‘What’s your plans?’ – I can’t tell you how often I’ve been asked this (rather annoying) question in the last year. As someone who has finished their education, having a Bachelors and Master’s specialising in Nutrition and Public health, having moved away from the town I grew up in, and having been to several countries around the world, it really seems that this isn’t enough to some people.
For some, this question is just a simple way to say ‘hey how are you, how’s life going, what plans to you have?‘ That, I am completely fine with. In fact, you’re probably wondering why I’m making a big deal out of this and writing a blog about it. After all, these are people making simple conversation right? When I am greeted with this question, I am often stumped. Why is it that people never ask if you’re happy, or about your plans for the weekend? I’d actually probably have an interesting answer to that question. ‘Well actually Audrey I’ve been contacted by a company in London who want me to write a blog for their website‘, or ‘Ah well now you ask Bob, I’m actually spending the weekend in Rome!’
But no, they always want to know your life plan (despite having no life plans of their own). I suppose it’s not the actual question that offends me, but the reaction I get to my response, which is often ‘Well, I don’t have any life plans‘. I wish you could see their faces. The truth is, I don’t actually have any plans (cue the shock and horror). That’s right, I really, really don’t have any life plans! But what does that mean exactly? Does this mean I have no life goals? Does this mean I have no aspirations? Dreams? Future? Does this make me a lazy person? To others, probably. But to me, no. It means I live for today.
To give you some context, over the last year, I’ve been asked some of the following questions almost weekly:
- When are you planning on getting married?
- When are you planning on having kids?
- When are you planning on going travelling?
- When are you planing on getting a new job?
- When are you planning to buy your own home?
Now you may be thinking, ah well she’s just a single layabout who mopes around the house all day and has never left her country, so their question is probably justified – It really couldn’t be further from the truth! I have a South African boyfriend who I have been with for 7 years, I am a professional Writer specialising in sport and nutrition, who earns a full time salary. I have many interesting hobbies that include fitness, sport, nutrition, blogging (including for different companies), vlogging, reading and watching movies and, I’ve travelled! So far, I’ve been to North America 5 times, I’ve been to Africa (South Africa) and I’ve ticked off a lot of Europe (France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria and Greece just to name a few), pretty lucky I’d say. Yet, nobody is interested in this.
Is life really supposed to be planned? Should we be on a tight schedule knowing exactly what we will be doing with our life and when? For some, perhaps that’s what life is all about! Maybe it gives them a sense of control and direction, something to work towards. But for me, that is total anxiety! I like to go through life living! I like to see opportunities arise when they present themselves; I like spontaneity and fun. In fact, just last night I stumbled across two tickets in prime seats to watch Disney’s Broadway Hits at the Royal Albert Hall, London. I immediately booked them and a hotel room at Hyde Park, without even thinking. I really am not a planner and if anything, I will back out of something that has been planned. I do often worry about planners; I wonder how they cope when their rigid plan doesn’t go to plan. I wonder if they plan for their plan not going to plan.
I enjoy setting goals for my week and year, I may even add a couple of new year’s resolutions. But I believe there is a clear distinction between planning your life away and having small, medium and long-term goals you want to achieve. One brings a sense of achievement; it keeps me motivated, driven, determined. For example, this year (2019) my key resolutions are to move more, learn more and save more. This leaves my life open, ready to welcome the wonderful opportunities and pathways that will present themselves this year. Which will I choose? Find out on the 31st December 2019.
My challenge for you this year is to go out of your way to find out more about the interests of your friends, and to spent less time worrying and wondering about life plans.
If anyone wants me, i’ll be over here living my life, in the moment!
© 2019. Naomi Laws. All rights reserved.