Summer 2009

Three Mes

Personal / July 16th

For a long time I've held the belief that one of the keys to a good life is balance between your present and future. That is, not sacrificing all of your present for a future you may never get, nor sacrificing your future by doing nothing to prepare for it in the present. By finding this balance, you ensure that you enjoy life as it happens while not being burdened by a past of excess.

Recently I've been thinking about this in a more abstract way, or possibly just a more humorous way. I've been thinking about past me and future me as distinct individuals. This sounds strange, but it can help when I'm thinking about that balance. It occurred to me that I had been leaving a lot of things for future me to do, under the apparent assumption that future me would be more inclined to do them. Now, knowing me, this isn't true. Future me is not going to be any more interested in taking care of things like washing dishes or selling things on Craigslist than I am. Similarly, I've recognized when my past self has done something nice for me, or left something unsavory to do that he really should have done.

This may or may not be helpful or even healthy, but it's allowing me to be a bit more diligent in efforts that I've been slacking on. Future me deserves better than I've gotten in a lot of cases. There are a lot of cases where past me could have done better by me, and I don't want to do the same thing to future me.

This exercise may be little more than a mental trick and it may not even last, but for the moment it's helping me to get some things done that have been lingering, things I don't want to just pass down the line to future me. He's going to have enough to do anyway without me leaving all of my stuff for him to do on top of it.