…So what is your 5 year plan? I hate that question! It is a trick question if I’ve ever heard one and the answer given is usually bogus. Now let’s pause for a minute because I know that there are people who do truly plan out there lives and for the most part, their plans have come to fruition…I have always envied those people. I’ve dabbled in planning parts of my life; I have planned my vacations and I’ve planned where I would send my kids to school but I have never been one to plan where I would be professionally, 5 years in advance.
Maybe it is because my momma always said, “If you wanna make God laugh…tell him your plans.” I’ve found that anytime I planned what was going to happen with my life, God’s plan superseded mine and took me in an entirely different direction.
Here are a some of my plans gone awry; I planned to stay married…that didn’t happen, I planned to send my daughter to our church’s private school from K-12 and learned that if I didn’t mainstream her she would graduate without having learned anything except the ability to pray and most recently, I planned to have a long successful career with my last employer…I ended up fired, so for the last year and a half, I stopped planning and decided it was finally time to give in and just go with the flow. I felt good about my decision but as soon as I started looking for a job, I began to hear that dreaded question again and again I was unprepared to give an “appropriate” answer, so I started telling the truth.
The truth, as we all know, scares people, so when I gave my answer the look I started to get when I told them, “I’ve never planned out my career path” made me nervous. I started to question myself. “Am I wrong for not having a set plan to say I’m going to be doing XYZ in 5 years? Why is it a problem that I understand that the best laid plans sometimes go awry so instead of a having a plan, I choose to have a goal in mind and what does it mean that even now, I am unable to formulate a solid plan for where I see myself in 5 years?”
The thought of coming up with a plan that will dictate my decision for the next few years seems very final and if there is anything that I have learned about myself it’s that having to maintain that kind of control makes me nervous and takes away from the way I want to live my life. So maybe my real issue is the control that having a plan in place will impose on me. With all of the twists and turns that life is going to bring my way, worrying about what is going to happen in 5 years seems pointless.
Plans are made to be changed and in my opinion, it would be fruitless for me to even attempt to try and figure out all of the what ifs that will change the direction of the plan so the next time I am asked, “What is your 5 year plan?”, my answer will be, “to handle what I am given and to adjust accordingly.”