I have no fucking idea what I’m doing (UPDATED: I still have no fucking idea what I’m doing, but I feel much better about it.)

I have no fucking idea what I’m doing.

Like, ever.

Last week I met with my shrink, and she told me I need to figure out who I am and what I want out of life.  I think this is excellent advice for people who are grown-ups, and who have 401ks, and clean, matching socks, and 5-year-plans.

I’m not one of those people.  I just do shit and then other shit happens.  Sometimes it’s good shit and sometimes it’s shitty shit, but none of it is planned.  And I sort of suspect that if I stopped to actually consider who I am, I’d stop being “me”.  “Me” never knows who I am.  And now I sound like an existential Tarzan.  Awesome.

It’s been eating at me for the last week, but I think I’ve finally figured it out.   My five-year-plan is to never be the kind of person who’s stable enough to have a five-year-plan.  It’s technically the same plan I had five years ago, and guess what?  I’m totally on track.

PS.  I just realized that always accomplishing the same five year plan of continued instability actually makes me pretty damn stable.  And now I’m just confused, and need more xanax.  I can only assume my psychiatrist did this on purpose to ensure her job security.  In fact, this whole scenario was probably all on her five year plan.  Nice one, Dr. Q.

Slow. Fucking. Clap.

UPDATED:  First off, thank you.  It’s nice (and somewhat terrifying) to know how many of us are just pretending to be grown-ups.  Also, my shrink is quite awesome, and when I tell her that I’ve decided to be perpetually and happily immature forever she’ll probably give me a high-five.  Or a look of confusion.  Maybe both.  But what’s nice is that instead of feeling like a failure for falling backward into life, I woke up this morning feeling better…for choosing to dive in – albeit backward, eyes closed, chaotically, and possibly into broken glass or hyenas.  I think that’s called “growth”.  Or denial.  Hard to tell.

Also, so many of you reminded me that I needed to listen to this song again.  And you were right.  Thank you:

611 replies. read them below or add one

  1. I am one of those people as well. Hm, I’ll go to college. I’ll be a journalist. And a math teacher. And then I’ll blog and bake cupcakes and talk about poop all day on Twitter.

    It’s sort of an organic process.

    Like

    Julie @ mamamash recently posted Monday Meals: Cheesy Chicken & Spinach Lasagna.

  2. Yup, that’s the plan I’m on too, and usually it’s good. Especially when I look around at my peers and see them dealing with the plan they made a couple decades ago and I’m glad I’m not doing what they’re doing now.

    Like

  3. right there with ya.

    Like

  4. You’re doing alright. Every time I feel like a gigantic fuckup in my life, I look around me at everyone else and I realize, they’re all just as messed up as me, or worse. At least you know you don’t know what you’re doing. Look at those big mouth blowhards charging through life like they think they’re under control. Won’t they be surprised.

    Like

    Rev. Back it On Up 13 recently posted Unhappy Meal.

  5. Same way. I don’t think I could plan for what I eat the next day, let alone for anything important. Instability is just the BEST stability because it makes everything original. Do you think that “sane” people ever feel surprised by life? Not like we do. That’s precisely why knowing who you are is completely irrelevant and just leads to being overly medicated without enjoying it.

    Like

    John recently posted Review: After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel.

  6. Yes. Joining in, 2 and one half beats later on the slow clap.

    Like

  7. My name is Abby, and I have no fucking idea what I’m doing either. Perhaps we should start a support group, as then at least when we’re supposed to be retired and responsible for something other than a plant, we can share a cardboard box together. We will chuckle.

    I also sprayed breath spray into my own eye today. It’s like mint Mace. You’re one up on me.

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    Abby recently posted My Perfect Game.

  8. I never know what I’m doing until I’m doing it. Today I was going to go grocery shopping when it suddenly became napping, see no plan, it works better this way.

    Like

  9. For Chrissakes, isn’t it her job to help you figure things out???

    Nice 5-year plan. Mine looks pretty similar. Except I’m sitting in the same chair in the same classroom for 2 1/2 years.

    Love ya, girl. Never stop being YOU, because YOU are Awesome with a capital-A.

    Fuck the shrinks who don’t get it. Lace their Evian with “shuddup sauce”.

    Like

    Corinne recently posted Where I'm From.

  10. *clap*………*clap*…*clap*….

    No I seriously feel the same way.

    Like

  11. I found that marrying someone who kept track of that crap saved me. And while when the boys came along I did have to take a real job, I supplement that with a spectacularly middle-of-the-road career as an author.

    Like

  12. You’re definitely NOT the only one who feels that way!!!!!

    Like

  13. Five year plans are overrated. I had one, and it blew up. I’m going back to not planning. That seems to work out better anyway!

    Like

    thehaughtylibrarian recently posted This should just be common sense, alas.

  14. If all you want out of life is to finish a creepy dollhouse and collect taxidermied animals, is that so wrong? Well, probably, according to most people, but if it makes you happy, then that should be plan enough.

    Like

  15. Nope, you’re not the only one. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up and I’m pretty sure I never will. And I’m totally okay with that most of the time. Mostly, I just feel guilty about having a good job when I could give a rat’s ass about it. But I do love the fact that I have one of them there 401k thangs. I dig that I’ll have enough money to pay someone to wipe my ass when the time comes – because we all know that my husband ain’t gonna do it!

    Like

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  16. I sat on my arse in rehab twelve years ago, while all the junkies around me scribbled their goals down on paper in group therapy. They scribbled and fucking scribbled. It was incredibly annoying. I wrote one thing:

    “To get some goals.”

    Nothing much has changed. Don’t sweat it. X

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    edenland recently posted The one where I cut off all my hair..

  17. I think we’re on the same career track. Go us!

    Like

    schmutzie recently posted Grace in Small Things: Sunday Edition #78.

  18. You and I? Same plan for life.

    Like

    Anna Nonamus recently posted Monday's Words of Wisdom.

  19. Plan to not have a plan, is that it? That kind of shit makes my head hurt. But, I guess that’s what the Xanax is for.

    Like

    DogsOnDrugs.com recently posted Hello, My Name is Foghat.

  20. Its part of being a woman, never having to decide. Besides, why limit yourself. Ppl with a 5 yr plan never go beyond that, so that makes them pitiful. Just sayin…

    Like

    Brandy recently posted Featuring: Art By Hadley.

  21. I wish I was one of your funny commenters, but I’m not. Word is telling me commenters is not a word, but it is. It’s a group of people who comment..so suck it.
    My shrink just TODAY told me the SAME thing..perhaps having a plan would help my anxiety and feeling of being a whirling vortex of bucket lists.
    Mostly b/c my “what I want to be when I grow up” didn’t work out so well.

    Like

  22. All I know is that I just watched “Two and A Half Men.” So, there is always someone worse off than you.

    Like

  23. What’s even scarier is that we’re parents. We’re supposed to be teaching these smallish humans how to grow up and be something. I have four of them. FOUR. I’m supposed to somehow turn four separate people into productive adults someday, and here I sit, reading blogs and eating cereal straight out of the box at almost 10 o’ clock at night.

    Like

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  24. I’m totally going to kidnap you and keep you in my basement… in a totally non-creepy way. (is that possible?)

    Like

  25. Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things. In 5 years Ferris Mewler will have it all worked out, Posey will be all amped up on V, and Beyonce will be in the living room watching TV.

    Like

  26. I’m 36 and I’m still clueless. But hey, I’m happy!

    Like

  27. i don’t think i could even imagine myself having a 5 year plan, let alone ACTUALLY having one. that just sounds completely crazy

    Like

  28. You seem just fine to me.

    Like

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  29. If you’re the only one, then I’m a woven basket from Morocco.

    And we all know woven items can’t type, so I think you’re okay.

    Like

    Kim recently posted Football And Diabetes..

  30. My plan is not to have a 3rd marriage. Or a 4th. You know, not to be like Elizabeth Taylor. Unless of course someone throws a boatload of money at me. And huge fucking diamonds. But not that shitty White Diamonds perfume. That would be a very poor substitute for the real thing. Then I’d be happy to have another few crap marriages under my belt. Oh yea and not to have my house fall down over my head. Which could actually happen I’m beginning to think.

    Other than that, there’s no plan happening here either.

    Like

  31. such a relief to know that there are others like me out there. Is it okay if my Non Five-year-plan Plan includes continuing to spill coffee on myself at least once a week?

    Like

  32. I’m the exact same way.
    Being in the same job for 5 years, i get this talk monthly from my boss.
    You have no idea how great it makes me feel to get that look from him everytime he asks…
    It makes me feel awesome… Every month.
    ….And yet he continues to ask…
    I think he likes to make me feel like crap.

    Like

  33. I saw a quote the other day that said something like…”Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself”, it really made me think, and made me feel better about how I go through life. I’m a planner, but it took me a long time to figure out who I am, and now I don’t apologize for who I am. EVER.

    Like

  34. 2 words. – OMG YES!!!!!!! Your words were like an orgasm in my mind. Thank you for expressing so (un?)eloquently what I have been feeling for years. Time for a smoke.

    Like

    Jennifer Bennett recently posted Got Rage?.

  35. I don’t know if this is the same sort of thing, but it feels like it is. I feel a whole lot better when I accept that I am a touch insane. When I try to fight it, try to be all normal, try to sensor my sense of humor or weird thoughts, I feel as if I’m losing touch of the me-ness of me. That’s not to say I love when I’m depressed, that part sucks, but the other insanity that is me, well, that’s just fine.

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    rilla recently posted In Defense of Prepositions.

  36. No worries – doubt Nicholas Cage has a 5-year plan either. Then again, since he is a vampire, he’s better off with a 50-year plan…

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3820846/Proof-Nicolas-Cage-is-vampire.html

    Like

  37. Hell yes. I have no five year plan. That is for boring people who wish to sleep their way through to retirement. I’m doing what is good for me and mine right now, and while it is good for us that’s the plan.

    In one year I am getting married. I have yet to plan it. But I can guarantee it will be a lot more fun than the last wedding I went to, which was planned for years, and made me fall asleep part way through….

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  38. Dear Diary,

    Fucked with Jenny again today. Guaranteed another five years in copays. At least! 5YR plan is totally working. Yay me!

    -Dr. Q

    Like

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  39. Awww fuck. Here I was hoping I could just trail along behind your awesomeness because you clearly have this shit sorted. Now I too have no fucking idea…

    Like

    Tam recently posted Wax on, Wax off. Theoretically..

  40. Thank you for summarizing my own life approach, much more coherently than I ever could.

    Like

  41. Hell, I don’t even have a one-year plan.

    Like

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  42. OHMYGOD I am so glad I’m not alone!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  43. I make plans ALL..THE..TIME!!!! Does it help? NO! I have a 401K! Does it help? NO! Do I know what I want to be when I grow up? NOT A CLUE!! I have clean socks! Does it matter? NOT ONE DAMN STINKIN BIT!!! Basically, we’re all lost in the same boat. Its nice to have company though. 🙂

    Like

  44. For someone who loves to plan–planning can be HIGHLY overrated. I like what you’re doing and from what I know of you, so maybe keep going in that direction? Or something? Or maybe switch shrinks…cuz my therapist is never that strident with me.😉

    Like

    lilnerdette recently posted a breather (exhaling).

  45. Thank you.
    I think I’ll share this with everyone who just LOOOOVVVEESSS to ask me what I want to be doing in five years.

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    Charli recently posted The Sunday Epiphany.

  46. so, I’m thinking dump the shrink if you don’t want to think that hard. I mean that’s what shrinks do. save your money for chickens.

    Like

  47. You are officially my hero.

    Like

    Ezz recently posted Who’s Counting?.

  48. I have some made up five year plans–if that counts. I never actually accomplish the things. Basically, I’m one of those people who has ketchup on the walls and eats spaghetti sauce out of a jar but I have BIG PLANS.

    That’s more pathetic. I win for pathetic.

    Like

  49. when i was able to afford therapy, he was convinced i need to learn to PLAN! and SCHEDULE! every day life. I broke down crying. Completely incapable of following a daily schedule. Schedules are just another way to fail at life and end up shellacked on a board.

    Like

  50. Aw, Jenny, it doesn’t really matter who you think you are. I think I’m the funniest fuckin’ person on Facebook. Which is kinda like being the prettiest girl at the school for the blind. YOU, on the other hand, are the funniest girl ever. So apparently what matters is what WE, your fans, think. So there.

    Like

  51. Um. Yeah. Neither do I. I think that makes us more interesting? At the very least it helps the “metal chicken” industry LIKE NO OTHER. My friends and I have one now and we pass it back and forth to cheer each other up. We call it the “Justin Bieber Metal Chicken of Happiness”.. so.. yeah. That was all you. Your brilliant idea now cheers us up when we want to chuck it all and go live in a van down by the river. Or, at the very least… a SPA down by the river (with fully stocked bar). Well done.🙂

    Like

  52. In less than two years, both of my boys will be in college. Everyone keeps asking me what I will do when they are gone. First, why do I have to do SOMETHING? Why can’t I just keep doing what I am doing now? Who knows what will be happening in two years? I am a fly by the seat..of my pants girl. In two years, something will come up. I can barely make lunch plans, much think about what I will be doing in two years. Live in the moment, sieze the day. It will all be just fine.

    Like

  53. I’m currently wearing two socks, neither match. I haven’t the faintest fucking clue what I’m doing or what I’m going to do.

    My current plan is something along the lines of ‘keep breathing, take your meds, try not to think about people staring at your socks.’

    You’re being awesome Jenny, and that’s the best plan there is.

    Like

  54. Um hmm, um hmm… I couldn’t possibly agree more. Except that I don’t have a shrink. So you’re at least ahead of me.

    Like

    Joy Ribisi if you pleasi recently posted Homemade Ricotta Cheese recipe.

  55. 55
    Jill Koertner

    You are not alone. I never have any idea.

    Like

  56. Sounds like a big mind fuck… was it good for you?? At least it made ME laugh (and it’s really, all about me – isn’t it)?? … or is that you?

    Anyway, keep up the insanity because it makes my whacked out existence seem a bit more “normal” (or whatever…)

    Like

  57. Yep…..right there with you!

    Like

  58. I feel less alone now. Thank you.

    Like

  59. My biggest goals in life are to bring my Small Ones to age eighteen in one piece (hopefully without a criminal record), and to one day have rich-people problems. Planning to not have a plan sounds far more productive and realistic compared to my plan.

    Like

    Kidojo recently posted More telephunny.

  60. This is how inception starts

    Like

  61. If I make it through a Monday without going to jail for manslaughter I pat myself on the back. Five years from now? I’ll probably be watching the Cardinals lose with a drink in my hand.

    Like

    Katie recently posted Post #42.

  62. Now you can revise your five year plan from “never be the kind of person who’s stable enough to have a five-year-plan” to “be an integral part of someone else’s five year plan.” Whatever you choose, the shrink wins. They always win. It’s part of the five-year shrink plan: Win.

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    FishSticked recently posted Pre-Marriage Divorce Cooking.

  63. Oh boy am I in the same boat. I have been telling my friends lately that I had no idea what the plan for my life was supposed to be at the ripe old age of 34, but I’m preeeettty sure that the plan wasn’t to be single, childless, jobless and living with my dad. Which is my current state of affairs. Sooooo, yea. I feel ya!

    Like

  64. I think it’s funny that people have 5 year plans. I don’t plan that far in advance, because there’s no way I can know what will be going on in my life 5 years from now, or hell, even a year from now. Five years ago, I never would have predicted that I would finish my Master’s degree and move from Texas to Portland, OR. So my 5 year plan would have been crap. Besides, how boring it would be to know what’s going to happen in my life over the next 5 years; the mystery and uncertainty is so much fun!

    Like

  65. She says that like it’s a bad thing!! I have never had a “Life Plan” other than trying to raise happy children and keep us all in clean underpants. So far, I’ve been successful.

    Like

    mouthybarbermom recently posted I Created This Monster.

  66. Back in 1980 when I was a police reporter in Waco, Texas, I know, ack, a fellow reporter (Capt. Buttface) had a 5-year plan. I mocked him mercilessly. Later, we worked in PR together. He had a new and more strategic 5-year plan. I mocked him mercilesslier. And now? He is a corporate CEO, and I blog from New Zealand. If there is not a lesson in THAT, I just don’t know…

    Like

    hogsatemysister recently posted Gutbusters ‘R’ Us.

  67. My therapist asked me something similar. I came to a similar conclusion, but did decide I want to decorate bulletin boards for a living. No such luck so far.

    Like

  68. I say this at least once a day. I have no clue what I am doing. Ever. My basic parenting-style & life plan is, “Eh, just wing it.”.

    Like

  69. I used to have a plan, but then I realized that I’m about to turn 27, have my tonsils taken out, am barely employed, and am not (in fact) working towards a completely useless PhD at UT Austin with an amazing apartment and weekends on 6th Street. This 5 year plan was implemented 7 years ago…

    How do you make the gods laugh? Make a plan.

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    Meg recently posted So many chickens….

  70. I’m a lunch lady. I think that about covers it.

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    Erin recently posted NaNoWriMo: Are You In?.

  71. Nothing wrong with that. My mom’s a lunch lady and she’s my hero.

    Like

    Jenny the bloggess recently posted I have no fucking idea what I’m doing.

  72. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one! See, for years I tried to be one of those *stable* people. Wanna know how well it worked?

    It didn’t.

    Now I’m suddenly finding myself single (after the end of a 5-year-marriage) and working two jobs and going to school at night. My new mantra: Fuck plans, because plans will only fuck you, so it’s better to fuck them first.

    That’s a long mantra. We’ll settle with “Fuck Plans”.
    🙂

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    Maria recently posted Oh, the conversations we have....

  73. Five year plans are not for people with homicidal monkeys, IMHO.

    Like

  74. I like to think that I have a plan. But that plan never works out. My plans are more like 10 year plans so I have five years to fuck around and then another five to finally figure out what the fuck I’m doing. Honestly, it will probably never work. Its a good thought to have in my head though.

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    Mandy recently posted Where the fuck did all my forks go?.

  75. I just always feel that everything is going to be okay. I figure if 100 year olds are living in nursing homes and they didn’t have a 401k, I can do it as well.

    Like

    Julie McGuire recently posted I Heart This Family.

  76. Does your shrink not read your blog…?

    Like

    Michael VanDeMar recently posted Taylor Swift’s, Um, Like, YouTube Interview.

  77. Personally, I think you’re doing just fine. But maybe I’m trying to make myself feel better for not being able to plan, either. For me, it’s like you said–shit happens, good or bad. Then you just have to go from there. Having a solid plan with all the little goals along the way makes me anxious, because plans tend to go awry, causing me to seriously spiral down when they don’t work out. Somehow I usually manage to land on my feet. It may not be where I thought I’d be, but it works. I think the process of life is much more fun and rewarding than the end result of reaching some specific goal. Although it feels hella good to find that through all our stumbling, we sometimes manage to meet the ultimate goal of being furiously happy.

    Like

  78. Oh my God, please Dr. Q, Jenny you are TOTALLY on track and doing exactly what you were meant to do!

    It’s just still unfolding and more and more awesome will be revealed. Hey, I’m mixing meds and I may be pregnant. I’ll probably get a girl and she will take me down.

    Like

    GirltoMom- Heidi recently posted International Talk Like a Pirate Day 2011.

  79. Maybe we will all doing stuff like THIS within the next few months.

    http://www.livestream.com/globalrevolution

    Like

  80. Get out of my head!!! 🙂

    Like

    Sue recently posted Things I Love About Chico #1 - Fantastic Foodiness.

  81. Thank You for saying it and I’m still laughing!!! I don’t know what’s funnier- your post or these comments. I second every single one of them, except the ones I didn’t read, of course. @Abby, Can I PLEASE us that Mint Mace comment in my book. That $#1t is funny. If I ever get published, I swear I’ll dedicate it to you;^) For the record, planning = necessary evil – necessary + generally sucks.

    Like

  82. I can never figure out what to do with my life. Seriously, five years ago I would have thought I would have graduated with my Bachelor’s and doing something I love by now and just about to have our first child. Instead we have two children and I finished my associate’s degree after 5 years, 6 if you count my senior year when I took college courses. (It wasn’t consecutive).

    I still have no idea what I want to me. I’m a Pampered Chef consultant, pet sitter, and work part-time at Bath & Body Works. Right now it works for me I guess. Oh and stay-at-home-mom- that’s my largest job.

    Some day I’ll figure out my grown-up job. Right now my husband is on track to his.

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    Katie Bennett recently posted The goldfish will eat you in your sleep….

  83. 83
    Just A. Reader

    I tried psychotherapy recently. The first two sessions were great. She got me to open up about my whole life and then said (paraphrasing), “Wow, if my life sucked as bad as yours, I’d be depressed too.” Which, oddly enough, made me feel better. The third session was essentially a waste of time. She had no idea what else to say after the “I’d be depressed too” line. I think I have to stop going. I don’t want to end up having to tell her how depressed I’d be if I were a failure as a psychotherapist.

    Like

  84. Well that same plan is working for me so far, I say if shit ain’t broken why fix it…maybe you need a different shrink?

    Like

  85. I feel like people think I’m that 401k person. But I’m not. My husband is. I only am by proxy. My five year plan? Continue to hide behind him and hope something rubs off.

    Like

    Stephanie recently posted A Tale of Epic Stupidity.

  86. That sounds like a great plan!. Whenever I worked in coorporate America when faced with that 5 yr question bullshit, I’ve never been able to say anything more than “I want to be a writer.” this is why my jobs never worked out, I suppose. I’m down to $3 in the bank but now that I write I feel like I’m doing the right thing. Like you I’ve got my meds w xanax on the backup to keep all cylinders going, so just hang in there!

    Like

  87. I’m so glad we’re all in this crazy hell together. I never know where I’m at from one day to the next and no matter how many times someone tells me I need to figure it out that won’t change. I just started telling people to kiss my ass more. It doesn’t really help, bu it makes me feel better and that’s what really counts anyway.

    Like

  88. I’m also a totally fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda girl.
    I like to believe people enjoy my spontaineous (wild & unbalanced) nature.

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    Sarcasm in Action recently posted Blogger Challenge Catch Up. Days 3 and 4 Combined Even Though I Should be on Like Day 8.

  89. ugh. actually, i’m a COMPLETE 5 yr planner. and guess what?? things went awry around year 2/ year 3, and since then (like the last 2 or 3 years), i’ve felt like i don’t know who *i* am.

    so i’m sorry, but having a 5 yr plan does not necessarily ensure success. some times it just means you’re more lost when life deals you a different hand.

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    ann @ my life as prose. recently posted you can go with this or you can go with that..

  90. If it makes you feel any better, I have trouble figuring out what to do for the next hour, much less the rest of my life. My advice: Have a drink or three, write on the napkins to keep your furniture safe – that’s what I do when I want to worry about my future. The next day, the napkins are all damp and unreadable, I feel like I accomplished something, but I obviously can’t be held responsible for it.

    Like

  91. You aren’t alone there. I went back to college this year still no clue what that means for me in the long run. I tend be baffled by people who have 5 year plans when I can’t commit to my next meal. So I tend to live in the same state of constant instability and confusion and always with Xanax on hand

    Like

  92. 92
    repressed librarian

    As if who you are is something that can be “figured out” and defined, not something complex, often contradictory, and constantly evolving. Some of the worst advice ever.

    Like

  93. If you ever got sensible, I would get sad. Your furiously happy idea is what gets me through the hard bits.

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  94. PS My mom’s a lunch lady, too!

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    Stephanie recently posted A Tale of Epic Stupidity.

  95. *golf clap***

    Right there with ya.

    Like

  96. This sort of thing used to drive me NUTS. I tried to have something like a 5-year-plan because I thought it would make me more stable, and then about two days later something bad would happen and I’d have to go “New 5-year-plan starting…. now!” And then two weeks after that something else would happen and knock me completely off track again.

    And now I realize I don’t actually know a single person who really knows who they are or what they want out of life. Now I can appreciate all these people because they’re just as messed up as I am and it’s GREAT.

    Like

  97. I can totally relate🙂

    Like

  98. Five year plans are for people who plan to die in four and a half years.

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    Lorca Damon recently posted I Would Be the Best Dictator EVER.

  99. I constantly feel the same way — except, I don’t have a shrink — so now I’m wondering if I probably need one … shit, now I’m confused?! Glad to hear someone is in the same damn, half sinking, but “THANK GOD, we can see the shore”, kind of boat.

