We’ve likely all had the 5th grade writing assignment “What is your life-like in 20 years?” Well, I’m way past that 20 year mark and looking back, it didn’t come to fruition. Was it suppose to?
When I was an 11-year-old girl in the ’80’s, I thought I’d be the first female President of the United States of America or play professional baseball, on a men’s team of course. I thought I’d be an author and have 6 kids, adopted. Back then, I feared the pain of childbirth and wanted to adopt all 6.
When in college, a few changes. I wasn’tinterested in baseball anymore, but golf….maybe…except I had to work during college so there wasn’t much time for golf. I dabbled in student government, I just may dabble more in the future with local stuff. I decided I only wanted 4 kids and I wanted to stay home and home school them. I got a minor in education so that I might be best prepared.
Well, the path we live isn’t straight or flat. And that’s okay, having a road map is still important, but understanding that it will change is important too. Every year, I write out my goals in the form of past tense statements, as if they’ve already occurred. I have at least one goal for each of the following categories:
- Family Relationships
Most years the goals are pretty similar, nothing earth shattering or life altering. Lose weight, exercise more, get out of debt,stop yelling at the kids, work on a special project at work. Pretty much ho-hum floating down a river, going fast, but enjoying the ride. Then, class V rapids appear out of no where!
What’s one to do? Hold your breath, find a spot on the horizon and focus on it. Panic will ensue, sure. But if you can remain strong and rationale, the rapids will subside.
Last summer I was presented with the likelihood that a restructure was going to happen and that I’d be out a job. I’m the main bread-winner, how is this going to work? What do I do? After a couple of months of emotional anguish, I took a deep breath and repeated that 5th grade assignment. “What do I want retirement to look like? When do I want to retire?” It was time to make a new plan and start building a road map. An opportunity to get out of this river and find another one.
Lessons learned? Build a Plan. Work the Plan. Reassess the Plan. Repeat often.