Reflecting on reflection

Two weeks ago I began attending a writing class at Cabrillo College, specifically a class on writing memoir/autobiography.  For years I’ve said I intend to write, or want to write, or should write. Of course, my writing would begin, usually in the form of journaling, and would continue for several weeks, then gradually taper off. Sometimes I could continue for nearly 3 weeks, but always forgetting, after a while, to put pen to paper.

At my age, I realize I can no longer realistically put things off indefinitely, so I knew I needed support, which in this case, took the form of a class. And I’m already learning things about my self. I’m noticing that I do not typically spend much time in reflection, and the 6 page draft I completed for last Monday demonstrated that. It had some good content, told a good story about the day of Julia’s birth, but had relatively little reflection.

And that got me looking at how I live life:  often it’s moment by moment, going from one thing to another, mostly determined by what catches my attention at the moment. For you see, I have ADD, and reflection does not come naturally, I’m learning. Which leaves a rather large and at times dangerous void in my life. I do tend to take time to look over my life when in a seminar or workshop, where that is a structured part of the event. And at those times, I often enjoy the process, and gain value from it.

In contrast to this default mode of mine, I think of my accomplished friend Dave Ellis, author, entrepreneur. life coach and more, who plans and prioritizes each day, each week, month, and year. And yes, even makes plans for the next 10, 50, 100, and 500 years.  Don’t laugh, it’s a very valuable exercise, and can help shape what you choose to do today.

So writing can be one tool I can use to impact the “drift” of my life, the default currents that pull me where they will. Writing, along with regular goal setting, in the broader context of looking at the next 10 and even 30 years of my life, can provide a rudder, a sort of steering tool to direct my course more appropriately given what I choose to be about.  And that could be the focus of a future blog. How to best determine what your/my life will be about.  Till then.

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