Planning ahead

Given the number of curveballs i’ve endured over the past 26 years, I should really have a much better understanding that despite all good intentions, 99% of the time life simply does not go the way you planned.

Yet here I am, planning.

And more so than that, i’m trying to understand the difference between planning for things that you can generally control, and planning for things that are still very much a work in progress.

On the one hand, i’m planning for an upcoming trip to Austin, Texas to attend the SXSW Interactive Festival on behalf of my company – Creative Circle. I’ve been wanting to attend SXSW for years and I’m ecstatic to finally have the opportunity to go. So for this, i’m planning: the sessions I want to attend, dinners I want to go to with colleagues, a visit to one of my client’s office because in addition to Chicago they also have a presence in Austin. I’m researching, i’m learning, and i’m planning.

On the other hand, I’m in an absolutely wonderful and fulfilling relationship with the best guy I could ever ask to have by my side. But I live in Chicago, and he lives in New York. We’re planning on him moving here sometime this summer. However, there’s a lot to think about and take in when it comes to such a major change. It will be a new chapter of our relationship in a city that i’ve only been in for seven months, and one that will be new to him, as well.

Planning for that major change has been overwhelming. And not in a bad way, but in a “big picture, big questions” kind of way – summer is our ballpark timeframe, but does that mean June, July, August? What if his job situation doesn’t pan out the way we hope it does? What if he hates it here? What’s our next step once he’s finally here? How long does this chapter last for us?

There are so many questions that, at least right now, are nothing more than hypotheticals. So in essence, we really can’t do much planning at the moment. More details have to fall into place, more time needs to pass, more patience needs to be practiced.

Yet the same question has continued to circle my mind time and time again – how soon is too soon to start planning?

Of course when it comes to financial planning, health and fitness goals, etc. it makes sense to get as much of a head start as possible. But in terms of everyday living, it feels to me that it’s more important to make a firm decision about what it is you want, and then put faith and trust into that decision until it’s close enough to plan and then take action on.

Sure, you can map things out, research, learn, and schedule until you have every minute of your life lined up. But at the end of the day, life generally has more plans in store for you than you have in store for yourself.

So go ahead and make a goal, and then take steps to get yourself there in the timeframe you allotted. Just do it knowing that the road to get there will more than likely come with a different set of detours than you could have ever imagined possible.

Plans change every single day. But that’s the fun of it, don’t you think?


Some days

Have you ever had one of those days where you just felt off? To put a cliche to it, a day where you felt like you woke up on the wrong side of the bed?

Of course you have. Because we all have. And today was one of those days for me.

This morning I woke up agitated, snoozed through over an hour of alarms (i’m a 30-minute snoozer on average, don’t judge) and had the hardest time getting out of bed. I just wanted to pull a curtain over the sun and focus my mind on the good dreams circulating in my head. My body was resisting what my mind wanted, and that made me one cranky little blonde.

Next I knew it I was running late and when I got to work, I hadn’t shaken that “off” feeling. I still got through my morning, accomplished my tasks, and everything was fine.

But that was the problem: it was fine.

I don’t go into work, or anywhere for that matter, looking to have a fine day. I go in with the intention of making each day great, positive, lovely, or just straight up kick ass. Fine doesn’t cut it for me. I needed to kick this feeling.

So do you want to know what I did?

I ate four doughnuts (yes, four) because – despite it seriously postponing my health and fitness goals – it made my body happy.

I also took a walk to a nearby park during lunch. I stopped, laid down in the grass, and listened to music, because that made my mind happy.

After work I went to a see a new chiropractor who not only readjusted my body, but also introduced me to acupuncture. To my own surprise it was quite relaxing, and that in turn made my soul happy.

Afterward I stopped and got an ice cream cone (I can’t say no to pistachio) and bought a pint to put in my freezer for my next inevitable “off” day. Cone in hand, I FaceTimed one of my favorite friends as I walked home, and that made my mind, body, and soul happy.

When I made it to my front door I got to thinking about the highs and lows of my day, and I came to the (seemingly obvious) conclusion that no matter how sincere our best intentions are, some days just kinda suck.

Some days you’ll wake up late.

Some days you won’t stick to your diet.

Some days you won’t be on your A game at work.

That’s okay.

The key is to find little ways to get back to your true self. And if you’re looking for the easiest way to do that, here’s my answer: do whatever it is that makes your mind, body, and soul happy.

After all, that’s the best chance we have to make our off days just a little bit better.