Monday, June 2, 2008

Life is What Happens When You're Busy Making Other Plans...

Mr. Lennon was on to something when he said that. And, boy oh boy, have I personified life passing me by as I plan, plan, plan. I've always been a post-it notes, list-making girl. I like to keep a running grocery/drug store list/any news shoes at Nordstroms list; overall to-do list; work to-do list; and then the Life Planning List (retire 3 years ago, invent plastic doohingy that prevents pizza box from smashing pizza, lose 10 lbs before I turn 30, 35, 38 and three months). I was fortunate to run into several of my lists this morning as I was switching purses (ok small leather countries) and careful review has revealed...I've planning myself out of Life.

I jest you not, below is verbatim from my "Life Planning List":
  1. Lose 10 lbs no later than August 1, 2008.

  2. Determine if I will attempt IVF again, no later than July 15, 2008.

  3. Outline of great American novel completed no later than June 1, 2009.

  4. Solve life's mysteries by January 2015.

  5. Have X amount in savings and investments by December 31, 2008.

You get the point. I've lost myself in lists.

I very much want to blame infertility for this. I would like to say, well before I started infertility treatments I maintained a healthy balance between planning and living. Instead of just writing that I would lose 10 lbs, for example, I would also take daily steps to meet my weight loss goal. Actually, I can blame infertility. Infertility treatments make me hormonal and bloated and mean and then depressed so I eat and thus cannot meet my weight loss goal. Not my fault. Next.

Not a good example. My point is, I understand the importance of goals, but I've noticed lately that my goals and my obsessive need to plot my future are eclipsing my life. You know, the life you live every day. I'm not taking time to smell (much less plant) the roses. I'm wishing for Fridays Monday through Thursday. I have the discipline to sit and think and plan about the future; I just seem to be lacking the ability to enjoy the, well, dailiness of life. Or even enjoying the daily, weekly steps that make up the future plans.

Clearly, I need to find the joy of NOW. I need to luxuriate in the unexpected; cozy up to the out of the ordinary; appreciate the uneventful; and relish in the routine. I want to find myself one day right around the corner from one of my long time goals and say, "Well, it's nice to be here, Life's Mysteries, but the journey was kind of nice too."

So, this is my new project. No, no, I'm not putting it on a post it or a list, which is hard to find anyway in the smallish leather country I carry around. It's my new daily mantra. Live in the NOW. Live in the NOW. Live in the NOW.



Io said...

Living in the now is good, but I'd hold on to the shoes list...

luna said...

be here now. yes, it's good to have goals, but it's hard to keep planning for things that we have no control over. I"m trying to be all about the present, which is hard for a control-freak planner list-monger like myself.

I can tell from your deadlines that you have lots of experience either negotiating settlements or drafting legislation.

enjoy the moment.

Duck said...

What a great idea - let me know if you figure out how to to do that living in that now place.

JJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JJ said...

(sorry, i messed up the last comment!)

This quote is on my computer monitor, so I have a CONSTANT reminder (because I need it) I want to share it with you...

"With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mrs.X said...

Excellent post! Do you think maybe the list-making is a way to avoid actually living in the now? I know the feeling very well - you make lists so that you can plan so that you can feel as if you are actually going to accomoplish something. For me, deciding to do something is usually far more rewarding than doing it.

The other bad thing about lists is that if you don't accomplish it, you feel twice as much of a failure.

I second the idea of keeping the shoe list, however. The above in no way applies to shoes.

Currently, my only lists are the shopping list (red wine, cookies, red wine) and my to-do list at work - critical, really critical and back burner.

Step away from the lists!

tryingtoconceive said...

Good luck being present in the moment! I am working on this, and some days are better than others.

I catch myself thinking about the future (things I need to do or fear may happen) and the past (things I wish I had said differently or never said at all) and try to remind myself that I can't do anything about that right now, and try to enjoy the moment. It's tough, but I've been talking myself into it lately, and its definitely cutting down on the panic attacks, depression, and manic list making.

Good luck!

Phoebe said...

Oh, I loved your post! Ahhhh, the ever elusive trying to live in the now. It's really all we've got, isn't it? But it's all to easy to ignore. I'm a planner too, and when I don't have a plan, I'm lost or anxious or both (not a good combination). Right now, I don't have a plan, regarding the whole baby thing, which really disorients me. I soooo want to know what I'm going to do, but I don't honestly know, so I just have to stay with the not knowing and try to live in the present moment.

Your comment about the journey was great too. The Buddhists say, "the path is the goal". Sometimes, the journey really is much more interesting than getting what you want.

Hopeful said...

Wow! You've summed up so much of what I'm feeling right now. I am totally ruled by my lists and future plans. I need to enjoy the now! Thanks for shedding new light for me!