I was at a transition point in my life. I was asking questions that you may have asked yourself at some point in your life. My transition point had me looking at decisions about where I would live, how I would financially support myself, and what difference I would make with the rest of my life. These decisions followed a time of loss where my consulting practice slowly dried up, and then, after moving from being a board member into the executive director role, I was terminated from the nonprofit organization that I led. During this time, my marriage of thirty years ended.
Sitting in my apartment one night, the question of what my life was to be in the future became crystal clear to me. I saw myself starting over. I realized that my life was not done, there was much to do, and that my best, most important work was yet to be. So that evening, I decided that for me to start my life over, I had to move.
Accounting for Time
Our measuring of time is not by the clock, but by the attention that we give it. If we sit down and become immersed in a really good book, we lose track of time. An hour or two flies by, and yet, we feel time has stood still.
However, if we live with our televisions always on one of the news channels, we begin to see the chapters of each day divided up in 3-minute segments. It becomes exhausting because, in order to claim your attention, there must be an emotional hook. It is hard to have a long view of our lives when our attention and our emotions are being turned off and on throughout the day. It is difficult to know where we are at any moment.
To account for the time that our lives spend, we need to establish a long view. From this perspective, we can take our time, learn as we go along, and not lose ourselves in rapidly fluctuating emotions. We gain focus and commitment to fulfilling some purpose that we can only see as the end of the long view.