows up.
Happy Holidays – Mark Ramey