The sun sets over Brandon's after a surf with friends.
It is the new year, and everyone is making big plans. I am even helping clients to do this. Yet, in the background, I don’t have any myself. To say that I have no idea what is going to happen this year is a bit dramatic, but I am not too far off.
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Boosy, Dani, Kate, me, and Kev at Drill Hall beach where the surf addiction all began.
Kidding. I thought that I would share my mindset because others might be struggling with the same. This is especially true as the pandemic drags on and plans are hard to make. I have learned so much from this move to Barbados. The universe has sent me plenty of practice in many areas of personal growth. Exploring my relationship to planning is one of them.
Dani and Kev, a couple that we learned to surf with last January, are back on the island. It must be said that I love these people, as a couple and individually. They came with me and the South Africans to Christmas dinner at Erin and Darren’s and fit in seamlessly. It was a wonderful meal, with fun banter and lots of laughter.
We have been trying to coordinate, which I find I have lost the ability to do. Dani and Kev don’t have a car and must hire surfboards; accordingly, they need a heads-up where we are going surfing. With few exceptions, I have been unable to give them that information because we generally look at surf reports just as we head out the door.
On my surfboard on the ocean - exactly where I want to be.
There is a LOT of paddling to get to the break, to get the wave, sometimes miss the wave and start again.
Then the beauty of catching the wave. Look at that crystal clear aqua water!
Planning at this micro level is no longer a central part of my life. There was a time when I needed to plan weeks in advance to coordinate everyone’s busy life. Now I find comfort in knowing that I will end up with my friends surfing or playing beach volleyball. Kate and I went to the drive-in last week, which meant giving up a sunset surf, not a dramatic re-arranging of schedules. I used to gain comfort from planning, like a safety blanket against loneliness or being alone too much; now I become irritable when a plan is required. I am not sure when this shift happened. It has been a gradual process of living on a Caribbean Island.
You don’t need to live on an island to experience this. Dani said that the departures board Christmas Eve, when they left London, was riddled with canceled flights. Either the flight crew had COVID and/ or too many passengers canceled because they tested positive. How far in advance did some of these people make plans and how much effort would it take to rearrange their vacations?
Planning at the macro level has also completely gone to shit with the pandemic. I spoke to a couple on the weekend that has based themselves in Barbados, waiting for a Canadian company to process their visas and relocate to Calgary. In the meantime, they found new jobs in Toronto. I don’t want to offend anyone that lives or loves Calgary, but I think that the pandemic may have done them a favor.
Bringing in the New Year at Pebbles Beach with the fireworks on either side of us.
Kicking it old school at the drive-in theatre with Kate.
I still spend many hours daydreaming about where I will spend the rest of 2022. Will I stay in Barbados the entire year? (Although I have not left the island since I landed November 2020 and I do need a break). Will I split my time between Canada and Barbados and see how that feels and if that is accessible to me? Or will I be more radical and go to another place that calls me? How privileged I am to even have this dilemma! How wonderful it is to have a Canadian passport!
What will it take for me to make these decisions? I am trying to pay attention to how I feel, rather than what I think, about new information. I am making a practice of relinquishing control.
AND if you have any experiences and knowledge that helped you stand back and receive, rather than take control and plan, I would love to hear about them.