Looking Back, Looking Ahead

An article in the New York Times on the psychology of change got me thinking about how the belief that we won’t change might set up the belief that we can’t change and how that affects our transportation choices.

They are choices, you know. Just because we’ve all gone through the rite of passage that is the driver’s license exam–just because our parents drove us to piano lessons or the corner store less than two miles away–just because houses are sold with a special storage space dedicated to the consumption of fossil fuels as a means of moving our bodies from one point to another–doesn’t mean that’s your only choice.

The point of the article is that if we look back at our younger selves we recognize all the ways we’ve changed, sometimes radically. Yet if we are asked to project forward and think about ourselves ten years from now we expect to be approximately the same as we are now. So you’ve apparently reached the pinnacle of your wonderfulness as of right . . . now. Or is it right . . . NOW?

I look back a decade and see a different person in almost every respect. Different job. Different city. Different husband. Back then I was the mother of little girls (8 and 12) instead of mother of a college student and a young wife. Now I’m living in a small condo instead of a big house. Then I was driving the 3.5 miles to work almost every day.

Ten years ago I didn’t have a regular yoga practice. I don’t today, but in the intervening decade I did practice regularly–at one point five to six days each week–and I’ve done 108 Sun Salutations more than once. Ten years ago I had never danced the tango, gone whitewater rafting, climbed up a wall with rope and harness, or been to Washington, DC.

A lot can change in ten years.

Think you’ve settled on the one and only way you’ll get around as of right now? Only if you are exactly the same as you were 10 years ago in every respect.

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3 Comments to "Looking Back, Looking Ahead"

  1. Jean says:

    Well, yes major lifestyle change can be a bumpy road at first. It does require not caring about what others think if you are doing something for long term health and there is demonstrable results! Like cycling for transportation, etc.

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