For the past few years, I have used the end of the year to do a personal life audit, riffed off the Google Sheets “audit” template, tracking various levels of personal health: physical, emotional, financial, psychological, career. Also a couple of sections for things that I know increase my overall happy: travel, being a force for good, general self-care stuff like writing, music, and art.
Everything gets a score, out of 10. Then the scores in each category get added up, which then gives me a total vs. total possible — which then becomes a percentage, to let me know how close I am to “amazing”. I also keep my accounting of previous years, so I can see the general trajectory of my health and happiness — like the way you can compare one year’s spending goals and actuals to another year’s in a budget tool (full disclosure, I do that, too).
The idea is to be aware, to be mindful of how I’m spending my time on this planet. Celebrate what has brought me joy (and make a note to keep at it). Identify where things may be going off the rails a bit (and think about whether I can adjust). I’m not so much into turning this into resolutions for 2023, but I like to see the patterns, because I believe knowledge is power, even knowledge of the things I can’t control.
Meanwhile I have started reading “A Promised Land” by Barack Obama, and was particularly touched by his reaction to people telling him that God somehow had a “plan” for him to be President:
“The truth is, I’ve never been a big believer in destiny. I worry that it encourages resignation in the down and out and complacency among the powerful. I suspect that God’s plan, whatever it is, works on a scale too large to admit our mortal tribulations; that, in a single lifetime, accidents and happenstance determine more than we care to admit; and that the best we can do is to try to align ourselves with what we feel is right and construct some meaning out of our confusion, and with grace and nerve play at each moment the hand that we’re dealt.”Barack Obama, “A Promised Land”
I think he’s described better than I ever could why this weirdo audit habit is so important to me. I’m just working to align myself with what I feel is right.
Like so many of us, I’m striving to find meaning to my confusion.
I’m yearning to play my each and every moment with grace.
I can think of worse ways to pass the time.