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Friday, April 29, 2022

Two Buckets, One Life

Join me in a thought experiment. Think about your years as an adult and retrospectively consider how your life during those years could belong in one of two buckets. Bucket #1 would contain years when you felt like you were climbing uphill more often than not. Bucket #2 would contain years when you felt like you were coasting more often than not. 

After putting the years from your adult life into one bucket or the other, try using these questions to deepen your exploration:

1. Which bucket contains more years? 

2. Pick one year that feels to you this moment as though it belongs in bucket #1. What were some of the things going on for you that year? Now do the same, substituting bucket #2 for #1. As you did that part of the experiment, did either year present a greater challenge for your recall?  

3. Pick a different year that feels to you this moment as though it belongs in bucket #1. What assisted you that year as you pushed uphill? 

During a recent meditation, as several of my uphill years pierced my focus, I was able to salvage my visit to myself by using the third item above. For example, reflecting on my steady uphill climb in 2020, I began to see how my reading and my guitar playing that year assisted me in dealing with pandemic isolation as well as several significant challenges in my personal life. 

I'd welcome hearing from anyone - online or off - who joins me in this thought experiment.          


  1. Hello, Pat. Interesting Blog post today. Looking at your questions ... 1. I would have to say that Bucket 1 would probably contain more years. Question 2. Picking just one year is difficult. The year I became a father for the first time - 1986 - was both difficult from an adjustment and life changing perspective, while also one of the most wonderful times in my life. Then in 1990, when my son was born, some early health issues for him made that year one of the most difficult ever. The year I lost my father, the year I lost my mother, years when I lost dear and close friends - sadly starting in my early teens - were all difficult, climbing uphill, years. The years I was both looking for employment and then finding what would turn into my career were climbing, coasting, climbing - a lot of back and forth. But at the same time the years my children were born, the years my grandsons were born, marriage, milestone birthdays, vacations - are all times when there was mostly coasting. I've probably deviated from what your post intended - as I have often done previously - but I have to tell you that more and more things kept coming to mind as I was writing my comments. Trips down memory lane are not always positive, but just the same it is a nice journey to take every now and then. There are times when I don't remember everything as quickly as I used to, but in a very short amount of time it all comes back to me. I think I need to get around to writing these things down.
    Be well,

    1. Bob; Thanks for the comprehensive comment and the thought you put into this experiment. As far as "writing these things down" I can't encourage you enough to begin doing exactly that. I think you'll be gratified doing so and having that kind of written record can be a great legacy gift to give your children and grandchildren. Sometime when we have a private moment I'll share something with you I did for my daughter in this exact vein.