I suppose it’s because spring has sprung and I decided to clean out my attic. In that respect it came to me in the middle of the night, the word “revamp.” Actually, I removed boxes of books that I used to create a course on the history of law for middle school students, and have decided to peruse the boxes to see how I could “revamp” the class to create something new in my world. The best part was that in thinking about the dozens of books that I have acquired about ancient warfare, military strategy, and civilizations, I started a conversation with hubby about how our own world actually mirrors ancient Rome. He just let me talk….
To revamp ourselves is an interesting concept. We need to take who we are and effectively recreate ourselves. We try to keep that positive aspects of our lives, while figuring out where we screwed up and how to fix that as we seek a more positive future. Be that future come to fruition in a day, a week, a month or a year.
Now that’s not to say that we also aren’t “refurbishing” ourselves. But when I think of refurbishing I think of that antique your Aunt Edna has left in her attic too long, that turned out to be worth a small fortune. So you spend the money on a restorer to create a wonderful family heirloom. Of course, refurbishing can also be taking that piece of junk you found at the dump and turning it into your linen closet. However, I prefer to not think of myself as junk so much as a modern piece of art that went sideways, and simply needs a little TLC to be the best that I can be.
So that is why I use the word “revamp,” instead of “refurbishing,” when thinking and contemplating what is to be for me. I want to revamp my plan for the next year. To start with I need to clean out my own self-identifying perspectives.
Who am I really?
What do I want to accomplish over the next ten years, and how do I go about starting that now? Create a simple plan to get from point A to point B. The end goal being in 10 years. But don’t plan out the entire decade. Make it simple. Figure out what you have to do today, to accomplish your next goal. Break it down. Simplify it. Don’t overwhelm yourself. You may have a direction where you want to be in 10 years, but remember you need to take each step, each wrung individually until you have perfected that part of the plan. Ok, maybe not so perfect, but at least functionable and doable. Nothing happens over night. It is a long process carefully drawn and carefully executed. Keeping in mind, that nothing in life, ever happens the way you think it is going to happen. Stay flexible.
What are my true interests?
What are my likes and dislikes?
What basic philosophies have guided me, and do I need to do a reality check? Yes you always need to do a reality check. Don’t kid yourself.
Review how I have grown, or stunted my own life? There isn’t a person on Earth who hasn’t felt the effects of both growth and contraction no matter the issue, no matter the time, place, or pocketbook.
What can I do to fix, and if not fix my errors, how do I learn to move on from the shame I feel? Because we all know that feeling of shame for missed opportunities, poor choices, or ineffectual parenting decisions.
Whether you want to call this process mindfulness instead of revamping, is another way to see the future. The important point is to understand who you are and where you want to go with your life. It is essential that each of us have a map for our own future, even if that map is nothing more than wanting a material object like simply desiring to retire on the shore. Note: I dream of waking to the smell of salt air and the sound of seagulls.
I think it is good to sit down and take stock of where your life has gone and what you wish to accomplish. I remember having a list of things I had wanted to accomplish by the time I turned 40. All those things came to pass, and on time too. The funny thing is that since then I have been stuck. I simply cannot figure out the next step. I have been mired in this La Brea Tar Pit like existence where I have put everything on hold, simply because I can not figure out my next move. I used to joke, I haven’t figured out what I want to be when I grew up. Truth is, I know what I am. The problem is fixing what I don’t like.
Oh there has been movement of course. Blogging, volunteering, trying to create an at-home business, and above all supporting and helping my sons to be all that they can be. Of course, in the world of autism, this being World Autism Awareness Day as well, that job doesn’t ever seem to end. It’s not the same kind of parenting support you lend a typical young adult. It’s different. More time consuming, and truthfully more frightening as a parent.
I will admit. I’ve been very frightened about their future lately. I don’t know why. Perhaps, I have finally come to grips with my own mortality due to my cancer last year. I’m fine by the way, the cancer is all gone, and I am being taken care of by some very good doctors. But I have begun to think of “what ifs,” and “not nows,” for them. And yes, we have some well written documents, which will hopefully protect them.
But then the issue is always the human question. Society, and what that means for them when we are gone. The vagaries of an unknown future. No, this is not part of my need to control everything. I call it my need to try to figure out what can stand in the boys’ way of happiness, and prevent the encroachment of horrible persons into my sons’ worlds.
One of the things that autism-warrior-parents do is to try to contemplate every scenario and how that scenario will be handled. We come up with plan A, B, C and all the way to Z, to try to anticipate anything that can stand in our children’s ways. It is one thing to do this and not be on target while you are still here to pick up the pieces, when your planning fails. And things, both good and bad, will fail to materialize. But the hard part is to try to figure out what can go awry when you are gone.
It is of course impossible. You cannot contemplate every variable. There will be technologies, breakthroughs, even wars, societal upheavals, and dangers that you cannot account for, nor can you plan for it. If you told someone 20 years ago that we would walk around with pocket computers more powerful than the computers used to send men to the moon, you would be laughed at.
You see, we also do not have to really plan to counteract anything good. Positive social realities do not frighten us while we sleep. You really don’t have to worry, or plan about “good.” No person needs to be protected from “good.”
And yes, you can do just so much. You can plan just so much.
I could say that my first order of revamping is to unburden my soul. To forgive myself that which I cannot control, and that which I can not possibly contemplate. Allow myself the right to not have to think of everything. But then, if I did that, let myself off the hook per se, what kind of parent would I be?
So here I sit trying to think of how to revamp my life, so that I can be more than what I am today. So that I can forgive myself for errors, and my own failings on any particular moment or choice, and how I can be better at everything in the next ten years.
I think my first act will be to empty the boxes and reread my favorite books on ancient warfare. There is something to be said about the wisdom of the ancients. They may have been unknowledgeable compared to us today, but there is something to be said in how they thought, lived and loved. Something pure. Something grand. Something great.