Friday, October 5, 2012

Five year plan

I hate the question "Where do you see yourself in five years?" I mean I HATE it.

I don't really know where I want to be tomorrow or even later on today, since I change my mind so often and I have so many other lives to consider.  I have never ever known where I want to be in five years.  I never think that far ahead.  There is living in today, and there is not giving a shit about tomorrow.  I think I for sure have lived in today a little TOO literally sometimes.  Not a bad thing at all, since I'm still here and things are fine.

How about, I still want to be alive? That would be nice.

Today is my 42nd birthday.  Forty-fucking-two.  By my calculations, I have about three years left until I get cancer and four years left to live. I better make them count.  In five years, all I want is to be alive.  And IF for some reason, I step out of this library (I am pretending to do homework) and get hit by a bus, this post is going to be FREAKY and sad.

I better knock on wood.

Most parts of my life, I am pretty freaking excited about the road I am on.  That is saying a lot because I am sure, for once in my life.  I feel pretty good about what I am doing for myself right now.  I have school, I have this, I have friends, I have my home, my kids, my dog, my health.  I have a whole shit-ton of stuff to be grateful for.  

If I look back at the last forty-two years of my life, I start to have a bit of a panic attack thinking of the years I have let go and what I could have done with them.  What would have happened if I understood that I am smart, funny, worthy, and can accomplish stuff?   Of course, I would do the parts different where I hurt people.  But the rest of it, I wouldn't change. I would change stuff for Bob. But since I can't change shit about one minute ago, I go forward, and try my best.

Some important things I have learned.

1) Listen to my older sister.  That bitch is always right.  (Sorry Wendy, you're not a bitch)  But if I had listened to her, well...

2) Parenting is full of soul lifting joy and intense feelings of love and wonderfulness. It is equally filled with intense feelings of fear, and gut-wrenching pain.  And that never gets better.  NO ONE TELLS YOU THAT SHIT.

3) Comedian Mark Lundholm says, "first thought wrong."  And always, when faced with anything emotional, my first thought is wrong.  Good or bad.

4) If I were to do anything differently, I wouldn't be as smart as I am.  I learned a shit-ton of stuff the hard way.  No one learns anything worthy the easy way.  That's what I think.  And I will probably do a bunch more stuff horribly wrong, so think of how smart I'll be once I'm dead!

5) I am lucky.  I am like the person running towards the garage door as it is closing, and just getting under it before it shuts. (before they had all of those safety sensors.)

6) Late is way better than never.

7) If you make sure most of your friends are a good 20-30 years older than you, you ALWAYS feel young.

8) I like to tell people I am 52.  Because they think I look fucking great.

9) I am never going to "get there."  I am going to just always be "going there."  And that is where I need to be cool.

10) I don't have the power to fix anyone.  As much as that kills me.

So this year I am going to work on compassion and tolerance for my husband's condition and patience for my family.  I forget those two things every single day.  I often remember to have self-pity and anger, but forget the important stuff. But when I do forget, I need to forgive myself and try again.  Unlearning old habits and first-thought wrong, isn't easy.  Some days I SUCK at it!  So if I am doing a bad job, I only forgot. So I'm on the right track.

So in five years, I want to be doing the same thing I am doing today.  Continue on this path of making myself better.  What I want for my family is for poor Bob to find some peace in his mind and to feel some purpose.  I lost him along the way.  I hope for him that in five years, he has found himself again. And I hope that in five years, we have figured it all out.  But for now, I'll just stick with today.  And today, is a pretty good day.

My dear friend Deb (I THINK it was her) dropped off these beautiful flowers for me for my birthday. How lucky an I? Thanks Deb.


  1. You have to ask yourself if a five year plan would even be relevant...? Given the pace of change in the world how can you know what next year will bring? Five years ago, there was no iPhone.

    1. I don't know. WHich is awesome. I have already forgotten life without the iPhone. Seems awful.

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Betsey!!! 42 is young and i'm 44 so there,you are younger than me. :) Like the old cigarette add: you've come a long way,baby. The only thing i pray for is that i'm married to my honey in the next 5 years. I've never been married and i really dont want to be 50 when i finally do. As for everything else, my hopes and plans change daily too.
    have a great weekend.

  3. Happy Birthday Betsey!!!....

    Its so much better to be living in the "today" and work on what you are doing now, rather than trying to be someone "tomorrow".... and you have got it down to a fine art... A great inspiration! Well done! x