Sunday, September 16, 2007

Life plans

I must be getting old and cynical. I was reading an article in today's You magazine about how young women probably spend too much time creating life plans and not enough enjoying living, and I found myself nodding in agreement.

I don't think I really believe in life plans anymore. When I was a teenager I thought I had my life all mapped out...A Levels, university, a high-flying career. I wasn't even going to think about settling down or getting married until I was at least 30. I didn't want kids.

So what happened? I met someone at 19 who I thought was 'the One'. I suddenly realised that I really did want a baby, with him. It was a biological revelation. But first we had university to finish and sadly our relationship didn't survive an enforced separation. I went on to train for the career. Before I was even fully qualified I had met the man I would marry. In my twenties. A period of ill health and job changes meant that plans for babies had to be postponed for a while, but I fell pregnant in my very early thirties. I never went back to the lucrative career.

We are not leading the lifestyle now which we had originally envisioned. There is, for example, no holiday home abroad. Both our children have additional needs. But we get on with making the best out of life as it is rather than dwelling on what might have been or trying to look too far into the future. Trying to plan too much can turn people into control freaks and of course control freaks don't tend to cope well when life throws a curve ball.

Which, as we know here, it so often does.

Three notable things:

1. Hubby is, hopefully, en route to Brussels for a short break. That is, if his mate turned up at the station in time for them to get on Eurostar!

2. I've just been looking back at the opening chapters of my novel and there is not as much revision to do as I thought. Can't wait to get going with writing new chapters.

3. I am knitting another scarf, using silk and cashmere yarn in spicy shades of yellow, orange, coral, purple and beige. I think this one will be a present for a friend.


Gatepost productions said...

Interesting to read things from a woman's point of view.

My only plan was to try to ensure my family didn't have to go through the things I had to.

My crossroads were only ever seen in hindsight, my best life chances were accidental.
John S

Flowerpot said...

good to meet you Cathy! I never plan in life - other than on a short term basis for exactly the same reason. Life is full of surprises, not all of them good! Glad to hear you're getting stuck into the novel. I'm in a quandary over my next one - waiting to hear back from NWS relast one, in the middle of a very time consuming journalism course, and dont want to start the next novel until I get the last one back. If you get my drift!
Please call by my way again!

Fiona Mackenzie. Writer said...

It sounds as if your life might be richer than you'd planned anyway - holiday homes - who needs them? Not that I wouldn't mind a little bolt hole somewhere.
Sorry to use your name in vain. I thought it was you and Liz who owned the blog. I mean Cathy does sound a bit like Nicola doesn't it?
Will pop round and apologise to her now.

Lane Mathias said...

Plans? Never had them until now. I just dreamt.

Now I have a plan. I wish it was cunning but it is just a plan and it is a plan to get the novel finished and then I will plan to get it published and then I will plan what comes next. Phew.

Cathy said...

I'm definitely a 'go with the flow ' person now and have been for many years.

John...just think what an interesting life you have had by not feeling you had to stick to a prescribed route.

Flowerpot...from your blog your life sounds fascinating too! I grew up in Cornwall so can relate to lots of things you write about. I will definitely be back.

Fiona...ah, but my name does sound like Cally. Perhaps that is where confusion has arisen. But no problem. I'm far too much of a technophobe to be able to run a multi-user blog anyway!

Lane - your current plan sounds just like mine. Does yours have a timescale? Mine seems to be open-ended....

Anonymous said...

Funny how life turns out. We make so many wonderful plans early on only to look back and realise they would never have worked and what we currently have is far better. Well, in some cases anyway.

Crystal xx

Anonymous said...

You're so right. We spend more time planning than we do enjoying the moment and when you achieve what you've set out to achieve (if you do that is) instead of being content you're already on to the next...a life of wanting (the Buddhists have a good philosophy). Still when I think about all the enjoyment planning and dreaming about the future brings...

Catherine said...

I often think of the famous John Lennon quote - 'life is what happens while you are busy making other plans'.

My life hasn't turned out as I would have expected and there have been some interesting twists and turns. Like you, I think it's important to concentrate on making the best of what I have now, and I weave my dreams.

Cathy said...

Crystal, Georgie and Marianne, I can see you all understand where I am coming from...

Casdok said...

PLans never turn out how you expect them.
I to go with the flow.