How Are You Treating Your Future Self?

picture of baby, picture of old womanBefore I get to the subject of today’s post, I have to ask: Did you notice that the website looks different? New lettering and new features on the sidebar and at the bottom. I’m pretty sure I’ve posted about this upcoming change in a previous post, but it has taken a very long time. Jim has labored to get all of my sites onto the WordPress platform, which has its own challenges, but which gives me much more in the way of flexibility and features.

I so wish that I’d made this decision sooner, but there it is. If you notice some strange-looking things as you look at back posts, be assured that I’m going through every single one of them. It’s like moving—very discouraging, but when you’re done it’s great. And then you say you’ll never do it again.

Anyway, today’s real post is cadged from two of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin (and Liz! can’t forget Liz!) and Laura Vanderkam. Both of them have recently brought up this idea of being kind to your “future self.” It’s just another way of saying, “Consider how you’ll feel about doing this/not doing this tomorrow,” but it’s an intriguing concept to think about yourself in the future as a whole separate self. (Sometimes this “future self” idea can get you into trouble, as you can be totally unrealistic about what that person will do. We can tend to think, ‘Oh, I’ll do that tomorrow,’ as if tomorrow that future self will feel like doing something that we don’t want to do today. But that’s not this.)

Vanderkam says in her post:

I like to think of myself as relatively future-focused. I was recently filling out a survey where you had to agree or disagree with various statements, and I had no trouble choosing “strongly disagree” for the statement “I live my life as if there is no tomorrow.” No one is guaranteed tomorrow, of course, but I think the odds are good, so I floss and eat my vegetables all the same.

And this is the podcast in which Gretch and Liz talk about the concept.

So I wrote back awhile ago about the next 52 days and what they’d bring. I was looking to the future, imagining what my future self would be doing. So, indeed, our house has sold and Gideon is on his way to grad school. Today was the next-to-last class in the Bible Study Fellowship year. I had to miss last night’s Cherry Creek Chorale rehearsal because my allergies were so bad, but we still have one more week before concert week, so I’m trying to work consistently at home on the music. (Use that link to buy your tickets! Prod, prod. Oh, and by the way: I have one free ticket for the May performance that can be used by anyone who’s never been to one of our concerts. If you’d like to have it, tell me in the comments section and I’ll put it in will-call for you!)

That’s the amazing thing about time: It just keeps on a-passing. Now we have a new goal date: May 22, the closing on the house. Friday is the inspection, lasting three hours or so. We’re not allowed to be here. (I guess so we won’t slip the guy a few dollars to pass us.) And I have a little personal goal date of my own: Memorial Day, the day on which I hope to be able to fit into the new jeans I bought some time ago but could barely pull on. I get to mark a red “X” through each date on the calendar that I don’t eat any extraneous sugar, in the spirit of “don’t break the chain.” I want that future self to be able to wear those jeans! (Plus a couple of other pairs hanging in the closet that have seen very little use.)

Well, my future self wants to be able to say that I sat down and worked on music this evening. And cleaned up the kitchen. So I’d better not make her mad! (Do you ever say, “Oh, I’m so mad at myself!”?) Guess I’d better quit typing about doing things and actually, like, do them.

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