Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Will Work for Serenity

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.


kenju said...

Amen...serenity and also self-respect cannot be stolen and are greatly to be desired. You are to be commended, as I have said before, for your perseverance in working your plan. Happy Blogiversary, Michael. We are the richer for your two years here.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Congratulations, Mike. A milestone that indeed came one day at a time!
Now, on to the next and the next, and he Next!

Anonymous said...

Very nice Mike.
You are such a wonderful writer. I give you 5 stars and an A+

Snaggle Tooth said...

Here's to not only celebrating the goals reached, but the journey there, too.

"Serenity" was the name of a fictional space ship in the Sci-Fi series "Firefly", which I happen to be watchig on dvd again this week. What a coinckydink!

gautami tripathy said...

Congratulations for completing two years in the blog world. It needs more of you. Your posts are a pleasure to read.

Michele sent me here you way early today. And I am very glad she did.

reading room

Anonymous said...

Michele sent me.

Congrats on the plan and all you've accomplished. Here's to 25 more wonderful and fulfilling years.

Dak-Ind said...

greetings from michele!

i am glad she sent me along at this time so i could give my hearty congrats. earning your BA is a BIG deal. thats awesome.

2 years blogging is also a time consuming process, and i hope we can see at least 2 more blogging years ahead. i dont visit often, but i enjoy it when i do.

lastly, happy belated birthday. its been a busy month for you!

Jerry in Tampa said...

YES - all a matter of choices and you choose to do RIGHT! Congrats on the milestone! Merry Christmas Mike and may 2008 be your best ever!

Jerry in Tampa

Wonelle said...

Hello Mike, Michele sent me.

Congratulations on everything - and on continuing your life journey.

You're here for reasons. Good ones, too.


flleenie said...

Congratulations! You've earned it!

You should definitely be a role model for the younger generation as you show that hard work & determination will help you attain your goals in life.

I know that, karma's a bitch. No matter who you are or what you do...if it's going to hit you...it's going to hit you, & usually right in the ass!!

Mike, I think your writing rocks!

Happy Holidays!