I’m still a big Austin Kleon fan, regular buyer of his book, and regular reader of his blog. He is an artist/writer who seems to have found an interesting niche for himself in the world. The other day, he posted this in honor of the fifth anniversary of the start of his blog. Kleon’s lifetimeline covers a span of five years and it shows how blogging has been a longer constant than some other very big life stages, such as marriage and careers. I really like what he says about blogging, too, loved the story of his friend’s band. But the visual lifetimeline really grabbed me and got me thinking about what mine might look like.
Thinking about your life in five year blocks would be interesting in itself. And you couldn’t clutter it up with everything about you, you’d have to choose 5-10 of the most critical parts of your life within each time block. I have no compulsion to get out paper and pencil and try to draw these lifetimelines, nor do I want to fully flesh them out in words, but I think I’ll be working thru the mental images of these timelines in my brain for a while.
And then, try to imagine a lifetimeline covering your whole lifespan. I imagine for most people, the 5-10 most critical parts of life would all be relationships. I was a daughter for 40 years. I’ve been a wife for 26 and a mother for 22. I have strong friendships that are older than my marriage and I’ve been a dog owner longer than I’ve been a mother. My working careers have been relative blips and even my official time as a student doesn’t cover a majority of my days. I realized that one thing in my life that has been there from the time I was born is that I am a sister.
Now I’m considering the visual lifetimeline of these last five years. I’m seeing a lot of solid lines and not much in the way of stops and starts. Big changes for people around me, especially the daughters, but unless I count the empty nest as a stage in life I can’t see those changes on my own lifetimeline. I still think I’ve grown, I still think I’m learning, I still think I’m giving and taking with others and society, but I seem to have reached a happy stage where there are a lot of constants and contentment. Some people might read that lifetimeline as boring or stagnant, I read it as life is good.