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  100. Not only is this pretty normal, but I’ve explained it to my son too. One of the few perks of being a very honest parent has been explaining that Mommy and Daddy don’t really know what we’re doing either, it almost feels like we just woke up one day and instead of someone else, we were the grown ups. And even though we had you on purpose and thought we were prepared, it is hard knowing you are responsible to someone else for answers. He is 8 and was just surprised that we don’t love cooking, cleaning and working all day, but would prefer to spend all our time sitting on the couch wearing underwear while playing video games; unfortunately that would keep us from eating or living indoors.

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  101. Aw, honey, no one has any fucking idea what they’re doing. Most people just fake it ’til they make it (as they say in AA). When you were young, and wanted to be a grown-up no one told you that this shit is not fun. It’s boring, and there are bills to pay, and people look at you funny when you climb up into the playground at the park even if you act like you’re looking for your kid. You’re you, and apparently tons of us find you amazing. If you stopped to make plans for where you want to be in FIVE years we’d miss out on stories about Ferris Mewler and convo’s with Victor. My plan is to not mix too many meds with vodka popsicles, so I’m still kicking in 5 years.

    Like

  102. I love this post. I often feel even though I’m 30-ish, I’m still pretending to be a “grown up.” Like someone is going to grab me by the ear and take me aside and tell me I’m a kid go back to my room.

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  103. People who say they have plan? I don’t trust ’em.

    Improvisation indicates higher-level thinking. Or, at least that’s what I tell myself, since I rarely plan beyond the next meal.

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  104. Sometimes I feel the same way- am I really the person I want to be? Who have I ever really wanted to be? By not knowing, am I really just more myself, since there is no plan?

    You bring so much joy and laughter into the world- and you may never realize it. You are completely awesome just as you are, even if you’re not that clear on who that is right now.

    Like

  105. Um, you have a giant metal chicken and had a Twitter feud with Shatner. Who needs a 5-year plan when you’ve already done it all.

    The rest is just cake, baby. Delicious, delicious cake.

    Like

  106. You’re awesome.

    That is all.

    Like

  107. You know, I’m pretty sure they say that the definition of INSANITY is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. But, based on what you’ve described, you seem to have the same 5 year plan, every 5 years, and you not only expect the same results but you PLAN to have the same results… to me, you are the definition of SANE! 🙂

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  108. Oh, god. No, of course its not just you. Its just that more now that any time, we’re told from all directions that we are SUPPOSED to know what we’re doing, yet we live in a world with more opportunities and access to information than ever before. Why I’m the hell would anyone with access to the Internet and a non oppressive spouse and who didn’t grow up with a (jazz hands) *dream* know what they wanted out of life at only 30-whatever?

    I like the notion that all the cycles of furious planning and subsequent destroying of plans (whether by arthritis or mental illness or poverty or boredom or petulance or whatever) are just how I do, and are totally ok.

    My biggest mistake, I think, is in diving into an idea and trying to convince myself that I must be permanently committed to it. Since I’ve married the philosophy that almost any decision that I make can be unmade, I take so many more chances, and give a lot less credence to the idea that I’ll ever conform to a standard mold of what a woman in her 40’s raising a family is supposed to look like.

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  109. Slow.fucking.clap.

    just love your style, GF>

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  110. Well, I’m the gal who had the big plan and then one day out of the blue, the husband comes home and says he doesn’t want to be married anymore… Regroup… new plan… then my condo floods with 2 feet of water… Fuck regrouping. I’m just living each day the best I can.

    Fool me once, life… shame on you. Fool me twice? Shame on me. I’m no fool, but I’m a non-5-year-plan non-fool.🙂

    Hang in there.

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  111. ‘Life is what happens while your busy making other plans.’ – John Lennon

    My long term plan is not get so caught up in long term plans that I miss out on life. I modeled it after you.

    You’re welcome.

    (The bill is in the mail)🙂

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  112. I don’t have a 5-minute plan, much less a 5-year plan. My children have turned my life into a living crap shoot, my husband is another child, my mother has gone crazy and needy and is also another child. At this point in my life, I’m looking to downsize my responsibilities, not up them and then this crap happens. WTF? I only remember birthing three?!

    I don’t care anymore who I am or what I want. It’s at the bottom of a martini glass, under the olives😉

    Like

  113. Back in High School we had to write an essay about where we wanted to be when we were 30. I remember vividly that the two things I vowed in that essay I wasn’t going to do were “get married” and “have kids”.
    I’m now 40-something. I have 3 failed marriages under my belt and one daughter who would rather not acknowledge I exist. So… using that logic I guess my plan should be something like “get a horrible disease and die a prolonged, agonizing death” thus ensuring that I’ll live forever.

    So, I guess “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.” (as the Beatles would say) and maybe the best plan is to have no plan except to get through this crazy life together.

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  114. I think five year plans are for those with too little imagination.

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  115. Oh, and you’re a good friend. To Cats. Who need dog toys. Shhh.

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  116. I’m distressingly close to 50, a mother of five ranging from 28 to 9–and I’m just now starting college, with a final goal of a PhD in Renaissance literature.

    By the time I achieve what I want to be when I grow up, it’ll be time to retire!

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  117. Five years ago I didn’t know my husband, didn’t have a kid, lived 12 hours away from my current place and was in a job in a totally different field. There is no way I could have predicted where I am now. And I’m ok with that. These days, if I can plan five DAYS in advance, that’s a major bonus. Just keep doing what you’re doing – scary as it sounds, you’re making people’s lives better because you make us LAUGH!

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  118. I kind of think that’s the best plan ever. If you already know where you’ll be in five years, what’s the fun in getting there?

    I once had my entire life planned for me. I ran away to a world where I eat cupcakes for breakfast, never know where I’ll be in a week. And I go brave enough to blog.

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  119. Our family thinks you should be a scary dollhouse maker, if you’re taking votes.

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  120. Who are these “grown-ups” of which you speak? Non in tihs house, I can assure you.

    5 years? Really? I’m willing to come up with a 5 minute plan: In the next 5 minutes I will be putting my still-awake-but-was-supposed-to-be-asleep-an-hour-ago kid to bed. That’s about it over here.

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  121. Jenny, you make people all over the world laugh their asses off on a regular basis. Sounds like a successful like to me.🙂

    Like

  122. My 5 year plan was to be like you and now you tell me the way to achieve that is to not have a plan?? How am I supposed to work with that?

    Like

  123. I’m a planner, just got the “what’s your 5 year plan” question in a job interview recently. I made something up, and afterwards I wish I had said, “I want to be happy.” B/c right now, I’m not. ann @ my life as prose is right – life happens when you’re making those plans.

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  124. Plans…. Heavy sigh. My 401(k) is gone, which is why I’m pretty much counting on the zombie apocalypse in 2012. Who needs savings when you’ve got mad ninja skills and pent up rage against the machine? Not me, that’s who.

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  125. You’re a Mom, isn’t that pretty much your 5-year plan? Hell, that’s your rest-of-your-life plan, if you figure that way!

    Like

  126. I have a 401K and matching socks… but that five year plan shit is for suckas! I’m lucky if I can plan out my week. Sure… I have lists and calendar appointments, but those mean nothing, mostly for show. Perhaps time for a new shrink?

    Like

  127. I think all shrinks say that to bide them time for digging YOU out, because that’ll trip us up.

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  128. Holy fucking exactly!

    Like the whole Life List phenomenon that’s been sweeping the internet lately — I mean, that is great for people who like making lists and checking things off their lists and quantifying everything. And a lot of people like doing those things, and that’s swell for them…but I am just not wired that way At All. I hate making everything into a goal or a check mark. And things — even things I love love love doing — as soon as they are things that I _have_ to do, for whatever reason…I suddenly never ever want to do those things ever again at all, ever.

    I think Aimless Drifting is a fairly valid direction, really. (And it’s really nice to know I’m not the only grown-up without a 5-year plan. Or even a 5-day plan.)

    Like

  129. 129
    Becky Tucker

    That sounds a lot like my 5-yeas plan, except that mine wasn’t inspired by a mental health professional; it was inspired by working *in* the mental health field. That, and I enjoy making my family wonder if I will ever settle down and have a family (I am 33, the youngest and the only one still single and childless). Come to think of it, I don’t even have a 1-year plan….

    I discovered something freaking awesome today (okay it’s not like I was the first person to see it, but work with me here) and it has “Jenny” written all over it (figuratively, but how cool would it be if it was literal?). Anyway, I want to share the URL with you but I don’t want anyone else to see it before you write about it (how could you NOT????). Can you send me an e-mail so I can send it privately? I promise I won’t stalk you (I live in VA and am way too lazy to stalk someone cross-country).

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  130. I’m an actor and a writer, I’m really impressed I can feed myself and live somewhere other than my parent’s basement. I’d say I’m doing pretty fucking awesome.

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  131. My mother calls this the “No-plan Plan”. It mostly gets used on vacations in order to annoy my sister.

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  132. My life coach for most of my adulthood, Jimmy Buffett, says “If I had it all to do over again, I’d just get my self drunk and start over again”.

    Let’s leave the five year plans to the anal-retentive people who cling to them in quiet desperation.

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  133. 133
    The other Jenny

    5 year plans are boring. What happens when you’re 2 years into your plan and something better comes along? Do you abandon the 5 year plans or stick it out? If you abandon the 5 year plan, do you feel guilty for not following through? I would but I have congenital guilt so maybe that’s just me. My plan is to be furiously happy and I get better at it all the time. Thanks in part to you. I think the track you are on sounds just perfect.

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  134. honestly i know just where you are and how you feel. the more i think i know the more i know i know nothing. the more i plan the less it feels secure. a living walking paradox that can talk herself in circles. ahh but know you have followers and fans, and you make people smile and laugh – that alone is a gift. in sharing happiness with others, you open the opportunity for more happiness within yourself. much love to you, my friend!

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  135. 135
    Becky Tucker

    Since the comments are moderated first (that didn’t dawn on me) I will go ahead and share: http://m.io9.com/5833002/zombie-engagement-photos-display-commitment-excellent-teamwork

    Enjoy!

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  136. Back when I had to actually dress for work (as opposed to the dickie and underwear ensemble I wear now that I don’t have to leave the house) my old boss used to come up to me periodically and say “So, where do you see yourself in five years?” My reply was always, “Wherever you’re not.”

    (In my head, of course.)

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  137. Actually, I know a song about this. Sort of? It’s “In My Mind” by Amanda Palmer. She has it up on youtube.

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  138. I got some great advice from my college mentor when I lamented that I just wanted to be normal! “Normal is a setting on the washing machine and that’s it.” What’s important is to be happy. Hang in there.

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  139. Funny. Your therapist tells you to make a plan. Mine keeps telling me to just breathe and take one day at a time because the plans give me anxiety. Hmm. Maybe we should switch therapists?

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  140. All I know is that what I have now, is not something that I want in five years. That being said I have no idea what I really want (I’m 28 btw) except unattainable things, like going on So You Think You Can Dance.

    Like

  141. That’s me! I don’t even know what I’m doing with the degree I’m getting. Much less the rest of my life

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  142. I find this post completely astonishing as yours is the voice of strength I would be grateful to hear on a rainy day. I think it’s best you fire your shrink.

    Like

  143. 5yr Plans are highly overrated. Usually at about month six of the 5yr Plan all hell breaks loose and spews all over the Plan in nuclear meltdown type fashion. I usually go month-to-month, like a renter of a condo in a questionable neighborhood, that way when the bomb goes off I can move quickly and seek the shelter of another ill-advised Plan.

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  144. I love coming here. Because all the stuff that’s swirling around in my head is written on the screen. And for a little while I can feel like maybe I’m not so fucking abnormal… I think you’re awesome.

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  145. Hey, I’m a therapist (yeah, people who knew me as a kid are still scratching their heads about that one), and I say why worry about who you want to be in 5 years? Celebrate who you are right now, in this moment; an incredibly talented funny AWESOME person. There’s this quote I tell my clients all the time (and I’ll probably eff it up here) that goes something like people with depression live in past, people with anxiety live in the future, people with true happiness live in the now. Just when you may figure out who you want to be and what you want out of life, life will step in with different plans and send you a different way. When the zombies attack, YOU will roll with it and sell them t–shirts with giant chickens and direct them towards all those schmucks who think they have their lives all figured out. HA! (now, that will be $100 please…)

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  146. Seriously, a shrink who superimposes their ideal for living on you is just another nag who has no respect for life and the diversity of lifestyles. Dump her.

    Like

  147. Plans are for pussy’s … live in the moment. Tomorrow will take care of itself. I live by Scarlet O’Hara’s M.O. … “I can’t think about this today, I’ll think about it tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day!” Or some crap like that.

    Love your words and your ways. Thanks for inspiring me daily!

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  148. Honey, you are having a book published. Stop for a moment and dwell upon how many people would fucking KILL to have their book published. You stuck at it for 10 fucking years. Now stop and dwell upon how many people would have given up long ago. Okay, I’m starting to sound like the Old Spice guy, but to put it plainly…

    You persevered and accomplished a goal only a tiny percentage of people achieve. YOU ARE A FUCKING ROLE MODEL!!!!!

    As far as 5 year plans go, those are for people who don’t have a fucking clue about the kinds of curve balls life is capable of throwing. I don’t know what the weekend will bring, and no one else does either. So don’t worry about that. Your way of doing stuff and then other stuff happens seems to work just fine.

    I know you have your challenges, but, babe, you have a husband who GETS you and a beautiful smart interesting daughter. So you hit the jackpot family-wise. And look at all of us people who love you, and can’t wait to hear anything you damn well want to tell us. Now, add BOOK.

    Seriously, you are leading a charmed life…and that’s before the fucking awesome giant metal chicken. Why are you going to a shrink, again?

    Oh yeah, drugs. Insomnia, anxiety disorders, etc. need good drugs. So, stick with her, or find someone else, it doesn’t matter as long as they give you the drugs you need. But if you want really good advice? I’d find another shrink.

    Except I don’t think you need good advice. Like I’ve been sayin, you are doing remarkable well just going your own way. Count your blessings and keep on keepin on.

    Does your shrink have multi-hundred-thousands fan club/cheering section? I don’t think so. She’s probably just jealous. Ignore her.

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  149. Nothing ever goes according to plan, so why have one? Once upon a time, I had a plan. I planned all the way up until I turned 27. I accomplished everything on the plan. I had awards and accolades. At the end, I still didn’t know who I was, just who everybody else thought I should be. Plus, there was some crazy life stuff that couldn’t be planned. So, now I am 34 and in a life I didn’t quite expect. I’m doing the best I can since I’ve decided all the crazy stuff happens with or without planning. For now, I’ll see what life has in store when I get there or else I will have spent my life PLANNING and not LIVING.

    Fire your therapist and hire me instead.

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  150. Forget the 5 year plan and live your life. Before you know it the 5 years and then some will have passed you by. This is coming from someone who sat out her 30th Class reunion (they didnt like me then, know they wont like me now! LOL) It is hard enough just to get through each day let alone have it all scheduled out. Just know that you are amazing and that there are some of us who understand that Shit Happens and That for now, it’s OK.
    Smooches.

    PS My Beyonce says Fuck Yes! (She is staring at me as I type- LOVE HER!!) Mostly, love you Jenny for just being you.

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  151. Thank you. This column put a smile on my face. And I needed that.

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  152. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, or what I want. My 5 year plan starts with me dropping my dog off to get groomed tomorrow at noon, and I haven’t planned beyond that. But, I do have a pretty firm grasp of who I am. I get a sense you do, too. Anyone with a kick ass dollhouse like yours must. I also think in order to have a self-deprecating sense of humor, you also need that quality, so you line up there as well. 1 out of 3 ain’t bad.

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  153. 5 yr. plan, my nana’s ass! i am incapable of planning even 5 hrs. ahead! to me, it’s pointless, because i know some silly bullshit is going to come along and fuck my plans in the ear. i have lived my whole life flying by the seat of my pants (laughing like i need medication, or shrieking like i need meds). que ser-fucking ra, y’all! at least life is never boring. and as far as figuring out who i am and what i want? oh, holy jesus, do i never want to explore my own brain. that way leads to special ‘hugging myself’ jackets. screw it. ignorance is bliss!

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  154. Dear Jenny,

    What your shrink hasn’t told you is that some people are so incredibly fucking zen that they don’t need a five-year plan. The universe throws them curve-balls and sometimes even points a boom stick at them sometimes and they seem to make it regardless.

    I guess my point is there isn’t a five-year plan to prepare you some omnipotent jimmy-kicking(I am so going to use that phrase again somewhere else tonight). You’re smart, inspiring, incredibly entertaining, you have a loving family and an army of loyal wild animals. The universe (and most likely your shrink) is just plain jealous.

    love at ya!

    -Tony

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  155. Also, she should be put in a cage and prodded with sticks. But that’s just me.

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  156. Well, now that my asshole husband left me (one week ago today), I HAVE to have a 5 year plan because I have no job, no money, and two children to look after. Great fucking situation to find myself in. All of this happened because he’s been cheating on me for the past 10 months behind my back. Bastard. And the worst part is that he’s just going to keep on doing the same bullshit things over and over and over again. I really hate men. Any chance you want to write about why men totally suck and should all be put on a deserted island somewhere to live as a whole colony of stupid man whore idiots… I think I’ll make a movie about it.

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  157. My whole problem, I’ve decided, is that I just don’t want to grow up. I still have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life. What if I want to do a lot of different things?
    Why do people want you to make goals and plans? Why can’t we just float around with whimsey and amazement, and just live? It’s very frustrating.

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  158. 158
    Paula schuck

    Hey lady. Funny post again. Lots of people feel this way. I am a fan of trying to be organized now, but it wasn’t always so. Also still far from
    Having my shit together.

    Like

  159. I had a 5 yr plan and then cancer happened, and happened again to someone I loved and now alzheimer’s to his spouse ( my grandparents.) My five yr plans now consist of getting out of bed most days, doing what I have to do everyday and not killing anyone (some days that is pretty tough, cause I have some really stupid people around me.)

    Like

  160. The only people with 5 year plans are kids who haven’t yet realized that a 5 year plan is crap. Plan away kiddos, it’s never going to go the way you think. Life doesn’t follow a 5 year plan.

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  161. I don’t do five year plans. Stalin did five year plans and look how that worked out for him. I mean, if you ignore the advancing the Soviet Union industrially. I’m not trying to help out any sprawling nations with their economies or industrialisation. I can’t even find socks in the morning.

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  162. Hey, someone (you) PLANNED a red dress and had it made so that someone (YOU) could inspire others. That might not be a 5 year plan, but it is the most important kind of plan!!! So get over it, you planning fool.

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  163. You are definitely not alone. I am making shit up as i go, every day of my life. Married, mom of a 3 year old, full time job, no freaking idea what i’m doing 75% of the time.

    Like

  164. I wonder if she reads your blog.

    Like

  165. I’m pretty sure have a 5 year plan, but I couldn’t tell you what it was. Ask me again in 5 years. And I have a sneaking suspicion that if I ever figured out who I was, I’d disappear in a puff of pissed off smoke.

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  166. When the drugs I was taking made me so tired that I was almost passing out at work, I asked my shrink what I should do. She told me I should start taking naps on my desk. I think she’s crazier than I am.

    And no, I have no idea what I’m doing and every time I plan to do something that has long term implications, it gets screwed up, which makes me believe that the world is telling me that I’m better off with no plan whatsoever.

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  167. Hey listen. Friend in the universe. I wouldn’t respond because you probably won’t see this, but maybe you’re just as neurotic as me and you will read EVERYTHING.

    I know you’re a bit older than me (I’m 27), but I have never had a plan. Like, ever. I tried to go into elementary education in college because it was “safe” and “stable” . . . but it was also bullshit. I don’t need to be taught how to teach kids to draw with crayons. So I went the ME route. I got a degree in theatre performance. Yes, the loans are eating me inside out, yes, it was a whimsical choice, yes, it’s highly unlikely that I would ever succeed with it as I have bipolar disorder, but damn it, it was my choice.

    I’ve been feeling my way about ever since. I still don’t have a plan. But the pieces all seem to fall into place when I need them too. After college I got involved with non-profit animal welfare, and now think that it might be a viable career choice (albeit meager). My boyfriend (now husband) has always been my rock, my bread-bringer-homer, and my reason. And I am, for the first time, acting “professionally.” Someone’s paying me for that shit. And damn it, that makes it a good day to be me.

    So I say – you don’t need a plan. Because not having one is a PLAN TOO.

    (This was pretty liberating to type. Thanks for the prompt.)

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  168. I love it when people want to talk about 5 year and 10 year plans. How boring! I want to grow up in the next 5 years, just like I did in the last 5….fail!

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  169. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU NEED A 5 YEAR PLAN FOR? Maybe if you were just coming out of prison it would be appropriate to think about the future that far in advance. My husband just said it’s what ‘real’ grown-ups do… fuck that yo!

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  170. When I was little (2nd or 3rd grade) we had to write this “Someday” book, it was about what we were going to be/do when we grew up. My entry was all about how when I grew up I was going to win the Lotto. So I am still waiting to have to grow up!! :o)

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  171. I always think I know what I’m going to do, then I change my mind. But I’m so SURE for a while! According to your logic, I need therapy more than you, since the overall trend indicates I’m pretty unstable.

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  172. I wanna be you when I grow up…just less crazy and more drunk.

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  173. I just keep reminding myself that I might die tomorrow, or maybe the day after that or next month or next year… but here’s the thing. I AM going to die! I have no allusion whatsoever that anything I have done will be talked about in 400 years either. Seriously. How many people can you name (without Google’s help) from 1611? A dozen? Maybe? Shakespeare, uhmmm… that’s all I got. Me? In 400 Years? So why sweat the shit? None of this is going to matter in 400 years so make all the 5 year plans you want. Christ, I am perpetually amazed that I, at 48, have a tiny bachelor apartment and something to eat each day and I can see the doctor when I need too (I am in Canada). Everything I have ever done that was unplanned and seemingly random has been awesome. Everything I worked for and planned to death was always, ALWAYS, horrible.
    Life is meant to be lived… you know, like that John Lennon thing about making plans and life happening anyway.
    Jenny you rock! Love ya!!

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  174. you’re not alone. i have been in school for ten thousand years and changed my major forty seven times. it’s okay. currently i am on track to become an english teacher. you can worry later that i will be educating your children. in english. the one who is not using capital letters because i’m sucky at typing on the laptop on the couch in the dark with my cat while eating cheese. i cannot be bothered to hit shift. fuck it.

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  175. Fuck 5-year plans and fuck the people who tell you you need one. Except the 5-year plan you decided you didn’t need and so are on track with that 5-year plan. Now I’m confused. You shouldn’t be though. You are perfect in every way and have eleventy-billion readers to prove it. Not sure the perfect haunted doll house would come from a 5-year plan, or Beyonce, or Wil Wheaton collating. So – keep calm and carry on.

    PS: Make sure to renew the xanax prescription as I’ve found it helps immeasurably with the no-5-year-plan blues! xoxo

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  176. Have you ever started a slow clap in a completely quiet auditorium? It’s kind of fucking awesome. I highly recommend it.

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  177. I actually had a plan to find a shrink at one point. I’m pretty neurotic and absolutely convinced that I have an undiagnosed case of ADD. Or maybe ADHD. One of those. But then I got distracted and never got back to that plan. I’m just glad that my company automatically signed me up for a 401k somewhere in the benefits process or I’d probably end up living in a cardboard box in my old age. Wait, what were we talking about again?

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    Don't Poke the Crazy recently posted The Bastard gets his motorcycle back... then goes to jail.

  178. I definitely not do have a 5 year plan, mostly because whenever I have ever tried to make ANY sort of a plan from what I would like in life, or for dinner …..gets ruined and falls to shit in seconds!
    I think most people realize, plans do not work!
    Being in the medical field, I have seen how a 5 year, 5 month, 5 minute plan can get knocked down and destroyed in seconds.
    There are no plans in REAL life.
    I agree, Normal is a setting on a washing machine, that’s i!””
    Live your life as you want….. and have fun!!!

    Purple Stinky Onion
    (PSO)

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    Jenny recently posted I am going to win an Oscar !.

  179. The only image that comes to mind when reading about “Dr Q” is that of Dr. Quinn, medicine woman. Dr Quinn as a shrink would certainly inspire a five year plan ( one that culminates in finding a new shrink).

