February 6th was the seventh anniversary of James's death. Seven years. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that. It doesn't feel like it's been that long but then other times it seems as though it's been much longer. Maybe it's more that I don't feel like I'm where I "should" be after seven years. People often tell me they wish I could see myself as they do and that they wish I could see how far I've come since James died. And I wish I could too. I think it would be quite helpful. Maybe one of these days I should try to list out what I've accomplished to help me try to pinpoint why I feel like I'm behind.
But then again, I never made a timeline after he died. In fact, I did the opposite. I stopped planning for the future because it's not guaranteed and I didn't want to be disappointed if I made all these grand plans only to have them yanked out from under me again. I think it drives my best friend nuts because he wants me to work on a life plan. Luckily for him, he doesn't understand that I HAD a life plan and why I'm reluctant to make another. He's still free to make a life plan for himself without hesitation. Without truly understanding it may not come true.
That's not to say there aren't things I want to do in my life, or that I've just been sitting around doing nothing. I've had a pretty busy go of it-especially the last 5 years. In fact, I'm to the point now where I love feeling like I'm one of the cool kids for the first time in my life but I need a timeout. I need to not have a social calendar that is always go, go, go. I need more downtime. A couple of years ago, I would have thought "but there's so much I'm going to miss out on if I slow down!" And now I've turned a corner and think "Eh, there will be other events like that." I'm finding that right now there are things I want to focus on just for me, without doing everything as a group. I love my friends, don't get me wrong - I am very blessed in that way - but I need to spread my own wings and see where it takes me. I need to continue to find comfort in my own skin.
I'm finding that is taking me to some interesting places and this year seems to be the year of "Don't think, just do." So far, that has me taking improv classes, participating in several photography challenges, planning to do a mini indoor triathlon and feeling excited about spending 4 days exploring Atlanta by myself. And it's only February...
I have other goals for this year as well that aren't quite so spontaneous - quite a few of them actually. I have a 3-ring binder that is divided into nine areas of life with my goals in those areas neatly typed out. As the month goes along, I write in my achievements. At the end of the month, I type them up and reprint the goals sheets. I tell myself this is so it looks nice and neat as time goes by. The truth is my handwriting sucks and I want to be able to read what I did in January come December. Plus, in January, I exceeded some of my goals and had to use some of February's space to record them. And I've already made a couple of revisions to the original list.
I call these goals but I guess it can be looked upon that this is my plan for 2015. (It's also pretty much the plan I had for 2013 and 2014; this year it's just more visible unlike 2013 where it was out of sight, out of mind and more protected than 2014 when my hard drive crashed in October and I lost my progress on my goals which furthered the tailspin I had already entered into. I also took dating out of the mix because why set myself up for failure for the third year in a row?).
Maybe I've turned more corners than I thought I have and have made more of a life plan mentally than I realize. My day planner does have a list of long-term plans on it- sort of a "bucket list" if you will. I just haven't gotten to the point of being able to write it all down yet. And maybe what's holding me back from doing that is there's still a part of me that's waiting to go back to February 6, 2008 and have the day end differently.