Okay, so I’m not a believer. But this week, just a few days in, is close to making one out of me.
Plan to write your newsletter (new issue out today!) in two hours? It’ll sprawl into four, and then you’ll realize it’s not what people need or want to hear so you’ll push it aside and have to write a new one, which, because you’re already freaked out about the sea of lavender your GoogleCal looks like these days and how many things you’ve promised and how little time there is to deliver and OH, YEAH, how you’re three months away from being 48 and three months and 12 years away from being 60 unless the old universe really feels like throwing you a curve ball in the form of a city bus. (Horrible story here for anyone in need of instant perspective.)
Plans as we make them are kind of like serving suggestions of life: yeah, the day might look like this…if it was styled by Martha and executed by Oprah. Pardon, Oprah’s people. Pardon, again: her battalion of people.
But I am neither of those ladies and have no army and at least some of it has been by design. Not that I’d have reached those kind of heights, but the track I was on back in advertising was laden with promises of minions down the road, the mythical, magical Shoemaker’s Elves who made shit happen while you slept. I didn’t want that, or at least, I didn’t want all the stuff that went along with that. So I left it for this vida loca of self-determined overwork and anxiety.
Wherever you go, there you are, right?
I’m not abandoning the plan, though; I’m adjusting it. I moved some blocks around today. (You can’t make more time, but you can drag around the blocks it’s made of.) My intention is to pay attention, to really observe where my time is going, what I like (and don’t like) spending time on, what’s a joy and what’s not, what stays and what gets shunted from day to day. Like meditation, or what I’ve heard of it, because I still don’t have the ladyballs to put that on the calendar, the point is to see what’s happening, not judge or correct it. That will come later. The judging, I mean. (Haha, not really. Okay, yes, really, but I’ll try not to overindulge.)
The looking, it’s what changes things. You can’t change an unlooked-at thing any more than you can keep it from changing while you avoid it. I would rather undergo a bit of temporary discomfort to get a handle on where I really want to put my energy than piss away the time until 48 or 60 or that bus come to get me.
God is having herself a good laugh right now, at me and my craaaaazy change tactics. It’s cool. We all have to find our own way; being a craaaaaazy nerd about it might just be mine. It’ll force some issue, that I have confidence in. Eventually, if I stick with my planning and my paying attention, something will give; hopefully, it will be the Next Right Thing, revealing itself. Maybe it will be me paring my possessions down to 100 and adopting a monastic lifestyle. Maybe it will be me chucking the bespoke life for something more conventional (if anything conventional exists at the end of this experiment).
Whatever it is, it’ll probably be annoying and startling and life changing, as per usually, as they say on the internet. But it’ll be there, and I’ll move on to the next thing, whatever that is. So yes, my plan is to hew to my plan until such a time as I’m liberated from something as pedestrian and tedious (and lavender!) as plans.
And then? I’ll probably do it all over again. Although, you know, nothing’s written in stone…
And just because it surprised me, I’m linking to the attribution for the quote alluded to in the post title. (Woody Allen? Really?)