We all have them. Or, most of us do. I always used to. I still do, although it is so ragged and altered that it's almost unrecognizable. I can remember starting it about my sophomore year in high school. There were times I considered others, but always came back to my original one. Until life intervened. I'm talking about my Master Plan; the Plan by which every decision orbited around for years and years. Can I quit choir my sophomore year in high school? Not if I want to be a band director. Should I draw pictures or listen to the radio tonight? Better draw pictures if I want a minor in Art. Should I study or party? Better study if I want to make the Dean's List. Better get good grades. Better get great judge's comments at contest. Better increase my range on trumpet. Better sing a solo for vocal contest to show I'm well rounded in music. Better go to music camp to see if I want to go to school at SDSU. Better get a good student teaching gig lined up. Better do a great job so I get a good reference. Better work hard at being better, so I can go out and do my best....argh. It's exhausting just thinking about it. My entire life revolved around The Plan for years and years. I was great about staying on course. Very focused. If you're curious, my Master Plan was to live in a small town and be the band director and art teacher, have 4 kids, and many dogs. I would say part of my plan came true. I did get to major in music education and minor in art education, even though every teacher throughout college told me it was a huge waste of my time, since most schools couldn't even afford an art teacher. I did get many dogs...three, to be exact. I did have some children, although the number is 2 instead of 4. I used to make a weekly list throughout college, and I was SO happy to be able to check things off. Write my paper, check. Practice trumpet, check. Study, check. I know some things on my list would take a few days, others stretched out over two or three semesters. Now, my list is generally shorter and not as exciting. Do laundry, check. Do dishes, check. Prepare the kids for school, check, and check. I often look back now and wonder what good my music ed. major and my hard-won art minor are worth now. What need do I have of such things, to just be "a mom" now? My ability to play through Charliet Etudes or the Arutunian Trumpet Concerto are really of no value to me now. I don't need to know how to paint or draw to change diapers. My ten semesters on the dean's list are pretty much unnecessary in my day-to-day life at the moment. And yet, I'm so glad I had a Plan through those years of my life. I hope I will one day be able to utilize these things again. For now, though, "My Plan" is just a plan--no lights or glitter, no drama, just a plan to make it through daily life and be there for my kids. Nothing too exciting going on here...just playing out my plan as the days march by.