All that spring cleaning in March, plus us gearing up to move in the near future, has got me thinking about the future. Why is that? Not really sure.
We love where we are here in Bend. Sure, I’m ready for spring weather (why, oh why, is it still snowing?), but I know I’ll be happy as a lark come August. That said, we’ve always been a nomadic family, and we don’t see that changing in the long-term.
So to keep me going strong here in the land-that-snows-to-welcome-spring, I sat down and scribbled out a Five Year Plan for our family. If you’ve read much of me, you know I like things like Family Purpose Statements and celebrating the new year with reflection questions.
But this was honestly the first time I’ve written something like a FIVE Year Plan. I’ve thought about it, sure, and it’s always fun to answer that question, “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” But never have I written out actual, concrete ideas.
It was eye-opening. (And yes, it reminded me of the 75-year plan on Bottle Rocket, if you ever saw that Wes Anderson blip in the late 90s.)
Our five year plan
Buy a fixer-upper, fix up said fixer-upper, and continue to live and work in Bend, Oregon. Write my next book. Continue saving for college and retirement (baby steps 4 and 5). Kids are 7, 4, and 2 (well, Finn turns two in June, halfway through the year). 10 year wedding anniversary!
Continue to live and work in Bend, Oregon. Keep saving for college and retirement, but also throw any extra money towards paying off the house. Also start saving for our 2015 plan. Take a family vacation. Next book released near the end of the year? Kids are 8, 5, and 3.
Continue to live and work in Bend, Oregon. Keep saving for college and retirement, but also throw any extra money towards paying off the house. Keep saving for 2015. Hit the road as a family on a North American book tour. Would love to live completely off the blog and other writing/online projects by the beginning of this year. Kids are 9, 6, and 4.
Keep saving for college and retirement, but also throw any extra money towards paying off the house. Take a six-month (or a year?) trip around the world as a family, researching where we’d like to live next. Keep working during this trip, begin writing my next book, and rent out our house in Bend. Kids are 10, 7, and 5.
Keep saving for college and retirement, and hopefully pay off our house. Start living overseas again, possibly for part of the year, with the remaining part of the year back in the U.S. If that’s in Bend, then still in the same house (maybe sublet the house as a vacation home while we’re overseas?). If elsewhere (like Austin?), then we’d sell the Bend house before going abroad. Kids are 11, 8, and 6.
It was harder than I thought it would be. Kyle would tell you that I’m pretty forward-thinking, continually getting excited about what’s next. But it was a challenge to get it on paper.
But it was also fun. It’s fun to dream, and scribbling this out gave me permission to Think Big. I put my pen down excited and refreshed.
I shared it with Kyle soon after I wrote it, and for the most part, he agreed. He helped tweak some wording and change a few glaring inconsistencies. But basically, this really helped us see that we’re tracking on the same page.
Things to know
This wasn’t completely comprehensive. I didn’t include every little travel plan or family event—we like to plan, but we also like to be spontaneous. We don’t know where, specifically, we plan to visit on our around-the-world trip (though we definitely have ideas!).
I kept it more about the entire family than about my own personal goals. Sure, I have them (health, skills to learn, and the like), but this five-year-plan isn’t really about me. It was about our family unit, what we want to do together.
Our plan is dreaming big, but it’s also possible. We actually are tracking along to fix up and then pay off our house, to travel, and to relocate again overseas. We may not get to do everything, but that doesn’t mean we can’t imagine.
This isn’t etched in stone. In fact, since I first wrote it a few weeks ago, it’s already changed a little bit. I’m not delusional in thinking nothing’s going to derail this plan, or that our desires won’t change in five years. I’m parking at Proverbs 16:9 on this one.
But I do know from experience that writing it down is a MAJOR step to seeing something happen. It’s happened to me already—this blog, the blog network, my book, living overseas, meeting certain people. Something magical happens when we own up to our dreams and draft them in words.
You can, too
You have dreams. I know you do. Even if you think they’re small potatoes compared to someone else’s, they’re still YOUR dreams, and you should treat them honorably.
Try it out this week—scribble down a few ideas for where you’d like to be in five years. What you’d like to do along the way. What would tighten your family bond. How these things would make you more the way you were meant to be.
And then share them with your spouse. Work on them together—hear his or her ideas, too, and decide if these are dreams worth pursuing together.
This weekend I created a five-year plan Pinterest board for visual inspiration. As we edit our ideas, come up with new ones, and cross things off the list, I hope to add more there!
Sure, I hold on to my life list loosely, and I have so much to be grateful for already. But we have permission to think outside the box, to dream big things for our family, and to pursue them. Join me?
What’s one thing you’d like to do in the next five years?
