If I had a dollar for every time that question was asked between myself and my husband, I’d send us to the Turks and Caicos for a week…maybe longer. We are both strategic to the very core, and thrive on organization, planning and executing the plan. Sometimes I think maybe this makes us immune to the spontaneity factor that exists amongst people our age. And maybe we sometimes miss out on things, but it’s what works for us and keeps us above water.
So today, when my husband asked me out of the blue on the way back from Lowes, “so what’s your plan babe, for life? what do you want in the next few years?” I was literally without an answer. Or at least, an answer in the magnitude like I think he was fishing for. I just sat there like a kid at a spelling bee that had been asked to spell the word ‘guarantee’. (FYI I can only spell this word with spell check. I have to type what I think it is and wait on the faithful red squiggly line underneath it where I eagerly right click and correct it and exhale the tension that builds every time I have to spell guarantee.)
Don’t get me wrong, we talk about life all the damn time. Give Rob one too many two finger pours of bourbon and he starts gazing up at the sky all misty eyed talking about all that he wants out of his 100 or so years on the earth, God willing. So we cover this ground a lot (we go through a lot of Bourbon). But I think it’s one thing to dream about the fantasy life you could have with X amount of money and something totally different to actually carve out a plan that aligns with where you’re really at. Because in one scenario, you can really say anything you want and feel content with it. And the other scenario serves a distinct purpose to drive you forward in your own reality, so it behooves you to give it a considerable amount of thought and effort.
The truth is, I don’t KNOW. That’s always been my big hangup. I don’t have this ceiling that I want to climb to in my career, or life that propels me forward, I never have. I’ve only ever been able to plan for the now, or the very soon, or at best know what I want the plan to feel like. I’m a master at making a Saturday to-do list. Need a menu planned for the week? I’m your woman. But, ask me how far I want to chase my career down the rabbit hole and I forget how to form sentences.
Do I want to have millions of dollars? Yes. Well, there are literally countless avenues by which to try and achieve that, most of which I won’t even consider because once again, I think that’s bordering on the fantasy scenario we talked about earlier. I don’t know where my life is going or what I really want to distinctly achieve from it in the next 5-10 years. I can answer that question in a different way though.
I can say I want to continue being happy like I am now. I want to keep getting healthy and seeing my body change. I want to keep chipping away at our car and house payment so that eventually, there isn’t one. I want to keep attacking the weekly “grind” so we can enjoy our weekends the way we want to. That may sound like a stagnant answer, but it sure doesn’t feel stagnant living it.
Does anyone else ever stop and look around and think, “where is this all leading to?” I think I know the answer to that. I think most married partners, once they get to that point, they have a baby. Because isn’t that just what comes next? Then the pressure is off of YOU to conjure up YOUR own future, and instead you have a whole new future to follow around and figure out, where your decisions are really just a means to their end. And that’s fine…
But what if you don’t want that? Where do those misfit couples go?
I want to be okay with not having a strict scaffold in place on my future right now, but I can’t shake the feeling of laziness or irresponsibility when I think about being two years away from 30 without a desire to have a child, and instead, being content with keeping up the gig we’ve got going on now.
We both work. We are successful at our jobs with the promise of continued future growth and the ability to simultaneously have a rich home life. I may be green but I’m not so green that I don’t realize that in and of itself is a blessing.
We both have hobbies. They are fun, expensive, time consuming and expensive (yep). But they are meaningful and keep us from getting fat and grumpy and sensitive to light.
We love each other. I always told Rob I would live in a cardboard box with him if it only meant I could still be with him every day. And I still mean that. What good is a plan as rigid and detailed as the pyramids if there is no love between us?
We appreciate time and how fleeting it is but also how it demands certain things at certain times. Like this post, now. It demands taking a sharper look at where all of this is headed and to consider what the bigger picture is and how you or I or anyone should paint it EVEN IF I don’t have a sharp answer. Even if.