I made the mistake of picking up a book called 5 and flipping through it in the bookstore. And this is, basically, what has triggered my most recent bout of navel gazing.
5 is a bright, colourful picture book for adults that asks the question ‘where do you see yourself in five years?’ It encourages you to think about that span of time in different ways, and to look at all the different aspects of your life, not just career or financial or relationships.
I did the math, and I will be 42 in five years. 42 is, of course, the answer to life, the universe, and everything, so it feels like a good target to be aiming for. And in five years it will be 2020, which is kind of a magical number, too. So I’m starting to think about the big questions.
Do I want to adopt a child? If I do, I should start thinking about it seriously now and making plans, because adoption is not a fast process and I’m not getting any younger.
Do I want to buy a house? If so, where? The city where I live in the off season or the city where I work in the summer? In Canada at all or overseas?
I need to get serious about learning money management, now that I have the career I worked so hard for.
I want to learn to sail. And plant a vegetable garden. And continue to travel.
What does 42 look like for me? What can I do right now to set the wheels in motion? I don’t need to have all the answers right this second, but I do need to start thinking seriously about the questions. Maybe I need to sit and write about it a little, maybe creating the story of it will help.
And once I have done the research, and made the choices, I want to write my goals down. Make them concrete. Something I can refer back to. The book, 5, also encouraged readers to write a mission statement for their lives. What is the big ideal, the driving force?
It sounds a little hokey, and it’s all pure navel gazing, but I think it’s a useful exercise. I just need to follow through.