Plans. Timelines. Spreadsheets.
Ah, my happy place. It’s so lovely living in the boxes of my curated life. So clean. So tidy. So cozy, predictable, and safe.
I call bullshit on that whole deal.
You hear me? Bull.Shit.
You know what plans really are?
A crapshoot. A coping mechanism. Our brain’s way of creating boundaries in order that we feel a sense of control over a life that is, to be honest, filled with events mostly not within our power to govern.
Plans are really:Putting Limitations Around Now
Or, if you want to feel (slightly) better about yourself, let’s call them a:Preferred Logistical Action Network
How do I know? I’m an expert. Duh.
So you might remember a
ridiculous amount few times that I’ve mentioned that I used to be kind of a planner. Okay, not kind of. I was legit. Like, I may as well have had a Ph.D in project management because I um, tried to plan pretty much every single detail of my life. All day. Every day. All.The.Fucking.Time.
This was my brain:
Problems, excuses, obstacles, challenges, goals, milestones.
This was my brain on plans:
Solutions, reasons, ladders, medals, accomplishments, certificates.
You know where that behavior got me? Divorced, over a half million dollars in debt, and so stressed out I had more health problems by thirty than a middle-aged alcoholic.
No. I’m not kidding. Despite exercising often, my blood pressure was high, my thyroid was a hot mess (literally), having already exhausted every OTC option I was on a daily prescription for heartburn/acid reflux, and I had vertigo so bad every day it regularly prevented me from driving, reading, working, or any kind of movement at all on many occasions.
I was working so damn hard to follow the plan, contain everything in a box, maintain appearances, and follow THE RULES, that I forgot to how to live.
I lost my breath. I lost my path. I lost perspective. I lost myself.
So I did something about it. And no, amazingly, I didn’t plan it. Not really. I had a general shell in place. A sort-of, kind-of, maybe-this-is-gonna-work-out kind of idea. Nothing solid really. Just a bag full of gut feelings, a toolkit of strategies for dealing with life, and a massive bottle of “Screwitol” tucked in my back pocket.
I carried that arsenal of mine right up to the ledge, took a big breath and lept off, heart forward, arms open, ready to experience whatever lay ahead and prepared (sort of) to land wherever the wind might carry me.
Let me tell you. That was the best decision of my life. Best. Decision. EVER.
I have made some big mistakes. I have failed more times that I can count (believe me, I’ve tried to
graph recount them, I can’t). But I have learned more than I believed possible in one lifetime, let alone a few years. I have experienced more novel positivity than I could ever have anticipated, and the amazing things that have become a part my daily life are almost unbelievable to me.
The more aware I become of my wonderful life, the more incredible it becomes. The greater my attention to my personal “wealth,” the more abundant my life becomes.
I am happier, healthier, and fuller than I ever thought attainable. I have learned to do more with less, and how to smile like I mean it, because I do.
My life kicks ass.
And not because of any one thing. Well, maybe one thing. My attitude. Or my perspective. My reactions. Basically, my ability to be flexible, to go with the flow, to . . .
Wait for it . . . ,
waaaaaaiiiiiiittttttit for it . . .
My ability to . . .
Scary as it is, and I know firsthand just how this feels, and it’s worth it. I promise.
The story of my life is still in draft form, the ink is never really dry. More changes are coming. Lots actually. The plot is shifting, again. Some decisions have been made. A few small things are getting clearer. My gray zone is starting to get a teeny tiny bit less gray.
Regardless of the situation, remember always that the lesson is to live from a place of abundance, not scarcity. Go forward from a place of love, not resentment. Be brave, not afraid. Have an attitude of gratitude, and you will see that the universe rewards you, handsomely.
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