Planning My Life Backwards

RoseMary Griffith
5 min readMar 27, 2019
How do I get there? Jaculyn LoPresti photo (her lovely daughter)

Do you know what that means? Planning your life looking backwards is like starting your life with the end in mind, with that end changing as you age and achieve or alter goals along the way. I’m turning sixty this year and now that I’m nearly that mark, it seems such a young number. Yet, if I look at it realistically, I know I have less time left on this earth than what I’ve already had. Planning becomes ever so much more important when you know there’s a deadline pending.

Years ago, I realized how much smarter, positively brilliant (ahem) I am six months after any given date. If only I could time travel, vaulting my thoughts and perspectives forward and then yanking them immediately back again. Maybe I wouldn’t make as many mistakes or miss as many opportunities.

Hindsight is 20/20….
In retrospect, I would have…
If I only knew then what I know now…
How many other phrases along that line have we heard time and again?
If six months ago I had known ______ about today, what would I have done differently?

Maybe, in the last six months I would have held my tongue more frequently. Not in an effort to sound less stupid at times (that will keep happening), but in case I was hurting someone’s feelings or trying to leap over their words to get a word in. Hopefully, I would listen and nod more, giving more understanding than I was trying to get.

What do I want to accomplish now that in half a year I can look back and say: I’m happy I did ___________.

How many of us live life with forethought and planned objectives? The people I lean toward are those constantly moving with their actions, pressing on, growing into what they’re destined to become. I strive to go forward, allowing for a few sideways strolls here and there, after all I am a Cancerian June-baby Crab. There’s no direct path to where we want to go — there are several and we swing back and forth trying each of them in turn or sometimes at the same time. Despite the veering, I’m always proceeding onwards. I don’t like stagnation, which is akin to boredom, and boredom is like suffocating a slow death.

RoseMary Griffith Author of The Writer’s Travel Journal — for your adventures. Essayist of humor, grief, & family — they go together.