10 November 2007

What is life

Tonight, I was digging around in some boxes, mostly looking for inspiration for my rapidly sinking Titanic of a NaNoWriMo novel, and I found a variety of things that made me laugh, made me sad, and made me remember.

Then, there was the set of notecards.

I remember playing this little game in college, twenty-odd years ago, at the behest of my then roommate. She'd done it for a class and thought I'd find it interesting.

She gave me ten notecards. I don't remember how the years were chosen; it may have fallen to me to choose them or there may have been a formula for it. But each was to be dated and then I had to predict what I thought I'd accomplish that year. On the tenth, I was to write "Death" and fill in the year I thought it would occur, where, how and what I'd leave behind.

The first card was, naturally, the year I believed I'd graduate from college. When you're in college, that's all that really matters.
Reality: good prediction!

1985: I'd achieve "real" status in the world. Translation: out of college, making real money at a real job and living something akin to a real life.
Reality: yup, it happened. Sort of a no-brainer, though.

1987: Publishing anything.
Reality: Not until 1996, but man, that thing has legs and gets cited all over the place.

1989: Massive traveling.
Reality: massive traveling is always my reality. But I think I traveled more in 1988 and 1990.

1992: Having a child.
Reality: miscarried my first child August 1992.

1995: Learning to speak my tenth language--Basque--fluently.
Reality: wow! That was random! No, I don't speak Basque, fluently or otherwise. I came close to taking a class in Uzbek, though.

2000: Buying a home in another part of the world.
Reality: I'm not sure moving behind the Orange Curtain in 1998 counts. But it is another part of the world.

2003-4 (New Year's Eve and Day): Having a 20-year reunion with all my college friends.
Reality: I am married to a college friend, but he's the only one I keep in touch with.

2007 (no kidding: there's a card for 2007, which really shocked me): achieving all the little things that no one really thinks about but are still really important: being in good physical shape, having good companions, and living with ambiance.
Reality: I am in really good physical shape and I think it's incredibly generous of my early 20s self to believe that my 40s self could maintain that. I am blessed with great companions and friends, so I score there, too. I have no idea what I meant with the ambiance, but I suspect that what I was doing this summer would count in a very big way.

And the last card:

Go listen to some good music: "What is Life" from the album The Best of George Harrison by George Harrison.

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