Sunday, June 28, 2015

Detour! - by Magdalena Scott

Just in case you didn’t know, 2015 hasn’t gone according to what we can humorously describe as “my plan.” Haha.

I had a road map for the year. I thought I’d be like the fabulous women I know who seem to have everything under control. I’m in awe of those who, for instance, have five year plans.

Five. Year. Plans.

I’m more likely to succeed with a five minute plan. An entire day? Not so much.

But--waaaaah—I don’t wanna be flexible. I want to make a plan, stick to it, and then hear angels sing as the clouds part and a big golden ray of sunlight bounces off my silver hair. Is that too much to ask?

Oh, I’ve tried. I really, truly have tried—on many occasions in the past, and especially this year. I thought 2015 would be different. I’ve diligently recorded important dates and to-do’s in my nifty thrifty calendar book. And I made a Giant Spreadsheet of Awesomeness which detailed what writing project I would accomplish by 5 PM on Friday of each week.

It’s a good thing I reuse and recycle paper. I have an idea the Giant Spreadsheet of Awesomeness will serve me better once I cut it up and use the back as grocery lists.

Here’s the weird thing. My most productive days are the ones I don’t plan. Like one day this week when I got up early and decided to work for a few minutes before heading out for a walk. Turns out it was raining (hello! plan change) so I drank coffee and worked…and I had accomplished everything for the day by 2:00 that afternoon.

I also had my travel for the year planned. One trip. ONE. Romance Writers of America Conference in New York City. The conference is always fabulous, and I’ve never been to NYC, so win/win, right? I signed up.

Surprise! I got invited to a wedding in San Francisco a few days after I return from NYC in late July. But hey—I’ve never been to S.F., so this is a great opportunity.

Surprise! A girlfriend wanted to join a tour to Ireland in the fall, and needed a roommate. Wow. I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland, and who knows when another chance will come along? I’m trying to figure out how in the world to pack for 11 days with one suitcase and a non-wheeled carry-on.

Adapting, being flexible, learning to “go with the flow”—you’d think I would have finished with these lessons, but evidently not. Or maybe 2015 is my masters’ level course,

Help! I'm looking for packing tips!

Magdalena

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Magdalena Scott writes small town sweet romance novels. Learn about her books, read her blog, subscribe to her newsletter, and connect on social media by visiting her website: magdalenascott.com



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28 comments:

  1. Great post, Magdalena! As long as going with the flow means going on unexpected trips, I would embrace the changes! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Beate! It has seemed a bit overwhelming at times, but I'm so blessed to have the opportunities.

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  2. Packing cubes! They work wonders! http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=packing+bags

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    1. Delene, I've read about packing cubes, but it's great to hear from someone who has actually used them. I appreciate you including the link!

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  3. When I did 2 weeks in Europe, we went to a place to wash our clothes halfway through the trip. Have fun on those trips. They sound great.

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    1. Thanks, Margaret. I'll check on with the tour company, re laundry opportunities. :)

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  4. Comfy shoes and dress in layers. That's my daily mantra

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    1. I love an easy-to-remember mantra. Thanks, Mel!

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  5. Such a fun post, Magdalena! I know just what you mean about cutting up that Giant Spreadsheet of Awesomeness into scratch paper. At this point, I should plan for my plans to veer off course at every possible turn. :) Go with the flow and enjoy those unexpected, wonderful moments as they come!

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    1. Good advice, Shanna. I'll keep that in mind. Since posting my blog I've had another squiggly line (see signpost above) come into my life. Not sure yet what to do with this one. Maybe it will be next month's blog fodder. ;)

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  6. Super post! Love the Spreadsheet of Awesomeness! It sounds like you do well adapting to change. How exciting you're going on all those trips! I like packing clothes that don't wrinkle and picking a few theme colors, so clothes easily mix and match. Also love those little blow-up hangers that allow you to wash a garment in a hotel room and have it dry out overnight. Have fun on your travels!

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    1. Thank you, Ginny! As you will notice at RWA, I wear a *lot* of black, so I use the color theme idea every day. Whatever can make trips to the closet quick and easy. Last year for RWA I packed a couple of plastic hangers and hand-washed some things, but I've never used inflatable hangers. Wasn't aware of these--I need to get out more! (Won't be able to use that excuse much longer, will I?)

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  7. I think you're being flexible in the right way, Magdalena--always ready to have FUN!

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    1. Lyn, how kind of you! I've spent a lot of my life being very, very serious, and I can't say it made much difference in productivity. Plus it gave me some permanent frown lines. I definitely like my laugh lines better. :)

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  8. I enjoy planning. I think of it as anticipation. My husband and I plan whenever we get time alone. The weekend, the next trip, retirement--it doesn't matter what. But that plan can be flexible, too. As long as there aren't things that you spend time regretting because it wasn't planned.

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    1. Yes, so true, Shaleen! Grace Greene's recent blog about planning a vacation, and the reason she didn't take the vacation, was so poignant. Sometimes planning is all you get--as when the trip has to be canceled. But the anticipation can be a vacation in itself.

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  9. Wow, Magdalena. It may not have gone as planned, but perhaps even better ~ which shows us the importance of being flexible and always ready for an adventure!

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    1. I think you're right, Grace. I would never have cast myself in the role of adventurer. One never knows. :)

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  10. Have a wonderful time in Ireland. You will LOVE it! You will not be sorry if you pack very lightly and then do laundry there.

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    1. Thank you, Roxanne. I do like the challenge of trying to pack light.

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  11. Giant Spreadsheet of Awesomeness. I love it! I've discovered every time I make a plan, the heavens burst out in hysterical laughter.

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    1. Do you think if we laugh along, it works out best, Aileen? (I almost posted a picture of my Giant Spreadsheet of Awesomeness, but thought the squiggly line sign a more eye catching graphic.)

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  12. Several people are credited with the quote "Life happens while you're busy making plans." I just returned from a 17 day England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales vacation and survived the one suitcase dilemma (I wasn't even allowed the carry-on). It can be done! Sit back and enjoy the detour.

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    1. Wow, Tina. That sounds like a fabulous trip! I'm going to share all this info with my friend who might also be a bit intimidated about the packing restrictions.

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  13. I'm with you, Magdelena! My best laid plans rarely get off the ground- lol. Life is short and as long as you fill each day with love and laughter, you are the successful, accomplished woman you planned on being :)

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    1. Thank you for sharing that lovely sentiment, Karen. I'll try to keep it in mind!

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  14. I, for one, want to see how you pack in your carry-on for that 11 day trip. Having roomed with you at RWA nationals, and witnessed your minimalist packing (which blows me away, btw) I'm confident you can pull it off! Nice post, Magdalena!

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    1. Maddie, I'll try to remember to photograph my 11 day packing when it's done. Thanks again for letting me hang laundry in the shower at RWA last year. ;)

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