June 27, 2020
I never imagined I would refrain from planning. At the beginning of the year I was so ready to plan. 2019 was a year of healing and 2020 was going to be my year of action.
I like to plan. My childhood friend likes to share the story of my post college diagram of my five year plan. I made two diagrams. One was staying in Iowa, working at a safe job, staying in relationship that was going no where, and probably marrying that guy. The other was quitting my job, and taking a chance moving West Coast to the San Francisco Bay Area. I showed her both diagrams to get her advice. Her laughter, that only a good friend who knew me could deliver, helped me select my plan. I’m in California still to this day.
So for my 2020 plans, and since I am a visual person, I decided I needed to get an actual wall planner. I started my search for the ideal wall planner. I needed a bit of flare and excitement in my year, so the standard black and white grids would not do for the expansive plans I had in mind. Finally, during a late night trolling session on Amazon, with my 3rd glass of wine, I spied the perfect planner. It was the large rectangle shape that could hang on my office wall. It had flowers bursting along the borders with happy colors of coral, peony, sunshine and citrus. This was IT.
The day the perfect planner arrived at my door, I was ready and armed with my many colored dry erase marker arsenal; and the eraser just in case. I reviewed my scribbled notes I’d been jotting down on paper, anticipating the new year, and transferred those to my floral wall planner.
I chose a different dry eraser color for each activity:
Red - for my travels… like the March trip finally to Maui to feel my feet on black and red sand; and watch waves and sunrises and sunsets, and lay in a hammock feeling the aloha breeze with not a care in the world.
Purple - for milestone events, like my daughter’s college graduation after four years of stress and challenge and times she felt like giving up.
Green - for my son’s possible pathway toward the Nationals for his beloved sport; and hopes that his injuries would heal and he could play, and I could witness.
Blue - for my continued studies of world religions and spirituality and ways of meaning for various people.
Orange - for exercise and beloved Pilates time on a reformer that allowed me to feel the full expanse and possibility of my body once again.
Gold - for Celebrant and Chaplain events as I planned to build my offerings and opportunities to share my services.
So many colors...
So many plans...
So many spaces left to continue filling the planner with more.
And a few short weeks after the plans were posted, I got very sick. I had some kind of cold or strange respiratory illness that hit me like a mack truck. I went into hibernation for a couple weeks. When I started to revive and come out of my sick bed, news of Covid 19 was taking off. Soon after the California Bay Area went into Shelter in Place.
All of a sudden there was no need for the planner. As the world and my world halted, I stopped looking at the planner. The colors and the blossoms could not provide the joy and activities I longed for.
My year of action had died, and left me spiraling, alone in my home with two deranged cats, and a worthless set of plans that needed to be composted, and hope for some new way to blossom.
Since March, so much more has changed in the world. I already lived my life with the understanding that at any moment things could change. That is the result of having many losses in my life; and also working as a Spiritual Care Counselor, accompanying people who had their life change suddenly; and found it was over and/or would be different.
In this time, amidst the pain of the world, I have found some different blossoms of similar colors.
Red - Instead of traveling, I have had time to reconnect with loved ones I have met around the world through my travels. Through Zoom, WhatsApp, FaceTime I have traveled to Costa Rica, Germany, Syria, Lebanon, along with states of Wisconsin, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, Minnesota, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, Iowa, Washington, Maine, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, Louisiana. Correspondence has even happened with old fashioned letters through the Mail!
Purple - From afar, I watched my daughter’s resilience as she completed her college classes and learned more skills about adapting in times of change. Because of the situation, she has now come home while she figures out what her next chapter will be.
Green - The entire sports season was cancelled. In the midst of that, my son’s injuries have find healing. And I witnessed him take on new responsibility as he ran for co-captain of next year’s team.
Blue - I did continue my program and studies of world religions and spirituality… just in a different way online instead of face to face classes. While challenging, I am learning more about myself and my way of learning. And more about my faith and beliefs and theology.
Orange - Through my Pilates studio, I found one of my beloved instructors is a nutrition expert and was able to take her online classes for mindful nutrition. I have been able to identify more about foods that fuel my body so I may feel the full expanse and possibility; and hopefully better immune system to keep going for some time.
Gold - I have still been called upon for Celebrant and Chaplain events; although in new ways. Officiating a funeral service while wearing a mask and social distancing; or listening to a couple share feelings about having to postpone their anticipated wedding day. The time has allowed me to work on my website, to help people that may wish to work with me; find me.
And there are many more colors and hues of blossoms that have been added, that I could never have imagined. Some how the grids on the floral planner still hold meaning AND have been transformed.
Thank goodness it’s a dry erase planner. I’m open to the ongoing plan… color coded, of course… for the future.