I like TO plan.
In most areas of my life, I like things to be figured out well ahead of time. Then I like to stick with that plan. Carpool plans. High School plans. Retirement plans. ‘What to order at the restaurant two days from now’ plans. ‘What to do with the rest of my life’ plans.
I like A plan.
Sometimes my plans don’t work out.
But that is OK. At least on a good day. On a good day, I can be OK with plans changing. (If only every day were a good day.)
My new plan-free life.
This month’s calendar was a small step of progress for me. Progress in being OK with a minor plan not working out.
Calendar PLAN A
I had planned that the October 2015 calendar would feature the current painting I have been working on since August. (Yes, August. I do not know why it is taking so long, other than it is a very hard painting. This was definitely NOT part of my plan. )
The new painting is so very close to being done. I could have rushed to finish it.
But instead of bowing to The Plan, I decided it was more important to let the painting stew for a few more days. In a moment of sanity, it occurred to me that meeting my self-imposed deadline was not worth the sacrifice of what might develop into a powerful painting if given the time to come to life on its own terms.
Calendar PLAN B
Last month I had realized that there was still one remaining painting from my South Carolina series that has not yet made the calendar circuit. So “Fishing Pier” was going to be The Backup Plan for the October calendar.
However, when I went to create this Plan B calendar, I realized it was much too close in composition to the September calendar. Even though it was a “new” painting created several years later, there are some striking similarities I had not noticed before.
I wanted more of a change for my own calendar-viewing-enjoyment, so this time I made the choice to say no to THE PLAN.
Where did that leave me? NO PLAN.
When it came to the calendar that would be on my computer desktop for the next 30 days I now had NO PLAN, but instead of being terrifying it felt nice. I was free. The sky was wide open. It could be ANY painting I felt like. Any one at all.
Without a plan, I was free to ask “what did I feel like looking at?”
My mom is a proud, born and raised, die-hard resident of Wisconsin. When talking with her the other day, it occurred to me that she might possibly be getting tired of seeing only paintings inspired by South Carolina this past year. If my own mother is getting tired of looking at South Carolina month after month, maybe other people who are NOT from — or currently living in — South Carolina may be feeling the same way too.
As I started to think about it, I realized that maybe I too would like a break from South Carolina scenery this month. So with a collection several hundred paintings to choose from at my fingertips, I decide to choose an old painting that is near and dear to my heart.
I choose a painting that brings me peace.
The October calendar features a painting I created back in 2006. It is one of several pieces inspired by the shores of Lake Michigan (thus the clever name “Lake Michigan 8.”)
This is a painting that was created nine years ago, but still gives my troubled mind a feeling of rest when I watch the water lap against the shore.
This is the painting that I look at every night before I fall asleep. It was just the right size for this bedroom. It has just the right feel. A feeling of peace for a more troubled time in my life.
Nine years have passed. A lot has happened in those nine years. A lot has stayed the same.
What else brings me peace in my new plan-free life?
What stayed the same, brings me peace.
Rock-Solid things have not changed. My Faith. The love of my parents. The love of the good man I am married to. The love of friends who know the real me.
These are the things I need to remember more often. These things are more important than a Plan.
When my plan-free place starts to wear me down, there are a few random things that also bring me peace. Brushing my teeth. Vacuuming. Laughing with/at our dog who knows me as “grandma.” These are merely are symptom-maskers, but useful nonetheless.
Enjoy this peaceful, plan-free place.
A place where the Rock-Solid things in life help you weather whatever unexpected wrench may be thrown into your plans this month. A place where you remember the things in your life that are most important. More important that a Plan.
The best thing about this new desktop calendar for October?
No place to write down any Plans!
Wishing you a peaceful, plan-free month of 31 days..
To view the entire collection of my colorful oil paintings of peaceful places,
visit my online gallery at www.mariescottstudios.com.