Two years ago today, the 25 Year Plan was born. Actually, the plan has been in the works for… well, about 25 years, but the blog was created on December 18, 2005. And when I say plan I don’t want to sound as though I had actually looked into the coming years of my life and came up with something resembling the past 25 years. If I knew when I was 20 what was coming, I would have run for cover.
But we don’t get to know and even the best-laid plans can go astray. Indeed, the only thing predictable about life is its total unpredictability. But that doesn’t mean one should just blow with the wind; that I cannot take steps toward an end; that everything that comes at me has to be met with an emergency response. If there is a theme for past four or five years, it has been about making my life more stable.
In this respect there has been a plan, but it is not specific with certain ‘benchmarks’ (I used to like that word, but it has become somewhat overused of late). Oh, sure, there are definitely milestones along the way… unmistakable signs of progress and recognition of the culmination of so much extended effort, but these are the ends - not the means. There have been a number of insights along the way and one of the most profound is the realization that nothing comes all at once. It used to be the magic formula I so desperately sought, the fountain of youth, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the buried treasure.
The problem with instant gratification is that it only lasts for an instance - and then it takes more. Working to do what is required on a daily basis rewards me with the knowledge that I have completed those tasks. The long-term benefit of sustaining this effort is not what motivates me - it can’t be. However, when those moments arrive, it has the effect of reinforcing this characteristic and amplifying my gratitude. Often they come in rapid succession, as they are right now.
Two years of sustained blogging brings me this two-year anniversary. It took exactly two years to get to celebrate it - go figure. My last post was the 300th such for this blog. It didn’t come without the 299 preceding posts. On December 6th I celebrated 45 years on the planet. Guess what? That’s right, it didn’t happen without surviving the prior 44 years - and that was no small feat. This coming Saturday I will graduate with my Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Sacramento. That took a long time, but it happened one day at a time.
I guess my message isn’t entirely revolutionary, although it might appear to be to some (myself included). It has to do with those age-old qualities… the ones my parents taught me and theirs taught them. Perseverance, patience, hard work, honesty, and all those other qualities that have been considered “good” for eternity still are. And they still work. Crime sometimes does pay and cheaters still often prosper, but I’m doing it the old-fashioned way; the right way and perhaps even the hard way; I’m working for my serenity…
And you can’t steal that.