I know I know.. I already did a ‘Polar Bear Season’ post, and a ‘New Year’s’ post another navel gazing post is just too much!
Gonna do it anyway.
I was trying to explain to someone recently how ‘The Plan®’ evolves. In the process scared her silly when I said, “James and I decided to take a bit of a break over the holidays” and she thought that was a polite euphemism for, “the relationship is on the rocks and we’re having a trial separation”. While we do have our moments, mostly related to stress and my depression, we are, fear not intrepid fellow traveller, still deeply in love. What I meant was “we are taking a little break from life and outside commitments and giving ourselves a couple days off – which I admit might be hard to follow when – we’re ‘retired’ already.
However, that really is part of the process of how ‘The Plan®’ evolves. There is rarely that moment of epiphany when you suddenly wake up and decide to do something completely different. Rather it’s more of an ongoing inner process of little things and little influences and subtle tweaks, over a period of time that ends in something that might seem surprising to those outside your own head. Yeah I know, I’m still explaining it badly.
There were a lot of influences that went into the whole decision four and a half years ago that we would up-stakes and move to Nova Scotia. We had a 5 year plan, but then we’ve always had a plan, we’ve always had ‘The Plan®’, and that came out of talking about the things we love, the things we wanted, how we saw our lives, but as they say, ‘Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans’. The place in our lives we’re at now isn’t where we envisioned five years ago, it isn’t where we envisioned when we made that left hand turn decision in the summer of 2010. Recently a combination of subtle things, the sense of a possible turn in fortunes (alluded to in my previous post), the happenstance of a couple new diy documentary serieses from Britain (the £100,000 House and it’s sequel “Tricks of the Trade’ and it’s prequel Restoration Home) and just taking a bit of time to relax and reconnect over the holidays. Even when you’re retired and share each others’ company 24/7 you can find yourself getting caught up in the mundanities of life…. meals and pets and cleaning and bills and chores. With the struggles of the past two years here, especially financially, we got bogged down in getting by. Life became about surviving, not building. So it is that this little combination of events didn’t really change ‘The Plan®’, but rather brought us back to it. Reminded us what we set out to do in the first place, what it was we were dreaming of out of our new life in Nova Scotia, and rediscovered that what we want out of our lives together, here, hasn’t really changed, it just got back burnered for a while. So, no, no great epiphany moments, but yes, a bit of an ‘ah ha!’, a feeling and moment of clarity of purpose.
We still want our little farm by the sea (and a lack of swamps would be really good), I still want my dog aquatic centre, we still want our workshops, we still want to be doing and learning and teaching and sharing. Taking all those eclectic things we love, from the art of food, to the art of technology, to the art of writing, to the art of painting, to the art of photography, to the art of music, to the art of building, to the art of teaching, to the art of hospitality. In short we want to be creating. That is what inspires us, but we also want to be sharing that creating, with like minded folks. The goal is a retreat and learning centre. A place of workshops and learning and creative spaces. To invite the friends and people we know and admire to teach the things that they do so well, and that we want to learn, and to make new friends and family along the way sharing the things we do and know. He is in his core a teacher, I am in my core a planner and organizer. I am the artist with the soul of a scientist, he’s the scientist with the soul of an artist. It’s a vision that FITS us, and we want to take our friends and community along for the ride.
It’s a grand dream, honestly I don’t know if we’ll ever get there, but that’s where we decided we were headed back in July 2010, that’s where we confirmed we were still headed in January 2015, maybe we’ll be a bit closer there in 2020, or maybe ‘The Plan®’ will evolve, morph, and become something different again.