I love to plan things. This is no secret to those that know me. The J in my personality profile (INFJ) needs decisions to be made, like NOW.
The sooner I get shit nailed down, the better I like it. I’m OK with changing plans – even at the last moment – but I want there to be a plan in place to begin with. I am not happy with drifting along aimlessly. Course corrections/deviations are always allowed but there needs to be a flight plan first!
I have just come off of a long period of my life in which my ability to plan or control it was extremely limited – living with someone with OCD meant “the plan” was always gonna be his plan. And try as I might to have some control over my life and jointly plan our future, there was very little input I had as the disease had the final say on just about everything.
Then, after JD passed away I was left with the issues that the OCD had created…to clean up this huge mess literally and figuratively. But at the same time I was feverishly planning my new life as a widow.
Confession time: the planning actually started as JD’s disease progressed and my tiny fragile sliver of hope for his survival evaporated. That sounds cold but it is the truth. While caring for him as he withered away from the cancer, a part of my mind was also busy drafting a plan for dealing with the aftermath of his passing. This is how I was able to hit the ground running right away and get his messy, chaotic life and hoard cleaned up in just under a year. They say not to make any major decisions in the first year after a spouse passes away, but in my circumstances these decisions were absolutely necessary and thought out well in advance.
My new life plans only existed about a year or two out up until yesterday, and they lived in my head and nowhere else except for some brief mentions on ye olde blogge. I was flipping through the new National Geographic Travel Magazine while eating lunch at work when I came across this article:
Holey moley! It hit me all at once. In less than 10 years I will be retired from full-time work if all goes well. In 10 years Route 66 will be turning 100. And I will be 66 for part of that year. Getting my kicks on Route 66 when 66…how can I NOT do this?
As I was thinking this and looking at the article, I felt like I’d been really close to a lightning strike and a huge thunderclap was reverberating through my body. I knew I had to make a long-term plan to get from A (now) to B (The Mother of All Road Trips) successfully.
So then I got to thinking about retirement and how I don’t really have much of a plan from now until then either. Except for some vague thinking about what to fix on my building for the next couple of years AND to start putting the equivalent of my car payment into savings each month once Edward II the Sparkly Prius is paid off next December…
I realized I didn’t even know the year of my retirement off the top of my head, except that it is about 8 years away (that’s 2024 for those that are still reading).
So WB (I said to myself), how ARE you gonna get from here to adventuring off into the Western sunset in your hippie van/Airstream Bambi/ragtop convertible/Harley Davidson/Mercedes Sprinter Camper/whatever? Aha! The zygote of a game plan was conceived at the moment I asked the question.
That night the 10 Year Plan spreadsheet was born. Not only that, it’s fraternal twin (surprise!) – the Badass Budget – took its first breath as well. Both babies are doing well and Momma couldn’t be more thrilled. More about them later…