    Although there are those of us (special folks) that experience the gut wrenching propagation of anxiety when _plans_ are discussed. The tools that exist to quell the anxiety simply make it worse sometimes. .It feels a little like wearing lead flippers and playing waterpolo with zombies every time i’m asked to make these plans. But I digress.

    The Point: Sometimes five minute plans are all you need (That’s plenty of time to plan the next boozeslushie, right?)

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  180. Am I the only one who thought you should fire your shrink?

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  181. I love you. And your readers. If there are this many of us, why don’t we take over the world? Yeah, let’s do that in, um, about 5 years?

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    Kathleen recently posted Not at All Blue.

  182. Once when I told me former shrink that I didn’t feel I could trust my husband anymore, she told me, “Yes, you do. You trust him 100%!” That was the day I decided that she needed a seminar on listening skills and I didn’t need to see her anymore.

    Like

  183. That’s why I love nursing…because it’s sooo unpredictable. I love going to work not knowing exactly what I’ll be dealing with. Somedays I like whats handed to me and others make me want to run away crying to the nearest supply closet

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  184. Your five year plan should be to add a “clean” button to your blog that cleans up all the bad language. Only it should automatically detect young eyes staring in it’s direction, but since I don’t have a camera, maybe something that subliminally orders me to press the button with vampire-like reflexes a nanosecond after the hairs on the back of my neck detect the presences of young ones….Like you, I have a reading 6 year old. I barely clicked open your blog and he’s at my shoulder reading “Shit I did….”
    Great. ANOTHER discussion about how all words related to poo-poo should not be repeated at school.

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  185. I LOVE YOU ALL. ME TAKE OVER WORLD TOO WITH REST OF YOU IN 5 YEAR. FROM CANUCK TARZAN.

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    L recently posted The Truth Hurts.

  186. My shrink usually spends our hour laughing at me while I try to balance on a fucking yoga ball while simultaneously following her neon sharpie with my eyes and talking about thunderstorms.

    Apparently this shit is rerouting my synaptic pathways .

    Methinks this shit is purely for her own sadistic entertainment .

    So obviously my five year plan includes becoming a shrink.

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  187. I never understood how people knew what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives from the time they’re in high school. I keep wanting to go back to get a degree but can’t even decide what the hell to major in. Anymore, with the economy the way it is, I think everyone on here is right… Most of those people with plans and ‘normal’ lives have found themselves in a state of shock now that ‘real’ jobs hardly exist. Those of us who never had our shit together on the other hand, are still sittin fat and happy with our unstable routines still intact! Haha suckers!!! Who’s sorry now! #unstableprocrastinatorswinatlast

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  188. What the hell? Are you miserable about being who you are and being a hugely successfull writer? Just because you don’t follow the beaten path it doesn’t mean you have to change anything? Unless you’re actually miserable about the situation? Seems to me you’ve got yourself better figured out than most people, why would you need to change ? Why? WHY???????????? (sorry I got a bit carried away towards the end…)

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  189. My goal is to be able to loll full time.
    please and thank you

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  190. All I really know is that there is too much pee in my house.

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  191. Your plan is awesome and I think I love you. So what am I so afraid of? I’m afraid that I’m not sure of a love there is no cure for…. No. Wait. What? That’s not right.
    My 5 year plan sounds much like yours but also includes
    1: Dodging doctors appointments
    2: Having a Bonfire Party on Guy Fawkes day
    3: Convincing my husbands boss that he has a stalker
    4: Glueing glitter to anything that stands still long enough

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  192. I’m gonna guess that you don’t spend a lot of time with your shrink…and when you say shrink you are talking about a psychiatrist rather than a therapist (yes, I’m a therapist and I get a little prickly when people call me Doc or Shrink). From the time I have spent reading your posts I know that telling you to plan shit out is the wrong approach. Managing anxiety (for a lot of people) is about finding the ways we create it within ourselves through our thoughts and interpretations, then challenging the shit out of that thinking. Rinse and repeat. With support. From someone who GETS you. Who is probably not the person writing the prescriptions, because who can afford to spend an hour a week with a (for real) shrink? So maybe don’t fire your shrink…because Xanax is AWESOME…but hire a therapist.
    You are incredibly super brilliantly fantastic. Doesn’t mean that it all doesn’t get to be too much sometimes.

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  193. Perfectly on track. And guess what? It’s always -interesting- our way!

    Like

  194. You know, my theory on what happens to those who plan too much involves failure. Why do I want to make a list of 10 things that need to be done, knowing that I’m not getting to all of them, half of them, and most times NONE of them. Me making any kind of long-term plans, or even some short-term ones, all makes me feel like a failure when they don’t get done. Are they filled with lofty expectations of things to accomplish? 90% of the time NO THEY ARE NOT. But when the damned list still isn’t completed at the end of the day, I do not appreciate the loser-scumbag feeling that I get.

    How about “I plan to not make myself feel like a lazy, inadequate, loser scumbag” and screw the lists and goals.

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  195. I’m sitting here thinking about all the crap that happened in the past five years without me planning any of it. What’s the point of that five-year-plan thing again???

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  196. My shrink used pull that kind of crap and it just made me more crazy, so I got her to up my Klonopin dosage and then secretly hoarded enough to last me a year and told her I was magically cured (for now). I’m way happier now, so I’m pretty sure the unfettered use of benzopines is probably the cure for all neurosis, and they just don’t want us to know that. Fucking doctors.

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  197. When we took the “What You Should Be When You Grow Up” test in high school, mine came back with ONE fucking result: FBI Agent.

    What the What.

    I’ve done way too many drugs for that shit.

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    ZDub recently posted Milk + Bookies.

  198. If you were obsessed about order and planning, the shrink would be telling you to loosen up and add spontaneity into your life. The shrink? Is there to help people find some sort of normalcy, and for most people normalcy is being a fairly average human being.

    Don’t you DARE be average. You have your own normalcy, and it works for you, and it seems to me from your post that you also know deep down that it works for you.

    If, every now and then, you feel off balance because you aren’t fairly average or someone tells you you’re supposed to be fairly average, please pull out one of the Beyoncé cards that says “Knock knock, motherfucker.” and remember that you make thousands of people laugh regularly and give them a lift when they need it.❤

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  199. I’ve spent my whole life trying to do the right thing, which, to my family meant the White thing, and here I am, 37, hating the people I work with, wishing I had actually done more writing, less talking, more loving, less angrying, more listening and much.less.talking. I wish I had cared less about the future and more about myself. I am the weirdest person I know and I read your blog because you make me feel normal. So what’s the big fucking deal with having a plan? I have completed my plan and I’m still fucking lost. Your psychiatrist is psycho if she thinks plans amount to shit. Most people’s don’t…they fall apart so why *not* do what matters instead of what’s on the plan? But I swear I’m not bitter.

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  200. Relevant. To Jenny, and to all of us.

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  201. I love you for that and for being awesome. And for being my Wil Wheaton.

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  202. When I grow up I want to be JUST. LIKE. JENNY.

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  203. Okay, this has nothing to do with plans, which actually probably works as a comment to this post, but you should totally go to Wiki Commons and see their pic of the day. I think it’s Copernicus or a relative, maybe. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

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  204. YOU INSPIRE ME! Seriously…Jenny you are awesome! I’m glad you don’t have a 5 year plan! I’m thankful if I can make it through one day without hurting myself or flashing someone accidentally, but I don’t plan on putting that on a 5 year plan…because I’d be setting myself up for failure. I think it’s better to be plan-less and surprise yourself!

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  205. You are not alone! Seriously, I fell in love young, we had a family several years later but still very young (early 20’s), made the decision one of us would be at home with those kids and that person would be me, and now a decade and a half into that, we still feel like we’re not “established”. We own our house, and our vehicles, and our offspring certainly have all they ever need and some extras too. Retirement is a scary subject though, and things like Disney cruises and tropical vacations and sizable savings of any kind are in the never gonna happen category. We really don’t have a big plan, but what we’re doing is working for all of us very nicely, and having yummy, healthy meals on the table every day and arriving to piano/guitar/gymnastics/karate/ballet on time is enough to plan ahead in enough detail to accomplish. I guess I assume we can figure that next part out once this part is over, and it feels like the day the kids are grown and gone will be like next Tuesday. I’ll be 45 when the baby graduates, what the hell will I do with the next 30 years? See, loads of time then to do all that other stuff🙂 That’s my grand plan!

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  206. Christ, Jenny, I am on the other side of all of this whole “adulthood” thing, with four grown children ,and never had a plan. Life happens with or without one so try to just enjoy what you can.

    On a serious note, I also have anxiety disorder and I am pretty sure that having my life better planned would probably have helped me be less anxious, but the thing is? That’s just not what or who I am so what helped was learning to just accept me. Once I learned how to love me who has no fucking plan (and how to forgive myself for everything) I realized I am a pretty happy camper; anxiety and all.

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  207. This is on my signature line for my email:
    Working on my 5 year plan… just need to choose a font.

    And I tell you, choosing a font is hard work!

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  208. You’re kidding right?

    A 5-year plan? I tell you what. I’ll think about thinking about a 5-year plan the day I complete a 5-minute plan.

    Put a friggin’ bird on it.

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  209. my business plan is 2 words
    make money

    i think 5 year plans are for people who have too much time on their hads

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  210. 210
    SharonCville

    Five year plans have a way of attracting the attention of God so that he can laugh at them. There’s nothing wrong with having a direction or even being motivated towards a goal, but it’s a big mistake to miss LIFE while you’re waiting to arrive somewhere. It’s the difference between taking a trip in an enclosed panel van on an interstate with the only food and bathroom breaks, and then only at McDonald’s (because they’re all quick, efficient, clean and have the same menu) and taking a trip in a ’72 Chevy Caprice convertible, sticking only to back roads, stopping everywhere that looks interesting, eating at quirky local places and enjoying the ride. The folks in the van may get there faster, but the ones in the convertible are going to have a better time!

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  211. Hmmm, well any time I TRY to plan, Murphy comes along and totally shits up my plans. For example, this year I planned on improving or adding to the stuff I raise here on the “farmette” however, the local Predator Convention had other plans for me.

    I also planned on putting up an electric fence, instead I got to spend money on medical bills because Surprise! I’m NOT in early menopause, but pregnant at 41 (My son is 17.) So pretty much anything I planned for this year, right out the window! Five year plan my ass!

    Sometimes you wonder how you got where you are, but thats okay, You’re right where you are supposed to be!

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  212. 212
    SharonCville

    …of course, if the purpose of the trip is to get to the emergency room before you bleed to death, you might want to pick the folks in the van.

    My metaphors suck.

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  213. Ok, so I’m one of those “grown-ups” with a career and a 401K and whatnot. But the best things that have ever happened to me were ill-conceived and poorly executed. Random vacation plan = best vacation of my life. Getting huffy with my landlord and just deciding to move out = owning a rather valuable home (despite 2 years of living through “transition” in the neighborhood). Happening upon a spectacularly priced foreclosure and deciding to invest my life savings in it = valuable rental property. Deciding to email about a different position that happened to be open at work, despite reservations about whether I would enjoy it or could even hack it = gratifying job that has provided me with skills that I’ve been recruited for by big-name companies (I’ll eventually break down and accept one of these offers, and I’m sure that will be awesome, too). Nothing ever *really* works out as planned, so might as well wing it. It’s harder to roll with the flow if you have a plan, anyway.

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  214. A five year plan? Is that for the future? I am not even sure I can figure out all that has happened the past 5 years, never mind the next 5!

    Socks? They are supposed to match? Aaannnd I’m supposed to wear them? Together? At the same time?

    Perhaps the shrink is jealous of the success and awesomeness that you are!

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    (Not Quite) Clinically Dead recently posted Japanese Garden.

  215. You seem to be doing fine to me. I believe that the people who have a plan are just showing off, lying, or trying to impress people who are brave enough to admit that they don’t have a plan. They don’t know what they’re doing either, because we all know that plans don’t count for poop.
    Like, right now, I had planned to be articulate, but my cat is puking in the kitchen, so my mind has left to wonder “OMG! WHERE will it be?” and instead of being articulate, I’m babbling about cat puke.

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  216. I’m writing your 5 year plan for you:

    Year One: Get on plane with taxidermied mouse. Continue to raise happy child. Finish writing book. Drop therapist. Get new therapist, a male one or nice lesbian. Wear low cut tops to therapy. Become best friends with Heidi Ferrer or at least accept her friend request on Facebook🙂

    Year Two: Publish book to great acclaim. Continue to raise happy child and husband. Travel world promoting book. Blog goes through the roof. Send Heidi Ferrer red dress and taxidermied mouse and or/Copernicus.

    Year Three: Have movie made of your life starring Mindy Kaling. Continue to raise happy child and renew vows with husband in Paris or Florence. Publish second book and picture book of finished Haunted Dollhouse.

    Pity Heidi as she has been stranglehuggled by Copernicus. Welcome him back home with loving arms.

    Year Four: Make movie about Copernicus, co-written by you and Mindy Kaling. Become a lab scientist and cure Slug Zombieism.

    World rejoices. Continue to raise happy child. Publish books four and five.

    Year Five: Twart Zombie Apocalypse. Become President. Kill bad people. Find out Copie had love child. Adopt half monkey/human hybrid and cure cat cancer.

    Live happily ever after.

    The End.

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    GirltoMom- Heidi recently posted International Talk Like a Pirate Day 2011.

  217. Pinned to my corkboard:
    “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” George Bernard Shaw
    “You don’t need anybody to tell you who your are or what you are. You are what you are!” John Lennon
    “There is no such thing as a weird human being. It’s just that some people require more understanding then others.” Tom Robbins

    Keep on keepin’ on!

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    WrensNest recently posted Copper for Fall.

  218. Hmmm… Sorry about your existential crisis. You made me laugh, though, and that’s something. Because the laughter of complete strangers is TOTALLY worth a personal crisis. ab-so-fucking-lutely. (And screw the psychiatrist. Dr. Q is telling his/her therapist that s/he wishes s/he were as well-grounded as you. Because you are a beautiful and special flower. Yeah, that.)

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    Beth recently posted Terminally Jangled.

  219. I am teaching a blogging class and showing your site as an example.🙂

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  220. My five year plan is to just be a lazy asshole. That way I can just continue on my path without setting myself up for failure.

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  221. You’re already there, kid. You are doing it right. Whatever it is. If you need or want to be in a different place, you’ll get there when you’re supposed to. *sigh* I seriously wish I had some fun, quirky, clever way of saying that.

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  222. Now, I could be paraphrasing this incorrectly, as I am a fairly new reader (did go back and read every single post from F-word to (well, Ha-what-a-coincidence-that-this-blog did it, too) F-word), but it seems like your most recent five-year-plan involved pushing a book out of your vagina. So, unless your little lady friend fell of without your noticing, I’d say you’re right on track…

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  223. Fuck plans. Ten years ago I’d planned on having a career as a librarian. That was my goal. Somebody else’s plan took me to the country and turned me into a farmer and a factory worker. Ten years later I’m in a city again and back to square-fucking-one trying to put my life back together. Fuck planning.

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  224. I’ve had a big issue with time for my entire life. Does anyone *really* know what the fuck is going on? I sure don’t. I wouldn’t really want it any other way…

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  225. tell her you secretly have become a zen master, you just keep going to her because you think she needs the money.

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  226. 5 year plan?! At most I could possibly string together a 5 hour plan that perhaps, if the stars and the moon are aligned and my panties are not too tight, I might be able to remember for all of 5 minutes.

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    Jamie Veraldi recently posted So I ask you.... Saint or Passive Aggressive?.

  227. Oh Holy Christ(tm)….the best people I know have no plan….and we’re past the due date of having such ideas….never let it get you down. We will be fine and overcome….

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  228. Plans are for neurotic control freaks. Or so I’ve heard… *side eye*

    P.S. Tried to Stumble your post, and Stumble Upon informed me that it’s an asshole and removed your site? “This website is not available for StumbleUpon members to rate or review

    From time to time, we may remove sites from our database for a variety of reasons. For more information, please consult our [Help Center]. ”

    #stumbleuponisbullshit

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  229. We’re all just making it up as we go. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying and clearly in need of more therapy than you. ” Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” – unless you’re out relishing all its many wonders.

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  230. Your post and questions came eerily in time because I have been working on a big deal performance review at work due tomorrow and I hate hate hate doing that because it forces me to come to terms with the brutal reality that is my existence: pointless and aimless and impactless. First of all, I just want to make sure: are you sure your shrink is an actual shrink and is not one of those motivational speakers aka life coaches? And does she read Chris brogan’s blog religiously? Because that could well explain why she told you that crock of shit… (Sorry if there are any CB fans here… I am going to assume that his fans are not as scary as the fans of very well-know female blogger who shall not be named here lest I get you into trouble…) I have been grappling with this question: Who I am? since high school (that’s my earliest recollection) and it has induced a lot of angst and crazy stuff. It also caused me to carry around Hermann Hesse’s Demian around (I am embarrassed by younger self, I apologize) But here is the first thing I read in that book:
    I wanted only to try to live my life in accord with the promptings which came from my true self.
    Why was that so very difficult?
    So you cannot really blame the younger me for being so drawn to that book…

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    subWOW recently posted Fall.

  231. Meh. I had a five year plan, it went well. But then the five years was up and I had to make another one. Two years in I chucked it out the window and have never been happier. Do what makes you happy – and how awesome is it that what you do makes others happy too!

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    Vesta Vayne recently posted It’s Monday, let’s get the serious stuff out of the way.

  232. Obviously we are all enlightened and know how to live in the moment. I think you have outgrown your shrink, who is not enlightened…

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  233. Control is an illusion.

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  234. ok I thought of a five your plan
    In 5 years I plan to have a hot, young, half-my-age boytoy. Hubby says he is A-ok with it as long as said hot, young, half-my-age BoyToy does yard work, fixes vehicles, climbs the roof to clean the gutters, cuts the years supply of wood and lets him retire early. Hell I know he will settle for him just climbing the roof to clean the gutters so whoo hoo! Can’t wait!!!!

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    Jamie Veraldi recently posted So I ask you.... Saint or Passive Aggressive?.

  235. Clearly Dr. Q does not realize she’s advising Jenny Lawson, The motherfucking Bloggess. You’re kind of a big deal.

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  236. Last time someone asked me the five-year plan question, the real answer was: I hope that this job will be fulfilling enough not to fall asleep while doing it, but not so hard as to keep me away from my kids at nights. And whatever it is I really hope will happen in five years has so little to do with my career goals or this job. But, obviously, that wasn’t what I said. Well, i wanted the job.

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  237. The most eff’d up people I know are the ones who have the most detailed plans, because every time their plan gets eff’d…or eff’s itself…or they get eff’d…or eff themselves…they get to spend God knows how many hours in mental and emotional turmoil trying to figure out the whys and wherefores of the aforementioned effing, so they can convince themselves of precisely what happened and that they know how to keep it from happening again.

    Until something new comes along they did not expect, etc., ad nauseum…

    Life is a wheel, and squares don’t roll…or cubes for that matter.

    And the triangles and pyramids of the world are just plain f***ed.

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  238. I’ll be 52 soon, and my whole life has been like that. I’ve never had any idea where I was going. In job interviews, when I was asked “Where do you see yourself five years from now?”, I would try my best to suppress the deer-in-the-headlights facial expression, and would just make something up. Five years? I don’t know what I’ll be doing in ONE year. I never have.

    When I look back on my life so far, it doesn’t really make any particular kind of sense. I’ve just done what seemed like the best idea at the time. A lot of my decisions were mistakes, and much of my life has been spent pursuing things that turned out not to be worthwhile. But I had no way of knowing that beforehand. I’ve known people who seemed to have a plan for their lives and knew what their long-term goal was, but I’ve never understood how they knew those things. Perhaps this was covered in school on one of the days when I was out sick. Maybe they handed out Life Plans and Long-Term Goals to everyone, and I missed it. That would explain a lot.

    I think Slartibartfast summed it up very well in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” He said: “Perhaps I’m old and tired, but I always think that the chances of finding out what really is going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is say ‘hang the sense of it’ and just keep yourself occupied.” That’s what I try to do.

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  239. OK, so THAT’s where I’m fucking up… I’ve actually been making the 5-year plans and missing every mark. I totally like your way better. Except, wait, then I’d probably not be me if my life wasn’t filled with plans and to do’s.

    Fuck. Now see what you’ve done?

    Note to self: Add ‘find a shrink’ to the to do list. Oh and bitch slap Jenny for fucking with my head.

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  240. I dont think anyone really knows what they are doing!

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  241. what it boils down to is…we are the new normal! My five-year plan, all written down in my mind so there is no proof, is just a bunch of “don’t do THAT again.”

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  242. My plan has always been, essentially, “Do stuff. Try not to get killed or thrown in jail because of it.” Also, I fired my shrink because, after $600, all we had accomplished was “you seem to have some rage. I think it might come from your family.”

    Also also, I’m pretty sure I have a severe case of impostor syndrome. I never know what the fuck I’m doing.

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  243. Clap . . . . Clap . . . . Clap.

    As usual, I’m constantly inspired by you. Aside from living furiously happy, I am a major control freak and I need to learn to just let go and live life as it happens.

    (But maybe pay the bills on time).

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  244. You have renewed my faith in humanity. That is all.
    Nicole x

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    Nicole aka _wideeyedgirl recently posted Make it go away Mummy.

  245. 246
    Dani (of Playing Mom and Princessories "fame")

    I think we’re all so entrenched in therapy that we actually know too much about who we are. Have you ever stopped to think about why we’re really here? I mean really, really here? To procreate? To develop technology? To just die out as a species and see what happens next? Effing scary.

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  246. Here is how the older me see it: the problem is most people still subscribe to this idea of a true self, the essence that is that true you, to be discovered (the idea started way back from Plato and so yeah I guess people had to buy into it…) it is somehow our job, as we grow, to discover what that essence, , that core, our true self is. But what if there is no core? What if we are more like onions? That we are made up of each layer? So if you still believe in finding that core, you are doomed: as you peel away each layer of the onion, you are like, FUCK! There is another door behind this door! But if we shift the paradigm of how “selves” are defined, then every single layer is YOU. The real you. Everything you do, everything you say, every decision you make, every breath you take (ok, scratch this last one) is what makes you you.
    To steal Sartre’s famous line: “Existence precedes essence” i.e. your essence, who you are, is defined by how you live your life, actions you take, etc etc. As an extension, imo, this means one’s true self is constantly changing, because our actions are constantly changing.
    Before I end this rambling, I just want to quote e.e.cummings (because I am not pretentious enough yet!):
    “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

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    subWOW recently posted Fall.

  247. I had a shrink tell me I needed a 5-year-plan about 10 years ago. Now, first, I was in fucking college. My idea of goals back then was figuring out where I was getting loaded that weekend without 1) paying for it and 2) waking up in some stranger’s place (or on the sidewalk…not sure which would be worse, ya know?). Anyway, I made that plan. The therapists-of-the-month were proud of me as I checked things off. Where did that all get me? 8 months pregnant at my wedding, $80,000 in debt from student loans, bankrupt at 30…. wait, wait, there’s point here. That plan got me fucking nowhere. Plans don’t keep life from screwing it all up. Plans don’t create the moments that ACTUALLY make you happy, the ones you look back on and smile over. So I’ve learned not to make plans and just go with the flow.

    That, and shrinks are the most financially secure assholes ever.

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  248. AND finally, I have to share this NPR episode with you wrt mental illnesses. In his new book “A First Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness, Dr. Nassir Ghaemi argues that “leaders with some mental illnesses, particularly mania or depression, are often better in times of crisis.” And read this! “Creativity and resilience is higher in people with mania and realism and empathy is higher in people with depression compared to normal subjects,” he says. “The problem often with mentally healthy, average leaders is — even though they’re not weak in the sense of not having any of these qualities — they often don’t have enough to meet the very high demands of crises.” See?!

    http://www.npr.org/2011/08/20/139681339/madness-and-leadership-hand-in-hand

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  249. I’m on the same plan! Sure, I have a general idea of what I want to be when I grow up…but I have a feeling my oldest is closer to being grown up than I am. I think that’s how creative minds function best. Sure, I don’t have a 401k…I mean a 4.01k…oops market dropped again… a 0.401k plan, but I’m doing alright. I sometimes…just sometimes…even have matching, clean socks.😉

    At least I don’t hate my life as much as some of my peers who go to work, hate their jobs and drink themselves stupid every night so they can do it again the next day.

