…It’s fundamental to properly close the previous one.
It might seem obvious, and yet, so may times we get so carried away with our current agenda, that we simply forget. Or we think “well, eventually things will turn out just fine, even if I don’t close this chapter now”. Of course things will never turn out fine, there’s no such thing. Sooner or later, whether you want it or not, debris from the past will come back haunting you, should you not take proper care of it.
But in our eternal laziness and confusion, we go on, sweet talking the work that needs to be done into oblivion: “I will close this later, when I’ll have some time”.
Well, the (ugly, but liberating) truth is that this all the time that you will ever have. This one. This time.
Postponing is such a convoluted way of the ego to mess up with your life. You will never have “free” time to do “extra” things. Just stop for a second and think about it. You can’t keep clogging in advance slots of your life with stuff that you will want to do later, because you don’t want to do them now. There’s no guarantee you will be able to do them in those slots.
And if you do get to do them, I bet you will simply consider this natural, not wasting a single moment thinking at the enormous amount of luck to have this degree of predictability in your life. Nothing is granted, never, to no one. Life doesn’t come with a guarantee. And when we do have the luck to get a “free” slot and squeeze in some stuff that we’re supposed to do at some point in the past, we should be grateful. The Universe is telling us: “you’re a good person, I really shouldn’t do this for you, but since you accumulated a little bit of positive karma (or simply because I’m in a good mood today), I guess I’ll make an exception. Go, roam free, and do your thing now, but please be careful next time, otherwise I won’t be so easy on you”.
I know, because it happened to me. The “I won’t be so easy on you” thing.
You see, there was a time in my life when I wasn’t in a very good relationship with closing chapters. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t care less. I was acting like everything will eventually take care of itself, regardless of me doing my part. Like my part was entirely optional. For instance, paying my mortgage. “I don’t have the money now, I’ll pay it later”. Well, for a few years, it worked out. After a certain amount of time, a few months, at most, I finally made some money and pay it back, bringing it up to date. But, eventually, the whole thing exploded in a ginarmous, ugly and almost unbearable storm shit. My good karma dwindled, the good mood of the Universe was exhausted, and all the things that I didn’t do in the past came back at me, not haunting, but hitting me right in the face. Bank accounts frozen, foreclosure, the whole party. It was the the ugliest (and most useful, in terms of learning) time of my life (but I won’t go into details now).
But it was also entirely my responsibility.
Thing is, even if I didn’t have the money when the payments were due, I did have other options. There’s always a way out, you can negotiate pretty much everything in life (except death, that’s not negotiable). I could have reached out and talk, find solutions, try to manage the situation, in short, try to properly close the chapter. Instead, I just kept moving forward, without paying attention to what’s left behind, hoping that it will magically fall into places.
It never does. Things never magically fall into places.
That’s why these days I take a lot of time, and go way beyond the extra mile to make sure all my previous commitments are managed. Some of them may be postponed, some frozen, some even discarded, but all of them must be somehow accounted for. The chapters they formed must be properly closed, so I can safely move forward.
It takes way more time than before, and I don’t have the same feeling of easiness and “freedom”. Sometimes it gets really tiring and boring, but guess what: I know that sometimes in the future, there’s a version of me who’s going to be extremely grateful for it. For all the free time slots that aren’t clogged with unreasonable tasks, with things that must have been done a long, long time ago.
Free time slots with which I’ll do what I was always supposed to do with: just enjoy them.