Back in the days before blogging, I had a typewriter. With this typewriter I wrote down a great many things–rants, crappy poetry, crappier semi-autobiographical short stories. It was a form of therapy (as is all writing, really.) I put all of those things into a blue binder.
This morning I remembered that binder and, more specifically, one particular entry. It was a list of affirmations I’d written on the summer solstice back in 2001–exactly ten years ago today. But today is more than just the first day of summer to me. It is what I’ve been calling ‘the first day of the rest of my life’: my first day as a non-teacher. I can’t ignore synchronicity like that, so without further ado, I bring to you the list that 21-year-old me wrote ten summers ago today, re-typed for your enjoyment. Let’s see how the 31-year-old me stacks up.
Summer Solstice Affirmations | 2001
- I have a wonderful job. I get paid well, but I would do the job for free if I could. I am making a difference in people’s lives. I love being at work, but I have the freedom to do other things with my time as well. I have a great boss and may wonderful coworkers. I am happy in my job.
- I have several good friends who share my views on the world. We have fun together. We go places and do things and learn. I am happy with my social life.
- I have a beautiful place to live. It is warm, comfortable, and beautifully (but inexpensively) decorated. There are many trees in my yard. I have a garden. I pay less per month than I can afford. I have a kitchen that is filled with nutritious food and bookshelves overflowing with ‘nutritious’ books. I am happy with my home life.
- I have a romantic partner who loves me and whom I love. We enjoy spending time together. We travel and learn together. We have similar beliefs on how our lives should be, yet we are different enough to have something to learn from the other. We are supportive of each other. I am happy with my love life.
- I do volunteer work. I give blood, belong to a spiritual group, and encourage young people to read in some way (either in my free time or as part of my job.) I have enough free time to do these things. I am happy with my spiritual life.
So…how did I do? While I was not happy in my job in recent years, I did have some great coworkers and I suppose one could argue that I was making a difference. I would say that I’m lacking in the friends department, but that wouldn’t be true–I had to stop writing this two sentences ago because friends stopped by and we ended up going out for dinner together. The beautiful place to live category is covered, as is the ‘inexpensively decorated’ part! Plus, we have one really big tree (and five smaller ones.) The fourth bullet point–the love life category–has completely come true, and for that I am eternally grateful. I do, however, have some serious work to do in the realm of selflessness and spirituality.
All said, I feel pretty good about how I spent the last ten years of my life. I’m also really, really glad that 21-year-old me created that list. And so, on this first day of the rest of my life, I will make a new list–now in blog format!
Summer Solstice Affirmations | 2011
- I do something that I love in exchange for just enough money to survive and have a little fun. The harder I work at the job, the more successful I become. I am motivated in my career.
- I have a few close friends that understand me and do not judge me, even though I may be very different from them. I am fulfilled by my personal relationships.
- I stay in my little stone house that I love. I am not seduced away from it to something bigger and more ‘grand’. I realize that having just enough is more than enough. I am content in my home life.
- I continue to recognize just how lucky I am to have such an amazing husband. We continue to grow closer together, laugh, travel, and have fun. We do not let the little things that suck about life affect our relationship. I continue to feel blessed in love.
- I get around to that whole volunteering thing. I rediscover my spiritual side.
- I am able to travel almost as much as I’d like to. I am not stressed; I am not bored.
- I create and cultivate an active lifestyle based around things I like to do that just happen to be active (no running on treadmills, but less sitting at my desk!) I am living a healthy life.
As you can see, I’ve based the majority of my current list on my original, 2001 list. It’s really more of a ‘new and improved’ list. But I think it was a pretty good list to begin with, and to be perfectly honest, I’m kind of shocked that 21-year-old me came up with such a great list. How will I do on my new list? I guess I won’t know that until 2021.