Follow a Path or Leave a Wake?


you are not a pegI grew up in a school system that favoured people who followed clearly defined paths.  You set a goal, you follow a series of steps, you achieve your goal.  Then you set another goal.

There’s nothing wrong with this way of moving through life, if it works with your heart and your metabolism.  The only problem is, it doesn’t work for me.  And for the longest time, I felt bad about myself because of it. Because when I went to school, teachers spent a lot of time trying to figure out if you were a square peg in a round hole or a round peg in a square hole and trying to turn you into a round peg in a round hole.

But here’s the thing. You are not a peg. You are a person and whatever kind of person you are is fine.

It finally dawned on me one day that instead of being a follow-a-path kind of person, I was in fact a leave-a-wake person.  I can’t see any kind of pattern or sense moving forward, but if I look back over what I’ve done, what I’ve accomplished, then there’s all kinds of sense to it.

I’ve talked it over with my friends and we seem to be fairly evenly split.  There are those who like to have a plan, a map, a list of things to cross off.  And there are those of us who like to get distracted, to move with the wind, to let it make sense afterward.

That said, of course, I don’t really see it as entirely one or the other.  There are times when I actually do plan things out and follow the plan.  This works best for me when I have a specific project on the go – a new business to launch, or a house to renovate.  But for my life overall, planning just isn’t me.

So, which are you?  And can you see the value in the other approach sometimes?

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1 Response to Follow a Path or Leave a Wake?

  1. Lynn says:

    Like you, I’m a little of both. I boogie all over the path, leaving snippets of yarn behind me instead of bread crumbs. At work I am orderly and organized and incredibly productive. At home and in my creative life, I flow from one activity or project to the next — and am incredibly productive. And I’m equally happy in both worlds, though I never confuse my job with my life; my job is what *funds* my life, though the tricks and tips I have learned at work, make home life sweeter and less chaotic.

    When I was a kid, I would start things and rarely finish them, because I felt sad and empty when I was done. (I am obviously a process person more than a product person, though you’d never guess that by the profusion of hand-knitted socks in my sock drawer or the number of finished objects I have inventoried on Ravelry.) And now when I am nearing the end of a project, I am gripped with finish-itis until it’s done and I can start the next one.

    Must. Go. Knit.

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