Today’s prompt for the Blogging Every Day In May challenge is this brain teaser – ‘In ten years time I will be…’
Great question. I haven’t got a clue, really!
I know there are people out there who have a life plan, some of which I’m sure are quite detailed, and some may be more of a general framework. These life plans could include career goals, family goals, travel, new skills, experiences and personal goals. They could be carefully saved as spreadsheets and reviewed quarterly, or stuck on the fridge and discussed at ‘family meetings’ (do people really have those?).
I know a couple who, when they were first dating, discovered that they both kept personal expenditure spreadsheets – seems that’s an aphrodisiac to some – and they’re now happily married with a bub. I’m sure they merged spreadsheets as well as life plans before they said ‘I do’!
As for me, I’m not much of a planner. I haven’t decided what I want for lunch – let alone dinner tonight, and it’s lunchtime already.
Having never been bitten hard by wanderlust or yearned for the top rung of a career ladder, I guess to some I’m a muddler, perhaps even a plodder. That’s fine with me.
I happily went off to secretarial college as a 15 1/2 year old, landed my first full time secretarial job at 16 1/2, and have over the last *cough* three decades worked as a receptionist/secretary/PA/administrator/office coordinator or whatever the trendy term of the time is here and there, enjoying different industries – law, commerce, not for profit, fashion and more. Like everyone (even those with a life plan) I’ve endured crap bosses, had a few great bosses, worked alongside lovely colleagues, not so lovely ones, and endured crowded (or cancelled) public transport and traffic jams. The stuff of dreams!
I decided I wanted to have the university experience, so quit my job (a great gig) at 30 and studied part time over about 5 years. Great experience. Still glad I did it. Didn’t finish the degree, that wasn’t the point. A life plan person might not like that much.
So when I think about where I might be 10 years from now, I don’t see a vision of anything much more than me, with a few more grey hairs. I’ll be in my mid-50s – gulp!
On a practical level, I hope to be working and enjoying it, and to be blogging or writing or creating in some form. I’d like to be able to live as I choose to (which I expect will mean being able to continue to live solo), to have read more books, to have shared and cooked more great meals, conquered pastry, and worked out the intricacies of photo storage on my laptop – though they may have gone the way of the dodo by then.
I reckon what my lack of planning boils down has something to do with the way I see myself in the world. I don’t have a checklist of places or titles or achievements in my head, things I must conquer or tick off, that are pushing me on to be better/faster/wealthier. If you have such a list, more power to you. I wish you well in your endeavours.
Perhaps I’ve put my energy into a different kind of growth or ‘life plan’. If I look back ten years, I’m certainly more in touch with what makes me tick, and with who I am, than I was at 36.
You may have read the post I wrote about LoveChild and my experience as an adoptee, which you can find here, and I think that’s part of my unwritten life plan – working out who I am and how I fit. When I was a church-going girl, there was a bible verse that always resonated with me, I won’t bother with referencing it – ‘Work out your salvation with fear and trembling’. The thing that appealed to me was that I saw the ‘working out’ part as an instruction, an ongoing process, something that gave me permission to question things, and to ponder things. I don’t think we know who we are, or what we’re here for, or could contribute or want to experience, as a default setting. I think we have to work it out. (I also think that it takes a pretty long time, which gives me hope for Miley Cyrus!)
If I had to write a life plan right now, it wouldn’t have many places or roles or things that require a ticket on it. It might look a bit like this:
Writing this blog helps me understand the nature of my unwritten ‘life plan’ – at the core of my being, I long to know who I am, and to learn the gentle/strong art of loving and accepting myself, even celebrating myself. Perhaps, in a small (or big) way, as I become more and more that girl, I’ll give some encouragement and hope to others.
That would be my equivalent of a Nobel Prize.
I’m working on it.