“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver.
Recently** I read a post by another blogger, SoCal Runner Gal, about a class in which she was asked to write down her vision for herself 5 years into the future. Then, without forewarning, she was asked to share it with a stranger in the class. She subsequently decided to post the vision letter on her blog.
Several things struck me about her post. First was her complete honesty and sincerity in her letter to herself, her lack of fear in stating exactly what she wants. Next was her willingness to be vulnerable and share her dreams with her audience, most of whom I presume that she doesn’t personally know.
She then challenged her readers to share their 5 year vision on her blog with others. Her proposal stumped me. I realized that for the first time in maybe over 20 years, I don’t have a 5 year plan. I went ahead and wrote a little comment about continuing to do what I am doing now, and hopefully reaching and supporting more women, possibly through writing.
The next morning on my run, my thoughts kept circling back to her question. What is my 5 year plan? Do I need to have one?
I am grateful to finally be “settled in” to where I want to be. I have a good job, supportive husband, 3 kids who are able to bathe and dress and do their homework on their own, and I live in a city and a home where I am happy. In the last few years, I put discovering my interests on my priority list. And this January, I took the bold step for me, of starting a blog. That’s all great, but her question is still lingering on my mind.
When is great enough good enough?
The answer is different for every person, whether or not they have ten times less or more on their plate than I do. But if I’m still ruminating about this question, then obviously a part of me knows that now that all is “settled,” for me, there should still be a vision and a path towards more.
Let’s start with my reasons for starting this blog. Because running and the lessons and clarity it brought me, the calm that it gave to my internal storm, significantly changed me. If I can run and write and possibly motivate just one or two people and impact their life, it will be worth it. Because I’ve been the science and math girl my entire life, and I just wanted to stretch myself and color outside the lines. This non-creative and non-athletic girl wants to take a crack at being both. Because I’ve always been interested in connecting with women of varied backgrounds and ages, a United Colors of Benetton meets Dove Beauty ad combined, and having honest conversations.
I guess I would love to have a regular column online somewhere, Zelle at Runner’s World or Women’s Running wouldn’t be too shabby, where I can reach more people. It’s scary for me to not delete that sentence. Publicly announcing a want that is not fully in my control, a secret wish that may very well not come to fruition, is like turning on to the unmarked path on a trail run, pushing me out of my control comfort zone.
After thinking about it for a few days, I know that just reaching more people or getting a column somewhere is not the answer. In a way, this blog is an attempt to give back to running, and I know that my 5 year plan needs to involve more giving back. It may take me a while to flush out all the details, and I need to remind myself that it’s ok for me to not have a definite precise plan.
As a start, I was already signed up to run the Hollywood Half Marathon on April 11th, 2015. After some research, I learned that there is a team running it from Every Mother Counts, a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, raising funds that support maternal health programs around the world. On 3/25/15, I requested to join them, to dedicate my run to bringing some awareness to their organization, and fundraise for them. It’s a turn of a page, while I run through figuring out this next chapter in the journey of my life.