When I first came back out public I had a 5-year plan, and so far it's going ok, just on a slower track than I originally envisioned, but a much richer and more vibrant track, so I'm good with it. It hit me today that I haven't thought much beyond that, and here I am already past the 5 year milestone.
So- Where do I want to be 5 years from NOW? This is a game I've played with myself for a couple of decades, and it actually works because it makes me think about priorities and goals and stagnation and stuff like that. I got the idea from a survey I did once.
1) What were you doing 10 Years Ago?
Wow, the nursing school year. I remember the big mystery over who was smuggling mummified cats out of lab, and practicing catheterizing fake people. My favorite word was auscultate.
2) 5 Years Ago?
I crashed into the fabled midlife review crap I used to ridicule others for. Can’t wait to find out why old people are saying “60 is the new 40″… Sounds like a very loaded statement. Let’s see how gracefully we can hit brick walls every other decade. Heads up to the mid-30′s crowd.
3) 1 Year Ago?
Wasted out of my skull on medication just to be able to walk, heartbreaking end to an awesome friendship, discovering the joys of the empty nest, and plunging headlong into youtube fanaticism.
The year I took a break from the internet I did a lot of deep thinking about that stuff in reverse- where do I want to be a year from now, 3 years from now, 5 years from now kind of thing. I stopped at 5 because I really couldn't see past it. So many things in my life have abruptly changed or cut off and you never know who is next on the ol' chopping block and all the changes things like that entail, so I didn't force it.
I've done plenty of looking back and assessing how far I've come posts. I haven't really done any going forward that far posts. Part of looking and planning forward is assessing right now, and I think I pretty much assess right now to death, don't I? I'm done with physical therapy unless something changes, I'm continuing to self monitor with a medical team, OH, Scott's job finally sold so there's a little bit of a snip in the annual income, kiddos are in my house, and we're dealing with even more hard stuff, so this post is more an exercise in focus than actual planning, but this is a good way to lay down a foundation and set up scaffolding for that.
Let's get a direction. I could go in any direction, and a lot of it depends on financial independence (which my original plan was intended to help push). I have kiddos in Houston, I have people all over the world I'd like to see, plus things I'd love to do if I were able, but if I've learned anything it's Keep It Simple, Stupid. The simplest thing to do is sift top priority out, and that's kiddos. In the last 10 years I've seen my Houston kiddos what, 3 times? I think in the next 5 years I'd like to see them at least a couple more times. If I'm going to do that, I have to be able to travel and survive stepping out of my own routine and comfort zone into a different environment, and I'd really like to do that with more brain on. So of course, top goal for the next 5 years is be ready to travel. NO JUNK FOOD, no stupid mistakes like what happened with the new shoes being laced too tight, no wasting my money or energy on things (or people) who will make this priority drop into a lower place. And anyone who expects that will need to understand I might feel very crabby about making that kind of a choice. I used to be able to jump and go be with people through crises at the drop of a hat, and I did it all the time for a number of people, and I just can't any more. I need to be ready to say a polite NO and stick to my guns if I want my own kiddos to stay top priority.
I know this sounds trivial, but I want to be done with the junk in my room. Every time I've started going through this old stuff that has piled up (and a good chunk of it isn't even mine), more gets piled up on me. My room is like a catchall in a family of packrats. Granted, @bonenado is a very neat packrat, constantly rearranging the entire basement and keeping a spotless closet, but a lot of this stuff is pure junk in my eyes, and we're so busy sifting through more junk (Bunny is a funny cosmic joke on this whole thing) that I never seem to get back to the original junk I keep trying to get rid of. I used to have to keep organized piles of stuff from the bankruptcy and my disability case, just piles of EOBs overtaking piles of other stuff that never quite got done for Christmases and stuff, and it's just ridiculous now. It's been so long since some of that happened that I can now just burn whole sacks of stuff, but they're buried under more sacks of stuff that needed sifting out, including baby stuff and my mobile office stuff that keeps getting bombed apart. I finally taped my publishing contract up on the wall. I see it every day. I lost that piece of paper so many times because suddenly people in my house in the middle of sorting and writing. I need a whole room I can spread stuff out in that can be guaranteed no one will ever touch, but I have basically 2 feet of kitchen counter I've commandeered, a corner of a table, the dresser in my bedroom, and a strip of wall by my bed. Oh, and a corner in the closet I won't let @bonenado touch. I can't even tell you where my stuff is in the basement any more. I have entire music collections probably worth some money that have been engulfed. Everything ever done by the old guys like Bach, music from all over the world, a collection I dreamed of growing up and to this day have never enjoyed. I don't have the kind of life that allows me to have my own record collection out where I can get to it in my own house where no one will destroy it or move it or bother it, and it has sat for years down in the dark with the spiders. To get it all out now and listen to it- I'm trying to guesstimate how long it would take to listen to the entire collection in the few hours a day I actually get to be home, and that is usually interrupted somehow. 2 months? I'm guessing at least 2 months to listen to all that. Maybe 3. Chopin, Schupert, Rachmaninov... Yes, all the Beethoven, all the everything you ever heard of. I own it. I've talked before in the night was smashy about how I don't get to run my house the way I want.
dragging brain back into focus
Actually, that all reminds me of a very realistic dream I had a kind of long time ago that stuck with me and helped me let go of fighting for all that stuff.
