|"Most people overestimate what they can do in a year...|
and completely underestimate what they can achieve in a decade."
I love this quotation from motivational author and speaker,Tony Robbins. It somehow always reminds me of the phrase 'the five year plan'. Of course that phrase is usually associated with women who have only one agenda - to get pregnant and married asap - usually in that order! But as that has never been my life plan, and as I sit here willfully destroying my fertile eggs with a glass of red wine, I've been pondering on what my own five year plan might look like. Where do I want to be in autumn/winter 2020?
I've always believed in the power of goal setting - it's how I got published, got a column, got a recording deal. Set the goal then let it go and allow the opportunities to flow towards you. But what are you to do when the goal seems so very far away; when you cannot see your way ahead? How do you go about dreaming the impossible dream, without feeling disheartened and hopeless?
I suppose we have to approach the big dreams in the same way a squirrel approaches the onset of autumn and winter - by gathering resources, one nut at a time and stashing them away, knowing that each small step taken, each nut gathered will increase our chances of survival in an unpredictable climate. We also have to spend time clearing out the nest and making room, ready for the dream season to manifest our goals.
My five year plan then includes such things as completing my studies and seeing Level 4 through to the end, until I qualify as a psychotherapist. This will take two years of study, plus the time needed to rack up the 450 clinical hours required; all whilst maintaining my writing career.
In addition I need to start thinking of my long term goal of moving to Scotland; this is bound to take time, but unless I start to make some real preparations for it, it is likely to remain a pipe-dream. I'm not really one for pipe-dreaming - I like to make my dreams my reality, or what's the point of dreaming? Dreams show us our potential so that we can take steps to live up to it.
So I need to begin a major declutter of the entire house. I do declutter habitually, but I have a bad habit of hanging onto things for sentimental reasons. Not anymore. I am going to be ruthless, because the idea of having to move EVERYTHING I currently possess to Scotland is frankly overwhelming. The more I have the more it will cost in removal expenditure. So I need to start paring things down a bit.
I've decided to ask myself, with each item, "Would I take it to Scotland with me?" If the answer is No - out it goes! I've even made a note of what items of furniture I want to take and which pieces I would like to replace once north of the Wall. I'm even going to declutter my library and film/cd collections. I plan to donate lots of my books to local libraries, whittling down my collection to only those books I love and read repeatedly.
I made a small start on this declutter earlier today. Some things are difficult to throw away, but as I didn't know why I was holding onto them (my very first riding hat from childhood! Engagment cards for an engagment that was broken off nearly two decades ago! Why do I still have these things???) getting rid of them was the right thing to do. And as soon as I had chucked them I immediately felt a wave of relief wash over me. It made me realize that these items were actually weighing me down, not lifting me up.
I am never going to be a minimalist - I am a woman and I love to have pretty things around me, because on darker days they can be a comfort. Pretty things are a woman's shield against a sometimes cruel world. Her nest is her safe place, her home is her retreat. But if you start to feel a tad weighed down by too much stuff - it's time to start letting go.
I have realized that the most important things to me are not the wardrobes, four-poster bed and chaise-lounge - all of which I plan to leave behind when the time comes and buy new things in Scotland - the most important things to me are a basic library of books, films and music; my piano; my mermaid altar table; my desks; my laptop, rocking chair, tree screens etc and a few special ornaments, such as the Lord of the Rings goblets. With these items I can build a new home for myself anywhere. And as they will easily pack into boxes, along with the remaining items of furniture, a big move no longer seems like such as impossible task.
A fresh start deserves a fresh colour palette, some new furniture and a fresh new look, with old favourites to bring the comfort of familiarity in a new place. It may take longer than five years - but all I know for certain is that I can finally see my way ahead; I can finally start to make some small preparations; I can finally visualize the plan coming to fruition. And what you can visualize, you can manifest into being.
Where do you want to be in 2020?