The plan was to drive out to the wrist of Cape Cod for a sunrise picture. I’ve patiently waited for the right weather window to appear, and when my head hit the pillow it seemed all was a go. But the weather always has other plans, and teaches you to listen even when you want to hear something else. And at 5 AM the clouds obscured everything above Buzzards Bay. A check on cleardarksky.com confirmed that my destination was also overcast with transparency rated as too cloudy to forecast. And so I wrote instead.
I’m working on my own forecast. Specifically the ten year plan, for the influencers I read tend to recommend thinking in decades not years. Seth Godin just had a great post about it yesterday, which likely planted it front and center on my brain. But he’s not the only one thinking in ten year chunks, and I’d like to be more forward thinking myself. Ten years seems about right for me too.
Does creating a ten year plan run counter to living in the now? I don’t believe so. I believe it sharpens the focus on now. Instead of going with the flow you’re making the most of the opportunity that now creates. And you’re more inclined to check boxes you might have otherwise put off for some date in the future.
Ten year thinking involves calculus on maintaining good health and fitness, mental sharpness, financial responsibility and investments to achieve goals, relationships and career. What kind of person do you have to become not so far from now? What do you need to do today to move you closer to that? What do you need to stop doing?
The future tends to be too cloudy forecast, but we can always move to clearer skies. Or bide our time. As the last year has taught us, the unexpected will surely surprise us, but if we build enough resiliency into our plans we can get beyond even the deepest valleys. We can only see just so far of what lies ahead of us.
But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
On prospects drear!
An’ forward tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!
– Robert Burns, To a Mouse
Last night I saw the potential for a nice sunset down Buzzards Bay. I walked down to a better viewpoint and waited it out in the gusty wind. I thought it would make a nice bookend with the sunrise this morning, but since that never materialized the sunset turned out to be the only picture. I’m glad I didn’t hold out for just the sunrise instead. It serves as a good reminder to enjoy the moments along the way even as you plan and scheme and guess at the future.