Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now ~ Alan Lakein
2019. I determined, very late in 2018 that, although it was a good year with lots of ups, downs, learning and growing, overall it could just fuck right off and that 2019 was going to be My Year. This was the year that I was going to take the bull by the proverbial horns and hit it out of the ballpark. You know, all that positive, “you got this” talk. I turn 42 in 2019, and one of my dearest friends tells me that it’s the meaning of life. 42. Further proof, that this year is for me.
Armed with my ever-growing bucket list, my sparkly new Passion Planner (the BEST planner in the universe) and some solid, ideas of what I maybe want to do and be when I grow up, I decided it was time to get down to doing what I do best. Planning. There is so much to do and accomplish, see and experience this year, that not only would I need to map out the time, but also a financial plan to do it all. And of course, a very real and less-than-exciting understanding that I could probably not do it all. So what if it was the start of the ultimate 5 Year Plan? Even better.
For me, this idea of planning and mind-mapping, or going all “A Beautiful Mind” as my Breath of Fresh Air (BOFA) calls it, is exciting and challenging and ignites my passion and motivation even more. It sets me on fire. As I started to plan and map out DO THIS BY dates for my motorcycle learner’s permit, and my motorcycle training course and, the all important, road test, I could feel my excitement growing. I’m not sure there is anything more satisfying then making shit happen!
I’ve always been a planner. I’ve always had something on the horizon, something to look forward to, the next plan, idea, activity, event, trip. My desire to plan and have plans, was a result of my fear of the unknown. It unnerved me, triggering immense anxiety, to not know how things were going to turn out, to not know what was around the corner and to not have all the answers. I tried to control everything. I tried to control all of the outcomes, all of the variables and all of the possibilities in my current and future context. I knew the past was out of my control, but I could control the rest, couldn’t I? Especially what had yet to occur. It was an astounding, difficult to wrap my head around, stomach sinking, and yet, tremendously liberating and freeing realization to suddenly become aware of my stunning lack of control. Imagine, just being able to let go of it all, the constant struggle of controlling that which is completely uncontrollable? It felt like freedom.
Present. That was my new mantra. It remains part of my mantra, but with a greater understanding of what that means. Initially, I believed being present meant that I should live for the moment, cast off the chains, spend all the money on all the things that I wanted to do and see and be! Tomorrow was not guaranteed, what was I waiting for? Well, if I’m honest, I was waiting for a fairly decent, realistic, flexible, thought out plan. As I re-read that, it sounds kind of boring.
I believe there is a big difference between dreaming, goal setting and making a plan to realize those dreams and goals; and living in, or for, the future and attempting to control the outcome. For me having dreams and goals requires identifying my passions and then having the courage to craft a plan to make them a reality. It sparks creativity, motivation and inspiration. Having something to work towards also reinforces being present in the moment. Being present is awareness and appreciation for where I am today. It means being attentive to who and what I’m surrounding myself with on a daily basis. Having a plan for attaining my dreams allows me to relax into the present and notice where I already am and the dreams that I already have realized. I had a plan for these too, I may have got sidetracked along the way, but that’s the best part, I found new passions, new inspirations, new paths and new destinations. It’s all part of the journey, of having hope and a plan, and all part of being present in Every. Single. Moment.
The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope ~ Frank Lloyd Wright