Five days ago I celebrated another birthday. Would I ever have predicted I would be where I am now, doing what I am doing, living where I am living? No. No because I’ve never really been one to map out a plan or set life goals. My birthday also coincides with performance appraisal time at work. One question always asked is: “Where do you see yourself in the next twelve months?” As always I answer “Unsure” because that’s the truth! I have absolutely no idea and I really struggle with long term future planning. “Long term” meaning anything over one month to me!
I remember watching a grown man practically explode in front of my eyes when I told him just that. “How do you overcome challenges if you don’t plan and strategise? Life is like a game of chess!” he bellowed. I told him ever so calmly that I believed some struggles were not meant to be overcome, they were instead put in front of us to steer us onto a new path. There is always choice I told him, choice to walk away and try something new rather than killing yourself by banging your head against a brick wall a million different ways. “Life isn’t all about challenge” I added, much to his exasperation.
I feel very comfortable with my lack of future planning approach to life. It means I get to sleep easily every night. I don’t chew my fingernails, I don’t need Valium and I don’t have to run 10kms to get a shot of endorphins, thankfully! I can simply be at peace. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I am reckless or blasé. It’s more like a curtain has been drawn on the future for me. I know it’s there, I know there is a future but it’s just not something that I worry about. I can’t be enticed or ensnared by a promise of what may come. I’m a present moment woman and believe things will come to me; paths will open up at the right time.
Of course everything we do, or don’t do in the present will affect the future, that’s simple cause and effect. However there really is no beginning and no end in this universe, just a state of constant change. Change doesn’t worry me either because I have faith that everything will be ok. I trust. I may have no idea what life holds for me but I do know I have made it this far through a myriad of life changes and challenges without any planning. Who knows what the future holds for any of us really. Yet some people are consumed by planning and challenging themselves, and others, while sacrificing all that the present moment has to offer.
For some life is all about challenge and the challenge of shaping or controlling the future and others with it. Sadly life has a way of cutting short dreams and plans. There is one birthday card missing on my desk this year as always, one from my beautiful Dad who passed away when I was just thirteen. Through his absence he bestows a very special birthday gift. It is an annual reminder to leave the past behind and not to worry about what is yet to come. I hear him whisper to me “Remember to hold the gift of the present moment in your hands and in your heart. Live in peace, have faith, surrender and trust that everything will be ok.”
And I do.