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Five years after graduation I plan to obtain a master's degree in law enforcement. Right now I'am really not sure what I really want to truly do for the rest of my life. The only thing I like doing is finding clues and figuring out the criminal in mystery books. I know that sense I like doing that, it leads me to desiring a position as a detective or something dealing with the FBI. Im thinking that its most likely that I will go to a university.
If I do, I will go to the University of Phoenix. Im attending the University of Phoenix for a few reasons but Im ultimately going to the university to become a detective. I want to be successful and rich so I can have all the good things in life. I want to be able to have a family without financial stress and worries.
My entire life my mom has and still is working two or three jobs just to make ends meet. Thats not where I want to be with my future. I want a sense of comfort that no matter what happens Ill have the money to take care of it. I dont exactly need a luxurious lifestyle, but Id like to partake in a life of nicer cars, extravagant home, and cash in the bank. So after all I guess I would like to have a few dollars. Its often hard to grow up without a substantial amount of money in the family.
Im going to make sure that my husband (who will be working just like me), and kids dont have to go through all of that. On a more selfish side of the scale, I want to get out of that whole situation as well. Id like to drive expensive cars and wear the clothes, and most of all, I always want to have money in my pocket. Like everyone else, I just want the good life. In addition to all of that, a master's degree or any kind of degree looks good on any application. So many more doors are opened to you if you have a degree instead of just a high school diploma.
With the popularity of college lately, there is so much more competition in the workforce. With a degree you would not only have that on your applications, but youd have the knowledge that you would need to attain the right job. A university or college is my chance to make something of myself, no one in my immediate family has graduated from college yet so Id like for them to be proud of me for that achievement. I used to think I was going to be a professional basketball player but Im too slow and not that tall, so that didnt really work out the way I planned it.
Then I thought Id be a writer, but I do not really like making up stories off of the top of my head, I guess only sometimes (when I feel like it). So I finally decided that Id have to study my way out of a middle class family. Im working hard in school because its vital for my future. I need that education to accomplish all of the goals that I have set out for myself. Although, my truly main goal in life is really to become a detective. You will see why below.
Police and detectives maintain law and order, collect evidence and information, and conduct investigations and surveillance. People depend on police officers and detectives to protect their lives and property. Law enforcement officers, some of whom are State or Federal special agents or inspectors, perform these duties in a variety of ways, depending on the size and type of their organization. In most jurisdictions, they are expected to exercise authority when necessary, whether on or off duty. Being a detective might be dangerous and stressful, but I'am willing to take that risk. I know that in addition to the obvious dangers of confrontations with criminals, officers need to be constantly alert and ready to deal appropriately with a number of other threatening situations.
Many law enforcement officers witness death and suffering resulting from accidents and criminal behavior. A career in law enforcement may take a toll on officers private lives. Candidates must be U. S.
citizens, usually at least 20 years of age, and must meet rigorous physical and personal qualifications. In the Federal Government, candidates must be at least 21 years of age but less than 37 years of age at the time of appointment. Physical examinations for entrance into law enforcement often include tests of vision, hearing, strength, and agility. Many detectives make wages from $ 39, 010 to $ 65, 980.
It all depends on how well educated you are and how good you are at your job. Federal law provides special salary rates to Federal employees who serve in law enforcement. Additionally, Federal special agents and inspectors receive law enforcement availability pay (LEAP) equal to 25 percent of the agents grade and step awarded because of the large amount of overtime that these agents are expected to work. Detectives have many benefits: paid vacation, sick leave, and medical and life insurance. To me that sounds awesome. Applicants with college training in police science, military police experience, or both should have the best opportunities.
Employment of police and detectives is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2012. A more security-conscious society and concern about drug-related crimes should contribute to the increasing demand for police services. Layoffs, on the other hand, are rare because retirements enable most staffing cuts to be handled through attrition. Trained law enforcement officers who lose their jobs because of budget cuts usually have little difficulty finding jobs with other agencies. The need to replace workers who retire, transfer to other occupations, or stop working for other reasons will be the source of many job openings. Now you are wondering, how in the world am I going to pay for the University of Phoenix to be able to become a detective.
Well I plan to receive an academic scholarship, get students loans, and borrow money from a relative. I can aquire an academic scholarship by getting into the top five percent of William B. Travis Highschool of class 2007. I can get student loans by applying to the College Funding Services. I will get my money fast and make no payments until after graduation.
Plus I have a grandpa that says he can pay for some of my college money. College is going to start my own life on a foot that is ready to leap because my career is going to take off right out of the gate. All-in-all Im going to college for three main reasons. My immediate family is a reason because I want them to be proud of me for doing something right for once. My future family is also one because its a big part of my life that I want to be happy and always feel comfortable. Finally for my personal financial well-being, so I can be able to treat myself to all the luxuries I want for myself.
Going back to line one, all of these things are a part of my future. Isnt that what college is for after all, to prepare people for their own futures and what they bring? A university is not my future, its only the beginning of it.
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