Monday, May 30, 2011

The Planifesto

Several months ago, I read this great article by Martha Beck about the importance of attaching adjectives to your life goals. She cited a couple different examples of people wishing for things—one woman thought she would find happiness by being her own boss, another by having a baby.

Unfortunately, both women failed to accurately investigate the details of their goals before charging ahead. The woman who aspired to be her own boss was really seeking a job with freedom. She quickly learned that starting your own company means you're tied down a lot of the time. The woman who wanted a baby thought it would finally make her feel fulfilled. But it also made her exhausted.

These examples got me to thinking about the life Mr. Wonderful and I are hoping to create over the next several years (or decade). We talk a lot about how things will be "when we move to the vineyard." But we haven't really tried to flesh out what that will look like. And as I learned from dating, you gotta put color to the details (and then stick to them) or you end up with some really unflattering shades...

After all the wedding hoopla finally faded, I decided that Mr. W and I should sit down and start listing our adjectives. Penning our descriptors might help us to start paving the path.

So I found an empty notebook. The French cat one above (which Mr. W actually bought me in Barcelona at the gift shop inside La Pedrera) and we sat down with a glass of wine and brainstormed. The hope is that we will continue to fill the book with ideas, and by the time we've covered each sheet of paper, we'll be well on our way to living the list.

Here's a little peek at what we have so far:

• blissful • peaceful • low maintenance • fun • easy • rich in experiences • satisfying • inspiring • creative • challenging (in a good way) • communal • balanced • healthy •

It's sort of fun to hypothesize where we'll end up and when. I think maybe we'll be farmers... Or maybe a writer and a photographer... The possibilities are endless, really.


  1. I wonder: do you find the dreaming (or maybe the feasibility of attaining the dreams) easier or harder now that it's a "we" rather than an "I"?

  2. It is so good to write things down, even if you're just beginning. It gives a real quality to a thought, and I think we need that, not just as dreamers but as humans.

    I will visit you on your vineyard one day! (But let's hope before then, too!)

  3. I like this idea. I just can't imagine Mr. D doing this with me. Maybe I am underestimating him.

  4. This is an excellent plan. In Spiritual Psychology, they call this "Creating and Ideal Scene." You're definitely doing that with the vineyard. Bravo! And on my ideal scene a decade from now I'm adding "I am sipping wine across from Mel Heth at her vineyard. We're laughing about that time we threw coins in Trevi Fountain. Mr. W is checking on the lasagna."

  5. Geekhiker - I think I will write a follow-up post because that is such a great question.

    LesleyG - It's so true - writing things down helps so much. It's definitely one of my favorite ways to brainstorm and daydream. And you have a free place to stay anytime you want to come visit! We're right in the heart of Hollywood, baby! :)

    Sizzle - I think you could do it without him. Or without him knowing! You could ask him questions about future stuff and just secretly take notes!

    Janice - Love your lasagna plan. That's SO going to happen one day. And now I feel even better about our notebooking now that it has an official name in Spiritual Psychology!

  6. Drunk - purple fingers - sunburnt -
    missing your sister - far away from Hollywood excitement - pregnant from too much time on your hands..... (and my word verfication is sporm - I think that's significant)


Well, whatdya think?