Day 4: How to Plan a Good Life

Antique penny rug sold by Ivey-Selkirk  -- source

I've been thinking about how to plan a life a lot lately.

Penny Rugs are great metaphors for life planning.    

My oldest son who is on the autism spectrum will be finishing school.  After school is a giant question mark for many reasons. Services in Maine for people with developmental disabilities have been frozen, and there is a waiting list of what seems like a thousand years, or might as well be. So when my son graduates from school we will be figuring it out as we go along.  "We will figure it out" is not the favorite plan of action for many people on the austism spectrum.  My son likes to know what to expect.  What we can expect is that we will be spending a lot of time together.  He is wonderful, and so am I  (ha ha!) but that can still be challenging at times.  

You're never done planning your life.  That is a TRUTH.  In light of my husband and I trying to explain  how to plan a good life to our son, it has brought some things home to me.  Here are the we've come up with for helping our son understand planning a day (and ultimately a life).  

work
fun
rest
health
social times
learning
spiritual focus
 helping others

When I looked at the list, I saw some areas that are missing in my life.  So I'm changing those.   

1.  "WORK" needs to get back on track.  I had a creative funk this summer and have been trying to climb out of that.   But I think my win yesterday will inject some new spark and enthusiasm for me on that front!   And maybe reading Small Notebook's How to Make Things Harder and Do Nothing  would be good, too!

2.   I need to socialize more. I had become a hermit.  So last night I signed up for an adult ed class making penny rugs.  And I had a blast with some crazy ladies in the class.  What is interesting is that 18 years ago I took an adult ed sewing class and those skills are very much part of my business today.  I look forward to what the penny rug class will teach me, plus the fun with other people.

So why are penny rugs great metaphors for life planning?   

Historically, they were items of beauty made out of what you already had - usually John's worn out coat and Grandpas's union suit.  But really that's how the best life planning happens.  You take who you are and what you have and you make something beautiful. 

There are other goals to work on, but those are my FOCUS right now.  


1 comment:


"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden




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