Remember when your parents told you to drink all your milk and eat all your vegetables so you would grow big and tall?
I’m not short by any means (5 foot, 9 inches or thereabouts), but I sometimes wonder if I could have been taller. Anyway, back when I was 5 years old, I thought that was all a long way off. I didn’t care at all about the long run. To paraphrase the oft-quoted line from The Simpsons, that was for future James to consider.
Well, I’m future James. And now that particular “long run” is my present reality.
That’s the interesting thing about the “long run.” It’s not just a *thing* somewhere off in the future. A lot of the “long runs” you thought about 10 years ago might be coming to fruition now, just as a lot of the “long runs” you think about now are still 10 years away.
In any case, your daily experience now is precisely the indeterminate future toward which you either diligently prepared or irresponsibly procrastinated 10 years ago, 5 years ago, maybe even 50 years ago. You’re paying dues or reaping rewards for work or non-work which you may even have long-forgotten.
This is a funny thing about how our minds work. We tend not to think about things that have happened to us as the long-term consequences of decisions made further back in our past. We can imagine the future “long run” but not the present fulfillment of one. It’s worth sitting back and reflecting on how well you planned your last “long run” as you set out on another.