The Five Year Plan

Image by woodleywonderworks

My sister-in-law visited this past weekend and, in the midst of chatting about important things like the kids, plot developments on Grey’s Anatomy, and her new puppy (I’m not a dog person, but this little guy?  Cute.  Very cute), we got to talking as we often do about our short-term, long-term plans – where we see ourselves in five years.

Five years ago I was living in Connecticut, teaching history to highly motivated, high achieving high school students at a highly competitive prep school.  One of my classes that fall was Russian History, a seminar in which I taught my seniors about, among other things, Joseph Stalin’s Five Year Plans.  That semester Five Year Plans were all about collectivization and industrialization, catching up and getting ahead.

I never imagined what my own Five Year Plan had in store.

How could I have?  I was childless.  I was a teacher.  My husband was a PhD candidate just starting to hear about interviews at schools that might one day hire him.  I went to yoga four times a week.  I coached basketball.  I ate leisurely dinners with my husband and my friends.  I sipped coffee slowly.

How could I have foreseen that today, just five years later, I would be living in the Midwest, with my college professor husband and our three (!) kids, working as a part-time work-at-home writer?  (A writer!?  Where did that come from?)  That I would drive a minivan full of car seats?  That I would be a devotee of weekly date nights?

Looking back at that younger woman, I wonder what her dreams were.  I suspect that I am living many of them.  I know I am living others she never conjured.

It’s remarkable – isn’t it? – the way our lives unfold in scripted and unscripted ways.  We dream and we plan and then we find ourselves in places beyond our imagination.

Who knows where I will be five years from now?  I look ahead and see some likelihoods, some possibilities, and some not-even-considereds just starting to shimmer around the edges.

Instead of leaving a comment on today’s post, please take a moment and visit Big Little Wolf to learn about the important work she is doing to help raise money for a life-saving kidney transplant for Ashley Quiñones, aka the Kidney Cutie, aka the sister of Kelly Miller of The Miller Mix.

Is there anything you can do to help Ashley dream of a Five Year Plan of her own?