I was a very old woman, at least for the time, and fashionably modern. I had all the latest in clothing, home decor, and lived very comfortably. In the dream I just knew this, I didn't see a lot of it. In the dream I was dressed to leave, in a sitting room detailed with brocades and dark striped wallpaper, velvet covered mahogany stuffed chairs, patterned prints and lots of lace, and I was dressed to the hilt right down to the latest dress boots, gloves, and hat.
I was looking around at all of it. I had to leave it. Something had happened (what?) and I had to leave all of it, and I detested the future that lay before me. Someone else would have all my nice things (the grand piano! the drapes! the imported carpeting!!!), and I was galled that I would be forced to step down into squalor. I kept looking around the room, cherishing the finery, cherishing my 'place' in the world, cherishing the quiet wealth dripping all around me. Cherishing my buffer against all the dirty world outside.
A carriage was coming to pick me up. Men would come into the house and escort me into the carriage, and I would leave this place and never come back. MY things. MY life. Another family would come in and mess up all MY stuff like a bunch of heathens. But I felt fine, even smug. In the dream I thought and felt all these things, and I felt smug that they would never take them away from me, never really force me to leave.
In the dream it was about sitting in that posh room and waiting. No one else was with me, no words were spoken, but deep down I knew that was me, and I watched myself like that, an ugly soul inside a beautiful home. Not one thought was wasted on remembering a person, not one moment of cherishing was about someone who was loved, not even a pet. All that went on while the clock ticked was looking around at the wealth and feeling smug that they couldn't take me from it. I realized after waking it was because I had overdosed on something and timed it for when the carriage would be arriving. They would walk in to find me dead, which would create a whole other fuss and stir, and technically I'd never have been forced to leave my house. Bah on them!
O_O I know, right. What a biatch. Well, I'm not sure what's up with the vividness of it and it really feeling like it was me unless possibly that's a past life or someone else's memories floating around in the night or a remote viewing kind of a dream, which I've done a few times, but whatever it was, I feel very strongly like I dreamed it for a very good reason, and that's NOT to make the same mistake again. In this life now I'm still very drawn to nicer things (not like I wish I had them but more like I feel that it's familiar) but shun them almost with repulsion and live a mostly immaterial life. I'm in a nice house, yes, but most of it is filled with hand-me-down furniture and decor, and not much of it matches. I'm not house-proud. I could (and have) easily lived in trailers and much smaller houses, and even slept on floors and in a car. I just have this really strong feeling that wealth is a trap for the mind, and that it ruins what we are supposed to be doing here.
I think the missed point is that every person is important. Every person is a wealth of potential. Every person is why we're all here, and it's the only common denominator in every other possible variable in our existences. To shun other people for things is to completely miss the point of existing as life. We may be autonomous beings, but we are still an interwoven part of each other in so many ways we can't even imagine.
For instance, I'm very aware in this life that other people create the things I enjoy. Other people labor over the food I buy, other people labor over the clothes I wear, everything I touch and see all around me is because other people are living lives and laboring. To cherish finery without acknowledging that people create it is, honestly, a bit silly. To hold oneself above others over materialism is about as silly as it gets. The materialism wouldn't exist in the first place without other people, the being above them certainly wouldn't exist without them, and the above ones can be ridiculously estranged from the very essence of humanity if they can't see this.
If I really was that old lady in a past life, I'm grateful I got past that. I'm glad my idiot choice to kill myself before I saw other people take my precious finery didn't ban me from going on to live a full life of loving people around me and learning to work together to solve our daily problems.
That was a bit off track of where I want to be 5 years from now, but I'm suddenly leaping to wonder where I'll be 5 lives from now. o_O Wow.
I know what I don't want 5 years from now. I don't want to be an idiot. I don't want to lose people over petty selfishness. I don't want to grow bitter and I don't want to wallow in being sad. I'm going to do a bit of thinking this month while I deal with this tummy ache that won't go away, and maybe I'll have some cool dreams in the meantime.
I want to still be here in 5 years. I want to be a positive force to reckon with.