When you’re heading into the twilight zone and someone asks about your five and ten year plans well … what you would you think?
I mean who wants to be reminded they’re almost beyond the pail hurtling towards the final ski ramp waiting to be jettisoned into oblivion, or heaven, or nirvana, or wherever it is that bloggers (who haven’t posted in weeks) are headed.
Well, someone did ask and it stopped me dead, not literally because there’d be no need for a plan would there, kind of pointless really.
He was serious and sat, making eye contact, waiting for an answer. That’s what good listeners do. They sit and wait. Quietly. No rush. They wait while your mind wanders down about an addled brain. Some moments later I was still hoping the answer would ambush me and put an end to the uncomfortable feelings of inadequacy in which I was stewing.
How about if I didn’t have a plan?
Um, you mean what will I do when I retire?
Head tilts questioning.
Like, will we sell up and disappear into the sunset in a motor vehicle, (which we haven’t a set plan to purchase but will need), towing a self-contained caravan (which we also have no set plan to purchase except it will happen sometime)?
You see I really have no idea where we’re headed or what our timeline for getting there might be. The MOTH and I need an eternal timeline because that’s how long it’s going to take to get around to seeing and doing everything on our respective lists. An eternal timeline is not that practical not only because it just isn’t but because what if there are no caravans, or sewing machines, or quilting stashes in eternity, or heaven, or nirvana, or wherever it is that bloggers (who haven’t posted in the longest time) go when they’re all blogged out.
So I had to take his question seriously and consider what our five and/or ten year plan might look like. The MOTH and I have a vague idea of where we’re headed but until I hit the magical number of XX I have one or two things on my to do list that weren’t there before the burning question.
We’re both looking forward to being grey nomads yet I know I will need something more than new experiences and meeting new people to fill my life. Those of you who’ve been around this site a while will know that I believe that one of the purposes for our being here at all is to help others who cross our path on this journey. Short version is I don’t think I’ll be done helping when I reach the XX figure although I will be done with working in the field of addiction, corrective services and child protection. I want to help in other ways which brings me to a brand new goal: a two year goal which is nearly half way to a five year goal, I’m sure that counts.
After much ruminating and reflection and a week after the question was posed I registered in a graduate diploma of counselling with the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. The first study pack arrived the same week and I’m partway through the initial assessment. I’ve been nudged from complacency to excitement. I’m energised and enthused about the next five and ten years.
When the year 20XX rolls around I’ll have a piece of paper to say I am qualified to do what I have been doing for the past eight years. It will be a current qualification to take on the road with me. And no, I won’t be that gypsy bag lady in a corner of the markets with a pop up counselling stall. More like we may find somewhere to spend a few months and I’ll work with a community centre or psychology practice helping people unravel some of life’s conundrums.
So okay I haven’t answered the question about a five or ten year plan but I think a two year plan with a vision of where it’ll take me and how it will serve the MOTH and I in the years beyond 20XX is pretty exciting stuff.
How about your five and or ten year plan? Do you have one or are you drifting along in comfortable complacency like I was?