Tuesday, September 25, 2012

do you have a plan for your life?

Enjoy this wise and witty, humorous and heartfelt post from the fantastic Kate Dorvel. Aren't we lucky? Join Kate on Tuesday at 5:45, Level 2 and the many times she graciously steps in to  sub for me. Which is often these days. ;)
Do you have a plan for your life?

 It seems like a silly question, I’m sure. Well obviously, Kate. How else do you get through your weeks and months and years?

Coming from type-a, planner, to-do list maker, seemingly got-it-together moi, you need to know: sometimes it’s pretty frieken awesome to not have a plan, to take a chance and see where it takes you.

My parents had it pretty easy with me. I was the “good child.” Let’s be honest, my brother made that title pretty easy. So clearly, after high school came college, after college came graduate school and after graduate school came a perfectly rewarding and successful career. Oh and along the way, I would re-unite with my old high-school boyfriend, move in together, eventually most likely get engaged and get married.

Well I will tell you, that I was cruising right along on this well paved path, with my smile on of course, because I was supposed to be happy, correct? Many people would think so. I started hitting a lot of pot holes. These began manifesting in my physical and mental health. I was able to put on a great fa├žade. The fact that my life was seemingly happy because I was “on target” was what mattered.

It’s probably not much of a surprise to any of you that it was yoga that brought my life into perspective, as I’m sure it has done for you in one way or another. I had a plan that I followed to the tee and I was, quite frankly, miserable. Most significantly I wasn’t happy with myself, I didn’t love myself. And I do attribute this to “my plan” that I had molded myself into.

The life I was living was passing me by because I wasn’t aware day to day of what I could be offering to myself, to those I loved and to the world. I also wasn’t aware of what those entities were offering to me, so they passed me by. This is not to say that my education, my past career, or my experience hasn’t contributed to where I am today, but I do feel, without regret, that I could have lived those years better.

It took me physically removing myself from a relationship that was not good for me, a few years later moving on from a job and career that weren’t fulfilling to me, and a significant move to a new geographical location for me to evolve to where I am now. All of these took the love and support of my family foremost, as well as a bit of blind faith and courage. I was scared to death. And I will tell you that I did each and every one of those things without a plan. I just did them, and told myself that I would make it work.

Now please, please, don’t go quit your jobs or freak out because you don’t think you are on the right path. I ask you instead to do a bit of introspection. Reflect on your plan – do you have a plan?  Where are you in your plan? Do you feel that you are “on target?” Do you feel that you do many things because you are expected to do so – either by yourself or by others? Do you feel that you have a list of things to do before you can be happy? Do you

Start small, start with days, then maybe weeks. So potentially, your Saturday would look as such: get up 5am, run 9 miles, coffee with friends, home to take the dogs for a walk, feed the dogs, make the bed, do the laundry, mow the front lawn, go to Whole Foods, go to Target, unpack groceries, vacuum, clean the bathrooms, open bottle of wine, prepare taco ingredients, make tacos, watch movie, go to bed 9:30pm. Instead pick two or three things that you need to get done for you and your family – yoga, laundry, grocery shopping etc. – and then let the rest unfold naturally – if the lawn gets mowed because you feel like mowing it, wooohoooo! If not, it’ll be there tomorrow, and the next day.

I give a lot of credit to my boyfriend, Craig, for keeping me balanced. As I’m working myself into a tizzy over nothing he will absolutely take me gently by the shoulders, look at me and say “Katie, it’s ok if we don’t get to the grocery store today, we’ll make it work.” And that’s the truth for many, many things. There are always exceptions, but if you can step back and be aware and honest with yourself I guarantee you can begin to weed through the necessary and the unnecessary. Use your family, and your friends as sounding boards, but make sure that you are listening to the voice and the intuition within yourself.

You don’t have to believe in fate or destiny to allow yourself to let go a bit to move forward. It can be a very freeing, and yes, scary experience, but it will feel more natural than sticking to your life to-do list. I wish you all the best in your journey. Keep in mind that life is the journey and not the destination (somebody else said that, but I’m not sure who J) Above everything else, remember to have faith in yourself! And sometimes if you get stuck in a rut a little Scarlett O’Hara is just the ticket: “I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.”


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