For those of you who don’t know me well, I’ll tell you I am a planner. I’m the sort of person who thinks things through, sees all sides of a situation and then acts on it. (I’m also a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda gal. I’m weird. I should’ve been a Gemini instead of Taurus, that’s for sure. Except that I’m sorta bull-headed, too.) It’ll come as no surprise then when I say that my husband and I have always had a 5-year plan. To us, the 5-year plan is something to work toward, it’s a goal that’s been set and by God, we are going to achieve it.
We’ve had some good plans in the past, the first one being to get married. When we first started dating, we fell in love so hard and so fast. It was surreal. It didn’t take long to figure out this was for keeps. So, we set a goal to be married and buy a house, to be settled into our life together, and planning our family, within 5 years. That was March of 1998, and we married in September of 2001, purchasing our house that same month. We found out we were expecting in December. We completed that goal in July of 2002 with the birth of Jamie. As you know, things didn’t go exactly as planned from that moment on, but we’ve already discussed in a previous post how exactly right it was for us. Sometimes things don’t go the way you hoped and planned, but that’s ok. It always works out the way it should.
Our next plan didn’t come to fruition for another few years. We had convinced ourselves that our family was complete and that we didn’t want to have another baby, due to Jamie’s health issues. We just thought that we could be happy without another child, and we were happy; as happy as we could be at that time. It was a very stressful time for us, all the testing Jamie had to go through, all the stress of it, the illnesses, the collapsed lungs, the 12 days in ICU (2 different times), the seizures, the middle-of-the-night ER trips, the ambulance rides with the screaming sirens and flashing lights, the “just-tell-me-what-the-heck-is-wrong-with-my-child” speeches to doctors who had no concrete answers because the only test that came back positive was hypothyroidism. I know I don’t have to tell you what that’s like, as most of you who are reading this are modified mamas and papas and you’ve been there. It’s comforting to know we aren’t alone, no? So, we were happy with our little family of three. But then, two of my good friends told us they were expecting, and it turned up the volume of my biological clock. I was about to turn 30. I had always sworn up and down that I would never have my children 5 years apart (my sis and I are 5 years apart and that made for some rancorous behavior from both of us), and that I would never have kids after I turned 30. I had watched my mother at age 35 have my younger brother and she was miserable. This could be because she was a single mom by then (which is a story in and of itself, for another day), but as my 10 year old self saw it it was because she was “SO OLD”. For that reason alone, I did not want to have kids after I was 30, but at almost 30 years old, my clock was ticking so loudly. I couldn’t ignore it. While having another baby wasn’t in our 5 year plan, we went with it. Honestly, we hadn’t really had a 5-year plan at that point because it was more of a survival thing for us at that point. Those of you who have a child with special needs, you get that. You’re just forced into this survival mode and your instincts kick in and you’re always in that fight or flight response…to every little thing. A couple months later, I was pregnant with Riley, and a short 8.5 months later, she was born. This completed our second 5-year plan that we didn’t know we were even on. Sometimes, plans come about even when you weren’t expecting them.
When Riley was born, my father-in-law decided he wanted to retire. Riley is the last of his 6 grandkids, and he wanted to spend more time with all of them, his kids, and his horses. My husband and his business partner bought out my FIL and we started a new 5-year plan. This April will be 5 years that my family has been living in Kentucky. I just can’t believe that! Riley was only 10 months old when we moved from Florida to Kentucky to build up the company, and boy, have we accomplished that! Joel and his business partner have done a great job at making the company a success. I’m so proud of them. We have been so lucky. In the past 5 years, we bought a new house in Kentucky, our daughter started Kindergarten, our son is learning to read, his health has been so great, Riley’s personality is blooming (she’s quite the spitfire), we have a healthcare worker that comes in every day and helps with Jamie (and their mutual affection is unparalleled). I am so thankful for the friends I’ve made since moving to Kentucky. Moving to a new state is hard, and when you have a KWSN you tend to be so busy with all that they need that you don’t take the time to make friends for yourself. But you know, this group of friends that I have here, they make me take time for myself. They understand when I can’t. And they love both of my kids like their own. I want to give them all a shout out real quick: Nicole, MaryLee, Dixie, Vickie, Kristy, Jen, Karen, and Missie: Thanks, Lovies! Your friendship means the world to me!
I’m not quite sure what our next 5 year plan entails. We’re not done with this one just yet. April will be our 5 years here and we’re working on our plan for the future now, bouncing around ideas. I just know that it’s going to be amazing and fun. I love having a 5 year plan. It gives me something to work toward, and having a goal in sight makes getting up and doing our every day routine so much more worth it. This isn’t to say that I let our goals take over our daily lives, because as you can see we roll with the punches around here. We hadn’t planned on moving to Kentucky, but when the opportunity presented itself we did it. We hadn’t planned on having another baby, but when the clock signaled it was now or never, we jumped on it. Having a goal is just something we’ve always done. It’s something we work toward together, and we remind each other of it when we feel like we’re just floating around all willy-nilly. We all need something to keep us grounded, and for our family that’s making goals. The 5 year plan may not work for your family. Maybe you need to make a 1 year plan or a 10 year plan. You’ll know what works for you. The most important thing to remember is this: if your plan doesn’t happen in the time allotted, or you complete your plan earlier than planned, make a new goal for yourself or extend your timeline.
So on this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for goals and plans. Lists and timelines make me happy. What are your goals for the future, or what goals have you accomplished? Shout ’em out right here! Let’s talk about goals!