By our own admission, we are a family of planners. Mother, father, one son, two daughters who enjoy involvement in the many excellent, fun-filled, necessary, enjoyable, and “helping us become better people” activities life offers. Sometimes we’re participants, other times observers. We’re extroverts requiring solitude also. But on the last day of an extended holiday get-together or family vacation, we grab our calendars, paper or electronic, and begin planning our next event. We love being together, and that happens regularly when it’s prioritized.
The original five Posts have multiplied into a gratifying total of 15 family members. Seven are children under the age of 10 whose planning rarely exceeds 48 hours in advance. One daughter-in-law and two sons-in-law include a seasoned planner; one who loathes making plans; and one dangling precariously in the middle, planning only because of a spouse’s prodding.
All such date keeping has served us well, and left to our own devices, we’d likely find little reason for changing. But nothing in life remains “the way it used to be,” and we’ve discovered that adaptability is essential if one is to discover inner peace. A long time ago, when the family patriarch and matriarch were considerably younger, life wasn’t fraught with so many health concerns and deaths of loved ones. We are blessed to have added considerably to the original numbers of family members and friends, of varying ages, and with that comes the sad reality that we will know more people whose health and longevity are precarious at best. Those situations defy attempts at planning.
With any circumstance in life there’s always that preferred middle ground. Too little isn’t helpful; too much is often worse, leaving one with the obligation to find the elusive happy medium. That’s true even with “good” activities like exercising, organizing and planning. Spontaneity must be allowed to happen so we’re learning to not over-schedule. Sometimes the most fun is the last minute variety. A bit of serendipity, one might say.
A new year is just getting started and such freshness invites resolutions and plans for living a better life. Collectively we have a lot of repeats on that list. We’re kindred spirits when it comes to our strengths and weaknesses. The challenge is to see how we can improve our numbers; the medical tests measurements; the dreaded ones that wildly fluctuate on the scale, and the number of steps we take daily. Better health, we trust, will give us more days, months, and years for seeing great plans become reality.
The challenge, of course, is to know when to act with resolve and when to toss caution aside and have that double chocolate sundae and book that trip to an exotic destination. How sad to miss the beauty and joys of today because we were too focused on a future we might not be here to enjoy.
Live in the moment, savor the now, say what needs to be said, arrange your possessions in meaningful order, and never miss an opportunity to express love and appreciation. For planners like us, look ahead and dream, while savoring the moments that are now. Believe in the possibility of those tomorrows, but celebrate the joys of each today and share them with others.
Happy New Year!