Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

I ran across the 30 Essential Truths according to Dr. Gordon Livingston, author of Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, on Alex Blackwell's great blog The Next 45 Years. Some of them hit very close to home. This will be a post about the First Truth. From Alex's blog:
1. If the map doesn’t agree with the ground, the map is wrong. We are given mental maps as children. Our parents and other adults tell us what is right and what is wrong – sometimes they don’t always get it, well, right. Now as adults, when we find the maps we have relied on for so long can get us lost, we need to recalibrate and create more reliable guides based on what we now know to be true and where we want to go.
It took me a very long time to realize that changing my map would be good for finding my way. For example, a 'good guy' according to mom was someone who bought you nice things, had money, and treated you well. The goal: have someone, be dating, get married - anything else: failure. According to dad, a brain surgeon was the best job a person could have. He often told me that I could be a brain surgeon. When I became a college student business was the best major. When he told me the facts of life, he drew two squares: one home; the other work. He drew a line from home, saying 'you go to work' then going back the same way, 'and then you go home' You go to work, go home, work, home, work...and those are the facts of life.

My map says: A 'good guy' accepts your authentic self; cares about your needs and dreams; loves you. My map says: a relationship is not a requirement for life; you are responsible for your own happiness; in order to love you must love yourself first. My map says: follow your dreams; do what you love; don't forget to have fun. I'm not as cynical or practical anymore. I can look back and see the how and why of poor choices in relationships. My map will keep changing and improving my journey. How about yours?

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