So I’ve been struggling with this post for a while. I think a few people that I work with actually do read my blog now and again and I don’t want them to read this post and take it as free license to slack. So, I thought I would start with this disclaimer: if you’re on my team you are not allowed to cite this post or any of the thoughts in it in the next few weeks (the half life of any post) as a reason for why you didn’t get something done.
Now that I’ve done my duty to the J.O.B., on to the post.
I, along with everyone else that isn’t independently wealthy or dirt poor, have been watching in horror as the global economy has crashed and burned. I’m not going to go all tinfoil hat here and rant about the reasons why we are in the state we find ourselves (I need to start another blog to do that ;-)), but it has knocked me out of the daily routine a bit and forced me to re-evaluate the grand plan.
I formulated the grand plan over the course of the last 5 years. As I started to get a little money, realize that I wasn’t going to live forever and my kids started to be real people and not just babbling babies. OK, it really started when I turned 30 and realized that I didn’t want to do what I was doing forever (and that i wouldn’t live forever). The core elements of the grand plan were:
- Get while the getting was good, even if you did like what you had to do to get it.
- Make time for the important things along the way (family, kids, health, happinessss), but always keep one eye on the prize
- The prize = ‘retire’ from the main job when the youngest graduates from college (2024 or 2025 depending on whether it’s 4 or 5 years) with the house paid off, no debt and $2M in the bank.
I will be 52 years old in 2025 and then the real fun was supposed to start – I was going to go into teaching. High school match and science. Maybe a little history. Summers off. Working with kids and seeing that spark when they ‘get it’. Doing my little part to get the US back to some level of proficiency in the area that has been so bad for so long. But now, I think the plan has to change.
The good is no longer, so the getting will likely fall off, whether I like it or not. Will things turn around? Who knows, but it doesn’t look like it will ever be exactly like it was before. I’m not sure when I came to that view, but I imagine I had to go through all the regular stages and have arrived at acceptance. Although its fewer every day, too many people are still in denial. Now that I have accepted a future view (may not be the right one, but it’s mine) I am re-visioning the grand plan. The core elements of the grand plan 2.0 are:
- Do things I like every day – because I may be doing them for a long time.
- Make time for the important things. (full stop)
- There is no prize. There is no tomorrow, there is only today and now.
I actually like plan 2.0 alot better! Will I ever get to teach? I hope so, but in the end (hopefully still along way off) it won’t matter nearly as much because I’ll have enjoyed the trip alot more…the destination won’t matter as much. And in some subtle way I really appreciate the irony of the fact that it took the world economy going to shit for me to stop delaying gratification. Making me happier today that I would have been if things kept cranking along.