Friday, June 27, 2014

Five year plan?

I was reading The Eighty-Twenty this morning, catching up on my favourite blogs while attempting to get my brain functioning on some higher level. I read something there that gave me pause: "Most of us could probably draw out a general idea of where we'd like to be in five years.” Here's the full post, if you're interested.

Can most of us do this? Are the lot of you walking around with the next five years already planned out? Should I have a five year plan?

I can remember when I was a girl grown-ups asking me what I wanted to "be" when I was grown. Mostly what I wanted to be was a grown-up. Oh, certainly I'd given thought to my dream career; I always wanted to be a writer and a psychologist. But I didn't plan it out very well.

I dropped out of high school and got a job instead of a diploma, got married young, and spent the first few years of adulthood struggling (in a good way) through the challenges brand-new grown-ups face: pay the rent or buy those gorgeous Italian leather sandals?*

I didn't have a plan for the next five years of my life.

Then life exploded on me: my husband died, I eventually got remarried, I started (but didn't finish) college, and I still didn't have a plan for the next five years.

I spent the next few years sort of just existing. Life was normal; solid, stable, mostly boring in a way that wasn't terrible. Then I moved, which completely changed my routine and my day-to-day life. I was happy for awhile, but I still didn't have a five year plan.

I had a crisis of marriage, got divorced, got remarried, joined the LDS church, moved again, lost my job, and now I'm happier than ever but I still don't have a five year plan.

Nobody has asked me where I see myself in five years since I was about 17; I didn't think much about it then (after all - I have my whole life to sort that out) and I haven't much thought about it since. For as long as I can remember I have lived my life trying to navigate the present moment until I can escape to something more desirable... an awful step-father, high school, the work week, a dead husband, a boring life.

I am no longer running away from undesirable circumstances so I suppose I should have a go at that whole five-year plan thing. So, here’s where I’d like to be in five years:

  • Sealed to my husband
  • Published - something, anything
  • Better at scripture study - ideally by then I will have read the entire standard works of scripture at least three times
  • In a new car
  • As debt-free as possible
  • In a new house, maybe even something with land and goats (squee)
  • Skilled enough at sewing that I can make myself decent clothing
  • In something close to my best physical shape

Some of these things will happen sooner than later, or that is my hope. Some may take longer, some might exceed the 5-year mark, and some may fall off my list entirely and be replaced by better goals. I feel like that's okay with me, as long as I'm working toward something valuable. I don’t exactly feel like I’ve wasted the last 18 years of my adulthood, but a small part of me wishes that I’d spent less time escaping my present moments and more time improving myself.

How about you? Do you have a plan for the next five years? Did you make a plan for the last five years? If so, how did you do?

*In case you're wondering I do have a pair of shoes that cost roughly what a single-room apartment rented for in 1996.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Things I'm thankful for...

  • Printed maxi skirts... it should be noted, however, that I am not thankful for the name. It is vaguely reminiscent of a monthly feminine hygiene product.
  • Visiting Teaching; my companion, who has such a sweet soul; the members of the church that I've met through Visiting Teaching duties, who teach me so much even as I am tasked with "teaching" them.
  • The examples I see of parenting; especially as those examples contrast so much with my own mom's parenting style. I hated it so much of the time growing up, but I'm sure it will please her to know that as I've grown up and grown wiser I value her and her example so much.
  • Kate Morton. I know I've mentioned her, and you're probably annoyed hearing about her, but if you haven't you absolutely should go read every book she's ever written. Honestly, her words tap into something in my psyche that lights up my brain and sets my soul on fire. You lot may not feel the same way about her, but she inspires me to write ergo she is brilliant.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Things I'm thankful for

  • My sewing machine, and a place to put it
  • Books that turn my spirit inside out
  • Overcast skies (yes, I said that)
  • The things I learn every day
  • Getting to know others (yes, I said that too)
  • My brain, even when it's sort of in a tailspin

Monday, June 9, 2014

Maybe only a little

I feel melancholy, but not in a bad way.

I feel a bit restless, but I'm not bored.

I am nostalgic about things I've not experienced, and sad about events that didn't happen to me.

I'm feeling a bit weird about a house I've never lived in, and suddenly I want to drive to Idaho and play in a front yard that my bare feet have never touched.

I'd like to sew or clean or experiment with a new recipe or go for a run, but I haven't time for any of that; normally I'd feel frustrated but today I've decide to be okay with it.

Looking over my training schedule, I see that I'm supposed to be on a rest day; but my personal training mantra is "Never Miss a Monday", so now I feel a little confused. I guess I'll have to ponder that one out.

I ate a hard boiled egg for breakfast; it was neither satisfying nor dissatisfying but it sits in my belly and reminds me of something that was supposed to be something else.

Maybe I'll ponder that for awhile as well, and clear my head a little.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I am...

Grateful: for life's joys as well as its challenges. I sort of relish a challenge, and personal struggle makes me giddy.

Confused: that I am capable of feeling so much happiness and so much pain, all at the same time.

Desperate: to hold onto memories that are starting to fade, fleeting blurs of colour and sound that dance away when I try to hold onto them.

Reading: The Secret Keeper. Kate Morton does something to me - from the first word I read I'm practically in tears. She has the ability to get hold of the deepest parts of my psyche and wring emotion from me.

Looking forward to: change, whatever it means and in whatever shape it takes. I'm near to bursting with the excitement of it, and I don't even know what it is.

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