Monday musing: my own personal strategic plan

Well, the universe – whatever you call it – works in mysterious ways. Since my Marketing Management class started two weeks ago I’ve had the concept of a strategic plan in my head, not only because our term paper is a personal marketing plan but also because my instructor goes on…and on…about the importance of strategic planning. That isn’t to say that he’s kicking a dead horse, because it is crucial to the success of any person or organization to set goals beyond the day, or the week, or the month. (Then again, those goals are a great place to start.)

Nikki brought up the point again this morning, though I’ll leave it to her to detail her own plans at Clueless Me if that’s what she wishes. That being said, I’m now convinced that the message for my life is to stop existing and start living. I’m only 25, far too young to feel like there’s nothing to look forward to.

So now I’m staring at a huge piece of brightly colored posterboard, wondering where in the hell to start. I figure I should think big, long-term thoughts and then break it down into a doable chunk of short- and mid-term goals, but it’s a little daunting — there’s a lot I want to do, and despite knowing that some of my goals may be unrealistic it will still be sad to let them go.

Still, I think this is the right thing. I’m tired of going to bed feeling like there’s so much more to be done, and of looking back on my downtime with regret that I didn’t use that time more wisely. September is flying by and with it, the rest of 2011…and with that, my last full year of living only for myself. My life is changing in one of the most dramatic “milestone” ways possible, and I don’t want to just be sitting there and watching while it happens — I want to be right in the front of the action.

Here’s to strategic planning, and then maybe a nap.

Monday musing

A few reflections from this weekend:

Farmers’ markets should be mandated by law in every community. Mom and I went out at 8 am on Saturday to the Willoughby Farmers’ Market (conveniently, run by our cousin) and oh. my. goodness what a difference fresh produce makes. I walked out with bags of fruits and vegetables — fresh strawberries, nectarines, delicious tomatoes and a wealth of other treasures — for less than I would spend on the strawberries alone at a big box grocer. To be fair, Giant Eagle had mango 10 for $10 and the farmers’ market had none, but it makes me feel so much better to buy locally when I can.

I will never outgrow retail therapy, or procrastination, especially when I can have both at the same time. The initial game plan for Saturday was market, then back to Mom’s to help her pack for Moving Day (five more days!), then out to lunch somewhere and home to meet Brian. Well, buying food tends to make one hungry, so lunch became breakfast and when I mentioned that Fashion Bug was having a sale…well, let’s just say like mother, like daughter. We both walked out with (at least) two new outfits, plus some shoes and jewelry on my end, and I feel like I have a bright new outlook on the summer (not to mention, motivation to kick into healthy mode so I can get more new clothes!)

If you dress for 80-degree weather, it will rain. I wore one of the above-mentioned new FB outfits to our family picnic yesterday afternoon and it was a great success. Somewhat less successful was the trek to Quaker Steak for Fathers’ Day dinner…in the cold, pouring rain…wearing a white tank and flip flops. MIL saved the day with a coordinating rain jacket, though, and all was well.

I really…really…love my life. There have been several decision points in the last few years that have drastically altered where I am versus where I could have gone, and as I’ve contemplated the real consequences of our engagement and what that means for where we’re going I’ve had to confront those decisions head-on. There are some people in the world who would try to shame those like me who hit a snag in their grand life plan or who at one point faced more questions than answers, because obviously if you don’t keep your little train rumbling down the track at a constant clip then somehow you’re failing.

The thing is, though, I don’t want to be that person who marches in lockstep from Goal A to Goal B and only measures the worth of my life by what I’ve “accomplished”, what I “have” or how little time it took me to get there. I did that and those years passed by in a blur — I didn’t even really celebrate my college graduation, it was so surreal — and the things that I have picked up through my shortcomings and slip-ups are worth more than anything. I won’t lie and pretend that everything is perfect…there’s still some dirt by the door and a pile of laundry to put away. I’m counting down the days until we can move with almost the same enthusiasm as I count down to the wedding. And some days, I just wake up bitchy. But I will take my imperfect little life with its sides of foibles, adjust the plan, and enjoy this outrageous journey — wherever it takes us.

Screw anybody who doesn’t like it.