Quite often, it’s the women around me that inspire the posts I write here, particularly when it relates to issues we all face day to day and thoughts we may have. Back in January I had dinner with a good friend and the conversation turned to our plans for the year, both practical and aspirational. Both at a significant crossroads in our lives, we covered everything from moving home to moving careers, financial decisions to starting a family, holidays and quality of life. The conclusion was that my friend had a plan and it made me think, I never really had a plan.
Image: Creature Comforts blog
The magazines always tell us women have a ‘plan’ and I know that studies have shown that women with a plan are more likely to achieve it, but it left me wondering, what was your plan and how does life compare now? I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard friends say they ‘want a baby before they’re thirty’ (the majority now have,) to be married by X age or to move house in three years… The majority of my friends are also doctors, so I don’t hear as much as perhaps some of you do about career progression – with us it relies on the completion of a training program that is fixed in time. But now many of them are GP’s I hear maternity benefits and the pros and cons of partnerships being discussed and planned.
And me? Well, apart from never really having a plan, I still don’t. My friends would probably be surprised at that but apart from single-mindedly knowing I wanted to marry Pete, otherwise I live very much in the moment. Looking back, many of the plans, perhaps better termed ‘ideas’ I’ve had in recent years have been blindly pushed ever backwards. Moving house postponed as we don’t really need to until we have a baby, and that baby remains 2 or three years in the future, much as it was 2 or 3 years ago! Career wise, I’m treading water, and enjoying it. I’m not progressing on the career ladder, but I’m looking around me all the time and learning about what I do want in the future. Not needing maternity benefits means I also don’t need the benefits of a steady job.
Reading all that might make me sound relatively relaxed about it, which I mostly am, but every now and then, I freak out and wonder what on earth I’m doing. If I don’t get a job, when I do want a baby I’ll have to wait until I accrue maternity leave. If I wait much longer I’ll be competing with all the newly qualified GP’s that start work in August. If we don’t move soon, house prices might change, we might lose money on the house or end up buying a house that needs loads of work with a small baby. It’s easy to spiral into panic. I need a list, we need a plan!
But I don’t, I have to remind myself it’s ok, I’m almost thirty with so much ahead of me, there’s no rush. I’m kind of glad I never made a plan, as I don’t have anything to compare myself to, to make me feel bad, to feel like I haven’t achieved what I always thought would happen naturally. And you know what they say, the best laid plans…
All that leads me to thinking about you readers. What was your plan and how does where you’re at now in life compare to where you thought you would be? I love hearing your perspectives on things and think a problem shared is a problem halved, so lighten the load a little and let’s hear your story.
Love, a plan-less-but-happy