If this year has taught me anything, it would be that it is OK to not have everything planned out to the most intricate detail. Really, it is…….and I’ve really, truly learned to be OK with that! And, believe me, that is about as far out of my normal comfort zone as you can get! You see, I’m a planner and a little OCD – well, OK, a lot OCD – about the details of everything. I want to know exactly how things will play out, what to expect, and when to expect it to happen. I’ve always been a little freaky with spontaneity. Oh, I can be spontaneous and can deal with it on some level in certain circumstances, but for the most part, I want a plan and a check list and a warm fuzzy feeling that the end result will be what I want it to be.
Then came this year………I had an end result in mind, but until just recently, I had no idea how I was going to get there, when it was going to happen, and how I was going to make it happen according to plan. Because, you see, there was no plan! Yeah, I was nervous, worried, stressed out, and out of sorts. But, I got through it by keeping my eye on that end result. I made minor and major interim decisions that got me closer to it and slowly, but surely, filled in the details as I went. Now, all of a sudden, the end result is within reach — like within 2 weeks of being realized! And I did it all with minimal formal planning. And the further along I got, the more comfortable and less stressed out I was that there wasn’t a formal plan.
Now for the major shock to my comfort zone………I know that in two weeks I’ll be retired and moving back home………I know that I am planning to be all unpacked and settled in by Thanksgiving…….but, beyond that there is NO plan!!!! I am making a major life change and have only made decisions going out about a month. Beyond that……….nothing! The only thing I’ve decided going forward beyond the holidays is to take life one day at a time and enjoy the view! The rest of my life will sorta be like going to the ball park for a Saturday afternoon double-header — take a beer and a dog to the cheap seats, sit back, and enjoy life for all it is worth!
I’m planning to learn to relax and take things as they come. I’m planning to take time to enjoy retirement. I’m planning to make the most of every day by doing things I enjoy and that don’t stress me out. Yeah, I know – relaxing isn’t really in my nature and I’ll surely be bored and looking for something to fill the void that work used to fill. But, I don’t have to plan for that. I only need to plan to deal with it when the time comes. Once I get settled in and get through the holidays and my first full winter in Western NY since the 1984-85 season, I’ll start to consider my options – see what life has in store for me – figure out what will make me happiest. Maybe I’ll start a little business – something that feeds my creative side. Maybe I’ll do some volunteering or maybe get a part-time job at a non-profit – something that feeds my love of community. Maybe I’ll write that series of children’s books I’ve always joked about writing – something that feeds my love of writing. I’ll have nothing but time to figure that all out and decide on the best option for me.
And I’m OK with that! A year ago, I would have driven myself crazy with check lists and pros/cons lists and options listed out by priority – all attempting to ensure I have a detailed plan for my future. Now, when I’m asked what I plan to do, I very comfortably say – “right now, nothing”. And it feels good! And it feels right! And I’m happy as a clam! I know I’ll have a roof over my head and family and friends nearby and what types of things will make me happy when the time comes to find something to energize me. That’s all I need to know.
Well, what do ya know – maybe I got me a plan, after all……..