I have always been a planner; even if things don’t work out exactly as hoped I tend to have done hours of research on whatever the subject might be and thought out as many options as possible as well as costs, savings, etc. Even as a teenager working up to my GCSEs, I was already looking at universities, the grades I would need to get, and the possible careers choices afterwards.
Of course, the ideas for life I had are rather different from the life I have right now, or even the choices I made within St Andrews. For example, I did not end up within galleries or museum work after a joint degree in Art History & Social Anthropology. There are a few similarities though: I desperately wanted at least one dog and remembered thinking I wanted to be having a child at 25 (although I’m not sure I realised how quickly 25 would come!). My passion for art did not diminish, nor did my love of theatre.
But even if these plans did not happen the way I expected, I still continue to plan out what life might look like.
The obvious areas include having a baby in January. The less obvious ones includes further study opportunities, working on artwork and stories and commissions, new jobs, new places, travel, adoption. How this all fits together is a mystery but I did attempt to put a flexible timeline on it.
If I was to take on a Masters (or two) I would hope to have it completed by the time I was 28. That gives me 3 years for a 1-2 year course. At the same time I would be hoping Bear would have a job he really enjoys and be progressing within his chosen career. This might include study for him too at some point.
We also having dreams of building our own home, but looking at the housing market, mortgage rates and our saving ability, the house we build could be the first we own. Working out where to live comfortably and cheaply until then is also something full of choices and planning in advance. Living on a boat has been a nice idea, or somewhere tiny and efficient. Being nearer the sea would be incredible. Is it likely that we will make much progress on this in five years? Not really but we can plan and progress towards our goals.
In the midst of all this there is adoption which needs to be at least a couple of years after Cub is born, and will then likely take a while to go through the process. So the next ten years could contain more than just one child, it could contain many as we expand our family and invite people into our lives. There are also the sadder moments which of course fit into how life may plan out: for example, we had to think very carefully before getting a dog as there is a limited life span of any pet and that will hurt no matter what. Bernese Mountain Dogs tend to live to around 8 years which will mean I will be around 33, whereas our first child will be 7-8 years old. Of course, we don’t focus on the bad areas because you can waste life that way, but it was important to discuss how we would handle that point of our parenthood and their childhood.
Just looking at these ideas, the next five years could be busy and full of adventures, as could the many years after. Today is the second anniversary of Bear and I getting married. Today is a great day to look back on the last five years, and look forward to the next. Who knows what will actually end up happening, but I enjoy the process, and the planning, and the potential.
What are your plans?