Somewhere Down the Road, Plans and Goals

*Continuance of “My Story” starting with Blog #1: When your life flashes before your eyes in a flood gate of memories…

Does a person need to have a plan in place or goals set to keep them putting one foot in front of the other towards accomplishing something or to have success?  What is success, really?  Good questions?  I think so.

During the summer of 2015, we set out planning a winter 2016 trip to Hawaii for a family vacation combined with Kelly doing a class for her work related Continuing Education requirements.  She had been talking of going to Hawaii for a number of years before this time.  Hawaii was a place she was considering she would like to live, but definitely a visit there would be necessary.  Kelly was really stepping out, putting it into action, by telling me she was going to GO there for a work related reason, some sun, and fun.  She also said she “was determined to be well(in health) by then.”  She had set a goal on a semi-vague timeline.

My response on this particular day of her talking about not just someday going to HI, but actually GOING there was, “What a great idea, Kelly, to take your class, see Hawaii, and get some sun!  That would be fun!  I think you should definitely look into this!  Do you have anybody else that you think might like to join you taking the class you’re looking into?”

Kelly had set the goal in her mind to go to Hawaii AND stated aloud “to be well in health” by the time the trip would take place, and she was determined.  She was ALL IN for going somewhere warm!

We talked to my husband, Darren, and Kelly’s brother, Troy, to see what they thought of going to Hawaii.  Not only were those 2 in, but so were one of my sisters and her husband when I told them about the possibility of Kelly taking a class there and seeing if they’d like to go too!  Kelly also asked around if anyone wanted to take the class with her, then she herself signed up for the class.  The 6 of us, for sure, would be going to Hawaii the next winter!

Gone were the days of out-of-state alpine skiing trips with her brother to chilly winter climates.  Kelly’s body couldn’t take the cold outdoor winter activity all day outside anymore, especially with the symptoms she’d been experiencing the last year.  She was seriously considering the idea of moving to a warmer climate, once she was well again.  “Hawaii is a place I may like to live.  I should really check it out,” she’d stated months before, “…and learn how to surf, too!”

I should had seen this coming.  For real?  I’d thought, when she’d stated that moving to Hawaii part!  I was thinking maybe she’d want to live in a location south central on the mainland, up to 10-16 hours away, not Hawaii!  But, it was her life so who was I or anyone else to sway her otherwise if that was her dream/goal.  And learning to surf?  That I knew was something she had wanted to do for REAL, on REAL ocean waves, not just behind the wake-setter on the lake with a wakesurf board(which she was really swell at, having great balance)!

It wasn’t long before I got to looking on-line for where, on the island of Oahu, HI  we would stay!  Honolulu, the capital of HI, was on the island, as well as Pearl Harbor and multiple other fun interactive attractions to ocean water activities that we were all interested in for one reason or another, and of course, Kel’s class was there.

We talked back and forth with my sister over accommodations to stay at.  We needed to be somewhere that we could make our own meals.  Eating out was not be an option for Kelly, although in the future something could change and then maybe she could.  Who knew for sure.  We looked at bungalows and villas, but ultimately we agreed to renting a 4 bedroom house along the North Shore of the island.  Pictures of the rental house on-line showed me the imagery to perk my own imagination.  “Oh, joy!”  I imagined that this place would be therapeutic every morning and night to sit out on the lanai watching, and listening, to the ocean waves crashing onto the beach for 8 full days!  Perhaps T and K would go surfing right out front from our rental house and we could watch from the lanai, or from on the beach in front of the house.

I’m not going to jump ahead and tell about the ups, and more ups, of that trip because we’re just not there in the unfolding story yet!  The point is, we made our plans, and Kelly set her goal to be well in health by that midwinter trip coming up in 7.5 months or so!

This goal is doable, I’d thought to myself.  I sure hope that she will be well by then.

That summer of 2015, we had so much hope for healing going into the GTin5 program. The first week of Preparation I had to get off of sugar.  Truth be told, I had a (red)Twizzlers addiction.  There was nothing good for me in those plastic pieces of artificial food called Twizzlers.  I know, What was I thinking?  The craving for them never totally went away during the program, and I gave into the cravings at times.  I was not eating dairy and grains before the program, for the most part, so it could had been worse.  I didn’t crave bread or cheese.  But Twizzlers?  Seriously, I longed for them.

