My husband introduced me to a website wolframalpha.com “an engine for computing answers and providing knowledge”. The website provides facts – quantifiable facts. It doesn’t provide opinions or recommendations.
Type in Chicago, Illinois and you’ll get Chicago’s population statistics, current weather and time, income statistics, demographics, and more.
Put in today’s date and you’ll get information about observances and holidays, moon phase, sunrise and sunset times, and more.
Type in a specific date and year, like your birthday, and you’ll get the day of the week it was and how many days have passed since that date.
It provides facts. Facts alone aren’t disputable. It’s what you do with the information that can make a difference. For me, the information it provided spurred more questions and judgement.
Facts made personal
For example, I put in my birthday. I was born more than 20 thousands days ago. That’s more than 2800 weeks. That’s really a long time. I had to ask: Have I done enough? It makes me wonder about how many more days will I have and how will I do everything I want to do?
It’s easy to get discouraged about the time that’s passed, to feel sad about getting older.
Most of us struggle with that at one point or another.
But I realize it’s better to get excited about right now and living each day being as happy and productive as I can. Not so much to live each day as if it were my last, but to not waste it regretting the past. It’s much better to be motivated about the opportunity of now.
Almost exactly a year ago, that’s 365 days, I quit my job as a school librarian and decided I wanted to do something different, that what I really want to do is write. I finished my 1st draft of my 1st novel on March 15 of this year. As of this blogpost, that’s just over 80 days ago.
I’m on the 3rd draft of revisions.
Here are some of the questions I ask myself:
Isn’t it a little late to start a new career? Maybe.
What could I have done if I’d started when I was in my 20’s. A lot more than starting in my 50’s.
Would I be a better writer now? Almost certainly.
And yet, I know it’s pointless to re-visit past career choices and wonder if I’ve made good use of my 20 thousand days.
The more important question is “What now?” Better to move forward grateful for every day and the opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to do.
It’s not just about living in the present. It’s also about looking forward to the future.
We all know our time is limited. That reality can be either depressing or motivating. Each of us has to decide for ourselves which it will be.
Choose to be motivated by the opportunity of now.