The Question That Changes My Day

So, I have a lot of dreams and wishes, like everyone else. There are things I want to see, things I wish I could do, and things I suspect I SHOULD be doing.

Most planners don’t work for me. Because I don’t look at them.

And most goal setting doesn’t work for me. Because I rebel even when telling myself what to do. (I know, I know. It’s a problem.)

But in 2018 I’ve been tricking motivating myself with one simple question.

the question that changes my day
Here it is:

What will Karen ten years from now wish that Karen today had done?

I know, how can I know what Karen in 2028 thinks about today?

Well, I know myself pretty well. And there are a few things that Karen in 2018 wishes she could kick Karen in 2008 about.

But 2008 is gone and there’s not much (OK, anything) I can do about that.

So, anyway, this works for little, obvious things:

Tell and show my husband and children that I love them

Maintain our home so we don’t end up on national television. (“This family was LITERALLY buried in laundry and toys.”)

And it works for the the big, harder things like:

Sit down and actually write something.

(It won’t be any easier tomorrow…or ten years from now).

So, if I want to be a Writer in 2028, I actually need to be writing now.

There’s a proverb that says “The best time to start is yesterday. The second best time to start is today.”

Here’s the thing about this question: Karen in 2028 takes a dim view of excuses. She rolls her eyes. (You were too tired, really?)

And she knows how fleeting her kids’ childhoods are. (Because in April 2028 her kids are 26, 23, 21, 17, 14, and 12.)

And Karen in 2028 knows that a plan for a day may need to be set aside because the opportunity to spend time with her grandparents opened up. I know 2028 Karen will be treasuring those memories.

2028 Me is also pretty skeptical of how much time is spent squandered on social media. (“How funny was that video really, when I can’t remember it now?” I hear her asking. She’s pretty pushy sometimes.)

So every day (pretty much) I ask myself this question.

And then the day sorts out a bit better and Karen in 2018 goes to bed with fewer regrets than Karen in 2017 did.

We’re not talking Perfection, of course. Just getting better. And being realistic but also idealistic at the same time.

(Watch this space for what Karen in 2028 thinks. Because I’m sure blogging will still exist then… *cough*)

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  1. This was a good perspective-changer. Thanks.