Planning for Everything
Updated: Dec 9, 2018
My husband recently recounted a conversation he had with a person who was about to embark on a second marriage. She said of her first marriage that they never planned to get divorced, but then again, in hindsight, she sees they didn’t plan to stay married, either. This really is so profound.
“I want to have a long, happy marriage.”
“I want my children to be healthy and happy and to enjoy a good relationship with them.”
“I want to be strong and fit in my 70’s.”
“I want to enjoy good friendships with wonderful people.”
“I want to travel and make art and bake beautiful artisan bread.”
I have thought all these things to myself and believe that they will happen for me. But truly, unless I make very specific plans, the odds are that they won’t. This is because, well, life stinks. Sorry. People get cancer, children go off the rails, a spouse decides they aren’t in love with you anymore…this is real life. And, I’m not saying that we can control these things, there’s so much that is outside of our influence. But for those things that are inside of our nudging, well, we can plan those things and I believe we will benefit from the exercise!
For example: My husband and I have some good things planned for the rest of 4th quarter (we do quarterly planning and take it seriously) and so, odds are, I’m not going to leave him in this quarter. And you know what, before 1st quarter of 2019, we are going to have more plans made. So, probably going to stick with the ol’ man yet another three months. ;) See how this works? I’m being a sarcastic brat about it but it’s really serious. We have actually set out plans both personal, professional, and combined, to guide us to the ages of 60. We’ll be making new plans as 60 gets closer. But because we have said together, “Hey! We want to visit Italy and ride vespas while we’re still young enough to look hot”, we’ll probably both hit that goal and stay married through the working towards it.
And of course, we’ll be working on other plans so that once that Italy trip happens, we’re not flummoxed and bored. Boredom is a killer – and I don’t mean that it’s not good to have reflection or “down” time – but no plans, no dreams for the future, that’s the killer side of boredom. So, having something to look forward to both for pleasure and for HUGE lifetime ambitions are fabulous and breathtaking. We want to give away $1 million in a lump sum at some point. Wouldn’t that be awesome? We’re not close today to hitting that but you better believe we’re moving towards it together and that forward motion does wonders for our everyday life.
Those are marriage thoughts but let’s turn our gaze to…anything, really! Physical fitness? I know full well it’s not getting easier or better without some effort. Sigh. So, making the effort today will be the fulfillment of that hope to be strong and fit in my 60’s. How about having good friends – what a joy to be surrounded by my closest friends on my 60th birthday! But, if I’m going to have close friends then, I need to invest in friendships now. I will remember birthdays, spend time on the phone or in person, care about them when they are hurting and let them care for me when I’m needy. I will stop being so judgmental!
When I think back to that conversation that spurred this thought on, I hear sadness and wonder and regret in the woman’s voice. And haven’t I had that same feeling when I faced a situation and wondered “How did I get here?” Entropy is so real. And so gradual that it’s easy to miss the changes for the worse that are happening. Take stock, take time and ask yourself if how things are today are how you want them and if not, make a change. It’s a beautiful gift to give your future self and all those around you. You can plan for everything, really.