Moments of Significance
So, I was listening to one of the latest Freakonomics podcasts. The one about the Prudential ads with the psychologist who uses large-scale data visualization to show people they're not scared enough of how little they're saving for retirement, etc. In one of the clips, Dan Gilbert, the psychologist in question, asks: what is the most significant thing that happened to you in the last 5 years? He followed up with: what significant things do expect to happen within the next 5 years?
Listening to this, I thought (being admittedly hyperbolic) all of the significant things that have ever happened to me have happened in the last 5 years! A mix of awful and amazing things and good-but-tough-to-deal-with things have been shaping me and my future within the last three years:
- My mother passed away - 2.5 years ago
- I began my first serious relationship - 2 years ago
- My father started his second serious relationship - ~1.5 years ago
- My family started fracturing off into adulthood: brother into the army, sister and baby bro to San Francisco, youngest sister to Manhattan, Dad retired/moved in with his girlfriend/travels the world with her - 2 years ago - ongoing
- I started racing cars (?!) - ~1 year ago
- Childhood home was listed for sale - this year
- I moved in with the most handsome man - this year
In the ad, people had written their significant moments on magnets and affixed them to a wall installation. The past significant happenings were a mix of happy yellow and sad blue while the future significant happenings were overwhelmingly yellow. The point was to show that we humans, behaviorally, hope for the best while, realistically, the past indicates we should also be planning for the worst.
I'm not sure what the worst looks like if it wasn't losing my mom, and I certainly don't want to think about what could be. It's not easy to think about or plan for the bad things, especially since I'm feeling so hopeful and excited for change. So, in spite of the Prudential's warning, this is what I think the significant events of the next five years may be, for better or worse (but not too worse):
- I compete at Nationals (and don't come in last!)
- Joe and I move to Ireland
- We travel and see amazing things
- We don't save much money/struggle financially because of this big European risk we're taking
- I try to get a business up and running
- Joseph and I get married?
- My siblings find love/get married/I become an aunt
- My Dad settles down with his girlfriend
- I worry about being just another lady without a baby
What significant things are you hopeful for or worried about in the next 5 years?