5 Year Plan

I was watching the Barbara Walters special before the Oscars - and can I just say how very awful the Academy Awards were this year? I'd rather have watched Rob Lowe dancing with Snow White for a couple of hours than watch that impersonal, rushed, yet dragging-into-eternity evening and where was I again? Oh yes, Barbara Walters. Between the bookend interviews of Monique and Sandra Bullock, she showed brief clips from all the Oscar specials she's done and I was surprised to realize how many of them I've seen.

Toward the end of the hour, Sandra Bullock turned the tables on Babs and asked one of her famous questions: "in five years, what do you want to have that you don't have now?". And it made me think. After the Big Flare (yes, I've finally relented and have started capitalizing it now), I didn't plan much beyond a day or two for a long time. Then my idea of “future” started increasing to a week, a month, a couple of months and recently, I made plans for January 2012. But years? I haven't thought that far. I've sort of reached the point where I hope I could plan into the future, but it was really interesting to find out that the thought of planning that far ahead makes me feel like I'm daring fate to come get me. The superstitious fear of jinxing this life I've somehow managed to grow persists...

But still, the thought percolated in my brain and I very quickly realized that all I want is what I have now. The people I love, doing the work that I love, living in the neighbourhood I love (and managing my RA with the Humira that I love). This life is exactly what I've always dreamed of and sure, I wouldn't mind having a bit more money, my debt paid off and all the specifics that we can always come up with when we start thinking details, but overall, this is it for me. Except for one thing. There is this one thing that I would very much like to have five years from now that I don't have now.

A book with my name on it.

There. I said it. I said it out loud, in public, in front of a lot of people. Not just quiet and small and to my nearest and dearest, but in print where it can't be changed.

I've dreamt of writing a book for as long as I can remember, even have a couple of starts on my hard drive, but energy restraints and the ebbs and flows of RA have kept me from giving it a serious go, from finishing. There's only so much I can do in a day and sitting down and writing nonstop for several hours after I've done everything else I need to do has not been possible.

But this moment in the last Barbara Walters special got me thinking about making plans further ahead than the rest of the year. It made me consider that maybe the drugs are so good now that it is possible to believe the idea that I will be okay for longer than the next few months or so. It might even be possible that I will be fine and able to work for several years. And just writing that makes me shake with anxiety that now I've put it out there, even the theoretical possibility of this, the universe is going to notice and make me sorry. But life's about no fear, isn’t it, about going out there and taking the big risk, because we only have this one life and not pursuing your dreams with everything you’ve got does you no favours. I figure (hope) that as long as I’m keeping it within the theoretical, the maybe possible, then perhaps the universe won’t think it requires active pouncing.

So. I've considered five years. And I've considered the one thing I would like to add to my life by that (okay, two things: maybe also a little less pain). It really shifts the way you look at your life when you're thinking more than just a couple of months down the road. Makes me think now that it's out there, in public, maybe I need to go create some time to do it. Theoretically, of course.

In five years, what do you want in your life that you don't have now?


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