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What I've Been Thinking About Lately #24

Weekly thoughts at the end of the week

With the end of 2023 approaching, I'm entering a state of deeper reflection.

Thinking about my favorite personal question, "What was I one year ago today?", feels similar to being on top of a newly climbed mountain and looking at a vast horizon full of swaying yellow and red autumn trees.

This view is contrary to my usual day-to-day views where everything is very close to my face. Whether it be a destination, person, phone, or computer, I'm always looking at a single thing that is 1-10 feet away from my eyeballs. On a mountaintop, my vision expands from focusing on something to everything and encompases miles of scenery (The term, "Missing the Forest for the Trees" makes a lot of sense in this regard). This expansion has a calming effect; the zooming out makes problems and issues smaller and an appreciation for the expanse grows. I feel this same way when I ask myself the question, "What was I one year ago today?"

I think about what it felt like to be me at that point in time and think about how my opinions have changed. I think about the decisions I made, that unknown to me at the time, were the beginning of decision trees that spawned great fruit. I view the pain I endured, not with the unpleasantness, but almost as an independent person. I'm able to appreciate pain because I have the benefit of seeing the whole picture and the good things that occurred as a result of that pain. These reflections are me looking at the expanse of things that once appeared to me as large daunting trees.

These reflections remind me that meaningful improvements are difficult on a day-to-day basis, but nevertheless occur over long periods of time with consistent effort. When reflecting and thinking in terms of years instead of days, we can see the forest with all the trees.

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