planning schmanning...

Remember how I said January would be "planning month?"  Yeah, I probably should have called it "procrastination month" instead.  I suppose I expected that inspiration would strike... and it did, but what also struck was some unexpected fear and subsequent hesitation.

I sat down more than once to plan the FULLfillment Project (FP) and the ideas came freely and easily, but I couldn't figure out how to get them to form into a plan or project.  This is not something I usually have trouble doing.  In fact, this is something that usually comes very naturally to me.  I am paid to do it as a "Project Manager" for a very project-oriented organization.

For at least a week the table in my living room has looked like this:
it is important to stay hydrating during the project management process
Tons of post-its usually means: tons of ideas, tons of flexibility, tons of forethought (because I actually managed to think to write on post-its BEFORE I started writing), and ultimately... success.

When success isn't immediate usually one of the following will draw the inspiration needed to find clarity:

  1. sleep--woke up irritated at lack of clarity
  2. shower--clean, but uninspired
  3. pee--this was particularly uninspiring

Obviously none worked.

I started to realize that there were two major things holding me back:

  1. Commitment--I've never been afraid of commitment, but somewhere deep down inside I am still afraid of what will happen if I'm not perfect (and you all find out) and while I have been experimenting with being imperfect for a few years (and no one has seemed to notice yet, phew!) it seems like committing to something here and then miserably failing at it would be a good way for everyone around me to discover that I am, in fact, imperfect and therefore not lovable.  Sigh.  (by the way, there is no need for concern here.  I am aware that you are aware of my imperfections and love me anyway).
  2. I want it all--I've been trying to look for a way to organize all of the ideas I have for ways to be fulfilled and pick one thing to focus on every month over the course of a year... but I just can't... because I want to do them ALL NOW.  It doesn't help that the last week or so has been an emotionally raw one and I am craving "feel good" experiences... In general I am a "I can do anything and therefore everything kind of person."  

I saw this on Pinterest a few days ago and thought... Ha!  Maybe YOU can't.
Finally today, after therapy (probably not a coincidence), I realized I had it!  I knew what was getting in my way and what I needed to do!  ...and just like most things I really knew all along, but was clouded by assorted bullshit and other influences.  In addition to the two things above the main thing holding me back was that I had completely forgotten the purpose of the project...

The purpose of the project is to find fulfillment (or FULLfillment); aka get full from life instead of food (and as a result: be happy often, cease to be fat, have fun, etc.).  I couldn't find a way to make it work in my head (or on post-its) because I had interpreted the project (and its planning) as a list of things to-do to become perfect (or healthy, or healed, or whatever...).  I was trying to figure out exactly how to orchestrate each moment of the next year so that on December 31st I can say that I am who/where/what/how I want to be.  Period.

A little lofty (ahem, unrealistic) wouldn't you say?

So out loud in front of everyone I am giving up the idea that this project will be anything more than an experiment.  Please remind me of this in the future if you see me drifting back the other way.

Each month I will focus on one area of my life (might be by adding things, might be by subtracting things, might be by changing things, might be by maintaining things, in a box-with a fox-in a house-with a mouse)--yes, ONE at a time and, after tracking and recording my experiences, I will evaluate how those particular things effected my life and decide what I will do that information (take action, make a change, do nothing, forget about said information, etc.).

and Voila! the plan existeth...

Important things:

  • I'm going to follow the lunar calendar, meaning a FP "month" will begin at each "New Moon" and end the day before the next "New Moon."  No, this has nothing to do with Twilight... I like that it gives an opportunity to make up for what I perceive to be a bit of lost time and I'm a bit of a hippie dippie.  And because I like to think I have this on my side: 2012 is the year of the Water Dragon. The dragon is the only mythical creature in the Chinese zodiac and those born under this year are non-conformists. The dragon symbolizes power, good fortune, and new beginnings. In Chinese element theory, water produces wood which signifies growth. The water dragon personifies creativity at its best. Now is the time to use that creativity to resolve old issues and to aim to build strong new foundations. Adjustments in society structures and peoples world views and development are highlighted during a Water Dragon year. 
  • The order of things I will work on is based on nothing in particular and everything I can think of (a little astrology, a little earth religion, a little of what I think sounds good, a little of what feels more or less important, a little about what I think you might judge me for if I don't do soon enough).
  • This isn't really important but the sound of a drum line practicing is occurring outside my front door at this moment.  I am not getting up to see what visuals accompany the sound.  The image in my head looks like that picture right there. 
  • I am going to update the blog (at least) three times a week.  I find that I only come here when my thoughts are collected enough to present something that I can feel good about (aka: something that I think will make you think I'm still perfect).  Even though it isn't going to be focused on directly this first month I already know that "putting on the perfect show" is something I am going to experiment with letting go of; I might as well start now.  I'm going with Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for no other reason than that's what Paulo Coelho does and he seems awesome.  We'll see how it goes.  Today's Wednesday right?  Looks like we're on the right track.
  • Probably the most important thing: I'm going to use what I call a "conscious choice log" to track my experiences.  I'm aiming for consciousness in most of what I do... I intend not to do things mindlessly or let things happen to me, instead I hope to heighten my level of awareness of my day to day goings on by looking at everything as a choice (writing it down) and then looking for the response/benefit/consequence (and writing that down too).  In here.  
Thanks Oprah for the handy little journal (from your "life class" that I never actually took because I found the name to be a little presumptuous) it fits perfectly in my bag.

Drumroll please... (did you see how that worked out?  I swear I did not plan this... magical things like this just happen to me.  It's awesome).

The agenda for The FULLfillment Project-2012(ish)

  1. January 23-February 20: prime the canvas (nourishing the physical body that my soul lives in)
  2. February 21-March 21: creative force (making art or art-like things)
  3. March 22-April 20: just the two of us (being the parent I want to be)
  4. April 21-May 19: ish (living without knowing answers, maybe even without questions)
  5. May 20-June 18: get smart (from books and other sources)
  6. June 19-July 18: no maps allowed (experimenting with adventure)
  7. July 19-August 16: plenty (money, honey)
  8. August 17-September 15: where the heart is (loving where I lie my head and other spaces I occupy)
  9. September 16-October 14: chosen family (nurturing my relationships with both blood and chosen relations)
  10. October 15-November 12: graTTitude (yep, an attitude of gratitude)
  11. November 13-December 12: get sexy (getting, well... sexy)
  12. December 13-January 10 (2013): work smart (love what I do and do it with love)

See y'all on Friday.