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  250. Worst interview question I ever got: “where do you see yourself in five years?” Man, that was one of my real deer-in-headlights moments. uhhhhhhhhh …. working? for you? I don’t think it was even for a particularly high-paying job. dumbass.

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  251. Well crap! That was MY 5 year plan. But I am minus the Xanax. I only have Pristiq. I am screwed.

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  252. I’d call bullshit on anyone who actually plans out their life, then successfully follows it. Most of us just fall into things. That’s how we go through life. We essentially stumble our way through it.

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  253. I am right there with you.

    This time last year I quit my hated (but relatively high paying) corporate job and found an amazing job that I love (working with dogs all day) that pays approximately 1 cent an hour but that gives me time to do the things I love to do (write, make art, etc). A few months ago my husband decided that he lost respect for me when I started making less money (after 16 years together THAT’S all it took to lose respect for me???) so he cheated on me, I busted him, sold the house, took the dog and the cat and moved into a super cute apartment that I can only afford thanks to the proceeds from the house sale. What am I going to do when that money runs out? Fucked if I know. But right now, despite the heartbreak, I am doing awesomely well. My animals are happy and healthy, I show up at work every day and have 30 dogs greet me like I am their favorite person in the whole world and I have money in the bank for the first time in my life.

    Would my five year plan have covered even one second of all that? No way in hell. But I am rocking the shit out of a situation I never would have chosen for myself. I am about to turn 35 and am starting basically from scratch so if I can come out of all of this on top then I can do anything. Screw the planning. My 5 year “plan” is to continue to rock the hell out of my life, even if I have no idea what I am doing or where I am going at any given moment.

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  254. If you’re all wrong, Jenny, I don’t wanna be right. People who have got it all figured out – who *think* that they know what they are doing – scare the bejeezus out of me. (And that applies exponentially to shrinks who project their ‘unfinished business’ under the guise of therapeutic advice…)

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  255. It’s not like any other species needs a five year plan to survive…do you see a field mouse discussing it’s future with the mummy fieldmouse before being allowed to leave the nest? Or a mother bird explaining where she’d like to see her baby birds in 5 years time, you can imagine the conversation i hope:

    Mummy bird: okay li’l ‘un’s, here’s the 5 year plan. I want you to fly from here and find a decent place to set up home, protected but pretty…make sure it comes with a nice view (you’ve got to consider these things). Then when you’re settled, you know the area and the neighbours you can think about finding the right partner…

    Boy Baby Bird (let’s call him Harry): but Muuummmm…

    MB: now Harry ssssh, you’re father will deal with all your questions…let me finish… Anyway, where was I? Oooh yes, find a decent partner, one that will share with you your dreams for the future! Then once you’ve got a happy home you need to start having children!

    DO YOU REALLY THINK THEY PLAN THIS? NO!!!!!!! And it goes great…most of the time…bar the falling to their deaths thing, getting eaten by cats (who hopefully don’t have cancer -because then I’d pity the cat more than the bird!) or getting a cuckoo…who we all know are lazy sods!

    So to help you overcome this feeling of inadequacy…I’m going to pass on a quote that has helped me over the years…

    “Alright, I’ve been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade – make life take the lemons back! Get mad! “I don’t want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these?” Demand to see life’s manager. Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons. Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons. I’m going to to get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!”

    You don’t need a five year anything when this quote leads your life…you may however need a good lawyer!

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  256. Okay so I’m sure you don’t read you’re hundreds of thousands of love comments but I felt compelled write something (liquid courage is amazing). I started reading about the same time as everyone else, when you posted the “pick you’re battles” story. My mom sent it to me. It reminded her of her sister, my aunt as in its totally something they would do. Oh, and I forgot to mention, apparently I am the reincarnate of my aunt. Yea that may be a little creepy but I apparently look and act like she did before she passed away. Oh yea, did I mention that i’m 30 years old and I’m totally freaked out by the fact that I actually own furniture. I’m more of a 5 minute plan person than a 5 year plan person. Well anyways, in my line of work, you help us remember that going out and buying the most random obnoxious most awesome lawn sculpture is okay (yup… I bought 3, 3 foot peacocks… 1 for my mom, 1 for me, and 1 for my mom when I realized the first one wouldn’t fit in my luggage to fly home with…). Plus, NORMAL IS BORING!

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  257. Five year plans scare me. I’m more of a five minute plan kind of girl.

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  258. Ahem, I believe your five year plan is to continue blogging because the internet would be a very empty place without you. Besides Stalin had lots of 5 year plans and he managed to murder off half of the largest (then) population on Earth and stagnate an economy like no bodies business. Let that be a lesson to you.

    I stopped making plans, although I had a goal once. Well it became a goal rather quickly, like within a few hours of realizing that Blogher was in town. Anyhow, to was to meet you at Blogher. And I did it. There were even puppies. And you offered me xanax. SAnd I met two awesome chicks who encouraged me and made me feel like less of a stalker for the whole thing. So, basically you made my life and I don’t need any other goals. I mean that one turned out so well why screw it up?

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  259. Amen! Thank you for being so honest. It truly does make me feel like I’m not alone with my completely scattered, hummingbird-like brain.

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  260. Just put a bird on it.

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  261. Hello Jenny, as I’ve barely slept and seemingly have a problem with my right eye which is consequently impairing my sight and brain function, I just can’t compete with the funny commenters, so I thought I’d post my favourite poem instead. Whilst reading your post, some of the words from this poem came to mind. I don’t think anyone ever has it all figured out:

    After a while you learn the subtle difference between
    holding a hand and chaining a soul,
    And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and
    company doesn’t mean security,

    And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
    and presents aren’t promises,

    And you begin to accept your defeats with your head
    up and your eyes open, with the grace of an adult,
    not the grief of a child,

    And you learn to build all your roads on today
    because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans.

    After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if
    you get too much.

    So plant your own garden and decorate your own
    soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring your
    flowers.

    And you learn that you really can endure…

    That you really are strong,

    And you really do have worth.

    ~Veronica Shoffstall

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  262. Oh dear. I think I just realized that my five year plan is to be awesome at writing a gaming blog, for which I still game obsessively. Does that make me a complete loser, or does my having a five year plan offset that a little? Does it help if I wiped the cheeto dust off my fingers before typing this time?

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  263. I had the one year, five year, and ten year plan. I had the 401(k). My life became rigid and uninteresting. I became rigid and uninteresting. I realized I wasn’t what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wasn’t even close. Now I think the only reason to have a plan is so that you can abandon it when you realize it sucks and feel a sort of liberating glee about being flexible enough to do that. Now I eat peanut butter out of the jar and work on a graduate degree in a subject I would never have considered twenty years ago. And life is pretty damn good. So, you know… tell Dr. Q trying to plan out large expanses of time before you know who you’ll be when you there is for the anal retentive fucktards among us.

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  264. So, Jenny, does this mean you won’t be going on the lecture circuit to teach personal management? Nuts!

    Actually, it’s okay because I happen to know where I am, where I want to go, and how I’m going to get there, with my path carefully plotted out at least 5 years ahead. Did I say years? I meant minutes. Tomato, to-MAH-to.

    Every time I stop and evaluate my progress in life, I find stuff is turning out so differently from how it was supposed to, I have to rewrite my whole deal (which isn’t literally written down, thankfully). This is how I save face… you know, pretending I did THIS on purpose. I meant to be RIGHT HERE at this point in my life. Everything’s going according to plan, because I’ve adjusted the plan to match reality.

    I’d worry that others are noticing and laughing inside, but I’m sure they’re all just as confused, and too busy rewriting their deals and trying to save their own face.

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  265. I don’t feel so bad now. Someone once asked me where I wanted to be in 5 years and all I could say was “happy”. I think it’s a pretty damn good answer now.

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  266. hell to the yeah. going through something similar, though not shrink-induced. but then i was all “wait a fucking minute, i know who i am and i’m totally fucking awesome”. i’ll just continue going from crash site to crash site. if i don’t land on my feet, that’s okay.

    oh shit. this sounds like the beginning of that Chumbawumba song.

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  267. I had a twelve year plan at one point. All through my teenage years and early twenties I had this plan. It was supposed to end in me living a fantastic, wealthy life as a famous classically trained musician with fabulous, artsy people around me at all times. And I worked and worked and worked and stayed on track and you know what happened? I fell. Flat on my face. Yards before the finish line. So now, my plan happens one day at a time. I take the opportunities as they come to me, I dabble in a lot of different things, I procrastinate, I spend some days writing and creating and playing music and other days on the couch with the cats watching horror movies where people get eaten by sharks and other wildlife. I have an office job. I’m poor. And most important, I’m surrounded by fabulous, artsy, intelligent, hilarious, twisted people who challenge and fulfill my life more than anyone I would have met if I had stuck with that twelve year plan.

    So fuck that advice. Some ridiculous timeline doesn’t define who you are. The way you live your day to day life and interact with the people around you defines who you are. And good for those people walking the well trodden path with their noses stuck in a five year plan. While they do that, I’ll be over here playing in the mud with my friends, laughing hysterically at sick jokes and generally enjoying how awesome this all is.

    And as far as who you are? No one can define that. All I can say is that I’ve laughed hard enough reading some of the things you’ve written here to actually worry about whether I’m going to pee in my desk chair or whether the people with the white jackets are actually going to come take me away this time. And I’ve cried and been inspired and generally found through your writings that there is someone else who has a brain like mine and knowing that alone has sometimes kept me going through the day. So whoever you decide you are, please keep doing it. There are people out here who need you.

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  268. It doesn’t do any good to make a 5-year plan anyway, since that guarantees that life will throw you a curve. You just have to roll with it, plan or no. Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans (Lennon). So true.

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  269. I am right there with you. I have no fucking idea what I’m doing with myself, who I am, or any of that.

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  270. I thought I knew once but then someone told me I was wrong so accepted inevitability and instead of advancing my career I bought a big mac.

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  271. 272
    Melanie in Orygun

    I think there are a hell of a lot of us wandering around the place with no more fucking clue what we’re doing than a stunned puppy. And you know what? None of us have fallen off the planet and died yet, so… I know I won’t be forming any five-year plans pretty much at all for the foreseeable future. Plans freak me the fuck right out.

    (P.S. Hi. How the hell are you?)

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  272. If that shrink had asked me, I wouldn’t have had any good answer. I am 26 years old and have never had any ambition or plans in my life, except just.. living it, I guess. I keep looking around me and thinking everyone else has their life planned out perfectly. It kinda helped to see your post and all the comments. I do look up to you.

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  273. I did the whole maniacally-driven be the Best Student Ever, Masters degree, “stable” job, be a grownup thing. Now I’m going on my second year without a job, with a worthless degree, and absolutely NO clue where to go from here. I made my “one big push towards being an adult,” it failed miserably, and now I don’t have another one in me.

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  274. I had a five year plan when I left the Army in 1981. It was to become rich and successful. Poorer now than I was back then with 5 g/kids but still working on the rest of it.

    and here is a story about one of my grandkids: http://tomstronach.blogspot.com/2011/07/love-and-friendship-at-8-and-12.html

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  275. The great general D. D. Eisenhower once said, “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.”

    True, that.

    The fact that you worry about 401k’s is a good thing. But as the (likely) state of your 401k today shows, no plan is foolproof. A good plan is in a constant state of flux, anyway. Because–guess what!–the world often has other plans at odds with yours.

    One may call it poor planning, but rather think of it as the ultimate in flexibility.

    Let me make an assumption. Writing every day, as you do, acts as an ordering influence in your life. What will you be doing in five years time? Dunno for sure, but let’s assume it’s writing something. Sounds pretty stable, and sane, to me.

    A psychiatric professional is berating you for not having a five-year plan? Is she your shrink, or your accountant? If by a “making a five year plan”, she means taking care of yourself, treating yourself as a valuable human being, and building the self-esteem that grows from it, then she is fundamentally right but should probably rethink her prescription.

    As an amateur shrink, my guess is that you find order and stability in other things, and your profession must rank high on that list of comforts. Your shrink may read your writings and see a chaotic mind, but your readers see a mind bringing sense to a chaotic universe.

    By all means, make a five year plan. But make a new one every half-hour. That’s the sanest way to live.

    THH

    P.S. I haven’t read the 200 comments above; if this little homily covers ground that’s been trod already, forgive me and let me simply echo the good sense of your readers.

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  276. I don’t have a 5 year plan and i don’t take xanax because I DRINK!!! At least that’s what I told the pyschiatrist who then wuoldn’t speak to me as I wouldn’t discuss if I drink to much. I don’t drive if I have had even one drink, well not since the close call with the police car years ago. I don’t go to work drunk either so who cares if I drink. My 5 year plan is to …….nope I don’t have one either we are in good company.

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  277. Why in the hell would you want to figure out who you are and what you want in life? Seriously. Are you only one thing that can be described? Is there only one main thing you want out of life? Even if there were a list of things you are and want, why in the hell would you want to write them down. God, how limiting is that?

    I think you need to fire your shrink. I think it’s more important to figure out what makes you happy NOW, and do that, as long as you don’t hurt anyone or kill any armadillos or puke all over your kids or something. Really. It’s ok to have a vague plan, but I’d hate to think my life is planned out. I have problems figuring out what I want next year, and I seem to be doing fine.

    I had a meeting the other day with this guy at work. He’s usually pretty dynamic, enthusiastic, and fun to be around. At the meeting he was all “ONLY 27 more years of this,” and I was all, “What?” and he was all “Work.”

    Shit. If that’s the way I felt about life – waiting out your 27 years so you can retire in time to die – then fuck it. I’d rather live on unemployment and welfare.

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  278. The only sure things on my five year plan are maintaining a decent mani/pedi schedule and always having a cleaning lady. Other than that, I don’t even have a 5 minute plan.

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  279. I had about 10 minutes to skim the comments here, but I’m going to add in my 2 cents. A five year plan?? Really? You are NOT about a 5 year plan. Live in the moment, and be furiously happy. And maybe, find a different shink that doesn’t ask about 5 year plans. Sheeesh. My 5 year plan? Well, I hope to have paid off more debt & not created more, but I don’t really see that happening, so I’ve failed already. I think I’d rather have the “let’s take one day at a time approach”. My daughter asked me what we were doing Oct. 29th, and I put my fingers to my temples, and squeezed my eyes shut, and told her, “The future, it is too cloudy to tell..”

    Hey, I LOL’d.

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  280. When my shrink suggested this, I quit going to therapy. Seemed like really hard work. Or something better left undiscovered. Like the answers in a really bizarrely awesome, never-ending mystery novel. So there, Dr. Pete.

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  281. I got the “where do you see yourself in five years?” question in the same job interview where some guy asked me to describe myself in five words. Made me wonder if they owned stock in the number five. It was like the worst first date, ever.

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  282. Look around at the people you consider REALLY successful. Ask any of them if they had a 5 year plan. Betcha the answer is “no”.

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  283. what’s a five year plan? it sounds stupid.

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  284. Thanks for putting it into words for the rest of us. Now I know exactly what to say.

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  285. I love that you posted this. I also love how many people have responded to you and agree with you. Spot On and thank you!

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  286. I had a five-year-plan. Then life happened. Result? 5-year-plans are nothing but disappointing and unpredictable. Hmmm… I wanted to make this comment funny, and it’s not funny at all. Apparently I can’t even master a 5-minute-plan, or even a 5-second plan.

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  287. 5 year plans inevitably turn into 10 year plans, so what’s the point? I think you’re doing fine.

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  288. I’m 28 and I’ve had a 5-year plan since I was about 12. I’d loved not to know who I am.

    Cool things like Beyonce would never happen to me because I’m too fucking practical, and it really makes me angry.

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  289. Yes and what’s with these people who are going to find themselves. You are right there. It’s just a cop out to get out of the life they don’t want. It’s all ‘it’s not you its me’.
    What’s wrong with saying “I have no fucking idea what I am doing and I don’t want to do it here so I am off”.
    I don’t have time for a 5 yer plan I have never had time for a 5 year plan. I have a job which pays the bills and I am at the top of my promotional ladder due to havingno penis, a strong personality and a big mouth but I can live with myself and so fuck anybody that can’t and the next time I get asked if I have a plan for the future I am giong to say “NO”
    I don’t have a bucket list I do have a fuck it list which mainly says I am not getting anything waxed that doesn’t see the sun and I won’t go bungey jumping but I can live with that. I don’t even have a cat so I can’t put getting vampire blood for my cat which I would so do if I had a pet I loved and could find a vampire. Stake through the heart and blodd for the cat especially if he looked like Tom Cruise who was a sucky vampire or if it was one of those teenage vampires. Stake through the heart who would want to have a fucking teenager who was never going to gorow up in the house it’s bad enough haviing a guy who won’t grow up here.
    fuck it I am off to eat ice cream that’s my 5 year plan eat ice cream for the next 5 years. I can handle that

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  290. I’m right there with you but I prefer to call it “The Go with the Flow” plan. Why does there have to be a plan? I don’t want to grow up yet…lol.

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  291. “…and it feels phenomenal!” Sounds like Peter in Dodgeball. Everybody thinks their shit is unique, but it isn’t. A general plan is a good idea so you have enough money coming in to pay bills…vet, house, booze, etc. As long as you can get through each day and crack yourself up a little bit, you’re doing okay. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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  292. Slow clap indeed. You’ve just described me perfectly. The older I get the more I’m realizing I know diddly shit but I think I’m less likely to care.

    Glad to know I’m in good company🙂

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  293. Oh yeah…getting a plan and acting on the plan is sometimes NEEDED. I have a friend who hates her husband and has been complaining about him for 20+ years. Get a divorce already. You have a chance to be happy!

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  294. I have never had any plans. This could be why I ended up unexpectedly expecting at the ripe old age of 41. That was 5 years ago. My 5 year plan then was to keep the kid alive. So far so good. Beyond that I cannot be held responsible. Plans work for some people, but I wouldn’t stress out about not having one. I try to stay focused on short term issues or responsibilities or dreams. Can I get this thing done today, this week, this month, this year…again, beyond that, I really cannot be held responsible. There is so much that is out of my control.

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  295. Story of my life!! & A mom and wife to put the icing on the cake!!!😀 thanks for sharing!!

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  296. I agree…you are probably the most stable person I know (and who has a giant chicken named Beyonce).

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  297. My five year plan is to survive until both the kiddos are in school. Once they aren’t under foot 24/7 and fighting like they’re going to kill each other, my house will be cleaner and my writing will be more prolific. Not lofty goals, but my goals none the less. Honestly, I think your shrink is full of crap. I don’t know anyone who has a five year plan. That’s something a fresh grad has so they can answer that question in job interviews. 🙂

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  298. My 5 year plan has a 5 year plan…and post-it notes stuck all over it that refer it to my Franklin Planner which then leads to my smartphone. I MAY be a little Type A, which is ironic because NOTHING ever goes according to plan anyway. I should just burn all of it in effigy. Oh yeah, I also may or may be a pyromaniac.

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  299. Are you kidding me? Not only do I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m too skerred to actually go to a psychologist because of what they might tell me… I’ll be hiding under my covers and crying if anyone needs me. Bring ice cream if you come.

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  300. 301
    Sandra (a.k.a. Sandrandan)

    Good grief. It sounds like your shrink barely knows you. Who you are and what you want? You’ve said that you have a need to write. Well, here you are with an incredibly successful blog and a book on the way. You wanted a child so much that it practically killed you. You are now the proud mother of a beautiful and intelligent daughter. You make people laugh every day, so you are also a comedian. You are someone who manages to achieve goals that others only dream of, despite being occasionally crippled by pain and/or self doubt. Why is it necessary to put labels on you?

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  301. I’ve had 5-yr plans since I was an adult. Have they worked? Hell to tha NO. I think Life just happens whether we’d like to think so or not. I think the next time she asks you, you should flip the Bitch switch and go off on her. Why does she really care what your plan is unless she hopes you die and she hopes you leave her something.

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  302. Just HELL TO THE YES!

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  303. I made a five year plan once. When I got there I was like, ” this is Soooo five years ago.”

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  304. Life doesn’t go according to anyone’s five-year plan. Anyone who is arrogant enough to think it does is a narcissist. We’re each part of an unpredictable collective and none of us is God. Sheesh, what was going through that shrink’s mind?

    I’ve had job interviews where I was asked about my five-year life plan. I should have run out of those interviews as fast as my feet could have carried me. Talk about an uninspired question.

    Figuring out what you want out of life doesn’t require some one-size-fits-all plan. Your shrink was just phoning it in that day, it seems.

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  305. HOLY COW, YOU HAVE MATCHING SOCKS!!!!!!

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  306. What about your dollhouse? And your book? And all the time spent making your daughter? You have long term plans! That’s the kind of things that are long term plans. Having them doesn’t mean you can’t change them at anytime. I’ve done a complete 180 for my mid-life crisis.🙂 I guess I’m sort of a one-foot-in-one-foot-out kind of person- planning on one side, and staying spontaneous on the other.

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  307. My five year plan included commenting on a blog post about five year plans.

    NOW WHAT.

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  308. That kind of shit is why I quit going to my shrink! I’m a lot happier when I don’t worry about why I’m not happy. My 5 year plan is to have no freaking clue what I’ll be doing in 5 years.

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  309. I’ve embraced the one day at a time plan. Sure sometimes you feel like a giant screwup….. but generally. Much happier. I don’t have to feel like I’ve failed a five year plan and wasted. Five years of my life!

    Like

  310. 5 year plans are sooo overrated, they are for old dudes with wrinkly balls.

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  311. Matching socks are overrated. I like to switch it up. Sometimes I wear two socks of the same color but differing styles. Sometimes I wear the same style but two different colors or patterns. Depends on what underroo’s I put on.

    Now clean socks- oh- that’s a real treat.

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  312. You have accomplished more then anyone I know who actually has a 5 yr plan. Whenever I think about a life plan I comfort myself for not having one by thinking the world could end any day now. What’s the point? Its comforting and depressing. Now that I have a baby, my only goal is to teach her to be a badass, like her mother but not as jaded or cynical.

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  313. OMG I want this whole post engraved on my tombstone!

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  314. My current plan is to just get to a place in life where I don’t feel so shitty about myself. Also, to not want to quit my job everyday. Or to at least know what kind of job I want next.

    No clue where to start.

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    Allison recently posted There is Nothing New Under the Sun (But Who Cares?).

  315. the best thing about not having a fucking clue what you’re doing is that you’re exellent company. Also it opens you up to stuff like “hurl candy corn at strangers” or “dress like batman maybe” OR BOTH AT ONCE!

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    Beesus recently posted New Style.

  316. Coming from someone with a 5 year plan, I rely on people like you to keep me sane! You keep me laughing, and I think that’s a pretty good plan – thanks for being you!

    Like

  317. five YEARS? i am all excited if i have a plan for 5 days. My mother always said (she is wise!) ‘finding yourself’ is crap, every stage of life you change so you will always be searching. just enjoy who you are *today* and look forward to who you might be tomorrow.

    Like

  318. Considering the world is pretty much made up of a kind of controlled chaos anyway, I think any kind of plan is a waste of energy. I will just keep reacting to the chaos that comes my way and hope for the best. But that’s just me.

    Like

  319. The people that know what they’re doing appear to be a minority.

    Here is my life plan: I want to do everything so badly that I consequentially do nothing on my agenda. But I talk purdy.

    Like

    Amber recently posted The Art of Time Travel.

  320. “So, Dani, where do YOU plan on being in 5 years?”

    Me: *hamster spinning on wheel inside my head* “Ummmmm….”

    Every. Time.

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  321. I have a 401k. I have no idea what my money’s invested in, I just know that my company matches if I have one and free money is never a bad thing.

    Like

  322. Ha ha! I do have a 5 yr plan, but it only includes staying alive for at least the next 5 yrs. As much as I enjoy my career. I would be happy to not have a career, stay home and have dinner ready for my husband, clean laundry and a conversation with said husband that has something to do other than complaining about work and his 17 yr old that knows EVERYTHING, but cannot apply it to his own life. Hmmmm, I have some planning to do… Toodles!

    Like

  323. Nice to know I’m not the only one! I’m quitting my job in two weeks and I have no fucking clue what I’m going to do. I know I need a job and I’m out of vodka for now. Mine’s more like a two day plan.

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    Jamie recently posted And then we almost burned down our freakin house!.

