When my husband and I realized that the Empty Nest was really a thing…and that ours would be coming soon…we started to formulate “The Plan”.
In other words we began to dream. We talked about future goals and expectations we had for our lives. After all, we consider ourselves to be very fortunate to have–so far–lived a great life. The future has to be great too!
That is not to say that we have not had horrible times, struggled or made mistakes. We’ve done all of that and more! But somehow we survived it, made the best of most situations–learned a lot–and kept going.
Life is like that. It is a roller coaster ride that takes you to unexpected places–sometimes painful and scary. And through it all we survive it and arrive at hopefully a good place.
I am finding though, as we think about dreams we have for the future that we have become complacent and comfortable with where we are and do not want to tempt the Fates with asking for more.
That is such a wrong idea. We can have more without threatening the security we now enjoy. We can do and go and be whatever we want if “The Plan” is thought out properly.
And now with the empty nest we have also found that we have a great deal more time. We have been filling this time with hobbies and weekend trips and doing the things we really enjoy and care about–like writing!
Others, though, see our empty nest and think we have time to do MORE for them. But MORE doing is not exactly what I had envisioned for “The Plan”. It is not busy that I would like to be but more authentic. Authentic to my true self and what I can offer others and what I can do for myself.
It is not part of “The Plan” to multitask anymore. That is not authentic! When I multitask I am not putting my full focus on what I am doing. I am good at multitasking and I can get a lot of stuff done. But over the years I’ve noticed that the better I multitask the more folks expect me to do. And by doing this I’ve allowed them to take away my joy.
Who came up with this concept of multitasking anyway? When I did a little research–(ok, I got a little carried away and read about 17 articles!)–I found that the term multi-task can be found as far back as the 1960s but was always used to refer to machines, in one article a lawnmower, and later to computers that can perform various functions simultaneously.
I also found that “Human Multitasking” is a thing! It is actually described as if the Human were some odd species! Most article agreed that when humans multitask we are less efficient, prone to more errors and ultimately we are not saving more time.
So part of my “Plan” is to stop multitasking. I want to be present when I am doing whatever it is I am doing. And I have been testing it out!
I am my own laboratory rat: I had lunch today and concentrated on just eating and enjoying my meal. I turned off the monitor on my desk (where I eat at work), I put my cell phone in my bag and I just ate and looked out the window.
I have to admit that at first, it felt weird. But after a few minutes, my breathing changed, I noticed I was eating slower and how good my lunch tasted. I watched the wind blow through the trees outside and without intending to I started thinking about “The Plan”! And all the things we are planning to enjoy and do–because we can and because we want to!
So just because we have more time doesn’t mean we have to do MORE of what others expect or want us to do. It does give us the freedom to look forward to that future we are planning and the manner in which we want to enjoy it.
And so I’ve officially included in “The Plan”:
- No more multitasking!
- Be authentic with my wants and dreams!
- Give to others what I can offer them but that also brings me joy!
Look into your future. What do you want to see there? What are you doing today that will help you realize your “Plan”? Comment below and share some of your plans and dreams. And remember, we only have one life people! Make it fun!
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