During my time off to just “be” and not think about the “what next” I found it next to impossible not to think about the “what next” at least a time or two each day. What I did find surprising was how often I was able to NOT think about “what next” during that time. I truly did have a few moments of being content with not planning.
Of course, in the back of mind, I knew that this was a temporary respite from planning and I would eventually get back to having a plan and planning everything. I do believe, having that thought in there was the sanity saver during my forced time of stepping away from planning. Does that mean I will never truly stop having a plan somewhere in my mind even if it isn’t front and center? Will I be okay with this? Can a planner still find calm?
It is amazing how quickly I can take the leap down the black hole of what if. Of course, as I spiral down the hole, the calm is out there but it gets smaller and smaller as it fades to the background. The search for calm seems almost contradictory at times. I want to find calm, feel that power of just being but in the wanting is the natural tendency to evaluate and plan the path there.
And so, I had some moments of being content with not actively planning. The trick is to figure out how I managed to do this without jumping into the black hole of over analyzing. Where to start?
I decided on August 18th to take a month off after finishing my MBA. Before I even finished, there were people asking “what next” and it was very tiring. As I contemplated earlier, why does there have to be a “what next?”
I know, for me, there will be a “what next” since I am never content to stop learning and stretching myself. Right now, it is not about the search for a new job or more money. For me, it is about finding something new, something “next” after years at the same company, doing the same thing and getting the same lack of recognition for the contributions I think I am making.
So, “what next?” I decided to take a month off and I meant it. I would not commit to ANYTHING for a month. No commitment to job search, no commitment to planning and certainly no more school. I just simply wanted to bask in the feeling of accomplishment.
As the month wears down, the “what next” is creeping up. I’m curious to see what this week brings. I feel my consciousness awakening and thinking about what the next stretch will be. Tuesday will be the day to enter the next phase. I am starting to feel a sense of excitement and a sense of dread.
I understand the excitement for an ADHD brain that must always be on and doing. I understand the excitement for someone who has spent a lifetime learning and looking for more. The dread is a interesting.
I believe the dread comes from that place inside of me that keeps wondering what the “calm” is all about. I believe in some small tiny way my mind is trying to figure out how “calm” and “next” will work together. I believe I dread a return to hectic and I dread the loss of what little progress I have made toward the calm.