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My 5 Year Plan

by Jean McGuire in My life

There is a lot going on in the world around us that keeps me feeling out of balance and alignment. I cannot ignore these things, but I cannot allow these things to take over my life and turn me into a negative person.

So, as negative as things feel, I am choosing to focus on how much better my life is now than it used to be. Many people who are still in the corporate, success-driven mind-set talk about having a 5-year plan. They talk about where they want to be and what they want to be doing. Whenever anyone talks to me about my 5-year plan, I have to work to not laugh in their face.

When I think back to the person I was 5, 10, or 15 years ago, that person would find my life today almost incomprehensible.

15 years ago, I was in a corporate job where the culture encouraged everyone to make a competition out of who could work the most hours. Never mind if they were productive hours or not.  I was in a long-term relationship that had soured to the point that I slept alone in the bedroom every night while he slept in the recliner in the living room.

10 years ago I was working at a job I loved and I was reveling in my newfound single life. I was enjoying going dancing every Saturday night, and I was enjoying the attention I was receiving from the men at those dances. I was active in the triathlon community and I participated in races at least once a month when the weather allowed. However, living the life of a 20-something while in my 50’s couldn’t last. The job changed ownership, I decided I was tired of what the single scene looked like, and a car accident prevented me from continuing to compete in the sport I loved.

5 years ago, I was working at a job I had grown to hate. There were so many days when I would go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. I spent all of my days working in a box filled with people, some of whom were not people I would have chosen to spent 8-10 hours a day with. There were office politics and office agendas that had nothing to do with the actual work we were paid to do. When I was working my last job, on more than one occasion I woke up, stretched in bed, and upon remembering I had to go to work, burst into tears.

A little over four years ago I walked away from all of that. Other than when I decided (three times) that I was ready for a baby, this was the best decision I have made in my life.

Today I am sitting in my house looking out the open front door at a cloudy day. My immediate view offers me a delightful view of almost every shade of green in the spectrum. I have had my breakfast and am enjoying my second cup of coffee. Today, as always, I took a few moments to give thanks for the life I get to live. Today I will spend time writing, painting and teaching yoga.

But nothing in life is perfect. No matter how grateful I am for how I get to live my life, there are still days when I want to chuck parts of it over a cliff. These are the days when I have to remind myself that no matter how bad things seem, I am still one of the luckiest people in the world.

My 5-year plan as of today is to continue to grow in all the areas I love. I want to become a better, more successful artist. I want to learn the craft of writing more compelling stories, and I hope to still be teaching yoga on a regular basis. I intend to be supporting myself through these creative endeavors.

However, I also know my path can change on a dime. I intend to be willing to accept those changes and use them to help me grow in the direction I am meant to. I’ll let you know in 5 years what that looks like.


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