  324. Never trust a person with a “life plan.” It’s all about them.

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    Amy recently posted Cassette Tapes from the 80s.

  325. Wow, you said it much more eloquently than I did in my last post.
    Mostly I trudge along, and look forward to QUOLPs “Quality of Life Purchases” when I’m feeling down…
    Last one was a surfboard!

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    El Guapo recently posted Who I am.

  326. You mean to tell me that’s not everyone plan? (my plan is very similar to yours as well as most of the comments I read) weird! and whenever i try to make any kind of long term plan it always gets f*d up so I gave up.

    Like

  327. My husband is Mr. 5-year-plan. He can’t fathom why I don’t think about things years in advance, why I don’t dwell on finances, why I don’t have PLANS. This ::gestures around:: is kind of my “plan”. To be happy, to have a good time, to be able to feed myself and my kid, to make sure my kid and I don’t look like homeless people and to generally be happy. Why would I want to stress about things I can’t do anything about NOW, but will have to tackle in the future? The best I can do is make a mental note to take care of them when they come up and, in the meantime, be happy NOW.

    /rant

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    Christy recently posted Shirt of the Now – Monday 9/19/2011.

  328. Are you really reading comment 321? Anyway, I’m forty-effing-five and have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I went to grad school and got my masters in clinical psychology. I originally wanted to work with the criminally insane, but instead ended up with kids and families. Which is an exhausting, soul-beating population. So I flounder through each day, distracted by The Next Big Project. Where I manage to buy business cards that arrive after the urge has passed. I think we had too many options, too many possibilities. Which for some people are great things. For me, not so much–because I can’t decide what to do!

    So I write and write my little blog. And read and read all the other blogs. And wonder where it all will end up…

    xo Susie

    Like

  329. My 5 year plan is to STOP being a grown-up. They are boring, never have any fun and are so bloody serious and weighed down with “responsibility” – who wants to be like that? I want to learn to jump in puddles, spend hours creating a robot out of cereal boxes, painting a picture of what God looks like and laughing hysterically because someone burped. And to re-learn how to live in the moment and not in the past or the future. That’s MY 5 year plan.

    Like

  330. I have to say at 40 my only goal is to keep my kids alive. I’m hoping they all graduate high school and eventually move out. But all of that is less of a goal and more of a wish/dream/hope/prayer.

    When my current job interviewed me almost 4 years ago they asked the dreaded, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” question. I was honest. “I have no idea. Who knows what will happen. But I hope where ever it is starts now, with this job.”

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  331. 333
    dorthyinwonder

    Thanks for updating with that music video. I keep saying I’ll listen to Amanda Palmer’s music, but never make it there. I didn’t know what to expect, but that was an amazing song (which fit perfectly to my own moods). I made my plans and life flew by without looking back. I’m still young (ish?), I still haven’t come to the complete realization that I’m where I want to be.

    Everyone’s fucked up. Enjoy it the best you can (or try to). Having company for the trip helps. I also agree with Amy. Those whose lives are going “according to plan” live for themselves. It’s actually a shame because my sister and her husband are those people.

    Like

  332. That. Song.
    I’m not exaggerating much when I say you’ve saved me today with that post and song.
    Thank you.

    Like

  333. You can know where you are or where you’re going, but not both! http://youtu.be/7vc-Uvp3vwg

    Like

  334. Its not that I’m pretending to be a grown-up, it’s more that I’m pretending to know what I’m doing as a grown-up. I’m 42, with a wife and a teenage boy and a pre-teen daughter and a pre-teen mortgage, and I’m still winging it most days. “5 year plans” have always worked out for me about as well as predicting the weather – beyond a few days from now, you’re just guessing.

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  335. I absolutely-fucking love that you posted an AFP video. I didn’t think I could love this blog more, but apparently I can.

    Like

  336. 338
    Sylvia Wordsmith

    I have been so very down. I get into these hopeless bouts of depression. I feel like I’m drowning. cause I am 44 and feel like nothing. I use a pseudonym to hide. I’ve considered doing harm to myself–too chicken, honestly. That’s about all that’s stopped me. I want to be so much more than I am. I look around and see others who are living my life–the life I always thought I would have. I swore I’d never be here, like this, doing this. But I am.

    You have no idea who you touch. You are an inspiration. You are real. You share yourself, your very real issues. Thank you for that. You have helped me so much. Sort of an odd group therapy, knowing that you and other folks on here are managing, succeeding at surviving. It helps me to be able to do the same.

    OMG, this is gonna sound lame, but I feel like you are a friend, though we’ve never, and may never meet. And I am not one of those stalker weirdos. Just someone who’s been where you are, is there now.

    The song is awesome. I need to save that somewhere and listen to it when I feel this way….

    Wow, didn’t think I was going to write all this, but it poured out….

    Thanks for sharing who you are. It means a lot…to me.

    D

    Like

  337. Add me to this list. I have my own business, only because it keeps me from killing co-workers…I do my own thing, even within the loose confines of my daily schedule…and I love it. I have no plans for the future, other than to keep chugging along making myself happy. It drives my dad and sister crazy, because they LOVE to plan out things…even if they never do them. They’re happy that way, and have accepted that I’m doing okay moving along my way.🙂 (I think my mom gets it…she’s more of a drifter herself).

    So yeah, you’re obviously not alone…there are many of us that just do stuff…without a worry about what’s going to happen next.

    Like

  338. Hell, I’m 62 and still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Hasn’t stopped me from getting married, finishing college, becoming a CPA, having two children, being an elected official. My five-year plan is to retire as soon as I am eligible for Medicare. Sounds good to me.

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  339. Which is why we love you. And hate Pinterest and the stable people who keep it going.

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    Bitchin Sisters recently posted Pinterest can bite me..

  340. 50 is staring me down and I’m STILL trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. Kind of sad, huh? But in my head I’ve only just hit 30. I hang out with younger people and older people, having never quite found my niche. I think my body can do more than it can, so I keep trying stuff that no 50 year-old would try in their right mind. That’s okay… I suspect I have a left mind anyway.

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  341. Thank you, Jenny. For this post, and for the addition of the song at the end. And for being you, which makes me feel like some day I’ll be okay with being me.

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  342. Five years ago today I hadn’t even spoken to the man I’m now married to. If you told me I would today have two more kids (aged 16 and 12) I’d have thought you were insane…or didnt understand math and how babies are made.
    My only plan is staying alive as long as possible. That sounds exceedingly simple but I almost accidently threw myself off an arena balcony a few weeks ago. I treat every birthday as a victory. I’m 31 and in college, raising three kids and three cats and still learning about the 41 year old man I married. My college advisor thinks I should be a psychologist. She says I’m unstable enough to be good at it.
    At this point I’m just trying to avoid slick surfaces.

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  343. My theory:
    The problem with a 5-year plan is that when you don’t meet every objective in it, you feel like a failure. Therefore, you’re planning to fail……(?). Sure! Anyway, the fact is, life happens and it’s going to happen whether you have a plan for it or not.

    Keep on keeping on, lady.

    Like

  344. 346
    Sylvia Wordsmith

    I didn’t think it went through the first time, so I put it on again. That’s why it on twice. Delete one of them, and this one, if you would.

    Can’t even comment on a blog correctly….
    Thanks.

    Like

  345. Ha!

    I gave up on the 5 year plan years ago, as far as I’m concerned there’s a little green elf, or a pretty white angel, (or whatever the hell it is), on my shoulder steering the boat that is my life, and I’m just along for the ride.

    I hang on when it gets rough, knowing that a minute second of serenity will probably be just around the corner… as a result I can honestly say, I have never in my life gone more than a week for saying ‘I’m bored;’ before the next theoretical atomic bomb is dropped. I have no complaints, I like it that way, life is an adventure and I can’t wait for the stories I get to tell the grand kids one day!

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  346. Thank you so much for sharing that video, it’s fucking awesome and says it all exactly right.

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  347. I’m still working on last Tuesday’s to do list… And I know I’m not working until April next year… That’s about it😉 planning is overrated.

    Like

  348. Right there with you on this. I was just having this exact same dialogue in my own head. And also, that song is my favorite song in the world right now. Helps make all of the shit seem easier to deal with.🙂

    Like

  349. Oh hell. I’m still amazed every day that I’m married and have a carreer and and rrsp. I have no fucking idea how that happened and it certainly doesn’t make me feel like an adult. Most times it (the career) just makes me tired. My husband and still spend at least one Friday a month drinking and killing zombies. (Pretend zombies people. Though I think the current mayor of my city and his dim witted brother may count as zombies). I see grown ups around me alll the time. I have way more fun.

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  350. Maybe our plan should be to mess up the plans of all the shrinks who think it’s their plan to coerce the mass population into having a plan… hmmmmm.

    Like

  351. Jenny, I’m totally late to the party, but lemme tell ya, 5-year plans are so, not only yesterday, but like so 10 years ago, which means you are way ahead of the curve, girlfriend. You’ve accomplished so much just living by the seat of your bad-ass pants than most people do with their so-called boring, 5-year plans. I mean, you have a successful blog, several successful columns, you’ve got a book coming out, AND you got Will Wheaton to send you a picture of him collating paper AND the folks at Portlandia to give you their photographic seal of approval of your bird merchandise, not to mention getting William Shatner to block you from his Twitter feed. AND you single-handedly created a booming market for metal chickens, for which I am sure metal chicken manufacturers, garden supply centers and the HEB grocery chain is totally grateful for. So F**K 5-year plans. Your shrink is totally on crack, or maybe xanax. You rock, girl – don’t ever change!

    Like

  352. Glad your feeling better. You might also enjoy Amanda’s commencement speech on the topic of the Fraud Police. Even brain surgeons wonder what the hell they are doing sometimes.

    Like

    RiverVox recently posted The Drive.

  353. 355
    Renee Rigdon

    Not a fan of 5 years plans. My right now plans seem to work best for me. And right now, my plans are to act more than I react, fill every day with as much joy as I have time to, and hopefully, eventually, handle questions like, “What do you do?” with a little less blabbering and self-doubt. Also, buy a pretty dress.

    Like

  354. Hang on…Why does anyone need a 5 year plan? Didn’t the Mayans say its all ending in 2012 anyway? Seems like major wasted effort.

    Like

  355. I’m with you! I’m 47, 2 kids, 25 years of marriage. I’ve been a stay at home mom and now that the last kid is leaving home soon, (oh, dear God let him leave home), I’m getting the questions about what I’m going to do then. What they mean is “are you EVER going to get a REAL job”?
    Probably not.
    I am my moms beck-and-call girl. I do a lot of volunteer work for church. I hope to be a grandma in the next 5-10 years and then I can be a stay at home grandma.
    Crap- I do have a five year plan.

    Like

  356. All of these posts are making me feel better about the fact that I am only just figuring out what I want from life. At nearly 30, I still have not yet learned to drive, but hope to master it in the near future, because I’ve finally decided on pursuing a tattoo apprenticeship, and decided on not having kids (at least not yet).

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  357. I have no plan. Except happiness. So far, so good!

    Also, I love that you posted Amanda Palmer. Whenever I start to feel bad that I haven’t lost all the weight I want, or that I’m not a matching socks kind of lady, I listen to that song.❤

    You're awesome, and I wish I was your neighbor. ^_^

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  358. Your brutal honesty – love it. I love that you are completely okay with not knowing the f you want to do or where you want to be in 5 years – so comforting to know I am not the only one, and it looks like we are not the only two. So, really then who and where are these people that do? And is their life any fun?! Living out a structured plan would get boring – you would always know what is coming next. Now granted, I would like to maybe have a little more direction at times, and in some ways I do – like I have a job and all those grown up things, I simply know I do not want to stay here forever – so that is some direction. I want change. Good enough for me for now. So, I say stay you – you probably are far more stable because you are willing to be honest with yourself than those that live in their boxed up 5 year plans.
    Much love,
    B

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    B. in the Know recently posted Fall into Plaid….

  359. Funny, dear hub accuses me of exactly the same thing – always talking about what I’m going to be when I grow up yet never actually doing it. Isn’t that why people love us anyway?

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  360. 362
    Captain Heinybottom

    Well, its like what I have begun to wonder as of late. At what point do you stop doing in anticipation of tomorrow and use those resources to entertain yourself today, ya know?

    Like

  361. GET OUT OF MY HEAD…… SERIOUSLY!

    Like

  362. And just like that, you’ve made me feel ok about being a colossal fuck up.

    Like

  363. 365
    Cheryl in WI

    I just want to say thanks, Jenny and to all that commented here. I feel comforted by this dialogue to know that a 5-year plan is universally difficult. I live by some constant basic goals: try not to die, hurt anybody, or become homeless. They’re a lot of work, I can’t imagine trying to aspire to “another level” when I’m so scared of falling off the level I’m on.

    Like

  364. Wait…we’re supposed to KNOW all that shit? Says who? If you’d told me five years ago that I’d be married to a Spaniard who doesn’t speak more than about ten words of English, have four cats and be cooking for a restaurant (A RESTAURANT) in five years, I’d have laughed you out of my house. For one thing, I couldn’t cook. For another, I didn’t speak Spanish. The cats…ok, the cats were kind of a given.

    Bullshit. I think what we’re supposed to figure out is what we need to work out in our heads to just be whoever it is we are right now and be happy with that. Then we have to figure out how to make that happen. Everything else is the cherry on top, yanno?

    And you can tell your shrink I said so. Jeez, I sound Zen. Except for the cursing part.

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    Kathy recently posted WOW! Unbelievable!.

  365. I am most definitely falling backwards onto hyenas. I didn’t have the words to describe my life until now. Thanks for that;). And cheers to ridiculously non-existent 5yr plans.

    Like

  366. Jenny, the reason I get so much out of your blogs is that you’re just as abnormally normal as I am…as abnormally normal as the rest of us.

    Like

  367. I’m not saying having a plan is a bad thing, but to insist that others have a plan as well tells me something about that person: they are not comfortable within the boundaries of their own life, and they don’t think anyone else can be either. Let life happen–it’s going to anyway, and resisting it or trying to mold it to your own desires is just going to make you crazy.

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    Anonyvox recently posted In the News.

  368. I think your plan is to continue getting an epic amount of comments on your blog posts. Maybe even a radio show.😀

    But seriously, I am the exact same way. It can be frustrating trying to be “normal” and have a “plan”. I think people with plans are NOT normal, and just want everyone else to believe they are.

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    Crystal Dawn recently posted Think of the Children!!.

  369. The ukulele is so underrated… that is the ukulele playing, isn’t it? Although, it is a very long song… take that anyway you want.

    I think everyone in their “right mind” (or left depending on how you roll) feels like they have no idea what their doing most of the time unless their medicated enough to think that everything is going according to their life plan. In that case, I’ll have what their having. Otherwise, those people (fakers that they are) scare me for so many reasons. The only people I really trust are the ones who talk about how fucked up they are, because we are all messed up in one way or another.

    As you pointed out this morning, if we can celebrate that fact with our 140 k readers (in your case – in my case 263 Facebook friends) all will be well. Okay, celebrate may be a stretch, but it is helpful to the world around us to be honest about where were at in life. It’s nice to find out that the people you think have it all, might be as totally confused as me. (If that’s possible)

    I myself, am thinking about changing careers due to a commercial I heard the other morning on the local radio station. It seems that the CIA needs a few new co-op agents and if that doesn’t have my name written all over it, I just don’t know what does.

    Enjoy your new found peace/confusion.

    Like

  370. Same 5 yr plan here too… last night I made chocolate chip pancakes for dinner. Yup, the boyfriend and I really felt like the “grown-ups” we pretend to be.

    Like

  371. i have the 4 hour plan. 4 hours until lunch then 4 hours until 5. Then! my life begins. i tend to take life one day at a time but in small increments.

    Like

  372. I just dropped my ADs into dirty laundry covered in dog hair, then took them. I’ll probably still be doing that in 5 years. I’m cool with it.
    Included in my 5 year life plan: get a taxidermied animal head to watch over me. That’s basically it. So thanks for that.

    Like

  373. I can’t believe the world allows me to have kids. I’m 30 years old and feel like I’m 18. It amazes me every day that I somehow am able to hold down a job, pay bills and keep a household running.

    Like

  374. Obviously your doctor doesn’t know you very well.
    I suggest just doing what I do for major life path decisions- consult your Magic 8 ball.

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  375. You have a home, a family, and as far as I know, you guys are supporting yourselves. You are not in jail, living in your parent’s basement, or selling meth (as far as I know). You’re doing better than a whole bunch of other folks. She probably just brought that up to get you on track to realize you are pretty happy with where you are now and what you’re doing.

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  376. Not only do I not know what I’m doing next weekend, I cannot remember what I did yesterday.

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  377. I don’t think I’ve ever had a five year plan. The best stuff has been the stuff that happened by accident.

    The only five year plan stuff is for the kid. And things like “have health insurance,” “don’t be homeless.”

    See, there’s really a plan!

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    Deborah Lipp recently posted The Inheritance Revisited.

  378. I had a “five year plan” It was go to college and get a teaching degree, then get a job teaching elementary school. The government crapped on education funding, my state cut the education budget by 300 million dollars. Teaching jobs got cut all over the place and I can’t find a job. Meanwhile, the government wants me to start paying back my student loans… : |

    Screw being grown up – it sucks.

    Like

  379. Do what I do and don’t worry about matching your socks. It’s so much easier to deal with, and then people will worry when they do match.

    Like

  380. Does anyone know what they are doing? I turn 29 in a week and everyone keeps asking me if I’m going to do something with myself since I’m almost 30. I’m like, “I’m trying??” For the record, for someone who doesn’t know what they are doing, you fake it well enough that I say at least 50 times a day how much I want to be you.🙂

    Like

  381. Oh man, i just had a very similar conversation with my hubby.
    me: I know we have a mortgage, and a couple of cars, and pugs that rely on us for food…but I still don’t feel like a grown-up.
    hubs: Yep
    me: I don’t actually know that I will ever feel like an “adult”.
    hubs: Agreed
    me: That’s wierd. Maybe you don’t realize you were a “grown-up” until your dead. Which is more confusing, because you’re dead.
    hubs: Probably

    it was a good talk.

    Like

  382. I think we all grow up with a mistaken impression from our parents that being an adult means being stable, methodical and predictable – mostly because that’s the image that parents project to their children. We never see the random, insecure, flight of fancy selves that they really are.

    I often feel like I am also just a whirlwind of chaos with no plan. And, like you , I kind of like that. I do realize, for me at least, that it’s partially because my manfriend is more of a planner type being. I mean, I have 401ks – plural, two, that I really need to consolidate…someday…into the one that’s actually AT MY JOB. So, yeah, I get it!

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  383. o.0 5 year plan? uhm.. i’m just lucky to get through my 1-week plan! ahaha! i’m a fly by the seat of my broom kinda gal. my monthly meal plan — is more of a guideline. i’ve got a family of 6 .. if we can get ANYTHING planned..well that’s a miracle. i have to-do lists..and ideas of what i want to get accomplished..but well only maybe a couple things on any given day do.. so you’re not alone.. i think the 5-year-planners are heavily medicated.. so that they can feel accomplished😉

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  384. I don’t know if anyone’s posted this yet (they should have!) but…
    http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/06/this-is-why-ill-never-be-adult.html

    CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!!!

    Like

  385. Thank God it’s not just me. My five-year plan is to not die. I don’t plan and I don’t sit and write things down that I want in life. I just go with it. I figure if I need a plan, someone else will make it so. Good enough for me.

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    Kendahl recently posted A little rough around the edges..

  386. I plan to (a) graduate from grad school sometime in the next few years and (b) achieve my big dreams sometime before I’m dead.

    How’s that for planning?

    I’ve only lived 30 years, but I know better than to think any ideal timeline of mine is cut in stone. The “how” is a matter of living day to day on an out-of-control carousel. I’m mostly ok with that.

    At least, that’s what I tell my therapist!

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    Cindra recently posted I Have More. Lots More..

  387. What’s that saying? “Comparison is the thief of joy”? One’s adult is another’s Peter Pan or something? (I don’t really know). BUT. I say chart your own destiny, be the definition of your own terms. Life is too fleeting to live it by others/societies/whatever ideals/ambitions/goals.

    Fuck ’em. Your life, your expectations, and you decide they should be and the timetable is your own. When it comes to YOUR life? I SAY OWN THAT BITCH.😉

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  388. We are suppose to know who we are and what we want out of life? Really? Okay.

    I already know my name, so does that count towards knowing WHO I am?

    And I WANT more coffee and more wine. I want a Husband who can protect me from Zombies and a child that will always love me. And above all else I want to find the most awesomest, amazing pen ever, that writes in blue ink. I’m pretty simple like that.

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  389. The hyenas are always there. I toss those bitches a bone once in a while & I always regret it – but as long as I end the ride with more of me than they do, I know I’m winning. You are doing more than fine, girl.

    Like

  390. Though I’m only 24, the idea that most of my friends have is to continue the jobs they just got out of college (or be a teacher when they decide they’re in the mood to do that.) My plan, however, is to sort of…. see how things go. I feel like I can’t make a five year plan because, let’s be honest, what if in year 2 I realize I’ve got, to quote Adam Levine, the moves like Jagger? Well, if that’s the case, I should probably try out as if I think I could dance or perhaps dancing with the stars. What if I’ve got the proverbial moves like Chuck Palahniuk, and I should be a writer? Well that throws a wrench in my five year plan of…. not writing.

    Five year plans are for people with no imagination, I think. Maybe I’d consider whipping up a fifty year flow chart of possibilities…. but definitely not a five year plan. You’ve got this.

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  391. I believe it was a line from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas “but one thing I ain’t never seen – man or woman – is a grown-up.” I’m embarking on my own blind journey, leaving a 15 yr marriage. it is frightening and painful as an electric shock some days but knowing my life is back in my hands is something I will not walk away from.

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  392. The problem with plans is that they never seem to work out according to … you know … plan. Then you end up all disappointed and bitter and insecure about your plan making abilities. A better plan is to not make a plan because you realize something unplanned will inevitably ruin your plan. All this talk of plans is starting to stress me out now. Can you tell I wrote this without a plan? I will plan to stop now. I might need coffee…

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  393. “I met with my shrink, and she told me I need to figure out who I am and what I want out of life”

    Fuck that. You already KNOW who you are. And you don’t need anyone’s permission to be you (family included). Live the life that makes YOU happy, plan or no plan. Don’t ever look for approval outside yourself. Fuck that, too. It doesn’t matter what we think. Follow the dreams that feed your soul (they don’t have to be consistent and they certainly change with time. No one said you have to follow the same dream from birth to death). Respect yourself, hold to your word, and rock the shit out of being you.
    We get to rock the shit out of going along for the ride.

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  394. I totally have/do a bunch of that grownup stuff… I felt sort of forced into it when I became a single parent.

    But I can relate to that feeling of, “Oh, wait, I’M supposed to be the adult in this situation?” Sometimes it is terrifying. And sometimes liberating.

    I really admire you… I think you’re living your life on your terms. I’m glad you’re feeling better about this today!

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  395. Sometimes it hits me that I am not where I want to be and unhappy and I don’t know how to break from the monotony of it all.

    Your post (and the AFP song) made me tear up a bit. don’t ever let someone tells you that you have to have a plan. That’s most likely coming from someone who is incredibly disappointed in the way they mapped out their own five year plan.

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  396. You know *who* you are. You just don’t want to conform to who everyone *else* thinks you should be. And, you know what? Fuck people.

    Copernicus thinks you are doing just fine.

    Also, Beyonce just called and told me that you need to go out and give her a big ass lick. No, really…she did.

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  397. 400
    Product Junkie

    “I’m not one of those people. I just do shit and then other shit happens.” That is me. And that is fine with me…so in my world you are totally normal. It’s the people with 5 year plans that scare me.

    And on that note, have you ever been to a high school reunion? You know, where everyone has this beautiful smile and wants to talk about their charmed life and their fabulous kids….it’s all a sham. People practice that shit. They build themselves up to be this awesome thing they aren’t. They do it to make everyone else look bad but since, while at said reunion, everyone else is doing the same, it backfires and makes them feel worthless, so I say just go as you are. Talk about your love for zombies and talking bananas. Tell them your planning to redo the appropriate anniversary gift list, starting with the 15th being a Giant Metal Chicken. YOU are way more interesting than any 5 year plan!

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  398. No plan is a good plan. Why? Because if you make a plan, it’s just going to get fucked up any way. Then you’ll be stuck with a plan that wasn’t really the plan, thereby defeating the purpose of having a plan.