After 3 days, the sugar cravings(but not specifically for Red Twizzlers) left.  I was onboard for Step 1 of the program, Slashing Inflammation.  Step 1 was good for both Kelly and myself.  The next week, starting Step 2 was more challenging with so many “to do’s”.  But, we both pitched in and helped one another, making a way for healing to begin for Kelly.

And that, our friends, is what happened.  Healing began by starting to purge pathogens out from inside of her body.  It was not an easy road, but worth every effort she put into it.

Listen to “Somewhere Down the Road” by Amy Grant from “Behind the Eyes” album, by clicking on the play arrow below.

During Step 2, the Pathogen Purge, I saw the need for us to extend the purge to further eliminate toxins from our bodies, as we were mid into the second week of the purge.  Kelly agreed to an extra week on Step 2.  We would be a week behind in the program, but that wouldn’t “set us back” per say.  We had a change of plan, but would still accomplish our goal to complete the program.

Which brings me to my original question: Does a person need to have a plan in place and goals set to keep them putting one foot in front of the other towards accomplishing success?  And, what is success?

First of all, everyone has their own definition of what success looks like.  So, what may look like success to me may look like failure to you.  The definition of success is very personal, individualized.  I don’t think I need to explain that any further.  We all get it, right?

Secondly, I personally believe that plans and goals can be great, but they can also become a burden, troublesome, limiting further “growth” or walking a “better road”.

Here’s an example:  Say I set my mind to a project and having it done by a certain date.  As the project moves along, new ideas about the project make way and I choose to flow with them.  Great, the project became a better project that I really like more so than the original plan.  As the planned date to be done with the project nears, I am obviously going to miss the mark to attain that set goal to be done.  Is this a problem?  No, not really.  But, depending on if my mind HAD been set to meet that date, then it would had been a problem.

Another example: Let’s say I have a goal to make so much money in a year, and plan that in multiple years of making so much money each year I could attain the goal.  I start my first year meeting my goal for the larger goal in place.  Great.  During the second year, some issues occur that throw me off to meeting my larger goal.  No problem, I’ll work harder the next year.  So I do.  During the years I’ve committed to attain each year’s goal for the greater plan, I see how I’ve missed out on many opportunities that I hadn’t foreseen.  Was it worth sticking to my plan to accomplish my goals?

The answer to that is also very individualized.  One person may say, “Yes, I attained my goal by executed my plan!” without hesitation.  Yet, another person may look back and think, I wish I would… blah, blah ,blah, blah.  In that case it wasn’t worth it.  The person had regrets, having lost out on other opportunities.

Bottom line, we each have to find out for ourselves what’s right for us, to set goals and make plans, to stick with them no matter what, to be lenient in allowing the plans or goals to shift, change or discontinue, or to not have any plans and just see what happens along the journey.  That last one may sound really scary.  I’ll be the first to say it.  YES- it is scary not having a plan and seeing what happens on the journey.

I believe we have opportunities of faith presented to us during our lives.  Opportunities to trust in something we cannot see with our physical eyes “to be”, or “to happen”.  Trusting in an idea, a dream, or a knowing, to present itself to us at a future time that we have no control over, is that scary?  Yes!  Is it exciting?  Maybe, for some.  For me, not everything in my life has to have a plan in place.  As for goals?  Yes, they are great.  But I don’t stay the course when everything in me is telling me to change something, to take a turn in the road, or flat-out stop reaching for a set goal when seeing that the road has changed before me and that I may need to change my plans.  That’s really okay.

And so it goes, we all live our lives.  Roads traveled, lessons learned, plans executed, plans changed, goals set, goals disrupted, faith put into action, dreams fulfilled… you get the drift.  I hope the plans we are making, the goals being set, and the lives lived by faith, are working out for everyone’s personal destiny and best possible life scenarios.  That said, I’m not saying I wish everyone be happy and free of any kind of adversity, cause gosh, if nothing hard ever happened in our lives it sure would give us less character building opportunities and reasons to change for the better.

Who knows for sure what’s down the road?  Can’t see it now, but by faith I’ll keep on walk’en…

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