Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ten years come and gone so fast, I might as well have been dreamin'

I have never been any good at answering the 'Where do you see yourself in 10 years' question.

In fact, as I write this, I draw an honest blank at the prospect of my future 10 years down the line. This isn't to say that I don't have goals for myself, aspirations, a stack of journals that are a written testament to the type of woman I'd like to be today and throughout my life.... But as a smart young woman with lots of prospects on the horizon, I can't seem to draw upon a visual of myself at 38. Just typing the number seems strange. So it got me thinking....

I am all for planning...I have a retirement plan (or at least my bank accounts thinks I do), I have a plan for a baby, a plan for puppy #2, a plan for my (nonexistent) children to one day attend college, a plan for the presentation Monday morning, and we're planning our trip to Watervale in two weeks. These ideas are not lost on me. But if life really is what happens when we're making plans (as John Lennon put it), are we really just tricking ourselves into a false sense of control by making plans for time that's not truly our own?

There's got to be some balance here.

As I reflect on the past 10 years, for example, I recall the young woman I was at 18. Just entering college with a shaky sense of independence, rudimentary interests and a fresh (albeit slightly naive) perspective on the world. In a way, not much has changed. I'm still hopeful. I still believe that people are inherently good. I believe in peace. At 18, however, I couldn't have predicted this moment.

Still so many people ask this question, and assuredly find merit in knowing my plans for the next decade of my life. Most recently, I have felt real pressure to create a true visualization of that time, to write down my goals for the next 10 years and make sure I've accomplished them to live up to my answer.

I can't help but much planning is too much? Am I doing enough of it? And how will I know?

The recent 2-3 years of my life have been far and away the most eye-opening. I feel like I have learned an incredible amount (mostly about me) and grown up. These days are some of the most precious. And I am positive that I couldn't have made it here on my own accord or with my silly little list of plans. But I see God working in my life daily, and I surrender my plans to Him. Ten years time is a great gift; one I don't take lightly, and to plan it away would fly in the face of all I know to be true.

Here's what I will plan for: to be faithful above all else. I plan to work hard. I plan to be good to people and to animals and to our earth, and I plan to live as simply as I am able, knowing that I am already rich beyond measure for having been given this time at all. By the Grace of God go we.

This is a heavy perspective to keep on this rocky world, but one I'm going to try.... As I write this, Paul Simon's "Ten Years" lyrics ring in my ears. Have a listen and think about your past/next decade, and your plans if you like....