There will be a few things going on over the next few months on the blog. One of them will be a few posts that I will call my end of year wrap up. I won’t write one every week but before the year is out, I will have posted a few blogs on my end of year wrap up process and any plans I am working on for 2019. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these as we look to wrap up 2018. And the first part of my end of year process this time is a decision that is on my mind.
Planning or Magic?
So I should give you some background. I am a planner. I don’t love it, but being someone who loves control, planning is everything to me. I have had a paper planner and daybook every year since I was 16, and I use it. Up until a couple of years ago, I was the person who made new year’s resolutions and kept them! Make one new recipe a month – check. Stop impulse purchases – check (I may need to make that one again – it only lasted a few years). Run a half marathon – check. Plan and save for massive round the world trip – check. These were not small dreams in my estimation, and I relished setting out my plans and making them become a reality. I saved, worked extra shifts, made the necessary sacrifices, trained hard and felt sweet when I could see my plans become reality.
Last year, everything changed. I turned 40 and suddenly felt rudderless. I didn’t feel as if I had any real big goals inside me. This led me to take a few days off after the birthday passed and after a frantic couple of years of being at the helm of two organizations which are dearly important to me which I fitted in between working full time as well as seeing friends and family and my newly found love for blogging. And during that time off, I fractured my ankle and I spent the next 2 months on the couch being very grumpy to anyone in my vicinity! I am not a good patient…
So I entered 2019 with no goals, aims or resolutions except to be able to walk, drive and re-enter normal human life. And it was indeed an interesting year. Spoiler alert – I can drive (although my ankle does get tired on long drives) and yesterday I went walking with a friend and managed 45 minutes which is the longest I have done since the fracture, so I feel as if I have achieved the things I set out at the beginning of the year. I also wrote a book which (if all goes to plan – which by the way it hasn’t with this book) will be available before year end, and continued to blog even when I thought I had nothing to say. I found the courage to blog about a few things that I never thought I would verbalize. I completed a certification earlier this year that really pushed me to my limits, and tomorrow I start a novel writing challenge (a personal one – just to see if I can actually do it). And None of these things were on my radar this time last year.
So now I have got to the point of the year when I start thinking about next year, and looking for my 2019 day planner, transferring important recurring dates, and thinking about what I want to achieve. And I feel as if I am faced with a slight dilemma. Because I have lived the planning life before, and it definitely served me well. I even enjoyed its mostly predictable nature. This past year – thoroughly unplanned – was terrifying and stressful and a number of tears and tantrums were had. But I cannot deny that it has also been one of my most creative years, where I have totally gone outside my comfort zone and achieved things that were not a part of even my biggest dreams. So now, I am beginning to wonder – planning or magic?
I don’t see anything wrong with planning. Obviously. And it is a great way to achieve so many of the things I dreamed about and bring them into reality. But I also wonder what opportunities I miss when I am laser focused on my plans. And this isn’t about FOMO or regret, I am just genuinely surprised at what I was able to pull off when I had nothing planned. And the thing about planning and setting goals for me – even big goals – is that I feel as if I am limited by my own imagination, by my ability to only plan within the realms of what I believe is possible. And limited by my idea of what I can afford. I honestly was a firm believer that failing to plan was planning to fail, and maybe it is in some instances. But what if it isn’t? What if leaving space for adventure and inspired action can lead to fantastic and beautiful places? I think back on a number of the unplanned detours I made, and I had some of my best times and met some tremendous people. And don’t get me wrong – these things required action on my part too! But it is just a new point of view that I am thinking about at the moment.
I am sorry that I don’t have the answer for you – indeed I don’t even have it for myself. I am just putting this out here – what if we left space for magic? For inspiration? For adventure? What if we took inspired action? The road less travelled? Said yes to the things that we weren’t sure we could afford because they made our hearts sing with joy? What if…
So my question for today – what do YOU prefer - planning or magic? I look forward to your comments.
And in the meantime - I send you big love from a small island.
PS so the photo above shows me taking some unplanned action, and jumping off a bridge, in the midst of me living one of my most fun plans - a trip around the world.