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  399. I totally need to form a band called Existential Tarzan!

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  400. Yeah, I’m on the same plan. I can only manage to be an adult for two weeks at a time. I think my shrink hangs out with yours. Fun.

    Like

  401. Meh, being a grown-up is over-rated.

    Like

  402. I plan everything. What I’m making for dinner, what I will wear tomorrow, what I will do next weekend, what I will blog about who I will call. I can not plan where or what I will be in five years. I have enough daily planning to get through – I think that the five year plan will just happen, and I will be five years older and thing to myself “hmmm how did I get here” and be totally content with that as I have for the last 5 years, and the 5 years before that…..🙂 We’re all alike.

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  403. What’s that song where he says “The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives; some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.”

    Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen! That’s it.

    So the moral is, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you’re doing. And also wear sunscreen.

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  404. My 5yr plan for the past 15yrs is to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I’m 32 now and no closer to accomplishing that plan/

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  405. We’re supposed to have a plan? Ahhh crap.

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  406. Dear God, I have spent the last 95 weeks of my unemployment (yeah that means only 4 weeks left!) trying to figure out the REAL me – at least you know the REAL you isn’t someone with a 5 yr plan. So far I haven’t even been able to find the makeup that makes me LOOK the age I ACT – let alone something that makes money. You are def ahead of me. Congrats and keep keeping us delightfully entertained!

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  407. having been on the same plan my whole life…..I will tell you what my mom told me: Life is what happens when you are busy making plans.
    I wanted to be a chef my whole life. Life changed that for me. I didn’t go to school until my late 20’s. I am now re-entering the industry after having been away for several years, due in part to my mom passing away.
    Fucked up my whole world. I was 36, she was 66. I come from a long line of women who have been handling everything life throws at them, never having a plan.
    So, I come home every day from work in tears because my back and feet hurt so bad. Don’t care. I am working doing the thing I love, and it makes my heart sing. Still no plan. Just life.
    Keep pluggin’ away sister. Life is what happens when you are busy making plans.

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  408. Oh dude, I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing either… so many people think I have it all together because on the surface it looks like I’m stable – good job, a degree, i’m married etc… but I feel so stuck in this job, i should have changed my focus in school when I wasn’t feeling it way back then… and now, now I”m in this and i have no idea what i want to do… but i’m too scared to walk away from the career i have because I only know that this is not what i want to do… gah! i think everyone just pretends that they are adults… i think everyone is always wondering “what the fuck am i doing?”.

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  409. Getting older is inevitable. Growing up is optional.

    I’m currently content with being a slightly neurotic, somewhat OCD person acting half my age, with a side of ADD for good measure.

    Never a dull moment = win

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  410. I’ve got a 401k, clean, matching socks, and fivce year plans and I don’t know what I’m doing either. it’s all made up and the points don’t matter so who cares anyways. as long as its not a consistently bad time.

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  411. I am a stay at home mom and while I feel it’s definitely an important job, I feel like it’s not enough for me. Yet I have NO fucking idea what I want to do. I dipped my toe back into working and quit after a month because I had issues with finding affordable child care, but in doing that, I figured out I have no interest in working for other people. I have no 5 year plan. I have an IRA I have by luck, that I really can’t afford to contribute to. I’m 2 years from 30 and haven’t the foggiest what I want to do.
    @Product Junkie My high school reunion was this Saturday, but I didn’t attend. I think you’re completely right about them though!

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  412. ya know, honestly, those people who have solid 5 year plans are just too uncreative and scared to live life by the seat of their pants… unless they are married to someone like me- or you- for example. no offense to those who *do* have 5 year plans… but really…. who can plan life and still have fun?

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  413. ‘existential Tarzan’ is pure fucking genius! Do not change a thing.

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  414. I’m sorry, “plan”? What is this “plan” thing you speak of….

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  415. My five year plan: don’t die or get a bad haircut.

    So far, so good.

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  416. I’ve been faced with the dilemma of being the youngest person in the office, and therefore needing to show some level of maturity. But I also love comic books, video games, cartoons, toys, etc. I have a Spider-Man figurine hanging from my shelf, and I have Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Super Mario posters on the walls of my office. I write a column called The Star Wars Dissection, where I combine my love of Star Wars with my love of science and math. I once referenced a fictitious country from Marvel Comics in a formal work presentation.

    There is no reason to abandon things called “immature” or “childish” exclusively for the reason that they’re considered so. Gotta be happy, and happiness involves doing what you love, regardless of how “age-appropriate” it might be.

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  417. At my shrink last week, I was talking about my brother-in-law who works at a gay bar. She said she saw some of the guys from said bar at Pride Fest this year. She proceeds to pull out a picture of her being held on the shoulders of like 20 hot, shirtless gay men. My BIL is the one in the front row holding her up. I love my shrink.

    Julie
    ilikebeerandbabies.com

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  418. That goal crap is something I have long forgotten.

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  419. I am 42, have three children, all of whom are nearly grown up, 17, 20 & 21, and I have NEVER had a five year plan. Life is life. You give, you receive. You enjoy and you love. I guess when my kids were growing my only plan was to be a good parent and provide for them as best as I could. Now that they are growing up and two of the three are in college and moving forward I feel a great sense of accomplishment. Wow, if I had a five year plan would I feel accomplished more often? I am not sure. But for now I am enjoying my life, watching my children grow and loving every minute with the man I’ve been married to for the last 23 years.

    All will continue whether we plan or not. Why mess with life?

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  420. I’m 42. I have a son, a wife, and a Ph.D. I’ve yet to grow up, yet to develop any kind of plan. All that other crap happened without trying, in a sense. Because of my “sureness”. Want to get married? Sure. Want to have a kid? Sure. Want to go to school? Sure. Want a job? Sure. I’m not regretful for any of my “decisions”, but I still have no fucking idea what I’m doing. Not a bit.

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  421. My 5 year plan:
    Find out if I like the profession I got a degree in.
    Not get told to floss more at the dentist.

    There’s only so much I can be in control of, so why convince myself that it all depends on when I want it?

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  422. My *plan* (easily adjusted to any length of time to suit my needs): Do stuff.

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  423. I don’t know anyone with a five year plan that actually worked. And frankly, how boring would life be if everything was according to some “plan”? I spent 8 years doing what most do in 4/5 (BA) and now am about to get a masters degree… someday. I’m going, I’m working towards something, but I have no clue what will happen. And I’m cool with that. I’m happy I’m here now and I’ll take whatever “path” pops up and distracts me.

    Life would be boring with a plan. Plans are obviously for people with no imagination. Plans are for people who don’t take risks on themselves. They are for people who don’t have haunted dollhouses, possibly evil monkeys and big metal chickens. Think of all the things you wouldn’t have if you had some plan that you had to stick to.

    Instead of a plan for your life, focus on being happy in your life in the present. Now, I don’t mean go and blow your kids college fund or your life savings on some magic beans…. but stop worrying about 5 years from now. Right now NOW is what matters and you can’t have a healthy tomorrow without a healthy today. Well that’s what I think. People whose lives are train wrecks and chaotic (all catastrophes aside) are that way because they aren’t focused on their present… they are too busy focusing on how they are going to meet Edward from Twilight and steal him away from Bella because they both totally exist and how dare you suggest that I try and have a realistic relationship, this *is* realistic!

    So yeah, tell that plan to go suck an egg.

    (this whole comment may or may not make sense. It’s early and I’m reading french theorists right now so my brain is mush)

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  424. God, I keep rereading this post. I love it so hard.

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  425. Anything I ever planned hasn’t come about, no matter what I do, life doesn’t work out that way, so why plan? If that works out for someone, great for them, but there are many of us who can’t hack that sort of thing. I think it’s more important to just get through the day.

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  426. Another pretend grown-up here who just happens to have clean matching socks (no 401K or 5 year plan in sight though). I always disliked — okay, hated — answering the question “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” in job reviews or interviews. UGH. I just can’t think that far ahead when it comes to what I want to DO with MY LIFE. If I’m going to spend my time thinking ahead, it’s going to involve food or a possible vacation destination. Otherwise, for now I’m doing random stuff and keeping my kids alive another day.

    Also, what happened to living in the moment? Carpe diem. Or something.

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  427. I’m a pretend grown-up who’s less than 3 weeks from bring another human into the world and being in charge.

    Heaven help us all.

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  428. What’s wrong with what you’re doing right now? I love reading this blog. It brings a laugh to my day. Isn’t blogging and writing and raising your kid a five-year plan?

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  429. After Baby #3, I asked my then-50-something mom exactly when I’d start feeling like a real grown-up and not an impostor. She said she wasn’t sure, but she’d let me know if it happened to her. My grad school entrance essay about where I saw myself in five years started with, “I’be lived long enough that I’m not so presumptuous as to think I know where I’ll be in five years…”

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  430. I always thought you were very Dresden Doll-ish, the fact that you finally posted this song just confirms my suspicions. Don’t ever grow up, that’s what makes you special. Too many people waste their lives worrying about whether or not they’re doing everything their supposed to be doing, you’re living your life bringing laugh’s and smiles to those around you. That’s much cooler. Keep it up Jenny, I love you!

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  431. I am not a planner. Why? Plans always go awry. Even a plan to go to the gas station somehow gets fucked up. Thinking on my feet and flying by the seat of my pants has worked so far. My kids aren’t scarred from it (yet).

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  432. briliant. You. The Doc. brilliant.

    🙂

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  433. this is how fucked up i am – 3 year olds control my life.

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  434. I was told to fake at living my life by a shrink, too. Apparently that’s what everyone does. Fake it.

    I suck at faking it.

    I haven’t had a shower in over two weeks and my house looks like shit (inside and out) but my husband still loves me and my dogs are happy.

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  435. Same way. Any plans I ever tried to establish when I was younger got blown right out of the water by life. Now, there are no plans. Every day is just finding a way to get through to the next day. And then the next day, it starts over again.

    I have enough college credits to have a bachelor degree but I can’t get one because I didn’t choose a specific degree path. I wandered aimlessly through college, never quite sure what I wanted to do. I’m 43 and still have no idea who I am or what I want to do.

    Maybe this is why I’m depressed?🙂

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  436. Sell it all and move to a horse farm in Africa. That’s what I did. But then my dogs wouldn’t stop eating the horse crap so I moved back a few years later. To Texas. Not far from you actually.

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  437. I had the 5 year plan, the husband and 2 kids, plants and all that shit. . .then my husband got the boot (his extracurricular love life was a bit of an ‘issue’ for me), then I became a single mom, went back to school, and we moved from a 5 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom apartment. But you know what? I’m happier doing the whole day-to-day existence than I ever was with all of my “long term” goals. Christ, the way I look at it, if my kids are still alive at the end of the day — yay me!

    Although, I DID take my ex-husband’s 401K. . .so, I’ve got that goin’ for me. . .which is nice.

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  438. i have a ph.d. in chemisty and i landed an amazing post-doctoral fellowship…and as “having my shit together” as that may sound, i’m lucky if i have a 5 minute plan. i have been through enough garbage in 31 years that I have come to deeply value the principle of patience and time. I work hard, i do. but i live in a whirlwind, lack basic organizational skills, and despite being a scientist—i trust my instincts before i trust anything else. to be the kind of person i am—to be the person you are—requires patience and time. patience with yourself to fail and succeed on your own terms, and the time for the best of who you are to ripen at the right moment when you really need it. that said…i’m going to focus on my latest 5-minute plan to catch a nap over lunch.

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  439. It’s the people who think they know what’s actually going to happen in the next five years, and who think they can actually “plan” for it, who are losing their minds. You are totally fine!

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  440. Shit, thank you!! I was at this feel good staff retreat and we had to complete this exercise and one of the questions was, “Who are you and what keeps you going?” I found myself tearing up because I couldn’t answer the dumb ass question. I felt like the brainy kid in the Breakfast Club, “who am I, who…am…I?” Well, three years later I am no closer to the answer and I figure by the time the answer becomes clear will probably be the day I take my last breathe. And ya know what, that is O.K. Thanks for this post.

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  441. After an impromptu focus group to discuss what your shrink told you, the consensus was they suck. Ignore and just keep being you. Why change what’s working?

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  442. I can tell you that being responsible is highly overrated. My 401K is now a 201K. If I had spent that money on unnecessary plastic objects (UPOs) or tall metal chickens I would be much happier (and I would have a LOT of UPOs to show for it)!!! New life philosophy…he who dies with the most UPOs wins!

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  443. I love this song — never heard it before. Thank you!

    I’m 46, with sons 21 and 18, and they make me crazy sometimes because they’re so goddamn optimistic and I just think they’re being irresponsible because they don’t account for all of the possible things that might go wrong on the way to their poorly-thought out, not-that-ambitiously-pursued dreams. At the same time, I kick myself every fucking day for not being braver, and thinking of all the cool, kick-ass things I would have/could have/should have done when I was young and relatively free of responsibility. So clearly I’m not qualified to give them advice, or even a hard time — maybe they’re doing right all the stuff I did wrong.

    I’m changing my 5-year plans to consist of this one thing: look for open doors, and don’t be afraid to walk through them. And I hope you don’t mind if I repost the Amanda Palmer video. Really, really terrific.

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  444. 5 year plan? I don’t have a 5 hour plan.

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  445. Jenny—do you remember the poem, Desiderata? It was very popular in my youth. Written by an anonymous author, this blog made me think of it for the first time in a long time. Using it as a basis—I think you are doing beautifully. Perhaps someone needs to break YOUR pinata open and remind you what a wonderful person you are. I offer this (long) poem as a potential five year plan for you:

    Desiderata

    Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    & remember what peace there may be in silence.

    As far as possible without surrender
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    & listen to others,
    even the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.
    Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
    they are vexations to the spirit.

    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain or bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.

    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
    it is as perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.
    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    & whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy.

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  446. you don’t know that there’s no such thing as “grown-ups”?😉

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  447. You feel better, have tons of people supporting you and saying, “You’re not alone!”, so my little comment may not help, but I have to say this: Holy. Fucking. Shit! I had the exact same thoughts just the other day. I had somewhat of a life plan: graduate college (check), get married (check), get a stable job (check), have a child (was working on it), and now? I literally have none of those (except my college degree. My usueless, BA in English that I take out of the closet and cry over how much it costed me). I don’t have a job, a husband, or a child. Now I have no plan. AND I’VE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER IN MY LIFE!

    Instead of a plan for my life, I now have an idea: I want a simple, happy life. That is all. I don’t know how I’m going to get it, where I’m going to get it, or with whom I will have it with, but I do know one thing: I will be so fucking happy, no matter what.

    That’s the idea anyways. I’m glad you feel better and you have tons of support. I hope you do read this and it makes you smile just like you do to all of us everyday. If it helps, I took your Furiously Happy concept and shared it with someone who has become very special in my life because he needed it and you know what? He’s so much happier and when he feels down, I make him remember to be Furiously Happy. I hope that someday I will have a chance to chat with you and hug you for all of us out here who have anxiety that locks us in the bathroom, depression that we can’t pull out of as quickly as others would like, and physical disablilities that make us in so much pain that if we didn’t enjoy annoying the ones we love so much when we are well, we’d probably blow the end of a shot gun until it came in our mouths. But instead, you help us by being 100% honest and saying what we all want to say to others and to make us all laugh until our tears of hurt turn into tears of laughter. Thank you for all of that. I almost deleted this comment and said, “Fuck it, she knows this and won’t read it”, but you know what? Who gets tired of hearing how awesome and hilarious they are? Maybe George Clooney. MAYBE. So, thanks for making everyone laugh and when we all feel a million miles away from everyone else and locked inside of our heads, you help bring us all a little closer.

    Say, there’s an idea for you🙂

    -Jess

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  448. If it makes you feel better: I’m totally planning to grow up to be just like you.

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  449. I don’t know if anyone will ever read this (since it’s buried under more than 360 other comments), but I gotta post it anyway. I have finally figured out why I think the whole idea of a five-year plan is stupid.

    Having a five-year plan means that I’m putting someone else in charge of how I live my life: namely, the person I was five years ago. He’s the one who’s making the plan for what I do today, right? And I don’t want to let HIM tell me what to do. Because he’s an idiot.

    Seriously. I think back on who I was five years ago, and all I can see is how ignorant and clueless he was. There are so many things I know now that he didn’t. It’s no wonder he made so many dumb mistakes. Why on EARTH would I want to give that guy control over my life? Not only no, but HELL no.

    And that’s not just how I feel today. There has never been a time in my life when I wouldn’t have felt the same way about my five-years-younger self. This will not change in the future, either. Five years from now, I’ll remember the person I am today, and I’ll say, “What a dumbass.” So what is the point of my sitting down, right now, and drawing up a plan that tells him what to do? I already know he’s not interested. If he could speak to me from the year 2016, he would say “Don’t bother, kid. I don’t need your advice. Go do something else with your time.”

    So I will.

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  450. Trust me, no one’s really got it all together. . . You just have to fake it til you make it. Do your best and hope for the best. Be yourself.

    ~J

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  451. Reading this blog and (some of) the comments was the most encouraging thing ever. I don’t really believe in plans either. In fact, I write a parenting column called The Unplanned Parent. I feel better knowing everyone here exists out there somewhere.

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  452. Nobody has their shit together. And if they tell you they do, worry about them. There’s that sweet spot between prison and a perfectly balanced retirement portfolio. That’s the sweet spot I’m aiming for, sweet pants. It’s the fulcrum on the teeter-totter of life.

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  453. You Complete Me. You have completely validated and cosigned my pretending. I always thought it was such a bad thing. I realize now how okay it is. Of course I sit next to a guy at work who is 21 and pays his credit card back in full every month and with his “miles” he is actually making money on the cards. REALLY? He also has a 5 year plan which includes the Peace Corps and an MBA. So until I read this I felt so bad about myself. Now I Own it, I HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA WHAT IM DOING! You make me so happy I could cry!

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  454. And another thing. When I think about the best things that have happened to me in the course of my life so far, I notice one thing they all have in common: NONE of them were planned. Without exception, they were happy accidents. Things I just stumbled into while I was wandering aimlessly through life. If I had had a plan, and the discipline to stick to it without straying from the path I had mapped out for myself, I would have missed every one of those wonderful things.

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  455. Phew! I was seriously worried you’d decide to get your act together. I truly think that half of the people that seem to be real grown-ups are desperately trying to keep their “oooh, I always read the paper and am up-to-date on my shots” facade from cracking.

    After a visit to a museum, my sister and I put her two year old daughter in her car seat, and she said, “I want ice cream.” We both shook our heads and told her, no, we don’t have any ice cream, we’re going home. Then, about five minutes later, my sister said, “I kinda want some ice cream.” And I said, “yeah, me too.” So, we all had ice cream. Fuck being a grown-up.

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  456. Glad to know there is more than just me in this boat!

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  457. Thank you. Finger snap, hardy clap and a tear of agreement.

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  458. I’ve raised 2 kids, own a house, have a stable job, retirement plan, and all that grown up shit. The truth is, every single time I try to make myself a 5 year plan I damn near bolt and throw it all away. I have no idea what I’m doing. I have no desire to know what I am doing. I have an end goal, but it doesn’t have a date. I still think I’m okay. I think you’re even better than okay!🙂

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    Angie Uncovered recently posted I Will Destroy You (and other fun break up stuff).

  459. That – is a most excellent song. Clearly I need to listen to more Amanda Palmer.

    I had heard her “Map of Tasmania” song which (along with the video of it) is brilliantly hilarious. This is so poignant and perfect though that I had to go buy it.

    Love your posts! Keep keepin on sweetie (and look for one of Beyonce’s cousins on my blog soon). 🙂

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    Melanie recently posted Maker Faire Report.

  460. Sometimes I wonder if the reason we need therapists is because we are trying so hard to live up to plans we made for ourselves we had made even before we knew who we were. Sometimes I think we are trying to hard to know who we are instead of just being. Sometimes I think the people who are living their plans are more miserable than people who don’t have a plan.

    I sort of have a two year plan. I’m almost 40 years old. And I think even that plan is unrealistic. And I’m starting to abandon plans because I can no longer see the point of having them anymore.

    If we could all just let go and just be, without hurting anyone else, I think the world would be a much happier place.

    I like you just the way you are. Screw plans.

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    melistress recently posted At the End of the Day.

  461. People with 5 year plans don’t end up with awesome metal chickens. Totally random!

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  462. I don’t really understand five-year plans. If today I set forth on my five-year plan, and one year down the road, someone asks me “What is your five-year plan?” Do I tell them I am one year into my five-year plan, and only have four years to go? Or am I supposed to have tacked on another year to last year’s five-year plan? And if I’m supposed to tack on another year, then am I supposed to be CONSTANTLY updating my five-year plan? What a fucking waste of time!

    Like

  463. Dude. I feel ya. I just wrote about how right before I had my kid was like, SO prepared to be a mom. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, two years later I still wing it every day and my only plan is to make it to bedtime so I can have a glass of wine. Or six.

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    Ashley @ It's Fitting recently posted Unprepared.

  464. Listen – planning is stupid. I planned out my life when I was 19/20ish. I would move in with boyfriend/fiance, I would marry boyfriend/fiance, I would finish college in 2002, get married, then finish law school in 2005, have baby #1 around 2005, find a high paying law job in which I can see baby #1 and husband frequently, have baby #2 in 2007, baby #3 in 2009, and be done with babies by 30 (2010). Husband and I would live happily ever after, children would all be graduated high school before I was near old enough to retire. Life would be perfect.

    Then, baby #1 came in 2004 – and so did the husband’s affair – and then the divorce in 2006. The crappy state job was secured in 2005 – a pay cut was given in 2010. Started dating (finally) awesome new boyfriend in 2010 – broke up in 2011. Spent the years between 2004 and 2010 depressed. Because my plans were not working.

    Then one day in 2010 I realized that it didn’t matter if I never had any more children – or if I had more but they didn’t come until I was in my 30’s – or if I ever get married again – or if I other lawyers ever knew my name – I was living each day and I was doing it happy. The moment I actually decided that the long term plan by which I intended to live my life was a crock – and an impediment to enjoying life – I became infinitely more happy. Now I plan for a month at a time – sometimes a little more, sometimes less.

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  465. I fucking love Amanda Palmer and that song always reminds me that it’s ok not to have a plan. I’m 25, and have no idea what I want to do with my life, and I’m learning that that’s perfectly fine. Also, I love you Bloggess. I just thought I’d let you know. You make me laugh.🙂

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    Madeleine recently posted Happy Birthday to me!!.

  466. I feel the same way. I probably drive my future husband insane. But to me no plan I ever attempted to make works out anyway. I just kind of let stuff happen and deal with it…

    Like

    LC recently posted Why is my wedding band advertising my wedding on Facebook????.

  467. We’re all trapped in Neverland and the pirates are actually psychiatrists with puffy shirts.

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    Lady Estrogen recently posted She Once Believed.

  468. You need to get Victor to buy you this, http://www.hahastop.com/pictures/Amazing_Car624.htm

    Like

  469. I often find myself looking around for hidden cameras after reading your blogs, to make sure they’re not really about my life. High five on the new plan!

    Like

  470. ha! as an intuitive counsellor for the past 10 years, i can confirm for you that you’re fine. bloody effing fine! don’t let anyone talk you into stability, plans or any of that other bullshit …. look around, and 90% of the population is mind-bogglingly unhappy trying to achieve these things, so i think its pretty illogical to assume that they’re the way to go!

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  471. I am 42 and have three children who seem to be under the misapprehension that I *DO* know what I’m doing, and it’s fucking terrifying. I spend a LOT of time trying to maintain this illusion. It’s exhausting. Thank God for coffee and wine and inner voices no one else can hear.

    But YOU, Bloggess. In the immortal words of Billy Joel, I love you just the way you are. Whatever that is, I embrace it fully.

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    Julie the Wife recently posted The Secret of the Cookoff Chili.

  472. I agree it IS all about standing behind the decisions you make, whether that’s diving in backwards with your eyes closed or planning your entire life down to the crumbs you leave on your plate after dinner.

    However.

    That is my problem. I feel like everything I do is coming from a place of fear, not confidence. And as much as I know that’s the problem, and I’ve discussed it with my shrink too, I still feel stifled. Like I need to break out of a giant shell. But there is no magic moment; there is no a-ha. It’s a constant struggle. And I guess I just need to grow to love that, since hating it does no good.

