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Posts Tagged ‘plans’

Lists were once my steadfast friends. They stood by me through thick and thin, kept me organized and on track, and confident that everything was going smoothly. And then they took a turn, and could, I found, be my worst critics, leading me to wonder if I was failing.

I’ve always had two different list pads. The one you see on the left takes myriad forms and appearances. What I list there is still enormously useful – food shopping and cleaning tasks go there, as well as my daily to-do list for work. As my work has me often jumping back and forth between different projects and/or different clients, a list makes sure I cover everything and get done what needs to be done in a timely manner. Those lists are still my friends.

It’s the one on the right that had become suspect. I absolutely love this list pad – given to me by a friend who has always believed in me, it simply says “FOLLOW YOUR PATH.” It’s where I have always listed my personal creative goals – my writing and illustrating of children’s books; growing my shop and business on Etsy which features my French Bulldog art; updating and writing my current website and blogs; expanding a social media presence, etc., etc. Needless to say, all of these involve a multitude of tasks and effort. So I started making lists on this¬†pad of all the things I need to do.

It was the first time a list ever turned on me, taunted me, left me feeling like I might be failing. Whenever I looked at that list, it made me wonder how would I ever possibly get where I wanted to go? And then I decided to not write any of it down. After all, who knows better than I what needs to be done?

I decided to go for a kinder and gentler use of that lovely pad. Now I consider the time I have, and the task(s) I most need and want to get done and can accomplish in that time, and chunk it down into do-able steps. The fact is, neither I – nor you – can do everything at once, and for this we need to forgive ourselves while still doing what we CAN do. We can assess our goals; make sure we have our priorities straight; and then make a plan to get there.

And so my list became my friend again.

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We all have them, right? And then something occurs in our lives and we can watch them go up in smoke. Or at least for a while.

But what I’ve found is that the phoenix can rise again from the ashes, except this time, the dreams and plans have changed, perhaps evolved. Or maybe are new altogether. In any event, they have been colored by that event and now they look quite different. Can you relate?

RaritanRiver2

I was often told as a child that I daydreamed too much. It was made out to be a bad thing. But how do you proceed in life without dreams … something to hitch our stars to? It seems to me that when we lose our dreams or when they get mired in the muck is when we get in trouble. I never minded being called a dreamer. I still am, and it’s just fine with me. When I have no dreams, I’ve lost my moorings.

Recent events caused my dream of being published in children’s books to be pushed into the background, to be, at least for a period of time, not that important in the grander scheme of things. That happens. But early, early this morning – certainly before I wished to be awake – the dream was stirring again, and as I thought about it, a next step came into view … a plan. As I lay there, a number of things fell into place, and I knew what I would soon do. A dream with a plan … that felt good!

Sometimes we just make plans that arise out of an event, in my case related to my health. OK – that happened, what will I do now? Up until this morning, I didn’t really know. Not exactly, anyway. However, it seems my unconscious has been quite busy when I wasn’t looking. A number of recent events – a conversation with someone I’d never really had a ¬†chance to talk to, a book that crossed my path, a wanting to know what I should do – click, click, click – it all fell into place, and suddenly I had a plan. Ideas that had been more on the line of `maybe someday’ or `that seems impossible,’ suddenly seemed real and do-able.

HorseFarm2

It’s amazing when we have a plan, how much lighter we feel. It’s as if a fog that has been swirling about us has burned off and we are standing in radiant sunshine, arms lifted in joy and anticipation. A plan, enlightened by a dream, is a wonderful thing. The path may have pebbles or rocks along the way, but it glows nonetheless.

That old Irish blessing comes to mind, and I wish a beautifully lit path of dreams and plans for you, too …

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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