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The Plague of Planning Skills

It may come as a shock to you to hear the next line: I am not a skilled planner. If we were to make plans together I would most likely forget to determine one of the major W's (Who/ What/ When/ Where) until after it had created a large time deficit for the both of us. Perhaps it's the product of entering adulthood with the tool of instant connection at the palm of my hand, but origin stories are of little matter when the fact remains that, today, I am not a skilled planner. Obviously, if you know me and have tried to plan something with me-- this may not be as large of a shock to you to read than it was for me to discover.

walking the plank to adulthood

Ironically, I went through most of my life convinced that I was moderately organized with above average planning skills. If I had spent the time for skill reflection in my younger years, I probably would have proudly boasted of these skills in a diary. A classic case of wearing rose colored glasses while gazing in a mirror. A falser idea would be fairly hard to find. My reasoning for giving myself such a gracious grade for my abilities stemmed from my time in school, which is now a decade in the rearview mirror. I thought that since I was an able student that could be counted on to complete assigned projects, and navigate time commitments efficiently, that meant I was an astute planner and organizer. Wrong. I excelled at the obedience of completing assignments. When given projects, assigned timelines and details I could indeed navigate through the waters of temptations to find land-ahoy. After I was given my University Degree and escorted to the 'Carefree' ship's plank to plunge into the murky waters of adulthood, it dawned on me that I am a very capable jelly-fish, ready to flow with the current at any turn, but not a great admiral; falling short on foresight to set the course and devise what the goals and adventures found upon my chosen route will be.

My adaptability to situations has always ensured that I have been able to configure to whatever setting I have found myself in. I think I confused that ability with the ability to actually decide where it is that you are going to end up. Adaptability is an excellent skill to possess, don't get me wrong-- it has allowed me to find my way out of many a disastrous situation, like the time Connor and I rented a stick shift car in Patagonia because I was convinced I knew how to drive a manual car. My best friend in High School had given me a lesson one teenage night while driving about the frosty streets of NW Calgary. Having done it exactly one time in the past gave me the idiotic idea that I would forever posses the skill to drive a manual turns out that this notion was decidedly not actuality. Luckily, my ability to adapt allowed me to accept the fact that I would not be the captain of that car and find someone around me that could be that captain. I found us a nice French couple that was staying in our hostel that also wanted to go to explore the same place as us and gave them the keys. Problem solving: A+. Organizational and planning skills: D-.

Clem & Vincent to the rescue

Recently, I've been trying to learn more about "creating the life you want to live" and creating business plans, as well as strategies on how to grow your business. Most of what I have found encourage the idea of creating a five year plan. I've tried to create a 5 year plan but most of the time my brainstorming session ends with "in five years I see myself being alive and healthy" with a couple of crazy financial numbers beside it with no attached career or way to get there. Pretty much throwing 'Hail Marys' on a mood board and believing they will magically come to fruition. A "say it and a fairy godmother will grant it" state of mind.

It boggles my mind that there are people out there that have this ability to create a goal, and set in place the proper steps it will take to reach it 5 years from now. Just look at Taylor Swift who seems to have the next decade written out in puzzles and teasers! I, myself, can barely hold a piece that I am excited about close to the breast for a day, never mind a couple years of waiting for a climatic reveal. Poor Connor is badgered at every step of a new piece with "Look at this!" "Do you like it?" "Look what I just did!" All within literal minutes of progress of each other. Hell, when it comes to Christmas presents I find myself begging him to open them days before the actual Eve because I just don't want to have to wait any longer to see if he likes it. So we might as well add a lack of patience to my list of ailments.

Back when Instagram was a chronological picture sharing app, my faulty planning skills really did not prove to be an issue. Though my feed might not have had the smooth aesthetic transitions between collections that others did, it still was enough to present your newest piece of work whenever it was ready and you wanted to launch it. Now, in the chaotic waters of the 'algorithm' which greedily demands more content and reels as opposed to pictures, organization and planning are more important than ever. You're work is not shown to those that follow you, the algorithm decides whether your work is shown to one, twenty or one thousand people based on initial interactions leading to most posts being dead in the water, shot to their death directly upon launch. As you can infer my particular set of ailments seems to be quite the catastrophe in this new regime. The times of sporadic posting are long dead and replaced with the necessity of planning and launching long, well thought out campaigns of videos, reels, carousels and unique shareable teasers. What a Nightmare!!

So, as I sit here in my shady apartment on a lovely Spring sunny day, I accept that I must improve on creating my own path, my own steps and my own vision. Instead of taking blind steps forward feeling for the boundaries as I go, I need to be able to sit down, brainstorm and set a course towards a goal. It is important to be able to decide what it is that you want to achieve and not just wait for instructions about what it is that you want out of your own life, or what quests that you should pursue because someone else outlined it for you. These next few months I have decided to dedicate to learning more organizational skills, while practicing planning a more cohesive game plan for my art releases. Ironically, goal setting was something I absolutely loathed all through school and tried to avoid like the plague... so now at the ripe age of 30 something I am ready to tackle the skill and take pride in deciding what my own goals are for my 'middle ages'. So if you are following along for the next little while and I seem to be a bit lost and confused-- I probably am. So lets laugh about the faulty turns that await on the horizon together!

Thank you so much for waking up with me and reading along my with my offbeat anecdote. I hope you enjoyed it and will tune in next Sunday for a slightly less nautical themed anecdote!

As always,

Keep it offbeat!

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