The Internet has deepened and broadened my skills of visualizing, planning, and preparing. I typically use both online and offline resources to research, write, share, revise, implement, and review--a good process, and one that's masterful with the addition of the thoughts, ideas, and reactions of my PLN via Twitter, blogs, chats, and one-to-one "conversations" online or off. The crowdshare planning and research that's possible now works to improve delivery as our ideas, materials, and process develop.
I find that I'm not only applying this process to my work, but I'm also adding it to my personal life as well. I make the time to visualize, organize, research, prep, and implement individual, friend, and family events with the help of my PLN. Similar to my work life, that strategy is making a positive difference. Events are run with greater care, focus, and grace--there's less disappointment, and more time to truly enjoy the essence of time together and mutual adventures.
With all of this planning and prep there also comes that element of serendipity and surprise--nothing ever truly goes as planned. There's always the unexpected moment, result, or event. And, with that knowledge, I find that now as I plan events, both personal and professional, I anticipate the unexpected with both fear and excitement. I wonder about the new words/ideas I will hear, people I will meet, and turns in life's road I will encounter as the event unfolds? I know that some of the unexpected events will not be happy, but instead challenges to face, mountains/hills to climb, and even sadness as some long held expectations/dreams are unmet.
With all this in mind, I started planning the holiday celebrations long ago--choreographing events to bring family members together with joy and care. Making sure that everything was in place to welcome my family with time, attention, love, and kindness. Shopping for just right gifts, coordinating schedules, and sharing meal preparations with relatives.
Then the celebrations occurred mostly as planned, but with surprises as well. The relative who planned to arrive on Christmas, arrived the next day instead. Another friend, who recently faced extraordinary challenges, seemed more at peace and ready to give back, a warm and unexpected surprise. The spark in young lovers' eyes awakened my thoughts to how our family will soon change with marriages and babies. So far, this year's surprises have been minor for me, yet as I read the news, both happy and sad, I notice with joy and sadness how the season brought major life changes to many.
Life rolls along, up and down, deep and shallow, wide and narrow. Meeting plans, events, friends, and family with our best attention to detail, planning, research, and care matters allowing us to create memorable, transformative, and loving exchanges--times that make life worth living. Yet, also with all that planning and prep, there always needs to be room for serendipity and surprise, moments, good, bad and indifferent, that we don't imagine, expect, or sometimes even understand--moments that propel our twisty life paths forward in ways often unimagined. Adjustments.