The Five Year Plan

>> 1.10.2013

Writing. Photography. Two of my favorite hobbies. I'm certainly bent on documenting in one way or another. I love looking back at all this stuff, too. For example, here are some photos from the same week . . .

//2013. Work-at-home mom of a toddler. House is a mess. Lots of drive to figure out what's NEXT, which I'll get to later on in this post. I'm mostly out of the frame here -- both in the photo and in life -- if you'll notice. As I mentioned the other day, I'm working on that.

//2012. Little just-shy-of-2-months-old Ada in the Moby. Tired, tired mom -- just look at those circles! Working on surviving day by day. Night by (sleepless) night. In for a rough, but pretty incredible year.

//2011. When I was apparently concerned with my style and posting lots of weird outfit photos of myself. I was definitely going through some identity issues around this time, which I suppose was manifesting in this style quest. I was pregnant for most of the year. Phew.

//2010. I took A WHOLE LOT of photos in 2010, so it took me a while to navigate back to January. I was happy at my job at this point. With how it steadily declined after that, it makes me wonder whether it was me or the job that was the problem. (Leaning toward the latter.) I'm in my old office in this photo. I was even thinking of going back to school to be a librarian.

//2009. I had super-short hair after chopping it all off in the fall. It was start of our first full year living in our house. The kitchen looks so different in the background! I had just started (never home)maker in mid-November. I wasn't terribly happy -- we had just moved cities and didn't have many connections.

//2008. And yet another year back. This is the time in 2008 when I bought my first DSLR camera -- a Nikon D40. I remember it was a very mild winter and I'd trek all over Ithaca just snapping pictures and trying to get the hang of things. Definitely had a quarter-life crisis this year -- changed jobs, changed cities, was in the first year of marriage. Yikes.

Crazy, right?

I remember back around the time I turned 25 (in 2008), family members would ask me: "What's your 5-year plan?" And I suppose it involved a lot of what has actually happened. I wanted to go in a different direction with my career, and that year I went from marketing & communications to higher education. Buying a house and having a baby were on the list, too.

You know, all the stuff you're "supposed" to want and do. It's easy to think only this way in your 20s. It's all about figuring out being an adult -- and job, house, marriage, kids is like the definition of "adult" we get.

As I've grown older, seen more, experienced more, the idea of things we "should" or "shouldn't" have/do/strive for has all meant less and less to me.

A surprise: I always thought it would be nice to stay home, but I never imagined it possible. So, that's something that amazed me. What else? I didn't think I'd be blogging this many years later, so I don't know if that's a case of loving it and keeping up with those of you who still like reading (thank you, thank you) OR not progressing beyond my incessant need to journal my life.

I turn the big 3-0 in July. Now my mind is starting to think about that next five-year plan. So much of my life is focused on others people and things, it's hard to dream up. Too, I feel like right now I'm getting those January goals and resolutions mixed up with long range, broader scope plans.

How I want to shape my LIFE is far different from how I want to spend my year practicing French and learning how to knit. You know? For the time being, I am going to hold off on making any grand declarations or assertions.

What I do know is that I go through so many cycles with fixations. I worry sometimes that I won't be able to ever focus myself and make "progress" with my life, whatever that means. I wanted nothing more than to go back to school to be a nurse at one point. Like I inhaled and exhaled only to find out about programs and admissions requirements. Then I dropped it like it was hottt.

And at another point I desperately wanted needed to move back to Ithaca. I go through that one every other year. There are the more typical things like having a book published (and -- NO -- I do not mean a cookbook!), etc., etc., etc.

Have any of you been doing this sort of mental work lately? Where did you begin? I also wonder if 5-year and 10-year plans are even worth creating. Should we just let time do its thing and take each opportunity and change as it comes?

I feel like that's what usually happens anyway!

PS: All my blood results came back totally normal. So, I plan on calling a lactation consultant today to see if hormones really go nuts while dropping the last several feeds. Fingers crossed I'll get some sort of answer -- I have still felt lightheaded, but not really as badly, thankfully.

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