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Why I’m Not Really Planning for the Future

I am addicted to my email calendar. Online calendars have changed my life: they have calmed me, routined me, steadied me, at times they’ve stressed me. I know where I’m going and at what time I’m going there at almost every point of the day even 15 minutes before I have to be there thanks to my iPhone.

Thanks to my new RPStrength templates, I now know exactly when I get to eat during the day and what I get to eat at each of those times. Right at waking; 3-5 hrs after that; 1-3 hrs before training; during training; 40 minutes after training; 2-4 hrs after that right before bed.

I am a full time student. I work three, part-time jobs that total over 40 hours a week. I am in a long distance relationship with someone who is worth making an hour drive there and back twice a week. I workout at least 60 minutes a day. I also like to be horizontal, against a pillow, with all of my lights off by 10:00pm. I’m not saying I’m superwoman, but sometimes I feel like it! All of the schedulers out there can understand that this can give you a calming, “I’ve got my shit under control” feeling that pretty much makes you feel like you just might have the extra 25th hour in the day that Beyoncé has.

So now, in a life filled with overcommitments and complete dependency on an iPhone to tell me where I need to be at all times, you’re telling me I need to plan for my future? I’m supposed to figure out what I’m going to be doing in five years?

I know what you’re going to say. Planning for your future is the only way to ensure that you get to where you want to go; to see the people that you want to see; to live the life that you want to live! Planning  for your future is the only way to fulfill your goals, to surpass your goals.

Well, I’m going to disagree with you for a second.

I know I could be taking this to the extreme- no one expects me to know what I’m doing at 1:30pm on February 10th, 2023. But I’ve just accepted a new, full-time position in a field that I never expected to work in, I’ve almost found a place to live in this brand new city, and I’ll be leaving my 6 year safety net of limestone and college students in less than 4 months. Tack these onto my current, daily routine, and right now, the only thing I’m trying to plan for is not having a complete meltdown that my life is about to change more significantly than it ever has in my almost 24 years on this earth.

So, future planners, no. I am not planning for my future right now. I don’t know where I’ll be living. I don’t know where I’ll be working.  I don’t know what I’ll be doing in 5 years.

Does this mean that I don’t have goals? Absolutely not. I have big goals. I have goals that have wrapped around the sun and dug themselves so deep into the parts of my brain that I didn’t know existed.

Does this mean that I’ll never plan for the future? Absolutely not. In 5 years I may actually have my shit together and have the rest of my life figured out.

Does this mean that right now I’m just breathing, and being, and following my iPhone calendar, and getting into bed by 10:00, and eating enough chocolate to make myself smile? Does this mean I’m actively trying to see what I want to see, do what I want to do, be who I want to be right now? Absolutely.

I am certain my future will happen whether I have planned it or not. I am also certain that if I plan my future, it won’t end up happening the way that I’ve planned it. As so many wise people have said before and will continue to say, life is what happens when you make plans. (Because 24 hours ago I completed my first draft of this blog post and it got deleted from my phone’s WordPress app before I could post it.– life is what happens when you make plans, am I right?)

So the next time the future scares you, take a step, a breath, and refocus on the right now: What you’re doing well, or what you can change in this very moment. So much looking ahead can make us so unaware of looking directly in front of us.

Sending self love,

Maggie