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    MyPeaceOfFood recently posted The Year of Peace.

  473. I had one of those moments today when I was dreaming about going to Italy. Then I thought “I’d have to put it on a credit card” and then I worried about building debt while my husband is still in school and then I became a real fuddy duddy when I felt sorry for myself because blogging hadn’t earned me my private jet.

    yet, that is.

    Then I thought – What the crap is my problem? That freaking satellite from space could land on me Friday. I’m booking my tickets suckas.

    Ok, I’m not booking my tickets yet. But I did stop being a fuddy duddy.

    Like

  474. This is my first time posting. Your blog is one of a very few things that I look forward to with pure, unvarnished, happy anticipation. Love you, and love your sassy commenters.

    Here is something to think about: Someone else’s five-year plan might be the very thing you’re doing right now. You’re a successful writer; you’re so fucking funny you cause physical pain; you have a medical condition that I personally find terrifying, the prospect of which keeps me up at night, which you handle with grace, humor and aplomb, with nary a whit of attendant whining; you have a community of readers who would probably lay down in traffic for you; and most important, you are utterly and completely yourself. So many people are completely full of shit. You are not. If you do nothing else for the rest of your life, you are a success. Because you are you.

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  475. Sonofabitch, I think I lost my post. Re-creating…

    I said something along the lines of this being my first time posting, that your blog is one of a very few things that I look forward to with…I don’t think I said “unfettered joy,” but it was something like that…oh, that I look forward to with unvarnished, happy anticipation. Also said I love you and all your sassy commenters. (In the agape sense.) The remainder I took a screen shot of because I could tell my computer was about to give me the finger:

    Here is something to think about: Someone else’s five-year plan might be the very thing you’re doing right now. You’re a successful writer; you’re so fucking funny you cause physical pain; you have a medical condition that I personally find terrifying which you handle with grace, humor and aplomb, and nary a whit of attendant whining; you have a community of readers who would probably lay down in traffic for you; and most important, you are utterly and completely yourself. So many people are completely fully of shit. You are not. If you do nothing else for the rest of your life, you are a success. Because you are you. <–Note: That last sentence is a little syrupy and Hallmarky, but try to get past that.

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  476. My five-year plan was dependent on having a job that paid a living wage. Then the economy threw a hissy fit and– Well, we know how that’s going.

    And my five-year plan didn’t include a water heater leak that required me to replace the flooring in three rooms. (And my “Good Neighbor” nowhere to be found).

    And it didn’t include spending $4,500 trying (unsuccessfully) to keep a dog alive. And she wasn’t even my favorite dog, but I couldn’t just do nothing and watch her die. The grown-up me had vet insurance which wound up paying less than $.25 on the dollar claimed.

    And the flooring and the dog in the same month? Definitely not in the plan. And TWO insurance companies taking such good care of their stockholders by not paying me–that’s what I get for planning ahead?

    Screw this “grown-up” lark. I’m going back to my fallback position, where I make the same resolution every New Year’s: I firmly resolve to make no New Year’s resolutions.

    That’s about as adult and grown up as I’m gonna get.

    And I’m nearly 60.

    Like

  477. Five years ago my five year plan was to pay off my car. Done. Accomplished. Now what?

    Honestly I feel like I am nothing more than a leaf on a tree branch waiting for a strong enough gust of wind to take me in its arm and craddle me softly as I sway here and there and finally land in the ground where I will lay in.

    Like

  478. Don’t worry. Although some people are good at planning their lives, others of us are much better off if we don’t control our lives.

    Like

  479. Wait. Are we supposed to know what we want to be/do when we grow up? I’m 50 and the only thing I ever knew I wanted to be was a mother. Done that. (Not that it ever really is *done*.) Now what? One day at a time isn’t a bad alternative, especially for people like me who tend to catastrophize if we look too far forward.

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    Wynn Anne recently posted Is that a bear?.

  480. Growth, you beautiful darling,
    growth.

    (And not like the kind that you have to pay the Other Doctors to cut off)

    (I think you should include more Red Dresses in your five year plan)

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    Rebecca recently posted On the Difficulties of Restriction:.

  481. You don’t need a plan! David Sedaris just posted a picture of himself with what I think is Copernicus (or you could just say it is). How fabulous is that?!

    PS You have quite a following among middle school teachers in Austin. We all think one of our students wrote the Copernicus paper.

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  482. Very Buddhist, even the angst about it.

    Like

  483. I don’t really care where my maturity/stability level ends up, as long as I’m rich somewhere along the line.

    Like

    Michelle recently posted Tosh, Josh, whatever.

  484. I am with you on this. Your post really hit close to home. I hate that interview question: “Where do you see yourself in five years?” How about “Not dead.”

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    Cyn recently posted The Tooth Fairy Strikes Again.

  485. I don’t know what I want to be most days. Then, I curl into a ball with my blankie and cry like a baby. At least you can make fun of yourself for it in an international forum. Again, you remain my hero.

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    Karen Hawks recently posted You Like Happy Ending?.

  486. Five year plan? Pfffftttt. Plans are so limiting. I tend to underestimate what I can achieve, so I’m better off not setting goals and shit. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

    Like

    Stacey recently posted The Bird Man of Central Park.

  487. Wow, you have a lot of fans. Because you’re good. And i’m a fan and i have a very busy job in Washington (no, not in the guvmint) but like you’re totally out of the box stuff. Also your newspaper column is pretty good too. My brother works for the Dallas News; he’s probably jealous😉

    Like

  488. Next time she asks you, turn the question around on her. See what she can come up with. Then you can feel smug. Don’t grow up, it’s totally overrated.

    Like

  489. No definite plan is the new 5 year plan. I prefer hypotheses any day.

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    Gina recently posted Raising your hypothetical children right.

  490. I had plans until Friday when my boyfriend broke up with me after seven years. And even then my plans were “It depends on what he is doing”. So yeah, plans suck. My plan for today is to breathe. Anything else is a bonus.

    PS. I sent your post to my best friend, explaining that I was ok having no plans now, and she wrote back and said “I don’t think it’s about having plans. It’s about figuring out what YOU want to do and WHO you want to be.” I think she would get on well with Dr Q.

    Like

  491. My shrink told me that you’d hear a lot of pills if you went around rattling purses. That’s how she convinced me to take xanax. Boy I love it! My counselor told me I have to fake it till I make it. Now I have successfully given you advice and admitted I’m a nut case. I like being a nut case.

    Jenna
    callherhappy.com

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    Jenna recently posted My Family Meal Planner Giveaway.

  492. It sounds so selfish, but thank you for /not/ being perfect and saying so.

    I always, always feel like I’m doing my life wrong. I make stupid mistakes all the time. I feel stupid all the time because while everyone else my age is getting married, happily working office jobs, raising children, and being general adults, I’m here feeling like a dissatisfied, fumbling child. I feel like everyone around me is following this great path and that I’m falling behind, wondering how they do it and why I’m not good enough to be able to.

    Thank you so much for being an example of why it’s /okay/ to not have the perfect plan, and why it’s okay to just dive right in and maybe just hope for the best. This post and all the commenters here have really made my day so much better. Can’t even explain it.

    You are all very, very wonderful people. Just sayin’.

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  493. You’re the one that came up with the five year plan stuff, right? I bet your shrink didn’t once mention that. Who you are is what makes you happy being you! And that may be the one that doesn’t have the plan, the one that doesn’t want pedantic stability. And if that’s who you are, then you choose to embrace it. I embrace The Crazy today. And I love it. There is no other way to be me. It’s okay to not know. That’s what makes it life.

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    k8 recently posted Making Peace.

  494. The Bloggess + Amanda Fucking Palmer = sublime brilliance.

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    Kim Santini recently posted Nuzzling Hope.

  495. That last paragraph is SO quote-worthy. I’m thinking it will show up in my daily “inspirational quotes” email, which contains quotes that rarely inspire me. This blog did. Inspire me, that is. Your blog in general inspires me to be my own blogger – even if W magazine never calls to ask me to do a guest column. Even if I never get advertising on my generic WordPress page. You have inspired me to be my inner 3-foot chicken and homicidal monkey. I have my own therapist, who I adore and vice-versa (or so she SAYS), but to know other people – and there are about 12,000 of them who follow you – feel the same way is uplifting in a way that can’t be described.

    But my shrink won’t give me Xanax because she knows I’ll like it too much.

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    Susie recently posted So what’s the deal with TV and movie hostage takers?.

  496. Oh, and I’d like to add to my comment everything that Nola Jane #478 said.

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  497. P.S. My five-year plan is to be happy and still alive. That’s about it.

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    Susie recently posted So what’s the deal with TV and movie hostage takers?.

  498. Just needed you to know that you’re my model is life. Because you’re the living proof that you can be both furiously happy and slighty neurotic (in the best way possible) and that no physical hardship can keep you from being a strong person.

    Thank you for making believe that I might be able to grow up as awesome as you are.

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  499. Hey Jenny, I just needed to chime in here too. When I was very young, I had a Y2K plan. I was going to be married, beginning a family with a house, a cat and a dog and a white picket fence. And so when 1/1/2000 occurred and I was in the middle of leaving my fiance after 8 years and selling our newly bought house, it occurred to me that I had ben trying to do everything I thought i was supposed to be doing and I was miserable. At that point I gave up on what I was supposed to be doing and started doing what I wanted to do. Life is weird – I rent my beloved apartment with my 3 cats, work as a software developer from home and part time as a therapist (which is my passion, experience and education) because I find it supremely fulfilling and deal with what life sends me with a lot of support from friends. My big plan for the future is try to stay employed, challenge myself as much as I can so that I can say I really lived my life, stay away from the “supposed to’s” if I don’t feel like it fits with me and love my friends, family and cats as much as I can. Unfortunately as cliche as it is, the goal in life is to live, love and laugh and to me it sounds like you’ve pretty much got it down. WeMre all with you. And thanks for making my life better by your willingness and ability to share your lif.

    Like

  500. You really can’t go wrong listening to Amanda Palmer’s music. It makes you realize that you aren’t the only screwed up person in the world; that, in fact, we’re all screwed up, just in different ways. Some of us may be better at hiding it than others, but those of us who don’t are often mentally and physically healthier in the long run. As a psychiatrist I used to know said, “There is no such thing as normal. Everyone is f*cked up in some way” Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Don’t dwell on your shortcomings, because there is so much about you to love!

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    Amy recently posted Late Summer Garden.

  501. I cannot do 5 year plans or even remember next week’s plans.
    I love my shrink… I don’t think I will ever forget the face he made when I came in happier. When he asked “you look happier, how is it going?” and I answered with a big smile and said “Great, I just quit my job.”
    Of course, he wanted to know what I was going to do now… and I said I guess I will learn to clean and maybe blog. Of course, he raised my meds.

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    Tara recently posted Book Beginnings… Miss Peregrine’s Home for Us..

  502. Cheese and crackers woman!! NEVER call me a grown up! Gah gleck blah! By decided to NOT have a structured 5 year plan you have in essence created a 5 year plan. You go girl-that makes you full of awesome!

    I on the other hand I need that 2 year plan, right now it’s just to compile a rocking binder of recipies of some kick ass sweets and then see if I can think to open a sweet shop. On think about opening a sweet shop or just cater sweet stuff to my friends so they all have bigger asses than mine. Then I will look skinny-NOW THAT’S A PLAN. Look skinny w/o trying!

    Like

  503. It’s just hormones. Really. Or at least, that’s my excuse.

    PS – If it’s any consolation, the last update to my FB account was a plea for someone’s doll house or Barbie dream house, as I have this great rooster to stick in front of its front door for a photo op. Which will then be framed and sent to one of my good friends as a housewarming gift to her new apt in Ireland. Really. And she’ll effing love it.

    PSS – And I’m supposed to be a grown up, seeing as I’m married and have a kid and all, and said friend and I both work for a ginnormous annoyingly big corporation and all. See? That so-called loser you think you were describing yesterday? We’re everywhere. 😉 (Sorry if the winky emoticon thing is dorky, I still like’m.) – L

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  504. I took website to mean my favorite site, in which case it is yours. Since you can afford a shrink, I was hoping you could like pay it forward to some of us less fortunate crazies. Could you please explain to my husband why it is perfectly reasonable to get smashed on booze slushies on a Tuesday night and then do some work and get “bck in touch” with all of your old college friends via FB. Apparently I am the only one this makes perfect sense to. Thanks. – Drunk in Dixie

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  505. Well, I haven’t had a 5 year plan since 2005. I felt the same way that you do when I was sitting in a training one day and the teacher asked me what my 5 year plan was. I told him I didn’t have one and you wouldn’t believe his disbelief on this topic. This was a leadership class after all and no leader can NOT have a 5 year plan. I simply explained that I had just accomplished my 5 year goal (in a period of 2 years) and that I hadn’t come up with a new one yet. I felt guilty for awhile about my lack of goals and then I became a PUSHER! No 5 year plan really but constantly trying to push, squeeze, mold, bend my life into what I thought the next chapter should look like (and I usually ended up disappointed). I have FINALLY figured out in the last month that all of that nonsense is unnecessary. Be grateful for the life you have and trust that everything will fall into place. People need to chill the f*ck out! I highly recommend yoga as a cure🙂

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  506. well. i did not know that song before, but i am very glad to know it now. thank you.

    Like

  507. 510
    SallyLoudmouth

    Rarely am I left speechless. So let me just say thanks for the good cry, never heard that song before. Pretty much sums up the way I have been feeling for a LONG time. Nice to know I’m not alone

    is it sad that I’m over 30 and still saying “growing up sucks”?😉

    Like

  508. Ah… the Heyoka … as the Native Americans call the sacred clowns.. the contrarians.. the backwards ones… the visual they give for this is that of a warrior, riding into battle sitting backwards upon his horse, because his trust in the Creator is so strong. I have never had a 5 year plan. Anyone with a 401K took a huge sucker punch in 2008. Don’t have one of those either. Don’t sweat it. 5 year plans are not the mark of a grown up, but the mark of one who has no idea how to punt. I wonder what the response would be if you were to tell your psychiatrist that your 5 year plan is to punt.

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  509. 512
    Holly (a.k.a. adoreprince)

    I’m over 40, so let me just say to #510 SallyLoudmouth…it’s not “growing up” that sucks, it’ “growing OLD!” I love all the things that I know now, that I didn’t know then…but I hate the lines on my face, no matter how much I earned (enjoyed) them.

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  510. If I have learned anything, it’s that nobody can decide what YOU need. Maybe your shrink needs a fuckin’ five-year plan. And good for her if that’s what works for HER.

    Plans are scary. Plans are work. Plans are hard to get back on track when shit happens. And then when shit happens to the shit that happened. And then when something else comes and shits all over the shit that happened to the shit that happened.

    I, personally, beat myself up (Rx drugs were prescribed and EVERYTHING) for years until I finally realized that I didn’t need any of the goal-setting, decades-long planning, ball-busting focus tools everyone seemed to be embracing. It didn’t work for ME, and, ‘turns out, I’m the only one who can be Me.

    That’s not to say these methods and tools aren’t useful for many folks. They are. But not everybody is a “many”, now are we?

    When I let go of that thought of having to play like everybody else and make a goal (I never could; it was terrifying), I actually became present to the beauty of my adaptability. From that, an idea formed about my future. Not a plan. Not a goal. An idea. Because I’m freaking adaptable, baby! I set out in that general direction, and welcome whatever shows up in my path.

    Order is not inherent. Balance doesn’t bear itself. These things come from chaos, and somebody has to show the others how it’s done.

    Jenny, you rock just as you are.

    You are the only blogger I relate to on a post-by-post basis.

    You are perfect. You are whole. And you are fucking awesome.

    And because you are? So I am.

    The word according to Laura. You may be seated.

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    Laura from Fargo recently posted This Is Mine / Tuesday, September 20.

  511. Five years ago, I thought I had a plan. I was twenty and in college, meaning I knew everything. It was SOOO obvious what I needed to do! My plan included: NOT being unemployed. NOT living with my boyfriend’s parents. And NOT drinking beer in the shower at 9 o’clock in the morning. So far…fail on all three strikes. But I figure I’m only 25. I have PLENTY of time to make a real plan. So here it is: five years from now, I won’t be drinking PBR in the bathroom. I’ll be drinking fucking microbrews, y’all.

    Like

  512. You’ve heard the expression man plans, God laughs? After this last year I’m not even sure it’s psychologically advisable to have a 5 year plan. I’m a control freak and this year I found out the hard way that you cannot see what lies in wait after the next turn in the road.

    Before I started my radiation treatments in May they handed me a schedule; 30 treatments, 6 weeks & 2 days. I was a goal oriented control freak. I set my mind to surviving 30 treatments, 6 weeks and 2 days. Then the doctor moved my 1st treatment back one day so she could be there on that first day. OK, fine everything moves back 1 day. I know this in advance. Everything is fine. Then the machine breaks down. Okay now my end dates moves back 2 days from the original date. I’m still hanging on to the my sanity counting down each day/treatment. I make it to single digits (or so I thought) and I rejoice. Only that rejoicing was short-lived. During an appointment with my oncologist I find out the original schedule had a mistake on it and it’s not 30 treatments but instead 32 treatments. I freak out. I lose my mind. I fall apart. I pull myself together only for the @#$%ing machine to break AGAIN thus moving my final end date to June 27, which put me at 7 weeks and 1 day. I ended on a Monday instead of a Friday.

    I tell you all this to tell you that my ridiculous fixation on the end date and the countdown caused me more anxiety and panic than the actual treatments. I was so fixated on surviving the 30 treatments and 6 weeks and 2 days that when dates changed and machines broke down I fell apart. It was demoralizing and exhausting and very damaging. I think your shrink is wrong and you are right, accepting life as it comes seems like a much healthier existence. Now if only someone could teach me how to do just that.

    Be you, be happy.

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    carol anne recently posted 365 Days of Carol Anne.

  513. And never forget that everybody who seems to know what they’re doing inevitably has a big mongo fucking skeleton in their closet, like one with pieces of meat hanging off and a chainsaw sticking out of its chest.

    Like Republican Senators in bathrooms at airports. Or just Senators in general with a Twitter account.

    Like

  514. Shit, now you’ve made me cry (but in a good way)

    Like

  515. Thank you for that song❤

    Like

  516. I was in a rut earlier this year, gotten to the point where I was just letting life happen to me, instead of living, and I was getting nowhere, except working towards worsening chronic fatigue and depression. Hearing In My Mind got me started on the whole “Who Am I and What the Hell Am I Doing With My Life?” trip earlier this year.
    I realised I NEED to be able to sing the last line of that song, with just as much joyful satisfaction. I’ve put thing in motion to start on that path, fully knowing that as usual, I’ll probably change my mind about what I want, but as AFP would say, Fuck Plan B. Plan A can always change, but as long as I’m living life for me (and not hurting anyone else in the process – and I mean real hurt, not perceived), then I’m exactly who I want to be.

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  517. Five-year plans are for sissies.

    I have a five-minute plan.

    In the next five minutes I intend to eat breakfast.

    After that? Who knows, but all I know is that if I eat breakfast I will have accomplished what I set out to do.

    I am feeling very satisfied.

    And hungry.

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    awesomesauciness recently posted Oops….

  518. LMAO @ Wagthedad

    I spit coffee all over my monitor. Then, I licked it off…

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    Charity recently posted The moves, rather unlike, Jagger.

  519. What’s a 5 year plan? Other than the fact that I’ll be in my forties by then, still the kid that fucked it all up by getting a divorce (hey who cares if he was abusive, you stick that out so you can be miserable like the rest of us!) and not having kids, I have no fucking clue what five years will hold. Living in the moment is hard enough.

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  520. I’m not sure I know what it means to be a grown-up. At 35 I’ve just now purchased my first lawn mower and a house. Does that fianlly make me a grown-up? I doubt it. No one really has any fucking idea what they are doing. Be happy. Be healthy. Love. Be you. Because You is Awesome!

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    Cindy recently posted FEEL JUST LIKE I’M WALKING.

  521. I’m definitely with you on this one! I am constantly thinking to myself, “When do I start feeling like a grown up? I have a grown up job, I’m married, I have a house and pets and responsibilities; why do I still feel like a child?”
    Maybe that never happens for some people, and maybe that’s ok. If being a “grown up” means being boring and unhappy (not that I’m deliriously happy anyway, but maybe that’s because I keep telling myself I’m not living life right) then F being a grown up. I’m really happy to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way, and so you should totally be excited that you’ve made a crap ton of people’s day by just talking about this. I can’t even tell you how many times you’ve made my day/week/month just by writing what you feel/think. You’ve inspired me to find my voice as a blogger, and you’ve made me laugh til I cried so many times. That’s way better and more fulfilling than a 401k. Keep up the good work! I don’t know anyone who is so wildly successful in their 5 yr plan as you are!

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  522. People with 401k’s, matching socks, and 5-year-plans tend to lack spark and spontaneity in my experience, and are therefore rather dull and uninteresting. I meet people who plan everything down to the minute and live and die by their to-do list, and you know what? I simultaneously want to be them and can’t…fucking…stand…them at the same time. Don’t be one of them. Please.

    Like

  523. You’re just fine, Jenny–better than fine. And don’t let any therapist tell you otherwise.🙂

    Being a grownup with long range goals and a solid life plan is highly overrated. And terribly stress inducing. And a prescription for depression.

    After making the attempt to be a serious grownup for decades, I’ve finally given up and am now blissfully enjoying my 2nd childhood. Life is too short not to live in the moment.

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    Susan, Super Earthling recently posted How to Avoid a Mental Collapse and Death-by-Roasting while on Vacation in Central Florida in August.

  524. thank you SO MUCH for writing…i began each day by reading your column and you TOTALLY make me fell THIS MUCH less crazy. as many others have noted, I salute you. slow. fucking. clap.

    you ROCK. thanks for bringing some perspective back to those of us with no five year plan.

    Like

  525. Ooooh, yes. I’m not even doing a very good job at pretending to be an adult. Here I am at 36, I had fully expected by now I’d have been strolling down a street some day this side of 18 and whisper “psst, you’re an adult” and hand my membership card, and suddenly I’d stop spending all my money on books and gadgets the moment I get paid, I’d change my bedsheets more often than I do, and I’d stop changing countries in search of the elusive “something else”. But the person who was supposed to induct me into the adult club must have gone down the wrong street. I’ve been overlooked. Isn’t something supposed to have changed by now?

    Meh.

    Like

  526. I’ve been pretending to be a grown-up for years. Yes, I’m a parent, but I still don’t feel like I’m the age my parents were when I was a kid. My 7-year-old will ask me what I want to be when I grow up. I still don’t know. Also? She must totally know I’m not grown up or she wouldn’t be asking. Either that or it’s glaringly obvious to a young child that I have no real direction in life.

    I think just being who you are (and that *you* is a bright spot in the lives of many, lady) is what you are supposed to be when you grow up. Just be you. That’s enough.

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    Wombat Central recently posted Life’s Embarassing Moments.

  527. 530
    Andy who is totally awesome

    What’s wrong with having no clue what you are doing? Being spontanious and adventurous is exciting and fun! Your lack of sanity fules our lack of sanity, turning us all into a bunch of raving lunatics who suddenly act on our thoughts when we previously thought twice about something. Now we are just thinking once, and life has been more interesting that way. Also, who wants to be a grown up? Kids rule, grown ups drool, or something like that. All I need to say is PARTY ON and smell my eyeballs, here’s to nonsense 5 year plans!

    P.S. I have been telling people to smell my eyeballs a lot lately, but nobody will do it. Are you having the same problem?

    Like

  528. I always say “if you see me acting mature, it’s just that, ACTING” I’m loving your 5 year plan!

    Like

  529. Didn’t some famous writer tell us that all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players? Embrace being a player.

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  530. Mark “Be an inspiration” off as done on your 5 year non-plan. I’m pulling out all the tent stakes and moving to Texas in the next month or so. So many things have happened over the last couple of months that it has made my head spin . . .

    . . . and it seriously all started over some blog post by some mysteriously hilarious woman about a goddamn chicken.

    Like

    Eric recently posted Times, they are a changin’.

