I discovered some things recently that have made me very aware of my limited time here on earth and the potential that each days holds. Uh oh... Kate's gettin' all deep and philosophical. That's right people. If your not in the mood to jump into some deep self-reflection with me, I suggest hopping over to the kiddy pool at AFP and reflecting on someone else's life. Nothing too emotionally stirring there. The deepest thoughts I ever had while viewing other people's awkward family photos was "Oh geeeez! I totally rocked the greek column during my own senior photos session too!"
It began when I stumbled on this "scarf calendar" over at Swissmiss. Cute right? Somehow the longer I looked at it though, the more it began to represent my own brief existence. My inability to redo the past. The shortening of the scarf that is my life. Wuhhhhh Wuhhhaaaa! Debbie Downer!
Then, a couple days later, I discovered a site called Thought Questions where they continuously post really thought provoking questions set to beautiful photographs. These things suck me in. Part of me looks at them and is reminded of those lame motivation posters. You know the ones. They have a whole line of ironic/mocking versions... and for good reason. But then the other easily influenced/gullible side of me starts actually trying to answer these deep life questions.
Really guys - WHAT WILL THIS DAY MATTER IN FIVE YEARS!? I spent thirty-five dollars on a new haircut yesterday nobody even noticed today. I could have fed a starving child in Africa for like three months with that money. UGH!!!How many days would I go back and do differently if I could? What's holding me back from making the choices that I really want to make deep down. The other question I frequently come back to is, "If I could duplicate myself into life-coach kate and self-Kate, how would I direct my own life? What advice would I have for myself? How would I tell myself to live my best life possible?"
I frequently think about these questions in regards to my future students too. I am already worried about them. I still remember what it was like to be in high school, but now that I'm on the other side of it, it's easier to see the hang ups and "major" obstacles for what they really were. I worry about the kids that I will undoubtably encounter that hold themselves back. The ones that can't see past high school or don't believe in their own potential. How can I get them to take a step back and start directing their own lives and making choices to live their best life? It's amazing the hope that people will have for others, but will then deny themselves. I think I found a tool that might help me address this in my future classroom though. A way to step out of oneself and give that inner voice an actual way to talk back. It's called Future Me and it's a website that allows you to send yourself messages in the future. Brilliant! Who knows you better than yourself, and how great to be able to remind yourself of your goals, weaknesses, and inspirations than - yourself! I sent future Kate an email congratulating her completing her master's program and reminded her of why she became passionate about this stuff in the first place! Way to go future Kate!
So, what will this day matter in five years? Will I even remember it in six months? Will I have at least made choices that will have have a positive impact on the future me? I suppose I could write future me an email and remind myself of today and the choices I made for future me and the choice that I hope future me will have made. I only get to do today once. Each of us only has one life and we only get one shot at today. Me, I'm going to go do some yoga tonight and improve the health of future me... but first I'm going to go climb my way out of these deep thoughts by giggling at some babies dressed as Chippendales on AFP...