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My Life Plan Sucks?!

I went to Coach Monster’s spin class this morning, and was then stretching out after class.  I was talking with a gym pal who is also doing Augusta, and he has 3 kids and he’s an attorney—henceforth, Lawyer Pal—-so we were chatting about stuff like life, kids, work, etc…

I told Lawyer Pal about my book coming out and just sent to the publisher… And my newly revised life plan.

My personal goal life plan which goes something like this:

1) Publish book;
2) Work as Ellen’s co-host; and
3) Become peanut butter mogul for developing the first calorie-free, yet natural and full-delicious nut butter. (Ha, she said, “nut butter.) And not nut powder, either (Hee hee, she said, “nut powder”).

[Holy guacamole. There’s no real reason for the guacamole (or holy one at that), but I just love guacamole and well, holy guacamole is just funny…]

Anyway, as I was talking to Lawyer Pal, he was smiling and saying, “You seem so happy now. That’s great. Having a life plan has really been good for you!”

I thought for a moment and wanted to say, Oh no no no – I’ve always had a life plan and–but then I stopped myself.  Because he was so right. All this time I was floundering around before I found triathlon—working way too much, commuting like crazy, trying to figure out how to balance all of it—I thought triathlon was the answer that caused everything to be “fixed.”

But really… triathlon was just a means to finding my real life plan.  Which in case you are wondering is precisely the one I just listed: said plan which ultimately results in peanut butter, of course, and co-hosting a television show when I have absolutely no experience in television and for Pete’s sake, the camera adds TEN pounds…

That’s my life plan?  Yes. Fact.

Okay, so now you’re really confused. Because that would seem to be the Life Plan that Sucks, right?  Nope. Wrong.

My prior Life Plan sucked.  The one that went like this: grow up, go to college, get married, get job, maybe or may not have kids, then retire to Italy and die.

Was that really my entire Life Plan?  Yes. Fact.

And what a crappy life plan! That was not a plan! That was a jail cell!  No specific dreams? No true-heart desires?  Nope.  Just sheer connect-the-dots.  Take the X Elevator to Floor Y – go down the hall to Door A, and walk through.  Then what?  Lay down and die?

Guess so. Simple, mindless, soul-less life planning.

So as we were talking, Lawyer Pal said, “Sounds like you have some good things happening. You used to be so unhappy.”

Now, if a good friend has said that to me, I would concede.  But I really only talk to Lawyer Pal at the gym, and usually only “hey, how’s it going,” and other small talk. Wow. For him to see that…Yes, I used to be so miserable —but it was…noticeable? To a virtual stranger?

I told him, “Wow… the sadness must have been coming out of my pores.”

Lawyer Pal shrugged nonchalantly, “Yeah, it kinda was.”

At first, that made me so sad. For a split second I felt like the sad, suicidal girl in the Mel Gibson movie, What Women Want.  (Love that Sinatra scene, by the way.)

But then I realized that this sadness journey—was still my journey— that I had to go through some incredibly dark times in order to arrive where I am now. (Where am I now? Apparently having delusions about the Ellen Show.)

With finishing my first (scary and slow) tri almost two years ago, a seed was planted for me on the path to “figuring out” who I was.  But even after training my heart out and accomplishing a 70.3, I was lost. But after a soul-restoring trip to San Diego and a devastating broken foot injury in February (an injury that God gave me…on purpose), things began to make sense.

I’m finally figuring out what I want — in triathlon, yes—but also in my life. And I’m closer every day.

Lawyer Pal was right… I was terribly unhappy. I regret that others could sense it.  But hey, now they sense that I am happy – that’s gotta count for something.

So on this Friday…

I say that we all must work on finding the “just keep moving forward” gumption, and then once we find it… we have to cling to it.  Because truly moving forward and making life plans for the good—may just turn that frown into a smile—where even strangers notice.

Think about your “life plan,” too.  Has it been soul-less? Just a plan to get through to retirement, with nothing more along with way?  That’s all I had for so long.  And I don’t want to go back there.

And while my big dreams of working with Ellen may never come true… that’s my new life plan for now, and it makes me crazy-giddy.  And I giggle about it. Alot.

So we’ll stick with that plan. Which is mostly just a plan for happiness.  Happiness and peanut butter. 

Happy Friday, friends. Have a great weekend!


  • Pam

    September 14, 2012 at 11:15 am

    In the words of Captain Kirk, “I WANT my pain, I NEED my pain!” It is through pain and hard times (and, yes, sad times) that we learn the most, it helps to shape us into who we are today. I would not trade my pain for anything!

  • Wendy

    September 14, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Seems you and I are on parallel journeys, while the exact circumstances are different, the outcomes and timing are quite similar. I had someone tell me the exact same thing a not long ago. I found myself wondering yesterday if my “new life plan” sucked. (Mind you, It does not include Nut Butter). I’m not sure if it does, but after reading you post, it doesn’t matter right now as long as I “keep moving forward” because I know I don’t ever want to go back either. Thanks!

  • Danielle

    September 14, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Wow, what an amazing post! I wish I could put my thoughts and feelings into words as elequently as you do! When I read your posts I often feel that I’m reading about myself and this “life plan” post is so timely for me! I’m in the process of leaving a job I’ve been unhappy at to go back to school (for something I think I’ll really enjoy) and feel that I have running to thank for it! A tri is also definitely on my “new” life plan!

  • Lisa in IL

    September 14, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Someone left a picture on my desk yesterday morning. It was taken in 2002 at a friends birthday party. I was 50+ pounds heavier, my first instinct was to simply put it through the shredder. But as I kept looking at it I realized holy sheet look how far you’ve come. In 2008 I literally walked my arse off and have been moving forward ever since. I even posted it on my facebook wall as a reminder & encouragement to stop beating myself up when I feel like I’m at a standstill or a have a bad day or am waiting for an injury to heal. But what struck a chord most among my friends was not my size but the look of sadness on my face. Did I think I was sad then, nope. But thinking about it has made me realize that I was a terriblely unhappy lady with little direction or sense of joy in life. Signing up for & looking forward to races has given me a goal and I’ve meet some really amazing people along the way. It’s not until you look back in the rearview mirror do you see how far you’ve actually come.

  • Cindy Bryl

    September 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Here’s a recipe for your new found happiness and life plan:

    1C peanut butter (all natural of course, best to use fresh ground pb)
    1/2- 3/4 C sugar or sugar substitute (I’ve used truvia) (need something granular to make a ‘dough’ I use just enough sugar to make a wet dough) (have done 1/4 sugar 1/4 truvia as well)
    1 egg beaten
    1 t baking soda
    1 t vanilla
    Combine. roll into 24 balls. bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes

    Now you have a flour-less, somewhat healthy, peanut butter BALL!!!


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