  531. Uh, I just ordered nerf swords to my office. A lot depends on the packaging here.

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  532. Holy crap! You have so many comments I wonder if you’ll actually read this one. Anyway, I’ve been reading this blog for a while but never left a comment. Amanda Palmer is the shit! I always thought you’d be the kind of person who likes Amanda Palmer! It’s funny because I’m so terrifyed of growing up and I have to move to college in like 2 weeks and I’m really really bad at handling things and at doing grownup stuff. You really are a grownup you know. You have a kid and a husband and uh cats! That makes you like a certified adult. The only reason you don’t feel that way is because most people are stuck-up bitches who never discuss their problems and take themselves waayyyy too seriously. So really why worry about being yourself and not being yourself when there’s no other option but to be the Jenny we all know and love. I really do sound a the creeper who’s stalking you secretly but I’m not. The stalker, I mean.

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  533. I dropped out of high school AND college, but still managed to spend 13 years in my chosen profession before burning out. I haven’t had a job since 2003, and I like it that way. We’re not rich, but we live simply enough that hubby’s income is more than enough for whatever we need. I’ve taken a lot of crap over this choice, but hubby likes having me at home, and I’ve always been the homebody type anyway, so it all works out. His opinion is more important than anyone else’s anyway. I’ve never had a 401-anything, a CD (the bank kind), or a 5-year-plan.

    When I was 18, I applied at a local grocery chain. The application asked, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” My response: “I’ll let you know when it gets here.” I didn’t get hired, of course. I was too naive at the time to wonder why an application for stock clerk would ask that kind of question. What did they expect me to say? At the time, I was unaware of the art of bs’ing your way into a job, so I stupidly (or maybe for the best) told the truth.

    On a more serious note – I hope you find your cat. We get really nervous when ours takes off too. Best of luck.

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  534. My five year plan includes double-fisting margarita pitchers while watching go-go dancers.

    Day 1: Mission Accomplished.

    Now, back to fucking off for the next 1,824 days – which by the way, includes a lot more margaritas.

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  535. Just today after class my professor asked me what I was doing with my life. I told her I honestly had no clue. She looked at me and asked again, hoping that maybe this time I would be like “JK i want to be an astronaut” but once again i told her I had no clue. She doesn’t understand I am perfectly okay with not knowing.

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  536. I guess instead of seeing it as unplanned/not a clue, I see it as living a fluid life. I “plan” things, but little actually goes that way. Instead life happens, I shift and move with it. I’m less stressed that way. As much as you want to make the stance that you have complete control of your life, you don’t have complete control over all the aspects that your life coexists with. I figure the most grown up way I can act is to realize that, accept it, and move with and through all that life brings to me.

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  537. I love you, you are SO AWESOME! I live in NYC and read your blog while eating my lunch every day. I wish I had some real friends who were even 1/2 as funny or interesting as you are! Thanks for brightening my everyday!

    Like

  538. Your blog seems to have a bad case of: Warning: xcache_set() [function.xcache-set]: xcache.var_size is either 0 or too small to enable var data caching in /home/bloggess/public_html/wp-content/plugins/w3-total-cache/lib/W3/Cache/Xcache.php on line 37

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  539. Define normal?

    My 5 year plan is to not ever have to wear pantyhose…unless they are those slutty kind🙂

    Like

  540. I have no idea who Wi Wheaton is but I find it funny that he shows up on my Google+ suggestions lol

    Like

  541. And now I feel stupid because I just found you on G+ and see that you already have him in a circle lol

    Like

  542. I got my 5 year plan from my Oncologist: Live like your dying.

    Like

  543. Question: How do you make God laugh?
    Answer: Tell him your plans.

    I’m 51 and that’s the best piece of advice I’ve ever received. There’s a reason that “Carpe Diem” had endured for so long…seize the day, Jenny. One day at a time.

    Like

  544. Pretending to be grown-ups is the best way to go. Fake it till you make it. In academia, we call it the imposter syndrome – always scared you don’t measure up or you feel like an imposter just playing along with everyone else. BUT IT’S FUCKING AWESOME TO BE LIKE US, RIGHT?!

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  545. /hug
    Be Proud and Happy. Life changes all the time, and being happy in it is the best plan of all. Most people strive so hard to “live the American dream” when it looks more like they are perpetually struggling through the “American Nightmare”.
    School, a job, a car, a house, a sweetheart, then kids and a dog and a cat and shrubs… a nine-to-five, mid-upper class, planned out all, day by day?
    Where is the spontaneous joy?
    There is something to be said for the contentment that comes from always knowing what tomorrow will be… but there is a lot that gets lost in aiming for that, forever.
    Be wacky, and messed up… Amelia Earhart one day, a hobo, a pirate, a scholar, a princess and never, ever aim for mediocrity.
    I am proud to say I have always lived and flown by the whims of the world, and choose to accept things as they are, including myself. Even to accepting the fact that I won’t always accept things as they are🙂
    You. Are. Awesome. And. Beautiful.
    That’s a good life-long plan

    Like

  546. I’m 54, clueless, and proud!
    Thanks, Pat (#239) for the Hitchhiker’s Guide quote. I am adopting it as my personal motto.

    Like

  547. My friend Amy is a Army wife whose husband is deployed in Afghanistan. She has three kids, one of which passed away earlier this year. This has been a really tough year for her and her family. She has entered a contest on face book to win a $1000 dollar gift card of a picture of two of her kids Lily and Austin. Austin who is two and a half is the son that passed away from a really severe heart problem. I was wondering if you could post this on your page and get your fans to vote for her also. It’d be really nice to see her be happy even though it’s only for something little. Let me know if you’re interested in sharing her story. Thank you.
    The link is http://bit.ly/qCZKtn
    Vote for “amy”

    Jenna Mclaney

    Contest ends tomorrow!
    (22nd)

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  548. I’m 35…almost….actually, I’m 34 but my Mum keeps telling me I’m actually 35 in Chinese years. It sucks to be Chinese when it makes you older automatically. But I don’t look my age, so there’s that.

    Oh yeah….I’m 35, I’m an accountant but I’d rather be a counsellor…..I’m almost laid off from my job but not quite….so I spend my days trying NOT to lose brain cells because there’s not that much work that I can do since most of my job is now redundant…..my marriage is kinda crazy right now and people keep telling me I MUST HAVE children NOW, TODAY or I am forever disgraced as a woman/Chinese person. I wish I had a cat but I’m in a rental and my husband wants an English bulldog. Which are super cute but we’re in a rental and I have this weird guilt thing about having pets in our rental even though my landlord lives in CA and would never be the wiser. Although I’m pretty sure that our next door neighbours are Nazis and would report us to our landlord. He takes the garbage out without a shirt on. And he doesn’t have six pack abs. And is frighteningly white. Who does this? Nazis, that’s who.

    Anyhoo – I have no idea when I will be a counsellor or start my own blog because frankly, I have a lot of really outrageous opinions and I’m scared to share them because my American friends (I’m Aussie) will freak out and disown me forever. And it’s a long way back to my Aussie friends who may not remember me very well. Bastards. So I’ll probably continue to be an accountant until I find the courage to, you know, not be one anymore…..and then right after that, I’ll start my blog.

    But hey – your blog makes me laugh out loud while I sit in my grey cube all day waiting to be laid-off. So there’s that.

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  549. Listen, as a shrink I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wondered when the *real* doctor was coming to help this person talking to me. I don’t know if that’s reassuring or just more frightening. Anyway, being a grown up is pretty overrated most days.

    Like

  550. I’m so happy that I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’m just fumblefucking my way through life and it’s pretty fun!

    Like

  551. For what it’s worth, my boss — who is a sufficiently real adult that he was CEO of his own company for over a decade until he sold it — says that he thinks 5-year plans (either personal or business) are generally a bunch of wishful thinking and nonsense, and nobody knows enough about what’s going to be happening that far in the future to make one that has much hope of actually happening.

    Like

  552. Awesome song!

    I think you know when you’re a grown up when you’re out somewhere and it starts raining and all you can think is “Shit! but I have clothes on the line!” apart from that I can honestly say not much has changed around here. I’m 30, I have 2 kids, bills to pay, sometimes I just wonder when it all happened cause it kinda snuck up on me but I’m still the same me I was 10 yrs ago just fatter and wrinklier!

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  553. I refuse to grow up and you can’t make me! Not that you’d want to, even my own mother gave up long ago. However, she did complain about my Facebook profile pic, stating that, as a 43 yo mother of four, I was too old and motherly (or whatever) to have a rock band as my profile pic. I took great pleasure in telling her otherwise. I thought it was freaking hilarious. She didn’t.

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    Amy recently posted Amanda Palmer and The Dresden Dolls.

  554. I’m thirty goddamn seven, and my five year plan is to be amanda fucking palmer when I grow up. Of course, I am thirty fucking seven, and raising two kids of all things, so I am really behind on shit, and now she has gone and been amanda palmer.

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  555. Get help.

    Just kidding😛

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  556. Life plans are for people not living life mainly because they are too busy writing life plans. Continue to feel better. HMSx

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    HerMelness Speaks recently posted Rich Mums Are Not Real Mums.

  557. 5 year plan?? My five year planned blew up in my face…left me with scars…and left my pockets empty!! I agree with others I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I need to pick a direction but my compass is broken!

    PS YOU ARE AWESOME!

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  558. My five-year plan ended 11 years ago with chemo. I make a Lot of Lists, which makes me feel successful because when I do something on the list, like “dishes” or “bath”, I can cross it off and feel like I’ve accomplished great things. Now I just work on staying alive, that is my ‘day job’ when people want to know what I do – mother trying to be sympathetic “I just don’t want you to become a professional invalid.” OOOOkay. On days like today when I’m facing down some more spinal steroid injections which make things better but really really hurt and I’m panicking, don’t tell me about having a fucking 5-year plan, I just want to make it through Today! And where do I go when I can’t feel good about things – straight to you, My Bloggess Jenny, and sure enough, you had a song and everything today. Merci bowcoos.

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  559. I had a five year plan about 3.5 years ago. It was a pretty short list, get engaged to my boyfriend that I love and lived with, marry said boyfriend, graduate college in 4 years, then during the second semester of my last year get pregnant, then finally find a job that makes my degree proud.
    I got the first two done then mixed up that pregnant thing with the summer before my last year, and now my school won’t let me graduate because the baby is due in the middle of my last 2nd semester. I have to wait a whole year to complete my degree.
    Honestly its the best damn plan that I didn’t plan.

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  560. THANK. YOU.

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  561. I am so glad that other people actually have no plans because this kind of makes it okay. I personally just do, and plan to keep on doing, random shit until someone tells me to stop doing said shit or someone gives me a Nobel Prize. I think this is an excellent plan.

    I also blame my mother. If she hadn’t gone around telling me I could do whatever the hell I wanted when I grew up if I just put my mind to it, I wouldn’t be almost 30 and still telling myself “I could probably be a doctor someday if I wanted. I just need to go back to school because I doubt they let you into med school with two theater degrees. But I could totally do it. If I wanted.” The stupid bitch was too nurturing for her own good. And she’s totally okay that I call her “the stupid bitch.” WHAT KIND OF MOTHER IS THAT??

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  562. I can’t find my last post, probably because there wasn’t any/enough FUCKS in it. However, I threw my 5 yr plan out the window when my son turned 5, entered Kindergarten and realized that we have to teach this child the ways of the world. And even though I may not agree with half of the stuff the school wants him to do, I have to teach him to sit in class, be quiet even though he knows the teacher is wrong. Because if he were to speak up and correct her he would be talking back. It has been 3 weeks and he has been to the principals office 4 times that I can recall. My plan is to go day by fucking day and make through this God awful world that we have to live in with moms killing babies and billionaires living up and wiping there asses with 100 dollar bills. Then he told me last night ” We need to talk”. So we sat down and I couldn’t help thinking, if he were 15 and said “We need to talk” in the serious tone he used, I would be hearing mom so and so is pregnant, or mom I wrecked the car. So he finally says to me, “I don’t like school”. I had to laugh on the inside, which is really fucking hard to do. Here I am turning 33 tomorrow and my son, whom just started Kindergarten tells me he hates school. SOOOOO!! My new 5 year plan is to win the lottery, stay home and home school my son to learn the real ways of the world. WISH ME LUCK!!!

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  563. I always took Tom Leherer quite seriously when he sang about life after college: “Soon we’ll be out, amid the cold world’s strife; Soon we’ll be sliding down the RRRRAZOR blade of Life.” So there’s that.

    And then there’s my favorite They Might Be Giants line: “Nobody in this world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful/ Everybody dies twisted up inside and that is beautiful.”

    These both sound depressing. They aren’t, they’re meant to be cheery as hell. See? Aren’t I helpful?

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  564. my husband gets pissed at me on a regular basis because i won’t formulate a plan – he just doesn’t get that i can’t formulate a plan & if i could, what’s the point? life is going to come along and lay waste to our best-laid plans so why not just wing it? fuck ’em all – i’m a toys r us kid and proud of it😉

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  565. That song made me cry and eat. Great.

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  566. I am so glad it’s not just me. Five year plan? I have no FUCKING idea.

    Like

  567. I’m 48, after a rather unpleasant divorce, just got married to the greatest man in the world, we have 4 children. I’ve had LOTS of different jobs in LOTS of different industries/fields. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Don’t sweat it. 5 yr. plans are extremely overrated.

    Like

  568. I make plans all the time, the fact of the matter is, I don’t really try to follow those plans all that often. At 36 years old, with one son joining the National Guard, and three more under the age of 12, it’s all I can do to stumble through the day. Plans? I plan on drinking a few beers this evening. That’s about it.

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  569. My five year plan is to have the moves like Jagger.

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  570. Thanks for sharing “In My Mind” by Amanda Palmer. I hadn’t heard this song, but it illustrates what I feel right now. Beautiful song and video.

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  571. This is so me, hon. You aren’t alone.

    Like

  572. Thank you!

    Like

  573. You’re doing better than me. I want to cancel my pension because I feel that at the young age of 28, I need to have that money NOW. Who cares about 65?! I don’t plan on living past 60 anyways.

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  574. I am not a grown-up, I merely play one on t.v.

    Some people, however, don’t realize it’s a facade, and assume that I will do grown-up type things. And I do them, because if I don’t, I fail to please someone, and I’m a people pleaser, and therefore I need a Twinkie.

    Say, you know a good shrink? Imma need me one of those.

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    Not_Supermom recently posted On The Plus Side.

  575. Are you serious?!?!? You’re a beacon in the storm.

    Like

  576. My 5 year plan is to have a pet cat.🙂
    Also, who said being a grown up meant we had to make plans and do responsible things!
    MEH TO THAT BITCHES IMMA SIT HERE AND EATS THIS BUKKIT OF CANDY.

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  577. I still have no idea what I’m going to be when I grow up. And I kind of think I don’t want to, because plans always fuck up and then I feel really, really inadequate and bad when they do. So I’m just embracing turmoil. In a very, very controlled OCD way.

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  578. So needed to read this today. I am contantly trying to establish some sort of 5 year plan in my head, but I have absolutely no idea what this plan should actually BE. Not a clue. Where does it start? How can there be an end if I can’t even find the beginning? Ri-donk-ulous. Thinking maybe I will join you in your quest to be the antichrist of the 5 year plan.

    Like

  579. Love this. I wanna be just like the chick in the clip…but with shaved pits (they’re kinda distracting and probably smell funny).

    Like

  580. This has been the theme of my life today. Seriously. It is crazy – but really? I have no clue either. Bet you’ve heard that probably a thousand times already.

    I discovered the term multipotentiality today. I like it. I have potential in a crap ton of areas.

    Like

  581. This is how I live life too. I do shit, then other shit happens. I hope I never become the kind of person stable enough to have a five year plan!

    ps I was at an Amanda Palmer gig recently and though the above song pretty much says it too, she told me after the show during a signing session that we’re all pretty much pretending and you just gotta enjoy the shit out of life before it’s over. And if both you and Amanda Palmer say it, then it’s true. End of story.

    Like

  582. Wait, you mean we are supposed to have a plan?

    Well, fucknuggets. No *wonder* my future is so terribly disheveled. My past & present are dilettantes.

    Jobs I have held:

    clerical stuff – multiple
    food service – also multiple
    cabbie
    house mom for a stripper joint
    tech support
    massage therapist (licensed and EVERYthing)
    software test engineer
    retail – cashier, stocker, and floor help

    I think I am just tell folks that it is a checkered past appropriate to an author.🙂

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  583. Definitely feel the same way… Someone passed me this site and I am currently embracing it’s message – http://puttylike.com/start-here/

    Multipotentiality

    “An educational and psychological term referring to a pattern found among intellectually gifted individuals. [Multipotentialites] generally have diverse interests across numerous domains and may be capable of success in many endeavors or professions, they are confronted with unique decisions as a result of these choices.”

    You are just good at many things so picking one seems like a burden. No plan necessary, excel at what you do.

    Much clapping from here.

    Like

  584. I am perpetually and happily immature; it looks like I have a 5-yr plan but I really do much better at just showing up and then seeing what needs to be done from there.

    Loved the song; was that a ukulele though?

    Like

    Bill Dorman recently posted The blessing of rejection.

  585. i fucking love your blog.
    and it won’t even bother me if you never see this five hundred and eighty sixth comment, i swear.
    i just had to let you know.

    Like

  586. whoops,
    i’m the five hundred and eighty-eighth comment. well, now 589.
    there we are.

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  587. I needed that song.

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    Caitlin recently posted mouse girl.

  588. Everybody is obsessed with these 5 year plans, I just filled in an application for a promotion at work. I would have got this promotion 5 years ago but I don’t have a penis. I do have a strong personality and a big mouth. the dumbest question on there was “What do you want to be doing in 5 years? I am applying for a managers job. I see myself as your fucking boss in 5 years and I am going to take stupid questions like that out of managers applications.
    Oh and make everybody wear tshirts with a giant metal chicken on them. and I will eat ice cream

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  589. Honestly, I think the people with five year plans are probably the least stable of all. I mean really, I was one of them. And now that my life is totally up in the air, I am much, much happier.

    Like

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  590. Thank you! You’ve just cosigned my lack of a five year plan. I’ve never had one, or a 401K, and it’s always bothered me. I recently decided to just let it go, not worry about it, and do what I want in life.

    I have never felt freer and more happy than I do now. Fulfilling a life-long dream, and much against the wishes of my family, I bought an RV and am traveling the country in it.

    We need “Fuck Your Five Year Plan” t-shirts.

    Like

    Kernut the Blond recently posted I’m On The Road And Headed For Hell.

  591. I LOVE YOU🙂

    Ive been tormenting myself with the question of what am I doing here. Here being College, my professor keeps asking and every time I think… Wow!! I have no fucking clue. I kept thinking this was wrong, kept thinking I should know. But no, it’s cool!! One day at a time, this is how my life goes. I don’t plan things just happen. I haven’t been happier since I stopped planning and starting going with the flow.

    I love my life, I don’t know why I’m in college. I have no idea why I need a degree but I do recognize im meant to be someone great. I live everyday flowing with life, I’m happy. Yes.. I’m too aware and sometimes need a Xanax to deal with the drones.lol But I’m Fucking happy🙂 And it doesn’t Fucking matter🙂 Were here today and that’s perfectly planned🙂

    I can rationalize these things but sometimes I just need someone else to show me the light!

    TANKYOU!!!!!!!!!!!🙂

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  592. I fucking love you. That is all

    Like

  593. Yep I want me one of those “Fuck Your 5 Year Plan” t-shirts for my next work appraisal – Oh except we call them Performance Development Plans now. It would go really well with the ‘I have a shitty attitude and I am not afraid to share it’ coffee mug I am going to get.

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  594. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who is only pretending to be grown up while being a perpetual kid in my brain… .thanks Jenny for giving hope to the rest of us.

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  595. That video/song was the perfect antidote for a day of flummox-osity and the creeping, sinking feeling that always arrives in my mental foyer on the arm of being overwhelmed. If I don’t get an “A” (who am I kidding, I’ll be giddy with a “C”) in Math, I will still have my snappy, sassy wits about me. Barring degenerative brain issues, I should be ok. Whew, thanks!

    Like

  596. 599
    Paulina Brusca

    I didn’t know that someone who makes me laugh as hard as you do could also make me cry. I’m so glad I read that post. I can’t take Xanax…they don’t have enough…but this post did the trick. I feel slightly less hard on myself right now.

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  597. I used to be the most high strung Type A you could imagine with a 5-year plan, of course. I was focused and driven. And then I realized I wanted and needed to redefine myself at 40. Guess what? It would have been more fun doing it your way and we still both ended up at the same place. I am happier being me now, which means I don’t have all the answers, am smart enough to know a 5-year plan is fruitless (because we really can’t control everything), and I am blissfully happy.

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    Naked Girl in a Dress recently posted How to Make Good Things Happen.

  598. the inner wrestling?
    know it so well.
    the apology and regret to some unknown judging entity?
    yep. was my husband for a long time (mentally)
    the resistance?
    my best friend.
    sounds like yours too.
    why: cuz our true sense knows….life is about be-ing…
    not planning out do-ings….
    sure, the do-ings happen
    and they’re applauded. by the many also seeking to explode that wonder of all the many things one can ‘do’ (achieve)
    but … my journey is nudging this: its in the be-ing…we lose the pull to apologize for or judge…ourselves.
    giddy that you are seein this too.🙂

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    Tre ~ (@thoughtbythought) recently posted Done with being fear’s ‘yes woman’….

  599. WHY NOT PLAN AND NOT PLAN AT THE SAME TIME.

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  600. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting that song! And for being your wonderful “no fucking idea what I’m doing” self! Me too!!!

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    Lisa Marie Mary recently posted Don’t Get Mad….

  601. My five year plan is to still be having fun five years from now.

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    Jessica Meats recently posted An Interview With: Cat Patrick.

  602. Ok… so I’m 24… I’m 7 months pregnant.. and I really have no fucking clue what my 5 year plan is either except that… I get to raise a child up with my ideals…. oh fuck… god help his generation because they are putting up with a male version of me… /facepalm…. DID I MENTION I AM BIPOLAR? I have bipolar.. it does not have me.

    I shouldn’t get so god awful proud when my psychiatrist tells me how great I’m doing off of meds for this pregnancy… “Really, I’m honestly surprised. I didn’t expect you to do THIS well…”

    Anyways, yea… 5-year-plan? Not screw my kid up. As for me? Do crafts and random things and embarrass the hell out of my husband in the middle of Wal-mart by screaming “POOOOOOOT!!!!!” at him… which seemed like a great nickname to me… but he didn’t agree. /shrug

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  603. I’m going to try really hard to be inspiring and not depressing.
    5 year plan? I’ve seen my life turn on a DIME with no notice, 5 year plans will just be one more thing shot to heck when “too much to deal with at once” happens, or when the unexpected (good or bad) throws you a curve ball. ”

    Just do the best you can with the job that is in front of you. Keep track of your projects and work, but don’t obsess about success.

    Don’t worry about “growing up” or “being mature”, if there’s a need to keep it together and professional to get things moving, or to fix something, do it… but don’t let go of your sense of humor, “whimsy” and quirkiness, when life gives you rotten lemons, THROW THEM BACK. the sense of humor has kept me relatively sane when my life otherwise was totally falling apart. Laughing at Samsara has kept me from killing myself over the rough stuff i’ve been through.
    It’s given me the courage to fight my way to having happiness despite anything that I’ve had to deal with including chronic pain, illness and disability.

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  604. No one knows. We don’t get an instruction booklet, ever, and even if we did we’d ignore it.
    Well, I would, anyway.
    A five-year plan!? I struggle to come up with a plan for the week—heck, one of my personal goals is to actually know my own agenda instead of working on everyone else’s.
    This is why I love zombies. They have one mission, and they do it till their body parts fall off. I want to be like that.

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    Stacy recently posted NaNoWriMo Rebellious Matter.

  605. Oh my god i feel the same!
    but im still not on track
    fuck it.

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  606. 609
    Mom of 2 w/ a side of hubby

    will u marry me?

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  607. I’m 28, married, mother of one, I have a house and a car and a decent track record of washing laundry and vacumming. But I still wake up every few days, look in the mirror, and wonder why I don’t feel like a ‘grown up’.
    I still feel like a kid who ran out to ‘prove she can handle the real world’ and time just sort of stopped after that… Sure I’ve screwed up… often… and learned from it… mostly… but deep down I still feel like someday I’m going to be exposed for impersonating an adult and punished for it.
    shhh… don’t tell anyone I’m not grown up enough to be doing all of this.

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  608. Thank you, I just googled “I have no fucking idea what I’m doing” and got this blog. I needed this.❤

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